The Painting & Poetry Project 2021

Week 9: The Bridge

Year 2021. What does it mean to you? To Addie and I, it is full of hope and promise. It is a turning point. The beginning of the end of a pandemic. The end of a volatile presidency and a return to sensible governance. The end of quarantines, isolation, and social distancing and a return to physical human interaction. We will once again congregate, gather with those we love, see them up close, touch and feel again … not in an impersonal virtual space, but in the very real and beautiful world.


The ninth theme for the year is the bridge.

We ourselves shall be loved for awhile and forgotten. But the love will have been enough; all those impulses of love return to the love that made them. Even memory is not necessary for love. There is a land of the living and a land of the dead and the bridge is love, the only survival, the only meaning.

Thornton Wilder, from The Bridge over San Luis Rey


The Bridge


Longfellow’s Bridge

The river runs black with ink, 
as does the sky at midnight. 
Even her reflection shimmering, 
like the moon in a saucer cup, 
was written in ink.

You again cross the bridge, 
from starlight to the circus-city,
only to catch your breath mid-sentence. 
You drape your body over the stone parapet, 
like a wet rag.

You read her book again,
and thumb the brittle pages 
a short dozen footfalls from the clangorous city—
a million-headed ocean, 
that laughs to forget, 
cries at sunset,
and is then savagely struck dumb
by a white bolt of terror. 

What is your grievance?
Why raise your glass of sorrows?
Do you think she still cries for you 
in a room without doors? 

In your desperate silence
so near the manic crowd, 
plumes of nonsense billow up from the smokestacks,
and lilies laugh in the gardens. 


Brad & Addie

We want to celebrate 2021 with an outpouring of creativity and optimism!

We’ve selected 52 themes (one theme per week for the year), and each week for 2021, I will write a poem and Addie will paint a painting inspired by that theme.

This is the sort of big project that artists live for … where we can say what we yearn to say.  Big picture stuff. Heart wrenching stuff. Expect surprises, love, and a passion for life.

Check Out Addie’s Instagram Account:

Check out Addie’s art studio — Studio Alchemy:

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