Last night, after art-making, tea-drinking, candle-gazing, and family-loving, I went to bed un-sleepy to pray.
Knowing the night was long, dark, evoking all that darkness does, I prayed for resolution in hearts and minds of things that brew in darkness.
We are here again, in light, breathing light itself. Turn your sight to suns even if they are obscured by ominous portents. And in night, let stars fill you–
Know the Light of All to illuminate your souls.
“Crow” by Clare L. Martin
Pen and crayon on paper. Digitized, filtered. 2016.
“Captivity” by Clare L. Martin
Charcoal on paper. digitized, filtered. 2016.
“Feminine Spirit” by Clare L. Martin
Charcoal, crayon on paper. digitized, filtered. 2016.
“Dream Netting” by Clare L. Martin. charcoal, crayon. digitized, edited, filtered. 2016.
“Worry” by Clare L. Martin. charcoal, crayon. digitized, edited, filtered. 2016.
“Creation” by Clare L. Martin.
charcoal and crayon on paper. digitized. edited. filtered. 2016.
“Marsh Song I*” Mixed media, Clare L. Martin ©2016
We drive westward along the Louisiana coast on a crumbling highway with my parents. The sky purples with becoming light. Our bellies are full of boudin and cracklins. Hot coffee is handed carefully from the front seat to my husband and I seated in the back.
We sing “J’ai Passe Devant Ta Porte” or “Bon Vieux Mari,” called by my mother and responded to by my father. Always my father embellishes his responses. My mother rolls down her window and points to the Roseate Spoonbills lifting from their roosts. My father stops singing and praises God.
A prayer is said for loved ones, wherever they are. More of the morning sky erupts over the marsh. I think of painters, how I wish to be one, how I have tried with my words. This day we are traveling to see Sandhill Cranes that have been spotted in Creole, a few miles from here. We always take the scenic route and happily travel from dawn to dusk.
How many times have we come to this slipping away land and been blessed by our forgetfulness of the world’s problems and our own? Countless. How much do I miss these two people who gave and saved my life? My longing cannot be measured.
To treasure the dead is our inheritance.
*I dedicate this artwork and these words to my beloved family, especially to my deceased loved ones, wherever they are.
Clare L. Martin
after a mixed media art piece in the Angel Bath series by Dennis Paul Williams
The fetal heart stops
in a globe of light
their way through flesh
her cheek depressed
a doctor’s thumbprint
gray washes into amber
soft, blooded veins—
her mother bears
the crown of thorns.
Desiccation we know
because the artist
layers each dream
upon the other
the artist dreams
these dreams for us
to show us
when waters rise
when rains fall.
When mothers suffer
up to their necks
reach for the ceiling
pray for lightning bolt holes
through the roof: a delivery
of a different kind
the ever-ghost children
quickly go to ground—
still-hearted and all.
©2016 Clare L. Martin