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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,
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Archive for the ‘Travel Notes’ Category


Wednesday, February 4th, 2015


The Valenciennes lace on grandmother’s coffee table was a
meditation mat to rest my eyes on as I listened to her home spun
stories–that both related–because she was my grandma–and didn’t
relate–because it was hard to imagine her a neotonous young girl.
Her narrative’s cadence a candle of beautiful hands guiding me back
in time, bobbined memories of our ancestors’ escapes, exodus
spooling out the underground railroad. I remember her folding the
lace, a whole drawer of it in the credenza. Here, feel. They appear
delicate, but they’re sturdy.

~ Lady



Jan. 10, 2015 Poem by Lady

Saturday, January 10th, 2015


Like the fairy tales I packed cheese, bread, drink
And jam, buttoned my locally-made shirt and
Knew the source of everything I carried,
A proud container of a universe

I locked the door with my fresh washed face,
Walked down the street where I’d deigned to meet
Every neighbor, pleased with my strong legs
And the proficiency of my backpack

In the woods my mind was resonant with
candled halos of learning I’d nurtured
Like first spring food for bees is sugar maple
and the nesting habits of the eagle

More than trickles always there to sate a
Pleasant burn, the upkeep of good cheer

~ Lady



January Poem-a-Day Project: Lady

Sunday, January 4th, 2015

Mountains aren’t common to my experience
They’re wispy ranges in some picture frames
I have an inkling of what I’d sense, but
Should I see more, would I find them same?

I’ve been to a green one, Coffee Mountain
In Oaxaca, where we picked the harvest
Our road tunneled thru trees like quantum foam
No sight of gross object of which we’re part

What I have from it is photos like flowers
collected from our path, stored in my mind
Like the pineapple growing on the ground
And our hour’s hike down to work the mountain

Reading is a good crutch for the real and
Doing’s an abundance of good wealth and luck

~ Lady



Friday, August 15th, 2014


A rolling, snowballing buttress
whats learning’s like
when you’re a kid

So fast, everything coming in
So fast, so much assimilated

Everything new
math problems: new
words: new

What your family’s like
What you can expect from friends

If reincarnation true
at least being born
feels like a clean slate
an etch-a-sketch chance
for better chain direction

Spirit flowing
like Helen Keller’s water,
those in the know
dabbing us with
the invisible

of sacred

We strain to understand
what it’s about

What signs are incidental
and what are indicators
from the schisms
in the babble

~ Lady


Is it not Quest, but Story?

Thursday, May 30th, 2013

(I didn’t know my reality was in holding mode, initial conditions mode left to mold. It was waiting for me and I didn’t know. I swear I didn’t know it.)

(And we left the country in 2006, and we initiated our big Quest even though we didn’t know we were on one… well, if only to make art and have adventures in a kind of artistic and for me, initially, mostly secular way. Zzzzzzzz…..)

(And I found crazy sane magic, non-secular magic. I found ghosts. I thought I was crazy and not. I am not crazy, OK? I am not. I am one of the most lucid narrators in this glob, this moshpit of whateverness that we’re making into i-care-for-it-ed-ness.)

Where is this going? The Quest.

We were invited to Minneapolis to participate in a reading last weekend about outlaw poetry–“Wanted.” It felt like kindling the Quest again to me–our combined part of the Quest.

(I plucked fistfuls of clover and distributed them to poets and passers-by. The men who go to work and eat at the pantry on our street, West 14th. I wrote letters and sent them to grieving folk and prisoners. I would rather write letters for the purpose of poetry and celebration because I don’t want anyone to be sad circumstance. An abundance of letters to help along happiness.)

(I helped with the production of Matter Ring. The reading being named “Wanted” and the book by friend on mattering topic jives.)

And we set out.

I drew a picture of myself, a version carrying the shield of clover, bees abuzz around me, Excalibur truth wielding. Me, fairy, part of God/Reality.

I found out stuff about clovers and the pernicious nature of the idea of dualism. Clover in Illinois saving the environment, Shamrock in Mentor not-so-much-saving-it. Businesses wielding the shield of clover. Clover itself always good.

And I forgot about the “we” part and thought about the “I” part, and on my BIG TO-DO LIST is to figure out the we part in this picture. I am thinking/have always thought that Smith is Merlin. And I am quester, and I am Lady-of-the-Lake.

I found out about clover lawns and am ever an enthusiast of permaculture.

Bees! The story!

The story is that in short, there were storytellers there, and this is kind of a detective story and a quest. Aren’t all? And isn’t the search for the Holy Grail a detective story? And isn’t it about the land, how we are the land, how we are royal?

I worship Your Royal Highnesses the Bee Queens. Who knew that people were at the mercy of bee queens and their workers? Is it a matter of pulling up the fabric and seeing the relationship at that point? Can all points worship all other points and be worshipped as well?

The story is a winding stream that we are helping be healthy with many habitats for wildnesses. Streams buttressed with living carpet, plant blanket. The outlaw part has something to do with the story… living in nature but following higher law, law of out-of-dooredness. Marijuana figuring prominently in so many outlaw poets’ tales.

What is the spirit of plants–what is the spirit of clover and what is the spirit of marijuana?

. . .

A bee inspected me yesterday when I went outside. It hovered there, and inspected me. It tried to come inside, too.

. . .

Is it then not Quest, but Story? Is writing Story the Quest? What is it, from what point do I pick it up this big gob, this kaleidoscope?

~ Lady


Fairyland is Everywhere; There is a Mountain

Thursday, May 23rd, 2013

“First there is a mountain, then there is no mountain, then there is.”
~ Donovan


Elgin Watch Father Time

Dear Beings of the Universe/Good Luck Charmers,

The moon is full. We are on the Quest. We set off this morning, our little quest within the big Quest. We are going to Fairyland, which is good because I am not just Lady, I am a fairy. We will tell the beings in the basement under Fairyland our stories from Stations of the Lost and Found.

This Fairyland we’re going to is in Minneapolis. On the way, we are stopping in Elgin:

  • Much of Elgin is in the county of Kane.
  • Elgin National Watch Company’s logo features Father Time.
  • Elgin has a Symphony Orchestra and some examples of homes in the Queen Anne style.
  • The Indian Removal Act of 1820 and the Black Hawk Indian War of 1832 led to the expulsion of Native Americans who had settlements and burial mounds in the area.

So that Act was 193 years ago, basically, two or three lifespans ago, roughly 8 generations ago. How could one possibly justify the expulsion of Native Americans? What were the settlers thinking? And so overtly, too: the Indian “Removal Act.” It led to the Trail of Tears. Interestingly, many ethical Christians protested the act.

So there’s this potpourri of information that one can dig into—what parts of it apply to the Quest?

What I know:

  • I am a fairy and we are going to Fairyland.
  • I was asked to ask Brahman to stop the suffering of Samsara. This is part of my long quest and what I was told in the Dream.
  • I am Lady of the Church of Not Quite So Much Pain & Suffering.
  • Native Americans figure.

I like time and the thought of going West on a quest. East, too, but I’ve been more East than West.

Peace & blessings & love,


P.S.: I would like to leave you here with a Bree poem from the new Matter Ring:

The Riser

east-of-the-sun-west-of-moon-webYou are the bartender salting the rim
of the earth. You are shaking things up,

good company.

You are the hostess the whole room
rounding while we straighten our shirts
in the mirror moon easily makes
of your eyes,

good company.

The salesman on the ready, always, you
make something out of us, like it was
no thing, this us. And this is us waiting.
We are what we make of each others army.

And you time things right, ever the
doorman, you of the first infantry, opening
into us, you also pull away from us, and off
of us rise.

~ Bree



A Real Letter from Me to You

Wednesday, July 20th, 2011

I attended a meeting last weekend about the “American Dream” movement they are building. Although associated with Democrats, I think this movement also encompasses progressive ideals. Everyone in the room was concerned about sustainability, the environment, peace, universal health care, good work, etc. Several people were very discouraged with some of the things President Obama has done, so there was a lot of conscientiousness and self-examination in the room.

Here’s some bit of news about the Gang of Six in the Senate:

They are trying to raise taxes on us and cut taxes on the rich, and cut Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid. But we aren’t going to let them.

For young people reading this, these things might seem like things that don’t immediately matter or that it is useless, but they do, and there is hope that we can change things. I’ve seen the standard of living deteriorate and expectations deteriorate significantly over the past ten years. It is not unreasonable to see this turn around and become healthier. We have the resources and talent to turn things around. I had the pleasure of seeing a Democrat in Wisconsin get reelected last night after having made phone calls to do this; I’ve seen us raise over a million signatures for putting Ohio’s anti-collective bargaining SB-5 bill on the ballot so we can overturn it when we only needed to raise 230,000… I have been involved in these campaigns and it does help and it does matter.

One of the action items of last week’s meeting is to find five friends who will also participate in the movement to a small or large extent. As we are in such a time of flux, I think this is an important opportunity for people to engage and thus am providing this information with the thought that you’ll consider this and participate if you can. You can sign up for some information here: (newsletter signup on the right column of the screen.)

I understand that we live in a fast-paced society, but I think in this time of flux it is especially important to help ensure programs like Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid.

I think also we’d seen a kind of deterioration in community life over the past twenty years, and now people are rebuilding community with local food movements, poetry, music… and activism is another way to rebuild and heal and socialize. I think that many have felt apathetic, estranged and horrified by the insanity of some of the stuff going on in the political realm. A way through this is to step into it and be part of healing via activism.




Sunday, October 24th, 2010

Marrakech Lady – foto by Smith

(I didn’t finish my blog yesterday; I left out this data)

I’ve been much more productive since we’ve been back, poetry-wise.

2006 (the year we left the country for 31 months of living out of backpacks in foreign lands) I wrote 13 poems, most before we left the country.

2007, 3 poems;

2008, 8;

2009 (the year we returned to the USA) 24;

2010 = 72 so far; 25 in the past 3 months alone. For me this is way way above average, and some of the poems are even good.

Also did 58 new pieces of art this year.

To counterbalance this, from 1975 to 1985 I wrote zero poems (drank, did art, committed adultery, and had adventures instead — of course once I started writing again I still continued with the drinking, art, adultery and adventures, so it wasn’t their fault I’d stopped writing).

My new productivity comes from being back here in America, living in a language I can understand, in a country I know the basic dynamics of, and being immersed in the local poet/artist communities and their attendant interactions and feedback.

It also comes from having traveled and lived in 10 countries on 3 continents for 31 months amidst languages, cultures and customs I did not understand. One stores up a lot of creative juice potential walking such paths.

Been back here for 20 months now. It is faster, more stressful, colder, and way more expensive living in America, but it do stir the creative juices.

Here is my favorite poem from our travels, one of my three from 2007. . . I still remember the moment of the poem, us walking out of the ancient walled city of Marrakech, the red bougainvillea flowers falling from the trees all around us, the ground covered in already fallen Jacaranda purple flowers — a horse and carriage full of overweight white people driven by an Arab clattered past us and Lady seeing them said disgustedly, “How colonial.” The tourists were amazed we were actually walking alone in such an unsafe neighborhood — of course it wasn’t unsafe at all, merely had a paucity of white skin (meaning zero % except for us).

Marrakech at dusk
Purple petals on the ground
Red flower falling

Marrakech flora – foto by Smith


Weather and News Report for the Citizens of the World 9/11/2010

Saturday, September 11th, 2010

Dear Citizens of the World:

I am hoping that September 11th is remembered as a somber date for this country and the rest of the world–that we come to recognize the genocide that we perpetrated in Iraq (over a million Iraqis dead), and that we make reparations. I do not know enough about what people may or may not be doing in Afghanistan, but I am hoping that we pull out of Afghanistan unless we can sufficiently change our philosophy to actually help all Afghan people.

Interesting info about bees and wasps: – turns out that not only bees benefit us, but wasps as well. I really like the name greensmith as I am now a smith, and I used to be a green.

Grunt work:

Checking the collective psyche…

Collective psyche seems A-OK as far as facebook goes.

Checking mainstream media…

9/11: Mainstream media is expressing grief over the disappearance of the World Trade Center. I hope the Mainstream media can start publishing statistics of the number of people killed by the US due to our outrage. I find these statistics disturbing and sad. (1 million Iraqis or more, from what I understand. I am hoping for fewer casualties from Afghanistan, and I’m hoping we can actually make reparations directed by the governments of those countries.) We allowed the looting of one of the cradles of civilization.

Checking marginal media on the left…

Alternet seems to have an appropriately conscientious examination of the situation, but I’m hoping for less fear and vitriol.

Speaking of fear and vitriol, I have difficulty reading lest it seem like commonnightmares. But I’ll check…

Interesting. I bet if some of the people who read common dreams start reading Fox News, they could resolve some of the vitriol and start coming together. Weird when left meets right.

Checking mainstream media on the right…

Very interesting. Foxnews seems to be picking up on the same stories picks up on.

I’m hoping though, that we can let the mexicans into this country without restriction, as it is my understanding that mestizos are bona-fide native americans, who are supposed to be allowed to cross borders without restraint.

Checking the elite media (New York Times)…

Apparently, there was a muslim prayer room at the World Trade Center:

I like the headline of this article: “Business Class Rises in Ashes of Caste System” –

German Identity is reasserting itself. I’m glad about this–I’m hoping for a candid self-examination by the youth who did not experience the conditions of WWI & II. I understand that seemingly homogenous populations have more of a seeming rootedness and xenophobia than what we experience in the US–I am hoping the US can become an example of excellence, integration and conscientiousness again. I know this is possible.

Checking the weather…

World weather report as far as hurricanes/cyclones/etc. seems AOK today although I really wish I could see the west coast of Africa and South America.

Severe weather warning in Greece. Hope it is much needed rain, but if not, that it peters out and goes away.

Adembe and love and respect,




Wednesday, September 8th, 2010

Ponytails were killing us. My most excellent friend & I are solving the problems of the universe. The most excellent show maybe ever–“Red Dwarf…”

On Friday, the Red Dwarf ran into the Squid of Despair, a giant squid. The cast and crew discovered that everything is a giant, mass hallucination, that we’ve all been playing parts for four years in a GIANT VIRTUAL VIDEO GAME.

SO, now they find out who they REALLY are–and THAT’s the DESPAIR–the despair was that they found out who they really were…

AND, right when they were about to KILL themselves, all cast members lined up, four in a row with one bullet–the ship’s computer finally got to a high enough FREQUENCY where they could HEAR and save them.



Friends, we suggest that we buy each other’s organically grown sustainable smoothie very expensive cakes and artisanal food, get frequent behive hairdos, sans hair dye, at the beauty salons where the hairdressers are paid magnificently and enjoy their work. Exercise classes and spas. Sustainable capitalism–it’s a plan.

– –

I suggest free education for everyone, or paid education, whatever works. And a career of anyone’s choice. Some people have to go to school longer for their careers. Those people should be paid a wee bit more. OK, incentive. But not ridiculous incentive. I’m thinking: sliding scale speeding tickets, like the ones they have in Sweden. Getting rid of tax loopholes and offshore accounts. Staying local. Stopping all this weird international shipping except for cruise ships to one anothers continents. In the basements of the cruise ships, we could carry very expensive, fine cheese and the spices and coffee of the world. Gigantic, energy efficient cruise ships. Free energy? What was that thing Tesla was talking about? Hope it works. I would like to beam myself to the North and South pole if possible, and Japan. Coffee crops as well. I really like coffee from fair wage growers whose wages must grow more excellent.

Keeping the inheritance ‘stuff’ within reason, but making sure these rich people work doing art/music/artisanal food or whatever tickles their fancy and stimulates the economy in a sustainable way.

– –

Primed the pump last night and bought some local, organic food. Sharpened our old knives for only $12. Hope he charges more next time. Hope the family business has more business coming in–we are an overtly ethical business. Hope our book projects take off. I know all this will happen. I just, know… it.



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