Fernandez & Smith – Aug. 15
Laura Smith and Beatriz Fernandez traded art and words. Laura shared this painting, “Divers Down,” with Beatriz:
In response, Beatriz wrote this poem:
(for my cousin Ronald, a professional diver)
Here, circling in the shadow of blue monoliths,
I stare down the abyss and prepare
to break the bonds of the air I treasure,
to leave behind all the light I love.
These white raging crests are not crenellated angel-wings
waiting to swoop to my rescue—
these monuments’ salted veins do not carry
the blood of my heroes—
so heed the warning of my slashed crimson flag:
steer clear of these strange cliffs and chasms.
Today I play at being a spoiled child of the gods,
push the flats of my palms against
deep sweet surfaces as if they weren’t
trying to crush me with every ounce of their weight,
as if I wasn’t moving among mountains of nightmares.
My world reduces to the space between each heartbeat,
to the chant of my breath in my ears –
I could be floating in the atmosphere above Mars
or back in primordial Earth’s oceans—
safer in this silence than in what storms above
in a country I grow each day more estranged from.
On the surface, a sliver of sun still lights a distant shore,
but from the deep, like a familiar hand,
beckons the perfect peace of my lost homeland.
* * * * *
Beatriz shared this poem with Laura:
into the clearing
flocking to an arena
form a ring around the space
where one of their own lies dead.
A silence roars through the trees
like a tsunami—at the crest
black feathers foam into a crown—
adhoc empress of the forest, I signal—
like Claudius—avete vos—
the crows disperse
tamely, like weary crowds
wanting only to go home, to find
quiet now that the blood thirst wanes,
the prizes won,
the honors given,
the dead at rest.
(Previously published online by Cyclamens and Swords, 2013)
In response, Laura made this painting, entitled “Crows”: