Large Artist Sketchbook 2020: The Estufa Fria in February

You may know that in addition to my poetry I also do art, posted on my blog Claudia McGill and Her Art World. For the next several months I will be posting here a combined art/poetry project, Large Artist Sketchbook 2020.

I fill up sketchbooks with all kinds of art. Some contain images only and some of them I use the images as inspiration for poetry. In these books the image is on one page of the spread and the poetry on the other. This book is set up in this manner.

I’ll show you the image and then add the poem that goes with it. See what you think.

Note: In 1998 our family visited Lisbon, Portugal, and one of the places we went was the Estufa Fria. Since then we have referred to any greenhouse garden in this way, as a nod to our fond memory of the trip.

The Estufa Fria in February

Shut the door on the sullen monologue
the one that’s been going on too long
will winter ever end
Put it aside. The botanical garden
free on Sundays a modest charge other days
Nothing to stop you. Come in.

The sashay of fronds along
the pea gravel path
The verve the swerve the swish
of the impertinent bloom
that reaches for your hand
The air so moist it splashes. The sky
that hovers above the palms
Breathe it in.

The leafless oaks outside
peer through the glass
is that a snowflake?
while we
in the middle of this gray-brown
winter-coat-wearing city
we laugh.
Winter doesn’t dare say a word here.

Large Artist Sketchbook 2020 Image 4

5 thoughts on “Large Artist Sketchbook 2020: The Estufa Fria in February

  1. In my dream home I would like to have my own personal Estufa Fria, because I think the same thing you did – it’s a special secret world especially when the outside conditions are harsh. A little bubble of green and growing.

  2. I remember reading once about a house arranged around an atrium (it was in California so it was warm). I would love to have that, or your enclosed version. Just a wonderful thought.

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