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...and they lived happily ever after. Smith & Lady: poets, artists, photographers & adventurers.
Our relationship was forged to the soundtrack of Yoko Ono's magic,
frenetic, love-laden song, "Walking On Thin Ice." ( play song )

Archive for the ‘creativity’ Category

Lady K’s spring 2017 issue of The City

Saturday, April 15th, 2017

Lady K published her online seasonal poetry/art journal this morning minutes before we left for the MetroPark Canalway reading celebrating it.

Absolutely excellent issue featuring Laura Dumm, Robert Lee Haycock, Bree Zlee Bodnar, Michael Joseph Arcangelini, Tim Joyce, Marc Steven Mannheimer, Chris Cipriani, Russell Vidrick, John Swain, Christina M. Brooks, Tim Green, Maj Ragain, Heather Ann Schmidt, D.R. Wagner, Satya Robin, Jim Lang, Kevin Eberhardt, Lady K, and me.

The City Spring 2017 issue – see we for free here >

Spring 2017


A White-breasted Nuthatch
a Red-bellied Woodpecker
and an American Goldfinch
meet and eat at the suet
with nary a bomb in sight

though two male Cardinal reds
do fight flight
over yellowbrown female friend

– Smith, 4.15.2017




Thursday, May 26th, 2016


Past Imperfect

Dawn comes.
Day’s spawn stirs
climbing light’s stairs to possible stars.

Or clings instead stark to dark
tossing hope to mope
on mind’s morass.

What was, was.
Soak in sulk of done gone past
or get off your ass.

Rise to wise.
Work the struggle puzzle.
Don’t rewalk past acts.

– Smith, 5.26.2016

Back 2006-9 when we were living for 31 months in 10 counbtries on 3 continents, this blog had a huge readership with many comments. When we returned to Cleveland March 2009, I still wrote a lot on the absurdities of returning to American kulchur and kept most of them.

Then I got tired of myself, my words, and went to posting a poem a day with 2 fotos. No one reads poetry so we lost pretty much every reader . . . although I’m surprised more folk didn’t follow the fotos.

So now no one’s reading, next month I’ll start writing stuff again. Of course there’ll be no one there to notice, which will make it hard to win readers back.

But there’s still a vague chance I’ll be recognized before I die for my art, poetry, and writing, so this will be a warehouse of delight if and when I am. And more importantly and logically, this is a storage locker for our future books.

It boggles my mind how large an audience a lot of famous folk have for their second rate output. Talent seldom trumps luck and who you know. Donald Trump is a perfect example of this.



Lady Poem 5-23-2016

Monday, May 23rd, 2016

We write together

“What should we write,”
I ask God, “for this morning’s poem?”

Answer or preamble always the same –
“Life and love,” and then I’m inflated
with a big heave of breath

I wait then for God to expound
on this morning’s take
on the topic

When something sad happens,
God says “life” either in comment or

When not sad I often forget
I forget to ask God what He thinks
I suspect it’s life and love
as well

~ Lady


wee Audrey & Aidi and poemz aplenty

Sunday, September 6th, 2015




We took the first hour of 4 and manned the SPACES Gallery poetry tent across from the West Side Market yesterday. Folk would walk up, we’d ask their name, a few questions, then write a free poem for them. We wrote 18 in an hour, so we each had 7 minutes max to question, write, fotograf, and give. Fascinating process . . . fast, fun, little time for depth, more a process of impressionistic reportage.

It was a blast, especially due to the two children who received poems — our 1st customer was Audrey, 4-yrs old, who also took our spaghetti squash I’d drawn a funny face on.

Our first 4 folk had names starting with A, as did numbers 6, 7, and 12 so the A’s, about 4% of the alphabet, took 39% of our output.

Thanks to SPACES staff Mimi Kato and Marilyn Ladd-Simmons for their prep work, hosting, direction, and encouragement. And thanks to our friend, teacher, ceramicist, and neighbor Angelica Pozo for asking Lady & I to participate in this.

Pedestrian Poetry by the People, Smith shift, 2015

SPACES Gallery hosted a bazaar tent where folk could sit,
tell us their name, a bit about themselves. and we’d write
a quick poem for them. Lady & I had first shift 10-11 in hot
sun under blue sky in open air square across from the West
Side Market. First of 18 seekers was 4 yr old Audrey who
took the free spaghetti squash with a crazed face I had
drawn, then asked me to write “Sally” across the front.


Audrey who loves spaghetti squash
She named her “Sally”
It’s a beautiful blue day
Just as beautiful as Audrey



Bright as month
of river running
sun shining
birds winging



A beautiful day
Sky-high with potential

Fresh start at the
West Side market

Weekend like going to
a restaurant & sharing
a bunch of appetizers

What more of a great
Start to September
Could one want?



Because she said
she would
as she walked
in the sun

we did

(she was wearing a t-shirt that said
I Said I Would So I Did)



Mitzie & Amie on a
hot as balls day

Bright blue sky
without even a trace
of contrail

Hot – like summer
finally purchasing claim
on its season

Today we have not a
care in the world



Al & Amie & April
& Mitzi walking park
in sun with poem
people . . . .
may your flux be fine



While you’re in Cleveland
Catch the poetic wind by
Like spiders strapping themselves
to a string of web
& leaping – wind carrying
them to a destination
Cool little city on a hot day
Bright blue promising sky
Like a present for everyone
– travel



Gorgeous name
carries wind of promise
adventure pure
in lands of sun
and shine
and light rain

(he mentioned after his name has to do with the sun)



It is a day
of special names,
beautiful names,
people flowers flowing
in market square . . .

sun rising


What a treasure to meet
an adventurer – Lily from
Sky high in blue clarity
Crepes in hand, sweet-or-savory?
All I can do is draw from
my own memories of travel –
& of living in an unfamiliar
And then the pleasure of feeling
it slowly becoming my own



Blake from the up-down city of
Detroit – visiting the up=down
city of Cleveland

Both cities laden with urban
decay for urban explorers –
cities of salt, rust, and some
unmown grass

Promises in new construction,
kindled interest – monied interests –
we hold our own pockets open &
hope! For kinds of rain.



For family & friends
and southeast side
excursion to the Market
and gathering of clan
circling the falling
to catch up with laughter
& learning in sum



Eating bread from Market
in her stroller fair
blue eyes target
beneath golden hair



Artistic neighbors meet at
beloved community spot –
Market Square – food,
tents, people with a bit of
spare time

Megan & Aidi – sharing a
memory in the making Aidi
will remember the rest of
her life – these similar
moments – time with
Mom, the community of
female friends



Steve to Steve
from Tampa to Cleveland
may your flux flow
and feel be fine
cuz any friend of Rafeeq
is fine to find



Welcome back, welcome back to
the puppy dog people of Cleveland
salt of the earth, prone to hellos
& self-deprecating answers
How familiarity is like a warm
bath, a kind of indulgence –
& maybe you are thinking, “Oh –
I can come home again – &
this is what it’s like!”
again couple



From Toledo to the Market
with marriage down the road

Sun & sisters & folks
& friends
from art to food to friends
to Cleveland



Familiar – from another northern
Ohio city – Toledo! So happy
to meet you, neighbors!

Like sausage gravy & biscuits –
Like where one is comfortable –
Sampling the degree of
separation from here to there –
Thinking – “We should do this
more again!”
Thinking – “So many places in
Taking life like seizing the day

– Smith & Lady, 9.5.2015


us with Amie & Mitzi – foto by Mimi Kato of SPACES Gallery




















After our shift, Lady asked Mimi Kato to write a haiku in Japanese for Lady’s next online issue of We are going to take time to test time to see how we find out what it means down the road.


Mimi Kato


Lady Poem – June 4, 2015

Thursday, June 4th, 2015


A kneeling person
in a sunken cathedral
haloed by the universe’s concern
like an x marks the spot
Christ on the cross

Knights playing lofty
games of giant chess on the
battlefield of conflicting ideals,
honor and secrets

Live and love
persistent flapping prayer flags,
a Buddhist monk flying, an asexual actor
trailing through bowing flowers kissed by
pursed lips of blowing wind
hugging flow xoxo

Women, too, claiming stakes
not only moon, but sun, too

~ Lady



Lady Poem ~ May 5, 2015

Tuesday, May 5th, 2015


Spinning dust around clump of star
banging itself into planet, battered matter
germinating feather, fishscale, skin and chitin

Years around sun like cyclical menstruation,
seasons ringing into the layers of trees, canopy
provisions bearing fruit, leaf, bark, home, even
exoskeleton appetizers for woodpeckers

Early histories of harmony, isotopic evolution
in Earth over time traced by argon, potassium,
lead and hafnium, rock rebar and feather thread–
the interrelations of things

~ Lady



Lady Poem – May 2, 2015

Saturday, May 2nd, 2015


Of honeyed pastries sampled by cupids bows of beestung lips, of truth’s shimmering antimony, of galena’s grit, poison powdered from the monadnock to kohl the pretty eyes of infants of India, of beautiful dreamers destroying nightmares, the bewilderment of complex confusions, dazzling disarrays brushed into the great mother’s dustpan, reverently tucked up and put away, of murmur’s collected chorus wandering under the scintillating cast of wondering stars

~ Lady



Poetry Month – Lady #8

Wednesday, April 8th, 2015


She don’t stop, she don’t stop
shipping boxes full of love
ICC says keep it coming
and she don’t stop her callin’
shipping boxes full of love

She loves what she does
so she does what she loves
she don’t stop shipping boxes
full of love

What we open’s not Pandora’s
but lights color of our iris–
into homes of om zones
she ships her box of love

Something that we send out
coming back to us refinessed
she don’t stop, she don’t stop
shipping boxes full of love

~ Lady



Smith & Lady Poems March 2015 – Lady’s #31

Tuesday, March 31st, 2015


Away from the melee, away
from the undertow of the appalling,
the maelstrom of the loathsome,
surf the cosmic way rather

Take the bank of your life to
the here now of corporeality, an odyssey
with you and me, the hero’s journey of art,
cameras in our hands, beginners’ eyes
delighting in novelty, so many maiden voyages,
riddles like rooms of zoomorphic fish canoes
oared by crews from shadowy odeums,
neighbors and friends

The fish is not your mother
but embrace the story – maybe she is
your mother, echoes of time, tide lapping us,
sated travelers startling awake like from
the twirling skirt of our lake’s wet tongue

~ Lady



Smith & Lady Poems March 2015 – #16

Monday, March 16th, 2015


Laying flowers side by side on the table
to array the palette of a bouquet, my jackleg fingers
in this matter remembering the words of
Thich Nhat Hanh, “leave space in
between things.”

Looking towards learning skillful compositions,
juxtapositions of color and shape and mood, so many
ways to make and discover frontiers

Which reminds me of you–how you
would have every day novel, a zany birthday party
on a dance floor platform for whirling happiness, your
camera curiosity seeking out photos like the world
is full of easter eggs, and it is

Yet sometimes the spicy lightning
of your attention’s like you’re zapping barbed xrays
of unjust situations with moralizing words–promising
them their comeuppance

Condemnation of entire domains
heuristically earned yet with wild daisies of grace
sprouting exceptions to the rules and you smile with
surprise like the cheer of holding my hand and running
through a sprinkler

I’m growing a whole bunch of exceptions for you,
a lawn, a street, a town, a county, a country, the world–
I’m gathering them and the other flowers
for the fiesta of our lives

~ Lady



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