Last summer, a group of friends (who happen to also be poets) gathered near the Maury River in Virginia for a relaxing weekend. Although I hang with them when I can, I don’t really consider myself a poet. I write fiction these days, and only occasionally try my hand at a poem. But my friend Wayne Drozynski had an idea for a show combining artwork and poetry, and he wanted us all to help him out. He gave us each an image from an artist, and we wrote poems based on those images. I wrote three poems on one image, and it was fun to feel the words pouring out me again. Perhaps it was the creative company, or the interesting images or the inspiring art. But it was a lot of fun.
The show 11 artists and 15 poets at the “Slant Light” exhibit at 505 NORTH Gallery & Studio in Frederick, MD. And I just learned that the artwork I had written my poem about just sold–and the owners got to take the poems (including mine) with them.
Here is my poem:
by Meredith Cole
The doll, as foreign as an incense shop,
is hard enamel in a shade of yellow
no American would paint a toy.
Big eyed beauty, solid unyielding dress.
The surprise is the onion layering,
the next and the next, the next.
All the same but different.
Smaller and smaller until the last
sits captive in your sweaty palm
Next to your life line like a question mark.
The end of a journey
to the east and back again,
that never goes back together
as easily as it came apart.