I was an artist long before I began to paint with words. Published now in many journals, two books under my belt, with a third coming soon. I love the light on November afternoons, the smell of the ocean, a warm back to curl against in bed, hate pretense, fundamentalism and sauerkraut. http://ruthbavetta.com/index.php
Author's Note: For years I drove between Redlands and LA every Monday evening for a workshop with Jack Grapes. This poem is one result of that.
How to Get to My House
From Los Angeles, where I was born,
take the San Bernardino Freeway east
past San Gabriel, Glendora, Covina,
up the hill by Forest Lawn,
down into the traffic clumped
where the 210 joins the 10.
Turn on the radio if you like,
there’s quite a way to go.
Pomona, Claremont, Ontario.
Here, if you want,
you can turn off at the airport,
catch a flight to someplace else.
Fontana, Rialto, Bloomington.
You may not have noticed it
but the road has been climbing all the way.
That’s San Bernardino on the left.
You’re in Redlands now,
the climb is a little steeper.
Exit on the Yucaipa offramp.
Just over the bridge,
turn right on Highview.
Stay there through two marriages,
a divorce, a child custody suit,
a brain tumor and a mother
Soon you’ll reach where I live.
-first published in Fox Adoption Magazine
Self Portrait with Still Life
The watch that was my grandmother’s,
lost in the gym in junior high,
the Phi Beta Kappa key
I wasn’t supposed to flaunt, but did,
books spilling off the table, tubes of paint
hardening in a drawer, a piano lost in a fire,
a guitar gone out of tune,
all of them, almost within reach.
Broken seashells carted coast to coast,
the long red nightgown,
bought for our first night together,
a bowl of oranges—there, in the kitchen window.
I can see them, almost touch them,
their edges coming into focus,
bright and clear and motionless.
-first published in Fugitive Pigments (FutureCycle Press, 2013.)
©2015 Ruth Bavetta