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December 11, 2014

Poetry Friday--A Double Shot of Ekphrasis

I've been participating in Spark challenges for two years now. I'm not sure who introduced me to them, but, I'd sure like to thank her! If you're not familiar with SPARK Art from Writing: Writing from Art, it's a quarterly online project run by Amy Souza, herself a talented poet. Amy describes the project:
During each 10-day project round, participants create a new piece of work using someone else’s art, writing, or music as inspiration. All resulting work is then displayed online, alongside the piece that inspired it.

I didn't work directly with a partner, but asked to be assigned an inspiration piece. I received a poem by Kamika Cooper, which you can read here. What stuck in my mind were broken wings, trash, and a city street. This is my response:

"Everything Is Recyclable!" © Diane Mayr, all rights reserved.

For today, I thought I'd write a poem to go along with my picture. You're getting a double shot of ekphrasis--art inspired by art inspired by art! Here's my story poem based on the picture above.
A Christmas Card Night

Late night holiday
shoppers head home
as do I.
An uneventful day
not even a shoplifter.
Or maybe a more clever one
than usual.

'Tis the season.

Damn, it's frigid!
--with wind
but clear and bright
with stars...
whole galaxies
of stars.

A Christmas card night
except for the trash
put out in advance
of tomorrow's pick-up.

I turn the corner.

A feather.

whips around my legs.

In an otherwise empty
recycle bin a pair of wings.
A pair of wings!

What creature pinioned?

Whoosh--a gust--
and the wings appear
to be lifting.
Ready to go.

Do I take them?
For what?
Dressing for the window?

Only two more shopping days.

I'm tempted. Sorely tempted.
But it will be one more
piece of display clutter.
Might someone else
use them instead
to fly?

I leave them behind
in this poem and head home
to sleep.

There's no time for dreams
in retail.

© Diane Mayr, all rights reserved.

Kamika Cooper's poem was also given to another artist to be used as an inspiration piece. You can see the results here.

I would encourage you to join the next Spark challenge, which I assume will come in February. "Like" the Spark Facebook page and click on "get notifications," and you will see when the next challenge comes up.

I also encourage you to visit Paul at These 4 Corners for the Poetry Friday Round-Up!


  1. Such an intriguing project, Diane, and you're always up for an ekphrastic challenge! You've made a variety of styles work together in your piece. And, a bit of an over-achiever - ;0) - wrote a terrific poem, too. I like the line from Kamika's inspiration poem, "Broken wings keep grounding me."
    [Sending more sunshine from the coast - nippy this week, but nothing like your frigid weather!]

    1. Wow, we could use some sun! It's been a mix here this week--rain, sleet, snow. No sun.

  2. Oh, nice job on your response to Kamika's poem -- especially like those angel's wings in that recycling bin. Great blending of old and new. My favorite line from your poem: "I leave them behind in this poem and head home to sleep." Artistic recycling. :)

    1. Thanks, Jama, I'm glad you liked it! I added a reference to Mr. Firth in my Library blog yesterday and my director questioned the accuracy of my statement! http://kuriouskitty.blogspot.com/2014/12/the-seasons-best-party-idea.html

  3. SPARK sounds like an interesting project, Diane. I'm going to get notifications for awhile, make sure I understand how it works (you write AND make art??? - oh, oh, that makes me nervous - I'm a "stick-figures-only" artist!) But thanks for the heads-up.

    I'm curious about how your director could question the accuracy of your statement about Colin First in BRIDGET JONES. That's a classic moment - Firth's cringe-inducing sweater!

    1. He objected to my description of him as "the lovely Colin Firth." He didn't consider him lovely, however, I countered with an offer to supply him with the names of thousands who absolutely considered Mr. Firth to be lovely.

      As for SPARK, you do either art/music or writing. I just took it upon myself to write something to post here. I suppose if you wanted multiple challenges you could ask for them!

  4. I love that you left the feathers behind in the poem. Such a lovely way to save things, and so much less clutter than the items themselves!

    1. I'm the queen of clutter, so everything I can leave behind, I do. I know if I passed a bin with a pair of wings I'd try to bring them home!

  5. Enjoyed your double portion, somehow i was looking forward to more exposition on the wings

    Have a nice weekend

    Much love...

  6. One of these days I'm going to make the deadline and try Spark! Love your creations!!

  7. I went back and forth between image and poem - your sense of humor lifted me.

    1. Without humor, we are nothing. I truly believe that.

  8. Both were a joy to read and view. And I agree, humor is key.