April 19, 2019

Ekphrastic April 2019, Day 19: "Girl and Leshy"


"Girl and Leshy" (1899) by Maria Yakunchikova [1870-1902].

sent into the woods to
gather mushrooms and berries

tales of the old folks
race through her head...
wait...was that the wind?

oh, the poor child


© Diane Mayr, all rights reserved.

A leshy is a wood spirit from Russian folklore. This work is a tapestry, approximately 9' X 12'! I imagine the wood spirit is pretty menacing at those dimensions!


A cherita is a haiku-like poem of three stanzas that tells a "story." The first stanza is one line and sets the scene. Stanza two is two lines, stanza three is three lines. A cherita terbalik is a cherita with the order of the stanzas rearranged.

April 18, 2019

Ekphrastic April 2019, Day 18: "Eagle Head, Manchester, Massachusetts"

Linda Baie suggested this painting to me. Manchester, Massachusetts is now officially known as Manchester-by-the-Sea, a rather more lovely name. Eagle Head is near "Singing Beach," see video below.


"Eagle Head, Manchester, Massachusetts (High Tide)" (1870) by Winslow Homer [1836–1910].

Manchester-by-the-Sea

increasingly fanciful theories
in a discussion of musical sands

followed by grins and whoops
from bare-legged friends
dodging waves with abandon


© Diane Mayr, all rights reserved.




A cherita is a haiku-like poem of three stanzas that tells a "story." The first stanza is one line and sets the scene. Stanza two is two lines, stanza three is three lines. A cherita terbalik is a cherita with the order of the stanzas rearranged.

April 17, 2019

Ekphrastic April 2019, Day 17: "Woman and Child on a Balcony"


"Woman and Child on a Balcony" (1871-1872) by Berthe Morisot [1841-1895].

the road below

always a surprise what
the child focuses on

today, the gendarme--
her perplexity at how
he got so small


© Diane Mayr, all rights reserved.


A cherita is a haiku-like poem of three stanzas that tells a "story." The first stanza is one line and sets the scene. Stanza two is two lines, stanza three is three lines. A cherita terbalik is a cherita with the order of the stanzas rearranged.

April 16, 2019

Ekphrastic April 2019, Day 16: "Spring Sale at Bendel's"

Today's work, by Florine Stettheimer, is a riot of color and theatricality, and it comes as no surprise that the artist did design work for the theater.

Stettheimer was fortunate to have come from wealth. She was able to live without having to sell her work, and upon her death, her art was gifted to museums.


"Spring Sale at Bendel's" (1921) by Florine Stettheimer [1871-1944].

it is easy to be a critic
when you have wealth
and fame to back you up

they take you half-seriously

to be taken whole-seriously
you would have to be a man


© Diane Mayr, all rights reserved.

I was surprised to find this in the Wikipedia article on Florine Stettheimer: "By the 1930s, she was second to Georgia O'Keeffe as the best-known woman artist in New York." Who knew? I had never come across her before.

Bendel's, the store in the painting, was a New York City landmark. Henri Bendel was established in 1895, and lasted until its closure in January of 2019--just a few months ago!


A cherita is a haiku-like poem of three stanzas that tells a "story." The first stanza is one line and sets the scene. Stanza two is two lines, stanza three is three lines. A cherita terbalik is a cherita with the order of the stanzas rearranged.

April 15, 2019

Ekphrastic April 2019, Day 15: "The Birthday Party"

Today was supposed to feature a work by a woman artist, however, it is my daughter's birthday and I don't think there's a more joyous birthday painting than this one by William Merritt Chase. The next two days will feature women and then we'll be back on schedule.


"The Birthday Party" (also known as Helen Velasquez Chase) (circa 1902) by William Merritt Chase [1849-1916].

ribbons and wrappings
tossed in the fire, only the
brown paper hat remains

my birthday party

over for this year--never mind--
in 12 months I'll have another


© Diane Mayr, all rights reserved.


A cherita is a haiku-like poem of three stanzas that tells a "story." The first stanza is one line and sets the scene. Stanza two is two lines, stanza three is three lines. A cherita terbalik is a cherita with the order of the stanzas rearranged.

April 14, 2019

Ephrastic April 2019, Day 14: "La Notte"

Augusto Giacometti was a Swiss artist I hadn't come across before. I love what I've seen of his work and will look for more. I think his epitaph says it all: Qui riposa il maestro dei colori--"Here lies the master of color." (To see a vivid example, click here for "Eruption of Aetna.")


"La Notte" (1903) by Augusto Giacometti [1887-1947].

with hopes of seeing
the northern lights

I climbed to the top

and when I saw them, words
wouldn't come--I was left
with only my tears


© Diane Mayr, all rights reserved.

La notte is the night in Italian. The banner on the woman reads ogni vivente loda il signore, which translates as "every living thing praises the lord."


A cherita is a haiku-like poem of three stanzas that tells a "story." The first stanza is one line and sets the scene. Stanza two is two lines, stanza three is three lines. A cherita terbalik is a cherita with the order of the stanzas rearranged.

April 13, 2019

Ekphrastic April 2019, Day 13: "Cat Hiding in a Laundry Pile"

Millions of Cats is one of my all-time-favorite picture books. I remember it from my childhood and these lines will always be accessible to my aging brain: "Hundreds of cats, Thousands of cats, Millions and billions and trillions of cats." Today I have a pen and ink sketch by Millions of Cats author/illustrator, Wanda Gág.


"Cat Hiding in a Laundry Pile" (date unknown) by Wanda Gág [1893-1946].

clean laundry

the smell of wind and
sun in oft-washed fabric

the sharpness of fresh folds
too tempting to a cat who
lives to distract her owner


© Diane Mayr, all rights reserved.

The artist uses an abundance of curves--it provides a comfy feeling in the viewer, don't you think?


A cherita is a haiku-like poem of three stanzas that tells a "story." The first stanza is one line and sets the scene. Stanza two is two lines, stanza three is three lines. A cherita terbalik is a cherita with the order of the stanzas rearranged.