4 Spider Lakes

Just arrived, fresh from Whitewash & Co . . . 4 sets of letters (spelling Spider Lake) creatively collaged, using my photos, poems and O’Keefe’s decorative papers & maps & whatnot. To be given as gifts. Can’t begin to describe my pleasure with this bunch of beauty! Every time I look at them I see something new – so, so lovely! You can find them at http://www.facebook.com/WhitewashAndCo?fref=ts

The Bravery Test

More drownings. . .

The Bravery Test

Having just died — car crash —
I climbed, dead, back into bed.
Tried not to jiggle the mattress
but you woke up and asked
Are you okay? which made me cry.

Down I went, drowned this time.
It wasn’t so bad.
Here’s what I heard
as I sunk to the bottom:
You now that artist guy on TV?
Says the Bravery Test
is when you add a central object
to a painting when it’s almost done.
Like a sailboat on a perfectly
nice lake.

Plane crash, beheaded.
You said, Oh, you’ve lost your
You leaned over

and carried my head to a pillow
and rocked it with a lullaby
while waiting for the rest of me.
When I was stitched back together
you wrapped me in your mainsail
and kissed me goodnight.

Hard work, staying dead.

– poem and collage by mary macgowan

The Buried Seeds

All the buried seeds
crack open in the dark
the instant they surrender
to a process they can’t see.

This innate surrender
allows everything edible
and fragrant
to break ground
into a life of light
that we call Spring.

As a seed buried in the earth cannot imagine itself as an orchid or hyacinth,

neither can a heart packed with hurt imagine itself loved or at peace.

The courage of the seed is that once cracking, it cracks all the way.
– Mark Nepo


I always hated King of the Hill –

always felt tense in my gut when King,

sad when not,

and ostracized if I didn’t want to play.

That pattern has followed me through life.

But now, as a tired adult,

when I feel alone and powerless

atop whatever hill I’ve managed to climb,

I secretly long for anyone to join me.

Now, I’m ready to believe there’s more power



– Mark Nepo, Book of Awakening

Please climb on up the hill to join Bailey and me. We can all be Kings and Queens of the Hill together. Okay? Don’t worry. We’ll all fit, we’ll make it work.

Invite A Bird To Sit Upon Your Forehead

A bird

with no name

picks at my face.

No sense wishing it away,

this bird likes


I’ve other friends,

flowers too –

ladies, babies –

and armfuls of sweet color!


My pecker and I

(not the penis pecker)

have agreed

life is

honeysuckled blossoms

no matter what sits on your face

or what face you sit upon.


(Just for now, go

elsewhere, sexy thoughts!)

We are all one countenance

and the sooner we believe

the sooner we love.


(Not that


isn’t important) (it is)

(but just for a moment

invite a bird

to sit upon your forehead)

(first despair)



Collage on Monopoly playing card



Day or night, rain or shine,

it stands

ready to help you –

in the everyday affairs of life

as well as

in emergencies.

This swift,

willing worker

will run your errands,

guard your home,

save countless steps

and valuable time

and keep you in touch

with relatives and friends.

In office

and in home,

these oft-repeated words

reveal its value –

“I don’t


where I’d be


the telephone.”

– (found poem) Nat’l Geographic, 1954

Collage on Monopoly playing cards

Blue Egg Tattoo Dog

Blue-egg tattoo Dog,

Girl and a Red Scarf

ran away from

your house crashing in.

You bite and they

know your Ow.

Beware, Rage Dog:

If you scare us

we’ll sing songs of love

maybe even Kumbayah

and then put you to sleep.

Gas, injection,

bullet to the head.

[Rage is there. Inside all of us. I wanted to put it on paper, look at it, wonder about it.]