Posted tagged ‘ManicDDaily watercolor’

Waking up these days in Trump world—

December 6, 2017

Two more quick watercolors. Agh, we live in complicated times. All rights reserved.


November 21, 2017

A new thing for me! Doesn’t have a title exactly– maybe Samurai carrying infant? Ha! (from a very speedy watercolor class.).

Sorry to have been so absent! Not sure that I’m back, though I do miss you all! Take care.

“Temper” (Sedoka)

June 20, 2013

Cast Iron Pan


Words pop like mustard
seeds in a fry pan, skitter
across a cast iron will.

Even heavy heart
can’t damp the heat, skillet words
cast by a crossed iron will.


The above is an attempted sedoka – not the numbers puzzle (my first impression!)  but a Japanese poem based on a two stanzas with a syllabic count of 5-7-7.  For more, check out the inspiring article by Samuel Peralta on dVerse Poets Pub. 

(Sorry for the re-use of older image.)  

“Second Marriage” (Out of the Frying Pan and Into the….)

September 6, 2012

Iron Pan

Second Marriage

He’s the kind of guy who carefully seasons
an iron skillet, oiling the surface,
eschewing soap.  I know all the reasons,
understand rust, stickiness; nonetheless,
I squeeze Dawn right onto the blackness,
and when I smell that low-heated oil, I
rebel.  “Are you,” I charge (nearly senseless),
seasoning my frying pan?” As if to try
traditional method, some slow process
of caretaking, were a sure scheme to defy,
deny, descry, the rushed independence
I’ve professed; those hurry-up lone years I
scraped so many sharp implements across,
getting rid of the hard bits, loss and loss.


Here is an older sonnet that I am reposting today (i) because I’ve always liked it, and (ii) for dVerse Poets Pub’s prompt on the use of symbols in poetry, hosted by the wonderful Victoria C. Slotto.

Check out dVerse and Victoria’s article, and the other poets, and check out my books!  Poetry, GOING ON SOMEWHERE, (by Karin Gustafson, illustrated by Diana Barco). 1 Mississippi -counting book for lovers of rivers, light and pachyderms, or Nose Dive, a very fun novel that is perfect for a pool or beachside escape.  Nose Dive is available on Kindle for just 99 cents!

Mermaid Sonnet – “Different Tastes in Mythical Creatures”

September 26, 2011


I am reposting this poem and painting as an entry in the weekly links of another very active poetry site, Gooseberry Garden, which is focusing this week on mythology.   A dear friend had suggested the topic of mermaids for a poem, which I used as a writing exercise.   At first, I envisaged a poem about teenage girls diving into the surf on a tropical beach; but the poem that came out was somewhat different. (I’m afriad that I had a Robert Pattinson fixation at the time, and somehow brought the subject of mermaids around to vampires.

Different Tastes in Mythical Creatures

Some go for vampires; they like the idea
of sharp but elegant pursuit, the notion
that they personally are the cup of tea
of the ruthless.  Others look to the oceans,
scanning fantastic waves for a gleam of gleam,
twist of twist, the well-hipped curve of tail;
their magic’s found in the muscular seam
between breast and flipper, flesh and scale.
They love the submergence, dive to the unknown,
an elegance unclothed in its own wet skin,
Eve and the serpent combined, slicked hair let down,
the search for safety in the dare, plunge, swim.
Others—we’re too afraid to go in headfirst,
would rather wait, dryly, to slake another’s thirst.

For more on the mechanics on sonnets, check here.

Oh, the brave, the stalwart, the burned.

December 9, 2010

Toast and the Flag

Oh, the brave House Democrats who say they will oppose Obama and the Republicans’ tax deal, their last best chance to avoid tax raises on the middle class and keep unemployment benefits in force.  They are like people who have run to hide under their beds during a kitchen fire (i.e. the election) and later say that they can’t stand burned toast (even with some of the most charred crusts shaved off.)

Oh, the stalwart Senate Republicans who won’t budge on anything, especially any thing they weren’t likely to budge on anyway, like don’t ask/don’t tell and benefits for 9/11 workers, without getting tax breaks for the rich.

Oh, the brave 9/11 workers who did charge into fire and smoke and charred their lungs (not just their toast).

Oh, the stalwart gay soldiers who have long been asking, not telling.

Benefits of Obessiveness (Visiting Parents)

December 3, 2010


December Eve in FL

Sometimes it’s good to have lifelong obsessions.    One of these times is a visit to parents.   My parents are, frankly, pretty undemanding.  And yet there is something amazing about how time, plans, routines slip away when I visit them.  To some degree, this is exactly as it should be, since I really am here to spend time with them, not to write (i) a novel (ii) or blog (iii) or tax memo, or (iv) to hang out extensively at the beach.

And yet…  and yet… there is also something about the atmosphere of the parental home (and I don’t think it’s just my parents’ home) that seems to crumple discipline, will, even in those moments in which we are not actively “visiting”.  (I find myself, in other words, reading old Readers’ Digests late at night.)

These are moments when even more deeply ingrained obsessive conduct is very welcome.  In my case, it’s a mania for exercise.

I’m not systematic or forceful enough for true fitness.  But I have, since my teenage years, been pretty obsessive about moving my body around every day, shaking things up, as it were.

I can’t somehow do my regular yoga practice in Florida.  Astanga yoga is a practice involving a fair amount of bouncing (jump-throughs) and it doesn’t really work on carpeting (rug burns), or concrete (fractured wrists), or even sand (sand).  (And then, of course, there’s that whole will/discipline problem here.)

But running around on dark streets lit with Christmas lights works pretty well.  Even an occasional Tree pose.

Thank goodness.


Blocking Writer’s Block – Go Public For Extra “Sticktuitiveness” (More on Nanowrimo)

October 21, 2010

Lately, I’ve been thinking a lot about centenarians, the qualities that enable people to endure.

The wording of that last sentence probably illustrates why it will be hard for me to ever make this rarified group.  The operative word was “endure;”  my sense is that many centenarians look at life as something to be enjoyed rather than endured.

I, in contrast, always remember walking by a parking lot in Greenwich Village on a cold night in which everyone’s mortality was clearly visible in the fog made by their breath.  A guy in front of me shouted up the ramp: “come on already, life’s too short to enjoy it!”

This struck me not as a motto to aspire to, but as one that ManicDDaily types seem to be stuck with.

(Sorry, don’t mean to whine!)

The point is that some of us worry, kvetch, dither, all in between activities that we think of as “work” even though they are completely unremunerative and done in our free time.

Which brings me to the month of November!  November is National Novel Writing Month–Nanowrimo!  I stick in the exclamation point because I really hope to persuade myself to do it this year.  The goal is to produce a novel or 50,000 words (whichever comes first) in the month of November.

I confess to having done Nanowrimo successfully (in the sense that I produced the words), a couple of past years, but I find the whole prospect a bit scary right now.   I’m hoping that if I make the commitment publicly, I will gain a little bit of extra “sticktuitiveness”.

I’m also hoping to keep this blog going during November by posting sections of an old Nanowrimo novel.  It’s a bit rough, but I’m hoping again that if I announce this idea  (publicly) I can garner the commitment to finish one more re-write.

Which brings me to another tool for blocking writer’s block.  Give yourself a goal!  Publicly!

And, if you kick yourself later, keep that old ManicDDaily teaching in mind:  “life’s too short to enjoy it.”

Go Yankees!

October 15, 2010


Go Yankees!


They don’t give up!  (Then win.)

Missing New York Storm Draft Sonnet (From Florida)

September 17, 2010

Windswept, wind-littered

Missing New York Storm (September 16th) Sonnet  (From Florida)

September storm in New York hustles through
in one or two, at most a scant fifteen,
New York minutes, and I, the professed New
Yorker, wasn’t in it; I who would have been
proud to complain of the urban canyon wind,
to bemoan felled branches, the wild thwacking
of the flag outside my building, send
this poem from a far place lacking
in tall, grey, and even, it feels to me, speed,
where everyone seems required to beam
in public, but some with stern primness (no need
to bring up politics)–I miss my home!–
its nitty-gritty, windswept, wind-littered, stone.

(Karin Gustafson – suggestions welcome.)