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Duggan & Wentzel – August 2018

Patricia Wentzel and Teresa Duggan traded art and words. Teresa shared this photograph, titled “Morning path at the cemetery,” with Patricia:

In response, Patricia wrote this poem:

Aubade for Carol

birdsong plaits the air
binds lines of brick into a ruddy path
burnishes the roofs and sills of the tombs with grace

moss lies undisturbed
cool air smells green
tastes substantial, solitary, sacred

light and shadow slant, slip
photons waltzing
to a cosmic tune

beneath my feet bones shift

at a cracked stone bench
I sink down dry-eyed
shrouded in twirling motes
lit by morning sun

were you here
you would eagerly flit among the markers and monuments
casting yourself into the shoes of the past
tearful for the mother and babe
             marble slabs aslant in the heaving ground
horrified at the gravestones’ tale of ten-year-old twins
             drowned on the same bitter day
amazed at an immigrant father of fifteen boys
             and the woman laid to rest at his side

instead, you stand on the mantelpiece
plain brown box encompassing your richness

no grave for you
no headstone to speak
             of your accomplishments
                          of your youthful end
                                       of our gratitude at your release from agony
only the gift of your ashes for the sea
fitting final receptacle for such an ardent, restive spirit

I close my eyes
see you mime a wedding-day polka at the foot of two plots –
             sixty years they’d been married, died a day apart
grinning I shake my head

you are here

* * * * *

Patricia shared this poem with Teresa:

Savory Pine, Rushing Water

whose dreams fill the seamless night
with contrails of joy?

brown beaver —
savory pine, rushing water
mewing kits in a bark-walled den

blue whale sleeps half a brain at a time
twitch of an illusory tail
drives immensity toward the sky

denied sleep
the great white shark

In response, Teresa made this animation titled “R.E.M Dream: Contrails as Songlines”:


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