Janet Butler began painting while living in central Italy, and she worked with several local artists in various workshops and figure-drawing groups. She was asked to participate in exhibits organized by the art critic Luciano Lepri, which were held in various cities in Umbria and Tuscany. She currently lives in the Bay Area, San Francisco, California, and participates in figure drawing classes and regular exhibitions at the Frank Bette Art Center in Alameda, where she resides. She is also a published poet. Her latest chapbook, “Searching for Eden,” was recently released by Finishing Line Press.
Soft clouds foam against late afternoon blues
but massy enough to build castles on
their dark underbelly falsely solid
an archipelago that seems to pause mid-air
but inches by above me.
Brushstrokes of late sun gleam their far ridges
mountains no climber ever scaled
Mt Zions that shore the wide ocean of sky.
Surface slips from us
as paint follows line to that distant point
where impossibilities meet in a haze of color.
A swath of flat brush and grass sprouts
lush viridians softened by a wash of ochre
toned in turn by ceruleans now sky now shadow.
A middle distance anchors us, with, perhaps, a shape
become door, or windows impenetrable to all
Slender strokes, a splash of olive, and we lie against
rough bark. Blues drip and puddle and dry
cobalt shadows to cool us.
[Received an honorable mention from the Berkeley Poet’s Coalition]