Poetry Feed

Bits and Pieces Equal Art

Paying attention to spaces between words

Not too many folks get terribly excited about leftovers, although I confess that I enjoy them. Sometimes, they even seem to taste better the second time around.

And, even better than the kitchen leftovers, are the art leftovers...

  • the paint that I don't want to waste, so it gets brayered onto a blank journal page
  • scraps of papers
  • words cut out of poetry books and magazines
  • bits of washi tape
  • photos I've printed, just waiting for a home

Pages just evolve over time, adding bits and pieces of this and that, mostly whatever happens to be on my studio table because I haven't cleaned it up yet.

I'd love to tell you that my studio gets cleaned each day when I finish, but I'd be lying. And, honestly? The jumble of supplies never fails to inspire. Media and scraps that have no business being together look totally cool.

I love getting my photos off the camera; they might end up on note cards, tacked onto my walls, or on an art page.

I love the play of it all, moving this and that around until my eyes light up.

It's not a steady process; this background languished for a day or two, until it told me what it needed.

A quote about resting in the silence between word caught my attention the other day; it's been floating around in my head ever since.

So, I grabbed a poetry book bought at a huge sale, and begin to search for similar words. And then...gasp!...I cut them out.

Billy Collins, I apologize for this transgression and all future transgressions, because I'll be snipping words again. You can bet on it. My only excuse is that poets use the best words.

I love the words I found; they say so much, as words can.

But, sometimes, you need to listen very closely to what's not being said...the spaces and silences between the words.

If you can manage to still yourself enough to do so, you learn a lot of good stuff. Important stuff.

At least, I do.

I Want to Say


Now that I’m home
I just want to say I was there
And that I loved waking up, seeing the water
Listening to the gulls screeching
Their good mornings

I want you to know now that I’ve left
That I liked this tiny barrier island town
Tucked along Virginia’s Eastern Shore
I loved the ponies munching the soft rain heavy grass
Completely unfazed by clicking cameras
I loved spying the glorious thistles
Nestled in the grass and hearing that voice say,
“What have you found there?”

Let me say that all the gray days
Just didn’t matter as we
Explored tiny forgotten towns along Route 13
Dusty antique stores with treasures longing to be found
Rusty vintage cars resting in fields of golden yellow buttercups
And dreaming of past glory

I loved the smell of coffee percolating in my mother’s
Battered ancient aluminum pot
And the leisurely breakfasts as the two of us
Watched egrets wading through muck, hunting for their own morning meal
Followed the course of the time worn working vessels
Headed out to sea

Let me just say
I delighted in the taste of crisp crab cakes
Fresh strawberries with crème fraiche and
Glasses of our favorite wines,
Each drop holding its own memories

Now that I’m home
I want to tell you
That we sat captivated
Watching the ominous gray front marching
Across the cloud laden sky
Listening to thunder rumbling in the distance
Then making us jump with one resounding crack
And the sheer whiteness of the lightening
Stretching its fingers along the horizon
Making us blink in delight and surprise

Know that I loved it all
Tumbling gray surf
Salt stung skin
Rain drops pelting against windows
Shell fragments dropped into our pockets
Time to just be alone with him
Cherishing the gift of the two of us


Note: Modeled after Natalie Goldberg's "I Just Want to Say."


No Real Hurry

Space walk

I want to dance along this path

until I arrive at

that place where

the earth kisses the sky,

but not too quickly, please.


Because, you see

there is so much magic along the way

and I need to inhale it all,

let it mingle in my mind and soul.


I want to drink it in greedily,

swirl it in my mouth,

and encourage it to linger on my taste buds.


I've learned there's no real hurry

to arrive at my destination,

and that I will be taking the byways

and back roads

that meander through sleepy old towns,

stopping for picnics along the way,

watching the bees gathering pollen

and the butterflies nectar.


No, there's no hurry,

none at all.

But when I do arrive

I'll turn and look back

one last time

and simply smile in awe

before I tumble into

a brand new space.




Gathering the snippets of brightly colored threads

the pieces of my life...


Feathers dancing

across pine needle

carpeted forest floors


Snuggling a pansy's roots

down into the deep rich soil

that gives it life


Scents of spring rain

and soup

simmering on the stove


Catching the night's sounds

through open bedroom windows

weaving them into a

dream catcher's web

to hang above me


Listening to winter stripped trees

whispering my stories

and asking for their voices to be heard


Grandmother wisdom

drawing close the

laughter and kisses

of those I love

building a nest in my soul.


Carried by the Surprise

Winter walk2
                                                                        At "Twisted Posts Winery";

"There's no excuse for being bored. There's a great big world out there with so damn much to see and do. If you're bored, it's your own damn fault."

And, with those words from Dad, off we'd go with little or nothing to spend, sandwiches packed, and open to adventure. Gas was cheap, and the possibilities seemed endless. 

I own some well traveled, time worn, oh so comfortable gypsy shoes. I use them every chance I get.

Inspiration is there for the taking, no matter what the season or weather. I just need to open my eyes, drink it in, and collect the magic. It might be a tiny seed pod from a tree, a blue jay's feather, a post card sized print from a local artist.

I might be watching whiskey get made, taking in the latest art gallery exhibit, or poking in a new to me antique shop and coming home with ephemera for my art and journals.

My husband owns a pair of those gypsy shoes as well, and just like my childhood days, there might not be much money to spend, but pack us some fresh grapes, some good cheese, and maybe a loaf of really good bread and we're set. Even a PBJ as Twit #1 calls them, or a ham and cheese sandwich, taste pretty darn good when we're off adventuring.

Yesterday's photo prompt asked us to think about several things - where we find hope or inspiration, the things that drain our soul, what we longed for, and what prevents us from acting on our dreams.

There's a whole heap of photo possibilities in those questions!

All of us experience those soul draining days, filled with anxiety, loss, fear, and so much more. Life hands them to us on a regular basis, and I'm glad I don't know what's coming some times.

 I've learned though, that I nearly always get through the problem of the day one way or the other. Strong Eastern European blood runs through me, and I carry a lot of strength inside me. A lot of stubbornness as well, which might be the only thing that gets me from points A to B at times. One step at a time, baby, one step at a time.

As for what holds me back, well, it's mostly me. Fear of what others might think, fear of not being good enough, fear of "wasting my time.' So many damn fears that keep me, and you and you and you, from really living our lives.

Leaning into this second half of life, I'm going for it, good enough or not.

Because you see, I'm doing it for me, and that's the only reason I really need.

       "I would like to live,

      Like a river flows,

      Carried by the surprise

      Of its own unfolding."

               - John O'Donohue





Captivated by a Bucket

Oct14 112

Resting atop the wooden post

Seemingly insignificant

I suspect you have stories to tell

You captiviated me

Maybe because like me

You're just a bit worse for the wear

Battered with some rusty bits

Yet, I watched sunlight dance across you

With shadows of leaves creating patchwork patterns

And for some reason

Another poet's words echo

In this monkey mind of mine

"So much depends

On a red wheelbarrow..."

Because, I'm sure

Much depends, as well, on you being there as well

And, I'm wishing

We could sit and share our stories

While resting in the October sun


Note: The words quoted are from William Carlos William's "The Red Wheelbarrow," long a favorite of mine.

Oct14 073

She stands tall

Her face basking in the warmth of the sun

A woman comfortable in her own skin

Not afraid to honor a place

Others have abandoned

After all

A bit of wildness resides in her soul


While in Cambridge, New York, I spent quite a bit of time on my knees, crawling through weeds. Seemingly abandoned tracks, a tiny alley full of weeds and Queen Anne's Lace, it completely captivated me.

I have always loved this flower, despite my mother's adamant protests that I had been picking weeds. There's something to be said for weeds, I think. Most survived despite our best intentions to kill them. They just keep coming back, not a bad quality, this persistence.

I did a bit of research this morning; Queen Anne's Lace thrives nearly anywhere, only requiring full sun. She is said to symbolize a woman comfortable in her own skin, and she is at heart a wild carrot.

It all seemed to come together for me.