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Syndic Literary Journal

Poetry & Reading by Nina Serrano

“To Anthony Holdsworth”

by Nina Serrano





“To Anthony Holdsworth”

“On June 7, 2010 my exhibition of Global Warming paintings in our nation’s first green Federal Building was abruptly canceled. A half hour before my reception, I was ordered . . . to take my work down. As I exited the building, I remember thinking, ‘If our government prefers censorship to actively dealing with ecological issues, this building will some day be standing in sea water!’” – Anthony Holdsworth, painter

Anthony paints in the open air
what happens before his eyes
if you stand too long on the corner
to cross the street
he may paint you into the scene
Like the lovers who embraced and kissed
in the park
then hand in hand walked away
Maybe they quarreled on the way home
and broke up
But in Anthony’s cityscape
they sit on wave washed rocks
joined lip to lip
Known for his handling of light
he’s seen the colors change with the ambiance of smog
and nuclear fall out blown our way
tinting the sunsets
Anthony paints what he sees as E.B. White said of Diego Rivera (1)
So when his canvas shows our cities inundated our glory drowning
The churning waters swallowing everything that gives form to urban life
I take pause
His brush depicts my nightmares
I want the embracing lovers to return with tender passions
I want the friendly Farmer’s Market from Anthony’s paintings
to cover the cement again with makeshift stalls
of colored vegetables, juicy fruits, sweet and delicious
I want to go back to the tranquil city that Anthony creates
where a man sits in peace on a fire hydrant
to contemplate the sidewalk surfaces undulating and swelling
with curves of the earthy glowing in colors lit
perhaps from within or from above
thinking there’s no need to rush
to stop the deluge to run to stick a finger in the dike
or march to say NO NUKES
as the waters warm and rise
and 3 of the Fukushima plants melt down.
Oh No! There’s no retreat
Anthony’s flooded cities landscapes
cannot be censored or submerged
Like his time layered sunflowers turning to the source
Anthony keeps on painting in the open air
what happens before his eyes.

© Nina Serrano 2011

(1) I PAINT WHAT I SEE: A Ballad of Artistic Integrity by E.B.White / First published in The New Yorker, May 20, 1933 during the controversy over Diego’s Rivera’s mural in Rockefeller Center that was destroyed the following year on February 9, 1934.

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