Sunday, October 2, 2016

This piece was a result of a walk last Sunday morning. I was thinking of doing plein air painting, but I realized the light would be wrong by the time I got to this memorable spot on the path. So I took it all in and walked home, set up, and painting from memory. Fortunately the scene was simple enough that it worked.

Saturday, August 27, 2016

I know it's summer, but that puts me in the mood for a winter poem I wrote some years back.

by James Prothero

Snow falls in lines of silence
Robbing the air of sound
Padding on the earth around
The crunch of cold steps

The faces passing all have
The faraway look of contemplation
In their sudden meditation
The expressionless faces of yesterday are now grave

I study them in passing
There's the tragic man
Ice-beard chagrined
And snow clouded eyebrows massing

The woman of before who always turns away
Her eyes clear and deep/ The blood on her cold cheek
She looks into my eyes this day

As people turn and flee to their homes from the silence
Their souls venture onto their faces
Then leave, leaving the traces
Of the heart's hidden presence.

Friday, August 19, 2016

A poem this time, to my wife . . .

Poem to My Wife on Our 28th Anniversary

by James Prothero

The years, so golden, fragile, and bright
Like faded photos
And memory’s uneven grasp,
Have changed you and I .
We are not now the young lovers
Holding hands at the front of the church;
You’re in white—me in a tie,
Amazed at the bright trail ahead of us.

We have grown, wiser, happier,
Sadder, more brittle,
Yet more in love with our life together,
That goes by now like a replay of a parade.
We’ve watched our child
From first step to college.
We’ve walked trails
Both desert and woodland,
Dry, barren and lush green.

And now the trail turns toward home.
Many loops still lie ahead,
But we know that the return to the trailhead
Is not far.

Still, though changed from what we were,
Again take my hand,
Before the altar of a trail through wind-whispering woods,
And hike with me
To that bright meadow at the trail’s end.

Sunday, August 14, 2016

A poem this time . . .

In Memoriam: Robert Lawrence Frederick 1952-2014
by James Prothero

Of all the times, soul free, we roamed along
the desert highways, alpine forests, roads
that wander like a restless thought allowed
in sleep, the one that I recall the most
was when we rambled north in Tarkus to see
a billion stars. We parked along 180,
remote as Mars, and watched the heavens wheel
in silent flight. Southeast of us the Peaks
loomed black against the star-splashed sky like lace
on sable.

Mornings dawned like hope across
the forest standing silent audience round
the town and campus. There I grew to be
the man I am. To me you were my guide
my elder brother. Journeys beckoned us:
to Colorado, Arizona, north
to Utah, reservation, mountain trails,
and through the wilder wilderness of class:
of Hemingway and Faulkner, sonnet and
self-centered free-verse, Dickens, Poe, Thoreau;

And then you left—we drove in Tarkus all
the way to far Detroit, from whence you didn’t
return for two years. Brothers distant but
in space and time yet not in heart. I lured
you back in 79 to mountain home—
and then I left—fool! to start the years
apart. Brothers distant but in space
and time yet not in heart. Your love took you
to Florida and mine to California;
our wives and children, jobs and dreams--but yours,
oh, yours was shattered--felt three-thousand miles
across the land—brothers distant but
in space and time yet not in heart.

the years I flew to Florida and you
to California, roaming, playing bass,
guitar and flute. We cut an album, took
a journey round our Arizona home in dead
of winter—that our last, perhaps best trip
through our old home.

And then you called, so far
across the wires, from Colorado: “cancer”
you said, I gasped--“perhaps a year or so.”
We brothers distant but in space and time,
Yet not in heart. Last month I read the words
of eulogy above the box that held your ash
remains. That box we’ll take, your son and I
into the meadows of the Peaks and set you free
into the breeze above the aspen forest
that you loved. And I will see you again
across the Wood Between the Worlds,
we brothers distant but in space and time,
--yet not in heart.

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

I've decided to re-task this blog. It will share paintings, poetry, music and occasional bits of fiction.