A poem from 1988 of W.S. Merwin, born 1927 , American.
with the night falling we are saying thank you
Dusk arriving in a house and garden in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
we are stopping on the bridges to bow from the railings
The Brooklyn Bridge (Variation on an Old Theme), 1939, oil on canvas. Joseph Stella, 1877-1946, American. Whitney Museum of (North) American Art, NY
we are running out of the glass rooms
Windows in the contemporary galleries at MOMA, NY taken through a prism, 2016
with our mouths full of food
Glass case with pies, 1962, burlap soaked in plaster, painted with enamel, with pie tins, in glass and metal case. Claes Oldenburg, born 1929, American. National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC
to look at the sky
A scene from a 5-channel video installation, The Refusal of Time, by William Kentridge, at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2012. William Kentridge, born 1955, South African.
Its subjects were time and space, and the legacy of colonialism and the industrial revolution.
and say thank you
we are standing by the water thanking it
At the Beach, oil on canvas, c. 1914-1916. William Glackens, 1870-1938, American. Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Art, Philadelphia
standing by the windows looking out
Girl at a Window, 1957, oil on canvas. Balthus (Balthazar Klossowski), 1908-2001, French. Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY
in our directions
Wind From the Sea, tempera on hardboard, 1947. Andrew Wyeth, 1917-2009. National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC
back from a series of hospitals back from a mugging
Die. American People Series #20, oil on canvas, 1967. Faith Ringgold, born 1930, American. MOMA, NY
after funerals we are saying thank you
Woman carrying A Coffin; c.1936 oil and Duco on panel. Luis Arenal Bastar, 1909-1985, Mexican. On exhibit at Philadelphia Museum’s exhibition: Paint the Revolution: Mexican Modernism, 1910-1950. 2016.
after the news of the dead
whether or not we knew them we are saying thank you
Death of a Child, 1919, woodcut. Ernst Barlach, 1870-1938, Germany. Metropolitan Museum, New York
over telephones we are saying thank you
A Western Electric (American) telephone, c.1960
in doorways and in the backs of cars and in elevators
Doorways, Rajasthan, India, 2010
Horizontal escalator between the West and East Wings of the National Gallery, Washington, DC 2016
remembering wars and the police at the door
Aquiles Serdan and his family firing the shot that initiated the Mexican Revolution in 1910. He was a shoemaker and had been imprisoned for revolutionary activity against the government of President Diaz. He died in this fight. Linocut. Fernando Castro Pacheco, 1918-2013, Mexican. Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY
and the beatings on stairs we are saying thank you
Police Beating (Untitled), 1943; ink, graphite, watercolor on paper. Norman Lewis, 1909-1979, American. On exhibit at the Pennsylvania Academy of Art, Philadelphia in 2015
in the banks we are saying thank you
In a metro station in lower Manhattan, New York, 2016. I don’t know who the artist and artisans are.
in the faces of the officials and the rich
Portrait of Eugene Coppens de Fontenay, 1867, oil on canvas; James-Jacques-Joseph Tissot, 1836-1902, French. Philadelphia Art Museum
and of all who will never change
Wayne Gonzales, screen print, 2008: So Long Suckers, screenprint, 2008. Wayne Gonzales, born 1957, American. Whitney Museum of (north) American Art in 2015.
we go on saying thank you thank you
with the animals dying around us
Blue Ombre, mixed media sculpture, 2016. Tasha Lewis, American. On exhibit at the Philadelphia Art Alliance, 2016
taking our feelings we are saying thank you
Culled lamb, 2016, plastic, painted wood, porcelain. Linda Cordell, American. On exhibit at the Philadelphia Art Alliance, 2016
with the forests falling
The Pine Barrens, New Jersey, August 2015
faster than the minutes
New Year card mailed in 1917 in central New York state
of our lives we are saying thank you
with the words going out like cells of a brain
Untitled (Rome), oil paint, wax crayon and graphite, 1962. Cy Twombly, 1928-2011, American. Lent by Ealan and Melinda Wingate to the Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2016.
A man whose ‘art’ empties our minds of words and our museums of art. The Emperor Augustus will be spinning in his grave with this. SPQR would have his head off for this. But they are no more and it is anything goes.
with the cities growing over us
The City Rises, 1910, oil on canvas. Umberto Boccione, 1882-1916, Italian. Guggenheim, New York
we are saying thank you faster and faster
with nobody listening we are saying thank you
Mizaru, covering his eyes, who sees no evil; Kikazaru, covering his ears, who hears no evil; and Iwazaru, covering his mouth, who speaks no evil. Mahatma Ghandi’s Sabarmati ashram, Ahmedabad, Gujerat.
thank you we are saying
President Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton campaigning in the presidential election, autumn 2016
dark though it is
The lights of Portland, Oregon seen across the Columbia River from Vancouver, Washington state, 2010.