I Dawg You Lots! (An SWB post)

So… this morning I let Beaumont the Sheepadoodle write his own Dawlentine’s Day post! And yes, as always, I seem to bear the brunt of his… attitude.

It includes a poem he wrote just for you, his favourite peeps!

He asks that you puhleaaassse, pretty please with a dawgie bone on top, come and visit him on his blog so he can slobber you with Dawlentine’s Day love!

You know what to do… just click the link and c’mon over!

And below is my Valentine’s Day Love contribution!

Spirit of the Wolf Clan

 The Spirit of the Wolf Clan  ©2021 Louise Gallagher
 
 spirit of the wolf clan
 running through my veins
 Fierce. Loyal. Fearless.
 streams of wildness
 flowing
 endlessly
 through the vast unknowing
 of the mysteries
 of life
 endlessly
 flowing
 through the untamed fires
 of my heart
 burning away 
 all resistance
 to run
 Wild. Bold. Free. 

The moon. The moon. Oh galaxy of night dreams…

Okay. So that line just wrote itself out when I started to type. It’s kind of a prequel to Spirit Wolf Clan.

It all started with a prompt I read yesterday on Goff Jame’s blog. I followed its thread and landed at Eugi’s Causerie where I found the prompt with instrustions to:

Go where the prompt leads you and publish a post on your own blog that responds to the prompt. It can be any variation of the prompt and/or image. Please keep it family friendly. Prompts close 7 days from the close of my post.

The Spirit of the Wolf Clan is where the prompt took me – first to the poetry, then to the artwork.

All of its creative expression inspired by a prompt to write something, anything, about this month’s Wolf Moon.

Someone asked me yesterday how it is that I just seem to keep creating. How does it happen, they asked.

I don’t really have an answer as much as a sense of memory beyond this known world… A feeling of being open to the whispers of all of life flowing around me and feeling that presence stirring the creative forces deep within the crucible of my belly.

Once stirred, the forces start bubbling up in a wild dancing concoction of words and images weeping through every pore of my body, yearning to get out.

So I let them out.

Perhaps, told my friend, it is that I listen to the whispers and do not censor myself. I don’t criticize, condemn or judge my work-in-process nor in its relative completed state (relative because… well there’s always word for one more brushstroke or one more edit out of a word). I look at it through loving eyes and ask, “What are you here for me to embrace? What windows into my creative nature are you seeking to be opened?”

See, I believe that whenever we say something like, “I”m not very creative,” it’s actually our yearning to experience our creative nature calling out.

We can see through the window, we sense creativity — how would we recognize what we judge to be its absence if we didn’t? — but we’ve never opened the window to let the essence of its nature flow in and out and all around us.

Yesterday, I read a prompt. It stirred the creative forces deep within my belly. I looked through the window of my soul, deep into their depths and opened the window.

… and the spirit of the wolf clan flowed free.

Namaste

___________

Do pop over to Goff Jame’s place and open the window to his creative force. And once you’ve sated your senses there pop over to Eugi’s Causerie and immerse yourself in all the poetry and sights of the Wolf Moon.

Go Right. (a Quadrille)

“Creativity,” she said, “Is a muscle. Use it or lose it.”

At least, that’s what I remember the muse whispering in the sweet nectar of that space just before the dawn where I drift in blissful dreamland, just before Beaumont the Sheepadoodle comes and sticks his wet nose in my face.

It’s his signal. “I have to go. Out. Now.”

Of course, The ‘now’ when it’s -23C (-9F) with the windchill takes a few minutes to happen. By the time I’ve layered up, Beau is at the front door. If he could cross his legs I’m sure he would.

We went out. Walked the quiet, frozen streets for 15 minutes while he contemplated the perfect spot to do his business.

Beaumont is a master at picking his moments (and spots). If I’ve made him wait he’ll make me wait too.

But, back to the muse and her whisperings.

Since I can remember, I have loved writing prose and poetry. I’m not a rhymer. I just feel great joy experimenting with the words to create images and connections and ideas. I love playing in the flow.

On Monday, the inspiration to play came from a poetry prompt at dVerse.

Today’s challenge, should you choose to accept it, is to write a quadrille poem. If you’re new to dVerse or the quadrille, it’s simply a poem of 44 words (excluding the title.) You MUST use the word “way” in your poem.

I accepted the challenge and the words flowed.

The first line that came out of my pen was, “That’s no way to be a lady.”

I laughed and invited it to wait. “You’re much more of a #ShePersisted kind of prompt,” I told it and saved it in my #ShePersisted quotes file. I know it will be waiting for me to pick up the brush and start creating anew.

‘Cause that’s the thing about inspiration. It doesn’t have a best before date. It only asks that we take note and trust that when the time is right, it will be there inviting us to come alive in its vision unfolding.

I began again on divining the essence of the ‘way’ to write my Quadrille. This time, the words settled onto the page like honey melting in a mug of hot lemon tea. The perfect blend of sweet and sour. Smooth and syrupy.

Okay. So it wasn’t as fast as honey melting in hot tea. It took several hours to get the words to sing within the parameters of a Quadrille. Exactly 44 words (not including the title).

But that’s the thing about creativity. It isn’t a once in a lifetime occurrence. It’s an, ‘I’m always flowing in and all around you’ kind of medium. Like the tide. Always ebbing and flowing. Constantly in motion.

My job isn’t to watch the waves roll in. My job, my passion, my creative urge is to dive in and ride the arc, carving my words onto the page like a surfer catching the break, swooping and dipping as she rides the curl, body balanced within the crashing swell until there’s no wave left to ride and she paddles back out to catch the next one and the next.

Creativity is everywhere. Creativity has no beginning nor end. It just is. A force of nature. A fact of life.

Which is why, I didn’t stop with writing a Quadrille. I painted it too.

Ahh…. that muse. She takes such delight in play.

 Go Right
 ©2021 Louise Gallagher
    
 Thinking I’d find
 a shortcut to happiness,
 I blindly followed
 the road most travelled.
  
 The road
 veered left.
 My heart said, 
 go right.
  
 I followed my heart.
  
 There are no shortcuts
 to happiness.
  
 There is only the way
 of the heart 
 leading through Love. 

_________________

And P.Ss — the song that was singing in my head as I painted happened to be a song written in the 60s by Malvina Reynolds and made popular by the great Pete Seeger.

Perhaps it will inspire you too!

The Gift

When the email arrived carrying a link to ‘The Gift’ I wasn’t really expecting it.

Sure, when Ian Hanchet (the gift giver) commented on my poem “If I Could...” he wrote, “I was inspired to immediately pick up my guitar and melody flowed from me. I recorded it on my phone, but I need to become more acquainted with the rhythms of your poem so that I may do each phrase justice. Too bad my life just got super busy. Maybe Next week I can return to this work of wonder.” When I read his words I thought, ‘how lovely’ and promptly wrote back to thank him and to let him know how excited I was he liked the poem that much.

And then, I let it go.

Yesterday, Ian emailed to say he’d finished the song and included the audio link.

I cried as I listened to it. Not just because Ian is a talented musician with the kind of voice that makes me feel like I am sipping an after-midnight scotch in a moody, crowded jazz bar somewhere along a dimly lit side-street in Soho only those who ‘know’ can get to after going down a flight of stairs leading to a deep red door that opens into the mystical world of late-night jazz, but also because in his gift I received something beautiful and precious — The gift of being seen.

I wrote back to Ian after listening to what he calls, ‘our song’ – which in and of itself feels like a rare gem to be treasured always – and told him how special his gift is.

Ian’s gift also carried me back in memory to another gift of a song I received years ago from my dear friend, artist, musician, writer Max C.

In 2014, when I changed the name of this blog to Dare Boldly, Max had read my declaration of identity and felt inspired to send me a piece of music he’d written to accompany it. He asked me to record my voice reading the declaration and then, he put it to his music.

Like Ian’s gift, Max made me feel ‘seen’.

I hadn’t forgotten about Max’s gift, though I hadn’t thought of it in a long while. What I had forgotten, however, was my declaration of identity – it’s the one I share at the top of this post.

Full circle.

That’s what Ian’s gift brings me. Full circle back to remembering – I am the song. My song.

What a powerful and liberating gift. To remember…

We are each ‘the song’ of our life.

We are each, The Song Maker. The Song Singer. The Song.

Let us always sing outloud. Let us each sing of truth, beauty, kindness, hospitality, generosity of spirit, Love.

Let us sing each other awake in a world we create together of beauty, awe and wonder.

Thank you Ian for your gift of many gifts.

I revel in gratitude.

___________

PS — along with being a musician, singer/song-writer, poet, Ian is an amazing writer, deep thinker, music historian and generous human being. You can find him on his blog, Vignettes and Bagatelles.

Click HERE to listen to ‘our song’ If I Could Give You My Heart.

What I Want.

What I Want.
 ©2021  Louise Gallagher
 
 I want to live in wonder
 to see the world 
 fresh
 as a new born 
 slippery wet and squirming
 from the birth canal
 falling 
 into arms of love
 holding me 
 safely
 wrapped in swaddling cloth
 sewn with velvety silken
 streams of laughter and joy
 flowing all around me.
 
 I want to live in the awe
 of life 
 unfolding
 right here, right now
 in this moment
 giving birth 
 to possibilities awakening
 within the unfathomable beauty
 of the world
 pounding through my veins
 pumping 
 my heart
 full 
 of the mystery of this morning
 reincarnating itself
 within the dark
 of night passing through
 star lit skies
 and moonbeams streaming
 into day
 bursting 
 at the seams
 of my anticipation 
 of the wonder
 of it all 
  
 when I open my eyes, wide
 and stretch my arms even wider
 to that place 
 where my heart
 breaks
 wide 
 open
 to catch falling
 stars
 rain drops
 and tears
 
 I want to scream
 above the howls
 of wolves on full moon nights
 and wind swept mountain tops
 don’t you dare 
 cry 
 for me Argentina
 
 there are
 no tears needed
 to wash away
 this wonder 
 of living
 beyond the limitations
 of my fear
 unravelling
 in the fullness
 of every courageous step
 I take 
 to drive me
 far from that place where I believe 
 fear
 will keep me safe
 from feeling 
 the slings and arrows of fate
 
 there is no arrow 
    that can pierce my heart
 when my heart is open
 
 there is no riptide 
    that can pull me under
 when my arms are open wide
 
 and there is no wind
 that can blow me over
 when I stand strong
 
 strong enough to hold on
 to only love 
 
 because I know
 there is nothing to fear
 but fear itself 
 
 and I am born to be
 wild
 wild 
 beautiful 
 free.
  
 I am born
 born to be free
 to cry and laugh and say
 I love you because
 I love you is my battle cry
 my morning song
 my heart's delight
 and nothing can stop me
 singing

 I am fearless 
 and fierce enough 
 to let life
 get the best
 of me
 because that 
 that is what I want
 to live 
 in the endless wonder
 of being me. 

Two Haiku

Written sitting at my desk this morning as I watched the sky shift from dark to light.
Mixed media on canvas paper. 7 x 10″

I enjoy putting words to my paintings. Yesterday, when I had finished this one, my beloved asked me, “What kind of berries are those?”

Red, I replied.

And thus…. a haiku was born.

This morning, as I sat at my desk and watched the night sky fade into reds and rose and blue, I snapped the first photo.

And another haiku was born.

_____________

I am fascinated by the haiku form — both by its endurance through so many centuries and its compactness inviting the author/reader to say something about nature and life in so few words — the form is precise – three lines with a syllable count of 5 / 7 / 5 to equal 17 syllables in total.

From the website, Poets.org“the philosophy of haiku has been preserved: the focus on a brief moment in time; a use of provocative, colorful images; an ability to be read in one breath; and a sense of sudden enlightenment.”

It’s a great form to test and stretch your creative muscles.

____________

The painting of the berries was an experiment with watercolours, acrylic ink, spray ink and Inktense watercolour pencils.

Listen to It All

  Listen to It All
 ©2021 Louise Gallagher
  
 I want to listen
 to it all
 to the sun rising
 into the indescribable blue of infinity
 full of whispering clouds floating
 within the sweet nothingness of
 endless sky falling
 into the story of forever 
 kissing the far-off horizon
 where it dips down to touch
 the untold mysteries of the sea 
 diving deep
 deep into the silence
 of the womb
 of mother earth’s divine creation.
  
 I want to feel 
 it all
 deeper than my skin
 peeled back
 to reveal
 my blood flowing red
 my heart beating wild
 in love with the ecstasy
 of being alive
 in this world
 of beginnings and endings
 forever tied up in the stories we tell
 so that we do not have
 to listen
 to the beauty of the silence
 that yearns to be heard
 above the cacophony of our human noise.
  
 I want to listen
 without knowing
 I am listening
 to anything
 other than life
 unfurling
 in all its mysterious beauty
 and unfathomable cruelty
 impregnating the darkness and the light
 with the wholeness
 that rises up
 to embrace me
 when I listen
 deeply
 to it all. 

If I Could…

Mixed media – 7 x 10″ on mixed media paper. (Collage, stamps, inks, acrylic paint and love)
 
 
 If I Could Give You My Heart
 ©2021 Louise Gallagher
  
 If I could 
 I would give you my words
 plump and full of
 promises
 dancing in the ecstasy
 of never having to leave
 you 
 without words
  
 If I could 
 I would paint you the sunrise
 bold and fiery
 colours streaking across the sky
 full of morning delight
 threaded with gold
 melting like butter
 upon a piece of warm buttered toast
  
 If I could 
 I would sing you a song of sunset
 full of sun-bathed mountains
 stretched out across the horizon
 like a dragon 
 sleeping
 at the edge of the world
 where sky tumbles into the sea
 and the moon rises high
 and pulls the night up into a sky
 full of stars falling like snow
 melting your dreams awake
  
 If I could
 give you my heart
 would you listen
 deep
 to the beat of its silence
 echoing throughout the vastness 
 of time wooing your fear
 of falling
 asleep
 like a lullaby
 spun into a cradle of love
 that can never break
  
 If I could 
 give you my heart
 would you listen
 deep? 

Yesterday, I entered my studio without any clear idea of what I wanted/needed to create or without having heard what the muse was whispering into creation.

I opened my art journal to a blank page. Threw down some colour and text and lines. And took a breath.

A deep one.

I closed my eyes, let my conscious mind sink down, down, into the crucible of my belly, into the font of where creativity rises up to inspire, cajole, exhort me into being wildly, joyfully present to all that is present where ever I’m at.

And that’s when I felt the murmurings.

Of words. Of song. Of flowers and trees and birds and life flowing.

I started to draw and paint and when I was finished, she appeared.

I told C.C. “She’s my Frida Kahlo meets Marie Antoinette.” He laughed and asked, “Where’s the cake?”

“Her cake is the words she spins into stories the flowers breathe in,” I replied. (I might even have been a little flippant. But the muse didn’t care…)

And thus, the words appeared… Her words grew into the stories flowers told to chase away grey skies and cloudy days.

_________

This morning, when I sat down at my desk, I didn’t know what I was going to write.

I closed my eyes, took in a breath and watched it sink with my conscious mind floating on air down, down, down into the crucible of my belly. The busy places in my heart grew still. The stuck places melted… and that’s when I felt the murmurings.

Of words dancing and sunrises melting and hearts listening deeply and breaking open to love.

And the words guided my heart into creative expression.

Namaste