Les Enfants de Boheme
By Natachee Momaday Gray
We don’t deal in absolutes,
there are roses around, pretending.
Baked, and ill-nurtured as if lured from the present to the past.
On the shore of bohemia,
picnic tables by the water,
caviar and lentils, strawberries and bread curds,
the beach is left the way it is intended to be.
No roads, only poverty.
The mushrooming opulence, like the milking, the leisurely black staining of cotton,
topples, in its extravagance,
to the fecund swelter of the warm soaked sand.
We’ve gone fishing,
our fear of fish,
our fear of deep water,
decomposed, as if grieving from the lungs,
giving barefoot birth to the butterfly weeds on the banks…
I’m looking down at myself
this balcony is bright and charming,
and everything is gorgeous through a rose coloured lens
for the moment.
I wonder what kind of life suits me,
if there will be children,
I know there will be thorns,
if there will be return.
One who lives well belongs to the missed,
eats well, drinks well,
my love paints me as the classic shape,
big body, big dreams.
And the dream child who is also soaked in the froth of the sea,
swarms like brownish bees to the fruit.
There is nothing more beautiful than this rain.
than her hair in the rain.
I am troubled by the familiarity of the pleasure,
yet all I can remember is the eggshell lace of her slip…
The ocean became faintly the murmur of pigeons.
A beautiful, intricate death in the thick sound.
I roam with the pigeons, with the seagulls, rather,
on the shore of haute bohême
with the cowboy,
with the Man About Town,
with the dream child in her thick and tangled thorns,
the throngs of the euphoric red in the tide.
We don’t deal in absolutes,
the soul in the water lingers,
oh, restless soul, ponder and haunt.
I looked at her,
from afar, from a blue balcony,
and she looked so beautiful-
spread out on the picnic table,
like a lifeless lion fish, dry,
free from the current,
amongst the rotten chairs and the candlelight.
I am blessed to work with some very talented performers and artists in ways I hadn’t previously dreamed possible.
This collaboration with poet Natachee Momaday Gray is about bringing her poem, Les Enfants de Boheme to life in photographs.
Photographer Craig Bennett captures the spirit of the 2 women in the poem beautifully in these images photographed at the lush Ballona Wetlands in Southern California. Makeup and hair artist Karen Bates-Ashley draws on Natachee’s Apache and Kiowa heritage to bring the 2 characters to life.
Natachee Momaday Gray is a native of Santa Fe currently on a journey across the nation. She has many artistic talents as a poet, hand fashioned book-maker, fiction writer, blues singer, and film maker. In her uniquely creative voice, she draws on her Native American heritage to create compelling stories that transcend labels. Click here for more information on Natachee and her work.
Natachee is the daughter of abstract impressionist artist and musician Darren Vigil Gray and documentary film maker Jill Momaday Gray. She is the granddaughter of Pulitzer prize winning author N.Scott Momaday.
Featured looks are as follows:
Vintage Indian blanket jacket with a strip weave natural indigo Mali fabric slipdress and feather neckpiece worn as a headpiece. Turquoise and pearl bracelets.
Dark natural indigo strip weave Mali fabric slipdress and hand dyed burnout fringed velvet shawl. Feather earpiece.
Velvet bias slipdress and vintage sari cropped bomber jacket.
Looks available on Shop.
Rose colored glasses by Oliver Peoples