Howe & Stephen – August 2012
Annie Howe and Carol Stephen traded words and artwork. Annie shared this papercut, “Bikes,” with Carol:
In response, Carol wrote this poem:
A Circle of Bikes
Tomorrow, I’ll take my bicycle,
point it east or west, ride past
all the pretty houses, wave at the ladies
watching from behind blank-faced windows.
Tomorrow, my wheels will merge with all
the other wheels as they turn and spin, moving
traffic, binding the threads of lives together,
before they separate again at their next turning.
Tomorrow, I’ll leave this village,
turn left out of my driveway, and left again,
ride down the highway, past cows content
to sun themselves in pastures. I’ll wave
at farmers riding parallel, the wheels
of their ploughs and tractors moving in time
with mine. While they draw circles among
their crops, I have somewhere else to go.
Tomorrow, I’ll reach the city. At her edges,
lines of tall buildings, many windows where
no-one waves back. Instead, workers draw
circles and lines, spin symbols of commerce,
before they separate again each evening, turn
their wheels toward the village. Each bicycle
makes one full circle at the roundabout before
it turns again toward home.
* * * * *
Carol shared this poem with Annie:
In The Next Dream, She Is Still Running
through twisted streets that double back
to dead ends. Going nowhere, she panics
as snow begins to blur all things to white
except the tiny cat that brushes against
her ankles, keeping her on this path,
playing her like she’s his next toy mouse.
she doesn’t look down, aware
she is naked in the snow, although
her hands wear purple cashmere mittens.
they clash with her electric orange hair.
her feet flounder in floppy black clown shoes,
one unstruck match protruding where upper meets its sole.
In response, Annie created this papercut: