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Perry at the movies


My daughter’s dog Perry (@perrythepitbull). 

Here he is looking at the painting. 

Perry the pit bull!

Draw a Bird Day: Red Rooster


“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.


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!



Darkness gathers light
treasure of expanding grace
jewel of vastness

Invitation to enter
follow  turn around  exchange

For my response to Sue Vincent’s prompt this week, I used as background a photo taken by the Hubble Space Telescope of the Egg Nebula, a dying star 3000 light years away.


The photo actually shows the cloud of dust surrounding the star, as the star can’t be seen directly.  How do they know these things?  You can read more about it here.


The tanka is for Colleen’s challenge this week.  I used “grace” instead of “beauty”, as I think that word is very hard to use in poetry without descending into cliché.


I also did a painted and collaged response, using the mandala form I’m stuck in these days.


Still in need of centering.

Magnetic Poetry Saturday: Circled by Spirit


circled by spirit
reflections of peacefulness

written as heartbeats, spoken
in smiles, awakening warmth

Tanka for Colleen’s weekly prompt also using the Secret Keeper’s words.  I like the challenge of using 7 words in 5 lines.  Much revised.


I keep returning to the seven circles of the seed of life symbol.  It makes a beautiful mandala.

The oracle was, once again, brief.

the fertile song
of deep winter

Self-Portrait #17: block print after Vanessa Bell


I’ve been wanting to do some printing, and since Vanessa Bell, my current artist reference in “100 Self Portraits”, did woodcuts as illustrations for many of her sister Virginia Woolf’s books, I had the perfect excuse.  I used one of the prints that I embellished with paint and embroidery for “Straw Hat”, but here’s the original print in two versions with the print from Bell that I used as a reference.


Of course, I can never leave well enough alone.  So I painted, embroidered, and collaged on some of the prints I made.


I also have another embroidery idea that I haven’t had time to do yet.  It’s on the list.

You can see all of the self-portraits in this series here.

Cracked Ice


At each stage, the path
lies untested—short, brittle
as the frozen grass.

Beyond, the sky waits—alive,
waking the young day with fire.

My response to Sue Vincent’s photo prompt this week, using the secret keeper’s words:


I photographed my watercolor/collage on both white and black grounds.  Context, once again, gives slightly different views of the same thing.


Plays With Planets


like a streaming cloud
this linear light
plays with planets
accessing alien forces
world of galactic fire
opened completely by space

I spent one sleepless night last month doing one magnetic poem after another.  I haven’t looked at them since, but I’m sure there’s plenty of raw material to play with once I get around to it.

This poem started as a collaboration between Nina and me, but she gave up, saying she couldn’t see where it was going.  I tweaked it over a few days, so I don’t know who contributed what–a collaboration, still, even if I had the final say.

And another Rorschach painting underneath.


Andy in the water


My cousin sends me a lot of great photos. I did a couple of versions of this one. This is an example of a painting needing to be done in oils, I think. 

The first version was a watercolor. The angle of the head was awkward and I didn’t really get it at all. 
I thought the pencil sketch was better. The main image if the sketch filled in with watercolor. Unfortunately it was in a sketchbook and the paper crinkled up. Oh well. 

Here is my cousin’s photo. I’m not going to give up on this one quite yet!

Lost Voices


New York is cold (for Leonard Cohen)

Gone. What
traces sing now?
a voice leaving footprints
on fragments, in absence, ghost path


Beware of Darkness (for Leon Russell)

Trace your voice, gone silent now. No words,
a path unforked,  a place untimed.
I’m singing this song, now, to
you.  Sounds falling alone,
sense without context.

It was a bad week.  When I did these paintings, it was with trepidation, as I hadn’t picked up a brush in quite awhile.  But it was easy to get lost in the doing and felt good.

The poems use the secret keeper’s prompts from October 17 (#59):  
I’ve got folders containing a lot of the WordPress prompts from the past 2 months, although after the first 2 weeks I didn’t do much with them except write some poems, now in a folder marked “needs art”.  I’m working on it.

Light Shift Anew


air misted with light
transparent, a shift
blurred softly, anew

silences weep, anew
cloudbursts reveal light
displaced as words shift,

as disguises shift,
multiplied anew
transitions of light–

light weightless shift expanding tears overflow anew


Jane Dougherty’s challenge this week was a tritina poem, with the painting above, and the word “parting”.