Ragged Island

island stroll

There, there where those black spruces crowd
To the edge of the precipitous cliff,
Above your boat, under the eastern wall of the island;
And no wave breaks; as if
All had been done, and long ago, that needed
Doing; and the cold tide, unimpeded
By shoal or shelving ledge, moves up and down,
Instead of in and out;
And there is no driftwood there, because there is no beach;
Clean cliff going down as deep as clear water can reach;

No driftwood, such as abounds on the roaring shingle,
To be hefted home, for fires in the kitchen stove;
Barrels, banged ashore about the boiling outer harbour;
Lobster-buoys, on the eel-grass of the sheltered cove:

There, thought unbraids itself, and the mind becomes single.
There you row with tranquil oars, and the ocean
Shows no scar from the cutting of your placid keel;
Care becomes senseless there; pride and promotion
Remote; you only look; you scarcely feel.

Even adventure, with its vital uses,
Is aimless ardour now; and thrift is waste.

Oh, to be there, under the silent spruces,
Where the wide, quiet evening darkens without haste
Over a sea with death acquainted, yet forever chaste.

Ragged Island – a poem by Edna St. Vincent Millay

Island Stroll – Encaustic art on panel by me.

Wanting the sticky, salty sweetness


Searching my heart for its true sorrow,
This is the thing I find to be:
That I am weary of words and people,
Sick of the city, wanting the sea;

Wanting the sticky, salty sweetness
Of the strong wind and shattered spray;
Wanting the loud sound and the soft sound
Of the big surf that breaks all day.

Always before about my dooryard,
Marking the reach of the winter sea,
Rooted in sand and dragging drift-wood,
Straggled the purple wild sweet-pea;

Always I climbed the wave at morning,
Shook the sand from my shoes at night,
That now am caught beneath great buildings,
Stricken with noise, confused with light.

If I could hear the green piles groaning
Under the windy wooden piers,
See once again the bobbing barrels,
And the black sticks that fence the weirs,

If I could see the weedy mussels
Crusting the wrecked and rotting hulls,
Hear once again the hungry crying
Overhead, of the wheeling gulls,

Feel once again the shanty straining
Under the turning of the tide,
Fear once again the rising freshet,
Dread the bell in the fog outside,—

I should be happy,—that was happy
All day long on the coast of Maine!
I have a need to hold and handle
Shells and anchors and ships again!

I should be happy, that am happy
Never at all since I came here.
I am too long away from water.
I have a need of water near.

“Exiled” by Edna St. Vincent Millay

Encaustic Monotype by me.

In My Room

my room
the curtain billows
my feet are warmed by the floor
a cricket chirps

Haiku seems simple until you try to create one yourself!

Haiku poems contain three word groupings in separate poetry lines. Seventeen total syllables comprise the Japanese poetry style but are divided into a five – seven – five syllable count for each corresponding line.

Some forms of poetry tell a story through verses, but a haiku describes only a moment in time. The compact format does not allow for longer descriptive lines and verses but only enough syllables within the three lines to explain feelings, thoughts, scenes or actions in a single moment.

Encaustic/beeswax, damar resin, fabric and graphite on 16″x16″ cradled panel.

Summer Dreams


Dance of the Fireflies

In the shadows of the night,
The Sprites came out to play.
While the moon was covered, new,
With stars to light the way.

There she sat amidst the flowers,
This warm mid summers eve.
Fragile seen and light she was,
So hard to there perceive.

When she heard a voice call out
To her there from above.
“Come on up and dance with me!”,
Said he there full of love.

Quickly then she looked on up,
And saw a Spritely lad.
Floating there on wings of light,
Enough to make her glad.

Swiftly she unfolded wings,
Made of gossamer light.
Joining him up in the air,
To dance away the night.

Integral patterns there they flew,
Beneath that hidden moon,
With their wings all there aglow,
To their own hearts tune.

Faster now they flew as one,
Brighter as they went.
Finding love and joy in hearts,
All through the night thus spent.

Down on earth a couple looked,
At lights seen dancing there,
Smiling softly as they watched,
Those fireflies in the air.

Poem by  Dwayne Leon Rankin (found on-line) – it seemed appropriate for the artwork I’ve included here.

The temperature reached into the mid 80s today – very summer-like!  I spent most of the day in my (newly enlarged) studio.  And here is the ‘summer inspired’ encaustic I created.

The air was full of shimmering…


I Stood Against the Window

By Rose Fyleman

I stood against the window
And I looked between the bars,
And there were strings of fairies
Hanging from the stars;
Everywhere and everywhere
In shining, swinging chains;
The air was full of shimmering,
Like sunlight when it rains.

They kept on swinging, swinging,
They flung themselves so high
They caught upon the pointed moon
And hung across the sky.
And when I woke next morning,
There still were crowds and crowds
In beautiful bright bunches
All sleeping on the clouds

*I captured these ‘fairies’ descending upon my woods one evening at twilight. I used a slow shutter speed while moving the camera and did some post production work with curves and filters in Photoshop.

Open the Door

Such Singing in the Wild Branches 

It was spring
and finally I heard him
among the first leaves—
then I saw him clutching the limb

in an island of shade
with his red-brown feathers
all trim and neat for the new year.
First, I stood still

and thought of nothing.
Then I began to listen.
Then I was filled with gladness—
and that’s when it happened,

when I seemed to float,
to be, myself, a wing or a tree—
and I began to understand
what the bird was saying,

and the sands in the glass
for a pure white moment
while gravity sprinkled upward

like rain, rising,
and in fact
it became difficult to tell just what it was that was singing—
it was the thrush for sure, but it seemed

not a single thrush, but himself, and all his brothers,
and also the trees around them,
as well as the gliding, long-tailed clouds
in the perfectly blue sky— all, all of them

were singing.
And, of course, yes, so it seemed,
so was I.
Such soft and solemn and perfect music doesn’t last

for more than a few moments.
It’s one of those magical places wise people
like to talk about.
One of the things they say about it, that is true,

is that, once you’ve been there,
you’re there forever.
Listen, everyone has a chance.
Is it spring, is it morning?

Are there trees near you,
and does your own soul need comforting?
Quick, then— open the door and fly on your heavy feet; the song
may already be drifting away.

— Mary Oliver, “Such Singing in the Wild Branches”


Sweet Violet


How brave you are, sweet little one

with your shiny new face kissed with the dew.

What made you leave your warm nest

to risk the unknown?

Was it the hum of the bee

or the flap of a wing or was it the butterfly tiptoeing above?

And what about the others…

the shy ones still hidden dreaming under the covers?

*The first violet of the season – I captured it yesterday with my cell phone using the ‘roidizer’ app.  I wrote the poem just now.