Sunday, August 28, 2011

Plein Air, etc.

(On a side note, I have another post up at Write Anything.)

Plein Air, 2011: five poems in two days, written at various sites in the Columbia Gorge. Grueling.

Actually, the idea is that you visit five sites in five days. This is for the benefit of the painters, who presumably need more time. But 1) I can't really take three days off from work this time of year and 2) all that driving is expensive and no good for the environment. So I don't try to keep to the schedule. This year, one of the sites was on a property owned by Friends of the Columbia Gorge, a local conservancy group, and we weren't supposed to go there unaccompanied, so I had to hit that one at the scheduled time.

It worked out very nicely. Todd, Calico and I left home yesterday morning around 7:30 and got to Mosier around 9. From there we went to the White House, a farm, vineyard and orchard just above Hood River on Highway 35. After that, downtown Hood River; the focus this year was at the marina, but we ended up in a city park just below the library. Then we spent the rest of the afternoon and night with friends in Hood River.

This morning we headed across Hood River Bridge to Gorge Crest Vineyard, a winery in the hills above Underwood off Highway 14. From there, down to Pebble Beach at Stevenson. Then across Bridge of the Gods and home. Tired, but much refreshed by the magnificent scenery of the gorge and the company of friends we don't see often enough! (You can see the list of sites and all here.)

Notes: Fire danger is extreme east of the mountains right now. It was exactly two years ago that the Microwave Fire broke out just west of Mosier, while I was participating in my first Plein Air. (That spawned the poem that eventually got published in Windfall.) Mosier's fire chief showed up at the Friends of the Gorge site and was-- quite rightly-- unhappy to find cars parked in long grass. Seems there wasn't good communication somewhere between the fire department, Friends of the Gorge, and the Plein Air organizers; no information was passed to the group about fire safety.

The White House has hosted the official first day of Plein Air several years now. The poem I wrote there yesterday is very different from the one I wrote two years ago, "Wine Air." I'm at a bit of loss to account for it, as the place is very much the same, the weather was similar, etc. I must be different somehow.

Gorge Crest is a relatively new vineyard, with a breathtaking view of Mt. Hood, but you can't quite see the river from there. For the rest, I'll let the poem speak.

Oh, yeah. The deal is, you write 5 poems and send them 2, they pick 1 for the online anthology. I'll make my selections tomorrow evening and post the three I'm not submitting then; after I find out which one's being published, I'll post #4. When the anthology appears, I'll post a link to the last poem.

Sunday Sept 4th, starting at 7 PM, I and others will be reading Plein Air-produced pieces at the Columbia Center for the Arts. And I'll get to view all the art pieces then!

Collection available! Knocking from Inside

1 comment:

Crafty Green Poet said...

sounds like quite a challenge!

I read and enjoyed your article on Write Anything, I too often wonder about the future of poetry...

One very specific point, on your blog, if you want to post a poem with non-regular layout, you can use white dashes to make space (so type in a few dashes then go to Font colour and choose white). I don't know if this would work on online submissions forms or on all email systems but it works on Blogger (as far as anything works on Blogger these days)