- The Washington Times - Thursday, June 5, 2008

“Here you go Ed. Let me know if they spark a response.”

Mr. Jankowski was hoping Mr. Ramsburg - a painter whom he admired for his works in brilliant colors - would do a series of paintings based on his poetry for a book he wanted to publish.

Mr. Ramsburg kept the poetry in his studio and moved it back and forth between canvases as he captured the feelings they evoked in a dozen paintings. But he waited for about a year to contact Mr. Jankowski, picking up the phone one day to say: “I’ve been working on some stuff.”

“I didn’t call him right away because I was in hermit mode,” Mr. Ramsburg said recently.

Today, the 12 poems and accompanying paintings have been combined into a collection titled “Luminous Mud,” published in 2007 by KarlysKline in Frederick.

The poetry in the book is visually oriented, said Mr. Jankowski, a Poolesville, Md., resident, noting he understands graphics as owner of Jankowski Associates, a company on West Patrick Street that primarily publishes foundation information.

In “Luminous Mud,” the poem “Scraps from a Summer Spent Loafing by the River” takes place on the bank of a river. Mr. Jankowski describes swallows that “swing ahead of thunder” and a storm that “spills ink from last night’s dream.”

The poem hit a nerve with Mr. Ramsburg. “My grandparents had a place on the river,” Mr. Ramsburg said. “I have fond memories of being by the river as a child. While I was working on the painting, I could smell the river bank.”

Mr. Jankowski writes about what he knows. In the poem “River Birds, River Trees, One River Dog,” he shares with readers the “shaggy mud-love” of a dog.

Mr. Ramsburg’s painting doesn’t have any dogs in it, but captures the trails dogs explore.

All but two of the original paintings from “Luminous Mud” have sold, Mr. Ramsburg said. And one of the two that hasn’t sold isn’t for sale. It is hanging in Mr. Ramsburg’s dining room.

The success of this publication is motivating the poet and painter to team up for a second book. This time, they would like to make the pages larger, more in keeping with an art book.

Mr. Ramsburg is loosely basing his new sketches on Mr. Jankowski’s narratives, “The Chair on West Patrick Street,” about the comings and goings of people at an apartment house. A chair in front of the apartments sparked the narrative.

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