January 30, 2021

In the Beginning


You constellate the myths,
O royal oracle of archetypes.

Photo and poem by Jan Claire

January 4, 2021

Poetry Reading, David Churchill

David Churchill reads from "Going Dorian"…
The Music of the Aztecs by PonyOneDog Press

Video by Ethan Goffman from The Music of the Aztecs Launch Party 
at the Writers Center in Bethesda, Maryland

December 4, 2020

Poetry Radio

Quintessential Listening: Poetry Online Radio

“The mission of Quintessential Listening: Poetry Online Radio is to provide a live format for emerging, mid-career, and established poets to showcase their work. Whether traditional poetry or spoken word, the show offers an online vehicle for artists to engage in critical dialogue and discussion about poetry.”



Photo by Jan Claire

November 1, 2020

The Other Side

In Pale November

… into and through the woods and out the other side

to the early darkness, the evergreen trees,
the stray cats, the bus stop signs like clenched fists,

to the long ride on empty buses
back to the city we always returned to. 


Lines from En Plein Air by Marianne Szlyk from PonyOneDog Press
and photo by Jan Claire

October 17, 2020

Jung Connections: Writing to Understand Myths and Symbols

A Form of Self-Education

Depth Psychology and Spiritual Tradition by Mats L. Winther

Winther explains, “I write on subjects that I'm anxious to understand. It is a form of self-education to formulate one's thoughts in a coherent article.”

Samples of Winther’s articles include…
  • The Boardgame Mandala: “The boardgame portrays the collective psyche in the form of mandala shapes… In particular, the boardgame can be understood as an equivalent of the vessel in medieval alchemy.”
  • The Sphinxlike Unconscious: “The enigma of the sphinx, in itself an apt symbol of the unconscious, is impenetrable due to the ultimately unknowable nature of the unconscious. Many-sidedness is its foremost characteristic.”

Photo by Jan Claire

September 25, 2020

Pure Twilight

Imaginary Sun

Make me a diamond
from pure twilight
built on early planets

Lines by John MacDonald from The Music of the Aztecs
and photo by Jan Claire

September 4, 2020

Featured Poet: Alan Britt

Grace Calaveri Interviews Poet Alan Britt

GC: How does your mind work? How did you know to start from the particular?
AB: That’s a good question. I’ve been doing it for so long, part of it is automatic.
GC: But to know to start in your back yard. That’s a lesson in poetry right there. That brings me to the second most important thing about poetry — is to notice things.
GC: Observation is vital.

Alan Britt at "The Poet and the Poem" Audio Podcasts, from  Webcasts & Podcasts from the Poetry and Literature Center at the Library of Congress

You can also find poetry by Alan Britt in The Music of the Aztecs, edited and with an introduction by David B. Churchill.

Photo by Jan Claire

August 30, 2020

Open Scene

Lucid Waking

The street-lights were on,
like the eyes of cats,
yellow night-globes
watching me pass;
this was at mid-day,
outside the hospital.

Fear is a door ajar
where you can get out;
it is painted with an open
scene: trees and sky,
a line of cars passing,
head-lights on,
heading for the dark—
Once it’s closed
it can never be found…

Lines by David B. Churchill from Lucid Waking
and photo by Steve Johnson on Unsplash

August 28, 2020

End of August

At the Swimming Pool

…Whenever it got dark, Mary Ann and I
pretended to be mermaids,
together and separate in the hazy underwater silence—
The pool lights turning into moons.


Lines by Jan Claire from The Music of the Aztecs
and photo by Sharon McCutcheon on Unsplash

August 18, 2020

Allotted Time

The Return

Nobody tells you but
somehow you know
most people will return
to where they’re from
after their allotted time,
but as much as they
forget everything else
after they get back,
they never get the roar
of those rivers
out of their ears,
or the thunder of the waves
in that bottomless sea-cave…


Lines from Necropole: A Meditation on Loneliness by David B. Churchill
and photo by Jan Claire

August 10, 2020

Figures in Poetry: The Sphinx

The Sphinx

…I am half god, half animal.
I scare you with my pure stare.

Lines by Jan Claire from The Music of the Aztecs

photo by Steve Harvey on Unsplash
and a background video of The Sphinx at Discovery UK 

August 9, 2020

Jung Connections: The Diamond Net

The Diamond Net
The Diamond Net is a video series and blog created by Emerald Wilkins which deals with the topics of emotions, spirituality, social issues, and psychology.” ~ Emerald Wilkins

Poets and writers may find these videos especially appealing—

 The Diamond Net—

Quotation from Emerald Wilkins’ Twitter page
and photo by Jan Claire

July 29, 2020

From the Rocks

Big Questions

In the mountains
the wind blows
on its way somewhere…

…a gnarled old cedar
grows from the rocks
its roots twisted deep

beneath its branches sits a man
scribbling big questions
in tattered pages…

Lines from The Night at My Throat by Brian Rihlmann [forthcoming from PonyOneDog Press]
and painting by artist by Carolyn Taylor

July 22, 2020

Poetry Reading, Ethan Goffman

Ethan Goffman reads from "The Music…"
The Music of the Aztecs by PonyOneDog Press

Video by Ethan Goffman from The Music of the Aztecs Launch Party 
at the Writers Center in Bethesda, Maryland


July 15, 2020

She Pretends

The Last Summer without Air Conditioning

…They sip OK Soda
from garnet goblets
as sun retreats into clouds
far from sunset or skyline.

She pretends that she can’t
see the city
that she is leaving,
but this is it,

the city that she is leaving… 

Lines from En Plein Air by Marianne Szlyk [forthcoming from PonyOneDog Press]
and photo by Artem Sapegin on Unsplash

June 24, 2020

A World of Pictures

The Magic Theatre
“We are in a magic theatre; a world of pictures, not realities. See that you pick out beautiful and cheerful ones and show that you really are not in love with your highly questionable personality any longer. Should you still, however, have a hankering after it, you need only have another look in the mirror that I will now show you. But you know the old proverb: 'A mirror in the hand is worth two on the wall.’”      
                     ~ From Steppenwolf by Hermann Hesse 

Photo by Jan Claire

June 21, 2020

At the Top

The Best Time to See Faces

is a morning in winter,
when faces appear
at the top of an escalator,
rising from the ground—

You catch them as they
step off the moving plate,
jolted back to life…


Lines by David B. Churchill from Poetry is Mindfulness
photo by Gordon Williams on Unsplash

June 20, 2020

Tossed Fantastic

Between me, the Sea, and My Old Man

…Crayola kite surfers gone now
From the inked night
They tossed fantastic before
Now, the pompano light winks…


Lines by Reid Baron from The Music of the Aztecs 
and photo by Patrick Fore on Unsplash

June 16, 2020

Celebrate Bloomsday

Ineluctable Modality of the Visible
“Ineluctable modality of the visible: At least that if no more thought through my eyes. Signatures of all things I am here to read, seaspawn and seawrack, the nearing tide… Shut your eyes and see.”

                                     ~ James Joyce, Ulysses



Quotation from Ulysses by James Joyce at Project Gutenberg
and video from The School of Life,Literature — James Joyce” on Youtube

June 12, 2020

Figures in Poetry: Poseidon

Sea Day

…The same swells still
throw up their backs
like the steeds of Poseidon,
bucking at the reins

No wonder sailors
return to the sea,
watch water turn ethereal,
live like saints
in the aura of prisms…

Lines from Homeless God Bless by David B. Churchill 
and image from The Classical Mythology Podcast at LearnOutLoud 
For more of Poseidon…
Google Images: “Poseidon in Art
Google Images: “Walter Crane Neptune's Horses

June 7, 2020

Jung Connections: Typology Theory

Jungian Typology Theory: Michael Pierce

Self described "Neo-Jungian," Michael Pierce explores his ideas about the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator using Carl Jung's book Psychological Types as a resource for his blog and Youtube channel.

For an overview of the types, see Pierce's blog entry, "The Sixteen types in a Nutshell" or his videos elucidating each, "The Sixteen Types."

Pierce recently finished writing a book on this subject entitled, Motes and Beams: A Neo-Jungian Theory of Personality available in pdf and on Amazon. In this video, Pierce discusses his writing process in putting the book together and what the book is all about.

Photo by Jan Claire

June 3, 2020

Endless Summer

The Carnival by the Sea

At nights, the ferriswheel
high up
out over the houselights

the tilt-and-whirl, a blind force 
like wind on waves.

Lines by Jan Claire
and photo by Kosta Bratsos on Unsplash

May 29, 2020

From The Magic Theatre: Social Distance

Poems Inspired by the Pandemic

…late at night, I sneak out
In my dreams, drawn toward a gleaming field of green.

…In the distance, down the hill, cherry blossoms billow like snow.

From The Magic Theatre Poets Meetup Group
lines by Anne Pellicciotto, Founder of SeeChange
and photo by Jan Claire

May 26, 2020

Poetry on the Web: Lunar Poetry Podcasts

Lunar Poetry Podcasts 

Lunar Poetry Podcasts is a site founded by poet, David Turner in South East London — “proudly working class.”
A Poem a Week

“The producers of Lunar Poetry Podcasts bring you a poem a week, taking you back to the simple joy of having a poem read to you… [and] provide a mixture of new poems, old favorites, current LPP features, and guest poets reading their own work.”

The Writing Process

“A series of discussions, interviews and live recordings with poets from the UK and abroad… [examining] the writing process.”

Quotations from David Turner
and photo by Francesco Alberti on Unsplash

May 21, 2020

Figures in Poetry: Ophelia

Figures in Poetry: Shakespeare's Ophelia

Her lifespan was a drop of quicksilver.

                             ~ by Alan Britt
                               from "Myth of the Baker’s Daughter"

Karen Elson on Millais' Ophelia
"Karen Elson compares her own experience of modelling with that of Pre-Raphaelite muse Elizabeth Siddal, Millais' long-suffering model for Ophelia."

Lines quoted in "The Poet and the Poem" Audio Podcasts
and video from Tate youtube channel

May 18, 2020

Of the Future

Taxonomy of History

…There are three even less reputable branches of History:
The History of the Future
The History of What Might Have Happened
The History of What Never Happened

…young weeds that sprout from drenched soil and spew outlaw

Lines by Ethan Goffman from The Music of the Aztecs
and photo by Jan Claire

May 15, 2020

Poetry Reading, John MacDonald

John MacDonald reads from "Small Gods"…
The Music of the Aztecs by PonyOneDog Press

Video by Ethan Goffman from The Music of the Aztecs Launch Party 
at the Writers Center in Bethesda, Maryland

May 14, 2020

A Day to Fill


…Morning came, a day to fill with
Mayan majesty in ruins. Playing hunches,
We boarded the second bus, and setting out
Passed the birds in parti-colored plumage…

Who cared for time and timeless architecture,

Just one word, my darling…

Lines by Reid Baron from The Music of the Aztecs
and painting by artist Carolyn Taylor

May 6, 2020

Poetry Experiment

The Veil Between Worlds

From the Introduction to the Poetry Anthology, The Music of the Aztecs
"This book can change your life. This is a book of poetry and poems can do that. If reading a poem can leave you in a state of heightened mindfulness, it can also increase your understanding of yourself. A poem can even further your personal growth. A good poem can contribute to spiritual development…

Poems exist in a Jungian matrix…

Each person has… keys to interpretation, and one of the values of poetry—perhaps it’s greatest—is that by its mere existence we are forced to look to our own keys, whether or not we ever apply them. A key to interpretation is like a gate to the unconscious… 
Keep in mind the techniques for understanding poetry as you browse through this book, then go back and read it again. Ours is a world on a tightrope, strung between other worlds. Poems are written on the veil between worlds, and where they are, the veil is a little thinner."
                                              ~ David B. Churchill

Photo by Jan Claire 
and writing by David B. Churchill, Editor of The Music of the Aztecs from PonyOneDog Press

April 30, 2020

Poetry on the Web: Poetry Day in Ireland

Poetry Day
"Poetry has always changed with the changing world. If it doesn’t, it will run the risk of not being a living language."  ~ Eaven Boland

Today, April 30th, is Poetry Day in Ireland. The theme is “There Will Be Time.” Poetry Ireland lists "What's On."


Photo by Jan Claire 
and quotation from the Irish Examiner

Brennan, Marjorie. "‘Poetry has Always Changed with the Changing World’: Eavan Boland Keen for Poetry to Move with the Digital Age." Irish Examiner, 28 April 2020, www.irishexaminer.com/breakingnews/lifestyle/culture/poetry-has-always-changed-with-the-changing-world-eavan-boland-keen-for-poetry-to-move-with-digital-age-861943.html Accessed 30 April 2020.

April 27, 2020

Poetry on the Web: Powers of Observation

Booktube Interview with Poet Marianne Szlyk

Marianne Szlyk “trains her whimsical powers of observation on scenes of climate change, American urban and suburban landscapes.” ~ Catfish McDaris

In this interview sponsored by Carpe Librum, Marianne Szlyk discusses her book, On the Other Side of the Window

Szlyk, Marianne. “Booktube Interview with Poet Marianne Szlyk.” 
     Interview by Carpe Librum. Youtube. 19 August 2018.

April 24, 2020

Inspiring Artists, Series 3: Hesse

Hermann Hesse

From the exhibition organized by the Hermann Geiger Cultural Foundation and curated by the Art Director, Alessandro Schiavetti…
Hermann Hesse, who was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature 1946, is definitely lesser known for his activity as a painter than for his literary masterpieces... [This exhibition]… presents the more intimate, hidden side of an all-round artist who found relief from his existential distress in pictorial expression.”
Jung Connections: “On the advice of his psychoanalyst, a disciple of Carl Gustav Jung, Hesse was initially reluctant to start using colours and brushes, but then he felt so relieved that painting became his preferred activity. Fascinated by the beauty of nature and attracted by the expressive power of colour, Hesse painted over three thousand watercolours during his life, mainly depicting dreamy, brightly coloured landscapes in Ticino, but he also illustrated small volumes and booklets of poems.”
Hermann Hesse’s paintings on Google Images

Video and quotation by Fondazione Geiger

April 20, 2020

Night Light

Half Awake

The moon is an eye,
sleepy yet open.

Lines by Jan Claire 
and photo by Kym MacKinnon on Unsplash

April 16, 2020

After All

Corn Plant

…Did you see it has a flower,
after all these years?

…Such a fever-sweet scent,
the smell of tropical rain,
those balls of tiny stars,
big dandelion puffs—
it catches you up
when you walk through the door…

Lines from Poetry is Mindfulness by David B. Churchill
and photo by Waldemar Brandt on Unsplash

April 13, 2020

Jung Connections: Pacifica Lectures

Jung Connections: Pacifica Graduate Institute Lectures

Mythologist Joseph Campbell was one of many to teach at Pacifica Graduate Institute, a school “offering masters and doctoral degree programs framed in the traditions in depth psychology.” 

A variety of selected lectures from Pacifica can be found at this YouTube site.

For example…
…In “Jungian Literary Criticism : The Essential Guide,” Dr. Susan Rowland says, “The psyche is intrinsically creative,” as she discusses why we care about the literary arts.

…In “Archetypal Psychology” Dr. Patricia Berry, who herself writes poetry, talks of how dreams may bring up creative ideas.

…In “On Memoir,” Maureen Murdock discusses how “a depth psychological perspective can facilitate, enhance, and deepen the telling of one’s story in a profound way."

Quotations from Pacifica Graduate Institute
and painting by artist Carolyn Taylor

April 9, 2020

Mimosa Blossoms

Saturday Morning

…The rain falls like pin-pricks
on their bare arms,
against their tank tops.
Mimosa blossoms
stick in their hair

Lines by Marianne Szlyk from The Music of the Aztecs 
and painting by artist Geordanna Cordero on Unsplash

April 8, 2020

Poetry Reading, Reid Baron

Reid Baron reads from "Drunken Iconographers"…
The Music of the Aztecs by PonyOneDog Press

Video by Ethan Goffman from The Music of the Aztecs Launch Party 
at the Writers Center in Bethesda, Maryland

April 2, 2020

We are All

The Force Is Not With Me

…In our own minds we are all the hero
A colossus astride history,
Xena, Warrior Princess.


Lines by Ethan Goffman from The Music of the Aztecs
and photo by Photo by Gabriel Bassino on Unsplash

March 31, 2020

Featured Poet, Annie Finch

Annie Finch
Advice to young poets: “Read your poems aloud over and over as you revise.”
             ~ From an Interview with Annie Finch by J. Gabriel Scala

More by and about Annie Finch can be found here:
Annie Finch.com
The Poetry Foundation
Interview by J. Gabriel Scala
Interview by Amy King 

Poetry by Annie Finch can also be found in The Music of the Aztecs edited and with an introduction by David B. Churchill

“Annie Finch Reads from Spells: New and Selected Poems.” YouTube, uploaded by University of New England, 4 April 2013, www.youtube.com/watch?v=efVz7rfmiHM

Finch, Annie. Interview by J. Gabriel Scala. 6 May 2011. https://jgabrielscala.com/

March 27, 2020

Inspiring Artists, Series 2: Hodler

Ferdinand Hodler
“Ferdinand Hodler is considered as the best-known Swiss painter of the 19th century. Hodler is known for his portraits and nature and landscape images, especially those of the Swiss mountains and lakes.
Hodler’s paintings had a major influence on Switzerland’s picture and perception of itself.
At the same time, he was one of the most important representatives of the transition from the 19th century to modernism.”

Jung Connections…  
…An image of Hodler's View to Infinity is in the pages of The Problem of the Puer Aeternus by Marie Von Franz.    

…And Hodler's Adoration Study is on the cover of Children’s Dreams by C.G. Jung.

More images of Hodler's paintings can be found here:

Quotation from Fondation Beyeler by Enrico
and video by VernissageTV

March 25, 2020

World Above


The world above
is a place
even those who’ve been there
don’t understand.



Lines from Lucid Waking by David B. Churchill 
and photo [inside The National Air & Space Museum] by Jan Claire

March 23, 2020

Figures in Poetry: Persephone


I strayed so far in a field of flowers
I fell into hell and married Hades.

Lines by Jan Claire 
and photo by Nick Fewings on Unsplash 
and a background video on Persephone at Mythology & Fiction Explained

March 20, 2020

Poetry on the Web: Uses of Poetry

Public Conversations: Uses of Poetry

In this podcast, Poet Maureen N. McLane and Professor Rebecca Ariel Porte discuss

"art of in a time of crisis,
what it means to be contemporary,
how poems happen,
hybrid forms,
the genesis of Mz N,
lyric theory,
and what, in the first place, poetry is for."

Public Conversations: Uses of Poetry is the eighteenth episode of the Podcast for Social Research and features poet, scholar, and divagator Maureen N. McLane, author of Mz N: the Serial, among other works of poetry and criticism, along with BISR faculty member Rebecca Ariel Porte.”

Mz N: the serial: A Poem-in-Episodes at Amazon

Maureen N. McLane at Wikipedia


Photo by Jan Claire and podcast and quoted material 

from the Brooklyn Institute of Social Research

March 17, 2020


I Hope You’re Dreaming of New Mexico

…If it were daybreak
he would see the chair
was painted a

Lines by John MacDonald from The Music of the Aztecs 
and photo by Fabrizio Chiagano on Unsplash

March 16, 2020

From Here

A Place to Stand

…from here it looked like
the sidewalk might teeter
and you would leave your feet
tossed off a crazy angle
coat dangling back…

Lines by Reid Baron from The Music of the Aztecs
and photo by Andrew Buchanan on Unsplash

March 12, 2020

Poetry Reading, Alan Britt

Alan Britt reads from "Night of Bruises"…
The Music of the Aztecs by PonyOneDog Press


Video by Ethan Goffman from The Music of the Aztecs Launch Party 
at the Writers Center in Bethesda, Maryland

March 10, 2020

Jung Connections: This Jungian Life Podcasts

Jung Connections: This Jungian Life Podcasts

About This Jungian Life
“Eavesdrop on three Jungian analysts — Joseph R. Lee, Lisa Marchiano, and Deborah Stewart — as they engage in lively, sometimes irreverent conversations about a wide range of topics. Join them for a new episode every Thursday as they… share what it’s like to see the world through the depth psychological lens provided by Carl Jung." 

For poets and writers, these episodes may be especially illuminating:

Episode 13 — Active Imagination

Episode 18 — Creative Depression

Episode 61 – Individuation

“The creative process, so far as we are able to follow it at all, consists in the unconscious activation of an archetypal image, and in elaborating and shaping this image into the finished work. By giving it shape, the artist translates it into the language of the present, and so makes it possible for us to find our way back to the deepest springs of life.”
                    ~ C.G. Jung, The Spirit in Man, Art, and Literature


Painting by artist Carolyn Taylor
Jung, C G. The Spirit in Man, Art, and Literature. Princeton, N.J: Princeton  University Press, 1978.

March 7, 2020

Poetry Reading, Marianne Szlyk

Marianne Szlyk reads from "Rumors of Stars"…
The Music of the Aztecs by PonyOneDog Press

Video by Ethan Goffman from The Music of the Aztecs Launch Party 
at the Writers Center in Bethesda, Maryland

March 6, 2020

White Blossoms

Savannah in January

Yearning for spring, I imagine
Spanish moss as white blossoms
bringing scent and warmth nearer.

I count bright green leaves
but find their waxy shade
impossible to bear in cold.


Lines from En Plein Air by Marianne Szlyk [forthcoming from PonyOneDog Press
and video by Will Peebles, Savannah Morning News

March 3, 2020

Go Through

Coming of Age

Sometimes it is a door
you go through.
Sometimes it is two trees
by a road.
Sometimes it is
the open arms of a friend.

Mostly there is no turning
sword or cherubim
to tell you
you are grown…


Lines from Poetry is Mindfulness by David B. Churchill
and photo
by Christopher Martyn on Unsplash

February 28, 2020

The Music

Music of the Aztecs

…The music remains
in imagination.

Lines by Ethan Goffman from The Music of the Aztecs 
and photo by Jan Claire

February 24, 2020

Jung Connections: The Eternal Flux

Starting Jung 

If you would like to study the works and ideas of C.G. Jung, a good place to start is with his autobiography, Memories, Dreams, Reflections, which can be found at the Internet Archive and Amazon.

“Life has always seemed to me like a plant that lives on its rhizome.  Its true life is invisible, hidden in the rhizome. The part that appears above ground lasts only a single summer. Then it withers away-an ephemeral apparition…  Yet I have never lost a sense of something that lives and endures underneath the eternal flux.” ~ Carl Gustav Jung

Photo by Jan Claire and quotation from Jung's Memories, Dreams, Reflections
Jung, C. G. 1875-1961. Memories, Dreams, Reflections. New York: Pantheon Books, 1963.

February 22, 2020

Spring In February

Petals in Cold

Spring came in February
this year—magnolia
blossoms on campus trees’
bare boughs, dogwood
blossoms in white clouds…


Lines from Homeless God Bless by David B. Churchill
and painting by artist Carolyn Taylor

February 20, 2020

Glorious Blue

More Oceans

I wish there were more oceans
holding glorious blue cold
waters swelling with islands…


Lines by John MacDonald from The Music of the Aztecs 
and photo by Jan Claire

February 19, 2020


The Secretaries

Stenographers emerge from mariposa hibernation.

Lovers in silk Armani suits.


Lines by Alan Britt from The Music of the Aztecs 
and video by Tonkadale Greenhouse

February 18, 2020

Inspiring Artists, Series 1: Welz-Stein

Catrin Welz-Stein 

From her blog "digital artworks by CWStein"
“In 2009 Catrin started to create digital images by collaging old illustrations and photographs. At the same time she discovered online social networks and her private images were then open to the public. The positive responses Catrin got there were her motivation to go on with her art until now.”

Other links where you may purchase her work:


You can also find her on Facebook and Instagram.

Photo by Jan Claire 

February 14, 2020

Just as She


Trying to forget her, just as she walks in
through the door. One of those nights
I had a drink and lost myself on a street
Where all of the buildings were white.


Lines by Reid Baron from The Music of the Aztecs 
and photo by Jan Claire

February 11, 2020

Themes of Poetry: Last Looks

Helen Vendler Lectures on Poets: Stevens, Plath, Lowell, Bishop, and Merrill

From the A. W. Mellon Lectures in the Fine Arts at The National Gallery of Art, Helen Vendler, A. Kingsley Porter University Professor, Harvard University.
In this lecture series, Vendler "considers the final works of five modern American poets… as they examine life and death 'in a single steady gaze.'"

 Last Looks, Last Books: The Binocular Poetry of Death
Part 1: Introduction

Part 2: Wallace Stevens

Part 3: Sylvia Plath

Part 4: Robert Lowell

Part 5: Elizabeth Bishop

Part 6: James Merrill

Photo by Jan Claire

In the Beginning

Poet You constellate the myths, O royal oracle of archetypes. Photo and poem by Jan Claire