“Julie Bambini on Valentine’s Day,” poem by Joan Dobbie; “Metamorphosis,” painting by Joyce McEwen

"Metamorphosis" painting by Joyce McEwen, copyright 2015, 2017

“Metamorphosis” painting by Joyce McEwen, copyright 2015, 2017


The strawberries were huge as fists
pink as sex, sweet
without cloying

They were variously shaped, uneven,
but perfectly delicious

though there were only five or six of them
no more

They grew on the bushes
surrounding the house
not along the ground

We called the bushes
strawberry bushes
and we knew they were precious
and rare

The house itself had several stories
with many windows, all of them
glowing like the Waltons’ at
the end of the show

Many people lived in that house
There was the constant din
of conversation

(I think the house was my brain)

And I saw myself there, in my small oblong room
(Julie Bambini, that was my name)
sitting on the edge
of a narrow white bed by the window

A dark young man was sitting
beside me; he was so very young (so was I) no more
than a teen

with sharp Etheopean features
and a voice that was pink and sweet
like the strawberries

I will protect you, he said
that is my purpose in life–
what I was born for

He was holding my hand
to his heart

I exist to make sure
that you’re safe.

—–By Joan Dobbie, copyright 2017


Bio: Joan Dobbie has been writing steadily since  1983. Her poetry has been widely published in anthologies and small press publications. Since 2014, she has co-hosted the Lane Writers Reading Series (LWRS). Currently, she is the Oregon Poetry Association (OPA) adult contest chair. She co-edited the poetry anthology, BEFORE THERE IS NOWHERE TO STAND, Palestine/Israel, Poets Respond to the Struggle (Lost Horse Press, 2012).She has published WOODSTOCK BABY, A Novel in Poetry (The Unforgettables Press, 2013), and has won various prizes through the OPA. Her chapbooks include: A Trip Through Mama Kali’s Zoological Garden (The Unforgettables Press, 1983), Mother Earth Takes to Smoking (The Unforgettables Press, 1988), Quail Go Berzerk (Mom’s Beard, 1996), Rocking My Father (The Unforgettables press, 1997). She has an M.F.A. in Creative Writing from the University of Oregon. For more info, see: http://joanspoetry.blogspot.com

Bio:  Joyce McEwen is an Artist, art teacher and retired social worker; she thinks of herself as: “a Creative.” Her  art centers on relationships, inspired by the way we relate to one another, in family, community and environment. Her art consists of paintings, printmaking and drawings. She believes art is a creative expression of one’s soul that can assist in human transformation and healing and that teaching is a natural progression of “doing” art. “We are all creative beings, we just use different methods and media.” She does portraits by commission and is available for workshops and classes on drawing and mono-printing. She has shown in and around the San Jose, CA Area: The Trition Museum of Art, The Euphrat Gallery, De Anza College, Palo Alto Art Center and the San Jose City Hall. She has taught children’s classes at DeAnza College, Mountain View School of Music and Art, and at a variety of other locations.  For more information, see: http://joycemcewencrawfordartist.com/home.html

Categories: poem by Joan Dobbie, visionary painting by Joyce McEwen

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