You are a riot. Always were.
We all tried to help you tame
your urgent restlessness. We
Your M&M therapist
tried. Failed.
Dr. Feingold’s diet.
The caring teacher who
thought a cubicle
would eliminate
Distractions were
inside, not

No classroom could
contain your
body or your
riotous mind.
Adolescence ran
riot in you.
Shooting paint
pellets at
friends entering
high school doors
meant those
doors soon shut
you out.

Now on stage,
you are a
riot, poking
fun at
protected species–
the handicapped, the
mentally challenged, elders
like me–yourself.
A stage cannot
contain you.
Audiences clamor
for more
of you.
I do too.
You are
a riot.

Marguerite Beck-Rex @2013


About inkpaintwords

A feminist writer and artist with a penchant for all things French, living in Washington DC. My love of language led me, indirectly, to my pleasure in gardening, drawing and watercolor. It began with a book, a collection of New Yorker garden columns by Katherine White, wife of its founding editor E.B.White. Her enthusiastic appraisal of the literary merit of various garden catalogs led me to collect and keep her favorites as well as to hoard with them some more recently-emerged seed, bulb and seed catalogs. The beautiful catalogs inspired me to little by little turn our entire front lawn (our home had a wooded ravine close behind) into a garden. That grew into a lovely site with two simple arches, a gliding bench on a little sitting patio and modest slate paths winding through beds of shade lovers and whatever plants supposedly in need of full sun that I could manage to coax into colorful healthy bloom. A curiosity about color and color theory emerged as I became keenly interested in impressionist painters; that interest merged in some way with my urge to garden. I acquired more than one book about Monet’s garden and gardens of other impressionist painters, both French and American. One day I picked up a magazine for painters, and found inside an article about a painter I’d known. Among examples of her splendid watercolor paintings was her watercolor of her garden at that time. Suddenly I could think of nothing more exciting than painting my garden. I enrolled in her watercolor class in The Art League in Alexandria, VA. The influence that the collection of Katherine White’s columns about the literary merits of certain garden catalogs has had on my life has come full now. Ink, Paint & Words combines what has become an obsession with drawing and watercolor with my passion for language. Yes, I still garden. A table full of blooming potted plants sits on my apartment patio, backed by an ivy covered fence with park trees behind. My patio, and my larger environment of Washington DC, together provides wonderful vistas for drawing and painting. For a number of years annual trips to France gave me and my companions extravagantly colorful panoramas and charming tableaux for brush and pen. And yes, now I’ve painted in Monet’s gardens several times. But that, as they say, is another story.
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4 Responses to Riot

  1. lblesser says:

    Marguerite — I think I know who the poem is about. I like the poem a lot. I think it can still be improved. I don’t think ‘mutiny’ is the right word. I don’t know what M&M means. And who is Dr. Feingold and why would a diet be the way to go anyway? I also think the line ‘A stage cannot contain you’ is not literally accurate; the expression is too cliche. Those are my thoughts. I’d like to see the next — final — version. — Lesser

  2. cissie says:

    Your son, I presume. Any mother’s child. Cissie

  3. Toddy says:

    Thank you, Mommy. I love this. I love you!

  4. Jules Spector says:

    You, Marguerite, are also a riot. I love this poem

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