in the night garden


i couldnt sleep
so i checked on the hen
she was awake
so i opened the pen
and took her with trout
out into the night
to visit the garden
by the brilliant moonlight
passed through tall darkness
of whispery pine
then the field opened up
its color sublime
my shadow stretched long
and i was E.T.
a nightjar called softly
from the sweet gum tree
a cool photo filter
colored the world
around the moon
a planet swirled
was it jupiter or saturn?
i still dont know
i but know where
Ursa Major will show
but half of her faded
the sky like blue jeans
constellation bisected
by blinking machines
under the stars
and beneath the sunflowers
nothing is wrong
the sweet life is ours

*22x30 oil pastel drawing of Trout and Easter in the night garden
CLICK for extra large view.


  1. Most excellent. Not sure where you found the time to paint that but I'm certainly glad you did. Beachs and gardens are so beautiful in the moonlight.

  2. This is one of the reasons I just love you, grrrrrl.

  3. c,

    it's lovely
    i think i like your
    painting more than illustration

    but now i can't sleep thinking about your poor chicken in the paws of that ravenous beast ;)

    ¤ ¤ ¤


  4. shamy: well this is a drawing so its faster. its oil pastel i really like some of the smeary qualities of it. moonlight is an odd brightness. magic. and the light through the the sunrays only blue and soft. ahhhhhh

    faery: im in my studio today and i am fedexing out on monday...i dont trust sending over the weekend. i cant wait to hear what you think about this freya piece. xo

    /t: agreed. and i have only one illustration client left. maybe it is a sign - just do what ever i feel like doding and see if i cant make something happen there...i dont know what to do. i applied for a teaching job. desperate times indeed.

  5. What a poetic soul you are!

  6. Masterful. You have gone higher than yourself, waaaaaaay out there and by an act of God come back to show us what happened. Honestly, I don't have the words to properly praise what you have done. The visual, the story, thank you...

  7. Beautiful! Nighttime is such a world in itself. Such wonder to be found.

  8. Oh chickory-dickory, this is just magical, and dreamy, and all things moonlit. I love it. Pastels are perfect for this. You have SO much talent, I am in awe of your work. I am wishing better times for you, my friend. Maybe I'll wish on one of those stars! :) xo Pam

  9. So beautiful Chickory dear, nightime is magic and you have just taken me there through your words and how you see it...
    I love the painting also,such gentle Trout are gifted and amazing. ♡ xo

  10. lovely!

    sorry ya ain't sleepin', but we benefit.

  11. My goodness! What a powerful multi-media experience your poem and painting were for me!

    thank you, chickory.

  12. Ninad upon you here today.
    What a gift.
    Some say the world is falling to pieces but in my world I awoke this morning to the beauty on this page.
    And beauty it is.

  13. Love the drawing, liked the poem.

    In the writing I would have shot for second person narrative leaving "I" out of it and just had Trout and the hen walking through the night. *shrug* I like it though in the first person.

  14. I thought it was your best poem.

  15. pam: thank you so much. i need to stay in that place of poetry as much as possible.

    nina! welcome, welcome! what a treasured comment. i have been in a painting slump so i switched up and started drawing. what a night that should have seen the light through the trees - truly not of this world. i need to go outside in the middle of the night more often.

    dani: it is. and a good time to take a chicken out as well. they will not leave you. grherha

    yoborobo: thank you friend. better times are the bits and pieces to be found in spite of the fact that someone i love is fading out of this world. but oh how i have loved her these memories as well as the moments where pain isnt the focus.

    dianne: thank you. remember when i told you when you are struggling with one media it often helps to switch up? i just wasnt painting well and so i went to oil pastels and it has helped.

    aunty: i dont mind about the not sleeping as much as i used to. i remember that my granmother never sleep. id get up a 4 am and there she was sitting up and reading in bed. it might be genetic. at boxers seattle summit i watched the moonlit waves flow in and out of the sound from my window...ive seen a lot of good stuff this way.

    arthurdecco: welcome! and thank you so much.

    su: good to see you again, and now i can follow you home. i really have been trying to fully live in each moment and stop worrying so much about what is going to happen. its going to happen so i started paying attention to each and every beauty in my life. and they are plentiful. im grateful.

    walking man: thats solid advice and as i read it again it is rather annoying. but but but its all about ME ME ME ME. grrrrrrherhahahaha point taken, WM. thank you.

  16. troll: will you marry me? grherhahaha thanks trolly.

  17. btw: trout is standing in the watermelon patch. im saying so because im not sure the rabbits arent going to get them all and so this stands at the record that i indeed managed to get actual round green living melons! grrrrherhahaha

  18. Lovely on both counts! I really need to make an effort to scout around outside at night. I KNOW there's a totally other world out there – in our case, one ruled by a colony of pallid bats who live with us for six months out of the year – but I'm one of those folks who need my sleep.

  19. i've got to hand it to you, you sure can work a rhyme.
    consider illustrating the entire thing?

  20. actually, if you revised it so Trout was the narrator, you could keep the first person. The illustration points to Trout as narrator and his adventure with chick, the night and the endless sky.

  21. So glad you are back - I've wondered and worried. Love the poem and painting. Sorry for what you are going through with your mother - enjoy every moment - even those that seem horrible in the moment can generally be looked back on with a smile.

  22. Chickory,
    I LOVE* LOVE* LOVE pastels ... the closest medium to childhoods first new crayons . Brings out the child response in me every time. I also love the color saturation to filmy wisps achievable with this medium. You use it well. Sweet Trout mother henning the Hen in the moonlight! So very dear.

    I love the solace from a good mooney night. When I have my 2am or 4am anxiety attacks I sometimes go out to the hammock under the giant oak to peer up thru the branches at the peekaboo stars and the silvery light. Soothes me every time ...but I do not journey back inside to make art in pastels or poetry. Kudos to you for using the no sleep time as creative time.

    You applied for a teaching job?
    Where do I sign up ... I will gladly come be your student. Will we go for a night hike then come back to document our experience in
    prose and pastels?

  23. this makes me want to take a walk on the beach this weekend at night, but mostly this just makes me happy that we all have you in our lives - your ability to mix colors, images and words is often the highlight of my day.

    And Troll is right, this poem is one of your best.

    Have a wonderful weekend.

  24. so nice to hear from you..checking in w me.. I needed it, to know that others are there sometimes writing for myself but knowing also that those like you are there. I always love to see what you are up to with your dog and chickens.. I love the painting and the poem. The little goldfinch eating sunflowers..oh soooooo sweet!
    I think I love stopping in here because you remind me of the goodness in life. I am pretty much trapped by the heat. but only for a month..soon sept will be here and a cooler life.
    take much care

  25. That is such a hard thing to go through. I'm glad you've had some new memories, to tuck in around the old ones. Much love to you - pam

  26. moi: if you know anyone with night vision goggles - borrow them and take a look around. the night is very alive. i remember your bat colony from a blog post! thats very cool. i bet you have no mosquitos.

    ABG: good idea. i meant to do that with the story i wrote by my alter ego Freya - the existentialist white wolf.

    Kristen: thank you so much!i think you are correct - and i will take your solid advice.

    fishy: you are so sweet. thank you. er...the teaching position is at the atlanta metropolitan college -whatever that is. and on the higher ed forum page i read even PHd's are applying. so - forget it.

    i like oil pastels and i hate the dry chalky kind. i cant stand how they feel in my hand or the sound they make going across paper. *shudder* i wish i could have them "out" - ie not under glass - thats why i like paintings. but in some ways i prefer to draw. for the reasons you said.

    the hammock sounds nice. i like that.

    boxer: please! you make me *sniff* thank you. your own beach home is magic by moonlight. surely you know that...but maybe because you see it often you forgot? go ahead and go out at night. its divine. literally.

    marianne: i have missed your lovely blog while ive been away. i never see any notion of trapped by heat with your photography. those chicks are growing so fast. i love "peggy jean" the best. she was the one with the hurt foot (hence the name peggy) but i nursed her back and now she is the bad ass. grherha. so good to see you.

    yoborobo: thanks so much. my mom is giving me a sewing machine!! i cant wait to learn. its an elna. how did you learn? did you take a class?

  27. I just love the eyeball you painted .. ! wow..
    the whole painting is dreamlike and almost surreal.
    i likes a lot.
    and what a beautiful, beautiful poem..

  28. The beauty of what you do, and what you write, is the way you take us where you are~

  29. Love Aunty Belle's comment. Your art work and writing is just beautiful, friend.

    Sorry I've been AWOL. Clearing my mind and didn't want to do it online.

  30. That you are not rich and famous illustrates the fundamental "unfairness" of the universe.

    Shep Fairey is rewarded for 1% of your talent.


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