The Bliss of Is

Last year, I finished up a Very Big Project that won’t get out into the world for a while, so I decided to create a little passion project for fun…. 

And now I am delighted to announce my first hardback book: The Bliss of Is.

 

Inside this book, you’ll find little poems and paintings. The poems mostly emerged over several years of writing daily for National Poetry Month. I selected thirty favorites and—in keeping with the quick-spirited writing—painted one watercolor a day for a month for each poem. All in celebration of the daily practice of presence. 

 

I invite you to that practice. Take a moment to meditate on a poem-painting each day for thirty days, or read them all in thirty minutes, or both! May you enjoy playing in the realm of art + word + spirit. 

 

Here’s one of the poems:

 

I spot a scrap of fallen paper,

& as I bend to pick it up, I see

it is not trash but a square of light.

I pick it up anyway. 

 

If you’d like to enjoy the full gathering of meditative poems & paintings, you can order yourself a copy here. Do note that this particular book has very long ship times; think of it as a surprise when it finally arrivesa gift to your future self in time for this year’s National Poetry Month!

If you’d like a copy sooner, I still have a few left of a limited run of signed books. More info in my newsletter. Contact me if interested.

 

May we know the bliss of is—of being right here, right now.

 

Love, 

 

Anna 

Of Green Fuses and Flowers

 

The force that through the green fuse drives the flower… 

               Dylan Thomas 


The first month of the year makes for great hibernation—for hunkering down into the soil of the creative work. For me, January is like the Monday of the year; it gets the “green fuse” going. This month, I sent out a big project into the world (here’s hoping!) and prepared to announce a little one (soon!). 

 

Big or small, all the work happens day by day until one day, what was the bud of an idea finally blossoms. Not unlike the amaryllis above. Though I took the second photo only two weeks after the first, this can be what a year looks like. Or a decade. Or a life. 


Oall the planting and tending that precede the beauty of bloom!

 

Blessings on all the things flowering in your life this year.

 

Love, 

Anna 


Questions for Advent

 

Each day of Advent, I created a little bit of art + word + spirit and shared them in social media land. Here are a few for you. May your coming year be filled with good answers!

Can we see the lovingkindness in the darkness? 

Can we be the lovingkindness, lifting darkness?

What love within us 
lifts us from our losses? 
What name will we 
give this win?

Instead of being jaded
by the gravity of our world,
can we shift the ellipsis of our hearts?
Can we “be aware” from the anagram 
galaxy of “bare awe”?

Three Poems

This photo by Sergey N. is paired with my poem, “On Meeting Strangers.” 


In the manner of lovely, inexplicable things, three of my poems appeared this month in three lovely places. A month of gratitude, for sure. Enjoy! 

 

“The Light Inside” in Rust + Moth

 

“On Meeting Strangers” in Ekstasis


“Then” in Pensive: A Global Journal of Spirituality & the Arts 


Coming soon…

 

…a little bit of poetry-painting bliss. For now, an illustration from the book-ish mystery!

Water for Body, Water for Soul

At the end of summer, a simple gift of water. Blessings of refreshment to you!
 

Thinking of Trees

 As I finish compiling a collection of poems, I’ve had to let many things go, including some grand quotes about trees. Since I can’t squeeze all of these beautiful bits into the book, I thought I’d share some here:   

The one who’s lying on his back under tall trees

is also up there within them.

— Tomas Tranströmer, “Breathing Space, July”

 

The trees spoke of patience.

— Suzanne Simard, Finding the Mother Tree

 

[I]n the language of trees there’s no grammatical mood: questions, statements, or commands—it’s all song, stripped of anything like judgement, intention, or need. 

Carl Phillips, Then the War and Selected Poems

 

Day brings what is going to be. Trees—

wherever they are—begin to stand. 

— William Stafford, “Letting You Go”

 

But blessed are those who trust in the Lord 

and have made the Lord their hope and confidence.

They are like trees planted along a riverbank, 

with roots that reach deep into the water. 

Such trees are not bothered by the heat 

or worried by long months of drought. 

Their leaves stay green, 

and they never stop producing fruit. 

Jeremiah 17:7-8 NLT

From Seed to Sky

When we built this house, I sprinkled a packet of wildflower seeds beneath the front patio. The first spring, mostly zinnias grew up. Last year, mostly poppies. This year, all Brown-Eyed Susans and some wild green thing that went to seed and grew taller than I. 

 

I marvel at how what begins in darkness keeps reaching for the light. From seed to sky, may we keep reaching. 

 

Blessings of Light to you,

 

Anna

Sky Me

On finding an old photo of alpenglow

O clouds—

such brief beauty—

you sky me

with your glory. 

Ode to my Denim Shirt

Ode to my Denim Shirt        

 

Thirty-three years, you held up—

while my arms held high-school books,

tropical shells, college art supplies,

graduate thesis poems, European

train tickets, shovels and rakes, 

my first love and my last.

Thank you for waiting to tear—

until unwearable—until

I’d learned to hold each moment

with a sturdy gratitude.