Step right up!

Step Right Up

(A Sad Circus Tale)

Sold by her mother
to an acrobatic clown,
the scarred town,
stray dog
of her fluid fingers
evoke the night cries
of the high-wire.
It is a brilliant circus skill
to overcome
one’s memories
until tomorrow.

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Step right up! Step right up! NaPoWriMo has officially begun! Behold all manner of poetic marvels!

I had so much fun with today’s poem: I took the piece of newspaper I had been using as scrap beneath my paints yesterday and chose the first article I saw as material for a blackout poem. Fortunately for me, the article in question was about a circus show, complete with fabulous photograph of an accordion-playing fool on a unicycle.

I chose one of the backgrounds I had prepared during Tanyalee Khaler’s wonderful Messy Pages class, stuck down my bits of newspaper and went on from there: gesso, circus fonts, bicycle stamps and silver stars. I knew things were getting pretty out of hand when I started adding glitter. Today is officially the first day I have ever added glitter to a poem.

Just to give you an idea of how far an art journaling page can travel from start to finish, here’s a glimpse of the original background:

If today’s experience is anything to go by, the combination of poetry and art journaling opens up a whole new array of possibilities. I’m so excited to see what the rest of this month will bring!


Night Safari

This is what happens when you write blackout poems on an airplane…

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Today I felt inspired to continue with yesterday’s supernatural theme.

Source text: The Encyclopaedia of Fantasy by John Clute and John Grant. The version I used is the weighty hardback. However, this incredible resource is now available online. It is worth checking out!

For more blackout poems click here.

How To Be an Effective Ghost

Ghost tips

Today’s NaPoWriMo prompt:

Many years ago, “didactic” poetry was very common – in other words, poetry that explicitly sought to instruct the reader in some kind of skill or knowledge, whether moral, philosophical, or practical. Today, I’d like to challenge you to write the latter kind of “how to” poem – a didactic poem that focuses on a practical skill. Hopefully, you’ll be able to weave the concrete details of the action into a compelling verse. Also, your “practical” skill could be somewhat mythological, imaginary, or funny, like “How to Capture a Mermaid” or “How to Get Your Teenager to Take Out the Garbage When He Is Supposed To.” Happy writing!

I was tickled by the idea of how to be a supernatural being. Source text: The Encyclopaedia of Fantasy by John Clute and John Grant. The version I used is the weighty hardback. However, this incredible resource is now available online. It is worth checking out!

For more blackout poems click here.

A Royal Conversation

Be easy

(Source text: ‘The Willow-Wren and the Bear’ by The Brothers Grimm)

For more blackout poems click here.

One hundred thousand sequins


Sindbad’s Compass

Welcome to my new website and blog! I am particularly excited because it’s a chance to bring together all the things that I do: cartoons, fairy tales, short stories, poems, handmade books. Sometimes all these different things seem to be like tiny pieces of confetti scattered in the wind. Or, to quote one of my blackout poems, one hundred thousand sequins. Bringing them all together here, they feel like a growing body of work.

I’m looking forward to talking about what I’m working on, what inspires me, and other interesting stuff about the joys and frustrations of the creative process. In the meantime, I hope you’ll enjoy having a look around!