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Sky Dancing

calligraphy crows s

like calligraphy
skywriting black against blue
clouds and trees dancing

Sue Vincent’s photo prompt, above, gave me a chance to try an idea I’ve been thinking about for awhile.  A few years ago I did a cross-stitch poem on paper, and I was intrigued by the pattern that appeared on the back.  This seemed the perfect opportunity to see what would happen if I tried it over some watercolor collaged together.

calligraphy crows close up s

I think I may have overdone it with the stitching, but I can always pull some out; the holes in the paper will make a subtle and interesting pattern too.  I’ll look at it for awhile and think about it.

calligraphy cross stitch s

Here’s the poem side, with part of the haiku and some patterns (I wanted to try those out as well).


February 2017: Crows, Tides, Time


They end their flight
one by one–
crows at dusk


Shape-shifting in the gap,
the border of the map a light
of shadowing, not quite
prepared to reunite the tide
with ebb and flow implied
by intervals inside of time,
the pause between the line,
the missing paradigm unfilled,
the end of something.  Stilled.


I’m a bit late with my February grid, but I thought it complemented Sue Vincent’s “Low Tide” prompt this week, so I did my own poem in response to both Buson and the photo (above).


Once again, I tried a new poetry form; this one is Vietnamese.  It’s called Luc Bat, and you can read about it here.

Draw a Bird Day: the local crow

crow 1s

Crowman, are you stalking me?
call to attention
harsh, always interrupting.

crow 2s

Do you want me to look up?
I’m telling stories,
remaking the recent past.

crow 3s

But that part’s invisible…
or do you hear it?
and are you laughing at me?

crow 4s

OK—I’m leaving that world.
I’m here now, present.
I’m unfolding those regrets.

crow 5s

Are you happy now?

crow 6s

Dedicated to my local crow, whose distinctive voice never fails to bring me back to real time.

Brush and ink on rice paper.


There’s a Crow Flying (#4)

crow flying #4s

I feel like that black crow
In a blue sky

–Joni Mitchell

crow flying #4 close up s

It’s been almost a year since I finished the third one in this group.  You could say Time flies too…

I’ve been working on this on and off for awhile, but seeing that it’s printoctober as well as inktober and drawlloween this month, it’s appropriate that I finally completed stitching the trees.  Originally I did quite a few monoprints from one base that I kept adding colors to, all with a crow series in mind.  I think there are still a few left in my partly-started ideas bin as well.

You can see the rest of the series here.

There’s a Crow Flying…(third variation)

crow #3s

…Black and ragged
Tree to tree  (Joni again)

crow #3 close up 1s

For this monoprint I added stitched trees as well as a collage crow.

crow #3 close up 2s

You can see the first two variations here:

There’s a Crow Flying…

crow #1s

“…he’s black as the highway that’s leading me…” (Joni Mitchell, that song has been in my head for a week)

This is kind of a variation on my series “What is It Good For?”  In #7 (    I did a monoprint on rice paper from the (very wet) watercolor I was working on and then stitched over part of it.  This time I put the paint on a piece of plastic and pressed the paper on that.  Actually I did 7 different ones, sometimes more than once, adding paint as I went along.  Some were more successful than others, but I like to take things that are not quite what I want and add things to them to see what happens.  So I’m going to maybe collage or stitch a lot on some of them.  I also got a feel for what I want to do next time, including getting glass or plexiglass that is thick and rigid, not thin and flexible like the piece of plastic I used.  I worked on the floor, also not ideal as I had to get from sitting to standing a number of times, and I also kept stepping in paint.  But I don’t really have another place to do this at the moment (although I have a wonderful studio in my mind).

crow #2s

I always intended to put crows in these skyscapes, but I wasn’t sure how I would do it.  I settled on collage silhouettes for the first two.  I like them, but want to add stitching for more texture to the next one I do.

13 blackbirds s

The river is moving.
The blackbird must be flying.

One of the first collages I did after not doing anything for many years, “Thirteen Blackbirds”, was inspired by the Wallace Stevens poem “Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird.”  This poem was my introduction to Illustrated Poetry, too.  (

More to come.