Archives for posts with tag: illustration

antonio oquias
AUTUMN NITE
by Jack Kerouac

Cloudy autumn nite
—cold water drips
in the sink.

Photo by Antonio Oquias,

Image
breathing bukowski
by dirk velvet

he used the smallest words
he could find
to
tell his
tales
 
he knew that
the large ones
could get
stuck
going in
 
and
 
never
come
out
 
he knew
what we all
needed
to live
 
 
to
breathe
 
in
and
out

…”breathing bukowski” by dirk velvet appears in the Silver Birch Press Bukowski Anthology, available at Amazon.com.

Portrait of Charles Bukowski by Christopher R. Adams, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED, is featured in the Silver Birch Press Bukowski Anthology.

Image
breathing bukowski
by dirk velvet

he used the smallest words
he could find
to
tell his
tales
 
he knew that
the large ones
could get
stuck
going in
 
and
 
never
come
out
 
he knew
what we all
needed
to live
 
 
to
breathe
 
in
and
out

…”breathing bukowski” by dirk velvet will appear in the Silver Birch Press Bukowski Anthology, available in August 2013

Cover art by Mark Erickson and Katy Zartl

Image

END OF APRIL

by Phillis Levin

Under a cherry tree

I found a robin’s egg,

broken, but not shattered.
 
I had been thinking of you,

and was kneeling in the grass

among fallen blossoms
 
when I saw it: a blue scrap,

a delicate toy, as light

as confetti
 
It didn’t seem real,

but nature will do such things

from time to time.
 
I looked inside:

it was glistening, hollow,

a perfect shell
 
except for the missing crown,

which made it possible

to look inside.
 
What had been there

is gone now

and lives in my heart
 
where, periodically,

it opens up its wings,

tearing me apart.

 Illustration: “Opus No. 122” by Kazue Shima

“End of April” is found in Phillis Levin’s collection The Afterimage (Copper Beech Press, 1995), available at Amazon.com.

###

When poet Phillis Levin found the robin’s eggshell under the cherry tree, she might have been interested to learn a bit more about its unique, vivid shade of blue. For this, we turned to an expert — Patterson Clark, who writes and illustrates the Urban Jungle column for the Washington Post.

Image

ROBIN EGGS: THE BLUER THE BETTER

Illustration and Text by Patterson Clark

(originally published 5/1/2012 in the Washington Post)

Not much point in looking around for a nearby nest when you find an American robin eggshell on the sidewalk.

Soon after a chick hatches, the female robin grabs the eggshell and flies off to drop it far from the nest. Leaving the baby behind for a few moments is worth the risk, since the bright white insides of the eggshell can attract predators.

But before the egg hatches, blue-green pigments on the outside surface of the egg might help with camouflage. Pigments might also strengthen the egg and help protect it from solar radiation.

A robin coats her eggs with the same turquoise-hued compound found in our bile and bruises, biliverdin, an important antioxidant. Female robins with higher concentrations of biliverdin in their tissue lay darker, more vividly colored eggs, which apparently sends a strong signal to males.

“Males seem to use egg color to gauge the quality of their mate and the eggs she lays, putting more effort into rearing babies when they are more likely to survive and prosper,” says Robert Montgomerie of Queen’s University in Canada.

With Philina English, Montgomerie determined that when eggs are more colorful, male robins will invest as much as twice the amount of energy helping feed nestlings.

SOURCES: Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology; Bird Coloration: Function and Evolution; Stanford University

Image

THE DOUBTFUL GUEST

by Edward Gorey

When they answered the bell on that wild winter night,

There was no one expected – and no one in sight.

Then they saw something standing on top of an urn,

Whose peculiar appearance gave them quite a turn.

All at once it leapt down and ran into the hall,

Where it chose to remain with its nose to the wall.

It was seemingly deaf to whatever they said,

So at last they stopped screaming, and went off to bed.

It joined them at breakfast and presently ate

All the syrup and toast, and a part of a plate.

It wrenched off the horn from the new gramophone,

And could not be persuaded to leave it alone.

It betrayed a great liking for peering up flues,

And for peeling the soles of its white canvas shoes.

At times it would tear out whole chapters from books,

Or put roomfuls of pictures askew on their hooks.

Every Sunday it brooded and lay on the floor,

Inconveniently close to the drawing-room door.

Now and then it would vanish for hours from the scene,

But, alas, be discovered inside a tureen.

It was subject to fits of bewildering wrath,

During which it would hide all the towels from the bath.

In the night through the house it would aimlessly creep,

In spite of the fact of its being asleep.

It would carry off objects of which it grew fond,

And protect them by dropping them into the pond.

It came seventeen years ago – and to this day

It has shown no intention of going away.

© Edward Gorey 1957, 1985.