Archive | October 2022


Flowers behind a group of buildings. Just one completed with a couple more going. Happy Halloween to all the kids at heart and have a good week. Nina

Seasonal (Thursday) Doors

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Trees stand graceful in the misty afternoon light–
birds pause as golden leaves detach themselves,
a murmured ripple that whispers low to the ground.

Are we coming or going?  The gate stands closed.
Halting, wary, we wait.  Push through or withdraw?
Bones rattle—is there time for us to choose?

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The web holds us in the middle, between.
Will we weave our forms into the mystery,
cross over, become reflected light?

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Earth enfolds us into its primal core.
Cocooned inside the spiraled sleep of serpents
we grow wings, awaiting the return of the sun.

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Pumpkins and flower baskets line the stairs–
on the door at the top, a harvest wreath welcomes.
We open and turn with the wheel–step through.

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I walked through Central Park to the east side last week–and found all these seasonal doors on East 92nd Street. The details on Number 25 are quite beautiful.

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My poem is a cadralor with an autumn theme for Sylvia Cognac’s W3 prompt, using words from Jane’s Oracle 2 list for the week.

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You can always find more doors and share your own here at Thursday Doors, hosted by Dan Antion.

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The Kick-About #65 ‘Cimetière du Père Lachaise’

Some meditations on graveyards this week.

Red's Kingdom

From the noise and extravagance of our soundsuit-inspired Kick-About No.64, we’re striking a more melancholy mood this week, as we meander our way past the silent crypts, effigies and monuments of the Père Lachaisecemetery in Paris. With All Hallows Eve but a few short days away, what better time to ruminate on the gossamer veil between the living and the dead…

Phil Cooper

“I’ve never been to the Père Lachaise cemetery but I feel like I know it well from countless gothic horror films and TV shows I’ve watched over the years; it looks like it should have Vincent Price’s evil laughter piped through the mournful paths and mouldering mausoleums. So, my contribution this week is a death-themed image – well it is Halloween this week!I have a big box of old children’s building blocks in the basement I used for a project a few years ago…

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Weekend Work 10/24/22

I think this is finished. A lot of layers of color here and the result looks to me like a lot of stuff ascending.

Rainy weekend here in Northern NJ.

An actual deer in the headlights. Have a good week! Nina


A couple of paintings to start off the weekend.

I’ve been glueing the rough paper onto a board. It feels more secure that way.

This is the Hope Springs Eternal before I messed with it.

My daughter decorated. Here are some views. All the macabre items are from our (weird) collections.

The weather is lovely here in Northern New Jersey. Lots of leaves to rake and many acorns: have a great weekend. Nina

(Thursday) doors and windows

caught between–
the interior,
the façade,
the threshold–
layers that weave together
memory’s passing

Designed by architect Joseph M Dunn in 1888, 117-119 West 74th Street originally stretched from 103-131. As is the case with so many brownstones, they were de-stooped, divided into apartments, and had fallen into disrepair by the 1960s when the remaining buildings were combined and reconstructed by architect Morris Kweller, who covered the original red brick and terracotta with white paint and a false white brick facade.

The original steps up to the arched doors were replaced with basement-level entrances.

In the early 1990s the false facade began to peel off. Instead of allowing the owner to replace it, Landmarks required them to restore as much of the original facade as possible and remove the white paint. Everyone was surprised at how much of it had survived.

I first noticed these buildings because of the windows, and I was right in thinking that at least one of each pair was originally a door at the top of steps. Although not totally returned to their former glory, the buildings are still lovely additions to the streetscape.

On a separate note, the garden in Riverside Park is still blooming.

You can always find more doors and share your own here at Thursday Doors, hosted by Dan Antion.

with wings we could travel through time (Thursday Doors)

this mythology,
portaled ornamentation–
do stone faces dream?

this mythology,
recalling the other lives
that once moved within

portaled ornament–
the way the light translates time,
rearranges form

do stone faces dream?–
the breath holds itself between–
waiting, intervaled

495 West End Avenue is another building I had passed many times without really looking at it until I started photographing doors. From a distance is looks like many other large apartment buildings on the Upper West Side.

The building was designed by George F Pelham in 1907. Originally called the Hohenzollern, after the developer Lorenz Weiner’s home country, the name was abandoned after WWI when German associations were shunned. As you can see from the original floor plan, there were three huge apartments per floor.

As is the case with many rental buildings, 495 West End Avenue has now been subdivided into 128 apartments, the largest being a two bedroom. Most are studios and one bedrooms.

But the exterior ornamentation remains, protected as part of the West End Landmark District.

The poem is a troiku, chosen by me as Colleen’s Tanka Tuesday form this week. I continue to enjoy playing with its possibilities.

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

The Kick-About #64 ‘Soundsuits’

Explorations inspired by Nick Cave (the artist, not the musician) and his Soundsuits–although the musician is pretty inspiring too. Perhaps for a future Kick-About.

Red's Kingdom

If our last Kick-About together was characterised by muted tones and pensive atmospheres, this latest showcase of new works made in a short time is a celebration of colour, movement, costume and dynamism – and how could it not be, inspired as we have been by the artist Nick Cave and his sumptuous soundsuits? In other news, a warm welcome to artist and animator, Claire-Beth Gibson, who joins us this week for her inaugural run-about.

Claire-Beth Gibson

“The sound suit with the spinning tops made me think of the clackety-clackety noise of the whirly spinner I had as a kid. It smelled of old metal and played a strange song. Starting out with so much enthusiasm, it would spin gloriously for a short while and then gradually teeter more and more as it slowed down, before a final wobble into its death fall, spinning on its side and rolling…

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Weekend Work 10/09/2022

Three works in progress. I’m not sure if they’re done. I’d call these stream of consciousness paintings. I don’t know where they’re coming from but I’m just going with it.

Have a good week! Nina

Blue Winged Goose (draw a bird day)

wings open
to reveal blue sky
mirrored lake

The blue winged goose, native to Ethiopia, looks greyish brown when its wings are folded, but in flight the reason for its name becomes evident. They live in wetlands with adjacent grasslands and are largely herbivorous, serving an important role in the ecosystem by keeping aquatic plants in check. They are considered endangered, due to loss of habitat and poaching for Chinese consumers, although no one is sure of their exact population numbers.

I could find out little else about them. Every piece written about them claimed this is because they are largely nocturnal, but I found plenty of photos of them online, obviously taken during the day. Their coloring is lovely. Perhaps they just haven’t been well-studied because they have a limited range.

I’ve written my poem for Colleen’s #TankaTuesday where the first Tuesday of the month we include color in our verse.