Thursday, March 30, 2017


As the written work draws, finally, to a close on this first book in my singing series of Nature Teachers, the painted pieces are piling up rapidly! I've been pleased thus far with the couplings of images and words that have grown. There is a sense of "belonging" as each one is completed; separate but a part of the whole. 

From this collection of illustrations, this book's theme should be fairly obvious. Water is the beginning of all Life from our point of view. So what better place to begin talking about the wisdom, lessons and inspiration to be found from All Our Relations in Nature?

Some of these Teachers have been old friends, companions along my life road. Others have been completely new to me; a wonderful journey of  discovery. Land or water, air or fire, the connective lessons that All Our Relations want us to return to are all about being part of the Wheel of Life; community, living cooperatively with Nature's laws, conservation, balance, stewardship. All vital issues that need to be returned to rather than obstructed, fought against, debated. 


A big challenge with these visual pieces has been to keep them from all being boringly similar with so much water in every one. Water is all about being adaptable though and loves to show us over and over how best to remain true to self while constantly adapting to necessary change. Not all of these images are completely finished, as I often like to leave a little detail work out prior to calling a piece "done"; saving a little bit of something special just to keep it fresh and unique when presented as a finished product. These are not "all" the illustrations I have right now either, just the ones done but for those finishing details. The others are in a messy stage of production right now lol sometimes not even looking like the featured "Teacher" yet, so not share worthy just yet.

This work has been a long process with lots of interruptions along the way. I think the next book will flow much quicker into the channels I've been building over time. It will certainly be a bit of a relief to turn to something "new" too. I plan on offering this first book in an ebook format with the first chapter free. So close to turning it all over to my personal printer for formatting, layout, etc. and we are both So Excited for that bit of the process. 

 There have been a lot of people who have followed these pieces online over the years. People who have contributed to each new piece I write with their feedback and shared personal experiences. Hopefully, there will be many more who come to share as I finally get these available to readers! Each of these illustrations has an internet length posting of poetry and information available right here on my blog. With this posting though, I just wanted to see how all the pics I have completed "hang" together.

I've three chapters and three paintings left to finish for book one. Time to start thinking beyond the working title, "Who Sings Now?" ? All thoughts and feedback, welcome of course :)

2017 is shaping up to be an extremely interesting, creatively productive year for me and I can't wait!

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Raven Steals the Sun

Once, the world was covered in darkness. Raven quickly tired of stumbling around, unable to learn or get into anything in the heavy shadows. He found where the light of the universe was being jealously hoarded, cleverly stole the sun and set it into the sky so all could see, much like Prometheus. Raven was burned black by the heat of the sun, but he carries the many colors of the rainbow hidden within the shine of his feathers too.
This story has always ignited my imagination. It reminds me always of the interconnectedness of all life, especially when I am feeling particularly displeased with my own species. Raven reminds me that we are all family, even if I don’t like, understand or agree with another. Certainly not the only lesson I have learned from this audacious Teacher, but perhaps the most important.

Songs Heard Within My Shadow

Celestial Fire adds a hissing cymbal fill in the distance.
Steam rises with a hot suggestion of sound.
Upwards it rises now…
Beyond wind or noise…
Beyond Skywoman and Her Children…
Beyond Dreams…
We spin into the Void.
The Sun calls forth a rainbow
‘gainst an ebon shadow
as the Sun is set
…like a burning bit of amber
into an azure coronet.
“Stormbringer, Bonepicker, Trickster some call me.”
A laugh both harsh and rhythmic
Childlike, they fill my shadow with their fears.
“This way, Child!
Here is the path you left behind!
Mind your ways!
Don’t just speak the truth, Fool!
Live it!”
I chuckle,
“Leave denial in the dust…
Leave pain…
Leave past…
Leave rage…
Leave lust.
Empty as the waiting vessel be!
Fill your life with Light and
Deep within your essence see
all that Creator would ask of thee.”
I sing in Dreams.
I sing of Prophecies…
of paths lost and found…
Sacred trails begun in the heart
but by Wisdom and Choice unbound.
Change and Magic…
…Shadow and Light…
Secrets and Soulful trial.
These fuel my flight!
“You are not alone in the long run.” I mutter
“Your heart knows we are already One!”
As you Dance your earthly fill,
I Soar…
and to the Winds I recklessly shrill,
Time, all unheeding flow…
Forever before and
Forever behind.
Eternally awaiting Your perception…”
for I am Warden at this Door,
and many other thresholds,
between Truth and Deception.
“I hear and remember your unspoken Vow.”
Who sings now?

The painting is acrylics on 8.5 by 11 canvas. Prints and other products with this image are available at  Redbubble

A closer look at Raven/Crow as a Nature Teacher can be found here... 

Sunday, February 5, 2017

Serenade of a Woodland Prince

A whistle-like voice does ascend
yipping at twilight or
while the very dawn approaches
Pausing to attend…

“Protect the Child
Both within and without
I will teach you
how best to hide
if you have any doubts

I run, four legs flying
Between the rim
of this World and the Others
Perhaps this is why I am so hunted
or perhaps…
I am simply
a bit more Fae 
than my Brothers

The Fair Folk and I
have often traded favors
the Shifting of shape
Oft-times I am little more
than a clever silent Shadow
stealing across your Dreamscape

Take a seat upon my tail
We will run
Over stock, over stone
I will teach you how
Fortune and Opportunity
are most cleverly claimed
with Honesty
Charming confidence
Harvesting Tao

Herald of Inari
Blessed Brighid
Here to remind you
Life is hard
Play harder
Laugh more
Love more
Live now

I teach the
Magic, Laws, and Mysteries
of Nature
Being sure of foot
is as important as being fleet
Get creative
Sly boots leave no tracks
My thimblerigging
Trickster ways
are naturally successful 
like a stellar parallax.”

For those new to the game... each poem in this series is inspired by a Teacher found in Nature; a star, stone, animall, plant etc that holds lessons of Wisdom for us. Can you guess who is singing today? 

“Charming people live up to the very edge of their charm, and behave as outrageously as the world lets them. Logan Pearsall Smith

“Let good thoughts be your sword and shield.” ~ Unknown

"But he was thankful to the fox, and did not attempt his life as his brothers had done; so the fox said, 'Sit upon my tail, and you will travel faster.' So he sat down, and the fox began to run, and away they went over stock and stone so quick that their hair whistled in the wind." The Golden Bird, the Brothers Grimm

Foxes have been labeled as cunning, magical, charismatic, masters of manners, stealth, communication, and camouflage probably for as long as Man has known any of the 21 species of Fox around the world. Fox’s ability to hide in plain sight is as legendary as His ability to elude adversaries. Their keen senses make them very sensitive to their surroundings, and uniquely adaptable to their environments. However, these same keen sense can get them into trouble as well! Too curious, perhaps when they shouldn’t be, or too led by their senses instead of their sensibility.

Consider too, it is not uncommon for Fox people to feel overwhelmed by the stresses of their environment and almost disappear in the crowd as an involuntary defense! “Too much noise” or “too many people” are common complaints. You don’t see foxes hanging out in crowds, either two-footed or four! Being “hidden in plain sight” can be a useful skill, or quite a problem for Fox people. In fact, people who have consistent problems with others not “seeing” them are most likely having problems with Fox energy. Are people walking into you? Forgetting you? Mistaking you for others? Not hearing you when you speak? You might be out of balance with Fox.

As with many other Creature Teachers, the color of the Fox you are drawn to can give you additional clues to how you link with Fox energy. Color associations vary from culture to culture, of course. Red can be linked with creative energy, kundalini energy, passion, and fire, for example. Silver is associated with astral work, the moon, and angels. Blue is also linked with matters of the Spirit, intuition, serenity, wisdom. As is Black which can also represent the universal or cosmic link between all beings. Draw them, find pictures of them, read about their habits and homes, visit a preserve, enjoy stories or films about foxes. These are common ways that one can attune to any Creature Teacher.

The wise Fox is the one who uses their considerable talents for maneuvering below the mark of notice to observe everything around them and act accordingly. Sometimes “adaptable” boils down to simply the harmonious use of awareness and action to bring success into your life. Some might even call it luck. A master of camouflage and masks, Fox can help us achieve the perceptive awareness and alert clarity necessary to achieve seemingly impossible goals, or spiritual evolution. Dusk and dawn are Fox times, and edges between woodland and fields are wonderful places to meditate on this Teacher's Wisdom. Fox's association with such liminal zones also strengthens their link with Faerie energy/Wisdom. Bespelled royalty, or simply the crafty woodland beast who aids the Fair Folk, guides mortals through magical challenges, or delivers Faerie messages, the Fox is a Natural Magician.

It requires a great deal of optimism and positive thinking to overcome the many obstacles that Fox faces in Life….it isn’t all luck! Pursued by Man and Dog, many times in direct competition with bigger Wolves and Coyotes, none the less Fox has proved his many skills by not only surviving but living a full life with a big lolling canine grin firmly in place. Perhaps the biggest challenge a Fox can truly face is not becoming enamored of themselves! Foxes are charming, but the dangerous thing about Charm is that it can lull us too, give a false sense of success, promote hubris.

"I was raised to be charming, not sincere." Cinderella's Prince from Into the Woods

Everyone knows, even if it is deeply buried, that their worst enemy is always themselves. The interplay between charmer and charmed can be heady. Who doesn’t like to have a good time? More often than not though, it is best to simply keep quiet and absorb what you are observing, really think before you open your mouth and leap. Foxes can blend with a wide variety of people and find diversity to be very refreshing. 

People are often drawn to the charismatic Fox and will want their attention even if unconsciously. Developing a habit of silence or keeping ones own council is usually a wiser choice in most social situations than striving to be the life of the party! If we want to live up to the best of Fox's lessons, Sincerity in action and Honesty in our perceptions of self and others is imperative. Better to be clever charming royalty disguised as a chicken thief, than to actually be a vain and selfish bandit, however clever or charming.

Gentle, lucky, skillful, Fox is always willing to put his loving self forward, volunteer for the scouting mission, to use relentless cheerfulness, charm and bravery as both her weapons and her protection in a hostile world. Persistent without aggression, Fox asks you to be silent, be aware, observe, to mind your thoughts and actions as you move through life, to always do ones best in the moment to leave the world a better place. Life is meant to be lived, love is meant to brim ones heart, and a keen mind coupled with keen senses makes every moment a unique ambrosia…so drink up! How does Fox appear in your life?

“If a man be gracious and courteous to strangers, it shows he is a citizen of the world, and that his heart is no island cut off from other lands, but a continent that joins them.” Francis Bacon

Keywords: Magic, Invisibility, Camouflage, Secrets, Protection, Cunning, Shapeshifting, Masks, Truth/Sincerity, Messages, Guidance, Adaptability, Observation, Intuition, Swift thought/action, Grounding in Nature, Faerie Wisdom/Energy, Tricks/Illusion/Deception, Strategy, Adaptability, Pathfinding/Guidance, Sensuality/Sexuality, Luck, Skill (especially developing multiple skills), Protection of Children and Family

Associated with: Magic, Faeries, Foxwives, Spirit or Faerie messages, theft, liminal zones, gates between worlds, the Northern Lights, witches. Taliesin, Merlin, Robin Hood, Queen Madb. Kitsune, Oinari, Inari Okami, Uka no Mitama, Dionysus, Pan, Brighid, Lugh Lamfada, Bel, Cerunnos, Artio, Caillech Bheur, Henwen, Cerridwen, Tuan MacCarell, Loki, Freya, Frigga, Freyr, Weyland, Hulda, Nanna,

Potential Balancing Energies: Birds like Raven, Chicken, Duck, Hawk, Eagle, Robin, Owl, Crows, Jays, or Sparrows. Insects like Fly, Tick, Earthworm, Beetle/Grub, Bee, Lepidoptera, Spiders, Fireflies or Ants. Plants like grasses, grapes, blackberry, pennyroyal, foxglove, or daisies. Trees like Rowan, Pine or Oak. Animals like Frog/Toad, Fish, Snake, Squirrels, Mouse and other Rodents, Rabbit, Canines like Coyote or Dog, Felines, Bears, or Badgers. Water, Earth, Northern Lights, the constellation Vulpecula, Sun, Moon, Winds. Stone people like Moss Agate, Adventurine, or Carnelian.

Friday, January 20, 2017

Shuffling Gumshoe Blues

Dropping my false mustache and glasses
I stop blending into the scenery
and leap from hiding
Four undulating arms
Four sticky gumshoes
perambulating across
Poseidon's dancing floor
with an agile curious grace
I tip my hat

"Hello, Shweetheart
The jig is up
No one plays me for a sucker!
I have three hearts 
Two branchial
One systemic
all on my sleeve for you.
You're Magic
All legs,
staring at me with those
hypnotic eyes of yours

I'm sick of swimming
through dark alleys
shaking down every dank crevice
for a chance to grab a fin.
I put the I in Intelligence alright
Solving puzzles and 
Unraveling mysteries
Mysteries like
"Will the next dive cough up a meal? or
Is today the day I end up tanked,
or worse, as calamari?"

Shuffling off alone
at the end of every day
only to bonelessly tuck myself away
in some hole in the wall
We deserve better
than Illusion, Shweetheart

So lets wrap our mitts
around the future
pull it close
Leave behind
anything holding us back
We'll recoup
any petty losses
Let's dust!

Be my Main Squeeze
Come away with me  
to a tropical paradise
my hidden garden grotto
Where the sharks 
will never loan us a dime
We'll vanish without a trace
in a puff of smoke

Bend, Dollface
Be flexible, creative and
We'll dine in style
Crab, lobster, eel juice, the works
Choice tidbits for a choice dame
My personal femme fatale"

For those new to the game, each poem is inspired by a Teacher found in Nature; a star, stone, animal, plant etc that holds lessons of Wisdom for us. Can you guess who is singing today?

Monday, January 9, 2017

Intuitive Conservation

Beneath the Moon's broad beams,
We careen, cartwheel, sidle, 
sashay, tap and jig across the shores
Thousands of us worldwide
Living oft unnoticed 
amid the humble sands 
creative fertile mud
tidal pools
Exploring amongst the algae 
foraging about the fungi,
shy or bold by turns as intuition dictates
Evolving in periods of solitude 
Molting through 
our internalized deliberations
Transforming to survive
Bringing messages of protection, cycles, of home
Heralding ancestral history, prosperity, or success
through deep meanings and shallow observations
since the Jurassic began.

Red, blue, and calico 
stone or snow, 
fiddler or spider
lady and king 
Calcium carbonate armor
never rusts 
sheltering our tender wisdom.
Though oft regarded as a churl
a moody grouch
crouched between helmet and shield;
a cast of curmudgeons
dodgy codgers.
We're sensitive souls
craving the safety of domestic harmony
where we can find comfort and safe harbor 
from all predators 
as well as the brewing storms 
of our own emotions, worries, doubts. 

We sing of the wisdom
of Trust, Community, Charity
Handsome is as handsome does.
Our paths seldom seems direct
arms akimbo as we traverse obstacles
Yet, We'll guide you true
Teach you 
how to be sensitive to every vibration
to thriftily calculate your risks
move with poise
Raising Awareness 
and environmental health

Even from our modest place among the stars
embodying the second labor of Herculean fame
we can set you straight
Enduring emblem of status
High society hermit
Should you catch sight 
of my skittering carapace
you'll know 
Protection and Trust
are the catches of the day.

For those new to the game, each poem is inspired by a Teacher found in Nature; a star, stone, animal, plant etc that holds lessons of Wisdom for us. Congrats to Jan and Sharonlee for naming this Teacher. Can you guess who is singing today?

Between oceans, fresh water and land, there are over 6000 species of crab separated into two categories. They can be found under the Antarctic, near under-sea volcanic vents, and one dominantly land species might even be found climb trees. True crabs, or brachyurans, which have a very short abdomen and use four pairs of long legs for walking. True crabs include blue crabs, spider crabs, and ghost crabs. 

Second are false crabs, or anomurans, which have a longer abdominal section and fewer walking legs. False crabs include hermit crabs, king crabs, and squat lobsters. Crabs, lobsters, prawn, shrimp, and crayfish are all decapods, crustaceans with ten limbs. They have compound eyes on stalks that can move in any direction needed.  

Crabs are invertebrates. Their shell is their skeleton which they molt as they outgrow. Most have flat bodies which allow them to squeeze into tight crevices. All crabs have two pincer claws and four pairs of walking legs. Their pincers can be used as a vise, scissors, or like chopsticks. Should they lose a limb in a narrow escape, they will eventually regrow it. Japanese Spider crabs are the largest species in the world measuring up to 13 feet across, and up to a 100 years in age! The smallest species, the Pea Crab, grows to the size of its namesake. 

Females can only mate when they molt, therefore when she is ready to shed her old shell she will excrete a pheromone attractive to males. Once the female chooses a mate from her fighting suitors, she typically attaches herself to his back where she remains until he has given her his sperm sac and her new shell has hardened. Most species molt up to 7 times their first year before settling into an annual or bi-annual routine.

Crabs lay thousands of eggs at one time. Typically females carry them beneath their abdomens for a period of days or weeks before hatching pin-head sized crab larvae. In some species the male is the egg carrier. Crabs communicate by moving or drumming their pincers, and a group of these crustaceans is known as a cast. 

True crabs can walk slowly in any direction, but their fastest pace is at a slant. As long as they can keep their gills moist they have few problems traveling on land. This Crab lesson reminds us of the advice that not all of our goals can be reached by a direct path, so attempt a different angle or perspective. to obtain that goal or solve your problem. No carbs or sugars and low calorie, so also a free food for diabetics; crab is an excellent source of protein. A tasty delicacy, crab meat is so high in vitamin b-12 that just 2-3 ounces will supply an adult with their daily requirement. 

Some species will use tools, like carrying stinging sea anemones for additional protection, or attaching them to their shells to camouflage their appearance. They may even work together to catch food or protect families. Community is a key Crab lesson with Co-operative effort and Conservation being important tools. 

Omnivorous, they are part of the Ocean's clean up crew eating detritus, dead plants and animals, algae, worms, insects smaller fish/amphibians/crustaceans. Predators included otters, octopuses, seagulls, osprey, larger fish with powerful jaws, turtles, seals, and humans. Crab not only relies on its environment, it is a willing partner and encourages us to become knowledgeable active Caretakers too. 

Crab reminds us that most often, the old and dead need to be cleared away to make room for the growth of new Life. Crab asks us to be mindful of what needs cleared away or recycled in our own lives so that our next cycle of learning/healing/transformation can begin.

Perhaps the easiest Crab lesson to spot is that of being mindful of our Emotions. This Teacher encourages us to explore and form understanding of all our emotions from joy to despair. Crabs are often used to depict anger, sensitivity, pugnaciousness, cynicism, grouchiness, sulkiness and stubbornness. Behaving like a "grouchy crab" is a sure sign that something is bothering us. This Teacher wants us to get in touch with that and address it with Awareness rather than take it out on those around us.

Feeling touchy? Taking things too seriously, over-reacting, or seeing insults where there are none are also warning signs. Bottling things up becomes a ticking time bomb, nor should we be carrying around a bunch of petty grievances in our emotional pocket book. Crab asks us to look after our emotions, responses, and general emotional well being diligently, honestly. Take time to examine your goals, reactions, choices, actions regularly. This Teacher excels at showing us how to protect our soft sensitive sides while taking action.

Target areas for improvement, recycle what does and get rid of whatever no longer works for you. If you think you have no room for improvement this Teacher will show you the error of your ways. Pride and Humility must be balanced to produce the best effect. Creating effective personal shields, armor, and when to use them are also key lessons for those studying Crab. A wonderful Singer for strongly empathetic people having difficulty in crowds. Crab says, "Trust in the Universe to provide for all your needs, yet work always to be worthy of that trust."  

Keywords: Trust, Protection/Vulnerability, Cycles/Transformation, Emotion, Regeneration/Recycling/Renewal, Community, Conservation, Status, Pride/Humility 

Associated with: water, oceans, rivers, sea and water creatures like Crios/Carcinus, mermaids and naiads. Deities of water and fishes like Mannon, Vedenemo, Vellamo, Poseidon/Neptune, Venus/Aphrodite, and Phorcys. The Cancer sign in Greek zodiac    

Potential Balancing Energies: Other crustaceans like shrimp or crayfish. Animals like fish, turtles, seals, seagulls, osprey, octopuses, otters, whales, jellyfish, frogs and other amphibians, algae, plants and fungi. Water/Ocean, the stars in the Cancer constellation.  

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

All of Our Deeds Come Home to Roost

I crack the shell 
of unreasoning darkness 
with my audacious song.
Rousting you 
from the safe familiar nest 
of your dreams.
Greet the dawning 
of a new illumination
and strive to see the Truth 
from the inside out,
for appearances 
are seldom what they seem!
Take heed!
Brooding over unhatched plans,
gossiping and clucking 
with self-righteous disapproval
or crowing over our accomplishments
will only get someone's hackles up,
breeding misery and strife.
Attentive observation, 
self-assurance and honest work
bring far better results.
Scratching for a living? 
Keep pecking away at your obstacles.
We all strut and fret our way through life.
To thine own self be true,
yet fight fiercely when you must
to establish your place 
within the order of the group.
There is safety in numbers
and a lightened load.
you may simply find yourself 
in hot soup!
We can only reap 
that which we sow.
If you put no effort in,
you receive nothing,
and naught of value will grow.

For those new to the game, each singing poem is inspired by a Teacher found in Nature; an animal, plant, star, stone etc that holds lessons of Wisdom for those who listen. Can you guess who is singing today?