blue heat

at extremes of physical existence,
moments where neither scientists
nor shamans can predict what will happen
next, something unexpected is witnessed
in flame that has burned its way
through the color spectrum & decided
to be blue. this heat demands
communion with his brethren,
takes on robes of indigo as airy skies do,
mirrors the deep blue of watery places,
matches gems of earth, all lapis lazuli
& sapphire & kyanite. & though this
hottest of colors can extinguish & eat
all of his cousins, he does not. he does not.


afrose fatima ahmed (Seattle) is a hybrid Texan-Washingtonian who writes poems on emerald city streets and at the tops of evergreen trees. she is the daughter of Muslim immigrants from India. Her body and her art live in liminal spaces: polar US borderlands, the division between land and sea, the place where urban density drops off into rural solitude. afrose comes to poetry as just one avenue for creating experiences of beauty and communion for herself and other people. her writing emphasizes all the senses and acknowledges a world in which humans are suffering and experiencing bliss against wild landscapes that are simultaneously living and dying.
Artwork: ‘Blue Heat’, Wildfire Collection, William Michael Zuk.
Bill Zuk is a multimedia artist and Professor Emeritus at the University of Victoria specializing in printmaking, digital art and sculpture. His artwork finds a spiritual passion constantly refreshed by Aboriginal belief systems and the vast polar landscapes and Indigenous cultures of the circumpolar world. He is co-editor of the British Columbia Art Teachers’ Journal and Curator of Art in Public Places jointly sponsored by the British Columbia Art Teachers’ Association and the Government of British Columbia. He is also a Board member of the Victoria Visual Arts Legacy
Society (VVALS) that provides bursary awards to post secondary art students. His artwork can be found in the permanent collections of the University of Victoria; Government House Foundation of British Columbia, and recently, the Museum Collection of the Bienal De Gravura do Douro, Alijo, Portugal.
For more information, see www.zukart.ca and www.intotheice.ca.

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