Day 22: The one that almost wasn’t

“Sing the Tune without the Words” 8 inch diameter, oil on canvas

I know this is painfully trite, but I’m diving in anyway: Mondays are hard. My son nearly missed the bus as I threw all the previously chopped onions, peppers, garlic, celery, and beans into the crock pot, threw the dial on high and ran out the door. Red beans, like painting, take time. 

I’m usually a day or two ahead in my 31 so that I can have my mornings for reflection, writing, and posting and my afternoons for taking knives to canvas. But everything I worked on over the weekend was just not there. More simmering required. Sans the delicious smell.

So after the kind bus driver waited patiently for my sweet little disheveled, half-jacketed, backpack open, scurrying eleven year old to board, I rushed to my studio and stared at a painting I’d started yesterday thinking maybe it, like Mondays, was a bit trite. 


Do you even sing the tune without the words, bro?


I worked and reworked it a bit, gave this cardinal an Emily Dickinson halo as a sweet reminder of what my birds mean to me, trite or not. 


“Hope” is the thing with feathers



“Hope” is the thing with feathers –

That perches in the soul –

And sings the tune without the words –

And never stops – at all –


And sweetest – in the Gale – is heard –

And sore must be the storm –

That could abash the little Bird

That kept so many warm –


I’ve heard it in the chillest land –

And on the strangest Sea –

Yet – never – in Extremity,

It asked a crumb – of me.


Picture of Denise Hopkins

Denise Hopkins

January 22, 2024

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