Thursday, March 31, 2011

Thursday March 30, 2011 Poets United
Poets United promp #t42 Love

You whisper
Love written
On my favorite number
You call my name
So common
And yet so rare
I smile


Thank you Pamela for the post about the Red Shoe Project. Hope you will go to her blog.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011
"The Red Shoe Book Project" by Annell Livingston


Restless hands, a desire to create
Never enough time …
Staying busy is important
Like water that rushes down
a mountain and becomes frozen in midstream
Fingers move in synchronized efforts,
forming – reaching – trying to make sense
Light through a window catches shadows
that spark interests and ideas
Creation, imagination, allows breathing, slow and steady
Pyramids pile high, placing layer upon layer
As we construct what we believe,
An expression of ourselves


Red satin shoes that tap
along the skyline.
Resonating through my brain.
Formations flow ...
Sequins sparkle causing rainbows.
Illuminations – Frivolous ...
Limitless beginnings and endings.
Twinkling – drops of contour.
The future is crystallizing promises,
comforting infinities.
Happiness surrounds, butternuts and chicory.
Lining a cloud above, clicking and repeating ...

**This is part of The Red Shoe Book Project, an artist's vision conceived by Annell Livingston. She generously asked me to include two of my poems in her project, which are the poems above.

As Annell has explained, "I got the idea for The Red Shoe Book Project from the book, The Madwoman in the Attic. It has quite a bit about the symbol of the red shoe and the creativity of women. As I began to discuss red shoes with women, I realized that so many do not know the meaning behind it seemed the perfect project.

I am very pleased because the writings I have received are all so different. Thus as I had hoped, it will be a jewel with many facets. There are two ideas behind artists books. One is that they be very inexpensive, and democratic, and the other is the idea to make it precious. And the Red Shoe Book Project will be both. "
Posted by flaubert at 4:17 PM


Thank you Vivienne for the post. It looks great!

Red Shoes
Posted on March 31, 2011 by vivinfrance
Artist and writer Annell Livingstone is producing an artist’s book The Red Shoes, having invited several poets to participate. Red Shoes are considered a symbol of women’s creativity. Annell says:

The artists’ book is a work of art that is conceived as a book and doesn’t exist in any other form or format. I have become interested in artists’ books and artists book projects. Artist’s book projects are artists’ books, but extend beyond just the book, or may be a series of books. The Red Shoe book project, is the seventh project in a series of artists’ book projects I have completed.

The Red Shoe Book Project is based on the myth of the Red Shoes, as explained in the Madwoman in the Attic, The Woman Writer and the Nineteenth-Century Literary Imagination, by Sundra M. Gilbert and Susan Gubar.

I was honoured to be asked to contribute, and here are my three poems, though having read Pamela’s poems on her blog, I feel that mine are unworthy!

Annell is quite happy for us to put the poems on our blogs.
I am really looking forward to seeing the finished book .

Little Red Shoes

Pudgy little feet.
I’ll never find shoes to fit.

Oh but you must, Mum,
I’m ready to walk
and the floor is cold and hard.

Little round red shoes
for his round red feet
so pretty I have to kiss them –
the feet, not the shoes!

Oh don’t do that, Mum
it tickles and makes me
giggle. Ouch! What are you doing?

It seems so hard that you have to grow up,
wear shoes all the time, behave like a man.
Perhaps I won’t buy them, lay carpet instead.

Red Shoes

You’re not having red shoes
In the shop Mum was cross
Please, Mum, they’re gorgeous
Red shoes no knickers, Mum’s mantra
Look, the heels aren’t that high,
I could dance all night in those
Oh, no you won’t – you’ll be back by ten.
Does that mean you’ll buy them then ?
We’ll see. Try them on.

Comes next Friday, excited
twirling this way and that
in front of the mirror.
First bra, first nylons
sticky-out petticoat
swirly circular skirt
frilly blouse, waspie belt all the rage.
And those shoes …

Dad takes one look and hits the roof
What were you thinking?
She’s only fourteen
Out of the question to go out like that.
But Daaaad …
For once on my side, Mum sticks it out
She’s only young once
let her go.

So I did,
at the school Christmas hop
had a breathtaking time
as I danced with a prefect
the new cricket captain,
red shoes danced all the way home
cloud nine.

cast off regret,
forget the blues.
Take a jet
to faraway places
wearing those red shoes.

Thank you Elizabeth!

The Red Shoe Book Project by Annell Livingston
March 31, 2011

About The Dead Woman and Her Dream of Red Shoes

The dead woman didn’t like the darkness, wanted color.
She thought about red shoes.
Thought she could use them to move with ease from here
to there, go anywhere she might please
(she was restless, filled with feckless ideas).
The dead woman knew she was dead, of course.
Wanted only to dig toes in whatever fields she might fallow,
callow of meaning, buried in shallow sand on narrow spit
of land that pointed to the sea,
but never quite reached it.
The dead woman thought because she was dead,
she could dance like Mr. Bojangles, clicking
her heels to impossible heights, alighting
back home with mere flick of boney ankles.
She planted dreams, like kisses, on cheeks of small children,
thought they would bloom, fill rooms
with sweet fragrance.
Then had to watch them perish, a slow lingering death,
never given breath of permanent existence.
With nothing of nurture to keep them alive, they swiftly
wilted, tilted in leaning towers of dimming powers,
collapsing one on another.
Soon crashed with huge splash into sea that swallowed them
whole in cold liquid bosom.
The dead woman sighed, she had so much time to fill.
Knew she must release illusive red shoes.
Must plant bare feet in rich moist soil, actually do toil
of feeding her dreams, nurture them daily,
bringing each one to its own fruition.
The dead woman knew she must begin again.

More About The Dead Woman and Her Dream of Red Shoes

The dead woman couldn’t see her feet, of course.
She couldn’t feel them either.
So, she dreamed of dancing in red shoes, through eternity.
She dreamed of dancing with a pauper, a prince, and a political
appointee, a chef, a truck driver, an accountant,
a research biologist, and a university professor.
But, none of them noticed because she was a dead woman.
The dead woman laughed, she sang, she threw herself
into the dance. She moved.
She knew she was no more than a fleeting whisper, momentary
vapor, a slip of air to be brushed aside with flick
of a finger, a shake of the head.
The dead woman went right on dancing, trying to be whatever
was needed.
She so wanted to be more than invisible, more than dead.
The dead woman dreamed through eternity and into the next,
always dancing in red shoes.
The color excited her, spoke of passion, pursuit, put-off prolonged
dreams seeking fulfillment.
She dreamed of sneakers, velvet slippers, flats and strappy
stilettos, died leather moccasins, and hard vinyl crocs,
all of them red: red like blood, like living.
The dead woman dreamed that all women everywhere wore
red shoes: maids to matriarchs, dancing their dreams
to completion.
She dreamed through two eternities, until the Universe was filled
with laughing women, all moving toward individual
dreams in red shoes.
Satisfied with her creation, the dead woman rested.

Elizabeth Crawford – for the Red Shoe Book Project.**

**This is part of The Red Shoe Book Project, an artist’s vision conceived by Annell Livingston. She generously asked several of us to write poems to be included in her project. Mine is above and is the result of two different poems combined in the form of Dead Man Poetry created by Marvin Bell

As Annell has explained, “I got the idea for The Red Shoe Book Project from the book, The Madwoman in the Attic. It has quite a bit about the symbol of the red shoes and the creativity of women. As I began to discuss red shoes with women, I realized that so many do not know the meaning behind them…so it seemed the perfect project.

I am very pleased because the writings I have received are all so different. Thus as I had hoped, it will be a jewel with many facets. There are two ideas behind artists books. One is that they be very inexpensive, and democratic, and the other is the idea to make it precious. And the Red Shoe Book Project will be both. “

Thank you Annell, for the invitation and the opportunity to write about a subject dear to my heart: Women’s History.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Wednesday March 30, 2011 The Red Shoe Project

Thank you so much Terresa for posting your incredible poem, Red Shoes.

POEM: Red Shoes
I was thirty-three,
I wasn't sure I could carry it off,
throated birds sprouting as feet,
a catastrophe.

They rushed over my toes,
I couldn't help it,
they spoke in slick tongues,
an August heat.

They unbuckled like the
back porch unlocking rain,
the color you hear in
veins, colliding.

I wear them now
every day,
they speak nothing of

-Terresa Wellborn
© 2011 by Terresa Wellborn. All rights reserved.

**This is part of The Red Shoe Book Project, an artist's vision conceived by Annell Livingston. She generously asked me to write a poem to include in her project, which is the poem above.

As Annell has explained, "I got the idea for The Red Shoe Book Project from the book, The Madwoman in the Attic. It has quiet a bit about the symbol of the red shoe and the creativity of women. As I began to discuss red shoes with women, I realized that so many do not know the meaning behind it seemed the perfect project.

I am very pleased because the writings I have received are all so different. Thus as I had hoped, it will be a jewel with many facets. There are two ideas behind artists books. One is that they be very inexpensive, and democratic, and the other is the idea to make it precious. And the Red Shoe Book Project will be both. "

**This is part of One Shot Wednesday, a weekly writing event, join us!

**Note: I've had computer trouble this week, hence the odd spacing in my poem. (I'll edit it when my computer issues have been resolved.)

Describe your favorite pair of shoes.
Mine: Red Mary Jane style heels, I'm wearing them now as I type...

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Tuesday March 29, 2011 Magpie/ One Shot Poetry

Magpie #59

Mona Lisa

Known by all students
Of art
I look into your eyes
And you say
Do you know me

I bake the bread
For the household
I care for the children
I carry the wood
I carry the water
I wash your clothes

I remove the mice
From the traps
I care for your sick
I tend the dead
I serve you
Do you see me

I move about the room silently
I am called by many names
I give birth to your children
I am as I have always been
I am woman

I am captured in paint
Like an insect in resin
I hang in the museum
Defanged, helpless
No longer dangerous

Now unafraid
You look at me
Bravely look into my eyes
But do you see me
Do know me
I am as I have always been
I am woman

Su Tsunami Mi Tsunami*
In time we will learn
To live with the nightmares
with the images that frighten
with the sorrow
with the fear

But heart has been etched with
The horror for this time
And for all times

It will be forgotten
As it must be
It will be only
The very old
That will tell the tale
Of what happened here

The sea will again
Be life giving
Like a see-saw in a
Children's play ground
Give and take
Up and down

But it will always be known
That which can give
Can also take away
It is not to be trusted
Give and take
Up and down

Mi Casa Su Casa is a phrase you often hear in New Mexico. It is what I want to say to the people of Japan, Your tsunami is my tsunami. We are one or we are all Japanese, what happens in Japan happens to us also.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Monday March 28, 2011 Carry on Tuesday

Carry on Tuesday Prompt #98 I saw it in the mirror, I saw it in my face

Over time
I saw it in the mirror
I saw it in my face
I was surprised at what I saw
I was not the same

Now an old woman
Stares back at me
Small lines have formed
And become as deep canyons
Like the land of the
High mountain desert
Of New Mexico
It all happened over night
So slowly

While at work
Fulfilling my ideas
Old age had silently crept in
And enfolded my being

No time to look at myself often
In fact it is said
When we lose ourselves to art
Is when we, find ourselves
But that doesn't include
The way we look
It's more an interior discovery

What I saw in the mirror
And what I saw in my face
Is not me
I am "other"
No longer aware of superficial changes
When I think of myself
I think I am wrong side out
I am "heart"

Like the fighter who leads with his chin
I lead with my own beating heart
I take my pulse
To know my state
I rummage through my
Keepsakes and formulate my plans

I open the tiny folded paper
Shiny and bright
Finding you reflected to my heart
I continue

The path is long
And it takes much concentration to follow
I only look at what I create
Created by the heart of a young girl
The first me
The true heart
Formed over time....

No time for looking in the mirror
No time for looking at my face

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Sunday March 27, 2011/Poetry Pantry/ I Saw Sunday/ Sunday Scribblings

I saw Sunday. This week I saw many pictures on the TV of the destruction in Japan.

End of Time
In time the great wave
Returns to sea

In time the destruction
Is known

In time the eye focuses
In disbelief

In time the numbers
Are counted

End time for many

In time the tears
Will dry

In time all who saw
Will die

In time it will
All be a memory

The end of time.

Sunday Scribblings #260 prompt Nearly

"Nearer my God
To thee..."
Fills my heart
And soul

Simple words
Speak to me
Of each day
We stretch
And we reach

For that perfection
That we know so well
The image fills our heart
We finger it
Like braille

We know it
We can stand in front
Of our class
And repeat it without stumble

We will never reach it
But if we work hard
And apply heart to wheel
We will reach "nearly"

Friday, March 25, 2011

Friday March 25, 2011

Big Town New York
Center of the art world
Center of commerce
A million miles from here
Dream town
A place to work
A place to play
it's been awhile
Since I've danced
Your streets
But I still think of you
Home to so many
Capital of the world

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Friday March 24, 2011/ The Meeting

The Meeting
You stand straight and tall
Red hair down your back
Eyes of a hawk
Nothing escapes your attention
By agreement
We will meet again

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Tuesday March 22, 2010 Carry on Tuesday
Prompt: We are each the love of someone's life

Yesterday, a very ordinary day
Went to Santa Fe
Sketched on the way down
Picked up painting
Shopped for tee shirts
Washed car
No incident to speak of
Got home safe
Very grateful
We are each the
Love of someone's life
A very ordinary day

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Sunday March 20, 2011 I Saw Sunday
I Saw Sunday Week #27

Hammered disk of
Polished gold
Rose above
Taos Mountain
Springtime super-moon
In nighttime indigo sky
Sad to see
Such tragedy
All the world
In hell's hand basket
From sea to shinning sea

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Saturday March 19, 2011 A Small Stone

A Small Stone
I select a pencil of my choice
Hb, B, B2, B3 or B4
Letters that denote the
Hardness or softness
Of the graphite
I hold it in my hand
I look carefully
And I attempt to
Interpret what I see
What I do is a mystery
I am drawing
There is a meeting
A knowing
Between pencil and paper
I witness this event

Friday, March 18, 2011

Friday March 18, 2010 A Small Stone/ A Letter From Japan

A Small Stone
Alone in the dark
No sound
No need of jacket
My soul wraps around
the moment


Letter From Japan...from an American English Teacher, my niece, Michele R. Steele

Today I had a lesson with Keiko, the wife of one of the business students sent abroad for work. It was the second time to have met her. I met her for the first time on Saturday, the day after the earthquake, and I was sure she wouldn’t show. I was amazed when I looked out the window to see a middle-aged woman sizing up the sidewalk area, trying to negotiate a way into the parking lot. My school is in a bit of an awkward location, as the only two options for entering the parking lot involve driving on the sidewalk. I noticed her and immediately went out to help navigate her to a space next to my car, and I was immediately taken aback by her smile. It was very open and natural, and I wasn’t processing any of it then, still so amazed was I that she had decided to come out on such a day. But perhaps what registered somehow was that a lot of women of her age in this culture cover full smiles behind a hand. Also, it seemed incongruous with the situation underway in the country. She entered my school and in my memory I recall that she was almost electric, she was so full of life and warmth. We talked for a bit and I quickly learned that she had lived in the U.S. for nine years in the past. That explained a lot. Her English was superb; I told her she didn’t even need lessons. And she had a relaxed openness that I have observed in people who have lived abroad.
On that first day of class we just got to know each other a bit and, since the earthquake had occurred less than 24 hours earlier, we talked about where we had been and what we had been doing. Her husband is already in the US with his job; she will join him in a month or so. She has a grown daughter living in the States, and a grown son who lives here in Japan with her. I asked her where she was at the time of the earthquake, and she said she was at home alone, and when I asked what she did then, she said she ran to protect her spoon collection. She had mentioned that she collected spoons, and confessed that she thought it was foolish to run to the spoons at such a time, but I was mesmerized, and assured her that it wasn’t silly at all. Her daughter had left home, her husband was already abroad, her son was at work that day, and she knew in an instant what she wanted to take care of in that moment. I admired her quick-thinking.
Today she came again. It’s Thursday, almost a week since the earthquake. I had thought things would be settled when I next met her, but in fact things appear more grim. On a local level, the shelves at the supermarket are emptying so quickly that there is nothing left for those who don’t show up early. The same is true for gas.
On a national level things are downright frightening, depending on what you read. Japan seems fairly calm, while foreign outfits are going over the top quite rapidly. Embassies are moving to Kyoto, chartered planes are flying foreign nationals out. Keiko and I talked about all that is happening, and then she told me a story about a friend of a friend of her daughter. At first the configuration seemed so distant, “a friend of a friend..” But then I heard the story. The friend was trying to escape the tsunami with her husband and her two young children. The youngest child was a year old, and when it looked like the tsunami was going to take them, the husband shouted for the wife and the baby to get out of the car and run. There was apparently no time to think of all of them escaping. The wife jumped out of the car with the baby, and then watched as the wave took the car with her husband and child. She and her baby were then thrown against the side of a house, and there were people on the roof of the house there that helped them up. She made contact and confirmed she was safe, and made contact a second time after that. But she has not found her husband and older child.
Now. Normally in a classroom setting I try to keep conversation interesting, meaningful, and important. But I never cry in class. I feel I can gently guide the ship to calmer waters, and I have a responsibility to stay calm. After she told me that story, I started to move on, commenting on it’s sadness, and then realizing there was no way to segue into something else, nor did I want to. In the middle of my effort to shift topics, just as I was commenting on how sad it was, I started to cry. And she was already starting to cry. And I understood that we needed that moment, we needed to just be still and cry, to hell with the English class.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Friday March 17, 2011 A Small Stone/ Letter from Japan

A Small Stone
Words sculpted black ink
On endless white page
Perfectly spelled
Perfectly placed
My eyes caress you
In order to find my error
You are the visible
proof of your perfection

Letter from Japan

Yes, rolling blackouts. Today I drove to my school with no street signals, as I hadn't realized what time it would be blacked out, and had no time to walk. I'm teaching tons of business people getting ready to move abroad, all at my school. University is on break, thank goodness!!! The boys have school but got out early today because of (don't get too alarmed) the threat of radiation from the explosion at the nuclear power plant. We were all instructed to cover up when going outdoors. Food is disappearing from the shelves, and the gov. put out a statement today imploring people to stop "panic shopping" and save supplies for people who really need them. I haven't been able to find milk so went to Fressay as soon as it opened (late, it was closed for blackout), and they did have milk but there were lines halfway to the back of the store and people were loaded up with a couple baskets each. I momentarily considered walking with a carton of milk, and the honest scout in me quickly thought that of course I would have to leave the cash for the store, I couldn't possibly steal. I had a class and I couldn't wait. The line was probably an hour? More? I went to school to teach my classes. I had told a couple of students that I hadn't been able to buy rice, and that my rice bin at home was empty. One guy told me he just happened to have some rice in his car from his grandmother. Her family has a rice field. Wow. He gave me a huge bag of rice and told me that at times like these we have to help each other. Today another student, the wife of one of the company workers, came for her lesson and brought me a small bag of rice. We had a lesson yesterday and she knew about my fruitless shopping expedition, so she brought me some rice today. I almost told her I had gotten some rice, but she was clearly so happy to be helping me, she was thrilled when I told her how grateful I was, genuinely happy that she had made me happy. It's impossible not to be moved to tears. Driving to work with no signals, everyone was so gracious and polite, bowing behind their steering wheels and offering me the right of way...

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Sunday March 13, 2011 A Small Stone

A Small Stone
Inspiration 5%
Perspiration 95%
Work to be done
Nose to the grind stone
I will not lose my way
I will continue
The only way
To get there
Is to continue

Art doesn't happen
While resting on the sofa
Work in the studio
Is the only way
And even that is
No guarantee

Friday, March 11, 2011

Friday March 11, 2011 A Small Stone, Big Tent Poetry

A Small Stone

Tiny light blinking
Across field of stars
Air travel has become

Big Tent Poetry Prompt: Science

Art and Science
Together arm in arm
There are always questions
To be answered
Nothing is definite

What if
Is the question
You must be willing to see
Mix yellow and red
Too bright
Add a small amount of blue
Too dark
Add a small of white

Count the stars
The number is
Sure to come in handy
Everything is relative
Work a life time
Discoveries made
Permission given

What if
Like the big circle of life
Walk the perimeter
No beginning
No ending
Just new questions
To be answered

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Thursday March 10, 2011 Thursday/A Small Stone/ Poets United

A Small Stone
Time flies
And we hang on for dear life
Speaking with tiny voice
Clear and strong
Words, drawn lines, paint
Reaching for each other
Poets United #39 Ghosts

The Grandmothers live with us
Sometimes they are very busy
Especially around the holiday season

Almost never come inside
Just a few times
They are beloved companions
We are very proud to have them here

Ancient, old
And very polite
Sometimes they will even lie
Down on my bed
They seem tired
And want to rest
We live in harmony

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Wednesday March 9, 2011 A Small Stone/Carry On Tuesday

A Small Stone
Early morning all is dark
A soft knock at my door
A small furry friend enters
There is no other sound
Tiny colored lights
Glitter in the town
Like old friends in memory


Texas farm house from the internet.

And That is How I remember Them

The farm sat squarely
On the property owned
By my Aunt and Uncle
She a large woman
White hair twisted
Upon her head
Just a simple comb
To hold it there
She grasped life
And all the children
With her strong arms
And drew it to
Her ample bosom
Kind, patience
Content in her place
In the world.

He was a small man
Wiry and strong
Knew every animal
And what it would do
Before it knew itself
Like to have a Coke
Mixed with water
Half and half
Straight Coke was
Just too strong.

An American farm couple
Satisfied with all that
Life allowed
And that is how I remember them.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Tuesday March 8, 2011 Magpie Tales #56

Magpie Tales #56

While You Were Out
Snuggled in dried
Brown wrapper
Tight fit
Same as I
Wonder who I am
Was I really here before

I've returned from
Short stay away
Don't recognize anything
Did I leave as I was sleeping
Where is the marker
Was there something on my mind

Review the tape
Try to remember
Seek the end of
The red thread
Attached to all I know
Just as I reach for it
It slips away

If not found today
I will look for it
Again tomorrow

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Wednesday February 3, 2011 We Write Poems/Magpietales

A Small Stone
From my window
The forest is captured
As though in amber
Imagined or dreamed
Still and quiet
All life is gone

We Write Poems Prompt: Triptych Relationship

God's Little Garden
She opened her eyes
Struck by color
Red, blue an yellow
Noticed the under belly
Of the furry striped bee

She heard the sound of
The rustle of the bougainvillea
Made the sound with
Her tongue
Her breath

Offered her hand
To the red dragonfly
Looked closely
To see her looking back
In recognition

Saw all that was in the garden
Azaleas, roses, lilies and iris
She gave them names
And pronounced them good
Magpie #55

Eating finger prints in June
Pink azaleas are in bloom
The sweet scent fills the air
Hot already spring is here

Lemons grow quietly
Hardly notice the struggle
Blossoms cover cherry trees
Gently fall to the ground
With each exhale
Pink petals are the breath

Create carpet beneath the feet
Tickle the soul
Open the wound cut so deep
With knife and spoon
Each bite delicious of flesh

Blood pie
Blood cheese
Blood stains upon the sleeve
Yellow is the color of the day
At noon
Canaries fly from tree to tree
Sing sour songs of gloom
Tell me you put the pieces back inside

Nothing fits
The way it did
The cracks still show
Can't find the lid

Little girl again, some how
Dressed in pink
Lost in petals
Your time is brief

Like the blossoms in the wind
Flutter down
To snuggle in

Still you shine
Your yellow light
Blood upon your dress so bright
Mother, daughter is the line
Drawn in blood
This is your time

Taking time off.....

I am taking some time off from posting on my blog.  I am studying, practicing, have so much to learn....