Tropical shed mural by Jerry Dressen.

      Tropical shed mural by Jerry Dressen.

      – 8/08/18

      Hosted by Kathabela Wilson

      One of my great inspirations for this week’s Poetry Corner is the beautiful work of artist Jerry Dreesen in Arcadia, Indiana. Over the last month, he has been painting a tropical paradise on the outside wall of the garden shed in his back yard. His wife suggested he uses it as a canvas. And so we witness a fantastic example of how the ordinary becomes extraordinary. In many places we have extraordinary heat waves. All through our lives we are challenged and can choose to be defiant, to create beauty and well-being, in spite of the odds.

      ~ Kathabela​​​​

      Defying Drought (Photo Natalia Kuznetsova).

      Defying Drought (Photo Natalia Kuznetsova).

      Natalia Kuznetsova

      dried-up cornfields …
      dad’s weather-beaten face
      looks defiant


      the storm’s aftermath –
      our crippled apple tree
      breaks into blossom


      after wildfires …
      my neighbor’s grandson plants
      twigs in the yard

      Ο Ο Ο

      Photo by Robert Johnston.

      Photo by Robert Johnston.

      Robert Johnston

      from the underworld
      yellow crocuses


      in your tatty coat
      more poet than I am –
      white butterfly

      Ο Ο Ο

      white butterfly (Photo - Robert Johnston).

      white butterfly (Photo – Robert Johnston).

      Zee Zahava

      white butterfly
      i recognize you….
      my beloved grandmother

      Ο Ο Ο

      Painting by Ida Kathleen Pelmear, Rachel Sutcliffe's granny.

      Painting by Ida Kathleen Pelmear, Rachel Sutcliffe’s granny.

      Rachel Sutcliffe

      storm clouds gathering
      I paint my own
      blue skies

      Ο Ο Ο​​

      Surviving (Photo - Jerry Dreesen).

      Surviving (Photo – Jerry Dreesen).

      Jerry Dreesen

      surviving the heat wave . . . impatiens

      Ο Ο Ο

      Drought (Photo - Natalia Kuznetsova).

      Drought (Photo – Natalia Kuznetsova).

      Ruth Zuckschwerdt

      summer heat
      quite unusual in our latitudes
      dragging ourselves through
      until one of thes days
      we’ll all be drought resistant

      Ο Ο Ο

      Tanka art by Michael H. Lester.

      Tanka art by Michael H. Lester.

      Michael H. Lester

      the horseman
      victorious in battle
      riding out a drought
      is a horse of a different color


      Natalia Kuznetsova lives in Moscow, Russia. She says: “Our Mother Nature teaches us, her loving but disobedient children, who very seldom learn the lessons. She punishes us sometimes and still…Her tenacity and resilience are enormous. But not without limit. Shouldn’t we wake up before it’s too late?!”

      Robert Johnston lives in Dunedin, New Zealand. He muses: “The underworld is spoken of in lots of cultures; here – to comment on the arrival of brilliantly yellow flowers from the nothingness of dark earth – I refer to the Greek underworld, the realm of the dead, which Persephone, queen of the realm and wife of Hades, was permitted to return to this world from each year at the end of the wintry months. I live south of – I would say – 99% of the world’s population, in Dunedin, New Zealand, and it amuses me a little to think that when I see the arrival of spring, those of you who live in the much more populous hemisphere, though frequently sweltering in a heatwave at the same time, will soon be seeing signs of the coming of autumn. My pleasure at the ending of the coldest season is naive, of course, because the deep seasons of heart are unrelated to the outer weather.”

      Zee Zahava of Ithaca, NY tells this recent story: “i was feeling sad. Then I looked up and saw a white butterfly at my window. Immediately I knew it was the spirit of my grandmother, lovingly telling me to ‘buck up.’ In that moment: transformation from one state of being to another.” I asked hurt about her grandmother and she said: “my grandmother was VERY positive!!! and she was such a strong force and influence in my life. i saw her every single day (it seems) until i went off to college.”

      Rachel Sutcliffe, in Huddersfield, UK, says: “My granny Ida was a talented artist, a gift she discovered late in life and shortly after, she cruelly went blind. She bequeathed me her paints as I’m not a talented artist but love to draw and colour and I always feel close to her when doing so.”

      Ruth Zuckschwerdt lives in Switzerland, not far from mountains and hills, on beautiful Lake Constance. She says: “The weather in this area is usually quite moderate, neither too hot nor too cold. However, temperatures are definitely rising and what alarms people is the fact that the remaining glaciers in Switzerland are diminishing rapidly and steadily.”

      Jerry Dreesen is an artist and poet in Arcadia, Indiana. He loves tropical landscapes, and the one we have featured here was inspired by the botanical gardens in St. Louis. His paintings are always colorful and intriguing, and sometimes abstract. You can see some of his work featured in a previous corner. But this mural, made in response to his wife’s request to “use the shed for a canvas,” inspires all of us to defy the drought and find creative solutions.

      Michael H. Lester, of Los Angeles, says: “I realized I have a long-dead bonsai plant in my office, so I took a picture of it and thought of a tanka to go with it.” The inspiring result poetically defy the drought.

      Ο Ο Ο

      You can add your contribution to our Poetry Corner in the form of a poem, in our comment box below​.

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        • Kathabela Wilson

          Kathabela Wilson is a local poet/writer/artist and musician. Her Poets Salon has become an international respected must read in the poetry world. She's the creator and host of the Pasadena-based group, “Poets on Site.”

          Colorado Boulevard is your place for enlightening events, informative news and social living for the greater Pasadena area.
          We strive to inform, educate, and work together to make a better world for all of us, locally and globally.

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      1. giselle maya says:

        defying drought
        i set out bowls of spring water
        for everyone to drink

        mostly insects, birds
        a green lizard, a fox
        come to slate their thirst . . .

      2. Erika Wilk says:

        beautiful poems and photos!
        Rich and colorful.

      3. Wendy C. Bialek says:

        defying drought
        I bring my camel
        brush to paper
        and we all look
        at the ink grow

      4. Sharon Hawley says:

        “one of these days
        we’ll all be drought resistant”
        if we adapt

        coast redwoods
        are trying

        I’m trying

        cholla and barrel cacti
        know the gig
        follow the creosote bush

        I follow the trail
        get out by noon

        no drought in the AC

      5. Alex Nodopaka says:

        Hey! Jerry! Nice job

        Your so realistic painting
        I sense a dog might
        lift its hind leg against

        the shed

        but the Toucan on the branch
        tops it all
        evoking my yodeling mating call


        and I expect to hear soon
        a response since that girl bird
        goes for accented songs


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