Thursday, 10 September 2015

29 faces challenge Faces 10 and 11

Two faces again today: collage, paint and markers. Makes it a bit easier to keep up ;-)

It's a poem from Rod McKuen, who I only recently found out passed away in January. I felt sad when I read that, I have been a fan of his poetry for so many years, and it feels like such a shame that there never will be any more new poems from his hand. Luckily he has left behind such a wealth in writing, I haven't even read everything yet.

Here's an overview of the other faces I did this week:

Faces # 5 and 6: the weekend is always hard for me to do any art. So a pen drawing with two heads is about all I could manage ...
Face #7: trying to be more "messy" with my technique, hmmm ...., not sure if I succeeded

Face #8: Not liking what I was doing and starting to swipe the paint away, and then the idea of a guy falling apart was born ....

And finally face #9: wild-hair-girl
Remember that I wrote about the refugees fleeing to Europe last week? That same night I found a beautiful haunting picture with an even more beautiful poem about refugees, and it touched my heart so much that I read it and re-read it over and over again. I want to share it here with you, it's a poem from Warsan Shire, a Somali poet who is fast becoming one of my favorites. But be warned: it's very long!

picture from David Ho

"HOME," by Somali poet Warsan Shire

no one leaves home unless
home is the mouth of a shark
you only run for the border
when you see the whole city running as well

your neighbours running faster than you
breath bloody in their throats
the boy you went to school with
who kissed you dizzy behind the old tin factory
is holding a gun bigger than his body
you only leave home
when home won't let you stay.

no one leaves home unless home chases you
fire under feet
hot blood in your belly
it's not something you ever thought of doing
until the blade burnt threats into
your neck
and even then you carried the anthem under
your breath
only tearing up your passport in an airport toilet
sobbing as each mouthful of paper
made it clear that you wouldn't be going back.

you have to understand,
that no one puts their children in a boat
unless the water is safer than the land
no one burns their palms
under trains
beneath carriages
no one spends days and nights in the stomach of a truck
feeding on newspaper unless the miles travelled
means something more than journey.
no one crawls under fences
no one wants to be beaten

no one chooses refugee camps
or strip searches where your
body is left aching
or prison,
because prison is safer
than a city of fire
and one prison guard
in the night
is better than a truckload
of men who look like your father
no one could take it
no one could stomach it
no one skin would be tough enough

go home blacks
dirty immigrants
asylum seekers
sucking our country dry
niggers with their hands out
they smell strange
messed up their country and now they want
to mess ours up
how do the words
the dirty looks
roll off your backs
maybe because the blow is softer
than a limb torn off

or the words are more tender
than fourteen men between
your legs
or the insults are easier
to swallow
than rubble
than bone
than your child’s body
in pieces.
i want to go home,
but home is the mouth of a shark
home is the barrel of the gun
and no one would leave home
unless home chased you to the shore
unless home told you
to quicken your legs
leave your clothes behind
crawl through the desert
wade through the oceans
be hunger
forget pride
your survival is more important

no one leaves home until home is a sweaty voice in your ear
run away from me now
i don't know what i've become
but i know that anywhere
is safer than here.

That's it for this week. Next week I'll post another funny, promise :-)

Thanks for visiting me here, and thanks for your wonderful comments. I'm linking this to Paint Party Friday, to Show your Face and to 29 faces.

Wishing you a beautiful day and a happy peaceful weekend! I'll be back on Saturday with another face! See you then ♥ ♥ ♥


  1. Fab poem. Wow, Rod McKuen, haven't thought of him in quite a while, but did like his work. Your fading fellow is pretty cool. xox

  2. Love these two lovely ladies. I love(d) Rod McKuen too! I used to talk to him when he vacationed on Fire Island a loooong time ago!
    What a touching (& gut wrenching)poem.....

  3. Your work is beautiful, as always, and I love the man falling apart. Great poem, too, thanks for sharing.Happy PPF, hugs, Valerie

  4. This will be the third time I have read that powerful poem this best friend born August 17th also posted it!! Co inky dink.... That took away from how in awe I am of your first painting...just stunning and rich... I love it and the pattern on they tops..amazing work!! All your artwork is gorgeous and heartfelt this week.... I love everything!!

    Hugs Giggles

  5. Wow, what a powerful, telling poem!
    "No one leaves home unless
    Home is the mouth of a shark!!"
    Love the new faces and your fading man especially

  6. Fab work u are doing well with the 29 faces challenge! Happy PPF

  7. The refuge situation here in Europe is heart breaking, we've had also thousands coming here to Finland and housing and health care needs a lot of volunteers. So sad to have to leave one's country, one's home knowing that maybe you can never return.

  8. Wonderful art as always, but that picture and poem got me, I am sniffing here, eyes welling, especially as I just been watching the news and the sight of the children suffering the chemical stuff that is being dropped on them by the Syrian govt and the rebels.

  9. I admire your undertaking the 29 faces and producing such lovely work. I have worked with immigrants and this poem is so spot on! Even in our country we have no understanding or respect for what these people have gone through to get here or more importantly, what they left. Thanks for posting this.

  10. Love seeing all of your work for the week together :) Love the poem too. This challenge stresses me but I love it just the same; Hopefully I will be able to keep up the rest of the month.

  11. I didn't know ROd McKuen had died. Sad to see him go, I loved his poetry as a young girl. There is so many pieces I love in your post. I love the first piece with 2 women and #8 is fantastic. I always love your work.

  12. gorgeous faces Denise! But that poem with the art-wow-they emote so much emotion....thanks for sharing it all!

  13. I just went to the Rod McKuen page (gee I get distracted) I loved this post, and then almost forgot to leave a comment hehe spending time looking at your art and reading your insights is always time well spent, talented and thoughtful observations Denise, magic work!

  14. Wow.... totally fascinating post, from the fun faces to the painful poem.
    Beautiful dear, all of it!

  15. The poem is wonderful and represents how heartsick so many of us are by the refugee crisis... A timely post

  16. I love this first painting. The eyes are FABULOUS!!!!! You art always inspires me. The poem is perfect as well.

  17. Lovely post ... and faces, too! I dig the swiped piece ~ very cool how that evolved!

  18. what a nice idea put 2 faces together with hear union :)

  19. such an intense poem
    a war poem that truly paints the story that no one wants to live
    most don't want to consider, so intense
    you are brave to read it so many times, letting the reality sink into your cells

    your art is wonderful

  20. Wonderful art work, Denthe. I really love your creations. My favourite this time is the black and white one of the two girls' heads, but I do like everything on the post this week. What a powerful poem you finished with. It is so well expressed and so true. Thank you for sharing. xx

  21. Great!! I'm also very worried about the refugees. Thanks for sharing!!

  22. Wowsers, I am just in awe! Wonderful work. Thanks for linking up to Show Your Face and for the shout out too. Kx

  23. Great poem. . I saw Rod McKuen in person in the early 1970s at ISU and was quite taken with him. To me he is an amazing man. Your faces are so creative. Blessings, Janet PPF


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