A palette + Kristine O’Connell George pantoum

Hello – Poetry Friday is hosted by the creative Diane Mayr –
photographer to the woodchuck kingdom – at
Random Noodling.
(And, in truth, she is a whole lot more.)

A Palette
Out of the goodness of her heart, an artist of moody
coastal shacks and lush palmetto thickets invited
strangers to her easel. Her lessons benefited an art program
for public school students in an historic Florida oyster village
where a water use war over the Apalachicola River may end up
at the U.S. Supreme Court.

Oyster Boat c. JanGodownAnnino

Oyster Boat c. JanGodownAnnino

She scraped off her palette – Cynthia Edmonds uses glass,
because it’s easier to clean. She shared her color choices of the
day and showed off the canvas possibilities that recent Sunday
of the cerulean blue sky. Such fun I had, to stand next to this
ultratalented & fascinating artist & pick up a brush &
push around real oil paints.


tip: a glass easel may be easier to clean

tip: a glass easel may be easier to clean

So this day of play rewarded me many times over. My hubby & I enjoyed more of this slice of Florida Panhandle coast, which I’ve visited since 1980 (and where my novel in progress is set.) At home, I pulled down
my books that blend art and literature. I re-read a longtime favorite,
EXCHANGING HATS (1971 edition, William Benton)
The subject, poet Elisabeth Bishop, lived for awhile in Key West.
And she painted there.

you tube book synopsis

But today for Poetry Friday, the volume I’m sharing some lines from, is compiled by award-winning art topic author Jan Greenberg. HEART TO HEART, New Poems Inspired by Twentieth-Century American Art pairs works by O’Keefe, Calder, Benton, Avery & others with works by poets.

A Pantoum

Have you written pantoums? What was your path into them?

Last month I was challenged by J. Patrick Lewis to write in more forms that I usually attempt. So I’ve selected the repeated-line pantoum poem form.
(I am not special – he suggested that of everyone reading his article on a specific day as presented by Angie Karcher, my Society of Children’s Book Writers & Illustrators colleague.
I’m reading more pantoums than I have ever before, piled on my plate due to the urging on to stretch, from Mr. JPL.
One that blinks at me is from a poet whose book FOLD ME A POEM, I find such fun to share with K & 1st graders through BookPALS.
But the pantoum is not in the lovely FOLD picture book from poet Kristine O’Connell George & beautifully illustrated by Lauren Stringer.

Kristine O’Connell George selected an intriguing print by
Kiki Smith, Untitled (Fluttering Eyes) 1990 to use as catalyst for her poem.

Pantoum for These Eyes
by Kristine O’Connell George
Let yourself slide under their spell –
these eyes have something to say.
Write the stories these eye tell,
look deeply, don’t look away.

These eyes have something to say
Come, come meet these eyes.
Look deeply, don’t look away,
find their truth, discover their lies.

© Kristine O’Connell George

This shivers me. For the impact of the complete poem and print together, please find the book, HEART TO HEART.
The form is perfect for the eyes in the KiKi Smith print (if I find a link to an
image online will come back & post later. But I didn’t see it & that included looking at her representative, Barbara Krakow Gallery.) There are four sets of the eyes. The poems’ repetition is as hypnotic as the eyes. How could there ever be an equal pantoum?

So now I have a way to conjure a topic for a pantoum. When an art image speaks to me, it may be my pantoum catalyst. I would like to be well along working on this JPL pantoum challenge by the end of the year. Have you written a pantoum? What inspired it? Are you still writing them?

And I hope your path takes you listening & looking,
down Apalachicola way some day.

Painter Cynthia Edmonds., on the right, in Apalachicola.

Painter Cynthia Edmonds., on the right, in Apalachicola.

About Animals 7


The school tradition of thinking a groundhog forecast the weather each February didn’t enfold a whisker of wisdom about the European hedgehog.

A yarn at a hedgehog site in British Columbia, Canada, spins the story that Romans decided that if a hedgehog, from its den, saw a shadow at this time of year, the hedgehog knew it was looking under a clear moon, which somehow meant a return to the den for six more weeks of winter.  http://hedgehogcentral.com

While a Punxsutawney, Pennsylvina groundhog and a Wiarton, Ontario groundhog are compelled to be in a weather sideshow at this time each year, very few people attempt to keep groundhogs as pets.

No so for the hedgehog, a wild creature not suited for milk, or bread soaked in milk.

But this is what many hedgehog pets are given, a prominent British hedgehog rescue group reports. Here in North America,  the pygmy hedgehog is now bred.

It has an undeniable cuteness factor but hedgehogs, which are wild creatures, can become discarded. Any kitten who has grown into a cat and found itself without a home can tell you that cutness is no guarantee to a life of leisure. 

Two groups helping hedgehogs in the US include

Hedgehog Rescue,  Box 148, Tigard, Oregon 97223

Information about that organization’s work is available on the links page at


which is The International Hedgehog Association, a source of connectivity among hedgehog groups.

Also listed there is The Flash and Thelma Memorial Hedgehog Rescue 


Some of the best hedgehog sites are in England.

Harrassment of the wild creatures there is a reality. They are chased by dogs and considered a garden (rooting among the hedges) nuisance, although they eat beetles.  (They, alas, also eat earthworms.)  

A busy animal shelter, St. Tiggywinkles Wildlife Hospital, in Aylesbury, England, which handles many species, was named for the Beatrix Potter hedgehog character, Tiggywinkles.

This clinic treats and releases about 3,000 wild European hedgehogs each year.  About 500 of the hedgies are overwintering.  http://stiggywinkles.org/uk

Hedgehogs, you might want to know, aren’t releated to porcupines.

That Tiggywinkles Hospital? The other rescue groups?

They could definitely use some hedge funds.