This month we feature a story from award-winning playwright Evan Guilford-Blake. “My Father’s Robe” is a touching tale of family and the passage of time, and features a fantastic illustration from our staff artist Elwira Pawlikowska.
My mother leans against the doorway. She is wearing my father’s steel gray terrycloth robe. Dad was tall and the robe’s bulk envelops her tiny frame: Both sleeves are rolled up, one past her wrist, the other to her elbow. Beneath it, she has on lime green slacks, a white short-sleeve sweater with mother-of-pearl buttons and her favorite slippers, the pink ones with bunny faces that Karina and Kendra, Kieran and Krista’s twins, gave her for her seventy-ninth birthday. The robe is the same one Dad wore on their honeymoon sixty-two years ago. Amazingly, it’s still intact, although the cuffs and pockets are frayed, so is the belt, but she wears it constantly. My mother is eighty-one and my father has been dead for eleven years.
Elwira Pawlikowska, as evidenced by the great quantity of beautiful work she has produced for this magazine over the years, is an incredibly talented artist. She was kind enough to answer our questions concerning her childhood, her inspirations, and her advice for aspiring artists. Be sure to read the interview below the jump!
View on the Mississippi Fifty-Seven Miles Below Stanthony Falls, Minneapolis, by Ferdinand Richardt
Soft breezes blow and swiftly show
Through fragrant orange branches parted,
A maiden fair, with sun-flecked hair,
Caressed by arrows, golden darted.
The vine-clad tree holds forth to me
A promise sweet of purple blooms,
And chirping bird, scarce seen but heard
Sings dreamily, and sweetly croons
At Bay St. Louis.
The hammock swinging, idly singing,
Lissome nut-brown maid
Swings gaily, freely, to-and-fro;
This week we feature “Les Processus”, a fantastic animated short from Philippe Grammaticopoulos and Xavier L’Hermuzière. Stark visuals and eerie music converge to depict the plight of a man trapped in a rigidly conformist society. Be sure to check the film out below the jump!
Hill of Montmartre with Quarry by Vincent van Gogh
When all the world has grown full cold to thee,
And man—proud pygmy—shrugs all scornfully,
And bitter, blinding tears flow gushing forth,
Because of thine own sorrows and poor plight,
Then turn ye swift to nature’s page,
And read there passions, immeasurably far
Greater than thine own in all their littleness.
For nature has her sorrows and her joys,
As all the piled-up mountains and low vales
Will silently attest—and hang thy head
In dire confusion, for having dared
To moan at thine own miseries
When God and nature suffer silently.
James Hutchings is an Australian poet with a knack for humor and rhyme. As such, he has frequently found his way into the pages of this magazine, with clever satirical poems like “How The Ape Got His Frown” and “Once A Bird Going East Met A Bird Going West” being excellent examples. He was kind enough to answer a few questions about his inspirations, his work, and poetry in general. Be sure to catch our interview below the jump!