I visited Ernest Hemingway’s house on Key West last year and bought a fridge magnet as a souvenir. It didn’t make the fridge but has instead attached itself to the shelf bracket next to my writing desk. I have reblogged this post from artist and writer Luke Otley because he has done such a great job with the likeness. The quote on the fridge magnet reads “Good writing is true writing…” The same can be applied to portraiture. If you agree why not pop over and give Luke’s drawing a like. Here’s my fridge magnet and Luke’s Daily Sketch.
And by complete coincidence a friend posted a link to this beautiful paint-on-glass animated version of The Old Man and the Sea on Facebook today. It was made in 1999 by Russian animator Aleksandr Petrov. All these coincidences are making me feel like I am in some sort of weird inspiration loop.
Will you join me chasing asphalt mirage pools
Where ibis bathe under bald cypress wings
Dripping old men’s beards over palm fronds.
In Jefferson County –
Dragonflies crisscross the two lane blacktop
People live out here in these swamplands
The roadside mailboxes are giveaway clues.
So many perspectives –
Pylons cut diagonals through the pine stands
Poles carry their electric charges to communities
Florida state troopers prowl like stealth bobcats.
In Leon county 10am –
The sun rifles between bare upright plantations
Shadows and lights flicker a silent movie dance
A flipbook fantasy of my moving milescapes.
V-shaped formations –
Journey ends at the last but one intersection
Gas station central on highway twenty seven
I throttle thru and set the cruise control to max.
Beyond the covered decking
Quartz white crystal sands
Sparkle in the Gulf sun –
A line of rainbow umbrellas
Shield the beach goers
With their wheeled cooler boxes –
Stand up paddle boarders
And selfie stick young women
Lounge in the shallows –
Cloud builds from the south
Mid 90’s heat dips to bearable
Miniscule flies bite my ankles –
Along the shore Bonita Springs
And in the distance Naples rises
Like a mini Manhattan on the sea –
A cooling breeze blows through
Tourists disgorge from the free bus
A family prepares to leave –
I don’t have to do anything
Maybe read or write or draw
Clean air filters my thoughts –
The seagulls make the most noise
Circling and squawking their calls
Ever watchful for opportunities –
Beyond all of this the pelicans dive
They fill their shopping bag bills
With lunch from the fresh fish counter.
I rescued a wasp from near certain death at my own hands
– an arbitrary spur of the moment act of compassion
which changed nothing other than my own perception of life
– saved me dealing with the murderous taste of contrition.
Henry Alberto was the eldest son of a family from El Salvador
– determined to finish school he refused to join the local gangs
but they came for him after his graduation and 18th birthday
– shot him dead in retribution all within the same ghastly week.
I could have swatted the wasp and left its body to whither
– annoying buzzing unpredictable stinging nuisance that it was
and besides, there will always be another to take its place
– this random act of killing is disturbingly too easy.
Luis Padillo was a Navy chaplain caught up in rebellious carnage
– as sniper bullets flew in Venezuela he tended to the dying
selflessly risking his own life to offer soldiers the last rites
– death is the choice of the devil in our subconscious.
I took a soft cloth and trapped the wasp against the window
– the power of the executioner, finger on the trigger,
resisting the urge to squeeze the living juices from its body
– hostage released on the whim of the freedom giver.
Henry Alberto’s mother cradles the photo of her dead son
– overwhelming grief consumes her troubled refugee existence.
Father Luis Padillo may or may not have ended his days in Florida
– I have no idea how we should end this deathly poetic dichotomy.
(two images that came my way this week – The iconic Priest and the Dying Soldier by Héctor Rondón Lovera from 1962 / Henry Alberto photographed on his graduation day and held by his mother Juana, taken by Patrick Tombola for a Sunday Times magazine article about Central American migrants fleeing poverty and gang violence to Mexico and, with luck, America).