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October 2022

like a sudden flash,
green turns into fire that falls–
autumn paths open

like a sudden flash–
unexpected, unmasking
the retreating past

green turns into fire that falls,
exposing the skeletons
underneath the veil

autumn paths open–
the earth folds into itself–
dusk-faded, shadowed

Lisa, at Tao Talk, reminded me of the troiku form, which I’ve borrowed from her to use also for Colleen’s #TankaTuesday prompt, where the theme is lightning, suggested by Sangeetha.

It does finally feel like autumn here. Not much color yet, but it’s coming. We’ve had a wet day with the remnants of Hurricane Ian, and the building turned on the heat for the first time this morning.

Happy October!


My message today from the Oracle….


Nina, my old friend of 40+ years, and blogmate from methodtwomadness, came into the city with her husband yesterday for a visit and lunch. It’s only the second time we’ve seen each other since the beginning of Covid.

She brought me one of her beautiful paintings. The Oracle knows how much this lifted my spirits. Thanks Nina


is what we can always give–
listening with the language
of the heart

happy to be

remembering all the rivers
of song shared
in the between

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The Kick-About #63 ‘Vilhelm Hammershøi’

Some explorations of light and space.

Red's Kingdom

Our last Kick-About together was inspired by continual movement and the accompanying changes of scale and perspective. This week’s showcase of new works made in a short time is, by contrast, a mediation on silence and stillness, as we explore together the hushed, pensive environs that feature in the paintings of Vilhelm Hammershøi.

Graeme Daly

“Hammershøi’s paintings feel so breathy and poetic, like you are peeking into the lives of the mysterious figures. I can’t help but think of a Victorian doll house with all its little furniture placed exactly as the collector envisions. I was initially inspired by the gorgeous light throughout Hammershøi’s paintings and awoke at the crack of dawn to capture the sun as it pooled in through the shutters and windows where the light licked the walls, doors and wooden furniture. I decided at the last minute to perch myself in areas that could resemble the…

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Shorts for the Weekend — Red Phoenix, featuring Kerfe

Teagan has made a story out of Six Happiness–enjoy!

Teagan's Books

Saturday, September 24, 2022

Altered Pixabay imageWelcome to my sanctuary.  You’re in a safe place.  When I started this series of short stories, I had asked readers to send images I would use to spontaneously inspire the tales. Of course, I got off track, when inspiration flew under my nose.  I read Kerfe‘s beautiful poem and asked her if I could use it, along with a couple of her photos from that same post.  I loved her poem because the symbol of the phoenix has always resonated with me.

Note:  This story is my own fiction. It is not meant to be a statement of any of Kerfe’s personal beliefs.  When I asked her permission to use the poem, I had no idea what the story would become.


Actually, this odd tale has been clawing to get out for weeks.  However, 99.9% of my stories have happy endings —…

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Jewish Museum (Thursday Doors)

aging in place

paths of other lives well-worn–
of layered movement,
other steps repeated, present–
lives remembered, reborn,
well-worn–renewed and also ancient

The Jewish Museum was originally located in the library of the Jewish Theological Seminary on the Upper West Side. In 1944, Frieda Schiff Warburg, the widow of financier Felix Warburg, donated the family mansion to the museum to house its growing collection. Landmarked in 1981, the mansion was designed in the French Gothic chateau style by architect Charles P H Gilbert in 1908. It is one of the few surviving residences from the early 1900s on upper Fifth Avenue.

It was the first Jewish Museum in the United States, and holds the largest collection of Jewish art and culture outside of Israel. I visited a few weeks ago to see the “New York 1962-1964” exhibit. In the 1960s, the museum was a leader in exhibiting contemporary art, and this show contains over 150 artists working in the city at the time who were exhibited here.

The interior contains doors that look just like you would expect doors to look in a Victorian Age mansion. But somehow it works with all kinds of art. In the photo below, you can see in the far room the video of Walter Cronkite giving the news that JFK had been assassinated. The exhibit contained videos, music, dance, poetry, and cultural references as well as visual art.

Here’s a different view through a door into another room.

And here’s a beautiful emergency exit door.

I really like this museum because it’s not too large, it’s never too crowded, and they curate their exhibits so well. There was of course work by many artists I was familiar with, but I was glad to make the acquaintance of some new ones too.

Martha Edelheit
Carolee Schneeman
Emma Amos

My poem is in the Emmett form, for Muri’s scavenger hunt.

You can visit the Jewish Museum website here.

And as always look for more doors and share your own here at Thursday Doors, hosted by Dan Antion.

The Kick-About #62 ‘Powers Of Ten’

This week from the macro to the micro with Charles and Ray Eames.

Red's Kingdom

From the internal and endlessly expansive spaces of our memories, as inspired by our previous Kick-About together, we’re this week exploring the mind-boggling extremities of different scales, courtesy of Charles and Ray Eames’ 1977 short film, Powers Of Ten. Enjoy this latest showcase of ‘new works made in a short time’, the big and the small and everything in-between.

James Randall

“As a youngster I recall the concept of infinity as an exciting concept that had huge at one end and tiny at the other. Then it got a bit messy and I threw in the concept of mother nature as a religion to cover the extremities. I approached this KA as a mechanical exercise where a square is 1×1 of a certain colour, 10×10 are lines across and down in the next colour wheel colour (and I varied the thickness of the lines and added some variation within…

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water is

Neil Reid borrowed my painting as inspiration for his lovely poem.

    her face was a river, round.

    her hands and arms, the reach and gathering of tide.

    her two legs the way water begins and ends.

    her hair, the mane of waves in a storm.

    I was there.

    her imagination roams, and now is including me.

    her eyes, lingering, taking a measures worth.

    her lips, oh her lips, sailing, making way to home.

    her voice ever shadows my ears.

    I took comfort there.

    and water, when you look, is all made of threads.

    since the sea was born, till she lays me down,

    I was there. I still am.

blue water art above by Kerfe.with permission, thanks.

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September 2022

end of summer–
still sweltering and tired
of the relentless sun

gratis, an impulse to channel
ancient oceanic immersion
keeps me company

I draw on memories
of sand as floor,
the harmony of waves

water flashes through me
like a train I’ve boarded
that has abandoned its tracks

adjoining these ruminations
is an unmasked eagerness
for the refreshing chill of autumn

but I wonder if the shape
of the year still exists–
or if it will always be now

flooded, burning at the edges–
marching into the pages of a book
we didn’t mean to write

I consulted the Oracle 2 words Jane generated this week for my September circle/grid poem. The shape of time seems to get more distorted by the day.

The Kick-About #61 ‘I Remember’

Memory can be a tricky thing…

Red's Kingdom

Our last Kick-About together was a celebration of the idea of tea-making, tea-drinking, and its various rituals. Without this activity, with its powers of comfort and displacement, I wonder sometimes how we would otherwise negotiate some of life’s disappointments, large and small. Disappointment is one of the themes of Molly Drake’s I Remember, and it is Drake’s delicate, if devastating song that has this week inspired us to produce new works in a short time.

Marion Raper

My story begins with our family holiday to Dorset. It was probably early 60s and I think we were staying in Swanage. We were usually quite lucky with the weather, but it was not to be this time. As we had no car then, my parents decided on taking a nice coach trip to Lulworth Cove which was a famous beauty spot not far along the coast. My sister and I…

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The Kick-About #60 ‘A Chawan Is A Bowl’

Thoughts on what is involved in serving tea.

Red's Kingdom

I wonder if Augustus Osbourne Lamplough (our previous Kick-About prompt) ever sipped tea as he laboured at his paintings under some far-off afternoon sun? We’ll never know, but tea is clearly a tonic for the Kick-About collective, as these latest examples of new works made in a short time will illustrate.

Kerfe Roig

“I constructed my chawan of tea-dyed paper—the outside of watercolor paper, the inside a coffee filter. The tea leaves took to each in a different way.I found a paper plate bowl online, and copied the pattern, then sewed my vessel together in my own (imperfect) way. It resembles birchbark baskets made by Native Americans more than Japanese ceramics, and certainly would hold no liquid. But the spirit invoked is the same.”

Rituals evolve–
each step repeated, echoed,
but never mirrored
exactly, never complete.
We construct vessels
to replace our ungrown wings–
imperfect, always–
impossible, fragile, filled

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