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It’s Selfie Day! Self Portrait #18

sp18-comp-1

in-moon-skin-comp

Teresa reminded me on last month’s selfie day that I’ve been falling behind in my monthly self-portraits.  This is another one based on a Vanessa Bell painting, with commentary by the Magnetic Poetry Oracle.  I did it twice, although I’m not that crazy about either version.  Perhaps I’ve been away from painting for too long.  Or maybe it’s the blue in the eyes.

sp18-comp-b

dreaming
in elaborate languages
asleep
in moon skin
singing
beneath the shadow
of time

You can see the entire self-portrait series so far here.

Moon of Wandering

dead-reckoning-s

Moon of wandering:
door or window?  Marked by trails
of lingered friends.  Tears.

Untested. Eons before
and after.  Dead reckoning.

Once again I’ve combined the word prompts (or synonyms) of the secret keeper and Colleen’s tanka challenge.  Colleen also provided the mysterious picture, below.

dr-middle-s

Shadows Meet

tryst-s-grain

Time moves west;
 other worlds await.
Shadows meet
and merge, cast into darkness–
outlines projected against
the last light of day.

summerhouse silhouetted against a dawn sky

Inspired by Sue Vincent’s prompt, the photo titled “Tryst” , above.  I softened the original collage with a Photoshop filter to give it more of a dusky feeling.

wavering

foggy-woods-s

dislocated map
the trees have changed positions
air and light play tricks

hiding in the miasma
the zone between yes and no

I was inspired by Colleen’s tanka challenge photo this week to pick up a brush and paint, something I haven’t done much of lately.  I used gouache instead of watercolor on the rice paper, which is worth trying again I think.

Unmasked

french-mask

Lines that quote
the face, the hair, the
reign of years
first captured by sculpted earth.
Copy as copy copied.
Serial disguise.

I went to the Met to see Max Beckmann (excellent) and ended up drawing masks, as usual.  The one above is French, from the 1800’s, sculpted on a vessel of some sort.

twisted-face-mask-s

I drew this Mexican “twisted face mask” (dated 600-900) twice, because it looked very different from each side.  It reminded me of Jack Davis’ artistic attempts to define his relationship to his autistic brother Mike.  It must have been based on a member of the community, providing a link to the long-standing effort of humans to consider and include those who fall outside the spectrum of “normal”.

grinning-monkey

This grinning monkey from the Ivory Coast also caught my eye.

The poem uses the Secret Keeper’s prompt words this week.

I’ll be here a bit irregularly for awhile as I have some projects I need to finish…

The Darkest Hour

fire-wands-s

Invisible to eyes in daylight
the future waits, unworn.  Questions
recast as fire, fate moving
backward to the crossroads.
Neither here nor there,
meeting places
disappear.
Not quite
lost.

Found
in dreams
that circle
unremembered.
Seeking refuge in
hidden meanings, beyond.
But when the journey divides
into before and after, what
prediction can find the line between?

flame

A response to Sue Vincent’s prompt this week, Flame.

In Trust (over and over again you recognize that you don’t exist yet)

dont-exist-yet-scan-s

And what will I give up?
Do I have to choose?
Will I know what I’ve done?
Or does someone take it?

The ghost of me breathing.
The step in the step back.
Cold light in warm darkness.
I will hold my shadow open.

for dVerse quadrille #26 ghost

Follow the Drinking Gourd

drinking-gourd-s

If the Devil calls,
sing powerful thoughts: a love
that composes hope.

Inscribe celestial paths,
showing the way to freedom.

For Black History Month, the Borough President’s office is hosting an exhibit of quilts by members of the New York Quilters of Color Network.  Some of the quilts incorporate patterns used as codes for travelers on the Underground Railroad.  Seeing the North Star pattern reminded me of the song “Follow the Drinking Gourd”–the drinking gourd being the dipper, home of Polaris, the North Star.

north-star-close-up-s

The North Star here is surrounded by another coded quilt pattern, the Wagon Wheel.  The words are from the secret keeper and Colleen’s tanka challenge this week.

The Fifth Fact
By Sarah Browning

For Ben’s project he must research five facts
about his African-American hero and write them
on posterboard. He chooses Harriet Tubman,
whose five facts are: Her father’s name was Ben.
Her mother’s name was Old Rit. She was born
in 1820 and died in 1913. She was born in Maryland
and died in New York. Ben asks for advice
about his fifth fact and I suggest: She led more than
300 people to freedom. Ben sighs the way he does
now and says, Everyone knows that, Mom.
You can read the rest of Sarah Browning’s wonderful poem here.
If only, Ben.  If only everyone knew their history.

Postcard Fiction: Tomorrow Never Knows

1-swimming-s

2-breathe-s

3-waves-s

4-moment-s

5-tomorrow-s

we’re swimming in air
we breathe    the stars shine
the waves send time deep

the moment faces the sea
tomorrow is eternal

Jane Dougherty’s Sunday challenge, below, inspired the usual shifting world.  The tanka formed quickly from my word box.

1024px-frederic-lord-leighton-greek-girls-picking-up-pebbles-by-the-sea-1871

Should we believe in yesterday?  or tomorrow?

tomorrow-never-knows-s

Draw a Bird Day: Red Rooster

gallo-mask-s

“Watch out strange kind people
Little Red Rooster is on the prowl”
–Howlin Wolf, interpreting Willie Dixon

This embroidered painting was inspired by a Mexican Carnival mask and the blues, and also in honor of the Year of the Rooster.

gallo-close-up-s

Red as a rooster. Red
as a heart that bleeds with
fire.  Red as the rose
that blooms inside the heart’s desire.
Red as the anger that
is trapped inside the flame.  Red
as the burning blood that
saturates the vein.  Red red.  Red.

The poem uses the red rooster as a starting point.  I finally managed to do a quadrille properly:  44 words.  The rhymes just happened.

Happy Draw-A-Bird Day!