Double Original Friday – Motto of the Grand Old Order of Molluscs and Chelonii

turtlesnailhaikuchallengeI wrote this haiku in response to a Ronovan Writes Haiku Challenge (if you don’t know about these, I do recommend them) almost two years ago – and it is amazing to me that it’s been that long. But it is still one of my favorite haiku I’ve written, as it satisfies the science nerd inside of me, so I am reposting it! The challenge words way back then were “Snail” and “Turtle” and the first thing I thought of was that they both have shells, albeit made of very different materials. “Molluscs” and “Chelonii” are the taxonomic Orders of snails and turtles, respectively. Poem and photo (one from a long ago trip to Sequoia National Park) by me. Have a wonderful Friday!

Short Poem Saturday – Haiku by Knoll

LadyBugsHaiku_KnollThis haiku puts a grin on my face every time I read it. And it never fails to launch me on an extended trip down memory lane as well – from the greenhouse in my grandparents’ backyard to one I visited once in Iceland. I consider this one of the superpowers of the haiku: they are a reservoir of memories stored in present tense words. Ms. Tricia Knoll is an award-winning poet working and living in Portland, Oregon. Her website, triciaknoll.com, has more of her wonderful haiku as well as links to many of her published poems and books – I definitely recommend a visit! Painting (acrylic on cardboard), digital collage, and composition by me. Have a wonderful weekend!

Double Original Friday – Smuggler’s Cave – plus Award!

SmugglerscavehaikuThis haiku was inspired by a recent visit to a real life smuggler’s cave near the U.S.-Mexico border. It may not be on the official topological map, but it’s not much of a secret hideout anymore and a well worn path from the main trail leads you right to it! Haiku, photograph, and digital collage by me.

I’m also honored to be nominated for the Starlight Blogger Award by the blogger behind the fabulous blog “Silence Killed the Dinosaurs”! Thank you!! If you have not been over to her site, I do highly recommend a visit! How would I describe it? Well, I’d go with keywords: Dalek, Jane Austen with Spiders, demon-possessed bathroom drains, and so much more…intrigued? Click here!

The rules for the Starlight Blogger Award are as follows:

The Starlight Blogger rules are:starlight-blogger-award

  1. Thank the giver and link to their blog in your post.
  2. Answer the 3 questions given to you.
  3. Please pass the award on to 6 or more other bloggers of your choice and let them know that they have been nominated.
  4. Include the logo of the award in a post or on your blog. Please never alter the logo and never change the rules.


So, technically, I have to decline it – since I always change the rules of the awards I am given! But that won’t stop me from answering the questions from Silence Killed the Dinosaurs and recommending a few blogs that I think are well worth a visit!

Questions from SKTD:

  1. If you could wake up tomorrow anywhere in the world, where would that be?

Definitely right where I am – in my home here in SoCal with my partner and one-eyed cat (who thinks he is a human, right down to sleeping with his head on the pillow).

2. You are granted one wish, but it is a cursed wish and there is a 50% chance that it will go awfully wrong in some way. Do you make the wish, and if so, what do you wish for?

First of all, I would like to note that this is exactly the type of wish that would be granted to me. I have never had much luck with such things – I do not win drawings, or Powerball, or contests or un-cursed wishes. But fortunately, in my professional life, this is what I do: anticipate what will go wrong and find a work-around or solution or alternative when it does. So yes, I would definitely take the wish. What would I wish for? That, I’m going to need some more time to consider…

3. What’s your favourite joke? If you don’t have a favourite joke just tell a good one. Or a terrible one. Sometimes terrible jokes are better than good jokes.

What did the sushi say to the bee?

WASABI !!!       (*say it out loud for the full effect!*)

My No-Strings-Attached “Nominees” – I’m going with a photography theme today –

  1. Hummings – gorgeous, mostly meditative photographs from around about Southern California. His blog is an oasis of calm in a noisy WordPress Reader.
  2. Dawn Michelle Photography – Dawn is my collaborator and life-long friend, but even if she weren’t, I’d be admiring her work and sending folks to check out her blog. For bonus points, see if you can spot me in a recent photograph she posted of the Clifton Suspension Bridge in Bristol, England.
  3. Salal Studio – Ms. Thomas captures the nature and landscape of Pender Island, B.C., Canada with such detail and richness that I did consider answering question #1 with “Pender Island”. If the Pender Island tourism board has not hired her, they should!

I hope everyone has a great weekend! Thank you again!

Double Original Friday – You Moved Away

Commutehaiku_2The last few months have seen a number of my friends and family relocating to distant places for better jobs or new opportunities and these transitions led me to revisit a haiku I had written and posted in 2014 (which is hard to believe is not “last year” anymore!). I changed the wording a little (if you’d like to see the original, click here), but I decided to completely rework the illustration. I wanted to try uniting the words and photographs more fully using digital collage. Poem and digital collage by me. Have a great weekend!

Short Poem Saturday – Don’t Worry, Spiders – Issa

Dontworry_II“Don’t Worry, Spiders” was the very first haiku I posted on Illustrated Poetry! At the time, I paired it with a photograph I had taken of a brightly lit window at night – I thought of it like a Motel 6 for spiders. I decided to revisit the haiku and try it with something different: much more abstract and colorful (and perhaps from the spider’s perspective?) Haiku by Kobayashi Issa (1763 – 1828), painting (acrylic on illustration board), and composition by me. Have a great weekend! Enjoy!

Found Poetry Thursday – with random poem bonus!


It’s been a little while since I posted some poetry that I found out in the wild! This one was spotted at an exhibit on the history of photography at the Museum of Photographic Arts in San Diego. It took a little digging to identify the author and origin of the verse – this particular display was on the camera lucida, an early projection device for artists, and did not provide information on the quatrain. Miss Eliza Savage was the long time pen pal and “beta reader” for the Victorian era author Samuel Butler (1835 – 1902). His literary legacy has all but waned but his work was cited as an influence by Aldous Huxley, E.M. Forster, and George Bernard Shaw. Miss Savage wrote this “poem” in a letter to Mr. Butler, although a biography of Mr. Butler reversed the order of the lines. Photograph by me.

A couple of poetry links to round out this evening:

  1. For a wonderful fully illustrated version of “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock” by T.S. Eliot (which is one of my favorite poems) – head over to Julian Peters Comics at this link here. Then linger a bit on his site to see a number of the classics beautifully illustrated.
  2. I’m now using three different poetry generator websites to make random poems – basically algorithms that generate random poems from either user supplied text or a standard set of words. If you put the “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock” into the Interactive Haiku Generator (link below) you can get haiku like this:

    Sudden spreads the overwhelming

    We and it’s us

    On a night so tedious.

I have found these random poems to be both a great source of inspiration, a way to “unstick” from writing dry spells, as well as good Surrealist poems in their own right.

Here are the three sites – but fair warning, they are very addictive! Enjoy!

Interactive Haiku Generator 

Dada Poetry Generator

Thinkzone Poem Generator 

Old Poem Saturday – A Hallowe’en Haiku – Hoyt

HalloweenHoytHaikuI did want to feature a new illustrated Halloween poem this year, and Mr. Clement Hoyt’s “Hallowe’en Mask” haiku is perfect for the occasion. Mr. Hoyt is listed as an influential American haiku poet in numerous sources, but very little information about him is available – so a bit of poetry mystery for Halloween as well! “Hallowe’en Mask” was published in 1963. Photograph and composition by me.


Double Original Friday – Wakuwafu Award

A little more than a week ago I was nominated by Little Monster Girl for the Wakuwafu Award! A hearty thank you to Zela and friends for the nomination. If you like a little adventure, a lot of fun, and don’t always want your comics to be G-rated, then definitely head over to LMG Comics and follow along!

The Wakuwafu Award was started this month by a pair of anime bloggers at the blog Wakuwafu and I felt in the spirit of the visual arts nature of their award and blog and the fact it is double original Friday to have a little illustrated poetry fun with it. Everything comes in threes here!

1) Three things about myself, as a haiku:

A Marcy Haiku

Pirate cat owner,

but does not have pierced ears.

Does adore hummus.

(non haiku commentary – 1) I am the proud owner of a one-eyed cat, we adopted him that way, so we don’t know how he lost his eye – he will be featured on Silent Sunday, so stay tuned. 2) Just never got around to it, but that doesn’t stop distant relatives from giving me earrings. 3) I will eat it straight out of the container if no one is looking. Crackers only dilute the experience.)

2) Answer three questions posed by your nominator:

a) What inspired you to start blogging?

      I wanted a way to meet other artists and poets, gain some confidence, and provide myself a motivation/schedule for producing new work (I work well with deadlines/schedules). I would say that blogging at here via WordPress has way exceeded all of my expectations and has really come to be a joy in my life.

b) What time is it right now?

      11:48 am

c) Do you have a favorite pair of shoes? Can/will you share a pic of them?

     I do have a favorite pair, they are brown Børn short boots, and I will illustrate one for you as the art half of the double original Friday:


3. Three questions for my nominees:

a) What has surprised you most about blogging and/or sharing your artwork online?

b) What does poetry mean to you? (What is poetry, when you come right down to it?)

c) What meal (or snack/drink/food related ritual) do you most look forward to each day?

4. Three Nominees:

My award nominations come with a no-strings-attached clause. My main purpose is always to send folks to go see bloggers who are doing fun/unique/artistic/amazing things on their blogs and are also in the early-ish stages of building a following. If they take up the award, that’s fantastic, but there is never an expectation on my part. I just hope folks mosey on over to their sites and enjoy their work as much as I do. Okay! I went with a visual/comic/doodle theme:

a) Silence Killed the Dinosaurs – I have only recently become acquainted with this awesome comic, but I am so glad I have! A comic of spiders reenacting Pride and Prejudice? Yes, please!

b) Jennifer Barrile – Artist. Illustrator. Muralist. Ms. Barrile’s sketchbooks are a source of beautiful and inspiring artwork, quotes, and poetry too!

c) Monday Tuesday Wednesday – Ms. Sharon Mann’s artwork and doodles are gorgeous and she recently convinced me to buy some Mineral paper to try to get colors as vibrant as hers. I also appreciate the schedule as the title and inspiration of her blog! Especially since Monday’s tend to be my least creative days!

Thanks again, Little Monster Girl, for the nomination and I hope everyone has a great weekend!

Double Original Friday – To Catch a Criminal

HotStartHaikuI have been so focused on the art part of Illustrated Poetry that I have been neglecting my own poetry. That is why I am grateful for the poetry challenges that some of the blogs around here run: they help to get the creative juices flowing again and compels you (once you decide to do it) to make a little time to write. This haiku is in response to Ronovan’s Weekly Haiku Challenge (which I definitely recommend!). This week the challenge words were “Hot” and “Start.” For me, those words immediately conjured up the process of PCR (polymerase chain reaction – the way we amplify up DNA in the laboratory, usually to run further tests, such as those run in criminal forensics). “Hot Start” is a type of PCR. I fought that association for a day or so as “unpoetic” before I gave in and wrote the haiku. Photograph, haiku, and composition by me. Thanks, Ronovan, for another fun challenge. Have a great weekend!


Old Poem Saturday – !blac – Cummings

!blac_cummings“!blac” by E.E. Cummings is a very short poem that takes a bit of “activation energy” to read the first time – but it rewards your hard work. In my research on the poem, I found several sources that pointed out its haiku-like qualities: from the vertical composition akin to Japanese scrolls to the three “periods” or lines you get if you render it horizontally. It is yet another dimension to this so visual of poems. Drawing (ink on paper) and composition by me – inspired by an original design by Emily Grossman. Have a great weekend!