Media: Natural pigments, sumi ink, and rust on paper
ABOUT THE SERIES
My partner, Qayyum Johnson, and I have been honoring the moon cycle since the summer of 2019. Each new moon and full moon Qayyum writes a poem and I create a painting. Sometimes Qayyum writes the poem and I make a painting in response to that. Sometimes the other way around. Sometimes we both create from the inspiration of the moon.
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The poem that Qayyum wrote in response to this painting is below. We were both responding to the new moon on July 17, 2023.
Cobalt Red Moon
New Moon July 17, 2023
I despair of midsummer—
as though this gift of sunlight & scented evening
were somehow a clear assay
voluptuous paradisiacal distraction
the garden mulch
wayward wind, this floating mess
gratitude yes, necessary, vital seed!
but for what? alongside so much death urge
the rats come to the porch, everything disintegrates
tornado, flood, drowning, wealth & bombast
not to mention the cluster bombing, the targeted shot,
the cells with scheduled torture of isolation
This is not poetry, not an aesthetics that births
nurturing spirit wind, cumulus humus fungus
what larger story need be tapped?
Quiet revolutions: the soaked roots of orchid
the cataract of cherry tomatoes volunteering
each distillation into essence an arc of life
epiphytes sharing carbon air
The vessel breathes the sea
a small offering of the land
green bodies under a burning sky
the long day thirsty en route
close the smell of fear
near the hope
apparent the faith
the parable of the good Samaritan
Aid the stranger as beloved