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The 2024 Wine Tasting & Poetry event took place on Saturday, May 18th, where six poets wrote one or two poems inspired by one of the artworks featured in the Hope Lives: Art for ALS exhibition.

Detasseling by Amanda Moore

after “Harvest” by Scott Craig 

July in the cornfield: pay  

was good, work hard. Just 16  & up before dawn, we  

rode five in the back & four  

up front, bodies pressed  

tight, air thick  

with dew that soaked our clothes  ‘til midday sun burned  

& sometimes our shirt sleeves  steamed. Layers kept sharp leaves  from slicing bare skin  

as we moved down  

each row, leaving  

the fifth intact, its untouched tassels  effervescent. We knew  

our task if not our purpose, 

how to grab the silk & yank  

it off, a single, pleasing motion.  On the flatbed or in the mud  we worked in the tension of the natural world: 

all sex, this naked pollination. Sweat  & lemonade on our lips, sweet  fatigue by end of day, 

a languid, buggy dusk  

that carried us  

back home to sleep & do  

it all again.  

                                  By the time  

husks began to toughen  

& skies laid out a blue so deep it seemed an ocean,  

we were gone, the work  

of the combine left to those  

who lived to run it, who worried  all year about yield. Sweet corn  from the store, 12 ears  

for a dollar & served  

slathered in salty butter  

was as distant from my work  

in the field as paper shuffled  

in an office in the city  

or soft serve pulled 

in the Dairy Queen at the edge  of town. It was seed corn we detasseled, hybrids  

not for eating, bred only  

to plant again in spring, a thing as far away from us as heaven.

"Harvest," 36 x 24 x 1.5 inches, Dirty oil, ArtSet on iPad, EyeGaze on a TD Pilot printed on canvas

"Time Is Limited," 24 x 20 x 1.5 inches, oil on canvas by Ken Brenner (in collaboration with Octavio Molina) 

Time is Limited

            by Judy Halebsky

            after Ken Brenner & Octavio Molina's painting


fat shiny tubes of ochre

squeezed from the bottom into flares

of orange and dandelion


            let it be May, let it be June


I'll sink my boots into snowmelt grass

stomp in the mud through Keji trails


             let my last day be / time as a drink

             a drug, a prayer — keep singing


             let it be May


             let it be June

"The Universe," 8 x 8 x 1 inches, mixed media & gold leaf, chalkboard paint on panel by Sandra Murphy-Pak



A Poem by Dean Rader, After Sandra Murphy-Pak, The Universe


I woke

this morning thinking

about the universe

which is not the same

thing as the

universal and how

I prefer the former

even more than

Das All German

as in all which is

a lot pretty much

everything not

unlike the human

brain which I see

in the painting the

swirls and lobes and

pons what do the angels

see through the optic

chiasm and God’s

medulla oblongata

and I wonder

as I always do

what great space

what emptiness what bright

darkness is being thought

into being?

Centrifugal, Mineral by Rebekah Wolman


after The Universe, foot painting by Sandra Murphy-Pak


the moment   of beginning   is molten

momentum          flinging     the verse

in universe       begins       in spinning


heavy elements             in stellar dust

flung flying            fused           pooled

golden in earth's core      earth's heart


years of flood          years   of drought

imprinted rippling                  in whorls

of wood     decaying     under   weight


of weather's  hoofprint                 cells

replaced   by silica            crystallized

as quartz         carbon      manganese


iron   saturated paintbrush      swoops

swirls       traces circles          wanders

infinite                  beyond     beginning

Burning Love (Artist: Brandy Trigona)

A poem by Kim Shuck


Sometimes you find your

Initials in a thing you might have thought

Unaware of you

Reflected vibration

There are so few things that

Sing songs down to world connections

Stuff of creation

Staring over the edge

Into the eyes of original thought

Might find them smiling.

"Burning Love," 12 x 12 x 1 inches, bite switch drawing on iPad printed on aluminum, by Brandy Trigona

"Sail On," 12 x 18 x 1 inches, photograph printed on aluminum, by Michelle Bianco

43º37'23'' N. 70 º12'28'' W

by Rebekah Wolman               after Sail On, a photograph by Michelle Bianco


What registers: nest of rock sheltering the Keeper's

triple-chimneyed red-roofed house, outbuildings attached

and huddling against the broad base of the tall lantern-topped cone

of white-painted rubble-stone—the lighthouse anchoring the eye

against cloud-veiled sky. Ripples tickle tide-tarred rock.


Scant breeze flaps the flag trapezoidal. Weathered layers 

of rock reach beyond the photo's edge—visible sign

of invisible ledge that carpets the floor of Casco Bay

with hazards, remnants of volcanoes here before

dinosaurs, surfacing as islands you skirt sailing in.


Now, you're out there, 24 nautical miles from shore.

What registers: water, wind, wheeling gulls, swooping terns, salt spray,

creaking mast, luffing sail. A flash of light crowns the horizon, four

seconds wait and flashes again—the beam you call

Light-my-way-home tendering promise of safe passage


into the Bay. The light on Halfway Rock flashing red.
Double white flashes from Ram Island Ledge.

Foghorns every ten seconds, every fifteen, two blasts

every thirty. Closer in is Alden's Rock. You try not to think

about the steamship Bohemian's hull torn ragged


on a February night in 1864, Cape Elizabeth light in view

but distance skewed by weather and 42 lost overboard.

Finally, the sloping rocks of Portland Head where the Annie C.

Maguire ran aground in a Christmas Eve blizzard, 1866.

What registers: Keeper rescuing captain and crew.


Now, below its pulsing beam, the lighthouse takes its form again,

stolid stone cone that keeps its promise, welcomes you home.

"Atmosphere," 8 x 8 x 1 inches, foot painting, mixed media and chalkboard paint on panel, by Brandy Trigona

I Am Compelled to Create the Circle
by Sarah RosenthalI

I am compelled

            pull, sweep, avalanche

                        names and stories

the troposphere’s ash and dust

            taxing and strenuous

                        branch, roar, stream


locate sky diagrams

            silver-blue night glow

                        start mixing color


drag, swim, catapult

           through layers of burn and freeze

                       above the stratosphere


I’ve always danced

            bend, flex, wriggle

                        merge with matter

after "Atmosphere" by Sandra Murphy-Pak

of shooting stars

            I landed here

                       flicker, drift, ripple

awash in bluegreen auroras

            stretch through the thermosphere

                        on a black background​


squirm, surge, deluge

            what wants to be known

                        above the exopause


to create the circle

       slither, burn, float

                  apply the paint

Eclipse (Artist: Brandy Trigona)

A Poem by Kim Shuck


Parts of the body

Out of the light

Grow cold but know

Know that the light will come again

Ours is a connection of

Disconnection a

Slipping between a

Hide and seek an


"Eclipse," 12 x 12 x 1 inches, bite switch drawing on iPad printed on aluminum, by Brandy Trigona

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