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.
Mek at Work in Progress (10000hoursleft) recently received the One Lovely Blog Award and invited us to also post 7 facts about ourselves (3 1/2 each). Luckily we each have half a fact that works with the other to make one!
Kerfe: I begin every morning with coffee (cream, no sugar) and Brown Cow vanilla yogurt with fresh berries (blue, straw, black or rasp). I like iced coffee in the afternoon and herbal tea before bed.
Nina: I was skipped twice in elementary school thereby missing the basic facts of mathematics. To this day I count on my fingers. I was always the youngest kid in the class and graduated high school at 16.
Nina: One of the times I got skipped was (I think) because of a drawing I did of Kate Smith sitting on her moon and singing “when the moon comes over the mountain”. I wish I still had this drawing and for that matter I wish I had all the drawings I’ve ever done.
Kerfe: I was voted “most artistic girl” in my senior class of high school. But I really always wanted to be a cheerleader.
Kerfe: My first job (after babysitting) was working for my older brother at the University of Maryland, where he was a student employed in the physics lab. I can’t remember how much I made, but they couldn’t find any college students willing to take the job at the salary offered, so it couldn’t have been much. My brother asked me if I would like to try, so I worked on Saturdays during the school year, and during the summer between my sophomore and junior years of high school. I measured data graphs with an instrument that traced the contours, doing several readings of each to make sure they were correct, and typed punch cards for the computer (this was 1968). We lived in Bowie, Maryland, at the time, which was near the University, but moved out of working range in the middle of my junior year–thus ending my career in science.
Nina: I’ve been playing the guitar since I was about 12 years old. That would make it around 56 years of more or less playing the guitar all the time. I bought a Martin with babysitting money; it’s a small parlor guitar and not worth a lot of money but it’s my favorite possession. It never goes out of tune.
Fact 1/2 plus 1/2:
Nina: I received a BFA from the University of Cincinnati in 1969.
Kerfe: I attended the University of Cincinnati in 1970-71.
I was a student at FIT 1971-73, graduating with an AA in Fashion Design.
Nina: I received an AA from FIT in 1974.
The universe finally got its timing right around 1975. We were both employed as textile designers at Fair-tex Mills, Kerfe in knits, and Nina in prints. A friendship was born!
Our Wordpress avatar, above, which you may recognize, was put together from drawings we did of each other in 1978 (Kerfe by Nina on the left, and Nina by Kerfe on the right). The drawings that start this post are our 2017 updates, 40 years later. We look just the same, right? (or maybe even better).