Painting Process

Intuitive art 2

Mixed Media painting by Amy McGrath inspired by Jodi Ohl

How could I know what the canvas wanted
To become until my brush began
The colorful dance? Slow blue and
Staccato red and orange
Waltz and cha-cha in an
Improvised, frenzied
Crescendo ‘til
The music
Ends in


intuitive art 1 (2)

Mixed media art by Amy McGrath inspired by Wendy Brightbill


When I am not writing poetry (check out OctPoWriMo for daily prompts this month!) or fiction (usually for NaNoWriMo each November), I am in my tiny “studio” painting. A few years ago, I stumbled upon one of the BEST values in online painting courses. I’m taking Life Book 2017 now, my second round in this amazing class. The founder Tamara Laporte has gathered mixed media artists from around the world to come together and offer weekly art journal lessons that are often healing and always accessible to both novice and experienced artists. The art you see here with today’s poem was created from two of this year’s lessons. If you’re interested in creating your own art, this is a wonderful, welcoming and supportive community. Check out the plans for Life Book 2018!


High Anxiety

While I was pacing the room,

focusing on the “what ifs”,

Grand plans and schemes

intersect with fears and doubts.

Talking myself into

or out of some small risk;

Walking in circles,

going nowhere…

Spiraling thoughts…

some rational, some not…

Waiting for the right time

to make my move…

Realizing too late

that opportunity passed by

While I was pacing the room.



Have you been writing with us? Daily prompts available all month at OctPoWriMo! Come join in the fun and develop or improve a daily writing habit.


Today’s prompt at OctPoWriMo produced many seeds for future poems. This is the first of a whole group that I’ll likely be writing in the near future.

***Trigger warning: eating disorders, depression

Foster care
Always wanting attention.
Left to cry,
Left with a bottle.
Yearns for human connection.


Unhealthy habits
Now part of life.
Diets repeatedly fail.
Eating for comfort.
Reaching for
Trying to fill the void.
Adult still yearns,
Needing human connection –
Dies alone.

Ocean’s Daughter


Topsail Island 2013 photo by Amy McGrath

Umbrella drinks and feet in the sand

As summer days grow hotter

Unwinding as my skin gets tanned

Between the clouds and water.


When life becomes too much to bear

And my spirit starts to totter

You will often find me there

Between the clouds and water.


Winter’s coming and I’m growing old

On seashell walks I potter

Even as the air turns cold

Between the clouds and water.


I have no choice but to conclude

I am the ocean’s daughter

My soul finds peaceful solitude

Between the clouds and water.


Head over to OctPoWriMo for today’s prompt (written by yours truly!)

The Taste of Metal

Time to rock out


Apply black eyeliner

Lace up leather corset


Turn the volume up

Tilt my head back

Taste the metal rain



Today’s prompt at OctPoWriMo led me in  two different directions. Both poems are cheritas. The above was my second poem. The first one is below and is not appropriate for all audiences. Also, the accompanying image is a photo by a dear friend of mine from college who is a ridiculously talented photographer. Check out HeadlessBill on deviantart!


“I have a surprise for you, kitten.”


She leads me into the darkness,

Binding my wrists above my head.


“Open up.”

My lips part.

I taste the metal and surrender.

I Write Because I Must

End Gun Violence

I don’t feel like writing today, but
I write because I must.

A commitment was made to this challenge and
I want to keep my word.

I still don’t want to write today, but
I write because I must.

Waking up to news of yet another mass shooting
Drained what little energy I had.

I don’t have the energy to write today, but
I write because I must.

Innocent people lost their lives because
One man had enough fire power.

I don’t want to write about this, but
I write because I must.

Lone wolf, mentally ill, terrorist, <insert label here>
The only one that matters is mass murderer.

I don’t want to write today, but
I write because I must.

I cannot remain quiet on the sidelines when people are dying.
I cannot remain silent in this horrifying, terrifying situation.

I cannot stop writing –
I write because I must.

Neil deGrasse Tyson gun control tweets