I haven't touched my paints in ages, all summer so far. I've drawn some in my figure drawing class, sketched some little pen and ink things, but my watercolors dried solid in the palette. So, I went up to join the weekly painters here in town, and they were doing irises on yupo. I like yupo, a sheet of plastic that results in juicy, puddley, bright images that wash right off. It's like Etch-a-Sketch for painters. So I just dove in, and I rather liked the bright result, though the proportions are off and there's too much white in the lower petal. Oh well. I'll wash it off, and have another go at creating something I like better.
by Joyce Sutphen
My father’s farm is an apple blossomer.
He keeps his hills in dandelion carpet
and weaves a lane of lilacs between the rose
and the jack-in-the-pulpits.
His sleek cows ripple in the pastures.
The dog and purple iris
keep watch at the garden’s end.
His farm is rolling thunder,
a lightning bolt on the horizon.
His crops suck rain from the sky
and swallow the smoldering sun.
His fields are oceans of heat,
where waves of gold
beat the burning shore.
A red fox
pauses under the birch trees,
a shadow is in the river’s bend.
When the hawk circles the land,
my father’s grainfields whirl beneath it.
Owls gather together to sing in his woods,
and the deer run his golden meadow.
My father’s farm is an icicle,
a hillside of white powder.
He parts the snowy sea,
and smooths away the valleys.
He cultivates his rows of starlight
and drags the crescent moon
through dark unfurrowed fields.