Paint Pouring Pieces

I’ve taken to playing with paints lately and having lots of fun. I discovered something called ‘pouring paint’, which I’ve tried on a variety of media including tiles, terra cotta, leaves and paper.

I’ve also started working my way through a poetry workbook: How to Write Poetry: A Guided Journal with Prompts to Ignite Your Imagination. Chapter 2 includes a prompt to think about a scene that brought joy and to describe it using imagery. Below is the resulting piece about the joy I’ve found in paint pouring.

She enters the cool cave of her studio
in the quiet hours of morning,
pulling back the curtains –
light pours in.
She stands at her craft table,
gazes at the empty field before her,
possibility pulsing and pumping. 
Oh! The rainbow!
She sorts through the bottles
sky or sun or lake,
or maybe geraniums?
She divides nature’s infinity
to a handful.
The canvas waits like a child
just before Mom gives
the go-ahead to jump into the pool.
She pours:
the Adriatic aqua of the sea in Croatia
raspberries, full and ripe
silvery birches.
Big puddles.
Dots and dabbles.
She gives these new friends time
to get to know each other.
Then she starts the music,
and they dance
in slow flowing steps.
They take up the space they’re given
waltzing to the edges.
Drip Drop Plop over the sides,
little psychedelic splashes –
like candy to decorate your daughter’s
birthday cake when she’s 7.
The sea-fruit-tree settles
and still, holding  
her energy, singing joy 
on the wings of her breath.

Be Excessively Gentle with Yourself

Columbine leaf with morning rain

A Blessing for One Who is Exhausted by John O’Donahue

When the rhythm of the heart becomes hectic,
Time takes on the strain until it breaks;
Then all the unattended stress falls in
On the mind like an endless, increasing weight,

The light in the mind becomes dim.
Things you could take in your stride before
Now become laborsome events of will.

Weariness invades your spirit.
Gravity begins falling inside you,
Dragging down every bone.

The tide you never valued has gone out.
And you are marooned on unsure ground.
Something within you has closed down;
And you cannot push yourself back to life.

You have been forced to enter empty time.
The desire that drove you has relinquished.
There is nothing else to do now but rest
And patiently learn to receive the self
You have forsaken for the race of days.

At first your thinking will darken
And sadness take over like listless weather.
The flow of unwept tears will frighten you.

You have traveled too fast over false ground;
Now your soul has come to take you back.

Take refuge in your senses, open up
To all the small miracles you rushed through.

Become inclined to watch the way of rain
When it falls slow and free.

Imitate the habit of twilight,
Taking time to open the well of color
That fostered the brightness of day.

Draw alongside the silence of stone
Until its calmness can claim you.
Be excessively gentle with yourself.

Stay clear of those vexed in spirit.
Learn to linger around someone of ease
Who feels they have all the time in the world.

Gradually, you will return to yourself,
Having learned a new respect for your heart
And the joy that dwells far within slow time.

I saw a familiar quality in Mr. O’Donahue’s poem: moving from darkness to light. A shift that happens somewhere along the way. So often when I feel inspired to write, it’s a journey of growth, moving from a place of challenge to a place of release, a place of confusion to clarity, a place of discontent to contentment, a place of resistance to openness. Can you see where the movement begins? Ah, slow, free, calm, gentle, ease, joy…yes.

The Song of Your Soul

Borgofranco d'Ivrea Italy.JPG

The Song of Your Soul

I went to a workshop
to improve my poetry.
I met some creative people
who revealed their view of the world.
The teacher was smart
with her MFA from University of Iowa.
She shared her secrets for writing
good poetry – form and other such details.
The problem is that nothing
she shared was about opening your heart,
not a single thing about how a poem
is in essence the song of your soul.

I’m experimenting with writing about details of my personal experience. This poem came to me one morning during my quiet time as I reflected on an experience along my poetry writing journey.

* I took this photo as the sun was setting on Borgofranco d’Ivrea Italy in 2018 when there visiting some family. It seemed everywhere I went I saw something beautiful – this was taken as we were driving to a pizza restaurant for dinner. Even the pizza was beautiful – see the bonus photo below! (For more fun photos, you might be interested in the joyfull eye, where I post my photography every Thursday.)

Pizzeria la Tana - Borgofranco d'Ivrea - Italy (2).JPG