My poem, "Last Step," came from the course in ekphrastic poetry that I taught at the McLean County Arts Center this winter. It's based on Winslow Homer's painting, On the Stile (1878).
I may have seen this up close in the Hopper/Homer exhibit at the Art Institute in Chicago a couple years ago, but the most recent close perusal was in a book.
As vegetables ripen in various gardens around me, I better get ready for a time of "famine" in the literary world: rejection, rejection, rejection, and no forthcoming publications, because that will come.
Meanwhile, I am grateful to be one of the lucky ones in the real world, with real food to eat. I was pondering the reflection in church this past Sunday: one of our pastors is "a curious agnostic" and was speaking of no longer having a personal God in mind when he thinks on these things. Same here, except that when I wake up smiling or find myself full of gratitude for health or safety or good things happening to my children or friends or their children, etc., I whisper, "Thank you, thank you" to the air.
"You must change your life," said Rilke. So that's what I keep doing. I worked as an actor, wrote for an encyclopedia, edited a literary magazine, and taught college English courses. Now I write poetry, blog "eight days a week," and listen to birdsong.