Sally & Seemore Samples? (Woes of Non-Illustrator)

Posted May 23, 2015 by ManicDdaily
Categories: children's book, children's illustration, dog, Sally & Seemore, Uncategorized

Tags: , , , ,


Hi All!

On my break from poetry, I’ve been thinking about poems all the time!  (Also, doing a bunch of long-overdue cleaning projects.)

I have not yet had the courage to look at the children’s book project–a manuscript for a child’s novel–that I hope to finally finalize.  But I did get myself to do a couple more pics with the book in mind.

When you try to draw pictures for a book, you become immediately conscious of how wonderfully skilled trained illustrators are.  They draw in single defined strokes instead of ten or twenty pale scratchings!  Their characters look the same on every page!  And yet not the same!  Meaning that the characters are recognizable, but the postures and facial expressions change.  The difficulty in drawing consistent human beings is why I usually stick to elephants.

Anyway, here’s a couple of new ones.   I don’t know if I can use them as the little girl is just too young here.    And really the dog should probably not be smiling quite so much.  And these pictures are supposed to take place in an attic; I completely forgot about any kind of sloping roof.

But thought you might enjoy.  (Or hope so.)

PS – girl’s name is Sally; dog is Seemore.

Elephant Break?

Posted May 21, 2015 by ManicDdaily
Categories: elephants, Uncategorized

Tags: , ,

Hey all!

I love writing poems!  Frequently!   Largely thanks to you guys!

But I have long-standing projects on back burners.  I tend to neglect these when focusing on poetry.  (Especially since my employer also expects me to do stuff.)

In order to resuscitate the other projects (and relieve that slow burn–it really gets to me), I seem to need to take a formal break from blogging poetry.

So, here’s my plan.  I am going to try to take a break from posting poems, but I do hope to keep posting–mainly little drawings and such. (Probably complaints!)

But hopefully, they’ll be fun drawings/complaints.

Anyway, keep visiting!  (If interested.)  Not to make you feel obligated (ha!) but your support is very deeply appreciated!




Posted May 17, 2015 by ManicDdaily
Categories: poetry, Uncategorized

Tags: , , , ,




A part of us lives
behind a moat of bone;
it sculls about
our skulls,
on the look-out.

So defended.  Even when it feels it’s been
a pawn, it’s certain it secretly harbors
the queen or king,
of everything.

How lucky that in this bateau ivre
this row of self-deceiving,
we have a skin,
a wall easily pierced
by all’s awl.

How lucky that we have
these isthmuses of
lips, mouth, tips,
of nerve ends;
for it’s the outside that keeps us

for me–the sage
of this minute’s coolish breeze, the frisson
beneath my sleeves,
the warmth of you,
the ripples of the chest
that rises, falls.


Another drafty poem for my own prompt on Real Toads, relating to John Donne’s “no man is an island.” 

Bateau Ivre worked its way in their somehow–it means “drunken boat” in French and is the title of a poem by French poet Arthur Rimbeaud: in the poem, according to Wikipedia, the boat tells of becoming filled with water, thus drunk.

The pic is mine; all rights reserved. 

PS the end of this was edited just before first posting, now edited again to move back to the original–agh. 


Posted May 16, 2015 by ManicDdaily
Categories: poetry, Uncategorized

Tags: , , , , ,


We hung bells over your changing table, strung
on a thick silken cord–

A tinkle above your tinkle, as it were, or,

For purposes of this piece, it is helpful to understand that the refuse of a little nursed baby often spouts as green as Spring, a new digestive system its own
kind of April.

My fingers were quick
change artists,
but your father’s whole body was sometimes drawn
into gear.

I remember his once clanging those bells full throttle, trying to quell
your wails. He was stripped
to the waist, his other hand keeping
you safe-
father-daughter bonding–still,
you were alarmed–maybe by
his matador’s dodge, the cape
of fleeing shirt tail, or maybe it was just
the green in you coming
to the fore–

The bells were not for babies–
brass.  Probably we should not have hung them
over your head–
still, their weight, their
realness, was also
what made them work (usually)–their rings
more resonant than coo, conjuring
baby awe–

but that day’s jangle of wail
and bell
was like two rivers meeting, a confluence
of conflicting flows, clear and
muddy; eddying sweetness
and screech==

I know now
there is no joy
completely pure, and all joy also
just that–

what is mitigated also

Maybe this is why
bells can’t seem to knell
without some swell of cry
that also cups sky
while children’s cries ring out–
while children’s laughter


A draft poem for my own prompt on Real Toads, about John Donne, and his beautiful lines about bells and connection.  This one more a story than poem, but there it is!  Thanks all.


ps-the conjoined pics, such as they are, are mine. They were much bluer when made!  

Imagining Oklahoma (May 2015)

Posted May 15, 2015 by ManicDdaily
Categories: elephants, poetry, Uncategorized

Tags: , , , , ,

Imagining Oklahoma  (May 2015)

I write of swimming Tulsa’s parks–
it’s rained so much that some have Arks
(Snitched, I think, from church displays–
plastic giraffes in porthole bays.)
But I’ve no boat, nor yet canoe–
the crawl (Australian) best I can do.

Stroking, I ponder the pour of rain–
here in the land of Dust Bowl fame,
where folks went west-er for water, honey
(milk too and, they hoped, some money==)

Or, so it once seemed in older times
a warning time we’d mucked with climes–
that word’s poetic for another, close,
and please excuse my lines verbose–
but State Reg. Nine-Ten-Eye-Eye-Eye-Eight
prohibits that I articulate
that “climb”-start word that rhymes with “pate”
and has naught, says the State, to do with our fate–

Don’t you dare (they tell me) blame fossil fuels
for converting us all to corporate tools–
or else the drillers will pull their rigs
and we’ll have to devise some other gigs
(which would be especially mis-er-a-ble
for those on oil’s-lush payroll–)

So, I guess I’ll just crawl silently
right next to this poor drowning bee–
By the way–you have a Nicorette?
it’s like cold turkey in this wet–
or so he buzzes, busily tells–
somehow addicted to what kills–


Here’s a poem of sorts for Marian’s prompt on With Real Toads relating to Dr. Seuss and Taj Mahal.  I love Taj, but I stuck mainly with Seuss, except I suppose one could also think of Taj’s song Queen Bee–

Process notes–it is my understanding there are intense downpours right now in Oklahoma, while California, even the parts not traditionally dry, are in terrible drought.  The nicorette reference is to the nicotinamides in pesticides which many think are causing the decimation of bees.

Final process note–I am in New York City right now–so apologies for my ignorance of Oklahoma–California too– though I took out that stanza!  Also I am without either pencil, eraser or drawing pad– I really am not used to drawing without an eraser!  Agh! 

PS– I fear that fracking and earth quakes may be an even bigger problem in Oklahoma right now, but decided to keep this poem relatively simple.

PPS – I am informed, upon posting, that this is my 2000th post on this blog.  Ha!  Thanks to you all for the encouragement. 



Fish In Some Kind of Water

Posted May 14, 2015 by ManicDdaily
Categories: dog, elephants, poetry

Tags: , , , ,

This picture DOES NOT go with the poem–I just like it.

Fish In Water

We feel
like a fish–
I use here both the royal ‘we’
because I am gold, and
the collective ‘we’
because that was how
I was schooled.

We are not out of water
but tanked.
Our owners, easily tiring of the tedium
of our boxed obliviousness, feed us repeatedly
just to see us fetch.

Sure enough, we’re fired up
by the flakes, swish for the catch
in the mitt of our hinged-jaw maws–

The taps feel to us
clapped applause
even as they shake us
to our cartilaginous marrow.
‘My turn’, ‘no,
my turn,” regaling and hailing
until the sounds dumb
to a clouded sky
with only occasional
dandruff, the food of random

Too much–too little, but still
too much,
until our sheen slimes,
scales bloat, and patches spread
over our once-rich red,
patches pale as the underbelly
of some creature we wot not–

Something is very wrong here,
more than just

A rather strange one, probably linked to nowhere!


On The Day

Posted May 12, 2015 by ManicDdaily
Categories: poetry, Uncategorized

Tags: , , , , ,


On the day

On the day you died,
some could swallow
somewhere else.

Sips were tipped from glasses rimmed
with bright transparency;
cake was even guzzled, laughing,
over weaving cleavages of satin;

sand absorbed the sea
a few blocks away,
as little see-through crabs were digested
and regurgitated
in the crawling sway;

I tried to give you something sweet, honey,
but sweetness
was yours
to surfeit–

the quick swoop of a bird, so like
a swallow,
shadowed the glass
by your bed, the door,
the window–

So hard to swallow
what we live through,
the done rising in our throats
with each day’s sun.
Not bright, not
still, sometimes we want to shade our eyes
looking inside
in the way that one might peer
through a pinhole
at the eclipse
of a whole star.



Here’s another one inspired by the Real Toads prompt by Grace on Jane Hirshfield;  I am linking it to Real Toads Tuesday Open Forum.

The process of online poetry is so interesting to me–I like to write at a fairly rapid clip so post fairly frequently and often call things drafts.  This is one I wrote yesterday morning essentially and have been revisiting since then–adding little (important) bits, then cutting dramatically–cutting at least a third yesterday and about twenty percent more  just this morning. (Which makes me nervous enough that I put back a few words here and there–ha!)   So, I’m not certain I’ve got the best version–and maybe should even cut more–at the same time, I would just as soon go ahead and post, as I’m not sure I can make a concrete decision about it all right now.  

The pic is mine and is taken from the back of a ghost dance drum, made by George Beaver, a Pawnee in Oklahoma around 1891-92.  (I do not mean the poem to be about Native Americans, but photographed the drum at a recent exhibit I saw about Plains Indians. ) 


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