Thursday, October 30, 2008

When shadows move

This poem was inspired by a very brief incident. Staring out into my apartment building's courtyard, I saw the dancing shadows of leaves on branches moved by the wind. It looked to me like rows of hands clapping. I struggled a bit trying to capture it in verse -- a fact due either to a bit of rust or my current dark mood.

My shadow leaves
By Francis Scudellari

My shadow leaves
A frayed, feathered dying
Cast against facing brick

Layered shapes lit
By the down-slanted rays
Of west-directed sun

Blurring movements
Conducted by branches
Not far, but beyond view

The wind-tossed shake,
Shimmer, a rise and fall
Of one-hundred paired hands

All applauding
Re-told dramas un-scened
Nature's final curtain

Drawn close, thick folds
Tinged orange-yellow sad
In autumn's fading light

Wednesday, October 29, 2008


This is the last of my series of illustrations for Hanna Filo's poetry book. The inspiring verse is entitled Una Missiva A Prisma. I'm honestly not that happy with it.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Out of my gourd

Here is my belated entry for this month's Halloween-themed Doodle Week. I'll try to get some more spooky doodles up before the festivities end on Friday.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

A planted heart

This is an illustration of Hanna Filo's poem Non Piangere (Don't Cry). It takes as its inspiration the following lines: Vi crescerà una verticale sorta d'amore / A sostenere i cieli per me (It will grow to you, a vertical type of love / to hold up the skies for me).

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

I'm amazed (with musical interlude)

I was quite pleasantly surprised to find out recently that I was given the Uber Amazing Blog award by Neferiti at The Inspired Self. Reading the criteria for the award, was a bit humbling:

Uber (synonym to Super) Amazing Blog Award is a blog award given to sites who:
~ inspires you
~ makes you smile and laugh
~ or maybe gives amazing information
~ a great read
~ has an amazing design
~ and any other reasons you can think of that makes them uber amazing!

The rules of this award are:
* Put the logo on your blog or post.
* Nominate at least 5 blogs (can be more) that for you are Uber Amazing!
* Let them know that they have received this Uber Amazing award by commenting on their blog.
* Share the love and link to this post and to the person you received your award from

I like using these awards to shine the light on blogs that I read regularly, and find amazing in their own special ways. Having just given out another award to 7 favorites, I'm going to break the rules and share this with only 3 blogs (listed below, in reverse alphabetical order). I highly recommend that you check them out:
  • Wonderland or Not - A passionately written site with acute political and social observations. Cooper also throws in some wonderful musical references.
  • The Uneasy Supplicant - JD is a thought-provoking writer and an awe-inspiring photographer. He's devoting much of his time right now administering the MW Society Press, but still posts beautifully artful photos regularly.
  • Le Chambre Noire - This is a very soulful site mixing atmospheric photography, music and lyrics. Gaëna always stirs the mind and heart with her compositions.
And now, if you made it all the way through the award-giving protocols, I share with you a musical interlude of one of my favorite bands: The Pixies. There's nothing to watch here (just the cover photo of their album Come On Pilgrim), so just close your eyes and enjoy. It starts out with some studio banter then shifts into their song I'm Amazed.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

A cold shoulder

This is another of my illustrations for Hanna Filo's poetry book. I abstracted the original concept to the point where you may no longer recognize its poetic inspiration. The operative lines come from her poem Lui A Lei (Him To Her): Mi svegliai inquieto /non provando sulla mia spalla / il suo alito caldo (I woke up anxious / not feeling on my shoulder / his warm breath). There's still the hint of a shoulder in the main form.

Friday, October 17, 2008

The Fountain

This is another illustration of a poem by Hanna Filo. It takes its name from the title of her poem: La Fontana.

"il tempo infinito inciampò,
cambiò il verso,
allora mi inquietai,
non perchè non ci sarò,
ma perchè fui"

Infinite time tripped,
changed course,
then I became unquiet,
not because I won't be
but because I was.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Twisted form: rediscovering a groove

I'm trying very hard to get back to a regular schedule of writing. I think the quality of my work will improve as I do. Here's the latest poetic effort, which I hope bears out that hypothesis ...

Twisted form
By Francis Scudellari

A twisted form, ever
(Love re-emerging)
It crawls out-in my mind's
(Or, more artful: heart's)
Open-fielded vision

Serpentine in nature
(But surely no snake)
Its knotted quiet slides,
(Less kindly: slithers)
Cooling all it touches

Each up-down feathered scale
(One-thousand facets)
A rainbow-capped smile
(My sadness turned round)
To oft-questioned answers

Its mid-section's bulging
(Perhaps new-fed full)
Tapers to sleek-lined necks,
(Indistinct ending)
Each locked in screw-thread spin

As its twin mouths belch up
(Inky vapor's coil)
A trailing music's script,
(Beats, no melody)
Out-cast spells, spiral hymns

Of near-wordless seeming,
(Slippery to touch)
Drip down in a green ooze
(Clinging, it passes)
Through my tightly clutched hands

Their meaning only caught
(Now, from a distance)
With reading-drowsy eye
(Long-ago embarked)
Toward sleep's final dream

Monday, October 13, 2008

If you're ravenous for good writing ...

You may have noticed the raven's head logo at the top of my right sidebar. Its visual appeal may have even been strong enough to attract a mouse click from you. In case you haven't yet given into that urge, however, I strongly recommend that you check out the new MW Society Press website to which it's linked.

The site evolved from the Society of Midnight Wanderers, which was founded by JD Beaudoin and Michael J. Kannengieser earlier this year as a community of top-notch writers. It's an association to which I'm very proud to give my support, my poetry and my art.

Below is a wonderfully written introduction to the MW Society Press, which I took from the site's Welcome page. You can learn much more, including how to join and submit your own work, by exploring the site in its entirety.
We’re excited to bring you the newest incarnation of the Society of Midnight Wanderers: The MW Society Press. Since the beginning, we have sought to create a web presence for our writers’ association. This presence has taken the form of an online artistic journal, created to promote the thematic and eclectic works of the Society of Midnight Wanderers. The MW Society Press is not a personal blog but a quasi publishing venue for the many creative voices of its members. We are devoted to our members who seek publication outside the traditional means of brick and mortar, paper and ink venues, or even outside their mundane commonality of personal blogs. Their voices are as valid as the voice of any “published” author who sits at a table autographing their books.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Surreality check

This is my attempt at a cover illustration for Hanna Filo's self-published poetry book. I worked from a rough sketch she sent me, but took some liberties with the motif. I can't really explain it other than to say it's a bit surreal.

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Mangled blossom

After a very prolonged wait due to my immersion in illustration, I'm finally paying off the debt of words owed to my drawing Broken, reach. I had to shake off quite a bit of rust in composing the companion poem, and I attempted a strange form of first-word rhyming. As always, feedback is much appreciated.

Mangled blossom
By Francis Scudellari

Lying. Down,
My eyes I raze
As up-words
Fall, thud, echo

Dying. Time's
Overt rubble
Strewn, I grip,
Pull, twist myself

Clear. Wringing
Hallowed secret's
Dark stain from
Scrawled-on skin, shed

Tears. Dew-streaked
Faces, long lost
Snapped shut, move me

Still. Captured
In vessels too
Thin, shattered,
Lapsed emotions

Spill. Un-cupped,
My hand grasps at,
For other's
Always, waiting

Broken. I
Reach, flesh transformed
Over years,
A petrified

Token. My
Mangled blossom
Offered too,
All passing by

Loved and loving

I'm very flattered to have received the "I love your blog" award (at left), and it came from a quite unexpected source. Kavita, whose blog A Little of This, And A Little of That I just discovered very recently, was kind enough to include me in her list of seven favorite sites.

Society frowns on those who venture beyond monogamy when it comes to romance, but it's absolutely acceptable to be polyamorous when doting on blogs. There are many more sites that I currently bear crushes for, but the rules (damn them) limit me to choosing seven.

I've arranged the list below alphabetically, so no particular preference should be inferred from the ordering. For those not included, don't worry, I'll be tagging you with other memes in the future.
  • Baa Baa Blogging - Fiendish, the pseudonymous author of the site, writes some of the most poignant and well-crafted poetry and fiction you'll find on the Internet. It's well worth your time and effort to explore her archives.
  • Black Tie & Sneakers - Robert is a prolific and talented poet who, like me, contributes his wonderful words to the newly revamped MW Society Press (more about that soon). His lines beautifully mark the way-points on life's long and winding road.
  • Crowned with Laurels - Larry is another fellow member of the MW Society Press. Inspired to write poetry by the shining example of Charles Bukowski, he elevates the everyday with his verse.
  • GewGaw Writing - Jena's site highlights both her own fiction and the writing of other authors (including yours truly) who she regularly and generously plugs. She's also one of my most loyal readers and commenters, so I'm happy to requite the attention.
  • Ken Armstrong's Writing Stuff - Ken's personal stories are informed by real life and infused with great wit and charm. And if that's not enough, he also writes reviews of books, movies and theater.
  • Orange Derange (and Orange Derange Lab) - Ms. O. D. will engage you on many levels. She writes on diverse topics (recent posts have dealt with voter registration, the financial bailout, mapping suicide and cancer rates, Salvador Dali, and her book shelf), but she always keeps her musings relevant and light-hearted.
  • That Grrl - Laura is a woman of many talents. She is a fantastic writer. She maintains multiple web sites. She doodles and organize others to do the same. She takes photos of rural ruins. She is a mistress of the meme. She just generally kicks arse as a blogger.

Monday, October 06, 2008

Chimera's head (La Testa della Chimera)

This is yet another illustration of one of Hanna Filo's poems ... L'Atto Gretto (Petty Act). There's quite a lot going on in the drawing, but it very basically captures two lines:

Mani congiunte in preghiera
La testa della Chimera

(Hands joined in prayer
The Chimera's head)

A Chimera is a mythical beast with the head of a lion, midsection of a goat, and tail of a serpent. I tried to depict this as a metaphor for the contradictory and sometimes warring aspects of our personalities.

I'm sure Hanna will shed some light on the meaning of the poem in the comments section of this post.

Friday, October 03, 2008

Dripping hourglass

This is another illustration that I'm contributing to Hanna Filo's self-published poetry book. It's inspired by her poem Tempo Loro (Their Time). Specifically, it refers to the line tocca una clessidra gocciolante (touches an hourglass dripping).

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

On a pedestal

This is another of my illustrations of verse written by Hanna Filo. It's called Su un piedistallo (on a pedestal).

For context, here is my loose translation of the salient lines from the poem L'Orazione (the prayer):

Dentro di me ho il tutto
Per posarti su un piedistallo
E venerare

Inside me I have everything
To put you on a pedestal
And worship