perspective is an owl with tiny wrinkles round her eyes and spanish accent

Portobello Road/London

Portobello Road/London

“how’s it going?”
he steps close behind me
&i’m lost between a millipede’s long legs
with thousand shoes, bound in the wrong direction
“ugh, i’m struggling–”

“what is that up here?”
“it’s the people down the road”
he pulls out a pencil, balancing
its long grey feathery neck between the roof of Oxford covered market
&the flower booth

“see?– they’re almost on one level”
he grabs my brush,

“i didn’t see that”

&my lines are grizzly-wild- bears with dark eyes
in a black&spinning forest

he takes out a clamp,
fixes my watercolor box on the sketchbook’s cover
“makes it easier”

“oh thanks–”
the dragon near the coffee shop stretches his wings
his mighty head a ship
against a sea of fruits

“you have to learn to see what’s really there”
he smiles
“&not what you imagine”

lightning strikes the clock,
he whiPs his glistening tail towards the street lamps
“Noooo– be careful–”

dipping my brush deep
in phtalogreen//(to balance things) i ask

“that shop-sign would be over here?”

&i am
a book of thousand chapters with only one tale
of spires that stretch open mouths towards the clouds,
of dove song on a glassroof’s chest,

&hold a pen into the aisle to check the angle

as the dragon rolls up at my feet,
warm and peaceful,
“psssshhh, i’m just imagined– -don’t you trust me”
&he jawns with yellow teeth,

blowing whiffs of smoke
into my sandals


today at dVerse we’re using “unfiltered” images – ha  – avoiding the words “like” and “as” to describe things… doors open at 3pm EST


41 responses to “perspective is an owl with tiny wrinkles round her eyes and spanish accent

  1. This is truly wonderful, Claudia–both from the perspective of the art and of the prompt/poem. When I was young I loved working with watercolor and ink–may need to revisit that. My fav: “you have to learn to see what’s really there” True–but in poetry don’t we want to blend in imagination?!

  2. I cant tell you much I love this poem, in every detail. First, your sketch is amazing – what a busy street that Portobello Road is! I loved it when suddenly bears and a spinning forest appeared, and then the dragon…..this was delightful to read. TOTALLY wonderful!

  3. … reminds me of “my” Bob the street poet ame to visit you … smiles … summer time when the living is easy … smiles … love your sketches so much … I ued to … o, be quiet, cat … smiles.

  4. Love this perspective, specially dragon lines at the end – can feel ‘blowing whiffs of smoke
    into my sandals’
    Cozy story for me….thinking: when I’ll continue my art study….


  5. This is lovely. I can SEE through your imagination straight to the images of the busy street. Love the sketch. You inspire me, not only with poetry now, but I’ve always wanted to sketch. Maybe I’ll give it a try again.

  6. Another “We are there with you” stunning word/image/art/metaphoric experience from the queen of sharing, our Lady of the Watercolors. I agree that your closing lines are killer. I, personally, envisioned the dragon as a sign shaped like a Viking masthead, facing off with the cut flowers, fruits, & apparel.

  7. I’m always impressed with how you transport us to where you are…how you capture the sights and sounds…and even the dragons that only you can see…wonderful poem.

  8. I really love this Claudia – it reminds me of the first thing I learned when I startedto paint: you have to look at, into, over, round, under and over everything and distil that looking into paint on canvas. And I also love your “imagined” dragon.

  9. love it, as usual, esp. this:” i’m lost between a millipede’s long legs
    with thousand shoes”, did you draw him and leave him out on purpose because he was in your imagination? smiles

  10. There is so much to be seen in this poem; and I did smile at the idea of being lost between the millipede’s long legs! Some days are like that. I loved the description of your lines, as I could visualize them well as grizzlies. And the dragon, what can I say? He definitely is one not to trust. Good examples of metaphors here! A fun read.

  11. book of thousand chapters with only one tale – this for me really sticks out, a captures the whole feel of the poem, great image and powerful.

  12. I enjoyed your perspective of Portobello Road, the attempt to get things right from your point of view and seeing you with that dragon.
    “&i am
    a book of thousand chapters with only one tale
    of spires that stretch open mouths towards the clouds,
    of dove song on a glassroof’s chest,” – wonderful lines, Claudia!

  13. you have definitely painted a strong and vivid picture with your words. the scene…both what was real and imaginary…came to life. very impressive.

  14. what a grand entry to this fairy tale land…you break and build reality with visionary skill…so much to see here and a delightful read Claudia…love that dragon 🙂

  15. “i am
    a book of thousand chapters with only one tale
    of spires that stretch open mouths towards the clouds,
    of dove song on a glassroof’s chest,”

    Divesting ourselves of ‘like’ and ‘as’ is so liberating. It frees metaphor from the grip of simile! 🙂

  16. Claudia it is difficult to say which was more fun. Was it your painting or the poem? What a brilliant combination. I must say though, that the first verse reminded me of trying to navigate the markets in Saigon…

  17. Claudia I love the energy in your poems and how you can transform us by your watercolors and words — somehow unfolding a glimpse of an entire scene! – joanie

  18. I learned the same hard lesson from my art teacher – paint or draw what you see, not what you think you see. Love the dragon at your feet!

  19. You wrote that dragon so believable , i was busy searching your painting to see him “jawn” with yellow teeth! Claudia, you make me want to take an art class (sigh)

  20. I love the sketch & colorful imagery, both in words & canvas ~ I admire where your imagination takes your:

    &i am
    a book of thousand chapters with only one tale
    of spires that stretch open mouths towards the clouds,
    of dove song on a glassroof’s chest,

    Wishing you happy & enjoyable weekend as I can’t comment on your newest post ~

  21. There’s no comment box any more on your bridge of sighs. I am enjoying your poems about your sketching workshops – you are having a ball….love your poem and very much enjoy the dragon’s appearance. What a wonderful summer you are having. I am so happy for you, kiddo. Dont worry about commenting back – you are busy. Enjoy!!!!!

  22. Wonderful lines, Claudia! Love ‘the way a dragon lifts its wings to find
    the real thing’ about love in the words and life too, kind of catalyst, kind of intuition….love the idea of dragon..where is the cat? 🙂 enjoy your workshops! sketches-very nice.

  23. Lovely as always Claudia. First of all, I love the title. It’s a poem in itself. Little details in this, like phtalogreen, remind me of things… I remember watching Bob Ross when I was little and he used to use that same exact color. I never forgot it because it had such an interesting sound to it.

    &my lines are grizzly-wild- bears with dark eyes
    in a black&spinning forest

    I love those two lines. grizzly-wild- bears in particular. 🙂

    he whiPs…

    Thanks to your expert use of capitalization of occasional letters, I can hear the whip. I hear the P; it’s fantastic what you did there.

    Great piece Claudia! =)

  24. As I cannot comment in your other box, I will comment here. I enjoyed so much the last stanza where it seemed there was nothing more than the line….and that you were lost in it, as you were sketching. I think when this happens it truly means you are engrossed in your experience. Nothing else matters….but the line. I also enjoyed that the teacher (I think) looked at a sketch of yours and could tell the part of the sketch that you did not do with love. Now that is a perceptive person! So great that you are having the sketching opportunities this summer, Claudia! I will be anxious to see more of the ‘fruits of your labor.’ Smiles.

  25. someone is having some fun… sorry about the internet stuff… but you’ll be able to concentrate better on your other art for now…. drawing windows with love

  26. I enjoy what your two latest poems reveal about your workshop you attended. It is not all about learning but also about sharing more than art. Or rather you also learn because you share.

  27. I comment on both your poems here, they are a little connected I think.. I’m so sorry I missed your prompt so I just wrote one.. I love the dragon that helps/scares you. I can so see you in those workshops, and what wonderful images you paint.

  28. i will take my reality with a mix of imagination…seeing what is there…and what is beyond…as i told you the other day…i think those are poet eyes…though artist too have a way of bringing out the magic beneath the surface…..your dragon makes me smile as well…

  29. this is a comment on the burnt knees and dragons and lines…constructive criticism .and drawing a straight line can be wearing .. but who cares, right?… and I am so glad you catch yourself..smiles

  30. Claudia, a comment on both poems–on the burnt knees, I absolutely love that ending that catching the pen, you catch yourself!! And I love these sketches, you have really grown in your abilities! And your dragon , wonderful 🙂