The Garden of Ethos

It’s always a time for congratulations when creative associates receive recognition for their work. A fellow member of the Palm Springs Branch of the National League of American Pen Women was recently recognized by NLAPW on its national website. I send my compliments to colleague and artist Dianne Benanti. Her painting, The Garden of Ethos, is the League’s current featured art piece.

I find the painting’s title The Garden of Ethos provocative. The definition of ethos? From the Google dictionary: the characteristic spirit of a culture, era, or community as manifested in its beliefs and aspirations.

Here I see women becoming … refining their thoughts, defining their identities and contemplating a path forward … a community of women supporting each other.

With her painting, Dianne graciously included a piece I wrote that accompanied her work for an art/poetry event hosted by the Palm Springs Branch a few years ago. Thank you, Dianne.

Following is from the NLAPW page featuring Dianne’s work. Do visit the website to learn more about the art and NLAPW itself by clicking the link.

Featured Art and Poem: Garden of Ethos



Oil on canvas (90 by 50) by Dianne Lynn Benanti, Palm Springs Branch

“Dianne Lynn Benanti is a self-taught artist who creates large scale contemporary works as well as traditional portraits. Besides being an artist, she composes music and has written a children’s book. She highlights NLAPW on her website, and says, “I’m very honored to be a part of such a great organization.” Her art, book, poetry and songs can be viewed at”

“Carol Mann is a poet and author in the Palm Springs Branch. Her poem was inspired by Dianne Benanti’s painting of the same name.”

The Garden of Ethos

 Carol Mann, Palm Springs Branch

together we gather in the garden
worried, contemplative
stoic, sad
our world view guiding our thoughts
our life experience
bonding us

sisters they call us
bearers of the oral story
of man and his tradition
of beliefs in a god or not

teachers they call us
bearers of society’s mores
the written word

mothers they call us
bearers of children
nurturers of body, soul
family guide in crisis and joy

daughters they call us
our mothers’ students
learning ways to cope
to keep dreams alive

wives they call us
joined in ceremony
partners through life’s
trials and uncertainties

but mostly they call us women
governors of our own destiny
strong, problem solvers
ever emerging

they call us women
finding strength in our sisters
in times of sadness
finding strength in our sisters
in times of great happiness
finding ways to go on…


And as often happens, creative pieces grow, morph and evolve. The above poem grew over the span of a few years to become “The Gift of the Gathering” which, in turn, became the finale piece of the book All Ways A Woman, a collection of original poetry and art done in collaboration with artist Lynn Centeno.

Thank you, Dianne, for planting the seed.

About cmwriter

I'm a writer ... of fiction, nonfiction, and poetry. I blog about writing, short stories, poetry, books, plays, and thoughts on life. Love reading and travel and being with friends!
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2 Responses to The Garden of Ethos

  1. judithfabris says:

    like it just as much as I did at the La Quinta Art Show.  Judy

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