Media: Ink 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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This painting was created in response to Qayyum's poem for the February 2023 Full Moon. It also honors that February is Black History month.
BLACK HISTORY MOON
The space between these letters
is it shrinking or growing?
Can one breathe, can the other thrive
can one see oneself in the world?
Are the winds more cruel
have they turned their face away
revealing us power blind, showing
us something difficult to see?
I want something wise, words or an image
to clarify how much pain there is & why—
a monument to transience or transcendence
or a trickster who closes the circle
of wandering in this oceanic flotsam.
Perhaps all history is black history:
particular to this horror-soaked nation
but also opaque as the night’s own story
by turns fearful of what cannot be seen
grown into vivid-bright promised place
safe, then dark again, in time, from light.
Say their name.
Each beloved here & gone.
Living love’s conduit.
Sing the story true & be not afraid.
Black liberation aims to free us all.
It is a dream but is it real without us—
choices do matter in the storm
the web of our world, this slender bridge
stretched beneath our bare & aging feet
by silver moonlight we help each other over
& it is thus pure blessing