Friday, November 13, 2015

Ekphrastically Speaking

Today is Poetry Friday and I am WAY late in posting for it!  But I was deciding.
I wrote a couple ekphrastic poems to submit to Silver Birch Press for their series "Looks Like Me", in which you pick a portrait by a famous artist and write to that picture including yourself, and perhaps including a photo of yourself that looks like the image somehow (though that is not necessary).  I am happy to say that the one I chose to send to them was accepted for inclusion on their web publication sometime later this month or in December.  I'll know later.

The following ekphrastic poem was written about Steve Henderson's painting called "Child of Eden".  (I liked the painting so much that I later purchased a copy of it on canvas.)

I am putting a picture of Steve Henderson's painting, the poem that I wrote to it, and a photo of myself (above) at about the same age as the girl in his painting - probably 4 years old.

So here is the painting, and the poem is below it.  Steve Henderson, graciously granted me permission to use his work with my poem.  Isn't it beautiful?  I smile whenever I look at it.
It reminds me of when I was a child and my mother had vegetable gardens.  She always had radishes, carrots, tomatoes, cucumbers, lettuce, corn...and I'll think of a few more in a minute...but the best thing was, we could go out in the garden and pick anything we wanted to eat.  We'd brush it off the best we could with our hands and on our shirts, then crunch away!  What a sneaky way to get vegetables in us!

Child of Eden by S.Henderson
The Color of Radishes

erupts from the earth;
my fingers fumbling
grasp its green tuft
pulling, wiggling,          
the red globe
with long
thready root
is revealed.
Shirt-rubbed to edible,
I laugh at its bitterish,
biting-back taste.
I uproot more.
With earthy fingers,
my roots-up arrangement
is lifted -
Her hands reach down
to scoop up
this nosegay of
Rose Madder,
Davy’s Gray,
Terre Verte
with VanDyke highlights.
She smiles -
planting seeds
for me.

©2015, Donna JT Smith, all rights reserved

And by now you have probably already gone everywhere for Poetry Friday.  But in case you haven't....
Poems are being rounded up by Bridget Magee at Wee Words for Wee Ones!  She is such a brave soul today!  All looks to be going splendidly over at her Linky, so go visit and try  some delicious poetry today!


  1. Beautiful painting and wonderful poem. Love "reddish erupts from the earth." Love that photo of you -- you do look like the girl in the painting! And congrats on the Silver Birch Press acceptance. :)

    1. Thanks!
      I am in love with this painting! I would love to own the original. It brings back so many wonderful memories of the garden. But I shall be content with my copy! Still vibrant and beautiful in my home.

  2. The poem, Henderson's painting, and your picture are all so precious. Love the line: "Shirt-rubbed to edible" - that is true organic eating! So glad you joined us today, Donna. =)

    1. Oh, our shirts must have been a sight! But mom never complained!

  3. Bridget grabbed my favorite line, but I do love every bit, Donna, & that painting, so full of earth & life & color. Wow! I remember all this from both grandmothers, going out early or anytime of day, grabbing what we wanted, or picking carefully for the dinner menu. We were blessed with that, weren't we?

    1. And congratulations on the publishing, awesome!

    2. I have to remember that with my grandchildren! I don't plant a garden now, but we do have lots of wild berries and had a good time picking blueberries with my grandson, who ate them more easily than got them in the cup.

  4. You have created a wonderfully earthy poem with this, Donna. I almost expected my fingers to be covered in soil! Congratulations on being chosen for publication, too. (And both pics are gorgeous.)

    1. Thanks, the painting evoked so many good memories!

  5. How wonderful, Donna! This whole post— the great news, the photo of sweet, young you, the beautiful painting, and your wondrous poem from fumbling fingers to planting seeds.

    1. Mom planted lots of seed in my life, for which I am forever grateful!

  6. Lovely! And how great that you own a copy!

  7. I like the description of its "bitterish,
    biting-back taste."
    The photo of you really does resemble the girl in the painting!


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