gan in friendship,
narrowing the spaces between
in methodic madness–
shared creations expanding from
working in parallel–
threaded layered multiplied back
more to explore–
branching like trees and scattering
to inspire each
other, to our surprise
we found ourselves weaving a web–
“A friend is someone who gives you total freedom to be yourself.”
(this quote is the first thing I posted)
Nina and I began our blog on May 6, 2014, as a way to show each other the art we were doing. We had both let our creativity languish and were hoping to inspire each other to produce more. We made the above two combined logos–the top one merging art from each of us in the center, and our avatar which contained a drawing each of us had done of the other from the 1970s, when we met, working as designers in a textile company.
the news is full of sorrow
not should have been–two years
On May 7, I received my firsts “likes” for the above post. I didn’t have a clue…where did that come from? When Nina told me we had acquired followers I was mystified. Two of those first likes came from blogs I still interact with–Robert Okaji, and Outside Authority.
In the beginning I mostly posted drawings and old art, with the occasional 17 syllable poem. I got my first comment from someone other than Nina on May 30, for my first Beach I Ching post. I started writing more poetry in 2016. For the first few years Nina and I posted almost every day, and we did a number of collaborations.
Above is one of our collaborations with the Oracle.
Life has tossed us around a bit in the past few years. I’m posting less and doing some of my art/poetry at Kblog now, but you can still find me here for my monthly circle/grid, Draw a Bird Day, and Thursday Doors, with The Kick-About, and a few other things thrown in from time to time. Nina and I hope to get back to collaborations too.
I would not be doing the art or writing I’m doing today without this community. I’ve learned and been given so much–thank you, thank you, thank you! for your continued support .
I’m pleased to be part of Ingrid Wilson’s project, The Anthropocene Hymnal: Songs of a self-defining era, “A poetic response to the joint crises of climate change and biodiversity loss. Featuring the work of internationally-renowned and bestselling poets including Gabriela Marie Milton, Ivor Steven and Sherry Marr. Voices from five continents join in song to protest the damage we are doing to our only home, planet earth: these ‘songs of a self-defining era’ are the poems which comprise The Anthropocene Hymnal”.
Some of my poems are included, and that’s my collage on the cover.
We play at fairness: love and war,
we draw a rainbow in the sky,
this is our answer, nothing more–
we turn away when people die
We draw a rainbow in the sky
and color in the shapes of hearts
then turn away when people die–
we sing the sun but hold the dark
We color in the shapes of hearts
as outstretched hands form iron fists–
we sing the sun but hold the dark
in knots that we cannot untwist
Our outstretched hands form iron fists
containing all that we deny–
these knots that we cannot untwist
hold replicas that do not lie
Our words repeat what we deny–
this is our answer, nothing more–
where are the ones that do not lie?
we play at fairness: love and war
The very first pantoum I wrote was for one of Jane Dougherty’s challenges in March 2016. It was inspired by my co-blogger Nina’s drawing, above. Since dVerse is featuring the pantoum form for the month of March, I thought I would begin with a revision of that first one. You can see the original here.
I also did a collage to illustrate it.
In 2016 I did another pantoum for one of Jane’s challenges. That one could use revision as well, and I hope to give it a try.
Last year I was stuck in circles, and posted 9 pantoums. I’ll link to some of them as the month goes on. So I’m looking forward to a March full of new attempts–thanks Gina!
The sky beneath the stars–
shadowed by the night,
divided by itself.
always pulled away,
divided by itself,
vast and gravitating.
Always pulled away–
completely boundless ancient
vast and gravitating
Completely boundless ancient
held by threads that sail–
tides of wing and air.
Held by threads that sail,
shadowed by the night,
tides of wing and air–
the sky beneath the stars.
This collage was done originally for a Sue Vincent Photo Prompt. I’ve posted the art again, with a new poem, in celebration of the publication of Marianne Szlyk’s book, “On the Other Side of the Window”, which uses it for the cover illustration.
I was delighted when Marianne asked if she could use one of my crow pieces for her book of poems. I know her from her wonderful blog of words, art, and music, “The song is…”, and was pleased also to be able to meet her at the New York Poetry Festival on Governor’s Island a few weeks ago.
Also linked to dVerse open link night , hosted by Lillian. And yes, yet another pantoum.
–A. A. Milne
Well the rain rain falls
all morning up on the roof
out of mind (mind) (mind)
You may remember that Claudia McGill and I did a collaboration with writing, and I said I would do some stitching over the final project to add another layer. After a delay with running out of the embroidery floss I was using and my generally slow pace of stitching, the results are above. I took Claudia’s words from her deconstructed poem and made a kind of haiku from them, and then cross-stitched most of it on the writing.
I really like the way the “wrong” side of cross-stitched makes mysterious patterns in an unknown graphic language, so that’s the side that shows up over the writing. But it looks nice on its own as well (as you can see, I used the back of a paper from an old sweater design for my original letter–no paper goes to waste in my artistic pursuits!) Here’s how it looked before I stitched it:
Nina and I are both overwhelmed with life at the moment, so we are again suspending our posts until we can actually make a regular creating time. But I will still be checking in when I can to see what everyone’s up to.
I’m excited that my neighbor used my artwork for her holiday edition box of chocolates. I know I already posted the artwork but forgive me for my lack of humility today–I think this came out great! I always think back to the options I had in art school and if I could do it over probably would have majored in advertising, industrial art or anything I could have made a living at (painting and sculpture does not a career make unless you’re Jeff Koons or Richard Diebenkorn). Anyway Federica’s bonbons are available in a limited edition with my artwork at dolcefederica.com. Apologies for the shameless buzz marketing.
It started with an exchange of comments on Claudia McGill’s post of September 29, “Handwritten Postcards”:
K: The loose graphics are very appealing. especially the woven look of the top two.
C: Thank you. I read about how in the past, to save paper, people would reuse letters written to them and cross the previous lines. A little hard to read but very effective use of resources, I always thought, and I really enjoy the tangled patterns you can make doing this as in this postcard you mention. Try it, you will enjoy it, there is something very relaxing about it.
K: I reuse paper all the time. I hate wasting anything. But the writing over aspect is something to consider…
C: I’d love to see an example where two different handwritings crossed. Send me a letter and I’ll cross it and send back!
And so I did. Claudia sent me two pages of text, along with photos and links to the place that inspired her words, the Dixon Meadow Preserve and Erdenheim Farm.
Her words and photos made me think about my childhood, when even our suburban house was only half a block from woods and meadows and creeks to explore. We had no devices to keep us indoors, and we went outside at every chance. It made me think about governments and corporations with seemingly no awareness or memory of being an integral part the natural world. I wrote about it in a poem and prose rambling over Claudia’s text.
I ran the woods too, even in suburbia, there were still open spaces, for butterflies dragonflies tadpoles bees creeks brush meadows woods trees rocks sky prickers blackberries colors and clouds and wind—we ran wild, my mother just told us to be home for dinner, who does that now? They would take your children away from you
The vast blue sky you don’t see in the city in the suburbs it needs open space below and the companionship of trees plants wild things animals and such and such clouds to contemplate I used to lie on my back in the grass and just look at the sky what was I thinking? Maybe thoughts beyond thought before thought now my mind is so busy it never stops to just be and let the world run through like a river like the wind
Milkweed waiting standing in formation sentinels of hope—why are we killing killing killing?—we need the blue sky the green grass the monarch migrating and returning again that circle too many holes now just shot through with holes leaking life but still the sky the stars and moon at night they don’t need us to sing poetry to this world and all the other places that could be points of life of light
No we are not necessary at all in fact we are probably in the way so be grateful give thanks open your heart your eyes
Run the woods
tadpoles creeks meadows trees sky–
who does that wild now?
You don’t see
in your house your room
vast blue sky
such and such
companionship and still time
to contemplate clouds…
thought before thinking–
so busy now
let the world
run through like rivers like wind
Claudia wrote one of her wonderful meditations on the details of our lives over my letter and also deconstructed the poem two different ways–I hope she will post all three versions in her post about this project, or, if not, in a future post. She also, as she is unfailingly generous with her art, sent me 3 text postcards for my own.
Thank you Claudia! Now I want to do some stitching on/with these crossed letters. To be continued…
Because the poems I wrote were shadormas, I’m also connecting to November’s Shadorma Challenge at Along the Interstice.
You can see Claudia’s post about our collaboration, here.