Nina painted me this beautiful rock as a holiday gift.
It looks great on the window sill next to my advent calendar which is filling its winter landscape in nicely.
Nina’s internet has been out since the tropical storm, with no promises of when it will be back, so she took a photo on her phone of her bird and sent it to me to post. Another colorful tribute to Draw a Bird Day!
And hopefully her internet will be back soon so she can post more of what she’s been doing.
The morning wakes without rain,
a shimmer of green
appearing from the silhouettes
of the trees scattered between
buildings. Silence floats
off the glossy reflections
of the windows
holding the rising sun.
I look for Crow flashing
black feathers as he calls
from somewhere I can’t see.
His voice bounces off
the brick and I imagine
he raises his sharp beak,
laughing as he follows
my eyes searching for the sound.
I have not asked him to speak–
he does not wait for invitations—
I do not for an instant believe
he is without purpose here
on this clear morning calling me
as usual to attention. Do you
pretend you know me?
he asks, and what can I reply?
How can you ever pretend
to know another when
you cannot even see who
this person is that you carry
with you all the time?
Who is this being that you call
is their true name?
Another piece of art inspired by Nina–her joyful birds, above. For the poem, I used a prompt posted awhile ago by Miz Quickly, in which you take lines from a poem and write them every few lines on a piece of paper and fill in the spaces between with your own words.
As Jane told me recently, it’s hard to find a poem of mine that doesn’t talk about birds. I used lines from an Adrian C. Louis poem “Magpie in Margaritaville”, which I found in the wonderful Tupelo Press book “Native Voices”. I couldn’t find a link to the poem online, but you can read about the poet, a member of the Paiute Tribe, here.
Also linking to earthweal, open link weekend.
in the afterglow
doesn’t always fit
with old formulas
and then multiplied
the sun rises
and wing it
with why not
explain say yes
for something else
My collage, inspired by Nina’s recent painting, above, is not at all what I intended to do. Not even close. I feel like this is a good metaphor for life, the way my life is, anyway, now and for as long as I can remember it. Nothing is as it appears, even in its imagining.
And what is the point of my poem? Does it have or need one? I’m not sure, but it travels in a kind of parallel to my train of thought these days also. As David Byrne said so aptly, maybe it’s time we stopped trying to make sense out of the nonsensical. Aim as truly as you can and see what happens.
Earthweal asks this week if our poetry can be sufficient for the world we live in. How do we define “enough” of anything? Everything seems to be both too little and at the same time too much.
We want definitive answers when there are always only more questions to ask. There’s no guidebook, no map. It’s a circle, not a line. There’s no way of knowing or controlling where the things we begin will end. We can only do our best to say what we think needs to be said, do what we think needs to be done, and be good listeners and caretakers to the world.
We play at fairness: love and war,
we draw a rainbow in the sky,
this is our answer, nothing more–
we turn away when people die
We draw a rainbow in the sky
and color in the shapes of hearts
then turn away when people die–
we sing the sun but hold the dark
We color in the shapes of hearts
as outstretched hands form iron fists–
we sing the sun but hold the dark
in knots that we cannot untwist
Our outstretched hands form iron fists
containing all that we deny–
these knots that we cannot untwist
hold replicas that do not lie
Our words repeat what we deny–
this is our answer, nothing more–
where are the ones that do not lie?
we play at fairness: love and war
The very first pantoum I wrote was for one of Jane Dougherty’s challenges in March 2016. It was inspired by my co-blogger Nina’s drawing, above. Since dVerse is featuring the pantoum form for the month of March, I thought I would begin with a revision of that first one. You can see the original here.
I also did a collage to illustrate it.
In 2016 I did another pantoum for one of Jane’s challenges. That one could use revision as well, and I hope to give it a try.
Last year I was stuck in circles, and posted 9 pantoums. I’ll link to some of them as the month goes on. So I’m looking forward to a March full of new attempts–thanks Gina!
Nina and I consulted the Oracle together this week. We did our art independently, but the Oracle is always watching.
Now out to look at the blood moon!
Diamond rain crushing
the sky with shadow wind,
bitter like an ache–
Blood singing of moon storms–
languid music so still…
I want an enchanted garden
of madness and mist
to whisper through beauty–
Mek at Work in Progress (10000hoursleft) recently received the One Lovely Blog Award and invited us to also post 7 facts about ourselves (3 1/2 each). Luckily we each have half a fact that works with the other to make one!
Kerfe: I begin every morning with coffee (cream, no sugar) and Brown Cow vanilla yogurt with fresh berries (blue, straw, black or rasp). I like iced coffee in the afternoon and herbal tea before bed.
Nina: I was skipped twice in elementary school thereby missing the basic facts of mathematics. To this day I count on my fingers. I was always the youngest kid in the class and graduated high school at 16.
Nina: One of the times I got skipped was (I think) because of a drawing I did of Kate Smith sitting on her moon and singing “when the moon comes over the mountain”. I wish I still had this drawing and for that matter I wish I had all the drawings I’ve ever done.
Kerfe: I was voted “most artistic girl” in my senior class of high school. But I really always wanted to be a cheerleader.
Kerfe: My first job (after babysitting) was working for my older brother at the University of Maryland, where he was a student employed in the physics lab. I can’t remember how much I made, but they couldn’t find any college students willing to take the job at the salary offered, so it couldn’t have been much. My brother asked me if I would like to try, so I worked on Saturdays during the school year, and during the summer between my sophomore and junior years of high school. I measured data graphs with an instrument that traced the contours, doing several readings of each to make sure they were correct, and typed punch cards for the computer (this was 1968). We lived in Bowie, Maryland, at the time, which was near the University, but moved out of working range in the middle of my junior year–thus ending my career in science.
Nina: I’ve been playing the guitar since I was about 12 years old. That would make it around 56 years of more or less playing the guitar all the time. I bought a Martin with babysitting money; it’s a small parlor guitar and not worth a lot of money but it’s my favorite possession. It never goes out of tune.
Fact 1/2 plus 1/2:
Nina: I received a BFA from the University of Cincinnati in 1969.
Kerfe: I attended the University of Cincinnati in 1970-71.
I was a student at FIT 1971-73, graduating with an AA in Fashion Design.
Nina: I received an AA from FIT in 1974.
The universe finally got its timing right around 1975. We were both employed as textile designers at Fair-tex Mills, Kerfe in knits, and Nina in prints. A friendship was born!
Our Wordpress avatar, above, which you may recognize, was put together from drawings we did of each other in 1978 (Kerfe by Nina on the left, and Nina by Kerfe on the right). The drawings that start this post are our 2017 updates, 40 years later. We look just the same, right? (or maybe even better).
Nina and I consulted with the Magnetic Poetry Oracle way back in February for this one. I’ve been working on this illustration for a long time, but my stitching is always slow.
Cover cold wind
follow bright stones
breathe wild blooms
of secret sanctuary
the beautiful song
Nina has a completely different interpretation for our collaborative verse which she will be posting today as well.
As Nina said in her post, the “Matisse and American Art” exhibit did not allow photography…but if you are in the area, you should definitely take the time to go and see it. There are many wonderful works by both Matisse and artists who have paid homage to his work.
One piece that attracted me immediately was by Janet Taylor Pickett, and to our delight there was an entire show in the museum based on a series she had done responding to Matisse. Her creative spirit is definitely kin to mine.
Other works that delighted: a Nick Cave soundsuit.
and several words by master collage artist Romare Bearden. This one shows Circe and Odysseus.
Painter George Innes is from Montclair, and has his own room full of mysterious light.
And the Museum also has a fine collection of Native American art.
It was fun to visit with Nina and her family, and to celebrate her birthday in the company of Matisse and friends.