phanaerozoic

Musings about life on Earth in all its aspects…

Category: Poetry

“Benevolent Angel” – An ekphrastic poem inspired by an etching by Leonard Baskin

Benevolent Angel

         

Benevolence is but one of my
many names: Bringer of
Benefaction, Altruistic Angel,
Seraphin of Sustenance,
Master of Magnanimity.

My portraits are all taken
in the midst of my fine
tour en l’air, my second best
tour en seconde, and only
occasionally, if ever, during
my workman-like pirouette.

Philanthropic Purveyor
of Simpatico, I come
dancing, twirling,
always at your aid.

 

~Roy Beckemeyer

 

 

“Benevolent Angel” is one of a series of ekphrastic poems written in response to depictions of angels by artists. The poetry collection forthcoming as Amanuensis Angel, 2018, Spartan Press.

Image of Leonard Baskin’s etching, “Benevolent Angel,” provided by and used with permission of Harvard Art Museums/Fogg Museum, Gift of Mrs. John M. Schlein © Leonard Baskin Estate, Courtesy Galerie St. Etienne.

 

Kansas Time+Place: An Anthology of Heartland Poetry now available on Amazon

Our great new collection of poems by Kansas Poets, Kansas Time+Place: An Anthology of Heartland Poetry (2017, Little Balkans Press, Roy Beckemeyer and Caryn Mirriam-Goldberg, Co-editors) is now up at Amazon correctly listed as available through Amazon rather than third-party sellers. Also, it is available on Amazon Prime, so if you subscribe to Prime you get the book at list price of $20 and save on postage. One-hundred-sixty poems by 86 poets, 234 (xiv+218) pages – Stephen Meats had this to say: “Very handsome volume with a substantial and particularly satisfying heft to it.”
Just in time for holiday gifting. Get yours now.

Here is the link: Kansas Time+Place

~ Roy Beckemeyer

“Type-O, Premature,” Collaborative Art/Poetry Broadside by Artist Malissa Long Wilson and Poet Roy Beckemeyer

“Type O, Premature,” features original textile art by Malissa Long Wilson. My poem was written as an ekphrastic piece inspired by her artwork. The image seemed to me to be very organic and put me in mind of the tragedy of miscarriage. After I sent her the poem, Malissa shared with me that the piece was one she did during her recovery from cancer. We hope you find this broadside as emotionally charged as we did.

~Roy Beckemeyer

“The Mystery of Disappearing Bees” – Collaborative Broadside Art/Poetry by Artist Skyler Lovelace and Poet Roy Beckemeyer

My poem, “The Mystery of Disappearing Bees,” alludes to science’s continuing ignorance of the causes of colony collapse disorder, the tragic and poorly understood phenomenon that threatens bee populations across the world. I think that Skyler Lovelace’s artwork is simultaneously powerful and poignant and that the poem and art here reinforce one another exquisitely. Thanks for collaborating, Skyler.

~ Roy Beckemeyer

“Early Onset” – Collaborative Broadside Art/Poetry by Artist Skyler Lovelace and Poet Roy Beckemeyer

Here is another Wichita Broadside Project entry, this one a piece in which Skyler Lovelace responded to a poem of mine. I like the way the pattern and words and colors all fade away from top to bottom in fitting with the subject of the poem.

~Roy Beckemeyer

If she came to me with flowers…” Collaborative Art/Poetry by Pat Beckemeyer and Roy Beckemeyer

This broadside was done by my wife and me and is a combination of her lovely digital drawing of flowers and my verse. Her drawing has this lovely graceful impressionistic feel to it and reveals her Master Gardener flair for color and form. My poem attempts to capture the rhythm and feel of old romantic verse. We hope you like it.

`Roy Beckemeyer

[Click on the broadside to enlarge the image.]

“The Moon Rose…” Collaborative Poetry/Art Broadside by Melissa Smith and Roy Beckemeyer

Another in my series of collaborations with artists as part of April Pameticky’s 2017 Wichita Broadside Project. This one, “The Moon Rose,” comprises a poem I wrote in response to Melissa Smith’s delightful pen and ink drawing. It brought to mind children’s book depictions of the man in the moon, and the tree that disappears into the sky high overhead seemed to represent every tree I had ever climbed or wanted to climb as a kid.

~ Roy Beckemeyer

Broadside art and text copyright by Melissa Smith and Roy J. Beckemeyer. Original 12 by 18 inches with 11 by 17-inch crop lines.

Poetry and Art Broadsides Revisited

Thought I would post a second “unchosen” broadside I submitted to the Wichita Broadside Project for which I did both the poem and the art – in this case a photograph of our cat, Dusty, who is a fair purrer and a great ham when it comes to having his picture taken. Here, then, is “The Yellow Cat Purrs.”

 

~ Roy Beckemeyer, Oct. 4, 2017

Poetry and Art Broadsides

Back in April (appropriately) of this year, April Pameticky initiated a joint art/written word project: The Wichita Broadside Project. A series of monthly mixers were held to bring poets and artists together to see if anything clicked, then a call was made for submissions of 11 by 17 “broadsides.” A broadside here is a digital representation of graphics and text bringing together art and words into a whole more complete and meaningful than either might be on its own. Submittals would be evaluated by folks from Harvester Arts and River City Poetry; winners would be chosen by the jury would be printed and the prints provided to the artist/poet collaborators to distribute for posting around Wichita. The aim:  to promote poetry and art for public consumption.

The project was successful; more entries were received than expected. All entries will be displayed at Harvester Arts’ venue during Wichita’s monthly Final Friday Arts event on October 27th; that exhibit will also be the opening event of the 2017 Poetry Rendezvous. Seventeen entries were chosen for mass production and distribution. The teams whose work was chosen will each receive prints of all the winning entries, and ten copies each of their winner for distribution.  I was lucky enough to be a team member on four of the chosen pieces: one with Malissa Long Wilson entitled “Solar Flair,” one with Pat Beckemeyer (my talented wife) titled “If She Came to Me with Flowers,” and two with artist/poet Skyler Lovelace: “Early Onset,” and “The Mystery of Disappearing Bees.”

The piece I am showing here today was one I put together myself with a drawing I had done on a walk through Wichita’s Pawnee Prairie Park of some Indian Grass; I added to it my poem “Tallgrass in the Fall.” Not one chosen for distribution but it will be on display on the 27th, and I hope it inspires you to attend the event. Much great poetry and art singing together in harmony.

 

~Roy Beckemeyer, 3 October, 2017, 07:06, Revised 13:56.

 

Konza Journal 2017 Issue Now Online

The 2017 issue of the Kansas Area Watershed (KAW) Council annual publication, Konza Journal, is now online. I was fortunate to be asked by editors Caryn Mirriam-Goldberg and Ken Lassman to participate as a contributing editor and also as a featured photographer (photo essays on Birds, Insects, South Africa, the Changing Faces of Water, and Landscapes). Please check it out. Essays on Climate Change by Ken Lassman, the Cretaceous oceans of Kansas by Mike Everhart, poems by Annette Hope Billings, April Pameticky, Dennis Etzel, Jr.Victoria Sherry, and Janet Jenkins-Stotts, Olive Sullivan, and Kansas Poets Laureate Kevin Rabas, Denise Low, Caryn Mirriam-Goldberg, Eric McHenry, and Wyatt Townley.  Videos by Stephen Locke, and a marvelous essay on language and sense of place as it relates to the prairie by Cindy Crosby.

There is so much more I can’t fit all the links here, so just go to the Konza Journal page, browse, and enjoy.

-Roy Beckemeyer, September 28, 2017