Skip to content

Hammes & Karkar – Nov. 11

Dina Karkar and F. Rutledge Hammes traded work. Dina shared this painting, “Lookinback,” with Hammes:



















In response, Hammes wrote this poem (click to enlarge):

* * * *

Hammes shared this poem with Dina:

And There’s a Time and a Place for Cave Drawings Too

You breathe on the window to pass the time.
It’s a long drive from here to there.
            Nothing but road.         Nothing but road.
The greatest distance between two places is not space here.
            The greatest distance is time.
The headlights christen the darkness.
White lines shoulder the margins.
You are writing me a message on the glass.
And strangely, I am reminded of cave drawings,
            of the prehistoric ways in which women say I love you.

Tired is a town we passed a few miles back,
            and our love is as old as its city limits.
You do not tell me you feel safe
when I’m behind the wheel.
(Marriage has made it so you never have to.)
But you are making plans for our life together,
            as if now is as good a time as any.
You are making plans.
And there’s a brief mention of 401K’s
and a comfortable retirement.
There’s a rocking chair in this picture,
            good books too,
and there’s an ever-expanding porch
that phalanxes your idea of home.

You are naming our children now.
Bobby was a terror when I was a kid,
but he makes your list.
An all-American name for an all-American boy, you say.
            Must be the chance of escape in the nickname,
            of having options,
            when the pragmatic Robert simply won’t do.
Your list blooms with all the essential things
we’ve come to think of as children.
And you mother each of them,
from the darkness of the passenger’s seat.
The window fogs over.
You call out another one         by name.
And I could love you for those motherly instincts,
            those primitive needs.
Why else would a Neanderthal woman scribble markings in stone?
I would bring up the name Jefferson,
were it not for the schoolyard inevitability of Jeff.
I do not care for Dan.
He could’ve had you, you know? I say.
It could’ve been him, and not me.
I can see flashes of you and him (a capital HIM) in a past life.
But Dan is your father too.
Dan is your father, your father in you.
No good ever came of a Lawrence, I say,
            pained by the thought of playing catch
            with a son as uncoordinated as the name I gave him.
No. Nothing good ever came of a Lawrence.

Halfway between Lumberton and Raleigh,
we settle the matter on Gray.
            I, for Dorian’s picture.
                         You, for the clouds.
You breathe Bobby onto the window once again.
We pass a town with no name.
I grunt like a caveman.

In response, Dina painted this, entitled “All Things New”:

One Comment leave one →
  1. Lynda Leonard permalink
    November 7, 2011 5:15 pm

    Outstanding writings and art! Glad to see the work of these talented artists. This work is impressive and thought provoking! I look forward to viewing other works that surely will follow this publication.

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: