Inspiration

Weeks go by when I walk past my studio door and don’t look inside.

Dust gathers.

Shelves sag.

Art supplies dry up.

Since visiting Z & M in Rhode Island last month and going to the Wickford Arts Festival that was happening right outside their door, I’ve been gone back in to my studio.

I’ve been playing with pasting and ripping off layers. I use artist business cards and newspapers. I write poems on ripped paper bags and cutting out letters like I’m sending a ransom note. I bury messages under gesso, Earl Grey tea stains, and Mod Podge.

The poem in this piece is Two Spells for Sleeping by the late Michael Donaghy. Z & M gave me a book of his collected poems while I was visiting. I’d never heard of him.

Two Spells for Sleeping

Eight white stones

in a moonlit garden,

to carry her safe

across the bracken

on a gravel path

like a silvery ribbon

seven eels in the urge of water

a necklace in rhyme

to help her remember

a river to carry her

unheard laughter

to light about her

weary mirror

six candles for a king’s daughter

five sighs for a drooping head

a prayer to be whispered

a book to be read

four ghosts to gentle her bed

three owls in the dusk falling

what is that name

you hear them calling?

In the soft dark welling,

two tales to be telling,

one spell for sleeping,

one for kissing,

for leaving.

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3 Responses to “Inspiration”


  1. 1 Aunt Sue August 6, 2010 at 1:24 pm

    Hey Swampie:
    Getting ready for RI?

  2. 2 susanna August 9, 2010 at 1:35 pm

    You’re back! I’ve missed you here in blogland, my friend. And how lucky are we to see your artwork! I want to see this piece in person. I like the handwriting and the strips of orange. Yes, I need a closer look next time I’m over. And you’ll have to share pics of your art room here as I think it’s such a beautiful room.

    Btw, you won my book giveaway! Oh yes you did! Hee!

  3. 3 Teri and the cats of Furrydance August 12, 2010 at 5:57 pm

    I came to you via ‘The World Examining Works’…and loved the feel of this poem, I could actually see myself on those stepping stones…felt like sleep walking.


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