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.
If you'd like to receive the moon poems & paintings in your inbox each month, you can sign up to receive them for free at artmonastery.org/subscribe.
The poem that Qayyum wrote in response to this painting is below.
Birth Mother Moon
New Moon April 19, 2023
Look! There is no cause of it. Love appears, then appears as absence. The way a mother does. At some point she disappears & a more ordinary person instantiates. Driving an orange Volkswagen that catches fire while you’re at school, the interior melted & exterior blackened as you exit the long bus. One rides whatever pony will have you. The world has infinite effect. The creosote and particular granite. Spring mariposa lilies. Toads born full-formed in monsoons that smell of distant causality. To be born is to cascade in gratitude. Mothers hold their hands to the rudder & the plow, as well as to your own small hands just learning to speak in language of the body. This person made consciousness bloom as though a promised land. With her own life drawn in historical ink. Tell me how it was for you, we say. How can a mother express what came before? It cannot be caught, like any good cause. The tell of a mother is in the eyes. They consider us as a perfume of night that burrowed deep into a star cove. Mother knew. She made a sacred place. Mother shared everything. One grows as a saguaro does, in time. Now mountain rain runs in suntint arroyos, bare rocks exude the presence of time, of inexorable response. She makes pollen. Mother fills the air with summer’s potential. She shrinks in one body & grows in another. Her light undims. Beauty before, above, below, behind. Beauty all around. Insects in high green grass at dusk, loud the trance song of beautiful phenomena that mother made. Listen!
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