Ladies In Waiting

Waiting on Words

Tuesday Collab #1


I have long been interested in collaboration between writers, and even more so between visual artists and writers. When I was teaching, one of the schools I taught at was a non-profit directed by a talented visual artist who was also a musician. When she discovered that I was the Moderator of one of the most well known poetry groups in the area, we started talking about having her students and the poets from my group do some form of collaboration. We did it for five or six years.

One year the poets would write poems about any topic they chose and these were distributed among the artists who then responded to whichever poem they chose. The following year the artists would submit something they had done in any genre, and then the poets would respond to the pieces hung in the gallery. We would then celebrate by having a reading and reception in the gallery itself.

The walls were hung with plain newsprint and the artists’ works were then hung on the covered walls. The day of the reception, we would put out chalk, colored ink pens, even charcoal, and the audience would be invited to join in the collaboration. It was a huge success on all levels.

Since moving back to my home town, I have missed that exciting communication between the different art genres. Last month, I used the Soul Cards, created by Deborah Koff-Chapin, as a prompt for the poem a day challenge of NaPoWriMo. Those poems may be found on my main poetry blog  and are listed in the archives under April of 2011. Shortly afterward, Jinksy emailed me and asked if I’d be interested in responding to some of her digital art. I had recently started doing some of my own, so wrote back and asked if she’d like to do a swap. I will do it here on Tuesdays, while she will do it on her sites on Thursdays.

Jinksy posted the first collaboration last Thursday and it can be found here:   as well as here:  Both Jinksy and myself are interested in what you think about these first attempts at collaboration. We are open to other ideas. If you’d like to respond to the art, please let me know. I can be reached at

This is one of my images and the verse is what Jinksy found in the image. Hope you enjoy.

ELizabeth Crawford


                    Life Cycles

A frosted breath from dying year transforms
this forest, paints with firelight hues a page
of autumn’s calendar. In crystal light
a rich and glowing tapestry is stitched
with needle sharp precision, weaving threads
whose burnished gold embroiders warp and weft,
outlines foliage and bark-clad bole.

Thermal energies of summer sun
flowed through cobweb veins to rooted store,
so winter will not find them unprepared.
Trees will hunker down, resigned to brave
both coldest blast or deepest snow-bound chill,
before, at burgeoning of spring, new life
will once more resurrect from winter’s grave.

Jinksy  5/10/11


  1. *Smiles* at discovering you were a teacher, too! Now I have somewhere ‘proper’ to link back to from my blogs! See you around, Blogpal!

    • Hi Jinksy, yes, for the last ten years of my working life, I was a Free-Lance Writing Instructor, and loved it. I taught adults. Some of them still maintain contact,


  2. Love both the image and the poem and the collaboration. In the high school where I taught the IB art students would have an exhibition at the end of every year and I used to take a notepad and write in response to the art that spoke to me. It is one of my favourite ways of writing. I am glad you both will post your results.

    • Margo, the director of the school would do an abstract image that contained some reference to each poem submitted. So, I would go and write down all the titles of the art pieces and create a poem from them. It got a little tricky when more than one artist would use “Untitled”. It really was fun, enjoyable and stretched all of us. And I agree, it is one of my favorite forms of writing. Thanks for stopping in,


    • That’s exactly what Blogland needs – a wall full of post it notes, perhaps?! LOL

  3. Yes, I think sometimes the smallest button can be pushed. Color can touch our emotions, and an ink blot can remind us of of “something.” I guess Carl Jung was interested what it was we had in our minds, and what it looked like…who knowns? Sounds like a wonderful idea! You never know where you will find an inspiration, something meaningful to you, and to no one else.

    • Your post of Marge Piercy’s poem today speaks very clearly into all of that Annell. We all have buttons that get pushed. But, it is only when we allow ourselves to act on that something that might not be meaningful to anyone else, that we find our own creative bliss. Thanks for sharing your thoughts and Carl Jung is one of my favorites,


  4. Wonderful idea. 🙂

    • I’m so glad that Jinksy thought to ask me about this. I’ve been wanting to do some collaborations for some time now. Hopefully this idea will grow and come to engage many others, both artists and writers, especially those who do both,


  5. Beautiful response to the image, Jinksy. This is a wonderful idea.


    • Thank you Pamela, the poem you created from the wordle words paints a beautiful image that can be seen and felt. Maybe you will join us?


      • Yes, Elizabeth. Sounds like fun. My personal has been cut short, but looks like things are calming down. I sent you an email.


    • Are you game to join in? 🙂

      • That should read, “my personal time”. And yes, I’d love to join in.


  6. I like this collaboration very much. It will be interesring to see what happens with images and poetry. They definitely DO go together.

    • Mary, glad you like it and I hope we can encourage more poets and artists to take part in these collaborations. It really is fun and a learning experience,


    • Feel free to join in whenever you feel inspired! 🙂

  7. Thanks for the email Elizabeth. What a fantastic idea. Do you aim to set up a prompt site – a mix of images and words that people can contribute/respond to? It would ceretainly be unique judging by the sites I visit..or do you plan to keep it within a few contributors? I would be interested to hear how it develops..maybe you can get us ‘words’ people doing a few images too! Jae

    • Jae, sorry for not getting back here sooner. It’s been one of those weeks. Actually, I don’t know exactly where this is going or what might come of it. Sort of flying by the seat of our pants at the moment. If you have some ideas, would really be interested in hearing them and exploring feasability factors. Like what you have already suggested and will definitely keep them in mind. Thanks for stopping in,


  8. What a great collaboration – the words so perfectly interpret the image. Love the autumnal feeling in both pieces of art:)

    • Thanks Sherry, this was fun and I do want more,


  9. This collaboration really looks as though it’s taking off. Anything that encourages the creative juices to flow is to be welcomed. Good luck!


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