Spaghetti

The  Picture

This picture seems like a realistic still life, but look closer and you’ll see its layered with splashes and splatters of paint. I think the painterly expressiveness makes it feel happy and good. Just like spaghetti.

The  Poem

This time I tried something new and wrote my own little poem.

 

Spaghetti is pasta with a sauce sure to please

But it’s even better sprinkled with cheese

It swirls and twirls and makes my lips slurp.

And if I eat it too fast, out comes a burp.

 

This comfort food that I eat with delight,

could be served at my table almost every night

It leaves me satisfied, fills up my tummy.

So I pulled out this canvas to paint something yummy.

 

Poem and Picture by: Sylvia Arthur ©

Easter

Since it is the Easter season I thought a little prayer might be appropriate.

The Lord’s Prayer

Our Father, who art in heaven,
hallowed be thy Name,
thy kingdom come,
thy will be done,
on earth as it is in heaven.

Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our trespasses,
as we forgive those
who trespass against us.

And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil.

For thine is the kingdom,
and the power, and the glory,
for ever and ever. Amen

Picture by: Sylvia Arthur (etching with hand written text)

Signals

The Poem

This poem seemed obscure in it’s meaning, but felt very heavy. I realized it was about abortion and the eternal moral decision that cannot be undone.

 

The Picture

This is an image that celebrates birth in all its messy, bloody, splendour.

 

Signals

 

Silence,

false truth in this inspiration

 

Words,

narrated.

 

The story teller in the

corridor

closing the door.

 

These thoughts

forever……..

unsure.

 

This presence conceals itself.

 

Mother

to

the unborn.

 

human existence

swept away

 

pools of daily fresh

blood on the floor.

 

The tide takes form,

ending,

 

Passages of time,

 

signals

 

your own

faithless preparations.

 

Knowledge is certainty,

Lack of crime

 

shades improvement,

 

strengthening desires

to prolong your delusions.

 

Memory ascribes

moral destiny

 

to justify destruction

as custom

contests conformity,

 

conscience

and reality must

Strike balance.

 

Poem By: Sue Michaud

 

 

Picture By: Sylvia Arthur

 

A Little Poem for Sunday

The Poem

This poem takes us back to one Sunday in a little Salvation Army Church where we all stood and joined hands to pray. The poem seems to speak of those Christians who hold onto their faith tightly in the moment, only to forget it later in the week.

The Picture

These words bring to mind an image of community and faith. When all is good, we stand strong, supporting one another. But when things turn bad we often fall apart and separate. Those are the feelings I have “let out” in this picture.

 

A Little Poem for Sunday

I remember

the passion

of the people at the time

the crisis

the joining of the hands

 

the circle

united we will stand

and as the song predicts

divided

we’ll fall

 

So now as we all return to float

living on the stall

waiting for the world

to call

we pocket all of our courage

courtesies and grace

keeping them close

until somebody needs an ace

 

then we’ll play them all

balls to the wall

go for broke

be a winner after all

 

In God we trust

when it is handy or close

but from a distance

is just a remnant of a ghost

When the night comes calling

and we wish to rest

what if it’s His time

to stall, to forget

 

the circle

united we will stand

and as the song predicts

divided

we’ll fall

 

Poem By: Jay Arthur

 

Picture By: Sylvia Arthur

Sylvia Arthur ©

Goodbye to Leonard

Poetry is just the evidence of life. If your life is burning well, poetry is just the ash.

– Leonard Cohen

 

The Poem

These lyrics seem to be saying, “I’m ready to serve my Lord”. As I contemplated the words, I realized they’re from the perspective of Jesus Christ.

 

The Picture

This is my tribute and farewell to Leonard Cohen. After doing my best to draw his likeness, I drew almost unconsciously, while his music played. Leonard tips his hat and says, “But you’ll be hearing from me baby, long after I’m gone”.

 

You Want It Darker

If you are the dealer, I’m out of the game
If you are the healer, it means I’m broken and lame
If thine is the glory then mine must be the shame
You want it darker
We kill the flame

 

Magnified, sanctified, be thy holy name
Vilified, crucified, in the human frame
A million candles burning for the help that never came
You want it darker

Hineni, hineni
I’m ready, my lord

 

There’s a lover in the story
But the story’s still the same
There’s a lullaby for suffering
And a paradox to blame
But it’s written in the scriptures
And it’s not some idle claim
You want it darker
We kill the flame

 

They’re lining up the prisoners
And the guards are taking aim
I struggled with some demons
They were middle class and tame
I didn’t know I had permission to murder and to maim
You want it darker

Hineni, hineni
I’m ready, my lord

 

Magnified, sanctified, be thy holy name
Vilified, crucified, in the human frame
A million candles burning for the love that never came
You want it darker
We kill the flame

 

If you are the dealer, let me out of the game
If you are the healer, I’m broken and lame
If thine is the glory, mine must be the shame
You want it darker

 

Hineni, hineni

Hineni, hineni
I’m ready, my lord

Hineni

Hineni, hineni
Hineni

 

Poem By: Leonard Cohen

leonardcohen 

Picture By: Sylvia Arthur

© Sylvia Arthur

Sue

The Poem

For the first time, the featured poem is not by Sue Michaud, but it is about her. Jay Arthur wrote this poem in memory of our friend. Sue was a poet, artist and most especially, a singer. She had one of the most beautiful voices I’ve ever heard. This poem captures her  energy, love and amazing spirit. She is missed.

Sue Michaud (Jan 25, 1962 – Nov. 12, 2013)

The Picture

This composition is created from a number of photos taken at a music jam in our basement. Sue shared her musical gift with everyone and was never too proud to share the spotlight. Sue led me to the artist’s path; painting, singing, creating. I think she’d be glad to know she still inspires my art today.

Sue

It’s cold inside

now that you can’t play

It’s cold inside

my heart today

 

I remember

so many times

how you wore me out

with your grand plan

Hope was eternal

The one thing

I couldn’t understand

 

No matter

how many times

you were burnt

No matter

how many times

they turned you aside

No matter

You just kept going

and you put all of them

into your ever expanding heart

Goodness for all

for Sue’s sake.

 

Now that you are gone

I just want a little more,

of your energy.

I crave a little more,

of your smile.

I need a little more,

of your passion.

I wish for just…

 

By: Jay Arthur

 

sue

“The Singers” By: Sylvia Arthur

sues

“Untitled” By: Sue Michaud

The Dance (The Show Must Go On)

The Poem

The poet describes the dancing crowd as “an ocean of mud”. Perhaps that was her perspective from the stage as she sang to the audience.

 

The Picture

This painting sat half done all summer. The imagery is inspired by the words of the poem. The paint application is a study of motion, swirling, spinning… I also enjoy how the background figures have taken on a character of their own.

 

The Dance (The Show Must Go On)

 

Lights and slow

Movement,

 

Actions

People who

Come and go,

Come

and go.

 

Currents of thought

Waters of vision

Seas of intentions

Oceans of mud,

Oceans

of mud

 

Gripping, Smothering

Magnetic.

Overwhelming,

Overpowering,

Overly uncontrollable.

 

Pelicans in flight

Awkward dance

Rising above,

Rising,

 

Above

Currents of pain.

 

Poem by: Susan Michaud

 

dancers

Picture by: Sylvia Arthur 

© Sylvia Arthur

The Reality of Sparrows

The Poem

I feel this poem is about how self-absorbed people can be. We often think only about themselves and only from our own perspective, with a lack of understanding for other people. The raven has no idea of what reality is for the sparrow.

 

The Picture

I have been busy creating art using new print media. This is my first ever linocut of a sparrow (Cowbird). It was created for another project, but the poem and image fit together perfectly. Look for the raven (crow) linocut to be posted later this month. These prints will also be appearing on a number of downtown Calgary utility boxes.

 

The Reality of Sparrows

Strong, powerful and

cock-sure of myself.

 

though not really.

 

Driven by ignorance and

intolerance

awaiting attention.

 

Laughing at pain while

Someone

is dying

or has died.

 

Flocked ravens with small brains

All squawk

 

No concept of the reality of sparrows.

 

Poem by: Susan Michaud

 

Cowbird print

Picture by: Sylvia Arthur

Crow Print_small

Picture by: Sylvia Arthur

 

© Sylvia Arthur

 

Hearts Need a Home

The Poem

The theme of homeless people has returned once again. I think Sue was remembering the poor people she met while she was on the road playing in bar bands. Many just lived day to day scraping together a few dollars, stuck in a life of poverty. The same people she would later try to help in her job as a social worker.

 

The Picture

This is a new addition to the cardboard “Suite Street” paintings. Charlie and Rose, who are pictured in this painting are imagined people, but they embody the many I’ve met living in the shabby old hotels where Sue and the band played, struggling to get by.

 

Hearts Need a Home

How many hotels I wonder,

Are housing to some poor, lonely soul

Whose heart never had a home?

 

Charlie was at the Oxford

Al in Yellowknife,

Margaret and Rose too

But not at the Inn.

 

I never tried to count

Until just now

Now that my heart has a home

And a fire

 

All this warmth

And all those lonely people

 

We all need someone to care for us

And yet I wonder,

Does anyone care for them now?

 

I wonder if Charlie and Margaret and Rose

Ever found a real home

Other than the hotel,

I wonder if their hearts still beat.

 

Poem by: Susan Michaud

 

Charlie and Rose

Picture by: Sylvia Arthur

 

© Sylvia Arthur

Analyze This

The Poem

Music is not a simple thing when it is analyzed. It’s mathematical and exact, so it seems to be quite a contradiction that making music can be such a spontaneous, joyful experience.

 

The Picture

This painting was begun a long time ago and sat half finished in a corner for years. Recently, I realized the painting expresses the same idea as the poem. Sue’s poem inspired me to rework the painting and even start over with a new guitar player (always the guitar player). This is about the love of music.

 

Analyze This

If experience is life

and art is experience

what makes one man’s experience

so different from another man’s experience

 

that he believes is better;

 

and by extension, more important

than others

 

this art that is music;

the precision of

melody       blended time

 

the laboured

scrutiny

of the

“mathematics of sound”

 

it is not

systematic understanding

and perfection of the craft that

lifts our hearts and

refreshes our souls

 

simply

the miracle of

making it.

 

Poem by: Susan Michaud

 

It's Only Rock and Roll

Picture by: Sylvia Arthur

 

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