Tuesday, August 31, 2010

bold belief

touched with BOLD,
or absurd, belief
has a certain toleration

differences of mind disappear,
merged in something higher

. . . . . . . .

The OED word of the day for the erasure poem|commentary is 'indifferentism,' to which I am totally indifferent — especially when comparing it to my brother's find today: a group of jellyfish is called a 'smack.'

As for the art, that's a cerulean watercolor wash over a failed painting, and the white marks are a mix of water-soluble crayon, alphabet stamps using a white ink pad, and...white out!! Yes, that old office stuff still has a use! Can't remember where I saw it listed as a medium on a painting, but when I saw a bottle in Office Depot, I had to go for it.

Monday, August 30, 2010


a decisive step,

in which Life
becomes greater,

is the establishment
of failure as
The Way.

. . . . . . . .

Today's OED word of the day for the poem|commentary is 'Rubicon.'

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Daily growth

Bainbridge church, watercolor sketch by Susan K. MillerArt is a Daily growth

from a lot o’ stuff,
tidy and common,

to flowering freely

. . . . . . . .

Once again, I didn't use the OED word of the day as the title cuz I expect you'd all go, "Hunh??" like I did. The word is "tod," a weight used in the wool trade since the 15th century. Whatever.

This is the Congregational Church in Winslow. The Urban Sketchers, feeling like traveling after the symposium, I guess, boarded the 10.40 ferry to Bainbridge Island and sketched there today.

Saturday, August 28, 2010


Life is long.
You hold the fort.

in a grateful moment
a smile of complicity
— sunshine

Friday, August 27, 2010


30% off
e-commerce management
40% off

. . . . . . . .

Wednesday's phone booth really made me conscious of today's normal being tomorrow's antique.

I wondered if someday my niece Victoria would show this sketch of a Barnes & Noble to her daughter to illustrate what a "bookstore" was, back in the day.

It seemed especially ironic that the signs closest to me were those in this haiku.

Sorry for the weird text display, but I finally was unhappy enough with the small image to just import a large one. So the image is clickable for a larger version, but the text placement suffers.

Thursday, August 26, 2010


August sunset
the most glorious Primitive ease

Wednesday, August 25, 2010


downtown Seattle, watercolor sketch of the day, Susan K. Millertaking old things,
and making them
the lyrical jazz of noodlings,
playing upon the universal.

But is it Art? The harmony
which seeks a balance with nature
and a sanctuary filled with peace.

. . . . . . . .

The OED word (sic) of the day is New Age, which presented abundant poetic options.

This is a view from the sidewalk of Caffe Vita at the corner of 3rd Ave & Washington. What drew my attention was the Modern! Fireproof! Bush Hotel. It's unendingly amazing the things you notice with pencil in hand that you've walked by forever without 'seeing.'

As I filled in the foreground, I was also struck by the phone booth. Suddenly felt like I was preserving a historical record.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010


models who leave
before the sketch is done
will not be asked back

Monday, August 23, 2010

Hope burst in

Yesterday, Hope burst in,
Pushing against fear,
the dread Stumbling-block of design,
and resolved to carry it off.

I answer'd with Sketches.

. . . . . . . .

The OED word of the day for the erasure poem is 'stave.'

Sunday, August 22, 2010

a year

a year by the creek
never the same
never different

. . . . . . . .

Just for the record, the OED word of the day was 'strick': a bundle of broken flax or hemp for heckling. With most of the citations in Old English (OE), Middle English (ME) or You-Must-Be-Joking English (YMBJE) — for example, "wyth xijd" — even with a year of practice I couldn't turn it into an erasure poem.

Saturday, August 21, 2010


There is no Absolute

it adapts to a strategy

Called Today.

. . . . . . . .

That completes a year of pictures & poems. Hopefully, the OED dudes will be kind and offer up something spiffy for the one year anniversary entry tomorrow.

Thanks for staying around.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Basho's breakfast

late afternoon—
Basho's breakfast companions
still awake

. . . . . . . .

A tribute to the master and one of his haiku that never fails to make me smile:

Breakfast enjoyed
in the company of
morning glories

Thursday, August 19, 2010


slipping through
my chopsticks

Wednesday, August 18, 2010


Water Lilies, watercolor and ink sketch by Susan K. Milleropulence
drifting in the sun —
a flash of gold

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

tame (the verb)

September Vines, watercolor by Susan K. Millerto overcome
the wildness of a thing
Let 'em run large

. . . . . . . .

Took these cab grapes to the Columbia Winery today... hopefully they won't get stomped.

Monday, August 16, 2010


gardener: "Sorry, but I have to use the bucket."

sketcher: "That's okay. I turned it into a rock anyway."

Sunday, August 15, 2010

polar axis

view from Caffe Umbria, Seattle; watercolor sketch by Susan K. MillerOne shivers with the Wind,
at the edge of the sunlit stars -

all you have to do
is turn around.

. . . . . . . .

My favorite place for a cappuccino in Seattle on a sunny Sunday summer morning is the terrace of Caffe Umbria ... though you do end up being in a lot of tourist photos of this maple-shaded square.

Saturday, August 14, 2010


Water Lilies, collage by Susan K. MillerPoems
written after dinner
with The Moon
and stars,

I sat rapt in ruminations

it is Life
I discovered
I have been trying to fix.

Friday, August 13, 2010


Good Shepherd Center, Wallingford; watercolor sketch by Susan K. Millerdance As the bee
at ev'ry flow'r.

Every Morning
honor each Sweet flower under the sun.

. . . . . . . .

Once again, the erasure poem|advice is from the OED word of the day: sip.

Delightful to again sketch with Peggy, who also provided an insider tour of the Good Shepherd Center, having co-directed a school there.

The Historic Seattle website says that it is a "fine example of the Italianate style embellished with Corinthian capitals and elaborate stone work." Translation: it's a challenge to draw!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

water lily

water lily at SSCC Arboretum by Susan K. Miller gold fish in the deep
water lily shadows

. . . . . . . .

A bit obsessed with water lilies of late, having run into them both at the Chinese Garden in Portland and at the South Seattle CC arboretum (and future home of the Seattle Chinese Garden). Given all that Chinese influence, I had jumped to the conclusion that they were lotuses.

Googling to find the difference, I came across a lot of gobbledgook, but finally YouTube showed me I have been painting water lilies: lotuses bloom on a stem that protudes much farther above the water. And it's a good thing I haven't gone hunting a sketch too early as these "hardy" ones are day bloomers, while the tropical ones may also bloom at night.

That ends today's botanical lesson.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010


South Seattle Community College Arboretum, watercolor sketch by Susan K. Millerthe innocent hope
of attaining Greatness...
human credulity

Tuesday, August 10, 2010


West Seattle, watercolor sketch by Susan K. Millera liberal application of SMILES
and Compromise.

The universal workable policy.

Monday, August 9, 2010


view from Thistle Street SW in West Seattle; watercolor sketch by Susan K. MillerNow rare the Old growth,
as quiet as the night by the water

. . . . . . . .

It finally occurred to me to just use the OED word of the day, from which the erasure poem is created, as the title for the entry.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Comfort Guide

Comfort Guide
rubbing bare feet
the answer to woman's prayer

. . . . . . . .

It won't be a surprise to hear that the OED word of the day for the erasure poem|advice is 'massage.'

Saturday, August 7, 2010

buzzing the ducks

August rain —
the Blue Angels flying "flat"
buzzing the ducks

Friday, August 6, 2010

the very top of August

South Seattle Community College Arboretum, water lilies by Susan K. Millerthe Sun had gone
up the stairs
to the very top
of August,
and then came
plunging down
with a soft violence

. . . . . . . .

Today's erasure poem was excavated from the OED word of the day 'mushroom' (the verb).

Thursday, August 5, 2010


Fremont Bridge, waterecolor sketch by Susan K. Millerdrawing
the draw bridge

. . . . . . . .

Fortunate to be able to sketch today with Peggy, a fellow Urban Sketchers Symposium attendee. We were having withdrawal pains, and needed to get out there...

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Don't you love Bread and Butter

I hope you don't mind my writing like this but I love all the summer days,
pale-green bushes meet over head;
we sit among them, and they love us back.

I love
my freedom,
and truth
and taste delights,
Don't you love Bread and Butter with your Search after Happiness?

I love the River
trees in a shady place,
the sun and
August Poems

. . . . . . . .

The OED word of the day is 'love' - 12 pages of citations to comb through. For those of you with dogs, I can tell you that "Love me, love my dog" dates back almost a millenium to 1153 and a sermon of -- I kid you not -- St. Bernard. It was in Latin, of course, and I'm thinking you might want to print up a t-shirt for the dog park, so here you go: qui me amat, amat et canem meum

Tuesday, August 3, 2010


The forest
charmed me so often

The stream,
a track of moss.

the secret Cause of kindness .

. . . . . . . .

The OED word of the day for the erasure poem|commentary is 'trace.' Nothing here was traced, but I am playing with alphabet stamps. Experiment to be continued.

Monday, August 2, 2010


Metropolitan Market, West Seattletai chi warm up
the wooden floor and my knees

. . . . . . . .

After vacation, back to the real world of tai chi class and grocery shopping.

Sunday, August 1, 2010


With some Sketches
the struggle is
the working of doubt,
and ceases
when belief is attained.

A line
might influence
man's view of prayer

. . . . . . . .

The OED word of the day for the erasure poem|commentary is 'premise.'

Back from the 1st Annual Urban Sketchers Symposium in Portland. My sketches from three days in the Pearl District are online. It was a high energy event, and great for all of us to connect in person 18 months after Urban Sketchers was birthed online.