{pf: p7 & the life ekphrastic}

Greetings! Welcome to another Poetry Peeps adventure on Poetry Friday!

You’re invited to try our challenge in the month of June! Here’s the plan: We’re going to write a Zentagle Poem, on any topic. Interested? Good! You’ve got a month to craft your creation(s), then share your offering (or someone else’s) with the rest of us on June 25th in a post and/or on social media with the tag #PoetryPals.

Sometimes, writing an ekphrastic poem is a lot of fun, and other times, it’s just this HUGE challenge. Art speaks to us in myriad ways, based on the day of the week or the angle of the light, and even once we narrowed down our plethora of museum images to two, I still struggled. There was so much to say about each piece! But, what united them? Or was there anything?

Well… I found a link, I think. But, I don’t remember. See, my laptop died… and my poetry, in an open file that was just kind of sitting on my desktop? Died with it. Even our conversation about the poems we wrote amongst the poetry sisters was lost, because it was in Zoom. SO. I had to start over… This morning.

Fortunately, I always begin my poems on paper – a dependable medium – and I recalled that we were playing around with the 4×4 Poem form as invented by Denise Krebs, which uses four syllables per line, four lines per stanza, and repeats the first line in the position of first through fourth line within the text. (And uses a bonus four syllable title!) Additionally, I remembered that I was struck by something one of the artists, Roy De Forest, said. “For me, one of the most beautiful things about art is that …it is one of the last strongholds of magic.”

That phrase reverberated.

the magic space

“the last stronghold
of magic, art”
look for me there,
learning, by heart

to make. believe.
the last stronghold
less “place to hide”
than to grow bold.

can spiders dress
in twists of wire?
the last stronghold
makes whimsy fire.

express yourself!
we’ll never scold
take up space in
the last stronghold.

Is this the poem I wrote? Nope. Is this the sentiment I wanted? Close. Is this what art does for us? It should!

The rest of my Poetry Peeps did a much better job – Tricia’s poem is here, Laura’s is right here, and Sara’s link is here. Kelly joins us her, and Liz’s project is here. Ruth’s ekphrastic is here, and Carol’s poem is here. Various Poetry Peeps will be added throughout the day, so stay tuned. Poetry Friday is beautifully hosted today by Michelle Kogan, who is occasionally one of our poetry peeps as well. Do pop over and check out her artwork! She’s even added an ekphrastic haiku!


Hours later, Tech Boy took pity on me and dug into the old hard drive – bless him. He wrestled out two more poems for your perusal:

Artist’s Musings

Nothing alike:
Spider dresses
and wooden snakes –
Could both be art?

“Funk art” creates
nothing alike:
Bottle brushes
against brass wire –

A last stronghold
where magic hides
nothing. Alike
in artistry,

We make space, or
Make-believe we
are everything.
Nothing. Alike.

Ephemeral: Art

We make believe:
Wire, and paint.
We call it art.

Spider dresses?
We make believe
With all eight legs,
Dance our hearts out.

A last stronghold,
where magic lives,
we make believe,
and art forgives.

The one safe place
Where magic hides
Is art’s embrace.
We make. Believe.

And I hope that you a.) have reliable technology, and b.) get out – or stay in – and make some art this weekend.

(ART WORK: Pictured from the left, Serpent and Spider Dress by Isamu Noguchi, and El Grande Hombre by Roy De Forest.)

9 Replies to “{pf: p7 & the life ekphrastic}”

  1. Tanita, I keep circling back to your post because I have read it many times but just now got in to comment. First of all, I want to thank you for the shoutout that I am writing alongside the Poetry Sisters. This month’s challenge was so interesting especially the conversations and poems circling around the caged dress design. I enjoyed being in your magic space where ““the last stronghold
    of magic, art” exists. I am sorry for your computer issues but delighted that you finally found some of your previous work.
    in artistry,

    We make space, or
    Make-believe we
    are everything.
    I enjoyed reading your before the last stronghold poems and look forward to next month’s challenge.

  2. Oooh, we get three looks at the art and where your muse took you! I love the way you played with the words “make” and “believe” throughout these variations. So sorry about the computer jolt! It’s a terrible feeling.

  3. Ah Tanita, you offer us not just one but three intriguing takes on the mesmerizing winged-wire sculpture! I liked lines in all three, I especially liked the repeating of “the last stronghold,” magic that weaves in, and this stanza:
    “can spiders dress
    in twists of wire?
    the last stronghold
    makes whimsy fire.
    Thanks, and also for June’s prompt!

  4. It’s humbling to be confronted with a crashed laptop, but you got through it. 🙂 I loved art being the last stronghold of magic. “The last stronghold” was a good line to use in each stanza. It worked so well.

  5. I love the idea of “growing bold” through art…and you’ve illustrated it by boldly going ahead with your post, silly laptop (bad boy!) or no. I’m glad Tech Boy rescued your other ones, so we could see the prism of poems you’ve made here…they reflect your thoughts so well.

  6. I love the idea of “a last stronghold/where magic lies” & then the parts about eight legs, so good with the man, reminds me of our lives filled with ideas, where “we make believe,/and art forgives.” See, I chose parts of several poems – all delightful, Tanita. I’m glad you had some good tech around! Have a lovely weekend with art!

  7. Oh, Tanita! So sorry about your laptop. Yes, paper definitely is “a dependable medium” Glad you were able to get close to the sentiment you were trying for. Here is another rhyming 4×4–as Sara called it a More by Four. Quite magical!

    I love the invitation in your poem:
    “take up space in
    the last stronghold”
    And then in your hope for us: “make some art this weekend” Yes, indeed!
    Thank you, Tanita!

  8. Love “one of the last strongholds of magic” and your poem’s positivity. 🙂 Sorry to hear about the laptop issues — repairable, I hope?

    1. @jama-j: Repairable maybe, but it’s an oooold machine, so Himself built me a desktop system. Cheaper, and definitely repairable, so I’ll be fine. It’s just the scramble of “Oh, oops! I lost what?!” was a bit unpleasant.

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