synapses s

“And then, all at once, my God, the box was full of stars.”
–Helen Macdonald, “H is for Hawk”

Matter or
mind?  Images caught,
unchecked by
the body that is my brain–
synapses on fire.

Macdonald is talking about seeing her hawk, but that sentence made me think of the brain, and the images I had seen of synapses at work.  You can give me a scientific explanation of how signals traveling those pathways become something I see, or imagine, but it’s still magic to me.  Like birds.  Like stars.


Prompt image from Sue Vincent.  We’re always filling in the blanks.

Junk Mail Art: Grace of Light

naive child s

naive child vert s

grace of light s

that dance s

that dance 2s

Jane Doughtery proposed a fairy tale journey in her microfiction challenge this week, involving a child and a golden city.


Like the child, I had no idea what was really beyond the mountains until I got there.

fairy tale journey complete s

I do seem to be prone to finding these rifts in the world…

Magnetic Poetry Saturday: Hold Hope

hold hope nina s

The oracle was generous to us this week.  A three-way collaboration: O.N.K.

hold hope stitched words s

hold hope open
my promise to trust
a thousand worlds receive
this spirit
listen to the gifts
of your heart
where gentle rhapsodys live

Dancing in the Moonlight


A riff on yesterday’s moon painting. I painted the entire paper with purple gouache and ink mixed together and did the moon and dancing figures in silver gouache. The blue was applied and dripped on afterwards.

Mother of Winds

mother of winds close up s

I look to the sky for the mother of winds–
asking her why, my mother of winds.

Her chariot crosses ahead of the sun–
with you I would fly, O mother of winds.

Like you I would step from the sea born anew–
black waves choke me dry, my mother of winds.

Pledged to a journey of transforming light–
dark ravens comes crying, my mother of winds.

I married the magic expecting to merge–
false troth bound to dying, O mother of winds.

And where are the children to circle me round?
aborted by lying, cruel mother of winds.

I curse and she answers with silence and ice–
the knots are untying me, mother of winds.


Jane Dougherty’s challenge this week was inspired by the painting of Dawn, above, and asked us to use the ghazal form:  a series of two-line verses of the same length, with a somewhat complex rhyming scheme, both internal and line-ending.  To complicate things, not everyone agrees exactly on the rules.  Two very different explanations and examples of ghazal are here and here.

mother of winds s

Dawn has many mythological sides and I incorporated some of them into my poem.  Not only is she the mother of winds, some say she birthed the planets too.


The moon last night


A full moon and a beauty. It reminds me of the Judy Collins song “The Moon’s a Harsh Mistress”. Walking the dogs last night this moon got into my consciousness and I knocked off this version. Arches paper and gouache. 

Skull gift


My friend Michael found a great skull in Eagle Rock Reservation. He knows how much I like them so he gifted it to me today. 

Here it is in its bath of Hydrogen Peroxide. I thought this was a raccoon skull at first but it is way too large. I’m about to refer to my skull book given to me by Kerfe. Any ideas? I almost think it could be a bobcat. I’ve heard we are starting to get those in our area. Not sure though. 


ghosts s

I thought
I sought demons,
discreetly hidden as
ghosts, pressed between remote pages.


I found the cage of memory,
an enclosure beyond
caring, saving,
or time.

The word prompt “ghost” from The Daily Post yesterday, plus this week’s words from the Secret Keeper

Caged hung figure #writephoto

and Sue Vincent’s photo prompt above  (I’m late again with this one; you can see all the responses here)

were my inspirations today.  The painting was actually done awhile ago, from a newspaper photo accompanying an article about refugees from one of the many troubled areas of the world.


Junk Mail Art: Rainbow

secrets wht 2s

She says that they are secrets, each to the other.
–Michael Cunningham, “The Seven Ages of Women”

can you judge
the distance?  is it
still or fast,
or disintegrating?  or
cleverly concealed?

My poem uses the words from the Secret Keeper’s prompt last week (I’m still lagging behind):


I used Jane Dougherty’s microfiction prompt photo, but since I took the words directly out of Michael Cunningham’s story, I don’t think it qualifies as a fiction.  The sentence was so perfect for my illustration, though, and so beautiful in and of itself…well.  It’s something:  an illustrated sentence?

Michael Cunningham, probably best known as the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of “The Hours”, loves fairy tales, and collaborated with artist Rachel Feinstein to produce “The Seven Ages of Women” for New York Magazines’ fashion issue last August.  It’s a magical story in both word and vision (take a look here).

For extra credit, I decided to see if I could make my own serial from my past responses to Jane’s microfiction prompts.  This is what I came up with–what do you think?

this is the place s
This is the place to do it.

anywhere else you go s
Anywhere else you go is a compromise.

how much did they reveal s
“How much did they reveal of themselves?”

secrets wht 2s
She says that they are secrets, each to the other.

the kiss s
That’s when I knew.  Sometimes art imitates life.  Sometimes it complicates it.


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