contrdictions 2bs

we play at fairness: love and war
we draw a rainbow in the sky
we plant a flag upon the shore
and no one stops to ask us why

we draw a rainbow in the sky
and scatter stars inside our heart
and no one stops to ask us why
we sing the sun but hold the dark

we scatter stars inside our heart
the outstretched hand an empty palm
we sing the sun but hold the dark
and shiver even though it’s warm

the outstretched hand an empty palm
the words unspoken on our lips
we shiver even though it’s warm
the future falling from our grip

the words unspoken on our lips
we draw a rainbow in the sky
the future falling from our grip
and no one stops to ask us why


I thought to do a mandala based on Nina’s old drawing that she recently posted, “All’s Fair in Love and War”.  And I decided to use the phrase as a starting point for Jane Dougherty’s challenge this week to write a pantoum.  I’m not totally satisfied with either the poem or the collage–Nina’s original drawing may actually be a much better illustration for what I wrote.  I still think it would make a good mandala, though; perhaps a less literal and revised collage is called for.

It helps a bit for me to think of the poem as a song…but I’m no Stevie Wonder.

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43 responses to “Contradiction”

  1. Michael Richards (certainline) says :

    I love the poem and the collage, both an amazing achievement. A pantoum isn’t the easiest thing to write, I imagine.

  2. Claudia McGill says :

    I am especially taken by the mandala. The reaching out of the arms and the corresponding reaching out idea. I just love it, to look at it and to think about it.

  3. merrildsmith says :

    I love the poem, and I think the collage does work with it. I especially like the second verse.

    It’s so funny what you said about Stevie Wonder. As I was reading the paragraph, the song started playing in my head. It’s so beautiful in an aching way. There was an episode of the TV show “Scandal,” in which the song played at the end. I couldn’t get it out of my head for weeks.

  4. Jodi says :

    Are you crazy??!! Not being satisfied with this? One of my absolute faves! Absolutely love the words and the collage is so provocative. Be satisfied sista! This is amazing!!!!

  5. Laura (Createarteveryday) says :

    This is amazing. I can’t decide which I prefer: the verse or the artwork. I immediately again think of Jo. We need to get her back online; you two need to collaborate and exhibit your work someplace. Seriously, this rocks, Kerfe.

  6. Jane Dougherty says :

    It’s a great, thought provoking poem though you’ll have to explain the Stevie Wonder reference to me. The artwork, as always is wonderful 🙂

  7. Teresa Robeson says :

    Pantoums are one of my favorite poetry forms and I love this one! The collage is equally evocative.

  8. memadtwo says :

    You’re being a bit hard on yourself, I think. Both the artwork and the poem are lovely and expressive.

    • memadtwo says :

      Thanks Nina, I think sometimes we’re too much inside of what we do to see it clearly! And inspired by your old piece…I definitely want to do another mandala based on it, something a bit brighter.

  9. artandmoondreams says :

    Your collage beautifully illustrates your lovely poem. The outstretched hands and arms seem to express the push and pull of contradiction and are nice visuals of the grasping/gripping energy brought out in the lines of your verse. Thank you for sharing.

  10. Sharon Mann says :

    There is a lot to think about here Kerfe, I’d say you created a beautiful text and mandala collage. I didn’t no what the pantoum form was so I looked up the meaning, Bravo Kerfe!!

  11. Sabiscuit says :

    I think you rose to two challenges exceptionally. This style of poetry is a marvel and I know that a collage takes a tremendous amount of effort. Both look flawless.

  12. Charlie O'Shields (doodlewash) says :

    I’m loving the poem, Kerfe! I think it turned out beautifully and the message is powerful. Equal that on the collage. I think it’s a double win! 😉

  13. Jennifer G. Knoblock says :

    Both the collage and the poem are powerful and thought-provoking (and as an aside, you did the rhyme so naturally that I didn’t even notice it at first). The dimension of the arms in the collage–wow. This line–“and no one stops to ask us why”–so haunting and important.

  14. Lynz Real Cooking says :

    The poem is amazing. It says so much and in a form that really makes a point. I also love the art

  15. geo.kalpataru says :

    a political collage..a great visual message
    also the second stanza was…(speechless)

  16. sheldonk2014 says :

    Love the works here
    As always sheldon

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