Idlers in the Gallery (with paintings)

      by Pamela Miller Ness and Michael Dylan Welch


Second prize winner in the 2004 Haiku Poets of Northern California rengay contest. First published in Mariposa #12, Spring–Summer 2005, page 24. Written by email from November 2003 to March 2004. Each verse is based on a painting in the National Academy of Design in New York City. Paintings presented for reference only. See this ekphrastic rengay without the paintings.



its cut-glass vase

La Farge’s magnolia                                                         Pamela










John Lewis Frederick Joseph La Farge

ANA 1863; NA 1869

Magnolia Blossom, n.d.

Oil on composition board, 11 x 8 7/8 in.

NA diploma presentation, June 7, 1869 (721-P)


        Homer’s croquet player

        hides a ball with her skirt                                      Michael







Winslow Homer

ANA 1864; NA 1865

Croquet Player, n. d.

Oil on canvas, 8¼ x 12 in.

NA diploma presentation, May 7, 1866 (590-P)


strewn across

her studio table

Nell Blaine’s turnips                                                        Pamela

[image of Nell Blaine painting is not available]

the unused pencils . . .

Jacob Lawrence grins

in his self-portrait                                                            Michael





Jacob Lawrence

ANA 1971; NA 1979

Self Portrait, 1977

Gouache on paper,
22 1/8 x 30 in. (sheet)

ANA diploma presentation, 1977

Gwendolyn Knight Lawrence

Courtesy of the Jacob and Gwendolyn Lawrence Foundation (1977.15)


        gathering hollyhocks

        Frieseke’s woman in blue                                    Pamela







Frederick Carl Frieseke

ANA 1912; NA 1914

Hollyhocks, n.d.

Oil on canvas, 25½ x 32 in.

NA diploma presentation,
November 2, 1914 (479-P)


to the porch born . . .

the precise signature

on Blum’s two idlers                                                       Michael









Robert Frederick Blum

ANA 1888; NA 1893

Two Idlers, [1888–89]

Oil on canvas, 29 x 40 in.

NA diploma presentation,
March 26, 1894 (108-P)