Way Too Busy to Write Poetry :-(

Some regular readers may know that besides being a ‘poet’ i am also a visual artist, and maintain another blog about those shenanigans here: https://dawnwhitehand.wordpress.com/

But to address the point of this post …. I am sssooo behind on poetry posts because my visual arts life has exploded somewhat in the past couple of months & I have a multitude of projects that have occupied every breathing moment (besides the head cold I got in between) of my creative life …. these projects include:

Mums & Bubs

Birthday Partys

Coffee Cups

Book Launch


Birds Beasts and Butterflys Group Exhibition – an upcoming event, I don’t have a post about this as yet

This may not seem like much on paper but these projects have occupied my already chaotic head to the point of implosion – but on the bright side I guess that will make for some good poetry fodder in the coming months….

(the only thing that has kept me sane -from a ‘writing’ perspective – is putting pen to paper when writing Artists Statements)

So, don’t despair, I have not exited ‘stage left’…. i am just temporarily preoccupied…. or something along those lines :-)

And just to prove it, here’s a drawing…I’ll write a poem to go with it soon :-)

Dawn Whitehand - Abstract Art

© Dawn Whitehand 2014


The Monster under the Bed is in my Head

dark and deceptive
it (I) emerges at night
parting the heavy curtains
of my Mahogany dreams
unwelcomely hovering
cumbersomely weightless
a floating scourge
pecking at my (own) soul
relentless in its (my) pain
too elusive to grasp
visiting incessantly
since childhood

Fine Liner on Handmade Paper

Fine Liner on Handmade Paper

© Dawn Whitehand 2014

Futile Tomorrows

It is cold here
and damp


my mind

peering in vain

dark air
choking in

the bare wood
scratches my skin

reminding me I’m alive

cascading tree branches

enveloping tentacle-like
cradling hope and dreams

yet strangling
any attempt
of ever reaching them


Fine liner and pastel on Handmade paper

Fine Liner and Pastel on Handmade Paper

© Dawn Whitehand 2014

The above poem and drawing is in response to fellow wordpress blogger Leanne Cole‘s post “A Photo that Inspires” – Leanne is a photographer and occasionally posts a photo she asks writers to respond to… I have participated in her photo response posts previously here and here.

You can check Leannes blog out and the original image that inspired my poem and drawing, and other poets/writers who have responded, here.

‘The Applicant’ by Sylvia Plath

Dawn Whitehand:

Today, as part of expanding the scope of this blog, I wanted to share a Sylvia Plath poem – I chose ‘The Applicant’ because it is a great poem and really strikes a chord with me. It explores concepts of meaning in a patriarchal, consumer society from a feminist perspective – which is a favourite theme of mine!!

While searching the web for a version of the poem so that I could copy & paste it into my blog (as opposed to typing it all out) I found this blog post by a fellow WordPressor with a great analysis and a video of Plath reading the poem – so here it is reblogged with a dawing from me :-)

Oil Pastel on Handmade Paper

Oil Pastel on Handmade Paper


Originally posted on A poem for every day:

First, are you our sort of a person?
Do you wear
A glass eye, false teeth or a crutch,
A brace or a hook,
Rubber breasts or a rubber crotch,

Stitches to show something’s missing? No, no? Then
How can we give you a thing?
Stop crying.
Open your hand.
Empty? Empty. Here is a hand

To fill it and willing
To bring teacups and roll away headaches
And do whatever you tell it.
Will you marry it?
It is guaranteed

To thumb shut your eyes at the end
And dissolve of sorrow.
We make new stock from the salt.
I notice you are stark naked.
How about this suit—-

Black and stiff, but not a bad fit.
Will you marry it?
It is waterproof, shatterproof, proof
Against fire and bombs through the roof.
Believe me, they’ll bury you in it.

Now your head, excuse me, is empty.
I have…

View original 610 more words

Poetry in the Environment

I love this idea- installations of poetry in the environment!!

Apparently there are or were (I am not sure if they were temporary or permanent) a number of installations of poetry in the grounds of the Writers Centre in Callan Park,  Rozelle, NSW last week. I have visited their website to try to find more images or if it was part of an event or an ongoing initiative, but couldn’t find any more information. Nonetheless I love the idea, as I already said!

I came across this gem of information via a connection on Google+ (you can check out his info below) and so without further ado here is an installation poem by famous Australian poet, Les Murray (and image of installation following).

The paddocks shave black
with a foam of smoke that stays,
welling out of red-black wounds.

In the white of a drought
this happens. The hardcourt game.
Logs that fume are mostly cattle,

inverted, stubby.  Tree stumps are kilns.
Walloped, wiped, hand-pumped,
even this day rolls over, slowly.

At dusk, a family drives sheep
out through the yellow
of the Aboriginal flag.


Inspiration (?)

swirling thoughts catastrophic
an endless hurricane
confusion neverending
bombardment hammering
unrelenting spewing forth
pouring mindless raving
confused scribble
filling a blank page
scrawled mindless detritus

Ink on Handmade Paper

Ink on Handmade Paper

© Dawn WHitehand 2014


slumber alludes me
despite heavy eyelids
drooping uncontrolled
and muscle spasms
jumping erratically jolting

lucid thought patterns
collapse inwardly exploding
minds eye shutting down
numbness consuming
the fear of not sleeping



© Dawn Whitehand 2014

Am I Here?

cutting my skin
thick red blood
luxuriously think
lacking physical pain
a red river

a welcome reminder
that I am alive

Pastel and Ink on Handmade Paper

Pastel and Ink on Handmade Paper

© Dawn Whitehand 2014

A Poem by Nancy Paddock

This blog has not had much commentary from me in the past (in fact, I think this is the first post I have ever interjected in), and that was the way I wanted it – but this blog is maturing, and as such (see my ABOUT page) I am going to begin introducing poets and poems that I admire to this blog – as well a maintaining my own poetry once a week.

I will continue to produce and publish an original drawing inspired by the poetry, including the guest poems.

Feel free to comment about if you think this is a good move or not! IE did you like the disconnected impersonal nature of me posting poetry without comment!

Anyways here is my first sharing of a poem I find amazing – it is so Zen it is beyond words – but I guess if I am sharing it i should comment on it…. so

I love the free verse and language of this poem, the zen nature and topic… it tugs a string in all of us about our innate connection to the earth, a theme my visual art is also consumed with… but the language is not convoluted and easy to connect with, making it very accessible …. but above all it so sensitive and paints such a beautiful picture!


Lie Down By Nancy Paddock

Lie down with your belly to the ground,
like an old dog in the sun. Smell
the greenness of the cloverleaf, feel the damp
earth through your clothes, let an ant
wander the uncharted territory
of your skin. Lie down
with your belly to the ground. Melt into
the earth’s contours like a harmless snake.
All else is mere bravado.
Let your mind resolve itself
in a tangle of grass.
Lie down with your belly
to the ground, flat out, on ground level.
Prostrate yourself before the soil
you will someday enter.
Stop doing.
Stop judging, fearing, trying.
This is not dying, but the way to live
in a world of change and gravity.
Let go. Let your burdens drop.
Let your grief-charge bleed off
into the ground.
Lie down with your belly to the ground
and then rise up
with the earth still in you.

Pastel on Handmade Paper

Pastel on Handmade Paper

© Dawn Whitehand 2014