December 2019 Voicing Art Poetry Reading + Poems

inspired by the art of the art tribe (collective artists)

ONE MAN'S DREAM | McClain Jeff Moredock

when I return
          I want to be
                              the woman I never was
and feel what its like
                     to care so much
                                and be easily moved to tears

 when I return

            I want to feel
                     the torrent of testosterone
                               to a slow drip
while estrogen
                                          flows free and easy
through me            
                                              (and the halls of congress)

 when I return 

 and I find the going tough
                     someone will say to me 

 “Hey, woman up!”
          and I can smile
                     say thank you and offer  
                                a word of encouragement

 when I return  
          with long black hair
                              and a brand new body
                    filled with empathy
and so much intuition                           
                             I can anticipate anger                  
              and turn it into
something useful
                                         …like maternal love



In 80 years I have worked as a farmhand, lifeguard, folk-singer, surveyor, minister, chaplain, a teacher, coach, head of school, and chief operating officer..

 Over a span 50 plus years, I’ve written numerous articles, many sermons, a collection of short stories, a novella, many songs, and over 100 poems.

 As a cancer survivor, I treat each new day as a gift, and welcome the offering of what William Saroyan called “the human comedy.”  My family and my faith are inseparable, and like Miguel de Unamuno, I believe in God as I believe in my friends.               


Poems From Essex & Elsewhere
Nine Holes, Nine Lives-The Front Nine (e-book) Zebras in the Lake (self-published)
Real fake News (available on request)

EAT BEER | Jimmy Tee

a cycle that churns the
news as it burns lets give
a cheer for today the
latest trend sets the world
on end its the peak of

it all fits in a meme on a
bezel screen every
misstep of the way as
figures show the status
quo is anything but

with wires into ears collaborate
fears state nothing but what
they say they mend then mold
and never grow old or suffer
from sharp memory

each day is a rut one
long directors cut a folly
placed on display who
has the brain that can
resist this rain of
ceaseless insanity

step into the light and stand at
a height live at what comes at
what may today is a yoke
tomorrows a joke speaking


Jimmy Tee is a poet from Milton, Vermont.

CANDLES | Mary L. Collins

At the entrance to the shopping center
homeless people stand like tapered candles,
bent as if partially melted from exposure to the sun.
They gather with signs, and backpacks,
in dirty coats and matted hair, not looking forward but down,
with a little bend in them from the melting of their humanity. 

Some have dogs. I feel sorry for the dogs.
They didn’t ask to join this caravan of beggars,
but here they are, leashed to their masters,
with matted fur, bandana collars, also not looking forward but down,
as if they’d been trained how too, to be masters of despair.

These candles, these human beings stand like sentinels,
signaling to all of us who pass by in our cars and don’t look,
we never look, we don’t want to see their eyes, we don’t want to be seen.
Poverty is like that. 

It’s a hopeless kind of not caring what anyone thinks,
leaving just enough energy for the bearer to carry a sign
as worn out as the carrier herself, with words that could just as easily have said, “F*ck you”
as they do “Homeless Veteran, Pregnant,” or whatever gets your attention.

These lights illuminate the paths we drive past
separated only by steel, glass, and circumstance.
They remind us of the bounty we enjoy and of the ways we falter and fail
not living up to the missions we chose when we arrived here.


When I was a child, I was given quarters to light candles
in the church sacristy and offer prayers for the downtrodden.
I did so, dutifully, blue flames dancing against the red and gold votives, 
a few “Hail Marys” to seal the deal. As if our supplications can be heard,
as if our tithing will go anywhere but into the pockets of the wealthy. 

We are truly heard when we consider the candles at the roadside
with more than spare change and prayers. Here, at the end of this road, 
these homeless light keepers illuminate the path of our impervious darkness,
with their signs and dogs and bended heads,
deeply, fervently, humbly in prayer for those of us who truly need it.

nov. 2019


Mary L. Collins is a writer/activist. A Burlington native, Mary lives in Elmore, VT and works for the State of Vermont where she manages communications for Vermont’s Foster Care Services. Prior to that, Mary worked in marketing and communications for various non profit organizations, owned a production company, and spent many years in broadcasting. She is the founder of Lakota Tiny House Nation, a building project on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in SD where she has been involved for over 15 years as an advocate for indigenous rights and cultural understanding. She is a recipient of recognition from the national organization, “Giving Tuesday” as a “Woman Who Cares”, and a published poet. She has one son, Will.

ADVENT | McClain Jeff Moredock

              once again
              outer space
              inner space
              cyber space
                      by grace alone
              we await
              the eternal coming
              of the
              light of the world 

                       one candle at a time



Beauty Anoints Us –
With our own Being,

Beauty is the language,
Of the Soul speaking to Itself.

Enlightenment –
Is the surrendering,

To the Beauty in and of –
All Living Things.           


In the Moment
That Beauty no longer needs –
To show Itself to you,

At last,
You can see it Truly.

You will no longer –
Depend on shadow,

To make Light real.       


Light cannot be lost,
In the darkness.

Light can never be lost.

Light always gives,
And only of  Itself.

Giving completely –
Is its Nature.

Light cannot hide –
But can be obscured,
Through illusion.

Light is Consciousness
And requires only,
To know – Itself,  As It Is.    

Darkness is an illusion

We made the illusion of darkness –
To cover the Light,
Which darkness cannot do – 

Except as a further illusion.

So, the darkness tries to hide itself –
So, that it cannot meet the Light,

So, the impossibility of itself,
Will not be recognized.

Darkness can neither hide,
Nor, be hidden.

True Mind is Light
It knows no darkness,
And holds no darkness –
Within Itself.

September 28th


To know that you are only Light
Is your Greatest Freedom.  

The Mind Creates only with Light,
Or, it dreams a false reality.
Which means nothing.  

Only Light has meaning.  

You cannot know yourself –
Except, through the Light in you.  

No other real Identification
Is possible.  

September 29th


Susan is an Ireland-based writer and creator of meditations and prayer poems who lived for a time in Vermont.

CONTRAST | Kelley Taft

Upon returning home
from a weekend away
in the beginning of June 

I was struck with
an acute sense of

 All the different ways that
we people
do and live our lives
and relate to our inner and outer environments 

Contrast in
physical surroundings
ways of caring
…on and on… 

And that got me thinking
of course
about division and conflict 

Not that they’re new
but they’re particular to this time

And the thoughts rapidly congealed into a 
How do we bridge contrast? 

How do we bridge contrast?
I wanted to explore this with

Questions beget questions
something comes through

And then more questions arise
if we allow them
and perhaps a new thought or a new way 

And this time 
the present
is when we can act

Kelley Taft 


Kelley is an artist and photographer whose work with The Art Tribe was on exhibit in our muse inspiration theme of ‘Contrast’.

WE WISH | WHAT IS | JC - The Poartry Project

[inspired by works of Kelley Taft with each bolded phrase or word in the verses a phrase or word that appeared in Kelley’s art]

WE WISH that our mothers had taught us to
Be in Our Heart,
that we had been able to witness in them
the truth that
Compassion Transforms,
that we could discover in our relating
what could happen
If We Both Said Yes,
the warming womb of hearts twinned in
Tender Loving Care.

WE WISH that our fathers had given us the
freedom to
Be Surprised,
the space to
Be Curious,
the confidence to
Say Hello,
the power of living love if we had ever seen them
and our mothers
Hold Hands.

WE WISH our schools had taught us to
Listen to Understand,
had gifted us with the art to
Start a Conversation,
had the wisdom to guide us to
Ask a Question not just to hear ourselves talk
or to prove how smart we were,
but to gain the grace to
Listen a Little Longer.

WHAT IS is the reality that
There is Another Way – the
Here and Now,
Above and Below,
As Above, So Below –
A truth so basic,
yet so many would say,
“I Never Thought of It That Way.” 

WHAT IS is that we came to learn for ourselves
through the travels of living life outside
the walls that
It’s the Little Things
that can reveal the great and grandeur. 

WHAT IS is that we grew to know for ourselves through
wandering childhood deserts to
Err on the Side of Love,
to guide our being with the empathy of asking,
Is it True? Is it Necessary? Is it Kind?
in our thoughts and words and actions. 

WHAT IS is that we witnessed the change in light when
we were brave to
Smile at Someone Who Might Not Smile Back,
that we came to be the spiritual balm whose
song is
“May All Things Be Happy and Free”,
like beautiful birds on a wire
who need not be named, so pure as to be
singing the searching souls to the
that let us in to



Founder of The Poartry Project, poet, visual artist, cartographer of the unseen, builder of loving worlds through loving words


[inspired by the poetry reading + exhibit]

art is a musical motion,
a song of the soul.
art is life.a great adventure unfolding the beautiful and true.
art is mesmerizing,
its infinite permutations and inflections evoking myriad responses
art is caring
of our deepest need, hope and pain (in a continuum of love).
art is an agent of love — and light illuminating our path.
magic in 3’s, 
A-R-T, art.

How does art bridge contrast for me 
As a receiver, being present to and perceiving art can be a meditative experience for me. I imagine a “contrasting” state of awareness as many forces moving about, interplaying, in multiple directions. Some maybe countering each other, some maybe pushing and pulling, some maybe dominating or submitting. When I’m present to art happening, whether it be visual, musical, dance, any form of directing and transporting energies, or the art of what may be considered as (extra)ordinary life, the essence of the art draws me into that world. In a way, I experience becoming part of the story and in rapport to the degree that I am able to with the art’s essence and truths that it is endeavouring to reflect or represent. In the process of being present, something happens, and the energies and forces that art is imbued with act upon the contrast and maneuver its way through it, shaping, shifting or morphing the contrasts in the consciousness into a coherence of forces, which I imagine as having been transformed from contrasting forces into a relatively more harmonising coherent bridge and instrument for the consciousness and  awareness to flow through. In a way, art can have a clarifying through organising impact and effect. 

And as a co-creator, the process of co-creating art facilitates the flow of what I perceive through experiences, through my system, circulating the energies of experience through my being. Through the circulation, the experience seems to bridge to and through the various parts of myself that are calling to be nourished by the experience. It also expresses the quality of my experience that I am able to translate, transfer and share through the artform to any life that comes into contact with it.


Ani loves poetry, being in nature, meditation and working with young lives in creative ways. He was born in the south of India and moved to Australia at the age of five. He is in currently in Brisbane, Australia after having recently travelled for 20 months through parts of the United States of America, Australia, Canada and the United Kingdom. He is currently working on consulting- and education-related projects. He has also co-stewarded a business and a philanthropic endeavor, as well as working as a high school teacher.

A CHRISTMAS CHEER | McClain Jeff + Etta Moredock

                with wise men lost
                or deep in sleep                
                        and shepherds
                        tending bar
                        not sheep        
               it might seem odd
               to celebrate a birth
               but we will
                       push aside the pine
                       give the slip to Santa
              then offer up a quiet cheer
                   for you
                   frail child
              Prince of Peace
                   we’re glad you’re here  

                                        Jeff & Etta          
                              Christmas 1975 & 2019

ALL WHO SEEK | McClain Jeff Moredock

All who seek
higher office
claiming humble births
if only briefly
on He whose life
a truly humble birth
provided light not heat
hope not despair
for change is born
in change of heart
repairs to a
broken world
begin within



We felt you before we saw you.

There in the harbor, your massive ship 
with what appeared to be clouds tethered to tall trees
It was the strangest of vessels,
And all of you, in strange garb
leaning outward against the rails,
So many people crowded there –

We felt you before we saw you.

When you stumbled ashore,
We watched from a distance,
Wary, like we do with every animal
friend or foe, smelling the air for sign

When you came ashore
we noticed how sallow your skin,
How you coughed and hacked
and made haste to build shelter
before the snows came. 

We watched as you built your fires 
With more green wood from trees newly cut
And while you thrust your axes into the soft pulp
we said a blessing for the trees
you cut them down, one after the other,
building ramparts and thatched huts,
racks to hang carcasses of dead animals from. 

Your ways are peculiar.

There was no food but sacks of flour,
That had no life in it.
You arrived too late for planting season.
Harvest had come and gone,
your children and elders began to die – one by one

And the anguish we felt for what we witnessed never reached you
But we understood your loss
It was as if your dead were our own kin
And so, we asked the wind if it would carry the scent of sweetgrass and tobacco
to bless your dying,

when it became clear
most of you would succumb to winter,
we took you in and taught you the mysteries of the land
And all its blessings.
We showed you how to hunt  
And how to gather plentiful foods from our forest
We gave you corn and squash and beans –
the three sisters
And taught you how they shared space, shelter, and sustenance 

But you did not listen, did not see

There were so many of you that first time
We didn’t see what lay behind you
Over the far ocean, the wanting,
hordes upon hordes of your needy kin. 

It never stopped.

Now you covet more than what we gave you
The land
The water
The furbearers
The fish
What lies under the soil
And above the sky 

We felt you before we saw you.
We felt you before we saw you.
We felt you before we saw you.


TRIPTYCH [SPAIN] | JC - The Poartry Project

[inspired by the works of Melanie Brotz]

i. Granada

You offer up your children to the history clinging to your
sloping hills.

The castle perches over the cluttered town of white houses
watching over the passage of time.

Sultans and their harems, kings and their ambassadors strolled
through your winding courtyards and hidden rooms. 

A cypress watches over tourists passing through groves which
once held timeless lovers. 

Verdant arches play tricks with the warm winter sun, dappling
mazes of gardens and patterned walkways. 

Ghosts flit at every turn, at every fountain bubbling cooling
water, tier upon tier.

The pungent green essence of tall fir bushes shaped as arches
floats as it has for centuries. 

The sun plays across your face, tattooed by shadows of ivy leaves,

as you lovingly roll the words of your fellow villager, like so much
sumptuous elixir, on your tongue, tasting the bouquet of their impact,
the reflection of your inner landscape. 

— 2 January 1991

ii. Olive Trees

Cresting the hill, roll umber carpets endlessly dotted to
perfection by cool silvery-green.  

Row upon row march the shady soldiers of Andalucía’s army.
Regiments of symmetrical, olive-laden trees stretch as far as the
eye can see.

Umber dotted carpets blend to rust, to brilliant blinding orange,
to moist and beckoning black, to arid and sandy mauve, all seamless
with the masterful brushstroke of watercolors.

Under a surreal and roiling fog, the sun barely touches the heavy
purple olives, patching the carpet into massive, heaving quilt
of misty and blurred silver.

You turn and wisely say,
“Imagine what kind of man this landscape creates!”
I do not have to look far.  

You hold within you these rolling hills,
that endless, horizonless expanse of breathtaking trees
roaming from shallow valley to snow-capped peak,
that feeling created by the trees, innocent as they appear,
of man’s inconsequence and, yet, limitless potential,
of springing from the land where snow and sky meld into blinding
band of flawless, hazy ivory reflected by every quivering olive leaf.  

— 10 January 1991

iii. La Mancha

I absorb you best, land of legend, at dusk
when your variegated hues soften into reflection of a
glowing sky.  

The sun has set behind the rolling mesas rising from the
sea of plain like ancient aquatic creatures looming above
the waves.

Yet the afterglow of the sun’s rich light radiates from behind
the blackened hills to create an eye-teasing chiaroscuro
of rich starry violet and burning white.  

Truncated stalks of deep brown vineyard grape bushes blur
into rushing lines set against an endless flatness the color
of a mountain lion’s pelt.  

An oddly table-like rock rises above the haunting ground of
Don Quixote and Sancho Panza, throwing off a bizarre reflection
in the dying light of startling orange.  

After miles of plain,
another hill gently unfolds, this one deep and penetrating green
upon which stands a lonely sentinel of spidery trees
guarding over a violently white windmill stretching its
useless arm-like wheel ever heavenward.

Centuries of history roll past the window,
flying as disappearing horizons.  

— 10 January 1991

Our Debut Voicing Art Book

Voicing Art: Poetry of Space | Place | Time
is now available!

Poetry inspired by works of art, the art of nature and the exploration of beauty, perception and insight through the cartography of the unseen.


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