Day 7 — a week of heART

Welcome to day seven – the final day of my Week of heART…

Sylvia Plath is one of my favorite poets. The way she constructs her sentences makes me see the words in my minds eye the same way I see my art. I wanted to finish my week strong. When you read the words “Tonight, in the infinitesimal light of the stars” I hope you see what I see.

heartsday7jencushman

I am Vertical

But I would rather be horizontal.
I am not a tree with my root in the soil
Sucking up minerals and motherly love
So that each March I may gleam into leaf,
Nor am I the beauty of a garden bed
Attracting my share of Ahs and spectacularly painted,
Unknowing I must soon unpetal.
Compared with me, a tree is immortal
And a flower-head not tall, but more startling,
And I want the one’s longevity and the other’s daring.

Tonight, in the infinitesimal light of the stars,
The trees and the flowers have been strewing their cool odors.
I walk among them, but none of them are noticing.
Sometimes I think that when I am sleeping
I must most perfectly resemble them–
Thoughts gone dim.
It is more natural to me, lying down.
Then the sky and I are in open conversation,
And I shall be useful when I lie down finally:
Then the trees may touch me for once, and the flowers have time for me.

– Sylvia Plath, Poet/Author

Day 6 – a week of heART

Welcome to day six of my Week of heART…

Maya Angelou. What more is there to say? A national treasure. A woman of eloquence and grace. Words that touch my soul. I wish we could all believe in ourselves this fully and know that we are phenomenal women.

heartsJenCushmanday6

Phenomenal Woman

Pretty women wonder where my secret lies.
I’m not cute or built to suit a fashion model’s size
But when I start to tell them,
They think I’m telling lies.
I say,
It’s in the reach of my arms
The span of my hips,
The stride of my step,
The curl of my lips.
I’m a woman
Phenomenally.
Phenomenal woman,
That’s me.

I walk into a room
Just as cool as you please,
And to a man,
The fellows stand or
Fall down on their knees.
Then they swarm around me,
A hive of honey bees.
I say,
It’s the fire in my eyes,
And the flash of my teeth,
The swing in my waist,
And the joy in my feet.
I’m a woman
Phenomenally.
Phenomenal woman,
That’s me.

Men themselves have wondered
What they see in me.
They try so much
But they can’t touch
My inner mystery.
When I try to show them
They say they still can’t see.
I say,
It’s in the arch of my back,
The sun of my smile,
The ride of my breasts,
The grace of my style.
I’m a woman
Phenomenally.
Phenomenal woman,
That’s me.

Now you understand
Just why my head’s not bowed.
I don’t shout or jump about
Or have to talk real loud.
When you see me passing
It ought to make you proud.
I say,
It’s in the click of my heels,
The bend of my hair,
the palm of my hand,
The need of my care,
‘Cause I’m a woman
Phenomenally.
Phenomenal woman,
That’s me.

Maya Angelou Poet/Author

Day 5 – a week of heART

Welcome to day five of my Week of heART…

I’ve read everything by Shel Silverstein. The funny thing is that I did not read him in my childhood. I read Where the Sidewalk Ends my first year in collage and became obsessed with his work. He is not a children’s author. He is an artist for humanity.

HeartsDay4JenCushman

Hug ‘O War

I will not play at tug o’ war. 
I’d rather play at hug o’ war, 
Where everyone hugs 
Instead of tugs, 
Where everyone giggles 
And rolls on the rug, 
Where everyone kisses, 
And everyone grins, 
And everyone cuddles, 
And everyone wins.

  • – Shel Silverstein, Poet/Author

Day 4 – a week of heART

Welcome to day four of my Week of heART…

This necklace has been published a number of times, including my new Explore, Create, Resinate Jewelry book. This cast ICE Resin piece is the story of my son when he was two years old and the pure joy he brings to my world.  Today’s poem is by a contemporary artist. Like this artist, I remember renting VHS videos from the video store. Also, all my son’s videos from his childhood were VHS format — we spent a fortune in Disney tapes and donated every single one to Goodwill. Goodness, that seems so long ago, but it really wasn’t.

Cary Grant and Myrna Loy are definitely before my time, but the idea of one’s spouse crushing on a gorgeous movie star is a timeless aspect of married love.

My hope today is to share a touch of humor. Poetry isn’t always big words, sonnets and flowery language.

heartsday5jencushman

Video Blues

My husband has a crush on Myrna Loy,
and likes to rent her movies, for a treat.
It makes some evenings harder to enjoy.

him as their slave is too long to repeat.
(My husband has a crush on Myrna Loy, Carole Lombard, Paulette Goddard,

coy  Jean Arthur with that voice as dry as wheat …)
It makes some evenings harder to enjoy.

Does he confess all this just to annoy
a loyal spouse? I know I can’t compete.
My husband has a crush on Myrna Loy.

And can’t a woman have her dreamboats? Boy,
I wouldn’t say my life is incomplete,
but some evening I could certainly enjoy

two hours with Cary Grant as my own toy
I guess, though, we were destined not to meet.
My husband has a crush on Myrna Loy,
which makes some evenings harder to enjoy

– Mary Jo Salter, Poet/Author

Day 3 – A week of heART

Welcome to day three of my week of heART…

I really enjoy random images…words… thoughts…sentences that seem all jumbled up but somehow right themselves in the chaos. I was recently doing a Google search for contemporary poets because I was looking for new inspiration on a resin collage. The bits and pieces I was working with were scraps I had planned to toss in the garbage but when I held them in my hand, I saw a slight hint of cohesiveness. When I came across this poem, I felt the author accomplished the exact same thing. Be sure to read “A is for knee socks. E is for panties. I is for button down a few times.” Then next time your work seems jumbled and/or disjointed, think about this poem and keep going with your initial idea.

heartsday3jencushman

Lines Depicting Simple Happiness

The shine on her buckle took precedence in sun
Her shine, I should say, could take me anywhere
It feels right to be up this close in tight wind
It feels right to notice all the shiny things about you
About you there is nothing I wouldn’t want to know
With you nothing is simple yet nothing is simpler
About you many good things come into relation
I think of proofs and grammar, vowel sounds, like
A is for knee socks, E for panties
I is for buttondown, O the blouse you wear
U is for hair clip, and Y your tight skirt
The music picks up again, I am the man I hope to be
The bright air hangs freely near your newly cut hair
It is so easy now to see gravity at work in your face
Easy to understand time, that dark process
To accept it as a beautiful process, your face
– Peter Gizzi, Poet/Author

Day 2 – A week of heART

Welcome to day two of my Week of heART…

I’d say that most people in the world do not read poetry. Sure they know of it. They remember having to read it in school. When I bring the subject up as to how I read poetry when I need inspiration for my art, I get a lot of blank stares. The thing I love the most about poetry is that there are as many different styles of poems as there are styles of art. I like to seek out poems — particularly poets with a storytelling style — because I find the imagery of just a few words beautifully strung together can spark an entirely new conversation for me that I can then tell in resin. Take a moment, if you can, to read The Windchime slowly. Savor the words. See the story and then tell me you don’t feel somehow more inspired after watching it in your mind’s eye, like a little film.

heartsDay2jencushman

Windchime

She goes out to hang the windchime
in her nightie and her work boots.
It’s six-thirty in the morning
and she’s standing on the plastic ice chest
tiptoe to reach the crossbeam of the porch,
windchime in her left hand,
hammer in her right, the nail
gripped tight between her teeth
but nothing happens next because
she’s trying to figure out
how to switch #1 with #3.
She must have been standing in the kitchen,
coffee in her hand, asleep,
when she heard it—the wind blowing
through the sound the windchime
wasn’t making
because it wasn’t there.
No one, including me, especially anymore believes
till death do us part,
but I can see what I would miss in leaving—
the way her ankles go into the work boots
as she stands upon the ice chest;
the problem scrunched into her forehead;
the little kissable mouth
with the nail in it.
Tony Hoagland Poet/Author

Day 1 – A week of heART

Welcome to Day one of my Week of heART…

I’ll be sharing an image of my work and a poem from a poet whose words that have inspired and/or touched me. My hope is to share a little love.

WireworkedchainJenhearts

Losing

Losing too is still ours; and even forgetting
still has a shape in the kingdom of transformation.
When something’s let go of, it circles; and though we are
rarely the center
of the circle, it draws around us its unbroken, marvelous
curve. 

-Ranier Marie Rilke