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Ibis (Draw a Bird Day)

graceful, silent
keeper and creator
measuring magic by the moon

For Colleen’s #TankaTuesday poet’s choice and for Draw a Bird Day, a didactic cinquian.

The Egyptian god Thoth was often represented as an ibis, or an ibis-headed man. Like the sacred ibis bird, he was associated with knowledge, wisdom and the moon, but also much more. Scribe to the gods, he taught men to write. He was the reckoner of time, “he who balances”, a scientist and magician.

Millions of ibis birds were mummified in Ancient Egypt as offerings to Thoth. The sacred ibis is now regionally extinct in Egypt, although it is still found in other Sub-Saharan African lands.

One species of ibis found in eastern American coastal regions is the glossy ibis. From a distance it appears to be a mostly uniform dark color, but close up its feathers become an iridescent rainbow.

Today is #WorldMigratoryBirdDay. The glossy ibis flocks that breed along the NE coast migrate to the Gulf of Mexico for wintering. As with all shore dependent migratory birds, saving our natural shorelines are one key to their survival.

Also linking to earthweal open link weekend.


enso s

mind troubled with images
brush full of ink–
becoming empty

For the final day, NaPoWriMo asks for minimalism in word and gesture.

You can read about the Enso here.



over and over


never ending

eternity magnetic s

What dark fire is this
melting the air with fresh blood?
endless broken days,

ghost voices lingering in
an eternity of tears


Found in garage 2

I used to do a lot of calligraphy type stuff like this. This one is quote by Andre Gide. My husband is holding it up for me. 

One Day


one day 1s

Counting (after Robert Creeley)

They begin with one.
But what if on a different day
we started.  Not after,

but before.  Another
opening even more perfect
than something.  If they

saw emptiness, nothing at all?
Anything would fit.

Robert Creeley was a member of the Black Mountain poets, known for his spare and concise observations:

One day after another–
They all fit.

My poem “Counting” takes Creeley’s poem “One Day” and uses the words in it as the last words to each line of a new and different poem.  This method of composition was invented by poet Terrance Hayes.  He call it Golden Shovel.  I wrote the poem as a response to a prompt from Atomic Poetry and it is published in the first Atomic Poetry volume here:

Enso is a calligraphic circle made with one stroke.  This symbolic sphere encompasses everything, and also nothing.


Golden Shovel: Poetic Form

Thank you Chang Liu

I am glad Kerfe saves everything and posted the poetry month bookmark from her daughter’s school. At first I thought Chang Liu was a poet of some Chinese dynasty: such eloquence! Then I realized he or she was a third grader at the school.  I liked the poem so much I did a little version in a way I thought a third grader would do. There is a little sun coming out right now (7:30 AM) and it looks like a nice day. 

There is hope in honest error

“There is hope in honest error, none in the icy perfection of the mere stylist”. Charles Mackintosh, Glasgow. I have always done calligraphy and love handwriting. Interestingly, Kerfe has knowledge of handwriting analysis, one of her many talents. This quote used to hang in the old Museum of Modern Art in Mackintosh’s distinctive architectural writing. I will post an example of his graphic style in a future post. His words ring true to me because I make a lot of mistakes while drawing and painting but I know there is hope in them. As an art teacher once said, there are a lot of happy accidents.

Thought for the day

Today’s NY Times magazine section deals with aging, and when I read this quote I was immediately inspired to do it in brush calligraphy (lacking a calligraphy pen at the moment). As a woman growing older, I don’t really think about my age; I don’t think Kerfe does either. We both are the same people we were back in the 70’s when we met. Although I am not jumping for joy each and every day, I see the world as a mostly wonderful place despite the truly horrible things going on. Doing this blog and reading the blogs we follow inspires me and every day I learn something new–art, poetry, cooking, books…it is all here. Every person I meet has something to teach, especially the older ones, but all of them. (All technology skills I have are thanks to my darling daughter). So despite the length of this quote, I am posting it with all respect to T.H White. I may have to reread this book which I read so many years ago. All hail the elders!