Featured Artist Azam Atakhanov: A pairing with poet Emily Ransdell’s “Fire Season”

/, FEATURED ARTISTS, FEATURED FINE ARTISTS, LITERARY ARTS, Lyric, Narrative, Painting, Poetry, STUDIO ARTS/Featured Artist Azam Atakhanov: A pairing with poet Emily Ransdell’s “Fire Season”

Emily Ransdell

Fire Season

“The Fire!” by Azam Atakhanov

Days made entirely of wind,
weeks of ripening wheat
flattened by the sun’s ticking clock.
Everyone’s worried about fire
and no one goes out past noon
but the Mormon boys,
making their rounds in trousers
and starched white shirts,
determined as the dead, and in pairs.
They try to lure us out
with good news —Christ is coming.
But we don’t answer the door.
Why should we, all the news we need
comes right to our smartphones,
140 characters at a time.
The country’s gone mad,
says the world. Meanwhile,
one strike of lightning
could set this whole county ablaze.


About the writer:
Emily Ransdell’s work has appeared in Poetry Northwest, Poet Lore, Sugar House Review, The Cortland Review and elsewhere. Ransdell has been a finalist for the Rattle Poetry Prize and the New Letters Prize in Poetry. A four-time Pushcart nominee, she divides her time between Camas, Washington and the North Oregon Coast.

About the artist:
Azam Atakhanov was born in Dushanbe, Tajikistan, in 1964. In 1989, he graduated from the Moscow Stroganov College of Arts and Industry. Atakhanov is member of the Moscow Artists Union and an associate professor of academic painting at Moscow State Stroganov University of Arts and Industry. His works are in museum collections in Russia and Tajikistan and are frequently exhibited internationally at such fine galleries as Artstory in Moscow. Atakhanov is the June 2019 Featured Artist at O:JA&L.

Image: The Fire!” by Azam Atakhanov. Oil on canvas. 65 x 120 cm. 2013. By permission.