Chanson d’automne

For the first day of fall, a poem by Paul Verlaine. Translation by Arthur Symons.

Les sanglots longs
Des violons
De l’automne
Blessent mon coeur
D’une langueur
Monotone.

Tout suffocant
Et blême, quand
Sonne l’heure,
Je me souviens
Des jours anciens
Et je pleure

Et je m’en vais
Au vent mauvais
Qui m’emporte
Deçà, delà,
Pareil à la
Feuille morte.

—Paul Verlaine (1844-1896)

When a sighing begins
In the violins
Of the autumn-song,
My heart is drowned
In the slow sound
Languorous and long

Pale as with pain,
Breath fails me when
The hours tolls deep.
My thoughts recover
The days that are over
And I weep.

And I go
Where the winds know,
Broken and brief,
To and fro,
As the winds blow
A dead leaf.

Cards!

Because there won’t be any in-person holiday bazaar for my cards this year, my website is updated (thank you Devin!) to do everything online. Please check it out, along with some new cards. I hope you like it. (Below, some discount codes.)

If you decide to order as many as 5 or 10, you may use the code 5FOR20 or 10FOR40 for a discount. If you are nearby and prefer a safely socially-distant pickup, use code PICKUP for no shipping, and contact me to make arrangements. 

When Autumn Came

A painting and a poem for the autumn equinox.

This is the way that autumn came to the trees:

it stripped them down to the skin,

left their ebony bodies naked.

It shook out their hearts, the yellow leaves,

scattered them over the ground.

Anyone could trample them out of shape

undisturbed by a single moan of protest.

The birds that herald dreams

were exiled from their song,

each voice torn out of its throat.

They dropped into the dust

even before the hunter strung his bow.

Oh, God of May have mercy.

Bless these withered bodies

with the passion of your resurrection;

make their dead veins flow with blood again.

Give some tree the gift of green again.

Let one bird sing.

—Faiz Ahmed Faiz 1911-1984

Four Green Fields

For St. Patrick’s Day, a painting, and the folk song by Irish musician Tommy Makem that inspired the painting.

What did I have, said the fine old woman
What did I have, this proud old woman did say 
I had four green fields, each one was a jewel 
But strangers came and tried to take them from me 
I had fine strong sons, who fought to save my jewels 
They fought and they died, and that was my grief, said she 

Long time ago, said the fine old woman 
Long time ago, this proud old woman did say 
There was war and death, plundering and pillage 
My children starved, by mountain, valley, and sea 
And their wailing cries, they shook the very heavens 
My four green fields ran red with their blood, said she 

What have I now, said the fine old woman 
What have I now, this proud old woman did say 
I have four green fields, one of them’s in bondage 
In strangers’ hands, that tried to take it from me 
But my sons had sons, as brave as were their fathers 
My fourth green field will bloom once again, said she

A Calendar for 2020: Cathedral

Here is my new calendar for 2020, each month featuring one of a series of paintings at Washington National Cathedral and its gardens. The calendar is 8-1/2″ x 11″ and printed on sturdy satin stock, substantial enough that the images can be saved as prints. (Soon I will post the paintings for each month, so that you can see them all, unless you prefer to be surprised.)

A single calendar is $23; a set of two is $42; plus shipping. Shipping is Priority Mail, domestic US. If you are in my area, you can obtain a calendar from me directly without shipping cost—just let me know.

I’m sorry that international shipping costs make the calendars too expensive to ship overseas.

They will also be available at the Washington Waldorf School Holiday Bazaar on November 23rd, along with note cards featuring the Cathedral paintings and my other cards as well.

Single calendar:




Set of 2 calendars:




Artists of Woodley Park

Two of the paintings in my Washington National Cathedral series will be on exhibit in the Artists of Woodley Park show opening October 17, 2019. I’m looking forward to seeing work of the more than 20 Woodley Park artists included, and I hope some of you might make your way there this fall.

Stanford in Washington Gallery
2655 Connecticut Avenue NW

Washington, DC 20008

The morns are meeker than they were

A painting, and a poem by Emily Dickinson. Happy Autumn Equinox, everyone.

The morns are meeker than they were,
The nuts are getting brown;
The berry’s cheek is plumper,
The rose is out of town.

The maple wears a gayer scarf,
The field a scarlet gown.
Lest I should be old-fashioned,
I’ll put a trinket on.

—Emily Dickinson

Megan

Sonnet 73

For the first day of autumn, this sonnet evoking the season’s beauty and melancholy.

That time of year thou mayst in me behold
When yellow leaves, or none, or few, do hang
Upon those boughs which shake against the cold,
Bare ruin’d choirs, where late the sweet birds sang.
In me thou see’st the twilight of such day
As after sunset fadeth in the west,
Which by and by black night doth take away,
Death’s second self, that seals up all in rest.
In me thou see’st the glowing of such fire
That on the ashes of his youth doth lie,
As the death-bed whereon it must expire,
Consum’d with that which it was nourish’d by.
This thou perceiv’st, which makes thy love more strong,
To love that well which thou must leave ere long.
—William Shakespeare