Loosely Binding


The making of Hanji paper ….


Mulberry bark


skin, boil, wash, pound

In winter

cover with the root mucus … of hibiscus manihot.

Blended together … artfully form.

In a warm room … dry slowly … covered with stones.

I am durable … unpreserved I outlast civilizations

Enter my door … I am cool in summer, warm in winter

Impenetrable … the rain that falls can not dim my light


Accompanied by cricket sound in a field of stars

I sit in the soft glow of papered lamp light

it’s ancient tradition a beckoning

all my loved ones resting deep in sleep,

and tonight a great nest of grandchildren

dreaming of mountain tadpoles

and the wild strawberries they picked

as their own sun kissed bodies ripened in the sun

In this moment

I wonder at the naturalness of this great love that binds us

I am dazed by this spiraling life my heart forever flies towards

while still maintaining my own self … full, nurturing, self providing

I sit here like an open field arms held wide for it all

Tonight looking out at the shadows cast in response to our light

the dreaming of this family and the vast silence of living surrounds me

I wrap myself round with the wonder of it all

At the strength and resilience this steady cadence our hearts beat

Seemingly fragile

But oh, so strong


Hanji paper is a traditional paper made in Korea from the inner bark of the paper mulberry. It is durable with archival properties and can be openly displayed in museums without protection. It is a good ventilator but can also keep a room warm so it is used to cover their wooden framed doors. It is also waterproof. It’s translucent qualities lend well to the artistry of shading lamps.

Hanji Paper Artist: Kitty Jun-Im



thought hovers

is this thought mine?


I watch the few words

just there

I look askance to see if they move

do they move of their own volition?


they hover


we’re moving through walls

what does this mean?


I once could hear through walls

I’d lost my skin

rendered immobile

I heard nuclear indifference

red lights green lights

flying metal and a dying jesus

I wet myself

although the bed stayed dry


I looked for what was left

at the time

I was empty

much later I understood

this was the right place to start


it takes awhile

starting from nothing

to un-know everything


we hover

not knowing

we move through walls



    Acrylic on paper….j. h. white



The push the pull the moon’s sculpting hands

Its broad face spilling transparent

over lunar mountains

Full bright

but veiled by cloud’s chattering


yet still felt in the marrow


With a tactile sensing

for the peaks and dark hollows

My blood its own compass

I map the edge of the sea

as the tide recedes

filling the carved pools as it leaves


The clouds drift away in their own mystery

as the moon glides free

in luminous ascending

and I sway as a puppet in a shadow play

bathed in luminous manna



Pencil sketch and poetry: j.h.white

note: a photo attributed to Joshua Black Wilkins was the inspiration for the sketch. ( I was unable to verify the source however)




Peter Harskamp


The beams, thirsty in their plumb aligned structure,

drink deeply of the improvised sound issuing from the garden

The cello’s notes satiating the kiln dried wood


In an upstairs bedroom a woman moves to the music

unbidden thoughts seeping in slow aching, wandering

the intimate landscape still mapped within her heart


Shaking them loose, she leans precariously out of the window

listening to the ripening tenor notes, admitting she’s

grateful now to be by herself yet questioning…


What am I to do with my internal tenderness?

There is no one here to reach for

listening to the first bird’s song?


This softening moves through her

seeking to be moored in the infinite, not in the observed

third person distance of Wife or Her or She


Bending her head to the low deep notes of the cello

the forest memory of its burnished wood

resonates between her thighs


I’ve reawakened the elasticity of my flesh

by becoming weightless, a quickening again

There is no measure in this


Vulnerable it moves too fluidly to have a name

it spreads out and collects

like dark pools reflecting sky after rain



Painting….Peter Harskamp

Slow Infestation


He was a wolf …

a solitary wolf culled from the pack

expertly herding his words

through her undulate terrain.

She welcomed the seduction

amply savoring his patois.


Beguiled by his seeming intimacy

she failed to assimilate the slow infestation

of his oblique aural patternings

insinuating edgy consonants

and limbic vowel howls.

It was her stomach at first that resisted the enchantment

with small flutterings of continual distress.

Slowly she became aware

that his words were predictable

acid but effervescent

lying tips of tongues

corroding her silence.

They dangled from her

like wind chimes with little meaning

Their fractured light cascading

from her now weary ears

pummeling the surface.

So she gathered herself

and sent him,

and his errant words,


Though at times she could still hear their echoing…

The scent of him having so easily

permeated her skin.


To ward off this sonic residue

she bathed daily in lovage root and vervain

and made a tincture of his words,

a verbal potion dissolved in fine brandy

She took one dose timed exactly

as the cusp of the horizon split day into night


Three drops under her tongue,

with a twist…


I had fun with this one. Looking over older work I saw a story weaving between a few different poems and so I threaded a needle and sewed them together. The drawing is an old one too. Newer than the poems, it is cut from the same cloth.


PoePoem and drawing: jana h white                 Drawing: Pastels on black paper

balance balance


The swaths of sky above crisscross in a babble of breathy scars

I see more than chemtrails though…

I try to imagine the people up there in the winged bullet

making its way across the sky

their feet dangling in mid air

save for a foot or so of wires and baggage and metal.

From this perspective, looking up, it’s barely comprehensible

that people are really up there at all.


When I think about it,

anxiousness and excitement both feel the same

The same pit of my stomach startled wings

 A choice of persuasion then?

My choice what to make of it?


Perhaps ‘being lost’ and ‘being free’ are similar

the same choice of persuasion of this or that.

I’m not talking about real loss

The punch in the stomach that takes my breath away,

but the weightless existential can’t find my shoes

want to sleep all day being lost

translating into the realms of flesh.


Aren’t both ‘being lost’ and ‘being free’

a casting off from the perceived familiar?

Being pushed off or pushing off

from a finely honed routine of nomenclature

that causes a shift in my internal gravity?

Are they so different?

I stand in the middle of either …. lost or found


Even while recognizing the breath of this feeling though,

my feet want to touch the ground

whether covered by moss, or sidewalk, or water.

Pragmatic, I want intimacy to have a face, a hand, a leaf, a claw

and be swayed by ideas or feelings

that have grown from some shared fertile ground.

It’s simpler to pick them up and put them to use

to make something, to hold, to do.

Even if it is simply making dinner, holding my grandson’s hand,

or doing nothing at all.


Painting and poem by j.h.white

Blog Tour


I was double dared to join in the Blog Tour by my friend, and fellow blogger, John Clinock over at Art Rat Cafe.  If you haven’t been over there, make haste and partake in some of John’s artful, sublimely  intimate and open armed hospitality.

The rules of the Blog Tour are to cite the person who asked you to join, answer a few questions about your own creative process, and to invite three (or so) bloggers to the tour.

Why do I write what I write?

I began writing seriously about a year and a half ago.  I needed to explain, also to myself,  an experience I had that changed the way I view my life and the world.

I started this blog, knowing that I didn’t want to work in a vacuum. At the time, my identity, that I considered once stable and solid, shimmed across the surface intangible as a heat wave. Uprooted from everything I’d known for decades, I was gravel in a hot dryer. It was a perfect time to begin something new. So I intuitively jumped in with enthusiasm if not vigor.

Within a few posts my word count distilled into a poetic language. I abandoned prose, for the most part, and embraced poetry encouraged by the fact I could say exactly what I meant without having to use so many words.

I’ve gone through many phases as they lead me along. Words are both holy and often an aphrodisiac. They are alive in me, as well as surrounding me. They provoke and prod, undermining my resistance and enlivening my humanness. They continue to puzzle me. Always intimate.

What is my writing process?

Poetry gave me the confidence, and the community, to consider tackling prose again. I prefer the way my life feels when I’m in the space for poetry though.

Writing poetry is always spontaneous and intuitive. The words just arrive … sometimes like a sneeze… short, succinct and full bodied. I know exactly what I want to say, understand it perfectly and then the words flicker and I lose it. These are the puzzles to unravel.

Some well up from the ground of my being … and release into a chest gripping harmony… old wounds healing.

In some I feel I’m treading water … way over my head. I put my swim fins on and dream through them for meaning.

Some are just romps through my day.

Prose on the other hand demands a method. I’m very disciplined in this regard. I usually start working straight out of sleep and begin writing the first draft, having a general idea. I continue to intuitively wade my way through all my thoughts on the subject. At this point I cannot attend to sequence or order. I arrive at a more cohesive sense of the subject by writing freely.

Then for however long it takes, I search for the rhythm. Now I can jump in at any time to work and I am able to work for long hours at a time. I write on scraps of paper, in various size notebooks but primarily on the screen and I quit when my eyes give out. When I have a reasonable draft, I used to read what I’d written out loud, but now I’ve switched to recording … over and over, listening for a genuine voice, possible repetition, awkward sentencing, lazy language and for sequence. This is generally how I find the ending of the post I’m working on and often times the beginning of the next one.

How does my work differ from other genres?

I haven’t a clue but I know each demands commitment. I’ve witnessed here on Word Press how combining different art forms compliment each other, giving a fuller experience. I’d like to have the momentum in writing to begin exploring a more visual language.

What am I working on at this moment?

I’m involved with an ongoing project attempting to artistically translate the work of a surreal, magic-realism flavored three-year mystical tour through the collective unconscious. In order to clarify my own understanding, I wrote a six-page text. Everyone who has read it, however, unanimously finds my initial text unreadable and incoherent.

So I’m learning to communicate. At this point, I am about half way through the text.

Right now I prefer the immediacy of this virtual community. I’m continually inspired and it makes a difference that I know who I’m talking and sharing with. There’s energy in this that moves me forward and compliments the work, which is still very much in process…and maybe this is what it’s all about.


Of all the luscious in word writers I have the great good fortune of following, and of being in community with here, I had to consider my leanings toward the storytellers.

Bonnie spins the most curiously mindful, quirky rhythm-ed, uncannily insightful stories….a master Mistress Spider.    Maxada Mandala

Stacy … oh Stacy. What it is to be woman.When I see Stacy has posted…I know we are getting down to it. Her poetry is simply food.   the language we speak

Mark doesn’t so much as weave his stories, as immerse you in each word of his short fiction. His stories are verbal film noir….  each nuance palpable in black and white. Chris is a quick, spontaneous eyed photographer.  Each of her photos are captioned and worlds open up. Together they have begun working out a collaborative comic ….Mark writing and Chris drawing.  The Brokedown Pamphlet  and Spartan Eye


Sketch: Self-portrait     “Start at the beginning and work towards the end?” 











Balancing, not so delicately,

on the heads of seven pins

I wake in the middle of the night

dazed by the hurrying of the sun and the moon through the sky.


Somewhere there is an open field

where the seeds of tall grasses live out their days

in dialogue with dew and stars,

Cicada legs thrumming the air

a stillness held in their cadence,

Where fire flies lace the leaves of trees in encircling forests

inscribing their delicate electrical tracings of desire,

a lit calligraphy of … hello, come see me

I am aflame with light


Somewhere there is an open field within me

amidst the deep woods of words 

the impregnable tall trees of thought

a vast silence of living

wrapt entirely in wonder





Traveling solo … back,  forth, sideways across the country

coast to coast scouting but cautious I was

winding snakes with wheels

I carried only an old Post Office bag

empty but for a toothbrush, a sewing needle and some colored thread

preferring the company of an ocean front cave that leaked with morning  tides

a mountain stream in heat that slowly dried

Everywhere my tongue tasted the air, flavor there was

I grew a belly of  lightening and substance

pregnant with the road


40 odd years and I’m still a pilgrim. I look left. I look right. There’s a cliff on both sides. One is seductive  … the other a freefall …. staying in the middle  promises promises but is cluttered and empty. The world is held in consensus agreement … each day … which side am I on?

When my grand daughter Bella tries to touch the moon and says ” jump Nana!”  ….   I smile … and jump






All around

  the long bones of the trees

raise small green prayer flags

from their roots

of  winter solace


Signals humming in the first spring wind

“There are so many lost in their own momentum”


There is an urgency

as the intrepid green shoots

attend to the living word




As everything cycles new in the next few months, my activities surround the season. I’ll be lending my hands, my arms, my back, my muscles, my eyes and my ears where needed.  My softer parts and all my bones go along for the ride. …giddy with enthusiasm.

I’ll also be germinating the next set of audio broadcasts. The seeds have been planted. I am immeasurably grateful to everyone who listened and lent their own thoughts … such beauty….you have my heart….

I’m learning trust in so many ways

opening like a flower

in a field of wild light



Artist: Paul Klee