August Postcard Poetry Fest

As September arrives with cooler temperatures and gentle rain, the memories of August slowly begin to fade.

This signals the end of the August Postcard Poetry Fest and the time we can share our poems on our own blogs and submit to the 56 Days of August Anthology.

This year, I did something a bit different and created a watercolor pencil painting which I took down to Minuteman Press to have made into postcards which included the year of the fest, my return address and the name of the painting, “My Beautiful Backyard”. This allowed me to share a bit of visual art as well as written word despite my not having time to do individual art collages like some other participants do.

This postcard was inspired by a backpacking trip to 3rd Beach, where after living here for 18 years, I finally saw my first orcas in the wild. It was an amazing and magical experience. I did three beach backpacking trips this summer, so many of my poems were inspired by my time on the coast, (in previous years, they were inspired by the mountains) hence, my first poem of the month…

25590352 My Beautiful Back Yard

The Gift

Windswept Northwest Coast…
The crashing of waves/crying of gulls…
A dorsal fin breaks the water…
The hunt is on…
Excitement on the beach…
As the pod appears…
Orcas in the wild, a very special gift…

Tahoma

Anticipation…
The destination draws nearer…
Muscles Ache and breath is hard…
Change in the wind…
Good, or bad?
One more bend, one more knoll…
Finally, the moment…
The clouds part, she is revealed.
It is a glorious day!
The mountain is out

Thunder

Change is coming…
Winds whip through the trees…
That unmistakeable scent in the air…
Skin tingles and the mind excites…
CRACK! BOOM!
The sky opens and roars…
Ice and rain pour down in fury…
In an instant, it is gone…
Quiet…
We stand in the coolness…
Refreshed and invigorated…

Poly Ticks

Hatred… Bigotry… Ignorance…
Saddened and disgusted by news…
I unplug and go outside…
I weep for others, I fear the future…
Looking to the grassy meadows…
I wonder…
Is there a nice Irish farmer…
looking for…
an aging mail order bride…
Build me a pottery studio and
I’ll milk your cows…

I am

I was told to make myself small…
Don’t be too loud, or opinionated…
Don’t draw attention to yourself…
Be sweet and demure…
Alas…
I am too tall, too wild…
too bold and far too full of fire…
I am not what I was raised to be
I am fire and thunder…
Love me or hate me…
I am what I was meant to be…

Pokemon

Yes, that was me in the park…
Playing a child’s game…
A pleasant diversion from life…
from politics, work and stress…
Laughing with others…
Gotta collect them all…
Take that you youngin’s….
Your gym just got taken…
by a woman old enough
to be your grandmother…

Heatwave

The heat of summer…
humid, oppressive…
unlike our area…
Swollen feet and ankles…
Tiredness…
Yet, an opportunity…
run through the sprinklers…
and around the house…
Starkers.

Luna

Can’t sleep…
So much on my mind…
Tossing and turning…
Then, I notice…
She is in sky, full and bright…
Mother moon…
Sleep is for another night…
For now is the time to bask
in the silvery light
and learn her secrets…

Street Art

Chalk!
Every Friday at noon…
Artists gather to reclaim space…
to build community…
To bring joy to others…
Hey you! Wanna draw?
Kids from a local club…
Business people off the street…
Homeless from the bus…
All drawing, sharing…
An hour of happiness…

PoPo

Days visibly getting shorter…
Back to school sales…
Trips not taken…
Projects not completed…
How did this happen?
Where did summer go?
Mourning…
Until the mail arrives…
Filled with poetry
and post cards…

What If

I admired you from afar….
Certain that you were…
Taken, Too handsome…
Too creative…
Too smart…
Too sought after for me…
Then, you moved away…
Single and Lonely..
Leaving me to wonder…
What if?

Vocation

Work…
A trying vocation…
Mentally exhausting…
Confronting the pain
and anguish of others…
Listening, Calming…
Returning anger
with compassion…
exhausted, sad,
ready to give up..
Until someone says…
You made it better…

The Coast

Mystery surrounds us…
A distant fog horn sounds warning…
Trekking down the rocky coast
all but what is in reach is veiled…
We drop our packs, wet with
sweat and heavy fog, we wait…
First, a treetop on a bluff, then
a seastack…
layers being peeled away…
Finally!
The Northwest coast revealed
and illuminated, in all her glory.

Wildfire!

Puff of smoke on a distant ridge…
Explodes into a massive plume…
Wind spreads the devastation…
We watch from below,
mesmerized by the power…
Later, fire engines race
down the winding roads…
My heart beat quickens…
Memories of my own days
on the fire line…
The passion is still inside.

Loss

Twenty five years…
And now you’re gone…
I never appreciated you…
We don’t know what we
have until it’s gone…
This morning I had to
take a cold shower…
Because…
I can’t afford a new
hot water heater
until pay day

Thieves

Amazon prime box…
left out for pickup…
In a short period of time,
it was gone…
Stolen, by someone with
no respect or care for others…
I hope they appreciate
the dead, rotting raccoon
that was left out
for animal control.…

Big Cedar

A legend has fallen…
One of the greatest…
People came from all over
to marvel at your majesty….
For a thousand years,
you reigned…
In a storm, you fell…
Split in two, crashing to earth…
Your death will provide life
for many more cedar trees…
As you you become
the soil from which new
life will spring at Kalaloch…

Misogyny

Oh newbie…
You are so predictable…
Uncertain, insecure…
You ask for help, then argue…
You attempt to mansplain
as you eavesdrop…
Make no mistake,
You are not my equal…
I will watch you fail…
Silently, with a sweet smile…

Skirt

Walking through the park…
A woman compliments
my skirt as it flows…
Greens, blues and golds….
Blowing gracefully in the wind…
Swaying as my hips move…
Accentuating my form…
Its story, even more
beautiful than it is…
Seen in a second hand
store by a friend…
Who thought it was for me…

This Old House

Old house…
You need a garden wall…
and paint, and back steps…
and drywall, and a new roof…
At every turn, you need more…
This summer, I was going to
get the hottub fixed…
And then… the water heater
finally died… foiled again!
I knew what you were when
I fell in love with you.

On The Street

I am not your sweetie, nor babe….
I do not have to turn around…
I do not have to approach your car…
I do not have to talk to you…
I do not have to pay you attention…
Since you persisted, you learned
about fiery redheaded wrath….
You were schooled in how not
to speak to a woman….
You were made an example
for the crowed who laughed
at you fleeing the angry woman…
Did you pee yourself a little bit?

Wicked Wind

Nineteen years ago…
You changed my life…
A photo of one just like you
crossed my feed today…
The memories came back…
pummeling me like your winds…
The blowing sand, the pain…
The cracking of my spine and pelvis…
What is a microburst? Some ask…
It is something that can end,
or change your life…
Today, I am much stronger for it.

Sojourn

Falling asleep to the sound of
Crashing surf….
Awakening to the silly giggle of
Bald Eagles in the trees above…
Exploring tidal pools and discovering
life hidden beneath the waves…
Running down the shoreline
free as a child, or one of the
gulls who fly out of my path…
This is my soul, this is healing.

Appreciation

Sensual, Glorious! I want to bask
in your warmth forever…
I took you for granted, never gave
you a second thought…
Because you were always there…
To do my bidding at any time…
And then you weren’t.
I won’t make that mistake again…
Oh hot water heater, I shall
appreciate you every day!

What You Are

Just kidding…
Again and again…
The “jokes” cut to the quick…
Nothing personal…
It’s just the way you are, you say.
Anything that causes another pain
most certainly is personal…
When asked to find others more
suited to “how you are” you said,
I knew better than to hang out
with you in the first place…
“How you are” is mean.

Around the Campfire

Old USFS firefighting manual…
Menstruating women are not
allowed on the fire line in
Grizzly Bear country…
Laughed at decades later around
the campfire…
The joke of the night…
Grizzly Bears will walk through
fire for a menstruating woman.

Geoduck

College mascot…
Tenacious digger…
Official state clam…
Booster of the local economy…
Sounds like Gooey…
Expensive, sought after
gourmet delicacy…
Looks like foreskin…
I just can’t…

Rialto

An icon for centuries…
Standing tall on the rugged coast…
Once part of an imposing cliff on
the mainland…
Later, a mighty sentential overseeing
all that washed away around it…
Water, freezing and thawing
continues to create and destroy…
Now, a pile of rubble on the beach…
Forever changing the landscape…
Captured in photos, hearts
and memories

Mother

Explaining coastal tides to one
who did not grow up by the sea…
Twice daily cycles, created by
by gravitational pull…
Influenced by the sun and moon…
Predictions are only that, one
must pay attention to be safe…
All the science…
What can not be conveyed
is the mystery and magic of
the heartbeat of
mother earth…

Respite

Living by the sun, moon
and tides….
Exploring pools created by
receding ocean…
Marveling at the creatures
who live below, briefly in view…
Hiking across rocky headlands
Napping, reading and
writing when the tide is in
Marveling at mother moon
and gazing at the stars…
Life is perfect here….

I ordered and sent five extra cards to friends who were not in my group. These poems were based on recent conversations, Facebook posts or projects they are working on.

Facts of Life

Money…
The root of all evil…
Sadly, a necessity…
Capitalism, Commercialism,
all taint our way of life…
We survive by escaping…
to the ocean, the mountains
the desert, and into our art…
We shall thrive!
As we know how
to feed our souls…

Life

Water…
It is everything and everywhere…
It gives us life…
We cry salty tears when sad…
sweat it out through our pores
when exerting ourselves…
Oceans, lakes and rivers
provide escape…
It falls from the sky and seeps
deep into the earth…
Our sacred duty is to protect.

Joy

Love…
A stolen smile…
a touch of the hand…
The flutter of one’s heart
when the other is near…
A feeling of loss when
separation is too long…
A joyful glow when together…
an inspiration to others.
Hope…

PoPo

A walk to the mailbox…
junk, bills, the odd jury summons…
One more thing to take
to the recycle bin or
that elicits stress…
Except in August!
Mailboxes are filled
with hand made art,
lovely photos and poems.
Mail is fun again

Change

A new home…
So much different than the old…
A drier climate, a different
kind of people…
So much adjustment and
new ways of life to learn…
New adventures…
Missing friends and loved
ones…
Building new relationships

The End

Summer’s oppressive heat
fades, bowing to morning
chill in the air…
Leaves begin to turn…
Children prepare to go
back to school as news
of pumpkin spice fill
social media…
The last post card is
dropped in the mail…

And then my final post to the Facebook group…

An early start….
Because August is often filled with chaos….
I did not want to disappoint
those waiting anxiously for the mail…
Hoping for a bit of art, a lovely photo
and some poetry…
Written in batches when inspired
by the power and beauty of nature
whilst on backpacking trips.
Five final cards are sent to
their destinations….
And it is done.

14067915_10154477533734394_2755825858178280521_o

To learn more about the August Postcard Poetry Fest, you can click here: http://paulenelson.com/august-poetry-postcard-fest/

To learn more about the 56 Days of August Anthology, you can click here: http://www.56daysofaugust.com/

 

~L


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Frost Park Chalk Off

Every Friday at Noon, through the month of October, a group of artists, downtown workers on their lunch breaks, kids from the Urban Explorers (and anyone we can pull off the street and hand a piece of chalk to) gather at Frost Park at 9th and Pacific to create public art, build community and socialize.

You don’t need any experience. Heck, you don’t even need chalk, we always have chalk to share!

All levels welcome and encouraged to attend.

The sidewalks are clean after this morning’s rain, and are a blank canvass just waiting for you!

What is the Frost Park Chalk Off?

You can view a video here.

https://www.facebook.com/FrostPark/videos/73042602723/

You can also see a photo album with a few photos from recent weeks here

https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10154256894149394.1073741920.690349393&type=1&l=4451389af1

Come get your chalk on!

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Response to Art, AIDS, America Exhibit at TAM

art aids america

I was proud to have a piece of poetry accepted and to be invited to read at tonight’s Tacoma Art Museum’s World Aids Day event.

My friend Elizabeth Beck (who encouraged me to submit because I had missed the call) opened the show, her sister and my friend Jennifer Chushcoff was also a featured poet and I closed out the show.

We wrote “reaction” pieces based on our experiences at the Art, AIDS, America exhibit.

My poem was a reaction to not only the exhibit, but to the dichotomy between the Dia De Los Muertos event and the AAA exhibit.

Here are the words I shared tonight…

“Remembrance”

She watched as a woman lovingly created an altar honoring her departed loved ones, who shared stories of her father and mother’s love, of happy memories with her brother…

Then… how quickly the cancer took her aunt’s life and how she had not yet had time to recover from the sudden loss. She continued placing photographs of her loved ones on the altar and returned to her stories of happiness, love and tradition…

Colorful costumes, flowers, candles and ornately decorated offerendas filled with items important to those they were created for graced multiple levels of the museum, all in honor of the dead…

Music played and dancers performed for the beloved dead as children created bright paper flowers, skull masks and participated in other art and craft projects…

It was a Fiesta… for death is part of life and all stages of life are to be celebrated…

She met and spoke to people of many different cultures, some of whom shared traditions of honoring departed loved ones and ancestors…

“How odd”, she thought, that white culture in the Untied States fears death, and does not want to speak of it, more or less celebrate it and those who have passed…

Love was in the air, it was palpable as the love for the ancestors pulsed through the building and out into the world. She could sense that the ancestors knew they were loved and sent their love back in return…

She was so happy she had come as she floated through the event in her ornate costume planning her own night of remembrance in the ancient tradition of her Irish ancestors…

Then she walked down the hall…

Where she was reminded of the stores of the forgotten…

Those who died alone, in agony and unnecessary shame…

Estranged from family and loved ones because of a diagnosis…

She saw graphic depictions of the disease, the suffering, the stigma which was, which is AIDS…

“They are dirty…. sinners…. brought it upon themselves…” 

No compassion, no love, only ignorance, hatred and ostracizing those who needed compassion the most…

Forgotten as friends, lovers, parents, children, cast aside as “damaged”, “dirty” and “shameful” treated as less than human for perceived transgressions…

Gallery by gallery, the pain was exposed, stripped down to raw agony of the mind, body and spirit…

Stripped of dignity…

Denied celebration of life, and death…

Denied remembrance…

In a dark corner, she leaned against the wall, weary, from a heavy heart…

She remembered friends waiting for test results and receiving what at the time was a death sentence, a mark of shame…

A single tear ran down her cheek, smearing her ornate calavera makeup as she walked back down the hall, and out into the world, determined to remember.”

This exhibit will only be shown at three museums nationwide.

It is powerful.

It is provocative.

It is not to be missed!

You can view it at the Tacoma Art Museum through January 10th.

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New Online Store, All In Stock Hand Thrown Pottery and Hand Blown Glass is On Sale Now!

I’ve recently moved the online store from Artfire to my website.

To celebrate, everything is on sale NOW!

http://wildcelticrose.net/shop/

me and pots



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Tacoma Art Studio Tour-This Sunday!

Hi folks,

For those of you who are local, please consider stopping by this Sunday, October 12th, between 11 am and 5 pm to visit me in my dungeon…. errr… basement studio as part of the Tacoma Arts Month Studio Tour.

*if you are also an artist on the tour who is open on Sunday, stop by afterwards for a bit of decompression, I’ll be around and would love to see you!.

In order to lure as many folks in as possible, I shall be providing wine, cheese and appetizers.

Here’s the map/list of studios…  (I’m # 29) There are 61 artists on the tour (some are in co-ops/shared studio spaces).

http://tacomaartmonth.wpengine.com/?page_id=330

In other news after all of the crisis, illness, injury, chaos and near disaster of the last year, I’ve had an insanely busy summer filled with performances, art shows, (and when I could get away) hiking, backpacking and enjoying this glorious and highly unusual summer, so now I’m spending every waking moment after work trying to get the house/yard/studio in order before Sunday. (Yikes, I lost control of everything)
I’m finally getting a break in performances and contract work (after the layoff, I REALLY needed the extra money)

My next bellydance performance is at the Urban Onion in Olympia WA on November 10th for the Beats Euphorium Show (7 pm – 9 pm)

My next confirmed fire show is, of course, First Night in Tacoma on New Year’s Eve.  It will be another fabulous and fiery New Year.

I’m also finally releasing a photography book (hopefully in time to order for the holidays) which will also contain original poetry I wrote for the August Poetry Postcard Project,titled “Postcards from the Mountain”

You can find updates on my newly redesigned website at http://wildcelticrose.net

This derpy photo was taken on last year’s tour at Throwing Mud Gallery (a place you should also make a point to visit)

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Phoenix Rising Pottery will be at the Stadium Art and Wine Walk

I know it’s been a while, but life’s been complicated with a new “day job” I started last week, a heavy performance schedule and some other non-pottery related business and legal complications which I am still trying to get sorted.  (let it suffice to say that being a “phoenix” sounds pretty cool, but one grows weary of the smell of singed tail feathers)

But on to the fun stuff! (including finishing up the last of the rewards for those of you who said, “no hurry”)

The bales and silk cords for the pendants are in, as are the magnet backings.

I’ve been working on refining and working out new techniques for glazing. My love of highly reactive, gooey, melty glazes makes designs challenging, but each new firing brings new knowledge and ideas.

I’ve been working on refining and working out new techniques for glazing. My love of highly reactive, gooey, melty glazes makes designs challenging, but each new firing brings new knowledge and ideas.

 

 

 

 

 

On to the exciting news!

I’ve been accepted as a featured artist for the Stadium Art and Wine Walk on Saturday August 9th.

The event runs from 4 – 8:00 PM. If you’re local, or visiting you should plan on participating; it’s a fabulous event in a great historic neighborhood. (and there’s wine and food)

http://stadiumartandwinewalk.com/

I am also expecting to be on the Tacoma Art at Work Month Studio Tour on Sunday, October 12th (I’m taking the day before to visit other friends/studios)

http://www.tacomaculture.org/arts/resource/ArtAtWorkTacoma/web/Default.htm

New Pottery Designs Being Shown at Artist Reception at Throwing Mud Gallery in Old Town Tacoma Tonight!

I’ve been catching up after the illness, injury and basement flooding and am getting some pretty cool results from my glaze and design experiments…

I finally have a Phoenix design (which several of you have requested) that works with even my gooiest, drippiest, most delicious glazes…

I have a few others come out nicely as well…

Of course, the process is not without mishaps… (this is what happens when you try to rush firing)

For those who don’t already have their rewards, I have two sheets of designs for you to peruse and request (those of you have requested smaller items such as pendants, may want to get something a bit bigger :)…  I will be putting together a third sheet later today and getting all of them posted to the website at Phoenix Rising Pottery Studio

For those who are local, some of my work will be on display and for sale at Throwing Mud Gallery in Old Town Tacoma tonight and tomorrow (Saturday)

There is an artist reception tonight (Friday) from 5-7 PM. (there will be wine, beer and appetizers) where you can see the work of 80 amazing artists and meet many of them, including Mark Hudak’s student artists.

You can see what’s new, fresh out of the kiln on the studio’s Facebook page

That’s it for now…

I must get back to the very glamorous life of an artist…

Yes… It’s really THIS glamorous!

Fire Dancing

~
I finished up the summer season by preforming at one of my favorite events/venues, a large annual luau held in Puyallup.

Of course, this doesn’t mean that performance season is over (Halloween, Equinox, Solstice, First Night all fabulous fire opportunities), this was just the last hurrah of summer (and so much fun).

Photobucket

Photo below is courtesy of Sharon Uhlig of Third Eye Imaging… (I love how she captured the ring of fire)

photo by Sharon Uhlig Third Eye Imaging

I’ve added a couple of new toys tools to the mix, one of my favorites being the windfire rings (I just love something that I can toss into the air on fire 😉

Mickie Smith got some good video, so I was able to update my promo video. I still need to get someone to shoot video of the palm torch and levi wand and would like some video with the staff and hoop taken when it’s darker out (big thanks to Zach Ouellette for the video of those that I do have)

If anyone wants to give my YouTube video some love by watching it on the site and/or providing a link so that it moves up in the search engine rankings, that would be awesome.

And of course, if someone wants to hire me, all the info you need is available by clicking here – Fire Dancing by Wild Celtic Rose

~ L


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Glass Without a Net

~
Last week, I took a big step in my glass blowing.

Since I have a break between classes and don’t want to get rusty, I was able to talk a friend of mine into renting some hot shop time with me.

Michael is way more experienced than I am; but he is out of practice, so it was helpful for both of us. Sonia joined us and ran doors and served as “creative consultant” (which basically means that she tells Michael what to make and he makes it 😉

So let’s get the “blowing” jokes out of the way.

Here is Michael blowing for me.

LisaandMichaelblow

and here I am blowing for Michael

MichaelandLisablow

The expected/obvious jokes were posted to Facebook from the hot shop.

Working with someone more experienced is super helpful (and it helped Michael to talk me through things he’d recently been refreshed on) but it’s not the same as having an instructor.

Something one doesn’t have to do in beginning glass blowing classes is “play catch” and then put glass in the annealer.

I suited up in the hot shop sweatshirt (with hood over my hair) a welders style face mask and big, fat asbestos gloves to gently cradle/catch Micheal’s first piece when he broke it off the pipe. Then I had to get it into the annealer as fast I could so that it would not crack. When trying to load the far back, I heard a sizzle. Just enough of my hair was poking out the side of the hoodie to burn.

Added to the list of “weird things overheard at the hot shop” we can add, “You smell bad” (referring to the stench of burnt hair) which was spoken to me as I was working the furnace door while Michael was gathering.

At the furnace, another classic line was uttered, “Don’t just stand there and watch me strip, close the door, you’re cooking me here.” I was watching with great fascination while extra molten glass was stripped off the blow pipe into the bucket and slacked on shutting the door after the pipe was pulled out.

The first pipe we grabbed was plugged as I tried three times to get a decent bubble, Michael tried several times, and even Jake took a shot at it. We just decided to get a new gather and start over. At least it wasn’t me being a loser. Blowing and capping takes time to do well, and I’m still really new.

We both do puntys differently, I like them hot and pointy, and he likes them shorter, blunter and cooler. Since the punty maker is responsible for the safety of the blowers piece as it’s broken off the pipe, I did it the way he wanted it done as I do not want to be responsible for dropping someone else’s work.

I tend to want to heat the glass more than he does. My first two pieces were easier to cut the jack lines into because I heated them up the way I like them, I had a very difficult time with the 4th piece (the 3rd one imploded because I didn’t cool the end well enough and it blew out too thin) because I pulled it out of the furnace sooner than I would have liked based on his advice.

This is where moving from student to artist is tricky; I need to listen to and learn from those who are more experienced, but I also need to learn when to do things the way that work best for me, like heating to the level I find easy to work with, and to say things like “Get your lips off my pipe buddy” (another now classic line) uttered when he was going to be helpful and blow my bubble for me 😉

I managed to get three pieces out of the evening, an ornament (a great practice piece), a bowl and a wavy bowl.

I’m really happy with the wavy bowl and the way my swirl turned out (I used the optic mold)

wavy bowl

I’m surprised how deep this color was (now that I’m no longer a beginner student with color provided, so I had to run up to Gaffer USA to buy color and I got a sample pack)

deep blue bowl

I did have to grind the bottom of the blue bowl a bit to get it to sit flat

The ornament ended up a little oddly shaped as I blew it too thin and then flashed it too hot; but it was salvageable.

Friday's glass

It was quite the adventure and learning experience.

One of these days, I’ll be a real glass blower

~L



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