Vashon Feature: March 2002

Shelley Calabrese, Poet
Rebecca Strong, Painter
Vashon Vday Follow Up

(we raised $10,000 for IDVOS!)

Click here for the Call to Vashon or for the Vashon Link Resources

This month we are featuring two island artists. Shelley Calabrese is an amazing poet, and we are so honored to have her work here this month. And Rebecca Strong is a painter I met on the last Arts Tour, and she just floored me with her painting "Shafts of Light." Even though the painting sold during the tour, she was kind enough to give us permission to feature it here in digital format. Oh, and one other island feature this month: the follow up to the Vashon Vagina Monologues!


These poems were excerpted with permission from Shelley Calabrese from the chapbook Only The Best Things, originally published by Laughing Dog Press, 1977, Vashon Island.

Her Room
by Shelley Calabrese

She was stronger than the seasons,
Constantly sending across inner snows
Petals of poems, messengers of spring.
In winter her door opened
To summer's quiets, summer's fragrance
Sleeping in summer's caught light.

Outside, in rainboots, in fire
Seasons came and went -
Different hues, different dreams -
But within, unreleased,
Paced her honey lion of summer.


by Shelley Calabrese

Once I thought I saw you
in a wading pool in San Francisco
with about fifteen children,
half-delight over them
like a leafless silver tree
that lost its way on the banks,
your face half washed away by sun
and the movements of your hands
asking the water to sparkle like children
and the children to leap like fountains.
I wanted it to be you
- you any way anyhow
lost in the crazy San Francisco
of your mind,
wearing black in the sun
because Monique wore black
in Paris -
I wated it to be you
finding yourself for a second
not lost
but simple as a child
in a wading pool.
When I saw that it was not you
my heart felt like the last
part of summer.


Another Rachel
by Shelley Calabrese

Rachel...would not be comforted.
Matt. 2:18

Once her hair
in summer softness
like a wild sweet cloud,
while beneath her puzzled dreaming
darted childhood,
sunlight's thimble.

Another Rachel now,
her hair worn like a wound,
wrapped away in darkness,
rises to carve herself,
to enter an undreamed room
and learn to be comforted,
to curl her mouth upward
(the edge of an autumn leaf
before it folds into itself)
to tell shadows and faces -
that cannot possibly know -
"I miss him."

And September evenings alone
to watch the light spin loose
gold pictures on the wall
which fade as they become

Rebecca Strong, Painter
This image is being featured here with permissions from Rebecca Dvorin Strong. Shafts of Light is oil on panel, 7.5 x 8 inches, created in 2001. Rebecca says of the piece, "The first few days after September 11th, it was difficult for me to return to the studio to work. I kept thinking that the act of making paintings seemed pointless in the face of such a vast human tragedy. This is the first painting I made--somehow, the light emerging from the darkness in the sky above the verdant grasses speaks to me about my wish that we will some day be able to overcome the darker side of mankind."

Shafts of Light painted by Rebecca Dvorin Strong

Vashon Vday Follow Up
What can I say about the Vashon Vagina Monologues? Well, whatever I say, it can't be the least bit objective because I was in the play! And so, in my humble opinion, I'll just say that we kicked butt, the cast and crew were awesome beyond belief, and we are all grateful to Lynann Politte for her vision, dedication, and for letting us come along for the the ride!!


We played for a sold out crowd of 500 people. We hosted 300 + more people at the dress rehearsal. The auctions went quickly. And in the end, Lynann's vision helped raise $10,000 for IDVOS and their new Creative Arts Therapy program to be headed up by therapist Caryl Greene! Not bad for our little AMAZING island!!!

Thank you to everyone who helped, hoped, bid, bought tickets and buttons, chipped in, chimed up, kept us going, and applauded at the end! We are deeply grateful.

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