Art by Jerry Kirk

blue cloaked figure sitting under night
"Beneath The Cloak Of Night"
girl flying into night air reaches to hug moon
"Big Moon Hug"
brightly colored tree full of animals, people, and toys
"The Tree of Life, Death and Everything In-Between"


Jerry Kirk writes: I am a writer and visual artist currently residing in Alexandria, Virginia. My writing has been published in Queen’s University of Charlotte’s literary magazine, Signet, The Charlotte Poetry Review, Tangents periodical, the anthologies, Chaos: A Poetry Vortex and North Carolina Bards as well as other publications. As an award winning painter my work is included in many corporate and private collections, has been published in several literary magazines and been used as album covers for musicians. I work from my home studio in Old Town where I live with my wife Lisa, daughter Elysia, 2 cats and a dog.

Artist's note

I have always loved mythology, tall-tales, folklore. As a boy these are the stories and compilations that I would always seek out in the library. I learned to draw by copying comic books and I always have thought of the super-hero genre as being a part of modern mythology. The paintings published in this issue of Carmina Magazine are all inspired by my love of these types of stories…of my desire to create my own mythological tales and imagery. These "narrative" pieces all touch on big ideas, big themes and lean towards the philosophical. "The Tree of Life, Death and Everything In-Between" in particular strives to encompass the whole of humanity within the constrains of its enclosed, square borders. It’s about the travails of real life, jobs as identities, the metaphorical masks that we all wear to protect us from the judgement of others and the singular limbs that we all find ourselves out on—territory marked as "ours". It depicts a big tree on a little island that could be a place found in ancient or modern mythology; a sanctuary for those looking for such or a self-imposed prison. Like the other paintings here it is about creating a magical place and believing in something beyond the ordinary. That’s what much of my art is about.