Where text meets image. Where the visual intersects the literary. Often posting 1st drafts and editing in (almost) real time.

Tag: metaphor

Mother in Her Rare Blue Shroud

Mother envelops children  

Sideways roll, forward roll, tilt back

Father leading golden animal 

Beneath the obsidian ceremonial archway

Gift of bread

Gift of water

Caravan single file behind golden animal

Golden animal envelops dream

Dream envelops form

Mother in her rare blue shroud

One star rolling above

the obsidian ceremonial archway.

Painting: Mother, 2020, acrylic on canvas, 9″ X 12″

If You Decide


We need to learn an almost extinct language I will study with you.


We need to live among the people whose language is almost lost I will join you and also learn traditional survival skills.


To leave me for the shaman I will drive a stake through his medicine box, realize my grave error instantly, and escape, although barely.


To beckon and summon, seducing me with whispers that reach into my blood, I will return.


I must stand trial for my crimes against love and magic, I will escape, again.


If you decide to hypnotize me while I sleep I will seal my heart against your vibrations and embrace the crazed dream of modernity. Because I am a fool. Weary of surviving on roots. Even the root of you. Even the root of me.


If you decide I must seal my heart against the sounds you once made I will throw the window open a final time, upon your murmur coursing & drenched in starlight, intersected by a highway carrying the disappeared.


If you decide to remain quiet I will train my ear to hear the sunlight falling.


If you decide it is my duty to dig out the wooden stake I will return in the dead of night speaking an extinct language.


Photo credit: Renee Perle, a Romanian Jewish girl who moved to Paris, is famous as the first muse of the famous French photographer Jacques Henri Lartigue (1894-1986), who is considered one of the leading photographers of the 20th century.


shadowssoftly 3violet detail 1

Air and Fire as Force

in black rain

Xenophanes is said to have argued against the thesis that the world breathes: he must have been thinking of some Ionian nature-philosophers. Possibly Anaximenes originated the idea.

ralph 2

Aristotle says that among older Pythagoreans was a similar belief; its advocates connected it with the theory that the world contained empty space.

the ice storm

Sextus says that the Pythagoreans and Empedokles based it on their creed that the fellowship of men is not merely with one another and with the gods, but includes animals: “For there is one pneuma which pervades, like a soul, the entire universe and which also makes us one with them.”

cosmic physics

By adding the opposites dry and moist, hot and cold, to pneuma, thinkers were able to differentiate the pneuma of psyche, dry and warm, from the pneuma of physis (world of plants), moist and cold.

as emotional

Orphic theology represented the psyche as entering the newborn child on wings of wind.

in detritus

We are not sure how far air was active or passive in early formulations. There seems a confusion in Aristotle and later writers, perhaps through a linking of air and water-vapour.


Poseidonios makes moisture produce the chill of air over marshy ground; but his pupil Cicero stressed the caloric content of air.

shadows 1

Ploutarch pointed to the active role of air in freezing water, and assigned air a mid-position between fire and water.

surrealistic insurance

The Stoics made air and fire active.

black bucket wreckralph 2

Ch. 6  – Air and Fire as Force

Blast Power & Ballistics: Concepts of Force & Energy in the Ancient World

 by Jack Lindsay

ralph 2

 I do not own the copyright to the original image

of the auto-insurance agent found in the Toronto Star.

I altered it for purposes of commentary

under fair use provisions.

ralph 2book cover 2

Deep Sea Diving


 Blake’s ocean

A gas station

Black medicine

In a vial

You said I thought I was Jesus

deep sea divedeep sea detail b

You said I thought I was Jesus

In exile

We handled snakes

I was yours truly

deep sea divedeep sea detail c

I was yours truly

I swallowed a shot of ink

We faded

deep sea divenee
We faded


In retrospect we were children

deep sea divedeep sea detail e

In retrospect we were children

At the carnival

Deep sea diving


Lough Ree by Colin Carberry




blu flame

A trout flares at dusk,
silver scales
in the heron’s ears.

blueish a

new blue

Colin Carberry is an Irish-Canadian poet and translator and the director of the Linares International Literary Festival (Mexico).


I am struck, reading this haiku, by the heron hearing silver scales. I imagine sunset splashing chaotically on thin, reflective surfaces and the heron’s acute sensors turning and tuning. I remember summers (it seems long ago) driving cross-country, through the night, listening to the radio. Car radios were manually operated. With your free hand you would find the spot where there was no static, bringing in the station clearly. Adjusting the dial frequently to receive the perfect reception. Ambient static would slowly creep back in and you would fine tune again listening carefully. Though, unlike the heron, your aim was enjoyment not survival. Surely our ancestors knew the life and sounds of water, within and without, like a heron. The poet, crafting this poem, brings us to the edge of our deepest memories.