Pauline Siple and Dale Leffler

June 18, 2008

Pauline Siple
Setting Sail
Acrylic on canvas
Inspiration Piece provided to Dale Leffler

Setting sail
by Dale Leffler

“The ship of self-consciousness, when utterly wrecked,
becomes like a sun in a bright blue sky.” Rumi

The harbor waves slap their syncopated beat against the bow
I recline into the cuddling of this vessels’ rocking motion

In breathe to the left, out breath to the right
In breathe to the left, out breath to the right
In breathe to the left, out breath to the right

My eyelids gaze into the sky, blue, bluer, bluest of white
Not long they too succumb to their resting place

Lightness refracted at sharp angles, prisms of color bounce from peak to peak
if I follow any one line it become another, then another and another still

somehow I wind up inside, here too; right angled colors shape my world
tri-masted sails strain against the wind and I tack my in-direct course

calmness butts up against frustration, energy stand next to fatigue
passion argues with apathy while desire wrestles with economy

all this to reach some center, some “no place” of surrender
Where, what is, is. Where, what I fear, is not, yet and
Where what will be is up to me.


Pauline Siple
Acrylic on paper
Painted using Dale Leffler’s poem (below) as inspiration

What do I bring to this picture
by Dale Leffler

My nemesis,
the blank page stares at me with not-so-quiet disdain.
It dares me to make my mark, my pain stain in plane sight
I start to type, stop… back away in fright
not seeing the results before I begin

I sense a rhythm, a beat, an urge to compete
it creeps somewhere from behind
I acknowledge its subtleness by continuing
to write, to type, to pour clean water onto this page

My words float with the flow of the outgoing tide
reduced friction allows my uncensored words to slide
from the center of my body bypassing my brain
easing is my doubt, my fear, once again.

Then the once opened door creeks as it swings
in the lazy summer breeze
to its resting place against the jam
and daylight streams across the floor from the space by the door sill.
There, I begin to tease the shadow of a man.

What do I bring to this empty canvas?
What color reveals my soul?
What brushstroke will tell the truth
of my unwritten story?

It is an angry red that runs deep and wide
from inside my cranial cave
or criminal cabernet may just indict me
incite me to riot and rage?

Or could it the blackened blue of the midsummer’s midnight
that depicts the many mysteries of Maya?
Arrested slumber abates the autumn orange yellow gold of dreams
that swaddles me into daily sunlight.

Order and chaos cross lines like fallen green forests posts
random acts of nature, random thoughts of love
follow the roadsides’ white lines to the distant horizon.
Life as a journey, as a moving picture show
Do I paint my life with my material acquisitions?

What of work and words and wonder of rhymes?
Of family and grandkids, friend so supportive
five little ones and the counting the days ‘till reunions and hugs,
with deep appreciation, what hue would brings that to the end times?

It that all there is to be said
take a step back, relax,
look once more
Revise my eyes,
empty the “should” can and breath.
If not, dig deep, if yes, let it go and know
I have finished and closed this door.


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