Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Smile: 1986+_Odds&Ends by Carol Hershey

9/30/08_Poem by Betina Hershey Russo

Aw. Look at that smile!
You're just glowing!
A healthy gray flush
Upon your murky cheeks
And your nose lit up like the sun!
If that ain't contentment,
I don't know what is!

In the morning, I wiggle and wag
And you gaze up at me with such a
Sleepy grin, such a content dream,
This morning version of you.

When I feel rotten
I grin like you do
Just to try it out
And find myself standing there
Grinning away my day.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Dream Catcher: 1977_Ink_Drawing3 by Carol Hershey

9/28/08_Poem by Betina Hershey Russo

My net is full of dreams:
Bent wire hangers turned into
Airplanes and necklaces
And cities and families.

These wire dreams keep turning
Into butterflies.
Up they fly, into the rainy sky,
Looking back for a quick nod of thanks
As they go off to live their own lives.

My net is full of dreams
That keep coming true
And escaping me.
Ooh, look!  This one's tangled
Into a full nest.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Red Dimension in Black: 2004_AcrylicOnPaper3 by Carol Hershey

9/27/08_Poem by Betina Hershey Russo

Red, circular, glowing
Complex, with edges jutting up and ending
With circular pathways linked
To the heart

Life, alone and complete
Impossible to ignore
In the pitch black

The universe screeches solitude
But can not overwhelm
This incredible presence
This giant occurrence
This om shanti praise be to the all knowing
Who picked up a brush one day
And said, let there be life!

Friday, September 26, 2008

Yellow Peace: 1992+_ColorPencil_Drawing1 by Carol Hershey

9/26/08_Poem by Betina Hershey Russo

This one brings me peace

Look at the motion, the individualistic order
The lines, circles and swoops

I’m at home in yellows and whites,
Her delicate, steady way of letting lines touch hills

My heart wanders the squiggly lumps and valleys,
Eyes lingering longingly, restfully
As my soul sinks into the delicacies

Oh, how her gifted treasures to the world and herself
In lone meanderings of the mind
Bring peace

Pick Ax: 2004_B&Red_Ink_Drawing by Carol Hershey

9/25/06_Poem by Betina Hershey Russo

With my pick ax
I strike out into that great unknown
Of blazing red suns
Cactuses, and forever doodles.
I dig into the rocks and pull out
Squiggly lines, vibrant circles, loops
And love.

With my pick ax
I am tearing the world apart
One quirky ink line at a time
While your memory blows around me:
Kisses that stick to my cheek
With softest care.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Mythic Sails: 2003_Ink_Drawing10 by Carol Hershey

9/24/08_Poem by Betina Hershey Russo

In the sky
Mythic sails and magical wind chimes
Stir in the wind:
Sacred gusts of whistling, bellowing.
Oh, the moon is full and my trinkets are dear to me.
This night I feel sure Helen of Troy
Is out and about, jangling her bracelets.
All the men are mysteriously compelled to wander
Towards the center of the universe
Where the sails bellow and blow
In mythic flashes of white, compelling us all
To journey forth.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

So Red: 2007_MixedMedia1 by Carol Hershey

9/23/08 Poem by Betina Hershey Russo

With painting, red can be so many things
It can be what life is, what it was, what it shall become.
It can be blood smeared, vibrancy or snowflake delicate.
There are such indescribable complexities
Explained through the way red
Shows a bit of white, and then dissembles
Into orange.

With poetry, it's hard to make much of red.
Until red is describing Was, who's underneath Is
While Is is squirming to hold Was down and away
From some indescribable pleasure,
Some potential Will Be.

Imagine this whole poem
In shades of red
With owl glass circles
Looping through
The red was is will be.

Eye of Needle: 1986+_ColorPencil_Drawing6 by Carol Hershey

9/22/08 Poem by Betina Hershey Russo

Oh, let me pass through
The eye of the needle
While it blazes with orange light.

Let me leave behind my body,
My jealousy, my items of possession
And become part of the blue, swirling
Consciousness, soul enlightened,
And kind.

I remember to be kind
When I’m alone, thinking back,
But how can I purify myself?

Let me jump through hoops, let me
Pass through the eye of the needle
And become truer than I am.

Let me be you, me, everyone
And no one at all,
And let it do the world good.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Stain Glass: 1975_WaterColor1_Back by Carol Hershey

9/21/08_Poem by Betina Hershey Russo

I keep forgetting
To take in the stain glass city.
Instead, I see blackness everywhere
And doubt, and imperfection.
Well, when I look at the stain glass city,
I remember that glorious imperfections exist
In the arches and lines and colors and windows stained
Multi-browns, changing blues,
And calm selections of prayers.
I just keep forgetting.
I'm sorry.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Flower Child: 1983_Ink_Drawing1 by Carol Hershey

9/20/08_Poem by Betina Hershey Russo

I am a flower child
Or, I was one once.
I still have petals in my brain,
Petals in my bosom, and the essence
Of flowers rotting in every cell
Of my ex-flower-child body.

There are wires, curly wires
Caging me in, fossilizing my flower power
And turning me into a flower cage.

Today, I am a flower stuck inside
Of a wire mesh cage.

Tomorrow, will I be a flower sneaking through
The tiny hole and opening up again

Or will I be a wire mesh sculpture
With a secret inside?

Mountain Path: 1980_Pencil_Drawing2 by Carol Hershey

9/19/08_Poem by Betina Hershey Russo
(Inspired by the documentary "God Grew Tired of Us".)

The sun and moon shine down.
The path winds endlessly away
From the old home that is no more
To the future we don't know is waiting.

Lost Boys, we are our own caretakers
And watch over each other,
The eldest digging graves in the sand
As bones become brittle and hearts stop.
The beautiful desert mountains give us nothing.
We will get to the soul of matters
In songs, shrieks, shakes, and questions.

When I accept the trip to America,
I know I am leaving my brothers
To work hard, dig ditches, scrub dogs teeth,
Get shot at in the streets.
So I thought. So we thought.
And I do work hard, sending home every dollar,
But I do not dig ditches, or scrub dogs teeth,
Or get shot at in the streets.

Much worse - there is loneliness!
Where are the people who can answer
My questions about Santa Clause
And cruelty, and where my Mamma might be?
This is not Africa.
We are safe, but there is no time
To see our brothers, to meet and sing.
We will make time, we say.
Weeks go by.

There is no loneliness as deep
As the loneliness of a lost boy
Separated from the other boys.
The struggle is great.
I do it for Africa, for Sudan,
Yes, for my walking brothers.

Still the sun and moon shine down
Upon the path I hope
Shall bring all of us back home.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

SunCluster: 1982_ColorPencil_Drawing2 by Carol Hershey

9/17/08_1982_ColorPencil_Drawing2_Poem by Betina Hershey Russo

Up there in the sky I imagined up this morning
There are at least ten suns
All clustered together having a pow-wow
About ancient Egyptian texts.
You know they are so far away that even at the speed of light
They are light years away from today.
They still wear togas and flower wreathes in their bristly hair...
Or they would, if they were human.
But being suns, they shine forth
Their yellow and rose and peach rays
And I gaze up at them and write down
The rainbow feelings they stir up in me
This glorious, sunny day.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Feather in Cap: 1980_ColorPencil_Drawing1 by Carol Hershey

9/17/08 Feather In Cap by Betina Hershey Russo

He's hunched over
Suspiciously guarding his fancy watch
And his beautiful new wind chime.
Feather in cap, this blue-eyed bird merchant
Hops and sneaks, sneaks and hops
Towards his nest
In the darker corner of town
Where he will lay on his bed
And gaze at the shiny new objects
Before tucking them into the straw
And taking his rest.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Damask Mask: 2005_RedPencil_Drawing2

9/16/08_2005_RedPencil_Drawing2_Poem by Betina Hershey Russo

Oh my goodness!
(pant, pant, groan)
I just heard....

The mask never stops
It's shocked gossip patter
With hair frozen in electrocuted ringlets
And eyes pried wide open.

I sneak behind it
And recline into the grayish morning
With my laptop, my poems and orange juice.

Oh my! Can you believe!?
It's just too much for words!
Oh! Oooooh! Oooooh! Oh!

The little monkey mouth
Is a perfect circle
Of doubting ecstasy.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Sad Frog: 1986_ColorPencil_Drawing by Carol Hershey

9/15/08_1986_ColorPencil_Drawing_Poem by Betina Hershey Russo

Oh, the sun may be hot
With laughter and spice
And though flowers may rot
Still, a frog's life is nice
But I must ask, while masking my curry,
Is it my voice, with its blat and its croak
That caused you to duck down and simper and scurry
Away from my pond where I ponder and choke
Back a few tears.
Oh yes, it appears
That you just couldn't handle my jocular croak,
And that's why you vanish beneath your dark cloak.

Fire Windows: 1978_WaterColor1 by Carol Hershey

9/14/08_1978_WaterColor1_Poem by Betina Hershey Russo

Fire windows
Outside - thick nothingness
The chill of winter smoked out

How long can you last
Inside the furnace
Red, angry, glowing coals
When there is an immense nothing
Waiting for you
To leap into
And disappear in

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Waterfall: 1978_Ink_Drawing4 by Carol Hershey

9/13/08_1978_Ink_Drawing4_Poem by Betina Hershey Russo

The water cascades down
In gloriously falling sheets of silk.

Underneath the sheets:
A magical slide with one pure egg,
The egg of secret tomorrows
Whispered between wide-eyed two-year-olds.

Just for you:
The water-mountain sliced open
In an invitation
To be that curious child who knows
The sweetest secret
Without the hammer, the shovel, the pickaxe or the pen.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Tribe: 2003_Ink_Drawing4 by Carol Hershey

9/12/08_2003_Ink_Drawing4_ Poem by Betina Hershey Russo

The tribe gathers
With their long, serious faces
This special night
Around the teardrop fire.
There is a lot to discuss.
The most pressing:
The new forehead design.
The youngsters are rebelling.
Two circles linked together by stripes
Makes them restless.
They squeeze the circles into triangles,
So angular above their already
Angular beaks.
The elders pontificate and ponder,
And yet somehow they know
Triangles are now the shape of the future.
Like it, or not.
Teardrops, someone whispers.
We could round the triangles out into teardrops.
A sigh of contentment, and a look of hope.
Yes, teardrops.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Bridge: 2003_Ink_Drawing9 by Carol Hershey

9/11/08_2003_Ink_Drawing9_Poem by Betina Hershey Russo

Recurring dream:
Terrifying bridges,
Gaping holes, impossible climbs
On the swaying rigging
Over cold, rough waves.

This bridge:
Has the climb, and yet...
How it floats gently
With lovely little loops and bubbles.
Yes, the gaps are there.
My feet could slip through,
But I believe this one
Will bring me safely home.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Soul-Eyes: 2007_WaterColor5 by Carol Hershey

9/9/08_2007_WaterColor5_Poem by Betina Hershey Russo

In the evenings
She sits serenely and gazes
Out at the expanding universe,
The clouds blurring, stars shaping
Milky ways and belts and dippers,
Such an intrigue of patterns.
Her skeleton holds her soul-eyes up.
Her brush holds and drips paint.
With paper in lap, she shifts,
Tucks a hair behind her ear,
And records the glorious work,
The tender chaos, the textures unimaginable

Monday, September 8, 2008

Bouquet: 1982_Pencil_Drawing5 by Carol Hershey

9/8/08_1982_Pencil_Drawing5_Poem by Betina Hershey Russo

The fields are full
Of flowers and beads
All swaying and tumbling about
While we skip towards the
Party with grass stains
On our white dresses and such
Fun on our faces. Wait!
This dandelion and this buttercup
Would go perfectly with that four leaf clover.
Can you just imagine their faces
When they see what we've brought?

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Watching: 1976_BlueInk_Drawing1 by Carol Hershey

9/4/08_1976_BlueInk_Drawing1_Poem by Betina Hershey Russo

Is that you?
The breeze stirs.
I know you're happy
Watching the way things
Unfold, watching as I
Untangle this and that and
Learn a little more about
Love. The blue calm. Walnut trees.
I'm almost certian it's you there
Dangling in the air -
A loose, blue ribbon of eye
Taking all of this in.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Arousal: 2001_Ink&ColorPencil_Drawing2 by Carol Hershey

2001_Ink&ColorPencil_Drawing2_Poem by Betina Hershey Russo

Two lives
Zippered together,
Lifting like the long neck
Of a giraffe, curious
And eager to nibble
At those leaves just out of reach,
Ready to burst up and out
And leap into that delicious
Tree of life!