Posts Tagged ‘photo’

Photos & Photo Poems Now Available on Fine Art America

June 24, 2019

 

I have been focusing recently on making my artwork and poem art available on Fine Art America. These are my first four images.

 

Still Life Of A Necklace Made From Wood Squares, Glass Pearls And A Shell Feather. Necklace and photo by Mike Smetzer.

Still Life Of A Necklace Made From Wood Squares, Glass Pearls And A Shell Feather.

 

Still Life of a Necklace” is a photograph of a necklace I made for Vera several years ago. It is presented here as a still life. The central feature is a white feather made of shell. The secondary features are the square wooden beads, which are spaced with pink and burgundy glass pearls. The background is black pastel paper.

 

Poem Spirit Door Over Lapis Spiral In Bed Of Tourmaline. Poetry, Photo and Mosaic by Mike Smetzer.

Poem “Spirit Door” Over Lapis Spiral In Bed Of Tourmaline.

 

“Spirit Door” explores the feelings I had about the back door of our cottage in Missouri. The poem was first published on this blog.

“Lapis Spiral in Bed of Tourmaline” is a still-life photograph of a bead mosaic. It was created as a strung spiral of lapis lazuli beads. Around the lapis are tourmaline pebbles bunched loosely against the spiral. All the stones are natural. The lapis beads have been organized with the highest lapis content toward the center. The outer beads have other minerals such as quartz and iron pyrite and are intended as a transition to the mixed colors of the tourmaline pebbles.

 

Lapis Spiral in a Bed of Tourmaline Pebbles. Photo and mosaic by Mike Smetzer.

Lapis Spiral in a Bed of Tourmaline Pebbles.

 

 

Poem Sunday Morning, January 1, Over Marble And Serpentine Mosaic Of Cross. Poetry, photo, and mosaic by Mike Smetzer.

Poem Sunday Morning, January 1, Over Marble And Serpentine Mosaic Of Cross

 

“Sunday Morning, January 1” is a simple poem set in a kitchen where the speaker is looking out the window while having breakfast and listening to hymns on the radio. It was first published in Mostly Maine.

The visual background is a wall-like mosaic of green/black serpentine rectangles surrounding a cross of brown marble rectangles that have lines like wood. All stones are natural.

Greatness Passed Us By

October 26, 2018

 

We chased the literary world in our youth,
confident, a pack of beagles, legs pumping,
tails whipping, heads low and sniffing,
or muzzles up and howling in the wind.

We chased, but greatness passed us by,
aloof, impenetrable as an Abrams tank.
We bayed and nipped at its grinding tracks,
then fell back, silenced in its wake.

The cadre of Accepted Writers moved on.
Most of my peers left the pack long ago
for a dog’s life and a home, or departed
to sleep in the warmth of God’s hearth.

But this old hound is chasing still,
limping along behind the eager pups,
watching for an open hatch, for that
moment when I might yet jump in.

 

Copyright © 2018 by Michael B. Smetzer

 

Stream through an Autumn Woods. Photo by Vera Lisa Smetzer.

Stream through an Autumn Woods. Photo by Vera Lisa Smetzer.

The Great Art Exhibition

October 19, 2018

 

Many years ago, a young man with a love of painting
traveled to The Great Art Exhibition held annually
in the largest city of a country much like our own.

The show was filled by painting in a Classical style.
He loved the proportions and eloquence of the work
and stayed in the city visiting the show until it closed.

On returning home, the artist set up an easel in his room.
For twenty years he worked to perfect his vision.
His paintings were wonderful. The works of his heart.

When he was ready, he took his paintings to the jury
that decided what to allow into each year’s exhibition.
But all the paintings he saw around him were Romantic.

The judges reviewed his work. “Classical painting!
We don’t want Classical art. Take this crap away!”
The painter went home weeping. “My paintings failed.”

After a few days, he decided to try Romantic painting.
“If I show the judges I can paint the art they want,
they might let my paintings into the Great Exhibition.”

He took twenty years to perfect his Romantic style.
“These paintings,” he thought, “are not works of my heart,
but they are bold and dramatic. And they are beautiful.”

He went to the jury with new paintings and new hopes.
When he got there he found the old judges were gone.
The paintings he saw around him were all Realistic.

The new judges reviewed his work. “Romantic painting!
We don’t want Romantic art. Take this crap away!”
And so he went home again, weeping. “I have failed.”

Now an old man, the artist gave away his paintings
to farmers and villagers to hang in their cottages.
He gave away his paints and brushes, and his easel.

For another twenty years the painter lived on in grief.
Then, after he died, an art dealer discovered his work.
The dealer bought all of his Classical paintings

and took them to the jury for The Great Art Exhibition.
The new judges wanted Neoclassical art. “Wonderful!”
they said. “Here is the grandfather of our movement!”

So they hung the dead artist’s work at the front
of Exhibition Hall. “Such promise this painter had.”
They all sighed. “A pity he never painted more!”

 

Copyright © 2018 by Michael B. Smetzer

 

Beauty in the Field. Photo by Vera Lisa Smetzer.

Beauty in the Field. Photo by Vera Lisa Smetzer.

The Judgment Comes

October 12, 2018

 

I see an airy spinner smiling down
from high windows in the clouds,
hand spinning from bags of wool.

Patiently she spins her cops of yarn,
each cop the life of a soul below.
Her weighted spindles whirl the sky.

She spins out homespun strands
from unwashed and poorly carded wool.
Sometimes fat, sometimes thin.

Thin sometimes to a single hair.
Full spindles she plays out from her sill,
airy worms squirming into the wind.

Strands dangle and dance, fray and knot,
tangle together with wind-borne leaves,
fouled in life’s chaos of indirection.

Beginnings too frayed to thread.
Strands too loose, too frail to work,
too knotted ever to set free again.

At times, she stops, studies her work
and suddenly snips a strand from its hook.
She smiles as the wind bears it away.

For us below, the judgment comes
without warning, without trial,
as when a child, alone in a far field,

poking for hours in the grass,
looks up to black clouds
and lightning in his hair.

 

Copyright © 2018 by Michael B. Smetzer

 

Field before Mountain. Photo by Vera Lisa Smetzer.

Field before Mountain. Photo by Vera Lisa Smetzer.

I’m Not Sleeping in the Snow 

October 1, 2018

 

It’s time to blow out the nose
and breathe about the yard
It’s October and the air draws in cold 

My fingers untangle my hair
Two hairy arms roll sleep from my eyes
It’s time to rise up from the weeds

Squirrels have poked walnuts up my ass
Wasps crawled under me for the winter
Sow bugs are settled in my ears

It is time for a cold bath
My beard is as ragged as the trees


First published in
Cottonwood Review.

 

Winter Trees with Birds. Photo by Vera Lisa Smetzer.

Winter Trees with Birds. Photo by Vera Lisa Smetzer.

Vintage Photos of America by Bernie Smetzer

September 24, 2018

My dad was not a professional photographer or artist. But he did love to take photos. Here are a few of them.

 

Mom & my older sister Rose in 1943. Photo probably by Bernie Smetzer

Mom & my older sister Rose in 1943.

Mom and my older sister Rose, summer 1943. Photo probably by Bernie Smetzer

Mom and Rose, summer 1943

 

Granddad Smetzer and Rose in 1943. Photo probably by Bernie Smetzer

Granddad Smetzer and Rose in 1943.

My sister Rose and Shep. 1940's. Photo probably by Bernie Smetzer.

Rose and Shep. 1940’s.

My sister Rose on a horse. Late 1940's. Photo by Bernie Smetzer.

Rose on a horse. Late 1940’s.

Rock City. Mid 1950's. Photo by Bernie Smetzer.

Rock City. Mid 1950’s.

Bryce Canyon in 1950's. Photo by Bernie Smetzer.

Bryce Canyon in 1950’s.

Arizona desert, about 1960. Photo by Bernie Smetzer.

Arizona desert, about 1960.

Smokey Mountains, mid 1950's. Photo by Bernie Smetzer.

Smokey Mountains, mid 1950’s.

Photo by Bernie Smetzer.

Somewhere out west.

Bryce Canyon. 1959. Photo by Bernie Smetzer.

Bryce Canyon. 1959.

Bryce Canyon. 1959. Photo by Bernie Smetzer.

Bryce Canyon. 1959.

Petrified Forest. About 1960. Photo by Bernie Smetzer.

Petrified Forest. About 1960.

About 1960. Photo by Bernie Smetzer.

Somewhere out west. About 1960.

Grand Canyon. About 1960. Photo by Bernie Smetzer.

Grand Canyon. About 1960.

Grand Canyon. About 1960. Photo by Bernie Smetzer.

Grand Canyon. About 1960.

Grand Canyon. About 1960. Photo by Bernie Smetzer.

Grand Canyon. About 1960.

About 1967. Photo by Bernie Smetzer.

Somewhere out west. About 1967.

Arizona. Photo by Bernie Smetzer.

Arizona.

Somewhere out west. About 1960. Photo by Bernie Smetzer.

Somewhere out west. About 1960.

Somewhere out west. About 1960. Photo by Bernie Smetzer.

Somewhere out west. About 1960.

Girl in the Air, Barrow, Alaska. Photo by Bernie Smetzer.

Girl in the Air, Barrow, Alaska.

Alaska. Photo by Bernie Smetzer.

Alaska.

Bernie Smetzer with his favorite camera in 1959. Photo by Viola Smetzer.

Dad with his favorite camera in 1959.

I Dream My Mother Enrolls in Freshman Lit.

September 14, 2018

 

“Why,” I ask, “did Cather superimpose
a plow on the face of the sun?” 

But the sullen guy I call on won’t talk
and you   Mother   you sit next to him
in the front row
smiling

“No doubt she had her reasons” you reply 

“Could the plow symbolize
domestication of the prairie?
Could the sun represent life?”

“Oh, I doubt that, Dear
Now take your words outside”

 

(first published in Taurus)

 

The Teacher and His Mom. Photo by Bernie Smetzer.

The Teacher and His Mom. Photo by Bernie Smetzer.

He Ain’t Barking at the Clouds

September 7, 2018

 

Squirrel’s not happy   He’s
flipping his tail
up and down   He wants to
punch someone out
Look out!   Squirrel’s gone
squirrelly   He’s mad I
tell you   Stay clear!

Keep out of squirrel’s
mulberry tree   Keep away
from his lady   Shit!
This ain’t no time to
go out on a limb

 

First published in Graduate Newspaper, Univ. of Kansas.

 

Checking Out the Noisy Neighbor. Photo by Vera Lisa Smetzer.

Checking Out the Noisy Neighbor. Photo by Vera Lisa Smetzer.

Among the Not Included (for anyone who has published an anthology)

August 27, 2018

 

Among the not included
is an angry poet from Somewhere, Kansas
He is stomping on the fields
and bellowing in the clouds
The crackling volts from his eyes
have filled the sky with imminent lightning
Eternal darkness is his shadow
and H-bombs explode in his swinging fists
Sound the alarm from the silos of Kansas!
He is striding out over the hills
It is time publishers and editors left town
for printers to close up their shops
and go to lettering tombstones
The very Thunderhead Poet of the Prairie
is moving in from the west
Editorial advisors had best not be found

 

First published in Graduate Newspaper, Univ. of Kansas.

 

Granddad Smetzer & Frank Aust - The Hog Pays for Its Feed. Family photo.

When the editor’s work is done, the critics’ work begins. (Smetzer family photo. Frank Aust & Granddad.)

A Man Who Told the Truth

August 13, 2018


A man who told the truth
wouldn’t say much
He’d sit all day and watch his life
Sometimes he’d pick up a stick
and break it
Maybe he would sit on a log
and watch the oaks
or on a park bench in some quiet town
He might walk around some city
stepping over cracks 

It wouldn’t really matter
If he were to tell the truth
what could he say?
That spring leaves are green
and winter leaves are brown?
That children run in circles
while old men walk straight lines?
That cities are full of cracks?

 

First published in Wind.

 

Dad at the South Rim, 1950's. Sometimes the most important thing about a scenic wonder like the Grand Canyon is just a little bit of shade. Photo by Viola Smetzer.

Dad at the South Rim, 1950’s. Sometimes the most important thing about a scenic wonder like the Grand Canyon is just a little bit of shade.