Friday, August 05, 2016

An Ekphrastic Poem for WONDER


You know how much I love house plants and greenery of all kinds. I don't have a green thumb, and my plants don't always do well, but I am stubborn and don't give up easily. My office is full of plants. sometimes they get those really annoying fungus gnats, so I am continually in a battle of control. 

There was an outbreak the same week that my Poetry Sister Sara shared her photos of the art instillation "Wonder"at the Smithsonian's Renwick Gallery in DC, which was somewhat ironic to me. The part of the show by  by Jennifer Angus called "Midnight Garden" featured a huge exhibition of insects arranged in fantastic patterns and glued to the wall. I know, right? Bugs. But these are really amazing bugs.

Jennifer Angus' "Wonder" exhibit; made of insects

The entire wall space of the room is covered with insects displayed in elaborate patterns. The website of the Renwick Gallery states:
 "Yes, the insects are real, and no, she has not altered them in any way except to position their wings and legs. The species in this gallery are not endangered, but in fact are quite abundant, primarily in Malaysia, Thailand, and Papua New Guinea, a corner of the world where Nature seems to play with greater freedom. The pink wash is derived from the cochineal insect living on cacti in Mexico, where it has long been prized as the best source of the color red."
 Isn't that AMAZING? And a little creepy. I couldn't help but put the two experiences together in my mind as I worked on this months' Poetry Sisters challenge: ekphrastic poems in any style or form, in response to the art at Renwick Gallery when Sara visited in May.

Artwork © Jennifer Angus, photographs © Sara Lewis Holmes 


The bug
pinned to the wall
(arms splayed, wings
just so, legs akimbo)
is never the one
bothering you.

what bugs you
is the gnat
between you
and the screen.

   -Andromeda Jazmon

Can I get a witness?

Don't miss the other poems written for this month's challenge at the Poetry Sisters' blogs: 

Laura Purdie Salas - Laura's in the cheering section this month, as life took p residence over blogging.
Tricia Stohr-Hunt  - She can hear them breathing, and they're coming for us.
Sara Lewis Holmes - Tells the story of visiting the gallery, with more pictures and amazing poetry!
Kelly Fineman
Liz Garton Scanlon - opening drawers full of surprises
Tanita S. Davis - Uses words like "
chitinous" perfectly poetically!!

And don't forget to stop by the Friday Poetry Roundup hosted by Tara at  A Teaching Life! 


Brenda at FriendlyFairyTales said...

And the gnats that fly out of the garbage can after you throw away the banana you forgot to eat last week...

Tara said...

Insect art - who would have thought such a thing could exist? I'm not a fan of gnats, either, but I did love your poem, Andi!

Tricia said...

Andi, what a perfect comparison! And I love "legs akimbo." Nicely done!

Linda B said...

I shared with Tricia that I saw a few art pieces at a local art fair that used insects as the central theme but with added paint too. This installation is very interesting. I like the contrasts set in your poem, Andi, the displayed & the real, perhaps something to consider in our real lives, aside from the gnats.

Mary Lee said...

I agree with Tricia about "akimbo," but I liked it especially with the "just so."

Maybe your next craft will be a mosaic made with dead gnats? :-)

Sara said...

Ha! This made me laugh---and think. You are SO right; that gnat between me and the screen is what distracts me from what matters. So wishing we could've all seen this exhibit together....

Linda Mitchell said...

I'm looking for inspiration for this coming Poetry Friday by going back to last week. I never made to this link.....but I'm so glad I stopped by on a Wednesday. Yes, you have a witness shouting an amen for the gnats. lol. Great reflection. Thank you.