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Cynthia Good

Something to be Thankful For

With focusing art from Featured Artist Gery Kempczynski.
Endlessly… to the Sea by Gery Kempczynski

Grateful for the long swim to shore
that nearly did me in, for the smallest
rock on the widest beach, the bite
in the center of a peppercorn, filament
in the light bulb, the rush of blood
in the veins, the echo after a wave,
the long hum of a fishing boat
on the Pacific, the sensory memory
of a basil farm when he opened
the car door to leave, the way a leaf
still shudders after the wind, how
my legs ache while climbing the steep
front steps, for the water that leaks
under my front door, flooding my foyer,
grateful for the floor, the flood, the rain,
the recycled glass bowl that holds paint,
for the brush and sandpaper to repair
the damage, grateful for grief, for the pain
and the reprieve from it, the dulling
that time brings, for being tired, for sleep
and waking, for the mountains in Baja,
green after storms end a decade
of drought, for the sound a horse makes
when she breathes, her knowing,
her length, and fragile legs, for the dog
who brings me ticks, for the woods,
for cheap champagne, for coffee
so strong it tastes like a cigarette,
for cinnamon and the cold lake
melting like marmalade on my back,
for the way the seagull lifts his bill,
for the colors that streak his slate
grey beak, that today nothing hurts,
but the cut where my thumbnail meets
the skin, for the rare orange blossom
in my garden of stumps, grateful for torso
and taste buds, for the moonless night,
for breaking glass, for the smell of bacon
and the wingspan of clouds, the way they
change from wispy to reptilian every day.


About the writer:
Cynthia Good is an award-winning poet, journalist, former TV news anchor, and author of the new chapbook, What We Do with Our Hands from Finishing Line Press. She has written seven books and launched two magazines. Her poems have appeared in numerous journals including Tupelo Quarterly, Pedestal, and Terminus Magazine.

Image: Endlessly… to the Sea by Gery Kempczynski (contemporary). Oil on canvas. 60 x 48 inches. By 2023. By permission. Gery Kempczynski is an O:JA&L Featured Artist for June 2023.

About the Featured Artist:
With paintings being displayed in homes, city community centers and hospitals across the United States, Gery Kempczynski, a returning artist to OJAL (Lagniappe, July 2, 2018) is a seasoned professional artist focusing on color, texture, nonfigurative landscapes, and abstract art. Exhibitions include Beverly Art Alliance venues, Arlington Heights Northwest Community Hospital, and The Village of Evergreen Park Center. “When I come to my canvas, I feel free to place brush on canvas and color is set to my mood. As I paint, the production begins to uncover which direction this work will take. Abstracted landscapes allow viewers to find much more in my work other than a simple mountain or a tree, but rather, allow them continually to find within my work special tokens and emblems to enjoy for a lifetime.” 

OJAL Art Incorporated, publishing since 2017 as OPEN: Journal of Arts & Letters (O:JA&L) and its imprint Buttonhook Press, is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation supporting writers and artists worldwide.

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