my spine unfurls

as I wrote this piece, I returned to the clean silence of the woods, like nothing else in the world

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ann tagonist

tangerine dream was the boutique price she paid
for the fancy silk lace so perfectly
hanging on her collar bone like a sweet ray of sunset
luring

the fine gentleman
who had been admiring her
thin creamsicle strap and well-turned out earlobes
from which great sapphires sparkled
and cast
the faintest dulcet blue threads upon her raven hair
he was nearing her scent zone
batting his fine suit as he closed in

attempting to remove suburban wife stench
before entering this perfect circle
ann tagonist was city
nothing slow moving on those frenetic avenues
he was certain her mane of dark would accent his summer linen
her sapphires would
contrast nicely against his sinewy muscles
he was fantasizing in tangerine shades
while hidden in his secret pockets
dirty diapers, kid spittle, exhausted moments

child number three busted the duet
he was not a good tripler
two had already been too many
he madly wanted out
out of

the suburban box
he sought sweet fragrant urban freedom
without another delay
into that city circle he hustled

not freedom
but frenzy
and what man didn’t want that
ann tagonist
well, she was always ready to play a juicy role
and for his good looks
she would decidedly sparkle

leonada's earring

the place where words meet

come away with me
to the place where words meet
under the black occult sky
my words
your words
let’s see what happens
when they touch
commingled definitions
loose interpretations
let us not waste breath
on ceremony
it is a dying spider’s day
it will be but words
you and I
leave behind
only words
come away with me
to the place where words meet
under the black occult sky

City Flyer Rest/mixed media

City Flyer Rest/mixed media

May you dream in words and speak in colors

City Flyer in mixed media – created around 2000ish

O Captain! My Captain!

Dear friends,
Years ago, the giant husband worked for a large wholesale plant distributor. Every summer his company held a barbecue on Calf Island, Long Island Sound in Connecticut. As you are aware, a boat is often required when crossing water. It was during one of these barbecue voyages, I met the most ‘Captainish’ looking Captain I ever laid eyes on. His vessel pulled up to the dock and we party-goers hopped aboard. I asked if he wouldn’t mind my taking his picture. I had to paint this introspective face. His ocean eyes twinkled bright beneath his devil-may-care thick brows, his great silver beard shone white in the sun, and his old sea-dog straw hat reflected the brilliant yellow of his fisherman’s slicker-

The Captain/acrylic

The Captain/acrylic

“O Captain! my Captain! our fearful trip is done,
The ship has weather’d every rack, the prize we sought is won,
The port is near, the bells I hear, the people all exulting,
While follow eyes the steady keel, the vessel grim and daring…”
Walt Whitman penned, “O Captain, my Captain,” a somber yet beautiful poem in homage to Abraham Lincoln. I too admire Abraham Lincoln. Whenever I create a Lincoln portrait, I dress his figure in present-day attire. This makes me feel a bit more connected to Mr. Lincoln-

lincoln full I created this computer image with Adobe Illustrator. Again this was one of my earlier computer efforts so I used the mouse, good old-fashioned hand-eye coordination and a lot of patience…

lincoln closeAfter that barbecue, I never saw the Captain again. I have his stoic, sea-worn painted face to remember him by. As for Abraham Lincoln, I think of him often and wonder what we would have chatted about over tea…

Hopefully My Mom Can Paddle as Well as She Sings!

Dear friends,
This past weekend I visited my folks. My mom had purchased tickets (an early birthday present for me) to see my all time favorite Broadway actor – Mandy Patinkin sing with Patti Lupone (another favorite). My sis, delicate daughter and amazingly vivacious 78-year-old mother stopped at a Vegan Cafe before the show –

mom green wall(sister, delicate daughter, beautiful mom)

The show was fantastic, no surprises there-

mandyThe big surprise was my dad’s special gift for his wife. My mother – bless her young heart – plays tennis, serves as an Art Committee Chairman, enjoys swimming…in short she loves life and lives it well. She got the idea into her head this year, she’d like to take up kayaking. Her six children advised against it. My father – usually a conservative thinker – threw caution to the wind and gave his spirited wife a shiny new, red kayak for Mother’s Day-

kayakI love my mother dearly. She is so many things to so many people. Her talents are many. She has a beautiful soprano voice. She sang the Ave Maria at her wedding, as well as mine-

mom & dad weddingI painted this watercolor portrait in 2009 for my parents’
50th Wedding Anniversary celebration

I hope when the shiny red kayak touches down on the lake for its maiden voyage, my mother can paddle as well as she sings…

Sweet Memory Found in a Dirty Cabbage Patch

Dear friends,

As a child, I never cared for dolls. My inner-tomboy wouldn’t allow it. There was however this one special baby doll, that my father brought home on a dark night long ago. Oh, she was beautiful. Her silky brown hair was fashioned into pixie and she had dark, malted milk-ball eyes. She wore a simple blue dress decorated with one little yellow daisy. She was the first doll I’d ever seen with eyes and hair like mine. It was love at first sight.

But my younger sister wanted the new doll too. She needed to add the brown-eyed beauty to her massive doll collection. My sister feared her sibling’s unusual desire for the plastic newcomer. She realized claiming her divine doll right in this situation, might be ineffective. My younger sister employed a more sinister tactic – she cried. Her blue eyes were quite convincing.

My inner-tomboy nearly relented that evening. Except as luck would have it, my inner-tomboy fell out of her upper bunk bed onto her head, ironically while showing off how far she could lean down without falling. She cried too – which she didn’t do often. My father who was within earshot came running in. In that tear-ridden moment, I asked for the brown-eyed, baby doll. Gazing at my pathetic face, my father told my sister she had more than enough dolls. And for the price of one head bump, the only baby doll I ever coveted was mine.

Sadly, I can’t remember what happened to my precious doll. Many years later, while at a younger brother’s high school graduation, I spied a beautiful, brown-eyed girl gripping a dirty, bald-headed Cabbage Patch Doll. She cupped the dolly tenderly to her shoulder. The afternoon sun was lighting her flawless face like an angel. I took a photo.

girlI came home that evening, took out my pastels and drew a cherished childhood memory –

Wise Artist Sister Told Me to Add More Art

Dear friends,
My artist sister, who is more mature and so much wiser than I, suggested incorporating more of my own artwork into anntogether. I told her my portfolio and writing pieces will be included with the revised blog design (hopefully coming soon). I let her know that up to this post, I have sprinkled random art pieces throughout other posts. This post for example highlights some work from my earlier years…

I haven’t done much sculpture, but I did make this handprint when I was 5-
hand print

print backThen there was an angel my inner-tomboy made from a cone when I was eleven. I’d snuck into my grandma’s closet and unwrapped the wool off one of her knitting cones. Grandma later asked if I knew who did it. I lied. I feel a pang of guilt that this little angel has come to represent the little devil in me.

angelI’m quite proud of this next piece, I assisted the primary artist – a man by the name of Mike-

pieta                                                                 Kidding of course…

The sculptures below are both mine. I created them my senior year of high school. They broke apart, as did all but one of my other sculptures. I’m so happy to have a few decent black and white photos of both pieces. This first one is a whimsical saxophone –

tubatuba faceThe next is by far my favorite. Had she withstood the test of time, we would have been the best of friends. She was created using a mirror. If memory serves she was at least two and 1/2 feet in length. That year I also sculpted a horse rearing up – that collapsed – and a plate of spaghetti and meatballs which died at my childhood home. Sadly, I have no pictures of those sculpts. So friends, I present to you my Suffering Woman

my sculpt

sideview And a close up of her hand which I recall being quite proud of back then-

hand closeI truly appreciate my sister’s artful wisdom.
I’ll start incorporating more art in anntogether.
Apparently, Ann has a long way to go to-get-her stuff together…

Reflections of Spring

Hello my friends,
Yesterday I was sitting in front of my (ashamedly) dirty laptop gathering my thoughts, when a springtime reflection inspired me…

Spring is a time for cleaning winter’s white dust from our homes. It is a time for reflection and renewal –
laptopSpring is a time to face new doors of opportunity and be prepared to leap through when they open-

rock:moSpring is a time to sow the seeds of dreams and cultivate inspired thoughts –

maxWhile traveling down the road of life, we shouldn’t spend too much time reflecting upon past choices –

car sideveiwWe may find we don’t have all the answers, but if we pay close attention, life sometimes sends little messages in plain sight –

successAs we nurture dear optimism, we shouldn’t expend effort reflecting on what the future has in store for us.  We should believe when one door closes another sometimes opens –

mebpRather then cling to the past or dwell on the future, we should cherish the present surrounding us –
sunsetAnd reflect in the joy of Spring’s beauty.

Have a wonderful weekend, my friends… (I will be cleaning my house, beginning with my disgusting laptop!)

 

Death of an Ancient One

As a kid, I found any morning walk to my bus stop after a heavy rain daunting. Neither me or my earthworm friends were very happy. I couldn’t bear to watch the endless sea of pinkish-brown bodies wriggling on the wet blacktop. Whenever this upsetting scene accosted my eyes, my inner-tomboy morphed into a worm-plucking machine. Running in a serpentine pattern, I’d grab as many worms as my little hands could carry. Then onto the nearest lawn went the hapless earthworms. I’d continue saving worms until the bus arrived. Once seated, I’d wipe my dirty hands on my navy-blue knee socks so the nuns couldn’t think I’d been digging for the devil.

I don’t save earthworms much these days. I’d like to think that over the last forty years their little earthworm brains have evolved and they’re better equipped at saving themselves. I’ve since taken up offering roadside assistance to bewildered dogs. To prepare myself for this challenge, a nylon leash is stowed in my car and I watch The Dog Whisperer, whenever I can. To date I’m happy to report-I’ve reunited several lost pooches with their owners (though one little dog with oddly big teeth scared the crap out of me).

Bringing me to the reptile saving. A few years back there was an incident which compels me to save turtles for the rest of my life. I learned a terrible, horrible and valuable lesson. Every spring where I live many turtles venture out onto the road. While driving the tank, if I happen to spy a slow-moving shell I pull over and return the turtle to safety.

On this particular spring day several years ago, I’d been rushing to collect the big son (who was much smaller at the time) from elementary school. We had to find a birthday gift then get to a party. On the way to his school, a large snapping turtle – the kind that live 150 years – was making his way across the road. He was better than halfway and the road was not heavily trafficked. A fleeting thought entered my mind, “Pull the car over and make sure the turtle gets across.” Followed by the next fleeting thought, “No time. Everyone will see that giant turtle. It’s impossible not too. He’ll be fine.” I continued on my journey feeling nary a twinge of guilt. I picked up the big son and we proceeded to Target.

On the return ride, my jaw dropped open, my mouth hung agape. I was in disbelief. The huge, ancient, beautiful turtle didn’t make it across the road. I was broken-hearted but the guilt was far worse. I vowed from that day forward, much to the giant husband’s chagrin, to save every single turtle or reptile, no matter the time, place or situation.

I will admit that picking up and carrying that giant snapping turtle last year was not very smart, but the darn thing wasn’t moving fast enough and I had to help him cross the road.

turtle head/Prisma

turtle head/Prisma

How Do You Know if Your Husband Still Likes You?

I’ve listed a few benchmarks based on years of experience for you-my friends, to help assess the status of your own unions. I personally use these common situations to answer the question: How do you know if your husband still likes you? Feel free to use the same criteria where applicable…

Your younger-married version of a healthy fish dinner – frying canned tuna, frozen mixed vegetables and mustard together is met with a fork and a smile (he might admit disgust years later).

He overcomes the enormous disappointment of marrying into large Italian family where only two people enjoy cooking and neither one of them is you (you fry canned tunafish).

He allows you to pick a tiny pimple on the tip of his nose. For the next several weeks, he roams the world with a scab the size of a pencil eraser on his face.

He does not get angry when you hand him his freshly-laundered, leather wallet complete with soggy money and warped business cards.

He is supportive when you’re temporarily replaced by an insane amalgam who calls herself  ‘first time mommy.’
Gene:ARK
You request drawer dividers to separate your numerous socks and he builds them.

He rubs your back whenever you say it’s sore, even though you complain that his back is “sooooo much bigger,” when he asks the same of you.

When you (both) forget your Anniversary and it’s no big deal, because you consider yourselves the most intimate of friends above and beyond any other titles.

To summarize: Your husband still likes you if he can recall what life was like before he met you, and he still chooses scabbed noses and fried tunafish.