08 July 2015


For My Mother,  Artist
Gallery Opening 7/9/2015 with Anna Jo, friend of artist

The Artist explains, with Granddaughter-in-law


Scavenger hunt!  Find the fish swimming through
almost a century-- thick with wood nuns
floating in music played on  guitar by a
30-year-old mother who will become
wild woman in the trees that call her
again and again on mountain beaches,
sandy shores, in dense green forests and up
close—whispering you are one of us, one of
us and so we will sing and dance while you
capture the music in our cha-cha leaves
and broken bones, our angles and circles
and love of all things geometric and
wild—rules and rule breakers too, spilling
off plates and tables balanced—always balanced
within the frame so we can see what you do
in endless escapes etched in exposures


We have never seen you naked before.
What if your medium had been words in-
stead of ink and paint and pigment and chalk?
What if you hung out in cool brown college
corridors where these images could not
have been born? You in naked words on walls
the color of tree rings, your trees crowd in
aliens with unrecognizable
devices tangled and magnificent.


From the tree stump and the water tower
To the most abstract piece of light and darkness
Her art speaks to me of breaking out and
Release from restraint, turning inside out
from city to country, still life to motion.

Let me out becomes “Free at last” and deer.
Dark woods become bright and the artists self
portrait turns to red Dot and red bird and
Dancers in Gardens Loving rhythms and
Inspired by butterflies and make more, more.


Every cat she’s ever know
Upon canvass their shape she’s grown
Whisky, wary, fat and flitting
Calico and pillow sitting
She’s captured them in pen and ink
In pastel, oil, ditching, and print
And so, whether they come or go,
Dot keeps all the cats she knows.


I think that I shall never see
A poem lovely as a tree.

A tree whose hungry mouth is prest
Against the earth’s sweet flowing breast;

A tree that looks at God all day,
And lifts her leafy arms to pray;

A tree that may in Summer wear
A nest of robins in her hair;

Upon whose bosom snow has lain;
Who intimately lives with rain.

Poems are made by fools like me,
But only God can make a tree.

Source: Poetry (August 1913)

Compilation Copyright © 2015  S.L.Chast


Sherry Blue Sky said...

Did you read this at your mom's art show, Susan? Because it is WONDERFUL! I love that she is wild woman in the trees, that she painted all her cats to keep them with her, that her paintings all say breaking out and freedom. What a gift of a poem. I would have loved to see her face as you read your wonderful words. This poem lifts off and takes a swooping flight around the room. WONDERFUL!

Mama Zen said...

This is so ALIVE! I love it, Susan!

Gail said...

So wonderful and freeing and natural and ALIVE as Mama Zen said. I think I would like this person you write about...is it you? Doesn't matter the piece is beautiful and I enjoyed it thoroughly.

Mary said...

I admire those who become 'naked' in whatever medium they choose. This is a very touching poem, Susan. Talent obviously runs in the family. I take it that she and you also share the love of cats!

Sumana Roy said...

I love this wild woman in the trees who would bring about brightness everywhere, and may be in the canvass of life too.....a beautiful tribute....

Jae Rose said...

I love the fourth verse...there was something very grounding about it that can't help but make you smile..nature can't be recreated but we can rejoice it and purr like a cat in our words and images...fools though we may be!

Sanaa Rizvi said...

Such a beautiful & heartfelt piece :D I loved these lines:

"Let me out becomes “Free at last” and deer.
Dark woods become bright and the artists self
portrait turns to red Dot and red bird..."

Beautifully executed :D
Lots of love,

kaykuala said...

Only an art lover can express so beautifully all on display. The lingering description is testament to the variety of subjects, forms and colors bared for all to see. Great lines Susan!


telltaletherapy said...

vivid words well woven -what an artist...you are too - especially love the iii & iv stanzas p.s. interesting use of your side bar - did not know theat Dylan Thomas poem -thankyou

brudberg said...

What a lovely tribute to an artist who has found her path.. I really love the last stanza with the cats. Perfect

X said...

So the gallery opening went well? I have emailed you yesterday to see - after you shared with me about it in a comment. So does she paint a lot of trees? I am sure you could learn much of her in her art - as with most that brave to go naked.

Vandana Sharma said...

so beautiful and a tree sacrifices everything for others such a pious living being

Old Egg said...

Painting and writing are quite alike as you put part of yourself down on canvas in paint or print in writing. What a wonderful post this is.

Rosemary Nissen-Wade said...

That's beautiful. You made me see the art works!

Truedessa said...

There was so much depth in this writing...I could feel the art through your words. My favorite line would have to be this one:

Let me out becomes “Free at last” and deer.

finding our way in the journey is to become free of things that hold us down..for when found we can fly new heights..lovely poem..

Grace said...

I admire artists who does let go of the art and muse so freely on words and canvas ~ Thanks for sharing the lovely works of the artists ~ They inspire us to do heed the call to freedom ~

Sherry Blue Sky said...

Loved it again this morning. I imagine her pleased smile, as you read it. Always love to read about another wild woman. I especially love that she keeps all the cats she knows......

Panchali said...

Oh, what an artist!! Amazing.....btw, you've also captured the poem so well on the poetry canvas, Susan. Fantastic. ..

somewhere said...

Both writers and visual artists are similar. They breathe in the world that surrounds them and are inspired by its taste and feel. Then breathe out and express what they have gathered in. Wonderful write and very well woven,


Gillena Cox said...

luv luv luv the art; and of course supporting poem, thanks for all these bits and pieces; Happy Sunday to you Susan; and know that i'm happy you dropped in at my Sunday Lime

much love...

James Toma said...

the artist is very interesting and talented. your poem made me nod in agreement at how visual artists and their craft is equally wonderful to writers and poets. thanks.

Moonie said...

Fantastic poem about art and the nakedness that we feel when we take off the layers of ourselves and ply them to our canvas. What a journey, what a life you have painted for us. Thank you!

Donna@LivingFromHappiness said...

A beautiful tribute to the artist, your mother. Of course the last one was a blast as I laughed and smiled reading how she has painted all her cats...what a love!

Loredana Donovan said...

What a beautiful tribute to your mom ~ I especially enjoyed the poem on how she painted the cats ~ so lively. She sounds like a wonderful artist ~ lovely pictures of her, too :)

Wendy Bourke said...

This is terrific ... art coming together with reality - on so many levels. Wonderful!

Kerry O'Connor said...

This is a wonderful compilation of art and word, Susan. Thank you for sharing.

G L Meisner said...

Wonderful thought on the artist and the art.

R.K. Garon said...

Well done! What a treat...

Vinay Leo R. said...

I like the second verse. Art has a way of baring one's soul.

Loco mente said...

A brilliant tribute... Nice one!