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By Margaret J. Middlebrooks

First born of the universe,
you stand on grate,
pillars of alabaster stone,
the alter, watching,
sand storms sweep across Cradle,
water rising.
Steel bones
faithful Serpent,
keeps you
from churning black,
that I fall into,
For new dawn.
You'll forget-
I will scream
to deaf ear
I will gaze
at you
who else but you, love?
who else to wear Cobra's bloody sun,
to charm frowning serpent to smile,
and bend to your will?
unite Northland with Southland,
arching back to form the bridge,
to make,
to move The Nile,
over me.
I am pulled
to black
to black
to black
(the river overflows,
like the sea)
you'll forget me,
The first of singer of your chorus,
first prayer,
first passions
first of your harem,
you'll forget-
and dream of the flood.
Ren_Adams-img_2146Mixed media monoprint, part of "The Archaeology of Being." 

“Mt. Sumeru is contained in the grain of a mustard seed.” Li Yu 

Artist's Statement: 

Printmaking is a philosophical art. 

The printmaker produces work by capturing the fleeting, almost intangible impression of the original, holding it delicately in space as an imprinted memory. Every print is, as artist William Kentridge dubbed, a “trace” of the original matrix; a clue left behind like a bit of archaeological detritus. Layers of printed images, therefore, become a fractured historical record of the concept of image itself, revealing the process and mystery of image-making the way pottery shards combine to unveil the vase. 

Ren Adams combines printmaking and Chinese brush painting (another philosophical art) in formal exploration. With an insatiable desire to explore and document the interconnectedness of all things, Ren allows the viewer to actively peel away layers of visual evidence, discovering what it means for being to emerge from non-being. 

As a Taoist, her work is both a form of moving meditation and an articulation of the Tao itself, investigating concepts of balance, harmony, and enlightenment, while celebrating the ordinary as extraordinary. Through “li,” or vigorous strength, lines are expressive and loose (paired with the tight and contemplative), conveying a se4nse of timelessness that unites philosophy, science, history and mysticism. Each piece captures the present moment and offers a virtual archaeological dig of being.

Dronagiri Mountain by Ren Adams

Previously Featured Fiction

The Bus Stop Dreaming by Anna Eggemeyer

Orpheus by Scotty Weeks

Faux Dieu by Louis E. Bourgeois

Medusa: An Autobiography by Carroll Susco

A Town You Grew Up In by Rich Ives

The Coming Day by Alyssa Hollingsworth

Previously Featured Art

“church” by Eleanor Leonne Bennett

church by Eleanor Leonne Bennett

"fire from steam" by Eleanor Leonne Bennett

fire from steam by Eleanor Leonne Bennett