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July 2022

neither brave nor free–
our leaders bow down to Mammon,
cast life aside

Find the cost of freedom
buried in the ground
Mother Earth will swallow you
lay your body down

Arches with Wooden Doors (Thursday Doors)

vaulted tree spirits
bridges of transformation
gateways of between

This doorway is flanked by two arched phantom doors

There is something solid, welcoming, and protective about a wooden door, made even more inviting by an arched doorway. 

These are just a few I’ve collected while wandering around the Upper West Side.

I really like the ornamentation on the bottom of the stair railings here.

Find more doors and join in with your own with host Dan Antion, here.

February 2022

The snow gathers everywhere, grown from nothing, reflecting the hidden sun like feathers dancing. I awaken to a world both light and dark, suspended in the wind. I can’t see the morning moon behind the whirling veil, but I know it is a waning crescent, almost new.

At night, I light candles and think of those lost to me, all the spirits now absent from this world. Do I only imagine that I hear their voices singing on the currents of the stormtides? Inside my memories I assemble the seeds they entrusted to me, promise to plant them in the unfolding aurora of spring.

cold winter nights—sky
dazzles to infinity–
translucid, complete

For the new month, the New Moon, and dVerse Haibun Monday, hosted by Frank, where the subject is winter.

Pink (Thursday) Door

hard to miss–
door says come on in–
play with me

This pink door stopped me in my tracks the other day. I really like the portico over the entrances–the doors must have been the same when the buildings were constructed. I wonder why the owner on the right chose to make such a different statement about who they are and what might be inside. We know children live there because of the window guards. Perhaps they requested pink.

For Thursday Doors, where you can join in or just visit and enjoy.

Lions in Winter (Thursday Doors)

touch of red
a circle of warmth
offsets grey

I haven’t been taking many photos in the last month–it’s been rainy and gloomy–but this door caught my eye. I also took a few photos when I walked through Central Park to the dentist the last week in December. Luckily I made it home just before it started to rain.

black branches
pattern across clouds
wintering

paths become
unfamiliar, raw,
reseasoned

Haiku written for Colleen’s #TankaTuesday challange.

You can see more doors and join with your own here.

Eastern Screech Owl: Draw a Bird Day

listening
eyes that penetrate
beyond fear

I had a dream awhile back about hearing a bird calling. Looking for the source, I found it was a tiny owl. It let me get up close to it, but when I tried to take its photo, it went into my daughter’s shirt pocket and hid. Of course I had to try to identify what this owl could be.

As with my hoopoe dream, I recognized it immediately when I saw photos. The Eastern Screech Owl is a robin-sized owl, and would easily fit into a pocket. They are common throughout eastern North America, and though they prefer woodlands, have adapted to living in both cities and suburbs. These owls do not build nests, but depend on tree holes that already exist, often those abandoned by woodpeckers. They will also use nest boxes. Active from dusk to dawn, they eat mostly insects and small rodents, but have been known to catch small fish, as well as frogs and lizards. They also eat other birds, as owls are prone to do.

Their call is unusual, more like a whinny than what I would associate with an owl. Definitely not a screech.

Owls are considered old souls, prophets, protectors, keepers of ancient wisdom. They are also associated with death. But as with the Death card in the tarot, death is never just an ending, but a beginning as well.

As to what my dream meant, I still haven’t puzzled it out.

I didn’t have time to paint an owl this week, but I did a third quick drawing without looking at the page. A good exercise which I should repeat more often.

November 2021

what carries the truth?
wind scattering fallen leaves–
fragile, decaying

October 2021

fallen leaves
the crunch of footsteps
clear blue sky

reflecting the rain
changeable skywind spatters
colors patterned light

full moon of autumn appears
leaves too soon amidst hopes of endless harvest
fragments linger, gold glittering

stars remember every invisible map
imprinted on the approaching dark
paradigm

earth saturated with bonfires and bones

Two haiku and a sevenling for October and Colleen’s Tanka Tuesday theme, suggested by Franci Hoffman, the harvest moon. The photos are of September’s full moon traveling across the southern sky outside my window. In the first one, it’s half reflected on the window pane.

The artwork is the first page, front and back, of a handmade paper journal I bought on Etsy. I bought three, one each for myself and my sisters-in-law, as we all have great intentions to do art journals–and hopefully this will get us going. I painted the page, and stitched over the front with a technique I’ve been wanting to try. Since the color bled through the paper, I did a small autumn grid on the back.

Happy October!

August 2021

the wheel turns–
we follow our tides
balancing

between waves
ebbing and flowing
together

Instead of a grid or circle collage this month, I decided to use this embroidery that I just finished. I signed up for a series of video embroidery instruction courses–every two weeks there’s a new one, with new ideas and techniques to learn. That was 2 months ago, and I’ve only just finished the first one…

This was a course on Indian embroidery motifs and techniques given by Saima Kaur. We were to choose a few bright colors and a bright background fabric, with perhaps the addition of black and/or white. My satin stitch has always been sloppy and I thought this would give me plenty of practice for improvement. I can’t say it improved much, though, and I also now know for sure that I don’t enjoy doing satin stitch that much. I did like the long and short stitches I used on the shells, and will use that again.

I love traditional art and the motifs of Indian folk art are rich and full of symbolism. This design is a distilled variation of common figures and themes seen both in Indian art and in traditional and religious art all over the world.

July 2021 with blue door

let yourself be
enchanted with each moment
as it appears

July makes me long for the ocean, so my grid is composed of ocean doors. But I also found a blue house door into the garden level of a brownstone that makes me think its owners are reminding themselves too every day of the sea.

You can join Thursday Doors here.