Rhian Brynjolson is a winnipeg artist and award winning illustrator of numerous children’s books including Goose Girl and Red Parka Mary . Besides numerous solo exhibits of her work Rhian is a founding member of the River on the Run artist collective with whom she has shared in numerous group exhibits.
Storm a constant backdrop,
as anger of the young ones
occupies the sky exposing
Who can blame them, bravely pitching
tents against the reign of greed?
One young figure finds a way
to stay afloat against the sucking tide.
“Pull out all you have,” she says,
“bind it together to make
yourself a buoyant raft.
Retrieve the peach silk of your wedding
dress and peg it to your own yard arm
to catch the wind
Think only on protecting what remains,
what can be salvaged.
The thing with feathers – hope –
is folded in upon itself,
its body slack and slimed
with oily waste.
But gather up its fractured form,
wipe clean each wing,
align each feather
Although the beaded
oil is eddying around you,
shining like false pearls,
tie back your hair, put on
a muscle shirt and gather up
– the pelican
your dwelling place,
into the storm
and gather up
your broken hopes.”
*The pelican is an ancient symbol of sacrifice, of caring or caritas. As the story goes, the pelican tears flesh from its own breast to feed its hungry young.
*Emily Dickinson wrote: “Hope” is the thing with feathers.”
Talking Water Project|Stories
Talking Water Project|Gerry Wolfram
Talking Water Project|Rhian Brynjolson