Sunday, January 31, 2010

TEXAS - Bluebonnet Venture - BURNET

I'm a native Texan. Some folks would consider that an excuse. But, me, and many (millions?) of other fellow Texans consider it an honor, a privilege, and a proud heritage.

Texans have a strange habit. When somet
hing... a word, or a thing, or a person...or anything, comes to be identified with Texas,
then Texans w
ill attach and hold on to it with a savage a sense, they will "brand" it as their own. There are exceptions, of course, like Dr. Phil, Janet Reno, and J.R. Ewing. OK, J.R.s not so bad. But you mention the Alamo, jalapenos, chili, The Lone Star, roadrunners, George W ?, or Z.Z. Top...then you have a genuine Texas item...treasure or oddity. And so it is with the Texas bluebonnet...the state flower of Texas.

The Legend of the Bluebonnet

I posted this last year after I painted it. My sister had wanted a painting like this which is based on an old folklore tale called "The Legend of the Bluebonnet".
Well, The Texas Bluebonnet festival is coming up here in Burnet in April, and I am "re-producing" her painting and hoping to improve on some aspects of it. She, and several of my friends, read my poems on Every PhotoTells A Story and wanted me to write a poem telling the st
ory of "The Legend Of the Bluebonnet." So I did. And I printed it below. They liked it, and we're working with some other folks to get note cards and prints done that incorporate both the painting and the poem, in hopes of having them ready for sale at the Bluebonnet Festival, in addition to future Texas gift shop sales...if there shows promise. What do you think?

For many months, an evil wind,
Swept across the land,
The skies held back the living rain,
And turned meadows into sand.

Antelope and buffalo,
Wandered off and died,
The tribe was deep in peril,
"Oh, help us," mothers cried.

The Shaman had a vision.
The Great Spirit from Beyond,
Sent a message for the people,
To say what must
be done.

"The things that you hold precious,
The things that you hold dear,
Must fuel a fire of humility,
For your greed that's grown so clear."

The great chief's daughter heard this,
And sadly went her way,
To fetch her beloved "doll-child"
Made from feathers of
the BlueJay.

The "doll-child" was a gift to her,
When she was one year old,
From Grandmother who has gone away,
That she loved with all her soul.

That night when all were sleeping,
She crept out to the blaze,
And placed the "doll-child" in it,
Tears streaking her young face.

Next morn she scooped gray ashes,
Of her bright, blue-feathered friend,
Then brought them to the mountaintop,
And let them scatter to the wind.

Sweet drops of rain began to fall,
And kiss the sun-parched earth,
Plants burst forth in showy blooms,
A celebration of re-birth.

Bluebonnets spread cross Texas,
In the meadows, growing wild,
As a reminder of that gift so great,
The love of a little child.

------James Parker

Burnet, Texas...Bluebonnet Capital of Texas

The second weekend in April, (April 9 - 11) for 3 days, is the Texas Bluebonnet Festival in Burnet. Last year, about 25,000 attended. This year's event looks to be a good one, too. Burnet is a picturesque, historical city and you can find out more about Burnet and The Bluebonnet Festival by clicking HERE. The city of Burnet was designated by the Texas legislature as "Bluebonnet Capital of Texas" so...if my little poem and painting notecards and prints have any future success...Burnet is a good birth place for that venture. And...if you find your boots walking around Burnet...stop in James Parker Art's on.

And, Finally.......

Satellite Picture of Texas from Space

Cya down the road................ James


  1. You need to get a kickback from all the tourist travel to Texas you are inspiring....or at least the title "Texas' International Goodwill Ambassador".

  2. Hey James!! Sheila is right ..... a little somethin', somethin' from the State of Texas travel dep't would be! Never been to your parts but so many of my blogger buddies are from there. I might have to make a point of it someday!!

  3. Sheila, are 100% correct!!!! Governor Perry... you can send the check to James Parker, 208 E. Jackson, Burnet, TX...I'll be waiting here by the mailbox.

  4. Well, I was always told that Texas was big! and that is seriously BIG! Absolutely loved your poem about the story of the bluebonnets to go with the great painting. So lovely to get to know other people's traditions - have a great Bluebonnet Day James!

  5. As much as I like your painting, James, I have to admit I love the poem even more. I love Native American mythology and this poem is a beautiful and concise telling of a beautiful tale. (Odd because I am not a poetry lover!) Thanks for broadening my horizons this morning!

  6. Fabulous in words and in paintings . I think all your pictures should have poems attached to them.

  7. You are one talented Texan, James! Such an wonderful poem to go with your lovely painting.

  8. James - the painting and the poem are both beautiful. It would be great if you could publish some of your nice poems with a greeting card company.

  9. Hi Jim...your poem is beautiful!

  10. James, you do us here Texans proud. I would love to sneak off for the bluebonnet fest, sure hope I can fit it into my travel schedule. if I do I will give you a holler! I heard they are expecting LOTS of bluebonnets this spring. The puggies and I are crossing all available fingers and toes! sending you and your two assistants big hugs from Flower Mound...

  11. I love the story. The first time I was in Texas and I will not say how many years that was. LOL.
    The bluebonnets were in bloom..I made the person driving and I got out of the car on the side of the road.Just so I could touch those beautiful flowers..It was amazing..
    Thank you for sharing the story.