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Leave the Path Open (plus another koan collage)

made of light s

When I was young I tried to order my life around. I thought if I played by the rules, everything would work out.  But the rules wouldn’t play back.  Once I gave in to the inevitability of life’s whims, what was happening to me became a lot more interesting.  Not easier.  Never smooth.  But sometimes I found wonder and enchantment.  And even sometimes grace.  I just needed to leave a space without expectations to be filled.

I walk through valleys
behind a path that opens–
my cup overflows.

polar bear s


I know, there’s a lot going on here.  Frank at dVerse asked us to consider in haibun an occasion when we were pleasantly surprised.  It was difficult for me to focus on that idea because every day I’m surprised (albeit some days more pleasantly than others).  The haibun explains why.


I was also working on a collage for the painting Jane Dougherty challenged us with, above, by Hugo Simberg.  It doesn’t have much pleasantness about it, and my collage also looked somewhat apocalyptic to me.  But the Collage Box Oracle had its own ideas about the images.  And, somehow, it fits.

Bodies are
made of light
and shadow.
Does chaos reflect
the meaning of
The Inner Cosmology?–
Lives balanced
on the unexpected.

owl s2

…and, well, you know…owls.





hush 3s

“…till the morning break
And the white hush end all but the loud beat
Of their long wings, the flash of their white feet.”
–W.B. Yeats, from ‘To some I have talked with by the fire’

hush magnetic

Once again I dipped into Jane Dougherty’s Month of Yeats for some inspiration.  The Oracle seems to have caught a mood circling around the earth which is definitely Yeatsian.


Above is the view out back last night, which also somehow feels right for the Oracle’s (and Yeat’s) words…

bird wings like
cloudlight caught between
frost and wind
covering winter with paths
which grow cold shining



flow comp

Earth cut and nourished by water–
shaped by the wind and rain.
Among rocks, elements gather–
brown and grey into green.
Histories gathered, held, and strewn,
a pilgrimage beside the moon–
we are we be
as waves at sea–
a current that fades and renews.

This is a response to a prompt photo of Sue Vincent’s. above, from October.  The poetic form is trijan refrain.  It reminds me of waves.

I did a bunch of monoprints, and I liked the way these 4 worked as a sequence, the colors gradually fading.



Winter Forest

winter forest 2 4 x 6 text comma

silences of white–
stillness digs deeper, rooted,
vast.  Elemental.

Sue Vincent’s photo prompt this week, above, echoed perfectly the image I was working on for winter.  It’s not winter weather here yet, but experience tells me its arrival can be sudden and swift.  And the trees always do look magical when they are wearing snow.

Also linking to Open Link Night on dVerse.

Random Noise

random noise s

‘We know their dream; enough
To know they dreamed and are dead;’
–W.B. Yeats
from ‘Easter, 1916’

Bleak landscape,
layered grey on grey–
hard, ashen,
This mourning has no ending–
uniforms of dust.

A Month with Yeats, Day 24, sponsored by Jane Dougherty.  Shadorma November sponsored by along the interstice.

A Little Commission

My next door neighbor has been growing her chocolate business and she asked me to design a Montclair related piece she could use on her chocolate boxes. I haven’t picked up a paintbrush in a while but I wanted to do this for her.

She wanted some scenes of our town Montclair. The Presby Iris Gardens are iconic.

I had to include my town’s very own Montclair Art Museum.

Edgemont Park with its war memorial and pond with fountains is also a landmark here.

And to make no mistake about it the State of New Jersey which just elected a Democratic governor. Bye bye Mr Christie.

I’m happy to be posting today as I miss this. Things have been hectic and I need to make time for painting. It felt really good to do this and I hope it helps my neighbor sell a lot of chocolates.


detour close up s

A window.
A mirror crossing
the threshold.
light in matter and spirit–
the boundaries melt.

I’m a little late for Sue Vincent’s “eye” photo prompt from November 2, above.  But not as late as I can sometimes be!

detour s

And it was easy to pick the poetic form:  another shadorma, for Shadorma November at along the interstice.  The art continues my obsession with monoprints.





sanctuary s

sanctuary magnetic

Seed spirit with gentle moon songs–
a river of light
shining quiet paths through air

Listen as trees murmur secrets
to rock cloud bird and sun

Let earth follow the sacred seasons–
growing fertile in peace,
alive and full rooted–
a sanctuary of hope

A quadrille of hope for De at dVerse and all her fellow Las Vegans, with the usual wise aid of the magnetic Oracle.



currents comp

currents magnetic

Monoprints and words for Sue Vincent’s photo prompt, below, in consultation with the Magnetic Oracle.

listen to the shadows
breathing light
filled with ancient suns–
a murmur of stone
between wandering paths
of tree spirits and secret air

Also linked to dVerse Open Link Night.


October 2017: Tidings

tidings oct 17 s

quiet shapes hover,
silent shadows cast by youth–
spirits in mirrors

befriend the stage unfolding–
fill the mind’s eye with delight

October’s grid is composed of cut up pieces of two different monoprints.  The tanka uses words from Colleen’s Poetry Challenge and the Secret Keeper–both were thinking of spirits (appropriate to the month of October).

I’ve been considering the accumulations of autumns in a life.

tidings close up s

My particular thoughts for this unfolding day are for those all over the world struggling to cope with daily survival in the wake of disasters both natural and man-made.  May we learn to respond with open hearts and hands.