Saturday, August 24, 2013

BEAUTY: Painting--Jeanie Tomanek

Self-taught artist Jeanie Tomanek creates scenes that evoke myths and archetypes of the power of the feminine. They are lonely scenes but somehow there is a sense of empowerment in the loneliness...

Top to bottom: Demeter's Search; Foster; Portal; The Return; The Seal Wife

The last painting, The Seal Wife, reminds me of my original poem "The Fish Bride."

The Fish Bride

The boy from
the first marriage
watches his father
remarry in the
empty, silent church.
This second wife
is like a woman
in many ways but is also
something from the ocean,
a fish.
The fish bride
takes her husband
into her green depths
for life.
He hangs her
around his neck.
They seal it with a kiss.

No one waltzes in the
empty reception hall.
The boy sits looking around,
scissoring his legs while
finishing his piece of cake.
With nothing left to do,
he gets to learn more
about his new step-mother.
Her father is God.

Without shoes or cans,
the fish bride and groom drive
to their empty, new house.
Upstairs, in the bedroom,
the other ceremony begins.
But the fish bride makes
a discovery and feels
hurt and tricked:
he has had sex
with other women
before their marriage
while she didn’t and
He takes her to the window,
shows her outside,
explains how things are different
on land.
Earth is fertile,
is worked,
lies fallow.
Some things must be done
a certain way.
She seems to understand
and, as if in a dream,
all the charges are dropped.
Flowers and vines
grow bigger by the minute,
climb the trellis and
tumble through the windows,
filling the house.
Through the bedroom windows,
orange trumpet blossoms
snake and advance to
caress and consume
the kissing bride and groom.

©JEF 1995

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