Archives for posts with tag: drawings

Roig_beach illustration.jpg

into the spiral
by Kerfe Roig

shells singing
whispered memories
calling me
I fall into the spiral
drifting with the tide

DRAWING: “Beach” by Kerfe Roig.

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: Weeks at the beach include longs walks with a bucket for shells or other gifts from the sea. I also take my sketchbook down to the beach and draw. Both the shells and the drawings help me keep the magic of the ocean in the city when I return home.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Kerfe Roig enjoys transforming words and images into something new. You can follow her explorations on the blog she does with her friend Nina:

Author portrait by Kerfe Roig. 

mc escher
by Lee Parpart

To pluck words
from air like
winter grapes
shot through
with noble
rot, knowing
I’ll land every
line with the
clarity of a

To delight
party guests
with jaunty
ragtime riffs
when festivities
start to flag,
and to have
a good joke
ready in
Russian, or
in case of
or dull

To re-start
the wild
heart of a
over the
arriving at
a modest
hero, and to
cut a lean,
straight line
en pointe for

Only ten,
maybe twelve,
more turns
around the
and no more
lives spent
rolling karmic
dung across
an endless

IMAGE: “Scarabs” by M.C. Escher (1935).

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: It would take a lot of lives to master all of the skills I greedily imagined in response to this prompt [lumped together under the single skill “reincarnation”].  And although the dung beetle is depicted here as a low point for a human facing the possibility of reincarnation, dung beetles are hugely beneficial insects, reducing greenhouse emissions and helping farmers by burying animal waste. I could do worse than to spend a couple of lives rolling poo around the desert.

lee parpart

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Lee Parpart won a typewriter in a Scholastic Inc. fiction contest in high school. It was a real workhorse, and she used it to write a bunch more poems and short stories, only to run away from creative writing at 18 after a guy in his forties who had published a couple of books invited her to lunch, insisted she try frog’s legs, and informed her that the prose sample she shared was “not great.” She recently returned to poetry and fiction after admitting both were central to her happiness and realizing she was insane to have listened to frog leg man in the first place. Her poems and stories have appeared in Hegira and Silver Birch Press, and her academic essays on cinema and TV have appeared in numerous books and journals. See

by Senia Hardwick

sits up
curved back
crescent body
gibbous eyes
stares back wide
half touches bare skin
bird thin
wrist raises
hand points
a full murmur
back to night

IMAGE: “The Moon and Endymion” by Bernard Picart (1731).

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: This poem is from a series/chapbook I am currently working on entitled Ephemera. Each poem is a moment of fleeting beauty paired with ideas and suffering and death. The idea of beautiful suffering is by no means a novel topic, but I have chosen to make it novel by utilizing post-modern ideas about art and poetic structure as well as writing solely on male subjects. The deaths of women have long been portrayed in fetishistic and intentionally tantalizing ways, and this work exists as an intentional rejection of this as an artistic ideal. I drew from Ovid’s Metamorphosis as the stories within it are sensuous and vivid, as well as simply being a nod to the massive and extensive influence of Grecian poetry on Western Europe’s cultural development.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Senia Hardwick is a self-described neo-romantic writer of poetry and short fiction. Senia’s works range in tone and topic, but are mainly concerned with nature, self-exploration, and the world of emotional extremes. She has previously been published in Collective Fallout, Hoax, Tattoosday, TOO MUCH: An Anthology of Excess, Cville Winters, Oddball Mgazine, and is a regular contributor at Riot Grrrl Magazine. Links to her work and book review column can be found at

“Explain Yourself!” Said the Caterpillar Sternly
by Jamie Feldman

Wonder under tumble and down,
Through the glass and under a crown.
Which way are you going?
Which way have you come?
Revise and consider
Where you have come from.

Run through smoke and fog and the sea.
Run from all the things you could be.
A red queen or a knave?
A mome rath outgrabe?
One thing to remember:
To always behave.

Curtsy when one is spoken to.
Never disrupt when you are through.
But where is the wonder?
But where is the dream?
I’ve learned from the flowers
Life’s not what it seems.

Pawns can take kings and queens and rooks.
Dreams do exist outside of books.
But do your thoughts bring joy?
Or Jabberwock fear?
Please drink the potion
And keep your head clear

Cheshire Cat smiles question your time.
Answer in riddle or in rhyme.
Will you ask me through smoke?
Play a game for two?
Down through he rabbit hole,
That’s where you’ll find you.

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass have long been my favorite fairytales. Alice is perhaps one of the only female protagonists who doesn’t need a prince to save her, but rather discovers her strength and identity on her own through her wonderland dreams and not from the world above the rabbit hole. The inspiration for the poem is taken from a passage where, upon first meeting the caterpillar, he asks Alice to explain herself and define her identity.

IMAGE: Caterpillar and Alice from Lewis Carroll‘s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland (1865) with illustrations by John Tenniel.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Jamie Feldman is a writer/playwright from Halifax, NS, Canada. Her writing has appeared in Baseline Literary, The Big Jewel, and Scissors & Spackle, among others. She is a multiple SLS Literary Merit Fellowship recipient, and her plays have been performed internationally including at The Atlantic Fringe and Short+Sweet: Sydney, AU Festival.

translated into a limerick by Alfred H. Marks

There once was a curious frog
Who sat by a pond on a log
And, to see what resulted,
In the pond catapulted
With a water-noise heard round the bog.

IMAGE:  “Basho’s frog haiku print” available at

by Shel Silverstein

There’s a polar bear
In our Frigidaire—
He likes it ’cause it’s cold in there.
With his seat in the meat
And his face in the fish
And his big hairy paws
In the buttery dish,
He’s nibbling the noodles,
He’s munching the rice,
He’s slurping the soda,
He’s licking the ice.
And he lets out a roar
If you open the door.
And it gives me a scare
To know he’s in there—
That polary bear
In our Fridgitydaire.



by Shel Silverstein

It’s hot!
I can’t get cool,
I’ve drunk a quart of lemonade.
I think I’ll take my shoes off
And sit around in the shade.

It’s hot!
My back is sticky.
The sweat rolls down my chin.
I think I’ll take my clothes off
And sit around in my skin.

It’s hot!
I’ve tried with ’lectric fans,
And pools and ice cream cones.
I think I’ll take my skin off
And sit around in my bones.

It’s still hot!

“It’s Hot” appears in Shel Silverstein‘s collection of poems of drawings Where the Sidewalk Ends, available at

CAPTION:  Polly want to abandon speaking of herself in the third person.

CREDIT: New Yorker cartoon by J.C. Duffy, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Find framed prints at


poem and drawing by Shel Silverstein

The Police Department
Changed their garments
And became the Please Department
And instead of clubs and cuffs,
Saying Please was quite enough.
“Please stop breaking down that door.”
“Please stop robbing that jewelry store.”
“Please stop stealing that motor scooter.”
“Please stop shooting off that gun.”
“Please stop forging checks for fun.”
“Please stop ripping off those tires.”
“Please stop setting things on fire.”
And if they needed more persuasion,
They took ’em down to the Please Station
Where the friendly Chief of Please
Said Please, Please, Please
On bended knees.
And they stopped all crime with ease
By politely saying “Please.”


Editor’s Note: Then again, some people just don’t understand the word “please.”


Some years back, I wrote a children’s novel that featured a girl named Anna, a dog named Otto, and lots of wordplay — as evidenced by the main characters’ names, spelled the same backward and forward. In the book, Anna, an amnesiac, sets out with Otto to learn her identity — and along the way meets a range of unusual characters and encounters a variety of wacky situations.

For a time, I shopped Anna & Otto to publishers in New York and received positive response (but no offers). One editor compared the novel’s emphasis on language to the wordplay found in The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster — a book (shame on me) that I had never read.

That day, I visited my local Border’s (RIP) and purchased a copy of The Phantom Tollbooth, a novel first published in 1961. I went home and read the book in one giant gulp — a huge smile on my face the whole time.

Excerpt from The Phantom Tollbooth: “In this box are all the words I know…Most of them you will never need, some you will use constantly, but with them you may ask all the questions which have never been answered and answer all the questions which have never been asked. All the great books of the past and all the ones yet to come are made with these words. With them there is no obstacle you cannot overcome. All you must learn to do is to use them well and in the right places.” 

The book’s jacket copy advises, “Readers of all ages will find much wit and wisdom in Norton Juster’s beguiling, offbeat fantasy about a boy named Milo…[who] meets some of the most logically illogical characters ever met on this side or that side of reality, including King Azaz the Unabridged, unhappy ruler of Dictionopolis.”

The New York Times gave The Phantom Tollbooth a rave, noting: “Most books advertised for ‘readers of all ages’ fail to keep their promise. But Norton Juster’s amazing fantasy has something wonderful for anybody old enough to relish the allegorical wisdom of Alice in Wonderland and the pointed whimsy of The Wizard of Oz.” 

Now whenever I see a copy of The Phantom Tollbooth in one of my used-book haunts, I snap it up — and pass it  on to someone I know would love this marvel of a book. (I’ll admit that I don’t often find The Phantom Tollbooth at thrift stores — people hang onto their copies of this brilliant novel.) Highly recommended! A Must Read! 


Illustration: The cover illustration is by Jules Feiffer, whose witty, spot-on drawings fill the 256-page book (Knopf hardcover edition). At left is Feiffer’s drawing of the Terrible Trivium, “…demon of petty tasks and worthless jobs, ogre of wasted effort, and monster of habit.”