When I was a kid I couldn't say 's' I said 'h' instead. So here, Dear Viewers, is a picture of a bird and an woman 'hingin' a hong'. I think the bird's song may be more nuanced even though the woman is obviously an opera singer. And is that vine growing from her chin? It reminds me of the long black hair that has begun to sprout from mine. Too much information?

It is quite small and you can buy it from my shop.

Rather a Lot of Thoughts

...but it looks like there are definite categories in her mind. Not like mine, where everything interacts or is jumbled up together.

what wonder

what wonder
challenging your life as if it were a plot

something occasionally surfaces
illusive and without form

it is a space with darkness
a voice in darkness

it is a sound-scape of garble
projected words fading in and out

you have to have a pure heart
you have to expect nothing

in between
it feels like hell

the flow will begin
it’s just biding its time –

thinking what do I want?
it will answer its own needs

free from driven ambition
and I will follow its whim

into the deepest part of the wood
it is the Grand Adventure

it is the sense of having no-path
of two left feet looking for a path

I wrote the above poem by following tangents and free association. Really rather surreal in the end. Hope it gives you some feelings or things to think about. Enjoy!

Mother and Daughter Collect Stones

In the dry riverbed we collect stones, each a jewel
or a small world — my daughter and I — ambling like cattle.

The wide riverbed is bank-to-bank beauty
of red, white, green stones,
black and yellow, veined and ribbed
quartz and sandstone, basalt and granite,
all tumbled smooth by the long time of the world.

I find a few treasures and my daughter, who is five,
comes and stands under my stoop, pounces
on stones at my feet, her eyes scanning, scanning.
If I move sideways, she moves sideways. If I turn, she turns.

All this space and she stands right here, shadowing
my shadow, seeking treasure at her mother’s feet,
seeing through her mother’s eyes, stealing her mother’s vision.

Well, our children do. It’s what we give the world — their greed
for life — and it’s ok that they look through our eyes for a while.

But Daughter, in that far off story of snow and sadness,
the little match-girl died.
She was fiddling with flames, dreaming of mother
when she could have been collecting wood.

Daughter, I am only a dreamt mother. I can’t save you.
I can’t give you the world, though I’d give you
each stone in this riverbed, I’d give enough beauty
to sustain you in your ever-after life.

But in the end, I’m as impotent as the match-girl’s mother.
And you can steal from me, my eyes, my very breath,
but sooner or later, you will have to find
your own stones to whisper your secrets to.

* * * * * * * * *

You can hear me read this poem on my Video Wall. You can access it via the menu or here. Have a listen.


The Bug Drawing Game

Here’s a great game to play with kids of all ages (including adults).

You need a dice, some paper, and something to draw with.
Each face of the dice denotes a body part of a bug that you draw.
The winner is the first person to get all the requisite body parts.

Here are the rules we used:

But incase you can’t read them:

  1. A body or a wing (you need 1 body. Wings are optional.)
  2. Legs or antennas (you need 6 legs and two antennas)
  3. Legs or antennas
  4. Head (you need 1 head, but Hana threw 4 seven times in the picture above so she just kept adding heads and Lenka added three three extra heads on this one below)

5. Eyes (you need two, but don’t let that limit you!)

6. A mouth or a butt (you need at least one mouth).

That's it. But here is a few more of our examples. This one by me. (I had to do at least one in my notebook.)

And one by Hana, who is as nuts as her mother (me).

She must have been throwing a lot of fours, fives, and sixes. She was probably in need of some antennas.

Much hilarity was had by all in this process! And, as you can see, inspiring drawings, too.

Do you have any games like this? Tell me about them in the comments. And what do you think of our bugs?


Insomnia Haiga

Not that I get insomnia often. I am very good at sleeping. My mum gave me a great gift when I was about eight. I called to her in the night, 'Mum, I can't sleep.' To which she answered, 'Don't worry about it. Even if you just lie awake all night, you will get enough rest.' It took all the desperation out of getting to sleep. I still think of that, and, even though It's not strictly true, it doesn't matter, I'll drift off eventually. And the soft darkness of night is lovely, a fertile place to think about things.

I once heard a sleep therapist talking about some data. He said that one of the things good sleepers do is not stress about not sleeping. Well no, because they are sleeping! Years ago, I heard that six hours prolongs your life. Some people get by on less. Some people stress if it's not a neat eight hours. I think stress is the big baddie, for sleep and everything else.

Back in puritanical times it was believe that, for the good of the soul, people should do two things a day that they didn't like. I don't know who it was who said, 'I'm ok because I get up in the morning and I go to bed at night.' I'm like that. I don't like giving up on my day, not giving up on my sleep.

How well do you sleep? And what do you think about this strange haiga? Does anyone know who the quote is from? Let me know in the comments.


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