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The Borderland

Two halves of every whole, an old idea born every day.

What of that space between?

That lacuna, that absence, that hollow?

In perception, in time, in being?

Two souls, ideas, enemies

Hurtling, spinning, in the infinite space

Between what is and what will be.

Of anticipation, of life, of ultimate pleasure, and pain.

Before change, death, rebirth.

The space between notes, letters, lovers, breath.

I want to go there.

Dwell in the miracle.

Before creation,

Before all is discovered, known, and destroyed.

The place of the gods,

Not mine.

Art & Letters is a collaboration:

The gods Dionysus, Eros, & Thanatos drawn by Maren Jensen

Interpreted by Colleen Sohn

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Happy October, gentle readers.  It is with much anticipation and excitement that I welcome you to the very first edition of Art and Letters with Colleen Sohn and Maren Jensen!  What is it, you ask?  A wholly artistic collaboration where each week Maren (her most excellent blog: Maren Jensen) and I will take turns inspiring each other to create, she via the visual arts and me letters, words, and phrases.

I’m trying to keep it cool here, so as not to embarrass my friend (though she knows my brand of cheese very well), but holy smokes!  I am thrilled, not just to be working with Maren (the cat’s pajamas!), who is amazingly talented (the Art and Letters banner is her lovely work, too), but to have the opportunity to learn and grow as a writer.

For this first edition, I sent the poem to Maren, and she produced the watercolor.  I hope you like them both!

A Little Help from Thom

Forty circles,

Forty lines,

Forty people I wasn’t before.

Eyes, mouth, hands, knees:

It’s not me.

This isn’t happening.

Penning a new story.

Focus in before fading out,

Float down the Liffey and begin again.


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Over wrought

Built square

Keeping in, keeping out



Well read



And a new season

Of chutes and ladders

Big butts and bridges

Cold feet and smiles.

The Fork in the road

Fork the man

Fork the condiments.

Are we just rats

With no escape

Conned into luxury

Dreaming of beauty

Dreaming of what might be

Or just looking, playing, spinning silly yarns?






Ebbing and flowing.

All places I’ve been before and will be again.

Beautiful and bright as summer sun.

Dark and ugly as pain.

In between, wondering.

I listen for clues.


Take me where I want to be.

Pure love resides there.

Tiny before exploding into greatness.

No air.

Then I remember.

I’m already there.


Ebbing and flowing.

Colleen Sohn



Symbols do not dirty,

but endure, embraced by moss and surrender.

Punctuated by memories larger than life, clear and sure as the sky.

Always there, guiding in ways large and small.

Standing the test of time.

The blue light special twenty-two summers hence.

The tall shadows.

The ripe fruits

And blending of textures that make up a life.

See beyond what lies ahead.

Forget that you have changed.

Measure only the weight of the present moment,

No matter the color,

For there is always love, light,

And lemony hues of sun and flowers to come.

Just there, more memories.

Some fuzzy.

Then clear.

Touch them before they are gone

And replaced by the barrow full

With lofty dreams

Of new places

Hanging like gifts

Buried like treasure

But always home.

In loving memory of sweet Patsy:

You made my tea with milk and warmed my heart.

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