Tuesday, November 24, 2015

November 24 -- Judith Offer

Sunlight on Shadow’
Oil on Canvas
William Merritt Chase; 1884

                                                                One remembers the moment
                                                                                past all forgetting:
                                                                The pale pink cotton one wore,
                                                                                limp in the heat;
                                                                The languid cologne on one’s hankie
                                                                                against the cheek
                                                                (Not quite masking his musky,
                                                                                insistent cigarette);
                                                                The strain of hammock hemp
                                                                                measuring one’s right hip;
                                                                Annie, the cook, banging something
                                                                                by the water barrel.

                                                                When one’s carefully-wrapped life
                                                                                becomes unsealed
                                                                The moment of breaking
                                                                                burns the brain:
                                                                One can close one’s eyes and
                                                                                feel the pillow itch the cheek,
                                                                Hear one’s heart begin to rise,
                                                                                see the flickering of dapple
                                                                Sunlight and shadow
                                                                                on brown dust
                                                                                in the fresh paint
                                                                                of the mind.      

 “Sunlight on Shadow” was written about a painting I saw in the DeYoung. It is in my third book, THERE IS THERE IS THERE, 1992.

        Judith Offer has had two daughters, five books of poetry and dozens of plays. (Eighteen of the latter, including six musicals, have been produced.)  She has read her poetry at scores of poetry venues, but is particularly delighted to have been included in the Library of Congress series and on “All Things Considered”, on NPR.  Her writing reflects her childhood in a large Catholic family—with some Jewish roots—her experience as teacher, community organizer, musician, historian, gardener, and all-purpose volunteer, and her special fascination with her roles of wife and mother.  Her most recent book of poetry, called DOUBLE CROSSING, is poems about Oakland, California, where she lives with her husband, Stuart.
            More detailed information is available at www.JudithOffer.com

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