Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Poet Jim Lewis Encounters Andrew Wyeth "In the Evening"

Jim Lewis is a poet, musician, and nurse practitioner. His poetry and music reflect the difficulty and joy of human interactions and often draw inspiration from his decades of experience in healthcare. When he is not writing, composing, or diagnosing, he is often on a kayak, exploring and photographing the waterways near his home in Northern California. His work has appeared in Spark! A Creative Anthology, Vol I, and will appear in anthologies by Red Dashboard and Arachne Press later this year. Says Lewis, “I love reading and my children are all avid readers, as are my grandchildren, especially the two in the photo.” The following poem was inspired by the discovery of Andrew Wyeth's "Helga" paintings.


andrew in the evening
Braids, 1979, by Andrew Wyeth

her place:
evening is hard he said
moving between this world
and the other
guarding my words
tending with such care
the fences i have built
to make this little place
in our lives
i weary of the deception
but no solutions come
conscience urges me
to give you up
pull the curtain
cover the inspiration you are
and paint my kitchen window
or the pastor's children
but then
something of me would die –
On Her Knees, 1977, by Andrew Wyeth

he paused and noticed
she was quietly arranging
her hair and her collar
smiling at the familiar monologue
knowing he would return
that she would give him
what she could give
no fear and no regret
paint what your heart sees
she said simply
i will be here

his place:
evening is hard he said
stopping to kiss her hello
and sample the stew that simmered
like his passion for beauty
i am driven to create
and some days it just doesn't work
the colors are wrong
the light in the waves
mocks me and eludes me
maybe i should paint the kitchen window
or the pastor's children –

he paused and noticed
she was quietly arranging
the plates at table
knowing he would never quit
until he got it right
she would continue to give him
all she could give
no recrimination
no looking back
paint what your heart sees
she said simply
i will be here



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