Fun stuff

I can make babies fly

I can make babies fly

Instead of taking a nap yesterday, I decided to make a collage. I found my envelope of pictures, leafed through a few magazines, found some more pictures, and then assembled them on a makeshift canvas I had already prepared, made from an empty cereal box.

For some reason I thought of a poem I wrote last year while I was cutting pictures out. The babies caught my eye, so I went back to my old blog and found the poem, which I then doctored up a bit.

I’m not overly excited about my finished results, but it was fun to do. Maybe the poem needs the collage, and the collage needs the poem. However I look at the end result, the process is just as important, maybe even more so, to my well-being as a poet, and as a dreamer. It’s important to honor the dream energy by paying it forward, by doing something with the dream images in waking life. At least it is to me.

***

I Can Make My Babies Fly

In dreams I have babies,
though in waking life
I’m done with birthing.

I bathe them in milk,
rinse their pillowed bodies
at the sink.

Sometimes a herd of bison
will tear through barbed wire
as if to trample us.

I try to outrun
the bellowing beasts
infants in arms,

but everywhere I turn
I’m hemmed in –
chain-link fences,

rivers, spider webs, tall waves,
there’s no option.
If I want the babies to live,

I need to rise up on tiptoes,
hold them high in the sky,
and lift them over the barriers.

18 thoughts on “Fun stuff

  1. Deb says:

    I love how you title the post “fun stuff”, show us your whimsical art and end with a poem that has such deep, deep meaning. Play it forward. I am glad you did.

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  2. Michelle says:

    This is so clever, C. And it looks like it was fun to make too.

    I see your poems as being your babies. Often, poems need to be hurled over barriers, internal and external.

    Thank you for sharing this.

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  3. Jo says:

    Love it. The collage is amazing, I’m so in awe of artistic people, I can’t even draw a stick figure. Collage is such an expressive form. And the poem, well I love it, it moves beautifully and it moves me too…….thanks. I also love the idea of paying it forward….fab.

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  4. christine says:

    Yay, Michelle! That’s what I think the babies are too, *smile*. Whenever the babies show up in my dreams, I think they are symbols of my creative output.

    Jo, I’m no artist, but I do like to play with collage. I think it helps me write if I try my hand at other forms of expression. Like you and cooking!

    Thanks, Deb, for reading, and for your encouragement.

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  5. christine says:

    Collin, I changed the last line from ‘hurl’ to what it is now. It sounded like I was throwing babies to their death! Not my intention. Did it remind you of those sick baby jokes from middle school? 😦

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  6. carolee says:

    this is strange b/c i had a dream (a few nights ago) that i was having a baby. well, i was pregnant, anyway. ooh, scary. at least from this vantage point.

    anyway! maybe i should look at it as a creative venture, as well. maybe it would have helped me avoid the argument that was also part of the dream. or maybe, the argument could be related to creativity, as well. hmmm. lots to think about. thank you for this new take on it; i’ve been a little disturbed.

    i read an article about a novelist who uses collage to explore her characters and plot. as a visual artist myself, it intrigued me. the art and the writing intersect for me from time to time and i’ve even used one to guide the other, but she actually used collage to tell her who her characters were and find out what they were about. she let the intuitive (and random) process of collage tell her where to go next in her writing. it was interesting.

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  7. ybonesy says:

    “…the process is just as important, maybe even more so, to my well-being as a poet, and as a dreamer…”

    I couldn’t agree more, Christine. I enjoyed the outcome, but I’ve also gone through the process of making a collage and didn’t like the results one bit yet loved the process. Collage to me is one of the hardest things to do; I don’t know why.

    Thanks for sharing this. Also enjoyed your poem.

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  8. suburbanlife says:

    I love the collage and wish i could see it more clearly. Brittiant that you used a cereal box for a canvas. The poem is brilliant and moving, giving your babies life and hope. Love that you washed them in milk, because milk is a symbol for elemental truths. And yes, the products of our mind and hand-works are out children. They need nurturing. G

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  9. beryl singleton bissell says:

    I learned to fly in dreams as a child, trying to avoid nests of snakes and other dangers.

    I don’t know if this applies to you Christine, but Persimmon is an online zine for women over 60 and they are hosting a poetry competition. Here is the info I received. Spread the word. It’s a great zine.

    We hope you’ve seen the exciting winter issue by now. If not, it’s at http://www.persimmontree.org. You’ll find fiction by Susan Yankowitz and Faith Jackson; a fascinating conversation between E.M. Broner and Mary Gordon; poetry by Lucille Clifton; and art by Henrietta Mantooth.

    AND we’re really pleased to announce the upcoming poetry contest for women over sixty in the Southern U.S. region. (States include AZ, NM, TX, OK, AR, LA, MS, AL, GA, FL, TN, KY, WV, VA, DC, NC, SC, MD.) Submissions will be accepted May 1 – June 15, 2009, only at poetryentry@comcast.net; Jill Breckenridge is the guest poetry editor for this contest. The selected poems will appear in the September 2009 issue. See the “Submissions” link on the website (you have to log on first) for necessary further details.

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  10. Julie says:

    Awesome collage and poem. I’m also impressed with artistic poets. That ability you have to cross over into different genres is amazing. My collages look like my paintings…terrible. LOL! But yours is absolutely beautiful.

    I was also thinking you might mean poems (or created works) as babies. Sending them out into the cruel world is hard. I love how you “rise up” to lift them over the barriers.

    By the way, babies flying is one of the best images I think I’ve ever read in a poem. Ever. Excellent, as always!!

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