Blessed November sun,

warming my face.

Behind me,

a hummingbird,

like a sprung bowstring,


but more precious, alive.

Well, actually
they just swooped in
and hung out
for awhile.
Looking quite sociable,
and communicative.
Rather well-behaved.
Perhaps just there
to inspire a poem
in me.
I felt so honored.
It was quite a sight.

Not all that many;
just intense.
A rapport.
My heart swooned when









Part One

The crows swept in,
cawing their disapproval
of my
killing of the spiders.

Those tasty morsels!!

Part Two

My heart swooned when they swooped in.
“Silly girl! We don’t eat spiders!
“Not the ones on houses, anyway.
Maybe the ones in trees.”
They winked and flew away.


edited March 17th, 2016

Since seagulls (and birds) hold a special place for me –  a magnificent photo of a seagull!



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“The seagull – now there’s a bird that loves a good joke!”

with squalls pealing in from the distance, bell-like,

carried in and blowed about on the wind

welcoming sailors home from the sea, everywhere

to land, sweet land

though sometimes you’d rather just keep going –

not stop and be bothered by

all that worldly busy-ness

– except perhaps, for that cacophonous welcome!


Click on the photos to see full-screen-sized images.

I left a lot of these photos dark. They are best viewed full size – you can see more detail. Some of them are quite lovely, if I do say so myself.  You get to fill them in with the colors and light of your own imagination. It was fun for me just to think about line / design / subject elements within the pictures. I like the moodiness, too – that’s something you have to deal with in this sunshine-deprived part of the world. I didn’t invent the darkness; I just wanted to portray it… lol

La Conner and this area are really quite charming. I don’t mean to disparage it. It gets a little touristy this time of year… but it’s very much an arts and crafts kind of community. It was fun to sit with a friend in a little local joint on the water and have a hamburger with all the local people. Or rather, to try to figure out who were locals and who were “visitors”.

Across the Swinomish Channel is the Swinomish Reservation and fishing port. Standing outside for a while, taking these pictures, it was instructional to watch the fisherman loading gear onto their boats. It looked like they were loading cages to fish for crabs.

A bald eagle swooped down low over the water, heading toward the bridge. It caused quite a commotion among the seagulls. Seagulls and crows will band together and flock against the larger predator birds. It was quite scenic. Then the eagle flew way up high and wheeled around above me, too far to get a photo as the rain started to sprinkle down.


for sale


for sale by owner




Picnic shelters on Swinomish tribal lands made in the style of traditional woven-cedar hats (across from La Conner)


La Conner main drag – on Puget Sound


Crabbing boat getting ready to go out – Swinomish tribal  lands across from La Conner.





This friendly seagull sat out on that piling, right outside the cafe window. I love seagulls and birds…


Rainbow Bridge is a La Connor landmark, so I had to include it. From the tulip fields, just head southwest towards this bridge… Also, pencil some time in to go see Deception Pass, especially if you haven’t been. At Deception Pass is a bridge that goes from the mainland to Whidby Island. Way far below is a huge wide channel of swift waters. It’s a spectacular vista, truly a wonder of nature.


a bird pleasantly warbling

for a long moment…

I encouraged it with silence

and communed,

enjoying its song


A seagull wheeling in the strong cold winds off a bluff,

good-naturedly chuckling back at me

sharing its delight and freedom.

Warming me with its wisdom,

I’ve ascended a new plateau

on this blustery day


up on a ladder today,

the chattering of crows

not so personal…

perhaps just curious

about the strange big bird

and what she’s doing up here, with them


once I discouraged a crow

in angry chatter

bullying another crow.

I called hawk and eagle.

It heeded and flew off.

Later, a hawk appeared,

gazing  intently

from atop a telephone pole


once, I found the world’s tiniest

hawk feather

waiting for me in the dry grass

I put it in a pouch


the birds are my companions

I call to them

working, amusing ourselves

we don’t even care if we’re overheard

you either understand

or you don’t

“cat outside fishmonger’s” by amyeigttrack – smudged crayon and oil crayon, c. 2003

“man smoking cigar, thinking, in clouds, by river” – by amyeighttrack – colored felt tip pen and smudged crayon

“my stuff” – by amyeighttrack

“IT’S EASY BEING GREEN” – collage w/ cut paper, by amyeighttrack. (Note – the paper was a beautiful, thick sheet with blue on one side and purple on the other. I cut out shapes and reversed them to show the tactile pleasure of the paper.)

beaded pouch

pouch, reverse side

diorama.  woman with owls greeting card by Cheryl Renee Long

Japanese dolls


Turku 87, print by Robin K. Wright

untitled abstract by Dolph Strietzel, colored ink (felt tip pens?) on heavy paper. I love the bright colors and Southwestern Native American motif. I won it with my bid on eBay.

“Kitten Eyed Woman” – pastel oil crayons and gold leaf by Brandi Cleveland. Her daughter named this one. Check out her Facebook page at:

I think Brandi is a great artist! She is personable, engaging and thoughtful. I bought this from her at the Pride festival at the Seattle Center a couple of years back. I complimented her on the expressiveness, the beauty of the ethnicities she portrayed. I asked her about it. She said that one of her sources and inspirations was National Geographic magazines. I was doubly impressed.

Money was tight for me, and she kindly reduced the price. There was a large reclining nude she had there that I craved for months afterwards. It was indescribably Lush. You have to see her work in person to get the sensuality of it. If you see something you like – you won’t be disappointed! It only gets better!

Winter Sunshine by Gwendolyn Grant. This reminds me so much of my mom – beautiful, reading a book, enjoying the sun.

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all images and artwork © copyright the author 2011. may not be reproduced for commercial purposes without prior arrangement

“3 devil morning” – by amyeighttrack, pencil & watercolor, 1982.           This drawing came straight out of my subconscious. It is somewhat the product of being hung over and shamed.  It's a very scary combination - not a muse I would recommend. Still... this is one of my favorite drawings ever! So what's the lesson, in terms of 'the muse'? I would say: find a way to tap into the subconscious (sans alcohol/other 'substances') in an uninhibited, free-flowing way. Maybe it's about learning to trust yourself; your instincts, your point of view.  Find a way to draw because you have to draw. Let it be your 'diary' or journal.

“3 devil morning” – by amyeighttrack, pencil & watercolor, 1982. This drawing came straight out of my subconscious. It is somewhat the product of being hung over and shamed. It’s a very scary combination – not a muse I would recommend. Still… this is one of my favorite drawings ever! So what’s the lesson, in terms of ‘the muse’? I would say: find a way to tap into the subconscious (sans alcohol/other ‘substances’) in an uninhibited, free-flowing way. Maybe it’s about learning to trust yourself; your instincts, your point of view. Find a way to draw because you have to draw. Let it be your ‘diary’ or journal.

“design exercise – collage”, early ’80’s. Inspired by an art class design exercise. I think I tried to develop some design ideas; then chopped up and combined some of them with random stuff.

“Free” – collage – tempera & pencil, c. 2009. I had the materials available and wanted to try something different from a picture/word collage. You can’t see it in the photo, but I wrote FREE in pencil in the lower right corner

“nuclear” – pencil, felt pen, watercolor, 80’s. I think it was inspired by my art class design exercise and collage work.

“cassette player on ship cabin desk w/ checked tablecloth” – pencil and felt pen. Straight from the subconscious – I probably wanted to express how much music meant to me as a merchant mariner. It was like a splash of color on a grey, endless horizon; it made one feel a bit less isolated. It was a social thing, too; a broadening experience – sharing music.

“russian submarine bird” – ballpoint and felt tip pens, 80’s. Click on photo to see detail. Just doodles. I wish I still had that ability to just tap into/go into my subconscious. Or maybe I decided I didn’t like what I saw there.

“killer whale pod” – ballpoint and felt tip pens, 80’s. Doodles, as above.

“lonesome bird that looks like me” – xerox of original – collage, felt tip pen, c. 1984. Another doodle. Existentially lonely and kept company by a little bird outside my window that told me I’d be okay. Well, anyway – birds seems to resonate to something essential, within my life. This drawing may have been one of the first manifestations of that.

“scribbles” – pencil, crayon and watercolor. c. 1979. My mother and an artist friend were doing a whole bunch of these and invited me to try. I like the simplicity of the technique and its possibilities for spontaneous expression.

See watercolor and crayon art at Google Images here . There’s some schlocky ones, some nice ones, some by children… even some by masters like Camille Pissarro. This one was on page 16, lol  It’s nice to see how refined and beautiful some of them are; the skill; how far you can go with simple elements. Lots of great ideas and links!

“explosion” – collage with newspaper, pencil & pens, 80’s. Art class assignment to represent an explosion.

“Burroughs”  – collage w/ ballpoint and felt pen, 80’s. A doodle. I didn’t set out to draw Burroughs – it’s just what came out. I like the Folgers Instant Coffee label; it seemed to go well with it.

See a brilliant painting of Burroughs here by Roger Shimomura and an excellent article about Roger Shimomura here who did a series of paintings about the racial stereotyping of Asians.

“doll”     –     xerox of a watercolor by my mother. I wish I had more of her artwork, or even photos of it. Mom, you left us too soon… xoxox

One by my sister. My photo is blurred and doesn’t capture the richness & detail.

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All of the wood carvings were purchased by me at the Daybreak Star Pow-wow in Seattle, circa 1995.

black jaguar with friendly, placid demeanor

yellow jaguar with black spots, as seen through a child’s eyes in a dream

señor red squirrel

blue pig

She-wolf – it looked to me like a Northwest Native American piece. A collector of African art said it looks African.

Zopilotes, Turkey Vultures © Cheryl Renee Long. This is a fantastic print. It’s actually quite large – in frame, 37″ X 19″. It took my breath away when I first saw it. It was dark, powerful and mysterious. Then, one day, I “saw” it on my wall and subsequently bartered with Cheryl for it. I had found its beauty and spirituality. It depicts some turkey vultures spreading their wings to catch the morning sun’s warmth. Click twice to see detail.

“Woman with butterfly robe”, hand-painted floor to ceiling scroll. Given to me by a friend; it was painted by their father. Image is 43″ by 16″; entire scroll dimensions are 71″ by 21″


From 1984. It was Malle week at the Neptune Theatre in Seattle. I really liked “The Thief of Paris” (French, 1967) . It starred Jean-Paul Belmondo, and somehow I wound up making some doodles that looked like him. Unfortunately the film is difficult to find with English subtitles. The movie is very stylish and well done. Drawings by amyeighttrack

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