What a variety of color, shape, pattern, object…this still life was totally unplanned and nearly unseen. Likely Judi was simply clearing items off the counter and placed the Lover’s Knot Lace-edged hankie on the chair, then pulled the necklaces that hadn’t been selling and lined them up on her hand, turning around and setting it all down on the traditional pillow-ticking pillowcase on the antique chair behind the counter in the shop, Carnegie Antiques. I saw it out of the corner of my eye, then went back around the shop looking for what I’d seen peripherally while doing something else.
Colorful beaded necklaces, orange and apple green, and pearls and plastic flowers, a linen hankie with soft green lovers-knot lace edging, a blue and white stripe pillow cover, real pillow-ticking, a ruffled chair cushion, what made these things so cherished that they survived the years intact, ready to be cherished again even when similar things, in other hands were broken, stained, discarded?
Were they curious heirlooms from a dear ancestor, whose very touch caused an item to be cherished? A gift from lover to beloved, kept for the memory of a special night? A young girl trying her hand at the lovely things her nurturing grandmother taught her? Jade beads purchased to match a special dress and kept “for good”, just a glance at the box recalling a fond memory?
Though we’d like to choose noble symbols for our memories we mark them with what is at hand, familiar everyday items; the next generations may shake their heads and wonder even as they set aside their own vintage memories. poem © 2011 Bernadette E. Kazmarski Read more poetry here on Today or visit my poetry page to see more about my poetry and other writing, and to purchase Paths I Have Walked.
I’m proud to offer a folio of my poetry
Paths I Have Walked: the poetry and art of Bernadette E. Kazmarski FROM FOUR ANNUAL POETRY READINGS AT ANDREW CARNEGIE FREE LIBRARY & MUSIC HALL IN CARNEGIE, PA People who attended one or more of my poetry readings encouraged me to publish some of my poetry in a book from the beginning. Once I completed my 2010 poetry reading, my fourth featuring the final piece of artwork in the “Art of the Watershed” series, I decided it was time to publish something and it should be those four poetry readings. Poetry books are not best-sellers; it’s difficult to convince a publisher to risk effort on a beginning poet, and while self-publishing is the best option it’s not inexpensive and once you’ve got the book, someone’s got to market it. Plus, I’m a graphic designer and I designed books for years, and I want things my way. All of this is a recipe for a little bit of trouble, but I decided the book was well worth the effort so I designed the book myself and had a set printed—no ISBN or anything formal, but it’s a start! I’m really excited to offer it. Books are 4.25″ x 11″, 40 pages of information and poetry, with glossy covers featuring “Dusk in the Woods” and little thumbnails of all four pieces in “Art of the Watershed”. $8.00 each plus $2.50 shipping (they are oversized for mailing first class). You can order one on my poetry page, or in my Marketplace. About the books and the poetry readings My biggest inspiration for poetry, prose and artwork is the world right around me, and I enjoy the opportunity to share it from the perspective of one who walks and hikes and bikes and carries a camera, art materials and journal everywhere—even around the house—so the inspirations are fresh. In December, 2006, two of my poems were chosen to be published on a section of the Prairie Home Companion website entitled “Stories From Home/First Person” for submissions of writing about the place we feel most familiar. I’m a long-time listener to PHC and reader of Garrison Keillor’s books as well as a daily listener to The Writer’s Almanac featuring news about writers and writing and of interest to writers as well as a poem, all compiled and read by Keillor himself. I was astonished to find my poems were among the first chosen from apparently thousands, and so happy to be able to share them with a potential audience of so many similarly inclined writers and readers. My poetry readings and art exhibits were the vision of Maggie Forbes, executive director of the Andrew Carnegie Free Library & Music Hall, after learning of my publishing of those two poems. I owe her many thanks for encouraging me to present this combination of my visual and literary art, a first for me. Each year I am invited back to read my poetry and exhibit my artwork. I love that building, every inch of it, and the opportunity to bring people in to visit is an honor.