Sunday, December 1, 2013

Chaotic Grace

(the first moments when learning to skate)

Collect the coat

Cover the head
Circle the scarf
Cinch the laces
Clean the blades 

Clatter to the edge 
Clasp the other 
Creep and tilt 

Compassion’s hand 
Cotton-like voice 
Corrals hope 
Compels to try 
Chaotic grace. 

(First Skate – water color, gouache and ink on paper
to purchase reprints or cards click HERE)

To see the entire work (prose and additional poetry) for which this poem was created, click HERE.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013


(Autumn Memories - water color on paper
click HERE to purchase reprints or cards)
You are more than what you expect to be
more than all the fears of others combined
greater than the need to conquer
or fix
or do.
There is no need to win 
nor win others who need you.
One job:
wake and open your eyes
do what you can so
you can do the same
In between be kind,
show up.
No gauge of 
big or small.
Be there, just be
If no one else sees it,
over and over and over
please know that
what will shine
is your

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Martin Luther King, Jr. – I Have A Dream Speech Anniversary

(oil on canvas)

On the 50th anniversary of the Martin Luther King, JR. speech, I listened to a recording from Youtube  while reading the National Archives transcript.  It was the first time I listened to the speech in its entirety.  I was struck by the weight of the context and equally by the beauty of his words such as:

Lonely island of poverty in the midst of a vast ocean of material prosperity … the fierce urgency of now … sunlit path of racial justice … soul force over physical force … veterans of creative suffering … the content of their character … every valley shall be exulted, every hill and mountain will be made low. 

From these words I was motivated to paint.

Saturday, August 10, 2013

The Circle

(water color and ink on paper)

Some say that life
Is a connection of dots
First one then another
Creating straight angles.

I think an alternate shade,
Where each moment
Rests upon a curve,
A collection of arcs.

Circles, wheels, globes.
The initial blends with
Each finale.

In time the sight
Reveals the truth
Not from without,
To see it is the center.

Sit and run 
Live and turn, 
We fall apart then
Fall within the circle.

An inspiration when creating a card for Rob Arkes, his birthday and passionate cyclist.  Sitting down with a blank piece of paper, I saw a collection of bicycle wheels that soon evolved into a collaboration of circles.  After the paint and ink were dry the mental imagery of “showing up each day” and the “arcs of each moment” spilled out, which lead to the poem.  How we struggle to live a life laden with linear language (the straight and narrow … toe the line … make a bee line) perpetuating conformity to social norms or that success requires speed and a singular straight approach.  I know that circles include lines, yet they curve and lack terminal points (beginning or ending).  They also have a space within and a center, which feels like growth of self.  So, inspired by a bicycle wheel  the creation evolved to a metaphor for living (besides, I doubt many bees ever fly  in a straight line).

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Through the Window Pane, From a Red Green Chair

(water color on paper)
There, the corner of the sky float little birds.
Behind gray grids
Tall oak fans wide
She grasps one brittle leaf
Below, its siblings
Swirl root to root.
Above, a crown of crows
Heads pulled inward, mute eyes scanning.
Fragments of car and truck
Pass the gaps ‘tween
Pale wooden slats,
Boundary for the outer world
All seen by one
Anchored to a red green chair.

Body limited by his brittle heart
Buoyed by pyrotechnic pills,
Lungs once a multiverse of bellows
Now air locked catacombs.
Pancreas enslaved to needles,
Joints injured, inflamed, in need
Of repair.
Dab the eyes
Wish the arms would grow
And grow
Stretch through the panes
Beyond the oak
Push back the gate
To breath, to walk to
Live easily
Away from the red green chair.

All in a moment
His mind blinks …
Melancholy pulls all back
To darkness.
In blackness color dashes
Scatters, settles in.
What use is hope?
Damn the damage done.
Accept the seat.
What’s left of time?
This stew that is his parts,
Once lid rattling,
Rests cold upon the counter
By the red green chair.

There, upon the knee
Two tiny eyes graced with passion
Coiled from nostril to bristled tail.
Up, blur of fur
Across the lap
White bridge with
Blue and purple shadows.
Hand under ear,
Gentle little rub
Away the outer world
With purrs
One smile bears a second.
Lungs expand,
Inner space expands, there
In the corner of his sky float little birds
Around old oak
Crowns of boasting crows
Call to those below
Adorned in the red green chair.

A painting that led to a poem, so far my pattern (one leads to the next).   Partially inspired while looking out the back window on a cold winter day and the many furry souls that help connect my daily dots.