Friday Poem: Regret – With Assonance

Another week of daily poetry prompts, and again I’ve written something that doesn’t quite fit the assignment…oh well! For this one, I picked up on the fingers part (and mention of guitar) and wrote a sort of prose poem, with repeated vowel sounds. It was quite a challenge getting the right rhythm while keeping to the story – no wonder I write free verse most of the time!as24

His hands are large, unusually long, an advantage in playing guitar. My own hands are smaller, so to play as he does can’t be done, I regret, though I try. His hands are large, unusually long, and my fingers are too short to play.

a rock tray

Also, I’m too lazy, I guess…

Creativity: Escape XIV

More pages from my altered book, “Escape”. This double page spread has a theme – Bliss! Being creative brings bliss, as does the cello playing of the late Jacqueline du Pré.

Escape 37


I’m not sure where I came across this quote from sculptor and artist Henry Moore, but it’s an interesting idea. I’d quite like to go back to Washington State and live for a while, which is something I could possibly do…Not that is actually a task as such.
Escape 38


The original text is obliterated with a mix of acrylic paints, with coloured pencil framing the quote. Paper pieces are pasted in, and I’ve used commercial stamps, plus the hand carved key stamp.
Escape 39

Weekly Photography Challenge: The Rule of Thirds

As a rule, minimalism isn’t my thing…so this weeks Photography Challenge is a real challenge! However, the instructions for this Rule of Thirds post inspired me to investigate the “creative” settings on my camera at last, so that’s a good thing!

Oh! That’s what that does! Expect more bokeh in my work from now on…

I’ve included an image I took in Olympia WA  in 2011 for it’s simplicity. The others are brand new – regrowth from a eucalypt, my pretty bead curtain and one of my ‘found object’ pendants.

Friday Poems, and an Unsent Letter

I signed up for Writing 201: Poetry, thinking it would be a good stimulus for writing poetry, but so far I am well behind on the (absolutely optional) assignments. It’s been a busy week and poetry has been pushed to the backburner.

However, I had an hour or so in a cafe yesterday morning and half an hour today, just me, my notebook and pen and a soy cappuccino…I couldn’t remember all the details of the prompts, but I did manage to produce a limerick and an acrostic – my subject being dictated by the date today, being Kurt Cobain’s birthday…

cp posterised


There was a young man out of Aberdeen
Who made a big splash in the Grunge Scene;
He played his guitar
And camped in his car,
But was known round the world for his scream.

A little bit of alliteration, even!Rock Band Nirvana --- Image by © Mark Seliger/CORBIS OUTLINE

Kounter Dominator Culture
Under all circumstances
Relationship is everything
Try to be kind.

Some internal rhyme, would have been more if I took the time…nirvana in suits newHey, Kurt,

Not 48 today.Not fretting about a paunch, or greying in the beard. No dad jokes, or dad dancing, none of that for you. What if you hadn’t died like that? What if you were still in the world, passe not cool. What if something different had happened in the long chain of events that was your life? What if you turned a different corner, turned a corner in your psyche and healed those old wounds? What if?

Ewan McGregor is too old now to play you in the movie of your life. But what if there was a what if movie? Ewan could play you, the retired rock-god, selling CDs (or would it be vinyl, you hipster) out of the boot of your car, criss-crossing the country, enjoying the scenery, camping in the car when business was poor. And going back to the farm and the home studio whenever you felt like it. Probably you’d have published a book or two since quitting the day job. Plenty of people embark on a career they think they want, only to find out it doesn’t suit them after all – so they quit, retrain, do something else. Why not you? I suppose you would have met up with Dave and Krist (and Pat) sometime in the last five years, and started jamming for old times sake, which would have been fun. Then you would have thought about recording, and maybe some shows. A show here and there might have led to a world tour – would you have been up for that? It happened for the Pixies and they seem to be coping – although Kim left after a while to go back to the Breeders…

What else can I say? Is a Nirvana reunion the apotheosis of the story? For my What If movie, starring Ewan McGregor as Kurt Cobain as a middle aged ex-rock star…I suppose it would be. And it would be heaps better than Rock of Ages – just saying…

Footnote: I mention Ewan McGregor because he is a fine actor and, not long after Kurt died, was mistaken (by a couple of very drunk people) for Kurt’s ghost. Why Kurt’s ghost would be wandering around London was not explained.

Creativity: Escape XIII

More pages from my altered book “Escape”…This one features my dream home, a “cabin-in-the-woods”, with me flying over the roof – because when I’m dreaming, I like to fly. The page was painted over with house paints, and then crayon and coloured pencil was added. A few lines of black marking pen help define the drawing. Working outside the lines is what artists do, don’t you think?


Escape 34


Instead of paint, this page is covered with a sheet of tissue from an old dressmaking pattern – it has the layout for cutting your fabric printed on it. Over that, a stamp of fancy scissors (appropriate!), and a wild rose, which I’ve coloured in with pencil. The text is an admonition to self – some relationships are not helpful…for creativity, or anything else.
Escape 35


The paint colour on this page is called “Kirkwood”, which is the surname of the Meatpuppet brothers, and made the colour irrisistable to me. My youngest son’s room once featured a colour called “Pixie”, but I’ve never gone with a dark purple labeled “Nirvana”. I have to like the colour as well as the name!

The bit of printed text is from a brochure advertising an art exhibition, and a good reminder – looking really isn’t the same as seeing. Like many women, I struggle still with “duty” – what I “should” do, and “patience”, which can mean just putting up with things which are unhelpful to me – and they get in the way of creativity. So I’m typing this post when I “should” be making dinner….
Escape 36

Weekly Photography Challenge: Symmetry

The theme of the week for the Photography Challenge is  Symmetry – heart

The shape we all recognize as “Love Heart” is usually perfectly symmetrical, as is this lovely old brooch. I would like to wear it more often, but the clasp is…untrustworthy, so it is likely to come undone, and get lost.a pair of jackets

Not quite symmetrical, this pair of baby’s matinee jackets were both bought in op shop/thrift stores around thirty years apart. They are knitted to the same pattern, but are not quite identical, either, as the newer one has a larger collar, and only two layout

maybe I should have cropped this picture a little, so that the table was exactly in the middle, to emphasise the symmetry of the image. We were working on the layout of a book of the history of our local Hall, and spread all the pages across two trestle tables in order to survey the whole thing. You can see some of the local pioneers portraits at the bottom – our Hall is famously adorned with them, and Anne had spent months on the task of unearthing information about the lives of as many as possible – difficult since some of the names had been mis-spelled over the years, quite apart from the lapse of time. Kelly, on the right, has relatives amongst the pioneers – another piece of symmetry.

Friday Poem: Desire

a red shadowIt’s St Valentine’s day tomorrow – I’m not sure whether that makes this poem timely or quite the opposite…The ideas expressed in it are influenced in part by reading Polly Young-Eisendrath‘s book “Women and Desire: beyond wanting to be wanted”, alongside my wide reading of Buddhist ideas.a yab yum

To be desired
is not desirable to me;
I complete
no-one but myself.
Desire wants
to acquire some object.
To be
in relation to
is a better way
to be.

to be simply,
to simply be:
To be an object of desire
or to desire objects-
Neither of these
will do.
to be emptied of desire
To be Free.a rock tray

Creativity: Escape XII

After a few weeks of other creative endeavours, I’m back to my altered book “Escape” again, with the admonition to “Be your artistic self all the time…”DSCF9379 (Large)

This double page spread includes copies of pages from another book I made – “About a Boy”, with Patti Smith’s lyrics of her song of that name, written and recorded after the untimely death of Kurt Cobain. The photo of Kurt, originally cut out of a magazine, was by photographer Stephen Sweet. Stamps of bird cages were used throughout that book, and I stamped more over the copies in here, also colouring in with the same pink and orange as the page backgrounds.DSCF9380 (Large)

Here’s a detail of the multi-layering. The tree stamp is one I carved myself, during our trip to the Pacific North West a few years ago. I made a couple in response to each place we stayed. All you need is some cheap erasers and a craft knife – and a pencil to draw the image onto the eraser. If it’s relevant to your design, remember it will print back-to-front! Very important for text! carefully cut away the parts you don’t need, and you have a custom stamp ready to use.DSCF9382 (Large)

One page is embellished with ‘found’ sequins, simply sewn in place, adding a touch of sparkle

Weekly Photography Challenge: Scale

Scale is the word of the week for the Photography Challenge, with an invitation to have some fun with the juxtaposition of tiny things in regular sized environments. I immediately thought of this photo , which I took in Portland, Oregon in August 2011 – a toy horse tied up on the sidewalk.scale 3

I wanted something new as well, so I took a pic of some of the little plastic figures that seem to come home with me from my volunteer job at the Salvos op shop/thrift store, alongside an owl my daughter gave me – all wildly out of scale.



And lastly, I couldn’t help using my fab orange plastic retro kitchen scale, adding one cherry tomato alongside the fat vine tomatoes.scale 2

Friday Poem: Question Everything

The poem came first. Then somehow I had some Time Alone this week, with pen and paper, and thinking of the poem and all that has been going on in the world of late (what’s new?), I wrote a little rant…question everything

Nothing is certain,
Not even this:
I don’t want to be certain-
I want to wonder
And to exercise curiosity.

I don’t want to be
Like a man who is sure what is true;
Such men are dangerous
For sure.
There have been a few.

Let me instead
Always question everything,
And keep ‘if’ and ‘maybe’
Firmly in my vocabulary.question everything 2

I don’t like Dominator Culture, however it is expressed. But, because we are immersed in it, it can be difficult to see – but once one is aware, it’s everywhere. Misogyny, abuse of children, spousal violence, unequal pay scales for men and women, cheap, illegal Mexican labour used for dirty, dangerous and underpaid work, 1% of the world’s population “owning” as much as the other 99% put together, violent struggles for control, whether for families, neighbourhoods or whole countries or religions. Keeping up with the Joneses and other extringent goals, playground bullies trying to assuage their own miserable self-worth by destroying someone else’s….Dominator Culture surrounds us every day, in ways both large and small, with the seemingly insignificant feeding on and into the blindingly obvious.

No one can beat Dominator Culture, because beating is joining it…So how to counter it?

Mohondas Gandhi taught non-violent non-cooperation, and one form of non-violent non-cooperation that anybody can participate in is to ask questions, maintain curiosity and to live an actively creative life. To be widely read, and go into the wild without wanting to tame it, to regard all persons as the equal of oneself (am I sounding like Walt Whitman? Don’t mind if I do…). To draw in the margins, and colour outside the lines. To love one another, and cultivate compassion, even towards those who seem to be the very worst…All this is deeply radical behavior,
and utterly contrary to Dominator Culture.question everything 3