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 and director in Chicago, wrote for an encyclopedia, edited two poetry journals, shelved and retrieved materials in several libraries, walked beans, and was an assistant professor of English. Now I serve as Poetry Editor and Editor at Large for Escape Into Life, an online arts magazine, write & edit as a freelancer, blog "eight days a week," study the random, tend perennials, and listen to birdsong.