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Kill the Buddha 1 and 2

web 83 skill the buddha magnetic

I went to the storage room the other day to look for and photo some old collages and finally decided to look in the portfolio I knew had some very old work in it.  99% of the contents consists of collages, but there were a few drawings and paintings, and this was one of them.  1983, yikes.  That was about the end of my art work (except for the knit designing I did) for many years as my oldest daughter was born in 1985.

On the Road has published a provocative prompt (and unfortunately the last one) this week, based on the Zen Koan  “If you meet the Buddha on the road, kill him.”  Of course I had to consult the Magnetic Oracle.

remember to dance
like ghosts laughing in rhythm
with vast foolishness

web close up s

I also wrote my own interpretation of the prompt, based on my painting, which is titled “Web 1”.  Although I did not find a “Web 2”.

the net is fragile–
disintegrating, holding
what was never there

webclose up 3 s

At the Hawk’s Well


In 1916, W. B. Yeats wrote a dance play, “At the Hawk’s Well”, inspired by Japanese Noh theatre (to which he had been introduced by Ezra Pound) and Irish folklore.


The Japan Society recently had an exhibit of UK artist Simon Starling’s commemoration of the 100th anniversary of Yeats’ work, along with some of the art that inspired both him and Yeats.


I watched the beautiful video of the hawk dancing several times


and then I drew masks until my hand cramped up and my legs hurt from standing.


When I looked at the drawings, it struck me how humans have always struggled to understand and live their lives well.  We are united in both sorrow and dignity, all cultures, throughout history, all over the earth.



Postcard Fiction: A Call to Arms (Freedom #2)






When I began my response to Jane Dougherty’s prompt “Freedom”, I first looked in my collage box of faces for couples that seemed to work together.  At the same time I was thinking about the Secret Keeper’s words for the week of October 3rd:  BRAVE – TEND – PURE – LEAD – DANCE .

I decided to do a Cento Poem, one that takes its lines from the works of other poets.  I like to play with words, and this is also a good excuse to read a lot of different poetry by a lot of different poets.  So I collected poetic phrases that contained the words (not that difficult with google at your fingertips) and played around with different arrangements.


This couple seemed to fit the spirit of the words.  And given the state of the world, perhaps I was anticipating the state of mind I would need for 2017…


O my brave soul!
Untended there beneath the heedless sky
leap and sparkle, dance and shine
in a world of pure imagination
Up and lead the dance of Fate!

 Poets, in order of appearance:
Walt Whitman, Sidney Lanier, Sarojini Naidu, Roald Dahl, Aeschylus


chanting light

pile of bodies s

sweet blue music s

I found this painting when I was looking through a portfolio.  It’s from a few years ago, fairly recent.  I think the source of the image was a dance review in the newspaper.  This is what the magnetic oracle had to say about it.

For the Elusive Trope’s Magnetic Poetry Saturday Challenge.

Try it and see what it has to say to you…

Degas: A Strange Beauty Indeed

ballerina close up s

My dentist’s office is just a few blocks from the Museum of Modern Art, so after my appointment yesterday I spent some time there before I went home.  I wanted to see the Dada exhibit, and it was fun, but the Degas exhibit overshadowed and overwhelmed it.

monotype comp 1

The exhibit explored Degas’ process, starting with his extensive use of monotype printing.  He was able to get quite a lot of detail using copper plates.

monoprint celluloid s

He also did some prints using celluloid, the photography film of the day.

dancer comp

But then he started adding color to his monoprints with both pastel and watercolor.  Wow!  It’s impossible to fully control this type of printing, so maybe that’s the secret to the other-worldliness of so many of his pastel works.

drawing comp

The exhibit then went on to talking about how all this work influenced his drawing and painting.  This is a good lesson for all of us perfectionists.

sketchbook s

A page from a sketchbook shows Degas exploring.

dancers comp 2

And here’s a look at how a sketch became a painting.

monotype landscape color oil s

My favorite part of this show was the room of landscapes though.  Here Degas used oil paints when printing, in colors this time.

landscape w pastel comp

He used pastels over the printing on some of these as well.

accident comp

The labeling for this exhibit was also excellent.  It’s only there a few more weeks, but if you happen to be in NYC…be prepared for the crowds, but highly recommended.

degas quote

Summer Storm

eye landscape s

sky angered
rock reflects silent
worn away
earth angles
to trip
the unwary
begin dancing
lightning sings

close up eye 1s

It’s true…this collage makes no sense.  Both collage and poem are a response to Rattle Poetry’s Ekphrastic challenge for May.  Once again, my poem was not selected, which leaves me free to make my own art for it.  Any excuse to use body parts in a work of art…landscapes are full of them, right?

close up eye s

Especially when brambles are dancing to lightning’s song.

You can see the original art, and the artist’s selection of a poem to accompany it here.


It’s Leap Day!

never be ordinary s

Time to dance!

Matcha-cha, haiku by Kerfe Roig (MY SWEET WORD Series)

Silver Birch Press


by Kerfe Roig

sweet sugar. mix
one at a time. Combine un
til cool completely.

Collage illustration by Kerfe Roig.

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: My daughter loves to bake, and I altered her altered recipe for green tea cupcakes from with a haiku and a joyful dance.

Roig_self portrait

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Kerfe Roig writes poems for art and makes art for poems. Sometimes the recipe includes both. You can follow her process at, the blog she has with her friend Nina.

Self-portrait drawing by Kerfe Roig. 

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100-Day Project 58-61

days 58-61

Let us go in and dance once more
On the dream’s glimmering floor,
Beneath the balcony festooned with roses.

Let us go in and dance once more.

–Conrad Aiken, from “Nocturne Of Remembered Spring”

American poet and novelist Conrad Aiken was forever marked by the murder-suicide deaths of his mother and father when he was 11.  He later attempted suicide himself, and was very interested the psychology of identity.  Mentored by his teacher, poet and philosopher George Santayana (“Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it”), he was also influenced by the French Symbolists, Freud, Poe, Whitman, and the forms and sounds of music.  He is largely responsible for establishing Emily Dickenson’s reputation as a major American poet; he edited her “Selected Poems”.  He also served as Poet Laureate of the United States.

Aiken’s poems seem like long meditative dreams to me; they are full of music and beautiful images.  He has a reputation as a “difficult” poet, but I think maybe we just lack the patience for long verse.  I found sections of several of his poems that seemed a good fit for these pink/neutral grids, but finally settled on the roses-dream-dance image.

You can read the entire poem here:

days 1 2 3

random grid 4 5 6 7

days 8 9 10 11

days 12 13 14 15 16 17 s

days 18 19 20 21

days 22-27days 28 29 30 31

days 32 33 34 35 36 37

days 38 39 40 41

days 42-47

days 48 49 50 51

days 52-57

days 58-61

You can see all the 100-day project posts here:

It’s June!

June fan black s

March went out like a lion
A whippin up the water in the bay
Then April cried and stepped aside,
And along come pretty little May!
May was full of promises
But she didn’t keep ’em quickly enough for some
And a crowd of doubtin’ Thomas’s
Was predictin’ that the summer’d never come

But it’s comin, by gum,
We can feel it come,
You can feel it in your heart
You can see it in the ground

You can see it in the trees
You can smell it in the breeze

Look around! Look around! Look around!

June is bustin’ out all over
All over the meadow and the hill!
Buds’re bustin’ outa bushes
And the rompin’ river pushes
Ev’ry little wheel that wheels beside the mill!

–Rodgers and Hammerstein, from “Carousel”

My mother loved Broadway musicals, and she played her record albums over and over.  These songs are imprinted in my memory.  So June…it’s bustin out all over!  I decided to make my monthly grid bust out from it’s square form too, and when I finished and looked at it I realized…well, you can’t escape your influences.

Miriam Schapiro fan

Miriam Schapiro fan

You can see and hear “June is Bustin’ Out All Over”, with choreography by Agnes de Mille, from the 1956 film of “Carousel”, here: