Archive | September 2016

If I flew (for Joni Mitchell) poem by Kerfe Roig (IF I Poetry and Prose Series)

Another great series from Silver Birch Press. My response to the prompt “If I…”

Silver Birch Press


If I flew (for Joni Mitchell)
by Kerfe Roig

If I flew,
black, a silhouette
against blue,
would I see
outlines of me, abandoned
to endless highways?

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: I’ve been working on a series of monoprints with collage and stitching.“there’s a crow flying” is inspired by Joni Mitchell’s song “Black Crow.” The poem, also, considers her song.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Kerfe Roig enjoys transforming words and images into something new. You can follow her explorations on the blog she does with her friend Nina:

Self-portrait by the author. 

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International Day of Peace

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Yoko Ono placed an ad in the front section of the NY Times on October 9, 2014, John Lennon’s birthday.  He would have been 74.

It’s International Day of Peace, so I thought this headline haiku from two years ago would be worth revisiting.

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John Lennon’s words seem a perfect fit for Planet Earth, and I collaged the world around them.

the earth is calling–
a tattered net unweaving
life into the void

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My original haiku (inspired by the surrealists) was cut from headlines in the newspaper section; the new one was composed this morning as I looked at the image and thought about its message again.

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“A dream you dream alone is only a dream.
A dream you dream together is reality.”
–Yoko Ono

So…give peace a chance, world leaders.

Nina is still not ready to get back to art,  so we’re taking a blog break.  Don’t worry, we will return.

Unhidden: the art of Ronald Lockett


“I feel like every time I make a piece of artwork I express myself strongly so that a person can feel something.”
–Ronald Lockett

honest layers that
witness hurt, test memory,
note the silences
of secrets, now unhidden
with forgiveness and regret


Ronald Lockett’s “Trapped” series records the complex relations between humans and the living world.  How do we treat animals?  the environment? each other?

I managed to visit the retrospective of Lockett’s found art last week at the Museum of American Folk Art, right before it closed.  These are powerful works.


Lockett felt the world deeply, as the works from his Oklahoma City bombing series, above, show.  “You try to be honest about what you are trying to say,” he said about them.  He acknowledged his debt to quilts in their construction.


His responses to the homeless


and the holocaust

are reminders that the importance of bearing witness has no time frame.


Lockett also made many tributes to those he knew and admired.  Above, a work honoring Jesse Owens, intricately formed in tin.


He painted “Instinct for Survival” when his brother went missing in the Gulf War.


And his tin tributes to his great aunt Sarah Lockett, the woman that raised both him and his cousin, the artist Thornton Dial, reflect both her love of gardening, and her quilts.

Ronald Lockett died in 1998 at age 32 from AIDS-related pneumonia.

You can read more about him here.

My poem uses the secret keeper’s words this week

Postcard Fiction: What She Saw, Part 2







Jane Dougherty’s microfiction challenge this week once again provokes the question:  what does she see?


The quaking house shook me awake.
After a long grey winter…it was seeking romance, fields of flowers, room to play, and spring.
If anyone asks where we are going, just say outside and beyond sleep.
I’m just along for the ride.


Drunkards Path (some dance to remember, some dance to forget)


The sun was warm, but the wind was chill
between our thoughts.  He holds our breath.

(sounds of water)

Oh yes, that kind of thing could start again.

Let me not wander in a barren dream
that nothing cures.  An immense slackening ache,
in the unfinished sky with nothing to hold it,
lowly one day, no different from the others.

Well, I would like to make
all memory resolve itself in gaze.

The trees say,  Pull me: but the hand you stretch,
the afternoon sifted coolness,
is deep with song.


When I read Jane Dougherty’s response to Sue Vincent’s gate prompt (above), I immediately thought of “Hotel California“.  I had already decided to do a Cento Poem, which takes lines from other poets and strings them together to make a new poem.

I can’t explain completely my method for choosing these lines, except to say it involved a list of poets and a lot of randomness.  I do like those surrealistic games.

The result reminded me of a drunken conversation, hence the title and quilt template for the collage, which uses also the gate from Sue’s photo.


I wouldn’t mind a hand stretched deep with song myself.

Poets, in order of appearance: Robert Frost, Carol Ann Duffy, Basho, Seamus Heaney, John Keats, Philip Larkin, Richard Siken, Wang Wei, Denise Levertov, Richard Hugo, George Herbert, Louise Bogan, Langston Hughes.

And the title: Eagles, “Hotel California”

By the Spiral Meet


With vortex come helix come eye–
by the spiral meet.
Fleet orbs and looping dancers
answer root with seed.
Feed questions to the air
where opposites twine.
Shine and darken the sky.
Flying and falling round,
ground welcoming myth–
with vortex come helix come eye.

A circular poem and piece of art for Jane Dougherty’s poetry challenge this week.


I only referenced the photo for the apples.



Connect the Dots


connecting the dots–
not in a line, but circled,
orbiting beyond

Jill’s Art Journal informed me this morning that today is International Dot Day.  Luckily, I had the unfinished collage above which fit the bill perfectly.  I’m not sure where these dots are going, but for now they have a home.

Be it Ever so Humble, poem by Kerfe Roig (WHEN I MOVED Poetry and Prose Series)

My contribution to the “When I Moved” series from Silver Birch Press

Silver Birch Press

roig_moveBe It Ever So Humble
by Kerfe Roig

No house is home I won’t be
hanging my hat it
will remain in hand ever
ready or tossed so
casually waiting humble
on boxes right there
boxes piled between what is
temporary no
more than just a resting place
a stop that looks like
moving day no house is home

IMAGE: “Move,” collage by Kerfe Roig.

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: Currently living in my 18th residence, I still have unpacked boxes, and boxes in storage, from the last move. Most of my moves have been as an adult, within New York City, so although the particular address changes, and the unpacking is always uncompleted, the city itself feels very much like home.
If you look at the last word of each line, you will see that I created my shovel poem with the sentence “be it ever so humble there…

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Missing 15



Five foot two, eyes of
brown, last seen wearing dark green.
Black hat, also gone.

Falling farther off
course, a bottomless journey
that threatens to stay.

Questions posed as clues.
Perhaps a tender heart worn
yearning at the edge.

It’s been almost a year since I’ve done one of these portraits.  I’m still getting Silver Alerts in my inbox on a regular basis though.

The poem uses words from the Alert for Henry, as well as the Secret Keeper’s words this week

You can see the entire Missing series here.

Postcard Fiction: What She Saw


I actually had a completely different idea when I started this response to Jane Dougherty’s microfiction challenge this week.  The painting prompt is below:


First the junk mail I chose (for a gallery opening) had a strange silvery dot figure on it which I decided to incorporate into the background.  Then the words jumped out of my word oracle box.  Then, I thought I would add a bird…


Well, it just escalated from there.  I have a box of animals too.


I got the name “postcard fiction” from one of Merril’s commenters, who looked up microfiction to see how it was defined.  It works for me!