A multicolour-beaded rabbit sniffs her forearm,
seeming to know she holds cures in the vials
of lavender, rosemary and ashwagandha seeds
that hang all around her head, neck, bust and arms.
She faces forward, resolutely, solemnly—
white eyes in her black tightly-beaded head,
ringed with rounded rhinestones.
Perfect gold eyebrows match the two
striations on each cheek, markings of honor.
The rabbit sniffs again, forepaws surround
her upper torso in protection or prayer,
stiff cotton tail, stark-still.
The air suggests they both are in a moment
of meditation or recalibration—for the healer
has eons of restorative mending yet to do.
Her left eye starts to emit a golden glow as her head
tilts up toward a distant sun, beyond all
earthly places where she brings compassion
and psychic elixir to eager souls.
Rabbit knows her mystery magic and
remains silent near her glowing emerald
waist, waiting for a visitation--
numberless supplicants advancing.
as told by Nancy Josephson, artist, of Flow-Through, The Time-Markers,
busts built during the Covid pandemic of her emotional landscapes
Like Damballa in the pantheon of Vodou spirits,
I start the pandemic in March 2020 in hope.
Building my bust of beads and tangle of snakes
in my snood, I think the incarceration will only be two weeks.
Although my whitened face is slightly red,
my orderly breastplate of tiny white beads
and high-necked rhinestone choker suggest serenity:
Two more weeks, two more weeks
Months go by, and now I am the Fire-Starter,
furious that our leaders trade power for compassion.
I construct a fierce bust of black beads,
a wild spray of golden dreadlock hair,
topped with three candles that glow angrily.
Hot wax drips from smaller clumps of candles on my shoulders,
a sharp sword-like triangle on my neck suggests murder:
I want to kill, I want to kill
Two years pass, I am coming to New Light,
humbled, transformed, but still not calmed.
My face an opaque white, small fissures track
down my temples to my ears. My hair,
a heightened helmet of bead strings underlit by
blue-white mini-bulbs. My mouth and bust silenced
by netting, I dub myself “Caul.” Infant, crone, priestess:
Wait, watch, Wait, watch
Lee Woodman rites that she doesn’t choose a work of art. It chooses her. “From childhood I have been fascinated with artworks and evocative language. I find it strange but thrilling when sculpture beckons, like these stunning Nancy Josephson busts. Then I have to write!” She was honoured to win the 2020 William Meredith Prize for Poetry, 2021 Atlantic Review International Poetry Merit Award, and 2022 Virginia Center for the Creative Arts Fellowship. Her four published collections: Mindscapes, Poets’ Choice Publishing 2020, Homescapes, Finishing Line Press 2020, Lifescapes, Kelsay Books, 2021, and Artscapes, Shanti Arts, 2022
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