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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:

Ekphrastic Tuesday – I’m Dancing As Fast As I Can – Schapiro

For our spring collaboration, Marcy Erb and I did our collage and poetry commentaries on the paintings we chose independently, and I was looking forward to seeing how they played off each other. This is perfect! Her visual angle is different from mine, and yet the same spirit links them. Thanks, Marcy!

Cinco de Mayo

cinco de mayo top s

…another good reason to wear bright colors and dance!

cinco de mayo full s

Headline Haiku: Shall We…?

shall we overcome s

After Possible Cultural Contact

Whenever an opportunity appears to incorporate an idea I’ve been thinking about–well, I’m all for it.

Starbucks to the rescue again.

shall we s

So:  I wanted to take a crumpled paper and stitch on the folds and see what happened.  Crumple controversial Starbucks ad, smooth it out, embellish with black and white stitching.  More random art….I like it.

stitching detail s

As to the controversy:  I think the desire to talk about race is a sincere one.  And necessary.  But asking baristas to discuss tangled issues with customers already late for work who haven’t yet had their caffeine fix…hmm.  What could go wrong?

shall we bottom s

On the other hand, a coffee shop in the Bronx which was part of a Parsons thesis project somehow successfully incorporated the issues of race and class and gentrification into its reason for being.  ( ) Perhaps it’s not a problem best addressed on a corporate level.

shall we top s

Race.  Where to have this conversation?  How to begin?

At least the Starbucks campaign produced one definite result:  people are talking about talking about it.

stitching detail back s

And it gave me a chance to make some art.

art:  crumpled and stitched Starbucks ad from NY times
haiku:  randomly chosen headline words from same section of newspaper

shall we back s

 “On the clear understanding
that this kind of thing can happen,
Shall we…? (at least) dance?”

invitation courtesy of Rogers and Hammerstein

I dance to the song that plays…


i dance to the song s

My newest dance collage was inspired by “Poem 4 (Day Ninety-Three)” from the series “10 Poems in 20 Minutes” by Some Bad Plankton (

I dance to the song that plays
And sing along
As loud as I can
Because I know all the words
And the beats.
I get to dance without pressure
Because I can’t hear anything
But the song in my ears
Dancing all along.

center dancer s

The poet takes us through an intense emotional journey in this series, and while reading them I often found myself saying “I’ve felt that way too.”  So it was with her dance poem.

left dancer s

There are 100 days of “10 Poems in 20 Minutes”.  Try it once, and you’ll see what an amazing accomplishment it is.

right dancer s

And check out the art:  also great.

You can see my other dance posts here:

Inspiration Nick Cave: Transformation and Disguise


dancer transformed

“I hope we will dream together.”

pink soundsuit s

Nick Cave’s soundsuits are bombardments of recycled texture, color, pattern, and form. They are both sculpture and costume for choreographed movement. Covering the entire body, they disguise, protect, transform. They ask “Who am I?’ and also “Who can I be?” They challenge the way we look at each other and the world.

sweater soundsuit s

My swatch dolls (  and embroidered dolls ( clearly owe a debt to Nick Cave’s recycled riots of textiles, stitching, found objects, and embellishment.  A focus on dance provides a different inspiration: to search for the body underneath the soundsuit and expose it partially, transparently.  The results, as usual, give me more ideas…

bird soundsuit s

“Life brings us things.”

Quotes from Nick Cave in “Meet Me at the Center of the Earth”.

Explore more:
or just Google “Nick Cave soundsuits”

(Note: This is NOT the equally wonderful Nick Cave who writes and makes music)