Live with Art, Inspire your Life is the gallery's motto! 


 Open Mic Poetry Night at Pacesetter Gallery sets the scene for relaxation and connection with others through the expression found not only on the gallery walls but through the words of local poets who gather together the first Thursday from 6-8 PM each month. Art Inspiring Poets Inspiring Artists is such a wonderful experience, and we want to share it with you in this blog post about August's event.


It is amazing how we can connect with each other on so many levels when we allow ourselves to speak our personal truths. This month I am attaching some of the poems read at the event and welcome you to come join us October 6th from 6-8 PM! 


Pictured Bella Ratliffe reading her poems Fractions and Change.

Tommy Little began attending Pacesetter Gallery Open Mic Night from the very first night. He is a member of the Mississippi Poetry Society which co-hosts the event. Tommy is in his element at the gallery and always brings a treasure trove of poems to each event to share. 


Over time he found a kinship on the walls, artwork by a specific artist that really spoke to him and inspired him.  

The watercolor, Ice Cold Gin by Susan Wellington, now lives on his walls.  He was inspired to write an ekphrastic poem about this piece of art he holds dear.  


Susan Wellington was on hand for poetry night as well, enjoying the fellowship and making new friends throughout the night.  As an artist who spent many, many hours creating "Ice Cold Gin" she loved having Tommy connect with the piece on a deeper level with such passion, painting the scene with words.


There were more than a few tears and heartfelt emotions as we listened to Tommy read his ekphrastic poem Snow Gin. 


We thank both Susan Wellington and Tommy Little for sharing a part of themselves with us so humbly and honestly! Watching a visual artist influence a poet who then influenced the visual artist was a special moment for all who attended poetry night.



While browsing through the gallery, it captured

 my eye. In a field of snow, an old rusty cotton 

gin shivered beneath low hung gray clouds that

 promised deeper drifts to come.


I stood a few moments enraptured by that stark scene. 

Something about it held me there. That old gin wrapped

in rust-splotched tin sat deep into the frame. 

And for a while the artist's name seemed hidden, but 

was later found in the fine script of a shadow---

S. Wellington---on the snow-covered ground.


In my mind's eye, I stepped through the frame into 

the crunch of icy white. The long, deep foreground

forebade my further intrusion. I regressed into the 

years of cotton wagons that waited day and night to

unload their days of work and sweat. Wagons piled 

high with white gold yielded their wealth to suction 

tubes and iron teeth that tore seeds from fibers 

pressed into bales for textile milled warmth.


But now those long years of work are gone. The ruts

of wagon wheels have disappeared long before this

blanket of snow.


The old gin keeps its secrets hidden behind those

walls of tin. Inside I can imagine Time curled up

in its cobwebbed corner, lint blowing along the dusty

floor strewn with dried cotton seeds, swept only by

the wind whistling through broken windows and flapping

sheets of storm-ripped tin.


I purchased this old rusty cotton gin set deep into

its field of snow. It was more than just a painting

though, more than watercolor, crisp with skill of stroke.


For you see, I have come to realize that it is a portrait

of me---the gray, the white, the rust of age; and the

stark loneliness of a relic in decline. Now it is mine.

It hangs on my bedroom wall, a window into the past, a

doorway into what lies ahead. And each time that I pass

by, I stop and take a long swig of that "Ice Cold Gin"


in a fight against Time with no way to win

and nowhere to go. And there's nothing to gin

but a harvest of snow.


Tommy Little



Old Houses Weep


Old Houses cry

Heard not but weep they do

A sadness owns their essence

No longer the sounds of those who once here dwelled

Laughter, arguments, barks of dogs

No longer heard

Not life in the rooms once occupied

Age they begin with repairs the order

Paint peels and windows shatter

Roofs leak and shutters tilt

No longer healthy their death begins

Cry they do for occupants to return

Only to become condemned by emptiness lonely

A malignancy often follows

As vagrants creep in

With defecation and urine their contribution

A sad death it is

When the reaper grim becomes the dweller

Old houses abandoned do cry

Yes, they weep as you and I

When abandoned we too cry

As emptiness becomes the occupant


Bill Gressett



They went to visit her today

Inside the suite that's now her home

Her favorite things all on display

But deep inside she's all alone.

They spend the time just visiting

Hoping for a glimpse that shows

The one they love is still within

Praying somehow that she knows

They tell their stories from the past

The heartfelt tales that each recalls

Of nurturing with love so vast

Of tender mercies granted all.

They laugh and cry to think about

The times she sheltered them from pain

Held them so tight it left no doubt

The sun would shine through life's short rain.

Though never certain if she hears

Or understands the things they say

Still they come year after year

Each saddened as she fades away.

What chance of fate would choose a man

To rob them of the life they love?

We cannot know or understand

Until revealed in heaven above.


J Gary Massey

Payge Smith and Bella Ratliffe choosing poems.


Talented poet Kanika visits with other poets as we get started back after the halftime wine and snack break. Halftime is a must!

Creative couple Iris Jones and Elijah Harris enjoy a night out together. 


The couple met when they were both modeling and bring a passion for photography, art and fashion to the gallery! 

Creatives Annalissa Cochran and Susan Wellington enjoying the surrounding art and a fine conversation while Michael Stephenson's exotic wood birds eavesdrop. 


Thank you to everyone that made the event great and memorable, each person bringing their authentic selves to this place where creatives can thrive and share their love of life and the arts. See you next month, October 6th from 6-8 PM!


Keri Davis

Pacesetter Gallery