Categories
Creativity

The Sound of Crickets

Did you know that each issue of MANIFEST (zine) includes a Spotify playlist especially curated for readers? For the CRICKETS issue, I had fun playing off the themes of silence, finding one’s voice, and creating from the heart. It features an eclectic set of songs by artists like Disturbed, Grace Carter, Barry Manilow, John Mayer, Natasha Bedingfield, and Brandi Carlile. Take a listen now!

IMAGE: Midsummer Frolic, British Library Digital Library, When Life is Young, Mary Elizabeth Mapes Dodge, 1894.

Categories
Creativity

WHAT’S THAT? Manifest (zine): Crickets

MANIFEST ZINE
Issue #4, Crickets
by Jen Payne

Storytelling is in our DNA says Brené Brown in her book Rising Strong. We share our stories because “we feel most alive when we’re connecting with others and being brave with our stories.” That process, she explains, causes our brains to release cortisol and oxytocin, the chemicals that “trigger the uniquely human ability to connect, empathize, and make meaning.” So we write. And we create. No matter who listens or responds. Crickets be damned.

MANIFEST (zine): Crickets is a riff and a rant about the consequences of creative bravery. It’s a 24-page, full color booklet that includes a curated Spotify playlist for your listening pleasure.


INGREDIENTS: appropriation art, black-out poetry, collaged elements, color copies, colored markers, ephemera, hand-drawn fonts, ink jet copies, laser prints, vintage illustrations, watercolor paints, and “11 Cute Facts About Crickets.”

With THANKS to to the British Library Digital Library, Brené Brown, Leonard Cohen, Carlo Collodi, Francis Crick, Charles Dickens, Mary Elizabeth Mapes Dodge, Natalie Goldberg, Charles d. Orbigny, Pinocchio, George Selden, the Trustees of the British Museum, James Watson, and Margaret J. Wheatley.


Issue #4, Crickets
24-page, full-color 4.25 x 5.5,
Cost: $6.00

 

BUY NOW or SUBSCRIBE and get 4 issues for just $20!



Categories
Poetry

Within Her Confines

Maybe for breakfast you have one egg and toast without butter, and coffee without cream,

and maybe you swallow down the bitter truth of it with a token smile,

grab your bag from the hallway table, and escape into the crisp, cold morning air

breathe……….breathe for a while

because you know at supper, after work, you’ll only have one glass of wine, if that

and you’ll take those things you brought home with you today — the snips and pieces of passion — and tuck them back into that bag, that safe hiding place until tomorrow

so it’s easier tonight to be one-note and unobjectionable,

small and of no consequence to anyone’s conceit

so it’s easier to say no, no, no, it’s OK, and this is enough,
when what you wanted to say was

“I’ll have orange marmalade and butter, please, and sweet cream that whips to a peak, and three chilled glasses of Rosé.”

“I want to get up on that dance floor, darling, and make a complete fool of myself because one of us is leaving soon, and we won’t get this chance again!”

Categories
Creativity

NEW! Manifest (zine): Crickets

MANIFEST ZINE
Issue #4, Crickets
by Jen Payne

Storytelling is in our DNA says Brené Brown in her book Rising Strong. We share our stories because “we feel most alive when we’re connecting with others and being brave with our stories.” That process, she explains, causes our brains to release cortisol and oxytocin, the chemicals that “trigger the uniquely human ability to connect, empathize, and make meaning.” So we write. And we create. No matter who listens or responds. Crickets be damned.

MANIFEST (zine): Crickets is a riff and a rant about the consequences of creative bravery. It’s a 24-page, full color booklet that includes a curated Spotify playlist for your listening pleasure.


INGREDIENTS: appropriation art, black-out poetry, collaged elements, color copies, colored markers, ephemera, hand-drawn fonts, ink jet copies, laser prints, vintage illustrations, watercolor paints, and “11 Cute Facts About Crickets.”

With THANKS to to the British Library Digital Library, Brené Brown, Leonard Cohen, Carlo Collodi, Francis Crick, Charles Dickens, Mary Elizabeth Mapes Dodge, Natalie Goldberg, Charles d. Orbigny, Pinocchio, George Selden, the Trustees of the British Museum, James Watson, and Margaret J. Wheatley.


Issue #4, Crickets
24-page, full-color 4.25 x 5.5,
Cost: $6.00

 

BUY NOW or SUBSCRIBE and get 4 issues for just $20!


Categories
Creativity

MANIFEST (zine): What’s Old, What’s New, What’s Coming

Emily Fletcher, author of the awesome book Stress Less, Accomplish More: Meditation for Extraordinary Performance, writes “When we create something — whether it’s dinner for a friend, a presentation at work, a self-published memoir, or a new company — we’re stepping into the unknown and making ourselves vulnerable by putting into concrete terms something we had nurtured in our mind.”

MANIFEST (zine) is just that.

Emerging from creative inspirations and the solitude of the pandemic, this colorful, eclectic publication features my own writing and artwork, along with thoughts and images from a host of guest artists and authors, all dancing loosely around themes like change, time, and silence. The result — what has been manifest especially for you — is a thought-full, tactile journey of consideration and contemplation.

Curious? You can buy individual issues below for just $6.00 or SUBSCRIBE now and get 4 issues for $20.00.

The newest issue — Crickets — should be ready in June. I can’t wait for you to see it! Until then, sending wishes for good inspiration and steady health!

Love,

Jen Payne
Writer / Poet / Artist
Three Chairs Publishing


Issue #4, CRICKETS
Storytelling is in our DNA says Brené Brown in her book Rising Strong. We share our stories because “we feel most alive when we’re connecting with others and being brave with our stories.” That process, she explains, causes our brains to release cortisol and oxytocin, the chemicals that “trigger the uniquely human ability to connect, empathize, and make meaning.” Issue #4 of MANIFEST (zine) presents a riff and a rant about the consequences of creative bravery.

PREORDER – Ships June 1
24-Page, Color, 4.25 x 5.5 Booklet, curated Spotify playlist, $6.00
BUY NOW!

Issue #3, IT’S ABOUT TIME
We humans sure are creative with time, aren’t we? This arbitrary turning clocks backward and forward twice a year, assigning time to zones and lines and frames. I myself try to trick time, setting clocks randomly wrong and always fast as if I can somehow control the hours, beat the unwinnable Kobayashi Maru of time. Even Albert Einstein said time is an illusion — “a stubbornly persistent illusion” — that time and space are merely “modes by which we think and not conditions in which we live.” Of course, if you think too hard on things like that you end up down rabbit holes and worm holes…want to come along?

READ MORE about this issue

28-Page, Full-Color, 7.5 x 5.5 Booklet, curated Spotify playlist, $6.00
BUY NOW!

Issue #2, CAT LADY CONFESSIONS
Poor Cat Lady. She always gets a bum rap. No one ever makes fun of Ernest Hemingway, whose Key West home was filled with cats — and he of a certain age. His strapping action figure includes a typewriter and a shotgun. Cat Lady? She gets six cats, bed head, and a ratty bathrobe. Doesn’t she earn points for opening her heart wide open? for loving even the most unlovable? for her strong, independent nature; Her patience and acceptance? for her superpower ability to nurture trust, stillness, solitude, balance? This issue of MANIFEST (zine) explores the oft-maligned life of the cat lady: crazy or contemplative? recluse or dancing to the beat of her own drum? You decide.

READ MORE about this issue

24-Page, Full-Color, 5.5 X 8.5 Booklet, curated Spotify playlist $6.00
BUY NOW!

Issue #1, DIVINE INTERVENTION
What is the force that moves us? Changes us? Propels us with such acceleration that we hardly recognize ourselves. Is it grief, heartbreak, indignation? Or joy, courage, determination? Perhaps it is DIVINE INTERVENTION — masked for our benefit as demon or angel or a hurried white rabbit who intrigues us just enough to move. To trip, fall, test the waters, grow up, expand, explore. And praise be to that because often, so very often, those big and unexpected transitions become our greatest and most profound adventures.

READ MORE about this issue

Full-Color, folded 11×17 zine, curated Spotify playlist, $6.00
BUY NOW!


 

Categories
Poetry Writing

In a hopeful, albeit futile, attempt to control the fates of 2021…

I am a Winter Warrior

and a Manifesting Angel

I’ve Finished Strong
and Started Stronger™

Unraveled My Year™

Found My Word

and my Theme Song

I did an Angel Card reading
and consulted the Runes

I’ve completed my Vision Board

committed to Read 50 Books

set my Intentions

and in a hopeful, albeit futile, attempt to control the fates of 2021,

I wrote my Resolution:

REST


Poem ©2021, Jen Payne. Painting, Femme couchee, dormant by Felix Vallotton

Categories
Nature Poetry Writing

Sanderlings

Perhaps it is the same flock,
the one I met years ago,
the one that startled me
here on this shore
that very first walk,
when every rock and curve,
every wind and wave
was unfamiliar still.

Perhaps it knows me now,
this flock of small fidgety birds,
always nervous or impatient,
quickened by anticipation of
the next wave, skittering
to the beat of their sharp trills,
quickly quickly ahead
never near enough for hello again.

Until this morning when I,
in keen focus on a resting shell,
became for a moment
likewise and warmed by the sun,
looked up to find myself surrounded,
heart quickened and nervous
that one false move would startle them,
their gathering at my feet.

Poem and Photo ©2020, Jen Payne. If you like this poem, then you’ll love WAITING OUT THE STORM, a collection of my poems about Cape Cod. Click here to buy the book now.
Categories
Creativity Poetry

Birdsong on November 5, 2020

The 6am bird outside my window
knows nothing of this angst,
the heavy beat of my heart,
it just sings
peter-peter-peter
peter-peter-peter

and sings some more,

but I have no song
not this day, not this week
I am speechless
and songless
and almost…
almost
hopeless.

Do you think the titmouse
would still sing if it
could see the foreshadow of winter,
the deception of sunshine days,
and the unkind cold of darkness?

Would the lilt of
peter-peter-peter
peter-peter-peter

be just as joyful,
playful even as birds skip
from branch to branch
this November morning?

Will I be joyful
or playful even, in the shadow
of what comes or doesn’t come,
what hides hungry in wait,
or what the fresh sky offers
as holy compensation?

Poem @2020, Jen Payne. Photo by Dawn Huczek.
Categories
Creativity Poetry

Chores

In the long space between cars
from the Sunday road,
I could hear the bell buoy
just off shore,
the breeze from the Sound
pushed curtains aside
allowing a view south
to see, from my window,
the fall migration,
to wonder at how things change
so quickly and so slowly
while I folded, carefully,
in meditation……….and mediation
each and every sheet
in my possession
the cool cottons and soft flannels,
the cooperative flats,
and grumbly fitteds

housekeeping

housekeeping

housekeeping

as if in the folding
I could lose the grief,
misplace the pain,
find comfort in neat tucked corners
and sweet even stacks
knowing that they’ll return —
the birds — in spring,
and life goes on.

Poem @2020, Jen Payne.
Categories
Creativity Poetry

Dragon Dawn

at the slow rough edge
that separates
night from day
and sleep from wake
there is a rumble

a deep, low grumble
that comes in short bursts

……….rummm-bmm-bmm-bmm

……….rummm-bmm-bmm-bmm

a……….rummmm rummmm

……….rummmm rummmm

or short series of

……….bmm bmm bmm

like heavy footsteps
approaching

you’ll cast doubt, I know,
but are you awake like me,
alert at that rough edge and
startled by its stirring?

its clamoring
louder and louder?

its fire breath
the final proof
that something wakes
at the rough edge of day

Poem @2020, Jen Payne. Photo by Konevi.
Categories
Nature Poetry Spirituality Writing

Everything is connected…

The new white tuft in my hair
reminds me of the rabbit
who lived in my yard last spring.

I called her Idiom,
soft brown fur, also white tufted,
she taking time to smell roses
when I could not.

Now there is all the time in the world
to smell roses,
to smell daffodils, tulips, lilacs, iris, peonies
each in succession, not waiting for us
or virus or waves or protests or
the great collective consciousness to
wake the fuck up and see how it’s all connected
the microscopic virus,
the pandemics of greed and hate,
the white tuft in my hair,
the small new rabbit,
the small new baby, even
who mews like all new creatures
white, black, furred, feathered
who may or may not outrun the fox
to meet the multiflora rose next June
introduce themselves to the clover
its bumble and honey companions
I step softly over so as not to disturb
their humble prayers or mine
to a god who needs no standard,
requires no bloodletting,
asks no more than sweet, simple reverence

for everything.


©2020, Jen Payne.


Categories
Memoir Poetry Writing

Reading Mary Oliver in a Pandemic

I’m reading Mary Oliver again
and for the first time, too, it seems,
meeting once more my kindred
in these quieter, solitary days —
only she likes dogs and I’m allergic, so
I think of the love I’ve shared with cats
and superimpose that over
what she so easily offers on the page,
allowing me to sink my feet
deep into the sand of beaches we love,
find borrowed respite and fresh salt air
as she walks and they walk and we walk.

This is not unlike my general effort of late,
translating dogs into cats,
crumbs into cake, lemons into aid,
finding devotion somewhere
in the twists and turns of what is,
of here and now, of no I don’t love dogs but I do love you,
and damn it someone should write that down
to remember before it’s too late.

Like Mary did:
gathered up all of her words
her favorite words, her treasured words
her words so precious and important
they required devotion
in this heavy record
of everything she wanted to say
and everything she held in silence

which

sometimes

is all we can offer each other.


Poem ©2020, Jen Payne upon reading Devotions by Mary Oliver. Photo from Pexels.

Categories
Memoir Poetry Writing

The Afghan

For Dorothy Reitbauer

“This,” my friend says, “is lovely.”
Lovely is never a word
I use to describe the ugly afghan
crocheted by my grandmother
and dragged out of storage
when guests sleep on the sofa.

It is avocado green and orange,
milk chocolate brown,
and amber gold,
like the gold my parents
painted the kitchen
of our new house back then.

“She picked each color herself,”
my friend explains,
as she carefully runs her fingers
up and over the zigzag pattern
with awe and affection,
though she never
met my grandmother.

It is the color palette
of my seventies family,
when Mom and Dad
were almost-happy still,
my sister played with Barbie
by the sliding glass window,
and my bangs were
appropriately feathered
away from my face.

“She thought about
you and your family
with each stitch.”

I could see her then,
sitting in her green recliner,
counting stitches like
the beads on her Rosary.
Love Boat on the Sylvania,
drinking instant iced tea
while a cigarette smokes
from the ashtray.

It was after her husband died,
and she traveled with her dog Coco,
bringing Shoo Fly Pie and
Moravian Sugar Cake from
Pennsylvania to our house
in Connecticut.

That Christmas,
she crocheted ponchos for us, too,
and took me to Hawaii
to see my Grandfather’s name
carved in marble at the
Pearl Harbor Memorial,
watch as she traced his name
with her fingers, slowly.

The same deft hands
that crafted this blanket
raised a son and daughter
independently in the fifties;
folded in prayer
for neighbors and friends;
prepared feasts
with love
for grandchildren.

“So much thought went into this,”
my friend continues,
as we carefully fold the afghan
and place it on top
of the antique hope chest
in the corner.

“Each stitch, each row,
holds love and memories.”

 

©2009, Jen Payne. Written for my grandmother, Dorothy Reitbauer. Seen here in 1943/44.

Categories
Nature Poetry

Thursday Rain

The contrast of
misty gray
against
May green
in the treetops
out the window
tells me it’s raining
before I even hear
the gentle tapping
on leaves
and grass
and spring flowers
bowed in gratitude
for the veil of quiet
descending

even poets bow
for the respite
stay inside
the rain says,
there’s a poem waiting

Photo and Poem ©2020, Jen Payne