Friday, May 19, 2023

Here's the Church, Here's the Steeple poem

 Hello and Happy Poetry Friday! Be sure to visit lovely Janice at Salt City Verse for Roundup.

I'm happily away from my desk this week—taking a break from all the regular things to have some new adventures. 

This week's ArtSpeak: LIGHT poem features a steeple. 

Last week in comments I had a question from Patricia about where/how I find the art for this project. Thanks, Patricia!

When I started out the year, I did a search on for "light." That brought up a number of public domain art pieces with "light" in the title...and also "light art," which is a kind of art in which the artist actually uses electricity and lights to create a piece of art. Cool, right? 

But these search results didn't speak to my poet-heart. So I decided to let the art find me. It is quite common for artists to play with light in their compositions. I decided that the paintings needn't be about light—the paintings could be anything. The project is an exploration into my thoughts and feelings about light, and the poems are my playground. 

As soon as I made that realization and released myself from any "light" constraints, the art started finding me! For instance, for this week's poem I found the art in the daily art calendar gifted to me this past Christmas by my son Daniel. (A few other pieces I've written on so far this year have also come from the calendar.)

And this week, the location and title of the art actually heavily influenced the poem. While I have never been to Zeeland (a province in the Netherlands), I can just imagine walking these streets. Thanks so much for reading!

Walking in Zeeland

When I see a steeple
rising from a nest of eaves,
I pull my mother's hand.
May we stay, please?

For a town with a steeple,
has more light, more sky.
And the swooping swallows
glide so close, so high!

- Irene Latham


  1. Like Patricia, I am a student of your work. I hope she will stop by and see my comment...because really, I'm addressing it to her and you and me at the same time. When I feel like I 'got' artspeak poetry, I changed the way I looked at writing. I chose OLW words that were thought provoking instead of something I wanted to be...such as "patient" or "creative." I chose words that I would have to go out to find. I too use wikiart on Irene's recommendation...but I also started to let my guide word find me. It's a wonderful game of hide and seek. Some days, I think I've gotten to the end of all my ability to work with my OLW...and then it will pop out from behind something in the most interesting way and I will laugh to the point of tears--which probably makes people think I'm insane. But, that's OK! I find the words to a poem. Thanks for this beautiful poem that includes a town with a steeple and swooping swallows.

    1. Thank you, Linda. You've provided a new perspective for me with my OLW.

    2. Linda, this is wonderful to absorb. I heard a homily a few years back; the deacon's simple message: allow God to find you. I hear an echo in your comment; allow words to find you, to alight. Thank you!

  2. Irene, your process has me thinking about nature and how I find small objects, still moments, or springlike scenes to stir my imagination and let me create scenes that nurture my soul. Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts that today have influence my choices. Your poem appears to be light and airy to me-just the right word choice and rhyme for a child to dig into and perhaps create their own special moment.

  3. Thank you Irene! I live on the outskirts of a small town. As I drive over the bridge into the town, a church steeple looms in the distance. Your poem and the art reminded me of the comfort I always feel when I see that scene, and as I watch the tree swallows in my back yard.
    "And the swooping swallows
    glide so close, so high!"

  4. I can see why you were inspired by that lovely steeple. Love the voice in your charming poem!

  5. I just started sharing: "Here is the church, here is the steeple . . ." with grandson Ollie. He loves it!
    I love the art and your poem for this week.

  6. It's often like a gift to read your words, Irene, how you ponder various things, this time the vision of a town with a steeple. I love the way your poem reads, really 'lightly', a small story with adventure waiting. Have a great week ahead in your 'time off'!

  7. I'm drawn in by the last lines of both stanzas, Irene. An insistence that perhaps is not even understood by the speaker, the draw of a rising steeple and gliding swallows. Thank you for the glimpse into your process.

  8. "And the swooping swallows / glide so close, so high!" describes their movement so well!

  9. Your words and the diffuse light in this painting evoke such a feeling of calm. Lovely!

  10. What a delightful process post, Irene. And now I want to go walking in Zeeland. Poems as playground ... yes. :)


Your thoughts?