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Ekphrastacy: Evolution: “Sunday Conversation”

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by Cathy Barber


Sunday Conversation

by David King


This must be the 1970’s-

all the neon paint,

psychedelic ooze

down the wall

of the canvas.


Even the lawn

is the Midwest-summer hot

in orange and purple,

like a live game of

“The floor is lava.”


I want to join these women,

make it a foursome of conversation

about summer camps,

malfunctioning appliances,

new recipes. I want to linger

for the third Highball and beer,

when confidences erupt-

who has sex just once a month,

whose son smokes joints in his room

with the window open-

all the backyard disappointments

they may deny tomorrow,

even after they’ve laughed

until they cried.


David King, Artist:  This Time Travel series depicts the slippery efforts of the mind’s eye to recapture time. It conveys a sense of urgency to preserve the disintegrating glances into our memories. The contemporary color palette represents the modern mind breathing life back into the image that was obscured by time’s patination.

I recently found a treasure of family movie reels, fifty to sixty years old, had them transferred to DVD and watched with captivation of the lives and times that passed.  I considered my children, who are now adults, and felt the sting of the relentless march of time. Painting memories documented in the videos transformed my grief. With this series, I interacted with the past, wrestled with fluid moments and scenes that moved and flashed through space. This series does not fix or memorialize the past; the images excavate the time, perpetuate the movement, and invite participation.

Each piece contains a relationship between the person and the place that anchors the memory. The undefined lines and gestalt reflects the fleeting nature of recall, the movement of the image, and my efforts to push and pull and capture the memory and grapple with time.  The result inspires a more universal experience that asks us all to complete and animate the memory.



Cathy Barber, Poet: Cathy Barber’s work has been widely published. A partial list of publications includes The San Francisco Bay Guardian, West Trestle Review, Kestrel, Literary Mama, paper wasp, Presence, Sierra Nevada College Review, AIM, Concho River Review, SLAB, Ballyhoo Stories, The Dos Passos Review, Sweet, and Tattoo Highway.

Additionally her work has appeared in several anthologies, most notably, An Eye For An Eye Makes the Whole World Blind: Poets on 9/11, which won the 2003 PEN Oakland Josephine Miles National Literary Award; Fire and Rain: Ecopoetry of California; and The Cancer Poetry Project Vol. 2, which won the Best Poetry Book of 2013, Midwest Book Awards

Ms. Barber’s work has received individual awards as well, including second place in the S. Portia Steele Memorial Award for Excellence in Poetry (2006) and second place in Gin Bender’s 2003 poetry contest. In 2016, her “Three Short Love Poems” was nominated for a Best of the Net award.

She has three chapbooks, two self-published and the third, Aardvarks, Bloodhounds, Catfish, Dingoes, published by Dancing Girl Press, 2018. A fourth manuscript was a quarter finalist in the 2014 Vine Leaves Vignette Collection contest. She is currently finishing a full length collection.

She has an MA in English with a concentration in Creative Writing from California State University, East Bay, and an MFA in Writing from the Vermont College of Fine Arts.  She taught for many years with California Poets in the Schools and served on the board. She has also served on the board of Literary Cleveland for two years.


Please enjoy this video for Ekphrastacy August 2020 in Response to Evolution:



To learn more about our current exhibition, Evolution, click here

To learn more about our Literary programs, click here

Most of Heights Arts’ programming is free! If you would like to show your support for our poetry programming you can text to give HERE, or learn the many ways you can support us HERE.

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