Monday, June 15, 2009


Thank you to Fledgling Poet for the prompt “walls”. Please stop by One Single Impression to sample the wonderful offerings.


[Middle English, of a wall, from Old French, from Latin mūrālis, from mūrus, wall.]


a large picture painted or affixed directly on a wall or ceiling.


of, pertaining to, or resembling a wall.


if there is a wall

that cannot be moved

spray it

with the pigment

of your dreams

Francine, Francine

I live in the coolness of the grotto

my eyes have grown large

I first slipped through the wall

hoping to leave this world alive

Now the walls are too close

and breathing

Francine, Francine.

I need some air.

Harold and the Purple Crayon.

Harold wants to go for a walk in the moonlight, but there is no moon, so he draws one.

Harold and the Purple Crayon is one of my all time favorite books. I must have read it hundreds of times burrowed under the covers as a child and at least twice as many times to my daughter Emma who insisted on counting ever window in the city that Harold invents. (She was also very interested in the pies!) With basic line drawings in the color purple Harold is able to create an entire world. It all starts with the pen…or the crayon.

“Reality leaves a lot to the imagination.”

John Lennon


SandyCarlson said...

Please tell me where these murals are!

Your poems are amazing. Ochre makes my day.

Jim said...

Beautiful thoughts here Gabrielle! I love your idea of making the immovable wall livable. Like the trite saying, 'if you are dealt lemons make lemonade.'

I feel sorry for the one trapped in the grotto. Grottos are nice pretty places to visit but just the thought of being trapped inside awakens my claustrophobia.

Tumblewords: said...

I love this post! Love it! Gorgeous color and words that sing!

Jeeves said...

Wonderful murals and lovely poem.

anthonynorth said...

I loved that poem, and the pics are amazing.

zoya gautam said...

.. emotional & artistic ..
many thanks ..

Luther James Spells said...

As always...touches my heart. I would so love to touch yours as well. You add such joy to my day. I always feel uplifted no matter the subject.

lissa said...

lovely words to go with the lovely murals, I especially like the ochre poem and the line "pigment of your dreams"

SandyCarlson said...

I love the way Harold creates his world!

Tammie Lee said...

I so enjoyed this post. The photos are wonderful with each poem. So wonderfully and with such fun you show the freedom we have in life.

Anonymous said...

loved the verse ochre !! how logical !!

Thansk for visiting my page :)

Patti said...

I love these- what a wonderful direction the prompt took you! Aren't murals gorgeous? I love your first one especially and the hope and joy it inspires. Thank you!

if said...

wonderful words for wonderful images and paintings!

Christopher said...

ochre - beautiful poem, beautiful image. Thank you.

Anonymous said...

I love this post, and those murals, and I am going to find that bookand read it!

Natalie said...

While I was reading "Ochre" I was thinking of A Tree Grows in Brooklyn. A beautiful, yet pragmatic sentiment.

Anonymous said...

Your poems are beautiful...even more, the thoughts that they convey...loved them!

the walking man said...

I live surrounded by walls, great huge things of brick and mortar, glass and steel but I am surrounded by nothing but my freedom

Beth P. said...

Love these, Gabrielle!!

And I love the way you worked with the various ways of relating to walls...there are many.

Many thanks--

gabrielle said...

The first mural is by Diego Rivera, a renowned Mexican painter and husband to Frida Kahlo. He wanted to make art that was both reflective of and accessible to the native peoples of Mexico. By incorporating indigenous and pre-Columbian influences, Rivera contributed to an authentic renaissance of Mexican painting. In 1921, through a government program, the artist began to express his unifying and celebratory image of Mexican history and culture through a series of murals painted in bold colors on public buildings. In the 1930’s and 1940’s, Rivera painted murals in New York City, Detroit and San Francisco. During his stay in the US, several WPA muralists assisted and studied under him, learning the techniques of modern fresco painting.

The second mural of a boy with a green plant sprouting beyond the spatial constraints of an urban rooftop is one of 2000 murals which adorn the neighborhoods of Philadelphia. The project began as a six week youth program and spiraled into one of the most vibrant public art projects in the nation.

I was thrilled to find the third mural from San Francisco for its interplay with Francine Francine.

The last mural is so relaxing as it meanders down a quiet green path along the River Esk in Musselburgh, UK with its shadows.

The poem Francine Francine came to me first. It is about a girl who has grown past the protective world she retreated to in order to survive a brutal and chaotic environment. She is bewildered, as she begins to emerge, so I try to offer her some ideas.

I grew up surrounded by vibrant street art in New York. I have great faith in the impact it can have both socially and expressively.

Thank you all for your kind responses. I’ve enjoyed reading the diverse interpretations this week’s prompt evoked. And have been inspired and moved by the vulnerability expressed. I love that there is a safety and sanctity we have created within this writing circle. Walls seems to have brought us together!

Quiet Paths said...

These all just gripped my heart; wonderfully done.

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