Tuesday, March 14, 2023

Yearning to Combine in Columbus

Saturday 11 March, I had the privilege of participating in an event called Call and Response: Intersections of Art and Poetry, hosted by the Ohio Poetry Association at Pennington Custom Art in Columbus, Ohio. I believe sixty poets wrote ekphrastic work for the gallery's current exhibition (which will be up through April for your viewing pleasure) and more than three dozen of us were able to be there and read our poems for the event.

The piece that inspired my poem is Call and Answer, a stoneware sculpture by Jim Bowling (seen above with my poem displayed near it). I wish I'd taken more photos of it from different angles, because each different perspective you view it from reveals something new and wondrous. If I had time, I would have liked to have written a whole series of poems about my experience of this piece.

Thanks to Ohio Beat Poet Laureate Sandra Feen for taking this photo of me reading.

And finally, here is my poem:

Yearning to Combine
after Call and Answer by Jim Bowling

So much felt
clear in my bones,
though I lacked eyes
to see and appeared
to be little more
than a detached
with a gaping mouth.

I wanted to take
your mouth and all
into mine and keep you
safe from heartache,
horror and more,
but the larger mouth
of Time loomed heavily,
waiting to swallow us both.



  1. Wonderful poem!
    And what an interesting sculpture! I keep wondering if the "eye" will light up. Or is that the part you said was the mouth? One of the things I love about art is how subjective it is, how you get different feelings and thoughts from the same piece. I also like how you referenced time, reminded me a lot of the myth of Cronus swallowing his children.

    1. Thank you, Cat! That's the part I'm referring to as the mouth, though I can also easily see it as an eye. Both mouths go all the way through the head. So if you look into the mouth in the back of the top piece, you will be able to see straight through the mouth in the bottom piece as well. The openings through the heads are aligned.

    2. Oh! I didn't notice the one on the tongue! I could easily see the upper eye one having a battery-powered light inside to illuminate the tongue. Talk about metaphors! Wish I could have gone to this. Looks so cool!