Reborn in Starlight by Brad Burkhart

         for mom

flying above the clouds
watching sundown
more striking than any i’ve seen and
i know it’s you
making your way toward your last day 
and me 
not ready to say goodbye

brilliant sky splashed with the deepest
orange against blue and gray
how can i say what’s needed
how does one encapsulate
eight decades     and me witness 
to just six.

the mixture of sorrow and grace 
a new face given old beliefs 
searching for peace
an unknown road
a final link
from brilliance to darkness
or perhaps 
for you 
darkness to brilliance

• • • •

Published in Waymark Voices of the Valley, #14
Reborn in Starlight (sculpture) by Brad Burkhart

Public Art:
Exhibited in Pajaro Valley Arts Members Exhibit Online Gallery 2020

Many years ago, when both sculptor Brad Burkhart and i were San Diego residents, he invited several poets to participate in a collaboration where we would write a poem to be shown with a particular sculpture of his. i was honored to be among those chosen. More recently, he reached out to me, interested in seeing some newer work of mine and suggested a new collaboration. He sent me pictures of four of his newest sculptures, and one immediately spoke to me about a poem i’d written (the one above, titled sundown) upon the loss of my mother – somehow his sculpture reflected the hope in the last lines of my poem. i sent the poem to Brad and it was a go. Brad then asked me to name the sculpture, which was an added honor. This process brought two artist’s work together nearly seamlessly.

The title, Reborn in Starlight, reflects the beauty of Brad’s piece: stars tossed, raining down upon life below – human, animal, vegetation – leaves reaching up for the light of life.

From collaborator, Brad Burkhart, Escultor del corazón
This year (2020), Pajaro Valley Arts created their annual Members Exhibit as an Online Gallery, and Brad Burkhart’s work appears, in collaboration with poet Cheryl Latif, alongside 58 members’ fine art creations. Brad says, “I previously collaborated with Cheryl in the year 2000 for my Poetry Book Project featuring my sculptures alongside the work of 20 San Diego poets. For the PVA exhibit this year, Cheryl chose to contribute a poem for a recent piece that spoke to her of hopefulness after the death of her mother. I also invited her to name the piece.” (Please visit these projects by clicking the links in the above text.)