Sometimes it just has to get personal

Sometimes the answer is simple, direct, even playful. A not-quite 10-year is my go-to for inspiration.

Here he is — adorable, pensive, quizzical. His name is haiku:haiku with Simple

& here again after an extremely early and full morning contemplating steam rising from the teteapot, he yawns


haiku jawning

Simply gaze into his mouth.  Proof plenty that the short poem is a minimalist epic.

Playful, serious, ubiquitous — manipulation & happy accidents in art

All art is manipulated.  Each and every time.  Happy accidents abound.  Let me introduce you to Phyllis Bonner’s photography.  Two images — one straight-forward and lovely —

Bonner's dahlia

and below that photo manipulated by a software program.  WOW! You have 4 weeks left to see Phyllis’s show, “Mother Nature in Photos!” at AWE Gallery (678 Portola Drive, SF — next to the Purple church).


Let me put your mind to rest.  Phyllis’s art is for sale!  And while you’re marveling at her work make sure you spend time seeing the ongoing exhibit of the 6 women AWE Collective artists:  Stacy Boorn, Susan Black, Kit Kennedy, Chris Kibre, Alice Steele, and Janet Stock.  A Women’s Eye  — fine art @ affordable prices.

You ask, how is a poem manipulated?  Through editing.  To me editing is nothing more (or less) than simple math — addition & subtraction.  For several years my practice included writing one phrase/or line a day.  Twice a month I review those lines & combine and submit to an online poetry group of which I’m a member.  Here are the lines I selected:

5/8/13   was flesh exchanged?
5/11/13  which words will stick today?
5/16/13 of all things the hand can hold
5/24/13  & then then there were 2 women, 3 hats, several scarves

Now, the edited poem:


which words will stick today?


was flesh exchanged?

Who said poetry isn’t fun.  Do the math!




Women & book clubs

What a wonder — women & book clubs.  Reading being such a simple, straight-forward geometry. Yes, on the surface reading is a linear activity and yet multi-dimensional and ah so very visual.  As is the food when women gather.  Celebrate.  Energy, tastable.

Can poetry be reduced to 2 words?

No, poetry expands to fill 2 words.  Which words are those?   Visual sound.  On this sunny Monday everything is awash with sound, color, possibility.   Put down the pen.  Put down the brush and go outside.  If impossible, a window will do nicely.

Community & Collaboration

You don’t have many opportunities, but you have a few. So act!   During the next few Saturdays and Sundays drop by AWE Gallery to see Judith Williams’s show Seeing is Projecting.  The show runs May 4 – 26, 2013.  Gallery Hours:  Saturdays & Sundays Noon to 5 PM.  Artist Reception is Saturday, May 4, 2PM – 4PM.

While you’re at AWE Gallery, ask to see the Mary Magdalene show in the Sanctuary.   21 contemporary icons by 18 artists.  The experience must be like being in a hive — all necessary humming & honey.  The show was curated by Jennifer Mantle. What better way to get ready for San Francisco Opera’s production of Mark Adamo’s The Gospel of Mary Magdalene.



“A dreamer whether asleep or awake must accept her dreams.”

Anonymous was the first in a long-line of fabulous artists.  No doubt, a world-class dreamer, too.

The passer-along of this anonymous quote is Roxanne Worthington, art-visionary & obviously a dreamer extraordinaire. Her show, Tales of Magic continues at AWE Gallery through April 28.  Don’t miss it!

Missing the show might diminish your dreaming; impact the quality of your life.  How sad would that be.  How easily preventable.  (open Saturday & Sundays Noon – 5PM)


And still I don’t know

I attended my first Croning Ceremony yesterday at  Ebenezer herchurch Lutheran.  I didn’t know what to expect. Seven woman, identifying as elders, received a personal blessing and were showered with gifts (tangible and intangible).  It felt both a personal and communal celebration. I can’t tell you what each of those elders was thinking.  Nor what they are thinking now one day into being crones.  I don’t know but I do trust each journey will be luminous and ever widening the circle.

You see, I am one of those seven women.

Down & Up: On the nature of change and walls

What is the constant at AWE Gallery Annex?  Change.  As in art exhibits.  Today, I had the privilege of meeting Bonnie and  Gene Martz who spearheaded the March CLIR exhibit at AWE.

What’s CLIR you ask? Created by the University of California Berkeley Extension SF, CLIR (Center for Learning in Retirement) provides a venue for those in the Bay Area over 50 who enjoy new learning and social opportunities.  CLIR offers educational, cultural, social program.  For more info and to join:

To return to our story on change.  It’s close to 1PM and Alice Steele (photographer, collective member of AWE Gallery, and CLIR enthusiast) has joined Bonnie, Gene, and me.  The CLIR show has been struck; the walls are bare.  We quip what we have before us is a most minimal art.

As with change, the walls won’t be minimal for long.    From April 6 – 28, 2013, photographer extraordinaire, Roxanne Worthington presents Zaubermarchen/Tales of Magic. Opening reception:  Sunday, April 7, 2013  1pm – 4 pm.  Poetry reading:  Sunday, April 14, 2013 beginning at 2 PM. Check out the AWE Gallery Events for details.

A final comment on change.  While the main gallery at AWE always showcases the collective artists – Stacy Boorn, Alice Steele,Chris Kibre, Janet Stock, and Susan Black, you can stop in any Saturday or Sunday (noon – 5 PM) and glimpse new work by these  fine artists.  Yup, change is the constant.

P.S.  Hope to see you at a CLIR event — soon.

Spring in San Francisco, ephrastically-speaking

Yup, the trees are fluttering with color — plum, cherry, and redbuds.  Outside is a riot (the good kind) of hue & smell.  While inside, our DeYoung Museum sported its annual Bouquets exhibit.   Horticultural artists derive inspiration from art therein.  Some “arrangements” are straight-forward interpretations, others whimsical, and some conceptual and brilliant. Much succulents in evidence this year.

Here’s the irony —  this yearly ekphrastic flower-art turns each gallery into a swarm of smiling and laughing people.  As if the fear of not-understanding dissipates.  Quite magical, indeed.


40 women. 40 stories. 40 encounters of the divine

A good, authentic story is made to be shared.  And when the number is 40, that’s abundance upon abundance.   So please join me in reading  BIRTHING GOD: Women’s Experiences of the Divine by Lana Dalberg  with foreword by Kathe Schaaf. (SkyLight Paths Publishing, Woodstock, VT, 2013, ).