Wednesday, October 15, 2008


The following poem, Canvas, was inspired by "Astrid" and written by Joe Down.

He called a couple of days ago and said that he had written a poem about the painting, and was going to perform it Tuesday night, and that he'd like for the painting to be on stage as he read, and would we please attend? I, of course, was thrilled to oblige. So, last night, Reese and I went to Taft Street Coffee House's open mike poetry night. Having only ever been exposed to Hollywood's version of poetry readings, it did not disappoint. The evening covered a wide variety of thought, naturally as diverse as the little collection of people in attendance. There was feminine anger, ghetto rap, general angst, lightheartedness, and even a few guitar songs. But by far, the poem that grabbed our hearts was "Canvas," for Reese was as moved as I. During Joe's reading, there were several times when the audience snapped their fingers in quiet applause.

Joe is in the top photo as he's finishing. The guitarist partially hidden behind Joe (in the photo) is Rich Lewis. He played some background chord progressions as Joe passionately read the poem. Rich also performed two of his songs in a clarion voice and is performing solo in the bottom photo.


washed in soft light
patient you are
quaintly plain and still
beautiful brown hair
filled with golden light
a daughter of wisdom
yet to be known
beautiful and growing,
you are,
your face alive on the canvas
gentle, quiet and noble
you are
wise for your age
and patient
you are,
there on the wall in peace
alive on the canvas
bathed in beautiful light,
brown hair above shoulders bare
bathed in beautiful light,
a summer dress clings to your frame
holding you in still embrace
holding you safe,
bathed in beautiful light.

even in the wake of disaster
Jesus clings to you
a garment of peace
he will even cling to your neck
and around your shoulders
he is always clinging
bathing you in love
even when life is forlorn
he is there,
yes, he is still there

beautiful young woman
your eyes catch mine
on this cool Sunday morning
and I do not even need
to turn my head
to see your eyes
reaching, alive
longing to be held yet held
longing to be near yet near
your eyes are strong
strong enough
to hold back tears,
waiting they are
glancing forward into years
reflecting dreams of some other day
beautiful young woman
you are not alone
breathing from the canvas
lighting this room with joy
sowing seeds of hope
into these quaint walls
and this polished stone,
hope for a day yet to be known

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