Friday, April 2, 2010

Artistic Mother: Poetry Journal

I love how all the pieces of my life seem to be fitting together. On my list of 100 things I wanted to do this year, reading and writing poetry were two things I hoped to integrate more fully into daily life. I love reading poems, discovering new writers who capture with words feelings and experiences I have known but had felt unable to articulate. Having never studied poetry in school (I managed to go through undergraduate and grad school without taking a single English course!), I would have never imagined writing a poem myself. Then I took Sark's 30 day juicy journaling course and the words just tumbled from my finger tips. I drift away from the writing habit and then find myself full with words and feelings and a poem begins its journey onto the page.

These past two weeks on The Artistic Mother project have focused poetry. The main project was to create a poetry journal while the daily tasks center around reading poems and creating my own word and image lists revolving around the senses. It has been fascinating to focus upon one sense, like sound and then find myself walking the dog and alert to all the ways we describe sounds. I then grab a pile of poetry books and scan through them, making note of what words or phrases the "professionals" use to describe their sensory experiences. It is exciting to find myself that much more alert and engaged with the details of my day.

The poetry journal is a collage made from some of my background pages. I must be daft, but I could make these pages forever!

I love the rhythm and the ritual of gessoing, painting, then stamping and decorating the pages. I splurged and got some beautiful stamps from Stampington and Company (Shona Cole has a nice post regarding her favorite stamps.)

I decided to use a picture of Cowgirl and myself for the cover of my journal. My journey into poetry and writing began with the overwhelming need to explore and express my feelings as her mother. I strongly believe we have a karmic connection and lifetimes are being blown wide open in this cycle together. I also am finding as a mother a connection to my power and my voice that had laid dormant until Cowgirl's arrival. The Chinese character at the center of the cover is the word "Ai" which means love. The first phrase I uttered over and over to Cowgirl was "Wo ai ni" or I love you. Dragonflies reminded me of the first baby item I bought - a dragonfly night light.

I decorated the inside of the cover and created a flap pocket to stash pictures or poems I may print out for inspiration. I followed Trudy's lead and use one of my background papers for the back of the journal. I've already got a few pages of lists and scraps of sentences for future poems inside. I think this will be a well loved journal.

Oh, I decorated the top of the journal with beads. Cowgirl and I have been making beaded bracelets and necklaces as part of our Mermaid Warrior art camp. We also created a fairy house the other week which will be set outside once it is warm enough for the fairies to be outdoors :)

Yes, Spring is truly here! The fairies seem to be working their magic as the air is heavy with possibilities, new beginnings and inspiration. Here is my first poem from my new journal. Do share - what is being birthed for you this season?

My day begins

2 snooze cycles

before I hear the alarm

I let slip

a foot

below the quilt

and await the pull of gravity

to drag me gently

from my burrow of warm sheets,

lumpy pillow,

and slumbering husband.

Groping in darkness

I find my clothes

which side is the front

of my t shirt?

It doesn't matter

no one is awake to see me

I am greeted by the only member

of this family who is a good

waker up-er

Barreling out of his kennel

plume of a tail swishing

side to side

the starting flag

to our day.

We emerge into the dark

silence of suburban neighborhood

Tte grrrs of the garage door

warning the street of our arrival

bird song the cheerful reply

to our presence

a few solitary lights glow

from quiet houses

suggesting others

have begun

their morning rituals.

We walk under star stained skies

the wash of imminent sunrise

blurs boundaries of land and air

and we breathe it all in -

damp grass, wet leaves,

perfume of new life budding on trees and bushes.

We make our way

through the labyrinth

of favored spots

for Moose to anoint

a connoisseur of smells

lost in scent reverie

Where do you go?

A canine garden of Eden

before the Fall

where you could run and sniff and roll

to your heart's content

no collar or leash to shame you

king of your domain once again

rather than domesticated jester.

You see in the dark

forms real and imaginary

inviting chase

cause for alarm

your doggy heart

pounding at the possibility

of an unexpected


Most mornings I shuffle through

these minutes

anticipating only

that first sip of java

to awaken my senses.

But today I vowed to learn from you

my little knight of freckled paws

teach me of the wonders

of being that awake,

that present

to each sound


taste and feel

of life under paws.

I place my hands upon the thawing earth

body warmth melting frost

and feel the ripeness

the pulsation

of earth coming alive.


  1. you most definitely are an "artistic mother" :)
    i love what you have created here.

    i would love to drop you a personal email too but don't have your email address... would you mind dropping me a line at

  2. wow...what magiv you weave with your

  3. Your poetry journal is beautiful and so are your words.

  4. Lis-I absolutely LOVE these pages for your poetry journal! I have to try some of these techniques. I bet this gets rid of the "blank white page" syndrome really fast! I also really like the poem too BTW. Thanks for sharing:)

  5. Wow! Your poetry pages are wonderful, and so is your poem. I have pre-ordered the artistic mother, it hasn't been released in the UK yet, and can't wait to get it. It seems such an inspiring book.

  6. What a nice post! Your book is great and your papers are wonderful. Thanks for sharing!

  7. Love your pages and the poetry was wonderful.

  8. Lis-I know just what you mean about having so many interests. I think that's what's so great about blogging-it's a way to combine anything and everything you want in a unique way. I hope you had a great Eater and BTW, did you get a chance to read the food blog link I sent you? Also, thanks for all your kind comments on my blog -they give me courage:)

  9. I know exactly what you mean about making background pages. Maybe we could start a business together! I love making them.

    I'm falling behind--haven't started my journal yet. Yours is gorgeous.

  10. I would like to use one of your pics as the background for a open mic poetry poster for our local library. I need permission, but not sure how to contact you. I can be reached at