Selected Photos, Art, and Poetry: Your Creations

by Robert M. Thompson

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    On these pages, you will find some unique ways of looking at things. Each poem uses words to paint a picture. Each picture uses color and line to tell a story. Each photo orchestrates the play of light and shadow to sound a different note. Each work of art has been touched by talent and formed by a creative mind and heart.

    Rain

    When I close my eyes,
    I can still see
    The old land-worker
    Caked with dirt and dust,
    Kneeling in the thin layer of mud.
    And he stares up into the clouded sky
    With eyes as moist as the air
    And prays in thanks
    Of the end
    Of a dry spell.

    One Tree

    One lone tree has changed
    My view, my life forever,
    Just by being there.

    The Return

    They’re coming, Mother said
    and she got out her best decorations.
    She put out her brightly colored
    flowers and plants.
    And she watered everything carefully
    just so they could grow.
    She did everything that she could,
    just to let them know that they
    were welcome back.
    And then her birds came home.

    [photo] Klondike by Tanya Schlup

    [illustration] Lizzy Brooks by Jonathan Linton

    A Friend Is like a Rose

    My heart is continually
    Being planted with
    Curtains of roses that
    Fall upon the barren
    Stage of my mind,
    To battle the counterpart—
    A single thistle thought.

    Life

    The road is well traveled
    Beauty lining its path.
    Old and new combine to
    Show a new view.
    The path is not always
    Long for some, but is
    Still the path we take.
    Though old and new will
    Someday be parted, the
    Remembrance of our travels
    Along the path will keep
    Us always friends.

    To a Good Friend

    The red setting sun
    Meets its rippled twin at last
    At the ocean’s edge.

    [illustration] President David O. McKay Home by Jonathan Linton

    [illustration] Valldemosa by Jonathan Linton

    Grandma’s Butterfly

    I was small enough to curl up like a caterpillar
    on the arm of the sofa chair where my grandmother sat
    while my mother undid her curlers and rattled on
    about cousins and neighbors and PTA duties.
    She almost never left the house after her fall—
    she was too frail for Utah’s stinging winter air
    and the raging summer sun beat down too hard.
    And visitors were just me and Mom and uncles and aunts.
    But she insisted every week that her hair be set and styled
    whether for pretense, vanity, or simple dignity.
    Or all three wrapped and twisted in Grandma’s trademark fashion
    that removed the nastiness of all three words and left only honor.
    My mother finished playing hairdresser and discreetly checked
    the undiscussed bedpan without bumping grandma’s tender hip.
    When she left, my grandma gazed down at my fuzzy little body
    and I snuggled in closer on her healthy side while she began to sing:
    “One little, two little, three little Indians. Four little, five little …”
    and long, opaque fingers danced youthfully in front of me.
    When I dozed off, she awkwardly wrapped me in a cocoon-like ball
    with part of her rag quilt, but I was content to remain warm and wingless.

    [photo] Stone Cold Face by Tanya Schlup

    An Evening Stroll

    The door swung slowly shut behind her
    as she began maneuvering down the walk
    with its daily coating of
    ice and snow.
    A cane (thicker than her wrist)
    tested every step and let her proceed.
    At a snowbank her right hand
    knotted and cupped
    dipped down.
    And she smiled.
    She moved faster now
    though her back curved forward and
    her knees never quite straightened.
    In ten minutes’ time she reached a meadow
    —a group of trees clinging
    to a handful of leaves
    marked the edge.
    And below them was a bundle
    of pristine houses which
    creeped closer every year—
    She stopped.
    She turned toward the trees and
    saw a troop of children
    hurling snowballs and
    shrieking in
    protestation and pure fun,
    and the field was dotted with
    makeshift forts and makeshift flags
    (mittens on sticks)
    marking territory.
    Every nose burned and every face flushed
    and every eye spoke.
    From across the street
    a man looked out and saw his neighbor,
    knee-deep in snow with
    a clump of it in her hand,
    and she was laughing.
    “Huh,” he said, “imagine that.”
    Which is exactly what she was doing.

    Answered Prayers

    Sunbeams spray upon
    dusty crimson cliffs,
    climbing towards the Master.
    At the humble feet of nature,
    beneath the sparse shade
    of penitent oaks,
    a young boy skins knees
    bent against rugged stone.
    Though not a forest grove
    of the youthful Joseph,
    a question cuts his heart.
    Peace strikes his mind,
    without visionary glories,
    but with the faith of
    a youth’s earnest prayer.

    [illustration] Africa, Land of Rain and Fire by Jennie Doezie

    [photo] Lane in the Trees by Kelly Gerber

    So Where Is Heaven?

    Suspended by a string of faith,
    The moon reclines lazily,
    Sleepily guarding our world with one eye
    And envying the stars with the other.
    For there is nothing the stars cannot see:
    They are holes in the universal blackness,
    Punctured by One
    Giving light to our side of the black, and
    Giving a hint of His side,
    Of what He is,
    Of what we can become.

    Life Sculptures

    Dawn breaks
    Across the land’s expanse.
    The song of a bird
    Rises to the air.
    Dew drips from trees
    And chills my feet.
    As I cross the grass
    A worm sticks its
    Head out of the dirt.
    The scent of lilacs
    Tickles my nose …
    The day begins.

    [photo] Dual Reflection by Audrey Morrison

    [illustration] The Number Eight by Jennie Doezie

    Doubt

    His fear,
    once uncertain,
    now contagious,
    is mine.
    And it is with him
    that I stand,
    with my back against the window,
    cursing the heat upon my neck,
    and fearing the darkness of
    my shadow-figure
    stretched long
    across the wooden planks of
    the floor.

    [illustration] Rose Cabbage by Lauriann Henriksen

    [illustration] In the Drawer by Lauriann Henriksen

    Calendar

    Looking forward
    into the mirror,
    I see the calendar—
    days behind me.
    I turn and lift its pages,
    Pictures of
    all places to which I’ve never been.
    My eye in wonderment drawn to
    the black lines
    which frame
    the white rows,
    as if they
    contain my life,
    holding the past, and waiting
    ahead for me to fill.

    Children’s Summer Field

    Childhood is summertime
    Or summer was made for children.
    They take a weed-infested field
    And see a sea of protective amusement.
    One-by-one, they pluck up a translusive lollipop
    And set the seeds violently in the wind
    By breathing laughter into the delicate globe,
    Then they watch the currents carry Mary
    Poppins and her umbrella on missions of
    creation, up, up, and into invisibility.

    [photo] Garden Entrance by Audrey Morrison

    [photo] Snake Grass by Kelly Gerber