Thank you Isabel Carmona for inviting me to be a part of your Drawn Poetry project.
The project asks every artist who participates to paint a postcard, the front of which has an image and the back of which has a poem (or an excerpt from one). This is what I sent in. A piece inspired by a truly magnificent bird that I spotted on long drives through the deserts in Baja, California: The Crested Caracara.
And the poem on the back is one I loved when I first read it in my 4th grade poetry book. There are bits of the poem I found discomforting even then (being alone? penniless?? cold???) but I loved it’s feel for the open road and unknown adventures. Here is the whole piece:
THE VAGABOND - R.L. Stevenson Give to me the life I love, Let the lave go by me, Give the jolly heaven above And the byway nigh me. Bed in the bush with stars to see, Bread I dip in the river -- There's the life for a man like me, There's the life for ever. Let the blow fall soon or late, Let what will be o'er me; Give the face of earth around And the road before me. Wealth I seek not, hope nor love, Nor a friend to know me; All I seek, the heaven above And the road below me. Or let autumn fall on me Where afield I linger, Silencing the bird on tree, Biting the blue finger; White as meal the frosty field -- Warm the fireside haven -- Not to autumn will I yield, Not to winter even! Let the blow fall soon or late, Let what will be o'er me; Give the face of earth around, And the road before me. Wealth I ask not, hope, nor love, Nor a friend to know me. All I ask, the heaven above And the road below me.
I thought a postcard would be a simple little thing to paint, but since last night I’ve done three versions and it wasn’t till this not-so-realistic version that I felt like I had a piece I liked.
Thanks again, Isa! I’m looking forward to seeing all the other pieces and reading the poetry that goes with them. Sales from the postcards, when they are exhibited, will benefit Medicins Sans Frontiers.