ISSN 1551-8086
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  May 2004
volume 2 number 2
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  home   (archived)
  featured poets
  Jeni Bate
  Dave Nordling
  Laura Nye
  Jack Allen Shafer
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Jeni Bate May 2004



    I paint the skies with peace and passion, because that's the way they paint me.
    "My medium is sky; I work in many different mediums to depict it: watercolor, acrylic, murals, oil, refractured watercolor/watercolor collage and mixtures of the above. Each offers different possibilities and have different strengths and restrictions. I also love working on different surfaces such as wood, metal or fiberglass.
    Ancient Romans regarded the hour before dawn and after sunset as holy hours separate from the rest of the day; we still connect with that feeling. Most people will enjoy a beautiful sunset, and those that rise early enough, a beautiful dawn. The sky is under-realized as the most important part of our world. We live on earth, but we live in sky. It is the only one of the four elements that has its own segment in every news report.
    The refractured watercolor medium is all transparent watercolor on watercolor paper. I paint each sky or water reflection sometimes up to five times, depending on the size I am working to. Each variant is in slightly different colors and because it is wet in wet it is always a little different each time. Then I cut them and collage back together. Some are framed under glass, but I mount some on panel and protect with layers of clear acrylic coating, so it doesn't need to be framed. For thin panels I will finish the edges in wraparound style with acrylic paint; for deeper panels I wrap the collage around the edges. This treatment not only moves the work into a mixed media format, but also allows the viewer to appreciate the texture.
    I intend and expect that my work will continue to grow by building on this method and incorporating other facets of my creativity into the work.
    My work is also viewable on my website,, or I can be contacted at"
Jeni Bate



The Love Yard

Here on the hill

Nowhere near a church

A tiny field with a tidy hedge,

Mown fine like a lawn

A graveyard.

Two rows

Bodies huddled together neatly

No more than four inches between.

The back row dated 50s, 60s,

Moss covered and hard to read;

The front row 70s through 90s,

Sharpened edges, clean writing

In Welsh and English:

Thomases, Morgans, Williamses,

Bevans and Bowens.

Ieuans, Glyndwrs, Bronwens, Margeds.

Beloved, In Loving Memory

Never forgotten.

People laid under these stones

Were not dead,

They were loved.

They were not planted here in these holes

Because they were as cold

As the stones over them

But because they were mourned,

They were missed,

They had left holes

In peoples lives

That no one could fill with warmth.

This is not a graveyard

This is a loveyard.

Here lies love.

Not just a body but

All the love we shared

With him or her

Put into the ground after them

Because love, unlike life

Doesnt just end there.

We put our love in with them

And stones that will last as long

As we know how to mark time

So we know,

Where they have gone

With our love

So we can follow after.

copyright 2004 Jeni Bate



Shakespearean Sonnett for Car Alarms

Do you notice car alarms any more? They have become background noise, partly because they go off at the littlest thing. A cat walks by and the alarm goes off. So we ignore them. So I thought, what can we do to car alarms to make people pay attention. Perhaps they should read poetry.

There's something that I really need to say!

A thief is trying to take this car away!

He'll break a window, rip ignition wires,

I know he'll try to make me squeal my tires.

He'll rev my engine, drive me very hard

Round corners, and through somebody's front yard.

I fear we'll drive the wrong way up the street,

Hit people who aren't hasty on their feet

And cops will come with red blue flashing lights

And corner me with sturdy black and whites

Who'll pit me so I slam into a wall

And then I won't feel very well at all!

And I can't see this thief! I have gone blind!

Oh - it's a gust of wind - oh = never mind-

copyright 2004 Jeni Bate



Ignition Point

I am the once-fertile prairie

dessicated beyond remembering rain

seeds scattered in hot desert winds

without knowing how

to be washed to earth

I am left waving dry stalks,

an ocean of brittle frailty

in an arid sea of air

flagellating the heat

under an empty blue heart.

You could light me with your smile, if you wanted

I am tinder, kindling laid ready,

waiting for that spark

dry these three winters

no hint of moisture

from clouds that passed by

looked pretty in the sunset

and sailed on,

ships leaving the night barren

and my waves, shining and dusty.

We are destiny in flame

waiting for a moment to ignite

all you have to do is

touch these flints together

your passion scorching these combustible lips

Sear me! Devour me!

Kiss me into inferno

Mormon rain

then drown me, wet me, feed me

let me grow again.

copyright 2004 Jeni Bate