gan in friendship,
narrowing the spaces between
in methodic madness–
shared creations expanding from
working in parallel–
threaded layered multiplied back
more to explore–
branching like trees and scattering
to inspire each
other, to our surprise
we found ourselves weaving a web–
“A friend is someone who gives you total freedom to be yourself.”
(this quote is the first thing I posted)
Nina and I began our blog on May 6, 2014, as a way to show each other the art we were doing. We had both let our creativity languish and were hoping to inspire each other to produce more. We made the above two combined logos–the top one merging art from each of us in the center, and our avatar which contained a drawing each of us had done of the other from the 1970s, when we met, working as designers in a textile company.
the news is full of sorrow
not should have been–two years
On May 7, I received my firsts “likes” for the above post. I didn’t have a clue…where did that come from? When Nina told me we had acquired followers I was mystified. Two of those first likes came from blogs I still interact with–Robert Okaji, and Outside Authority.
In the beginning I mostly posted drawings and old art, with the occasional 17 syllable poem. I got my first comment from someone other than Nina on May 30, for my first Beach I Ching post. I started writing more poetry in 2016. For the first few years Nina and I posted almost every day, and we did a number of collaborations.
Above is one of our collaborations with the Oracle.
Life has tossed us around a bit in the past few years. I’m posting less and doing some of my art/poetry at Kblog now, but you can still find me here for my monthly circle/grid, Draw a Bird Day, and Thursday Doors, with The Kick-About, and a few other things thrown in from time to time. Nina and I hope to get back to collaborations too.
I would not be doing the art or writing I’m doing today without this community. I’ve learned and been given so much–thank you, thank you, thank you! for your continued support .
Inspired by Nina’s butterfly rock, above, a collaboration with the Oracle.
life must shine beneath
this summer moon
breathe bright breezes
through flowering light
walk on air
let the nightsong
follow you home
Last night the rain kept me from seeing the moon, but I did capture it the night before.
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.
trails flames of solstice–
moon shines dark
Inspired by Nina’s gouache painting, above, and Frank Tassone’s #Haikai challege to choose our own summer kigo.
Nina’s painting made me think of flowers and butterflies. And when I saw the photo of Martha Graham dancing in the Times, I felt immediately that she must be holding the moon.
Summer solstice this year coincides with a solar eclipse of the new moon. Magic is afoot!
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).
Kerfe and I did a quick collaboration. Short and sweet and we both were happy with it. Happy Saturday!
When Nina posted her July landscape, below, she talked about possibly meeting with the Magnetic Poetry Oracle. I loved her painting so much I did a collage response, and met with the Oracle myself for some poetic commentary, using Colleen’s poetry prompts for this week as well.
growing quiet beneath cloud
ancient path walks with windsong
wandering through rooted air
We have done a number of these collaborations in the past, but not recently. I love especially Nina’s landscapes, which always give me a lot of fertile ground for collage.
It’s Saturday! The Oracle is ready and waiting.