New Yorkers

You don’t have to
scratch too hard
to get to the hard manhattan schist

You can see it exposed all about
in Central Park
like a heart on a sleeve

They walk there joyously released
from iron concrete steel
but if tested

They’ll show their roots.

Rock hard attitudes
quick and unashamed
loyal and helpful to any fault

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Julie sits on the
chalkboard black rock each day,
the one back from the old dock
behind the salty nets hanging
and by the rotted planks no one wants to fix,
and most days
catches a glimpse
through the many obstacles
of Gerry as he returns
from fishing.

She stares at him
fixing him in her sight and points his way
but he ignores her most days
since first
the year before
when he’d glimpsed her.

He remembered her.
He’d been gentle as he always was
and had never led her on.
So why did she haunt him?
Was that pointing finger
an accusing?

One day
brighter than some
found Gerry angry enough from a bad fishing day.
He stomped over.
Julie’s eyes showed some surprise
especially when one of his stalking feet
through one of the old dock boards.

But still
though he swore down at his caught foot
she pointed at him
saying nothing.
Quickly she lifted and scrambled away
back to him.

But Gerry didn’t see
when he finally looked back up.
She hadn’t been alone,
that the pointing was all for the benefit of
the little girl in her lap.

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The Funny Relative

Is being a good example

I hope not.

There’s a lot to be said
for the funny relative

I certainly always liked the funny
Aunt or Uncle
Gramps or Gran

But will they age well?
That’s one of those hindsight questions.

I’m waiting to see
what nieces and nephews

if comic relevance
on the tightrope over a
cynical generation gape.

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Zip Lock baggies

Smart convenience set
to finger tips. Will spoil us

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An Isolate

You’ve got to breathe your
own air, at times, to crowd cope.
Or thoughts are so squeezed.

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AGO Trip – Part 3

<– Part 2

So after the Martin/Harris exhibit we planned to go down to the first floor. Karen wanted to check out the the Idea Lab exhibit called ‘Investigating the Art of Benjamin Cheverton’. Best laid plans of–you know the rest. We got a little waylaid in some African masks and other carvings and then the Henry Moore sculpture centre. And then we found the beautiful Galleria Italia with its Espresso Bar and had to eat. Looking at beautiful art is hard work! Then to get downstairs we had to go through some of the Thomson Collection of Canadian Art. Luckily some arrowheads showed us the way to the stairs or we’d still be there.
So I used the map to navigate the way to the Idea Lab but we only made it to the first room of the Thomson Collection of European Art on the way before we were struck with that spectre of religious shock and awe I mentioned yesterday.
While billed as:

both sacred and secular objects including a renowned group of medieval and Baroque ivories, as well as fine examples of silver, Limoges enamel, boxwood carving, medieval manuscripts, carved portrait medallions and nearly 100 portrait miniatures from the 16th to the 19th centuries

the ivories were enough. Simply beautiful. A distressing beauty yes in that I can’t help but think of all the elephants that had to be harvested and/or killed to make produce the raw material but still tiny pieces of art. You’d need free access to the objects and a magnifying glass to get the full effect but still, these are worth seeing. Some of the objects at the AGO are so intricate that they’ve required high tech to unravel as you can see in these two links: fine resolution and inside a prayer bead.
There was room after room of these treasures up to and including the brilliant Peter Paul Rubens’ ‘The Massacre of the Innocents’. When we finally made it to the Cheverton thing in the Idea Lab I was a little let down but only for moments as then we found the Tanenbaum Collection. If you follow that link you’ll see a Gian Lorenzo Bernini’s bust of Pope Gregory XV as the first image. I’ve never seen marble express so much. You can see veins on the forehead and those eyes! Incredible.
There was far more to see and we did attempt some of it but it was clear to Karen and I when we were being forced to leave as the museum was closing that the AGO is a treasure trove of amazing art. And we’ve only scratched the surface.

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AGO Trip – Part 2

<- Part 1

How does one contain the vastness of the Canadian North onto canvas or board? Some great mind has to invent a way to distill hundreds of kilometers into a handful of meters. It’s an enormous task yet Lawren Harris tackled it and won. Each of his hauntingly beautiful landscapes from this period, phase two of his career according to Steve Martin and the curators, are localized pointers to immensity. Windows to an infinite that can only be imagined in art.
So ‘Pic Island‘ is an idealized island that can colonize the minds of everyone lucky enough to see it with that symbol of islandness. ‘Mount Lefroy‘ can do the same miraculous thing for mountains and alpine glaciers. And Icebergs. And even dead trees. That’s why I enjoy Harris’ work so much and what he does for me, someone he never met. He makes me fall in love with icebergs, mountains, islands. Dead trees too.
Those paintings shout at my eyes.

That does it for phase two.

Phase 2.3 was not well represented with Harris work. It was almost an afterthought of his modernist urban landscapes. I didn’t get a lot out of them. Perhaps because that whole promised great future thing is not something I’m susceptible to any more and you can feel free to blame the fact that I write science fiction.

There were three videos in the exhibit. One with Steve Martin that I didn’t watch because the timed nature of the exhibition made me feel rushed: I figured I could watch that online later anyway. The other two videos were interesting. One was a Harris theosophic dream and another of Niagara water pounding down on very Harris-like ice and rock.

And that was it for ‘The Idea of North’ exhibit. Tomorrow I’ll continue with the spiritual shock Karen and I encountered in a set of rooms when we went looking for an exhibit down on the first floor.

Part 3 ->

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