Its not what you see, but what you feel.

Even when everything in your rational mind fights to make sense of chaos, it is necessary to let go and simply feel.

That is very essence of Expressionism.

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What does does the image stir inside of you?

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Wassily Kandinsky, Composition VII (Image courtesy of Wikipedia Commons)

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c.b.w. 2014


The Color of Summer


To capture just the sliver of a moment bathed in light. So fleeting, yet constant, it’s a moment we all know but have experienced in different ways. Truth is so carefully hidden in blurred vision and brilliant flashes of color. The red of a poppy jumps and finds the fingertip. A yellow tinge blazes with the heat of a hazy summer. An August afternoon clings to memory, even as winter rages with snow and ice. Dry grass crunches underfoot, while the wind whistles through the weeds. Muggy air hangs heavy and leaves a sheen on the cheeks. Realism is more than details and finite objects – It is a feeling,  a sense, or a vision that leads to the truth.


Claude Monet, Poppies (Near Argenteuil), 1873
Image Courtesy of wikipaintings 

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When a student asks me the point of Impressionsim, they get a lecture that sounds much like this free write. Impressionist works take you to a place, a time, or a moment that is real, but the image leaves room for you to fill in the blanks with your own experience. How beautiful is that?

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c.b.w. 2014


Poem A Day Challenge: April 5-6


It’s been twelve days and I’m still going strong in the April Poem A Day Challenge. Even though I’m behind in posting poems here, I am right on schedule for the challenge. So far, I’m loving the prompts and how they are challenging me to try new things. In many ways, it’s nice to break out of my usual mode of using photographs and nature to kickstart my muse.

April 5, 2014
Prompt: Write a discovery poem.

I have no faith,
or golden egg
These bloodshot eyes,
burn with regret
My heavy head,
hangs low and dead

There are no steps,
just worn out shoes
The doing years,
are empty time
My hollow clock
has twisted arms

Through rusted gears,
comes a faint sound
Listen closer,
footsteps echo
A lifted gaze,
a brighter view

Inspiration: I have no idea. This is one of those poems that just “fell out” of my head. The words were simply there and I wish I knew how they came together.

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April 6, 2014
Prompt: Write a night poem.

When light fades,
blue cascades
Life flickers,
candles melt
Silence falls,
sleepy town

Souls take flight,
starry night
Swirls of gold,
spark with fire
Fireworks flare,
muted roar

Inspiration: That day I was doing research on Van Gogh’s The Starry Night in preparation for a lesson plan. In my reading I learned he was inspired by the popular belief of the time that after someone died their soul took residence in the stars. Van Gogh’s quote, “If we take the train to get to Tarascon or Rouen, we take death to reach a star,” resonated in my head all day and turned into a poem.

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How goes your poeming this month?

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c.b.w. 2014



Unfamiliar shadows cast upon strangely lit walls

once a smooth canvas is now shredded cloth

Bend to the future or bow to the past?

the question distracts from a more obvious path

Sure, we abide in what’s left behind,

old school canon got us this far

What lies ahead deserves more faith

change is constant, like it or not

Holding on keeps roots in place, but the leash snaps tight

Reaching high the spirit takes flight, but loses sight

Somewhere between, there’s a gentle seam

bonding extremes with a clean, simple line

Look to the present to find new life,

the world is changing, accept the invite

Table With Two Legs on the Wall, Ai Weiwei, 2009
(table from the Qing Dynasty)

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Photo captured at an exhibit entitled, “Ai Weiwei: According to What?” July 2013

Words by: c.b.w. 2013

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c.b.w. 2013