Reporting Back: Gallery Opening and Poetry Reading

poetry on display at The Foundry Gallery in Washington, D.C.

my poetry on display at The Foundry Gallery in Washington, D.C. with encaustic painting by Jorge Bernal

This past Friday was the gallery opening at The Foundry Gallery in Washington, D.C. where one of my poems was displayed with a local artist’s encaustic painting.

Many friends came to the opening; I was moved by their support. There was wine and cheese and good fellowship 🙂 Thank you to all of you for your in-spirit-support.

I explained to someone at the reading today that very often I write and create for myself, and rarely I share it with others in person, really only here through this blog (see – you are quite special!). My family and friends even rarely ever read my poetry.

There was something special with sharing my poetry with people in person, feeling the air in the room, and hearing people’s breathing and movements as I read. A person came up to me after and remarked that unlike when reading the other poems, people had a physical reactions to mine. There is no better compliment than for people to truly FEEL your art.

In January a friend’s friend connected me up with her dad who was looking for a local poet with whom to do a show. We talked on the phone, and we met on several occasions. I shared some of my poetry, and this poem in particular stood out to him. “If I Keep Walking in the Woods Forever” was published previously here, and I slightly re-worked it for the gallery showing, and even re-worked it a tiny bit more before reading it aloud.

Here is what I read aloud:

“If I Keep Walking in the Woods Forever”

I am walking in the woods.
And I keep walking.
I could keep walking forever, one step in front of the other,
and the woods would continue before me into infinity.

But I wouldn’t keep walking forever,
because as I walk, my pace would gradually slow.
Branches and vines and leaves would reach out for me
and try to hold on, slowing me down. 
Gently reaching out and touching softly, beckoning.
Soon, I would be walking so slow, no one could hardly notice
I was moving at all (but there would be no on there to notice anyway.)
Animals would live their lives, not noticing me,
seeing me as another tree, or bush, 
just part of the forest. 
The grass would grow around my feet,
and the vies and leaves would surround me.
After a while, you would not even be able to see much of me
because of the green, lush life enveloping me.
My heart would start to beat to the rhythm of the deer hooves on their padded down trails
through the undergrowth
sinking into rich black soil.
The blood in my veins would start to flow in time with the birds’ songs.
My breathing would echo the chipmunk scratching leaves and twigs to make a nest.
Soon, you wouldn’t be able to find me if you came out looking for me.
Then, I will have returned form where I came. 

Jorge explained how his piece of art matched my poem, pointing out the bits of leaves and flower pieces embedded in the paper he used, and the green of the forest. He explained how all of his pieces have horizontal lines that signify the journey of life, and that seemed to match with the journey I talk about in my poem. I mentioned to a few people how I thought the horizontal lines seemed like a path to me, and the red of the blood I describe in by veins, and the dark rich soil and dirt I find myself becoming rooted in.

Standing up and reading it was surreal. During and even after, I felt like I was on a different plane. Still sort of there…

Jorge Bernal encaustic painting

Jorge Bernal encaustic painting

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One response to “Reporting Back: Gallery Opening and Poetry Reading

  1. Pingback: Civil War Soldier Graves | EmaBee's Art·

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