Large Artist Sketchbook 2020: Our Whole Family Is in Residence Here

You may know that in addition to my poetry I also do art, posted on my blog Claudia McGill and Her Art World. For the next several months I will be posting here a combined art/poetry project, Large Artist Sketchbook 2020.

I fill up sketchbooks with all kinds of art. Some contain images only and some of them I use the images as inspiration for poetry. In these books the image is on one page of the spread and the poetry on the other. This book is set up in this manner.

I’ll show you the image and then add the poem that goes with it. See what you think.

Our Whole Family Is in Residence Here

This house
It’s been our house for a very long time
decades generations we hope for centuries
Remodeled kitchen more than once
Bedrooms handed down and down
New sofa or reupholster the old one?
The bathroom floor all its original tiles. No cracks.

We are all always here in this house
None of us ever leave
and make it permanent.
Oh we go out in the world
but sooner or later we make our way back
don’t we? Come in and I’ll see who’s at home
Give me a moment to sift through the layers.

Who was it you wanted to see?
Flesh and blood
current occupants today –
or the less substantial –
so many to choose from?

I hear the vacuum running upstairs
Do you hear it? No?
Let me see if I can get her attention for you.

3/12/20
Large Artist Sketchbook 2020 image 12

Tanka 141, Haiku 731, Haiku 732

Tanka 141

Let’s buy some of them,
these end-of-season flowers
the deep-discounted
tired and ragged in their pots
still hoping for a garden

8/1/19

Haiku 731

grudgingly at best
but all of his coworkers
signed his birthday card

8/1/19

Haiku 732

with glum expressions
the swimmers wrapped in towels
wait out the thunder

8/1/19

Shadorma 225, Haiku 730, Tanka 140

Shadorma 225

the scissors
snip the stretched-out
aggression.
Rubber band
lets loose a snap-back wasp sting
of a get even

8/1/19

Haiku 730

the barber’s neat work
thin white hair trimmed straight across
old man’s sunburned neck

8/1/19

Tanka 140

Overpriced perfume,
this one, but which one isn’t?
the saleslady thinks.
But the bottle’s exquisite.
She holds it with gentle hands.

8/1/19

Large Artist Sketchbook 2020: Stand Still

You may know that in addition to my poetry I also do art, posted on my blog Claudia McGill and Her Art World. For the next several months I will be posting here a combined art/poetry project, Large Artist Sketchbook 2020.

I fill up sketchbooks with all kinds of art. Some contain images only and some of them I use the images as inspiration for poetry. In these books the image is on one page of the spread and the poetry on the other. This book is set up in this manner.

I’ll show you the image and then add the poem that goes with it. See what you think.

Stand Still

At the midpoint of full-noon
trees
who will never be anywhere else but here
crowd the middle of the field.

Shimmer sky hum insects
the crow calls out
with a caressing croak that cracks
just as it ends


Large Artist Sketchbook 2020 image 11

A few new: Tanka 263: Tanka 264; House Guests

Here are a few recent poems.

Tanka 263.


Saltwater wrinkles
mark the tired fingers that grasp
the slick black rocks who
wait it out with no bets placed
either side of the outcome


7/28/21

*******

Tanka 264


an afternoon find
a crushed carton tossed away
across the sidewalk
a scatter of cigarettes
spilled out by a careless hand

7/2/21

*******

House Guests

You brought the problems back here
Or perhaps they rotated around the circle and
returned on their own.
But why not? Our hospitality is well-known
Everyone brings a lot of baggage
when they come to our house.

7/28/21