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Mrs. Schmetterling looks on beauty
as an interior landscape, the moonrise of her imagination.
When she closes her eyes, she sees the room’s ceiling
fill first with billowing shadows, then a pinpoint of
light that blooms into a blue-black shining, then
the brilliant blue of coronal plasma that could
be the widening eye of God. Or a host of
angels navigating a great abyss, their
wings clapping out light. But Mrs. Schmetterling is
skeptical of the sublime. She does not trust a transcendence
that will come to her on the day the world ends.
She believes in what she can see, hold
in her mind’s eye. Cold, hard snow
in muddy clumps melting, kicked aside.
Chestnut trees lining the avenues, their tiny candelabras
of blossom upon blossom, at the bud’s edge, waiting.
Ubiquitous sparrows flitting among the branches,
then among tulips when they bloom at last.
The romantic vestige of old musicians
spilling their song into the square.
The other music of boot clicks
on stone. All this she carries
as the roiling blue that rises
like a wall, a tidal wave
of light behind her eyes.
From Mrs. Schmetterling by Robin Davidson with artwork by Sarah Fisher (Arrowsmith, 2021)
Houston’s second Poet Laureate (2015-2017), Robin Davidson is the author of two poetry chapbooks, Kneeling in the Dojo and City that Ripens on the Tree of the World, and the full collection, Luminous Other, recipient of the Ashland Poetry Press 2012 Richard Snyder Memorial Publication Prize. The recipient of Fulbright and NEA awards, she is co-translator with Ewa Elzbieta Nowakowska of two volumes of Ewa Lipska’s poems from the Polish, The New Century and Dear Ms. Schubert (Princeton University Press, 2021). She was inducted into the Texas Institute of Letters in 2019, and teaches literature and creative writing as professor emeritus of English for the University of Houston-Downtown.
Sarah Fisher records the human need to be authentically seen in paintings, drawings and mixed-media works. She has exhibited across the state of Texas, including solo exhibitions at LHUCA (2021) in Lubbock and at Front Gallery (2019) and Art Palace Gallery (2017) in Houston. Fisher’s mixed media work featured prominently in Found/Loaded, a joint exhibition with Rachel Anderson at Stephen F. Austin State University’s Cole Art Center in 2021. A 1986 graduate of the University of Notre Dame, she completed the BLOCK Advanced Studio Program at The Museum of Fine Arts Houston’s Glassell School in 2018. Fisher lives and works in Houston, Texas.
Stain — Self Portrait (2018) by Sarah Fisher
Oil, dry cleaning identification stickers and magnets on Arches paper
71 x 51 inches
Collection of Dennis Pow-Sang