Showing posts from June, 2014


Mary Oliver is one of my favorite poets
And this is one of my favorite poems:
The Summer Day
By Mary Oliver

Who made the world? Who made the swan, and the black bear? Who made the grasshopper? The grasshopper, I mean- the one who has flung herself out of the grass, the one who is eating sugar out of my hand, who is moving her jaws back and forth instead of up and down- who is gazing around with her enormous and complicated eyes. Now she lifts her pale forearms and thoroughly washes her face. Now she snaps her wings open, and floats away. I don’t know exactly what a prayer is. I do know how to pay attention, how to fall down into the grass, how to kneel down in the grass, how to be idle and blessed, how to stroll through the fields, which is what I have been doing all day. Tell, me, what else should I have done? Doesn’t everything die at last, and too soon? Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?
 **************************             Each of her poems is a perfect prayer. H…

Haibun and Tanka Prose

I love writing my free-verse, stream of consciousness poems but I also like playing with different forms. I want to experiment with some truly structured poetic forms such as sonnets, villanelles, triolets, and others but at the moment I am looking toward haibun and tanka prose, two Japanese forms that I think will work well with my art. They have a magical, mystical quality that lends itself to exploring mixed media techniques in illustrating or creating backgrounds for the poems.

Here is a haiku art piece I created a while back that I'd like to share to give you an idea.

I am writing poems for a future collection and I am leaning toward making it all haibun and tanka prose or perhaps just one section will be in that form.
Haibun are a combination of prose poem and haiku linked together to tell one story. I've seen them with one prose piece followed by one haiku, or a series of alternating prose poems and haiku.
Tanka prose is similar except instead of having haiku intertwined wi…


I am attempting to develop an art style to use when combining my art and my poems and I am getting closer. I think mixed media will work--using a combination of paint and collage and interweaving several layers to get a final look I'm happy with. I want to work toward some consistent look to the pieces and perhaps narrow down the palette to two or three different color combinations. I'm considering maybe a peach-beige-brown combo and a blue-purple-mauve look. Considering some others too. I'm not so happy with this one as it's a bit too brightly yellow, but the composition seems right and I took the lines from one of my poems that still needs a bit of work but I liked how these fit. 

I'd love comments and suggestions and hope you'll come back to see what else is brewing.


On June 12 I held my first book signing event. It was hosted by Julie Hernandez, a good friend and fellow Tapestries Writers' Group member. The signing was held in Julie's space in the yoga studio in Huntington Station and was attended by close friends. It's a good start. Maybe one day my signings will be attended by other poets, new and established writers, and others who will become my future friends.

I am very thankful to Julie and to all who came to see my book, share in some wine and cheese and hear me read. I had not planned to read at the event as I am a bit shy about speaking in front of groups of people. It's a phobia of mine even though I have taught classes of adults and children and presented workshops to my staff and to parents at the special education preschool where I work. In the end it was pretty easy and I'm glad Karen, Lori and Julie encouraged me to do it. Once I got started it was so natural and not anxiety producing at all. I just let myself …


a page from my art journal-not my real artistic work but more informal and laid back processes of using magazine pictures, simple background and doodling

A few ideas have been swirling in my head and beginning to come together to make a plan. I've been listening to Jack Canfield's audio CDs of his book "The Success Principles." Lots of great and encouraging information and it makes the commute to work seem shorter and much more interesting. Listening to him speak really encourages the listener to shoot for the moon and aim for the farthest stars. I am beginning to believe I can do what I set out to do.
One of the most telling "principles" in Canfield's book is the one about "being willing to pay the price," meaning implementing the time and effort and energy required to achieve your goals. And it means being willing to give up doing and having all the other things in your life that do not catapult you in the direction you want to go. That's …


Still figuring out different ways to incorporate art and poetry. Sometimes the poems lend themselves to certain artistic styles, other times it takes some manipulating and pondering. Not totally happy with this particular piece but I want to share the process with you.

I began by painting a base of ivory acrylic to the paper then stamped the script background using tan and gold paint. I used a flower stencil to add another layer and outlined the petals with a black permanent Sharpie marker in fine point. I also used a stencil that created polka dots in a blend of dark coral and orange in the underlying background.

I searched through a journal of my poems to find something that hit me as usable in an art piece and ended up choosing a few lines of one poem. I had to do a bit of revision even on those till it felt right. I was drawn to this poem because it speaks to the mode I'm in right now in my life. Exploring different avenues for creativity and growing some sort of retirement busi…


I'm getting into focus again with poetry and art. Yesterday I reorganized my art supplies and started a layered background piece to mount a poem on. Art and poetry are definitely anchors for me. They bring me closer to my heart and soul and I turn to them for grounding and support. But today I want to talk about other anchors in my life.

Last week at a Weight Watchers meeting my leader Patty asked us to choose an anchor to use when we encounter struggles with staying on program. At first I couldn't come up with anything. Later that night it dawned on me that of course I could use my mother's wedding band and diamond ring that I have been wearing for the past six years. I often spin them around my right hand ring finger or play with them when trying to figure out a puzzle or make a decision. So I decided to use that anchor to also help me stay on track. It was a good choice because I can still here Mom's voice telling me to lose weight so I can be healthy.

That night I ha…