Keirartworks's Blog

hmmm. hmmm?

Leave a comment

The trembling flowers of spring

A chickadee nests under the inside eave of the porch, which of course gentles the way I open and close my front door.  I hope to make friends with this family so that the anxiousness at comings and goings subsides for all concerned.  In any case, a new series of daily negotiations has begun.  I consider the exclusive use of my back door.

Flowers bloom trembling, huddled close to the April ground in the yard, in the garden that is choked with goutweed.  The garden that is soon to be dug out with great effort, lined with old carpet, and replenished with new soil, sans goutweed root.  The roses, delphiniums, peonies, holly, coneflower, clematis and rose of sharon will all be temporarily potted – bewildered, no doubt, to be sitting in my driveway.  More gentle negotiations.

Mice in my kitchen – alarmingly unafraid of me – all of whom I will need to kill (not gentle).  A cupboard door has come off it’s old hinges, the de-humidifiers now need daily emptying, storm windows will trade places with front porch chairs.  All of this is comforting, in between the soul-searching and the interminable litigious trials that all leave me feeling quite fragile.  I have the day off from school.

I read, I putter, I sleep, wake, read, write…

the flags in february, laid out to be sewn

a 21-line prayer poem, 7 from a child, 7 a young woman, 7 an elder one.  each will be sewn onto an embroidered, hand-printed windhorse prayer flag.  Reds and oranges.  Yellows and greens.  Blues and purples.


I glue swarovsky crystals onto hand-made square nails, then bind those onto stretched batik fabric with coloured thread.  I sew my wedding ring there too – pulled by red threads from all directions.  I realize I want to sew it into almost-invisibility.  Add a piece of my old sloppy shirt, stone beads, glass beads to form the shape of a hand out of fairy tale.  Red, blue, yellow and green at the tip of each sparkling finger.

The under-narrative of women’s work runs deep.  I think of this as I find myself counting each stitch aloud.


It will all take longer

delays upon delays

upon denial upon fear

upon betrayals that mutter their toxic deep

deep deep in old wounds.

I do not think it’s about me any more.

Was it ever.

It’s about the planets turning

the seasons, the wheel, the fool, who,

blithely unaware of his purpose,

strolls smiling the ever-moment.

Likely a chronic pot-smoker, that fool.

August 18, 2016/April 19, 2017



Leave a comment

To troll

First of all, a description of the day out there:

the weather news from 4:47am today

the weather news from 4:47am today.  I am under the blue streamer, in Owen Sound.

From Environment Canada at 11am-ish....

From Environment Canada at 11am-ish….

Phoned my Collingwood rehearsal before 8am and said it looked iffy, then went back to sleep.

Everything is white again.

Everything is white again.

All of this adds up to Permission.

To sleep, which I’ve done.  To stretch the day into a different shape, which I’m doing.  A shape that can contain a sense of the eternal.  A shape that defies distance and time and brings all the resonant things I love here, into this pulsing place.


To decide, then, what to do with all of this wealth.  The art show is up, and we raised the roof well last night, in celebration of all of us.

I will write music now, and sing.

Have I said this before?  Snow days are SUCH a gift.




Every once in a while I see a bald eagle in the sky,  like poetry so beautiful and alive I stop breathing.


We have entered the long cold of January.  Winter came early this year – two months ago –  to invite us deep inside where we can tend to the root of things, tune our eyes to the subtle colours of the great Hush.  This is permission to follow – slowly, slowly – a whispering line of thought down the long path, to pause at each wonder that emerges, then continue …

To walk on frozen water.

whouff.  I think that's the word.

An invitation to meet one’s Self, again and again in the cold and the warmth, in conversation, in music, in colour and in silence.  To introspect.

Positive and negative space; high contrast in the stark white days where eagles fly, fishing, the long nights where bears sleep under resplendent starlight.  This is when stories are found and told.  When songs are made and learned, paintings begun and finished.  When courage burns warm like a hearth-fire.


The warm bustle of work begins soon.  Right now I find myself steeped and floating in gratitude.


Leave a comment

Things to do with the Christmas Flu

There was an impossible amount of STUFF going on in my family when I was a kid.  It’s only been in the past few years that I’ve realized my then-body had figured out a strategy to remove myself from the obligation to participate in the stress:  I got sick.  There were lots of options, some slightly life-threatening – severe allergies to things like dust, wool, potatoes (though I’d have liked to add buckwheat to the list, I could not); chronic Bronchial-Athsma; severe strep throat; mumps…  Whatever was prevailing, I would assume – but these ailments together were enough to take me out of the mainstream and into a place, far from the madding crowd, where I could get serious about playing…

I've played solitaire since I was at least seven, so has my mom.  I had the choice of 2 NHL decks - Habs or Leafs.  Without much thinking I chose Habs because I wanted to improve my chances of winning... (sorry Dad)

I’ve played solitaire since I was at least seven, so has my mom. I had the choice of 2 NHL decks – Habs or Leafs. Without much thinking I chose Habs because I wanted to improve my chances of winning… (sorry Dad)

So now that the Christmas ‘flu has arrived (& I was due), I’m in my happy place despite the raw nose, stuffed head, aching joints and dodgy stomach.  The little things are calling me….

...what would happen if I layered three cello lines and a simple heartbeat percussion.  maybe voice, maybe...

…what would happen if I layered three cello lines and a simple heartbeat percussion. maybe voice, maybe…

And this ongoing game from Virginia Eichorn, our intrepid Chief Curator and Director at the Tom Thomson Gallery:

13 hours ago....

13 hours ago….

an hour ago, still spreading....

an hour ago, still spreading….

or a long, ambling poetry/image surf where the most resonant discoveries end up glued in an actual book…


The Poem shown on the bottom of the page is by Liz Zetlin, from “The Thing with Feathers”.


knit a few rows, write a few lines, doodle on the scrap paper.  Sort out the D-ring Snaffle Bit painting a bit; sew rocks and beads in not-so-random patterns onto the fabric pieces.  Eat Cherries and Broccoli.  Sleep.  Dream about listening.  improvise ways to install speaker/receivers into the backs of paintings.  Wake & drink coffee.  Read Theories of Modern Art some more.  Check in with The Art Game.  Eat carrots, drink tea and honey.  Play with cat, sleep…

I’m open like a clam with it’s biggest warmest smile.  Can’t think of a better way to bring in 2014.

Love to all,





Leave a comment

This morning’s texture

The rain on our tin roof keeps me dreaming past the appointed 6 am, then 7am, and even the waking realization of this isn’t jarring.  Now coffee’d and downstairs beside the fire, I gaze out the window where the cat uncurls into a stretch.  It really should be snow, but the effect is the same:  a deep deep heartbeat of peacefulness as the cat re-curls herself.

a rock-wall on Lindenwood trail behind our house


There is sociology study all over the couch and table in front of the fire – it sounds like paper flip, <sniff>, pen scratch, blanket shuffle, paper flip, <breathe, sigh>, paper flip, pen scribble, <clear throat>, fire crackle, woodstove click-click, ping (as it heats up again).  The old fridge – Hazel’s fridge – roars its fan over this, but even through that I hear the rain outside.  There it is, through the big window – straight down rain as steady and familiar and comforting as day following night, the North Star, Orion’s Belt, the Milky Way.  The grass outside glows green – drinking drinking.

same trail, glowing green


In my head a radio is always playing on low volume – is everyone like this?  I don’t get to choose the playlist – it can be anything from an irritating pop song, a Brahms sonata to God Save the Queen (all versions).  Happily my radio selection is appropriate to the morning – Sting’s version of  Gabriel’s Message, performed in Durham Cathedral.

same trail, same day


The simplest of things astonish me today, at 8:20am.  I think I’ve been altered on a cellular level by the movie Life of Pi .

I’ve seen it twice now, so those incredible Ang Lee / Yann Martel images are now imbedded in me, to my everlasting delight and wonder.

Happy Tuesday everyone.

Leave a comment

the joy of stupid

I awoke into one syllable:


There’s been lots of lunar stuff, what with the Blue Moon and all. Enough that I’m craving solar, for balance….

And then another:

What day is it?



holiday weekend; shoes to kid for 9am, studio; funeral at 2pm; kayak & good, time at home
Where am I?

Full Moon.  You are in a full moon.


And then I remembered how much rich, satisfying fun I had playing with david sereda last night.

I love this man – his music, his humour, his graciousness, his wickedness. Lucky me to get to play with him.

To those of you who came last night – thanks for singing and laughing with us. That was FUN.

More coming from david:

Sept.15 at the Flying Beaver Pubaret in Toronto (New Moon), finally Sept 29 with Keira and Tyler Wagler for Songs in the Key of Tom in Owen Sound and another Full Moon. Syncin’ up with the heavens! 

I’m going to get some blessed sleep this weekend, now that the moon’s howl is lessening.

Then the September orchestra engines roar to life, writing and painting continue.

I love it all.


I really am stupid today – so just to be clear, what I mean is that nothing feels better than working your ass off at what you love.  It’s also good to sleep.