accommodations (Thursday Doors on Friday)

surprised and
uncertain, I felt
a vague un
ease at how
the context had seemingly
rearranged itself–

adjacent
buildings were now on
opposite
sides of the
street—no recollection of
this terrain remained

lodged in my
memory—had I
crossed over
into a
parallel world where nothing
retained the same shape?

or was it
just my synapses?–
the past re
placed—as if
recognition had been lost,
refilled with yearning

I took the subway down to Chelsea this week for the first time since 2019–I used to go often to see specific shows or just walk around the galleries, The show I wanted to see was Joan Mitchell’s late paintings at Zwimmer Gallery. But first, of course, was the walk from the subway on Seventh Avenue west towards the river.

I lived briefly in Chelsea in the mid-70s. I knew the street, but did not remember the exact address, although I narrowed it down to the two possible tenements (walk-ups with railroad apartments) above. But I was completely surprised by the door and window guardians, not only on both of these buildings, but on many other ones on this block. I had never noticed them! Neither when I lived there, or since, in my many visits to the neighborhood.

It’s true I was young, and my life was chaotic–but when has my life not been chaotic? And my memory is known to be bad–but still.

Just another example how looking at doors has made me more aware of my surroundings. That would never happen now!

And I couldn’t help thinking back to those years and wondering how easily I could have chosen differently, and who and where I would be now if I had.

I was really drawn to this painting by Joan Mitchell which I had never seen before. Sea and sky.

And as with my recent post on kblog mentioning the difference between the two Nick Caves, I know people confuse Joan Mitchell, the painter, with Joni Mitchell, the musician. The painting above is by Joan; the song below which goes so well with it (and the season) is Joni.

And look for more doors here at Thursday Doors, hosted by Dan Antion

December 2022/Icebound

gravel roads follow
me, my feet covered
in ice, blinding wind
blankets the sky, eyes
immersed in elsewhere—

clouds waver
the horizon, wisps
of images scatter
me moonfaced
across the dark window—

I am beyond
ripe for picking, afraid
of falling into the midst
of an isolated
silence, stuck in solitude–

waiting for a pinprick
of light to gather
me in, a reminder
of what lies
fallow, waiting—

not growing yet, but
hushed, all aquiver, molecules
cocooned inside
themselves, waiting,
dancing wildly—

layers shifting, waiting
to become repatterned, re
arranged over and under,
waiting—this is the way
of healing, beginning, return

For December, where Brendan at earthweal has asked us to consider The Witch of Winter.

#share your day (starting with turtles)

everything
needs salt in my world–
butter adds
zest—is it
any wonder my favorite
snack food is popcorn?

It’s #ShareYourDay week at Colleen’s Tanka Tuesday. Today is stormy, full of wind and rain, and I’m hunkered down inside. So I made some popcorn and wrote a shadorma for the W3 prompt from Sylvia about one of my favorite foods.

So where do the turtles come in?

The Oracle is enigmatic, as always.

starting with turtles
dressed in thousands of skyclouds–
mountain water green

Volcano 5

strange, this
planet—silver
mirrors hidden behind
glistening gold light—self
consecrated
with fire

the locus that gyres–
gravities of orbiting
become somewhere else

Elisa Ang provided the artistic inspiration, below, for my series of volcano poems appearing this week at Pure Haiku. Serendipitously, the Kick-About recently hosted a prompt based on Turner’s painting of Mt. Vesuvius, for which I made a series of collages and wrote a cadralor of volcano-themed poems titled “In Search of Venus”. And Jane’s Oracle 2 words provided further inspiration for me to write five Badger poems to go with the volcano theme.

You can read my fifth poem, which connects with the two above, at Pure Haiku, here. And see the posts and links to the first four haiku in the series at kblog, here.

Thanks, as always, to Freya Pickard for her continued support of my work.

The Kick-About #67 ‘El Anatsui’

This week’s inspiration is artist El Anatsui.

Red's Kingdom


Our previous Kick-About was an explosive affair, as Turner’s Mount Vesuvius in Eruption re-surfaced the land, sea and sky with glowing skeins of lava and fired our imaginations. No less spectacular are the sculptural installations of artist El Anatsui, whose enormous, glinting mosaics drape gallery walls like bejewelled magma. Enjoy this latest showcase of new works made in a short time inspired by Anatsui’s works.


Phil Hosking

“On seeing El Anatsui’s incredible sculptures I felt exceptionally inspired to make. There’s something about his process of turning discarded relics of human mass consumption into objects of such beauty that resonated with me. Over recent years I’ve collected bucket loads of plastic from various beaches in Kent, never really knowing what to do with them, suddenly when I laid a bucket full out on the work bench, I started pulling them together and adding some order, which is what I got from…

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Private Property (Thursday Doors)

NO TRESPASS
ING—no mice, no men.
Cat’s away,
but no mice
may play—(not even dust mice)–
I am WARNING you.

This handsome building sits empty–hopefully awaiting renovation. The signs on the door say WARNING/ NO TRESPASSING in duplicate with some kind of official city buildings condemned sign. The boarded up and graffitied windows add that it’s PRIVATE PROPERTY.

It does have a rather stern door guardian keeping watch.

The W3 prompt from Muri this week was to write a blitz poem about mice. I tried, but I just can’t write a blitz. A shadorma, however…and mice are no problem either. Speaking of No, the poem also fits nicely into Sarah’s No!Vember prompt at dVerse.

And look for more doors here at Thursday Doors, hosted by Dan Antion.

Monday post 11/14/2022

I was under the weather this weekend. I’m posting one of my favorite paintings from a while ago. I did a few of these graffiti paintings.

I took down my outside reading tent and freed up a bunch of rocks that I was using to weigh it down. I got inspired again because painting rocks is fun.

Here’s a few more, unfinished.

And here is the cutest birthday card by my daughter’s boyfriend. Perry turned either nine or ten; we are not sure. I’ve lived with this dog for five years now (daughter too) and he has grown on me.

Have a good week! Nina

What We Mean When We Say “The Met(s)” (Thursday Doors)

New York has multiple Mets–
a bloop and a blast
in Queens leads to victory–
what every fan dreams.

The Met of Lincoln Center,
its audience hushed,
awaits swelling arias
upon the lit stage.

Central Park surrounds the Met
in museum form–
inside, we reflect on how
art imitates life–
outside, life imitates art.

This somewhat nonsensical verse is a Kouta, with a theme that “reflects ordinary life and often uses colloquialism and onomatopoeia”. New Yorkers use the Met interchangeably for both the Metropolitan Opera and the Metropolitan Museum of Art. And no one that I know of ever refers to the baseball Mets as The New York Metropolitan Baseball Club, although I’ve occasionally heard them (derisively) referred to as The Metropolitans. This form was suggested by Reena for this week’s Tanka Tuesday prompt. I’ve also thrown in a chiasma at the end which was Larry Trasciatti’s prompt for W3 this week.

And of course, doors, for Thursday doors. Last week I showed the side and back of the Metropolitan Museum, and the first two photos today show the main entrance at the front. Above is one of the front side entrances, the one where members (like me!) go for an exclusive early morning viewing hour on Thursdays.

Here’s some of the ornamentation on the roofline.

I realize I need to take more photos the next time I go–from across the street, to get a larger picture of the entire building if I can, and I didn’t photo the fountain either, or get all the steps in. Here’s the right front side entrance with some windows.

and one of the corners

to be continued…

In the meantime you can always see more doors here at Thursday Doors, hosted by Dan Antion.

Someone once told me the NY on the Mets logo stands for “next year”. But of course these days, one could say that about the Yankees as well…

The Kick-About #66 ‘Vesuvius’

Mt Vesuvius is the inspiration for this edition of the Kick-About.

Red's Kingdom


In contrast to the sombre and sepulchral offerings of our previous Kick-About together, this week’s collection of new works made in a short time is a more explosive affair. Inspired by Turner’s painterly apocalypse, enjoy the flash and sizzle of our own creative outpourings. Boom!


Francesca Maxwell

My take of an explosion of some kind, more of an emotional kind, I think, so I wanted to feel surrounded by and immersed in it. Not the beautiful and dramatic rendition of Turner’s Vesuvious one – close enough to make us feel the power of it but from some safe distance. Nor the fireworks we seem to get these days, more noise than light! I used to love watching the fireworks over the sea for Genova’s Saint Patron’s day as a child. It was a glorious spectacle of lights, colours and patterns, mirrored on the water surface – and far…

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Gilt Edged Tanager (Draw a Bird Day)

I Dream of Brigid

In the beginning I was alone, carefully unwinding the wormlike stem of a large plant.  It seemed like a cactus to me at first, but gradually it reshaped itself into a huge iridescent flower.  I was surprised to suddenly find that instead of tendrils I was in possession of two glittering aqua and golden wings.  They opened my arms like bridges in the street of the sky.

Night walks, scattering poems, uncoiled in a spiraling serpent around me.  Feathers became flaming scales became feathers again, mercurial rainbows scattering glowing seeds, crossing and recrossing the portal that explored every direction between the darkness and the light.

My blood began to sing, an echo of bells vibrating, calling my name.  All the words I had lost or abandoned returned to me, transformed into candled threads sailing like a sea of flames on a river of stars.

I really did have this dream, at least the first part, which led me to look for a bird that fit those wings. The gilt edged tanager came closest. Native to Brazil, its habitat is fragmented, and though not considered endangered, the population is found primarily in protected reserves of moist lowland subtropical forests.

There are close to 400 species of birds in the tanager family. A few species live in the United States, but most of these colorful birds live in Central and south America.

Tanagers are associated with the goddess Brigid, which seems odd since they are not native to Ireland. But many cultures, including the Japanese, consider them to be messengers from the spirit world. They do look magical.

The story of my dream was written for dVerse prosery, where Linda provided a line from ee cummings, in the street of the sky night walks scattering poems, to be included in what we wrote.

I was not really happy with any of my renderings of this bird when I did them, but they are growing on me. In order: colored pencil, gouache, inkpen with watercolor, neocolor. It’s been a long time since I painted with gouache.