"dazzle gradually"

"Dazzle Gradually" 2017 poems, paintings, new art & photography--a diary, a discipline, a delight. Read over my shoulder as I post my unedited poetry ---you can see it in the raw or get my first book and see how the work evolves with new books rolling out next year.

Polly Alice

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Ode to the Dead End

Dead End,
your the place I like to be.
I love your yellow warning
that says nothing can come in.
I love your little white houses
with porches full of birdbaths
made from poured cement--
the girl who pours water
from a wineskin, the Cherubim
baby with fat cheeks, stone
feathers. The wrought iron
railings painted black. The
green striped awnings to
keep out rain. Dead End,
I love you. Here is where
I always want to sit. Here
is where I'll watch the world
go by. Because someone
placed two vinyl covered
chairs here, someone in
hopes of taking it
easy at the end
of the road. And in
that hope is where
we will meet. We will
drink out of icy glasses.
We will hear the roar of motors
and the din of traffic where
they cannot come.
Ours will only be shade
and the small hum
at the end of our

Saturday, March 28, 2015


The man at the conservatory
in khaki with the creased brow
and gray locks down to his collar
crouched under a small tree with a
ring of brown paper stalks and said--

Everything in nature has a purpose.

The peppermint smell in the hulls
keeps bugs and predators away
poison ivy berries are a Blue Jay's
favorite snack. You know that means
I have a purpose too.

Everything about me has a purpose,
I'd like to know what that purpose
is, not to be abused but to belong
not to be neglected but to be protected
not to be forgotten but to survive
not to be abandoned, but thrive.

Everything in nature has a purpose. 

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Lent 2015

This year it doesn't feel like Lent.
Where is the gray?
Where is the sadness?
There is hardly any waiting
it's warmer each day

This year it doesn't feel like Lent.
Where is the gray?
Where is the fasting?
There is nothing left to give up
I've given it all away.

No, this year Lent is short
Where is the gray?
Where is the rain?
The crocus opens up
more every day.

It's purple spikes
sharp, but have
nothing to cut
for I am already

I am here
to stay.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Things to Find...

So the art and illustration show is up again. This time at Woodneath MCPL library in Liberty, MO.  I created a bit of a scavenger hunt for visitors who come to the show.

Things to Find

1.  Can you find my Great Grandmother Benton's oil paint brushes in an old Pringle's can? (Yes, shirt-tail relation to the famous artist, Thomas Hart Benton).
2. My grandfather's books from his office where he used to prepare sermons for Missouri churches?
3. How about sea shells and a feather from our vacation to Branson two years ago?
4. Can you find the old spools of thread from Pennsylvania where I went to art school?
5. Or the ink bottle and pen nibs from the Smithsonian-- close to where I went to high school?
6. Can you find the old water color paints from Grandma Irene? She won an art contest back during the World's Fair?
7. How many sketch books can you see?
8.  How many eggs to you count in the display case?
9.  How many paint brushes do you see in the display?
10.  Do you see the hand-sewn item made by my little sister in pink and blue?
11. My favorite doll?
12. The famous cartoon character, Cluckers, created by my brother, the artist, and my soft plush toy rendition of him?
13.  How many self portraits do you see?
14.  How many trees do you count?
15. Which story illustrated in the display do you want to hear the most?
16. Can you find the copy of Alice through the Looking Glass?
17. If you could walk into the world pictured in one of these paintings, which would you visit?
18. Which painting looks like it's made from recycled materials?
19.  Find two more paintings in the library that look like they belong with the ones behind glass.
20. You win a prize if you send me your answers to the scavenger hunt.  Thanks for visiting!

Thanks for visiting! Come on out to meet the artist at the library's Access Arts event on April 18th!