12×9 Watercolor, ink. One of 5. Originals, not prints or duplicates. (Image changed post spell check! )
View more work at Saatchi Art, and on my web portfolio: ART BY WILLARD For photos on this blog, click MY ART on the right panel and scroll down.
Member: DVAA-Da Vinci Art Alliance. Building community through art. My artworks are featured on my DVAA Member Profile: https://davinciartalliance.org/willard-johnson
Think about how it would change the world, if we were to understand, and treat, music, dance, poetry, the arts, not as cost-deficit sidelines, to be cut from schools to make way for serious subjects, but as the reason and purpose for everything else we do!
We need to raise food, because we need food to give us pleasure, and to make art! We need shelter and housing, so we have places we can make music. We need medicine, to stay healthy so we can dance and make poetry!
Make life for pleasure, for deep pleasure, and it will change the world.
(#433 Acrylic on canvas Dance!)
Rescued from the dusty basement, cleaned up and in my drawing studio.
There’s a history to this. In 2009 I began to hang poem cards on a dead tree on E. Passyunk, in South Philly, not far from where I lived. At first, I would find them missing, or torn on the street the next day, but I kept going back with new ones, and strings on can tabs, and ribbons, and decorated the poem cards with glitter, colored them with crayons. After a time, they were left alone. People began to notice, to stop sometimes to read the poems.
In the spring, the city uprooted the dead tree and planted a new one, a living tree. This piece is my memorial to the original poem tree. I wrote a chap book of poems: The Poem Tree. The words to the first poem in the chap book are what you see hanging on the branches. Those large leaves are American Chestnut, from Morris Park–trees that will die soon, long before reaching their climax growth–as all American Chestnuts do since the blight. So in a way–this is also a poem about the loss of The American Chestnut, a tree that was once the Queen of the Eastern Woodlands.
The Dead Tree (a poem)
a dead tree
has died &
I hang some leaves on the dead tree
with fine copper wire
& some aluminum can tabs
& some red plastic rings from my Spirit Stick
& a green ribbon & a single pigeon feather
from my Spirit Stick
(like a bird has come to pay respects & left a
I think the tree feels better
even though it’s dead
I know I would
View portfolio here ART BY WILLARD
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Packing for the move. Came across poetry workbooks. This is a page, an abandoned effort from the summer of 2010– a year when I wrote more than 300 poems.
I might end that now:
… invisible prisms
bearing light — anyone
Managed to do food shopping yesterday afternoon. Coughed all the way there and back. Once in the store, warm air, I was fine. Wore me plum out. I started off to an Icarus meeting later… got about a block, turned around and came home.
Looong nap today after sleeping late. If I were one of those 19c English poets, I’d be one of em who spent winters in Italy for my lungs.
Any wonder that Winter appears in my poems as Death? If she sometimes appears as a temptress, it’s only because I do find beauty in winter.
I wish I could find a publisher for Chronic, Chronos, Kairos
January 20, 2011
I smiled when winter came to call…
…thinking she’d spared the worst. Ho HO, he said. Her teeth (where I’d thought, Ice) were coals. Two starving sparrows for his eyes. Dream on! she said, & blew into my mouth & touched
her fingers to my lips, caressed my lungs
& took my breath away and tossed it to the wind!