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MacQueen’s Quinterly: Knock-your-socks-off Art and Literature
Issue 12: March 2022
Poem: 126 words
By Karen George

The moss-breasted Queen Luna

holds court in a harvested cornfield 
where her pages flock, hundreds of sandhill 

cranes slate-gray, rusty undersides, crimson crowns. 
Their queen looms, the marrow of their circle. 

The ruffled alabaster plumage of her hat, collar, hair 
matches the white peacock she walks on a leash. 

The waterfowl preen, titillate, placate with dance: 
bow, leap, staccato wing flap, the cadence 

accompanied by trills and purrs that echo 
through bleak autumn air. She carries a scepter, 

crest a shock of quills and thistles. Or is it a riding crop 
to maintain distance, keep the fray and their stiletto 

bills away? She shuns the bare, tilted oak, the ashen 
farmhouse—her birthplace—riddled with secrets. 


—Inspired by Andrea Kowch’s painting The Courtiers (2016) *


* Publisher’s Note:

The Courtiers (acrylic on canvas, 2016) by Andrea Kowch (born 1986 in Detroit, Michigan) may be viewed at The Bennett Collection of Women Realists; link retrieved on 3 March 2022:

As the artist says while describing her work, “Painting is bliss... painting is my oxygen...” Source: a brief video (just under five minutes) on YouTube: Andrea Kowch: The Courtiers (19 July 2016), RJD Fine Arts Gallery.

See also this biographical article by American artist and educator Thomas Arthur Smith, 16 ANDREA KOWCH, in 100 Greatest Women Artists of All Time...So Far (16 August 2020); includes 32 paintings by Ms. Kowch.

Karen George
Issue 12, March 2022

is the author of five chapbooks, and three collections from Dos Madres Press: Swim Your Way Back (2014), A Map and One Year (2018), and Where Wind Tastes Like Pears (2021). Her work is published in The Adirondack Review, The Ekphrastic Review, I-70 Review, Juniper, Poet Lore, Naugatuck River Review, Salamander, and Valparaiso Poetry Review. Her poetry reviews appear in Poetry Matters.

Author’s website: https://karenlgeorge.blogspot.com/

More on the Web: By, About, and Beyond

Emily Carr: Scorned as Timber, Beloved of the Sky (1932–35), ekphrastic poem by Karen George in MacQueen’s Quinterly (Issue 6, January 2021)

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