January 20th, 2013  |  Published in January 2013  |  3 Comments

by Saad Ghosn

“Art For A Better World” is a new column that will regularly feature Greater Cincinnati Artists who use their art for a message and for a change. Each column, divided into two sections titled respectively “Images for a Better World” and “Words for a Better World”, will give the stage to a local visual artist and a local literary artist. Each section will start with a very succinct biography of the artist, followed, for the visual artist, by 3 to 5 images of artwork accompanied by a descriptive commentary, and for the literary artist, by poems or literary writings also accompanied by a related commentary.

The column will serve to familiarize readers with local visual and literary artists who use their art for a change towards a better world; expose them to samples of the artist’s works; and help them, through the eyes and commentaries of the artist, understand the significance and relevance of the artist’s work.

The column will be compiled and edited by Saad Ghosn. Ghosn, a medical professional, educator, visual and literary artist, is the founder of SOS Art, an organization that promotes the use of art as a vehicle for peace and justice and for a change. He is also the editor and publisher of the related “For A Better World” a yearly book of poems and drawings on peace and justice by Greater Cincinnati artists.


  • Images For A Better World: Jeff CASTO, Visual Artist

Originally from West Virginia, Jeff Casto came to Cincinnati to attend the Art Academy (BFA in painting, 1987) then the University of Cincinnati (MFA in painting, 1989). His art often deals with social issues, notably environmental concerns. Found objects incorporated alongside painted imagery into mixed media works, provide a tension-filled arena that mirrors his narratives. His work has an undercurrent of seriousness mixed with pathos and satire; it offers a vision that teeters between the imagined and the real, the psychological and the personal.

Casto lives in Cincinnati and works at the downtown Cincinnati Public Library.

  • Eminent Elimination, mixed media construction

‘Eminent Elimination’ explores a world where humanity ceased to be. Animals rule supreme in vistas once dominated by humanity and the only reminder of our once great civilization are crumbling cities and statues. It dares to question whether our planet would have been better off without humans…

  • New Eden, mixed media construction,

‘New Eden’ is a glimpse of a future world that hopefully will never be. Its inhabitants live amongst rubble as towering modern buildings loom high. A large moon and a bright planet in the background are reminders of pristine splendor once abandoned. Progress doesn’t have to equate with destroying the universe.

  • Specimen, mixed media construction

‘Specimen’ shows a bee positioned on its back inside a box, exposed, dissected, vulnerable to the whims of man. It reminds us of the way our culture objectifies animals and disrespects nature at a significant cost to the eco-system.

  • The Crackpot Crusaders, mixed media construction,

‘The Crackpot Crusaders’, done shortly after the Iraq war started, examines the motives that led into an unnecessary conflict, namely: greed, hubris, paranoia.



  • Words For A Better World: Jerry JUDGE, Literary Artist

Jerry Judge, a well published local poet, feels lucky to have a joyful marriage and grown sons he admires; also fortunate to have poetry to express himself. He lives in Cincinnati and works in organizations that reflect his beliefs and values.

Judge is also angry: Eisenhower warned about the military industrial complex; ‘Occupy Wall Street’ spotlights the greed and inequalities in America; life-threatening environmental issues are ignored; the far right act like they own God and America. His poetry, with a splash of satire, deals with these concerns.



  • War is mass murder and insanity. It has even corrupted our language. 




My Uncle Paul was friendly. He flopped

to the floor and played with my kids and helped me

assemble those daunting Christmas toys.


Betty, waitress at the Corner Café, is friendly.

She asks how I’m doing and cares about

what I respond. Sometimes she doesn’t charge for pie.


Bill, a retired co-worker, was friendly.

Always a big grin and laugh, we kidded about how

he would make a great Walmart greeter.


However, friendly fire is confusing. It blew off

the skull and more of my neighbor’s son.

Military personnel who delivered the news were friendly.





  • Individuals and society pay a high price for harm inflicted on children. Poem inspired by Judge’s work in the field of child welfare.



…and Richard Cory, one calm summer night,

Went home and put a bullet through his head.

…Edwin Arlington Robinson


3 a.m.


From the living room,

light from one lamp.

Vincent is reading

the poem over and over.


Aching to pulverize his father’s bones,

Vincent once, in his twenties,

began to dig up the grave.


When Vincent’s eyes close,

he is eight and  his hands are tied

to the back of a kitchen chair.

His father’s gin face

in his face calling him trash

like his mother, saying that he’s

only good as a practice drum.

The sticks beat to a rhythm

that the band will no longer

let his father play.


Vincent’s life

so carefully constructed

with wife, job, two children.

Vincent steps outside.

Down the street,

another house

with a light on.



  • Sadly, artists are often not valued in America. Success is only measured by dollars and shallow fame.


Dying Miserably Every Day

For W.C. Williams


Owl eyes follow me around Kroger aisles

until finally she approaches and asks,

“Aren’t you somebody? I’m pretty sure

I’ve seen you on TV.”


I tell her, “No. I’m a nobody

unless you like poetry,

find me on cable every other year

reading for insomniacs.”

Irritated, she says she can’t stand poetry,

thought sure I was a somebody.

Later while drinking beer, I think, You bitch!

All my poems are written for you.



  • Judge loves nature and believes that people must be allowed to express spirituality in their own way.


Sunday at Warder Park Pond 


I can’t comprehend God,

but I know about the earth’s hush


the holding of my breath

when I see a Great Blue Heron.



  1. Pamela Mackey says:

    January 21st, 2013at 11:54 pm(#)

    The Editor;

    “Aeqai” is most fortunate to have Dr. Saad Ghosn “on board” sharing his vision for humanity. Dr. Ghosn’s dedication to peace while building community locally is inspiring many outside the so-called “mainstream” to share their artistic work. Saad’s noble efforts to embrace diversity are making a difference in a community historically which has been a bastion of bigotry and persecution of those who are not members of the white privileged.

    Pamela Mackey

  2. Linda Kleinschmidt says:

    December 28th, 2013at 11:49 am(#)

    Lovely piece by Saad Ghosn. The artwork and the poetry are wonderful examples of the strong commitment he has to both visual art and the power of words to address the world we all live in, have us notice it more fully, and then help make it a better place.

  3. Susannah says:

    May 27th, 2014at 2:56 pm(#)

    Pretty nice post. I just stumbled upon your weblog and wished to say that I’ve truly enjoyed surfing around your blog
    posts. In any case I’ll be subscribing to your feed and I hope you write again soon!