The Blog

August 8, 2019

Queen Of The Deep

koi and hellebore botanical illustration

He thought nothing about paddling his small wooden boat out alone on the lake at night. In fact, he’d done it a hundred times before. There was something so beautiful and quiet about drifting on little waves under a tall twinkling sky. Like being rocked to sleep in arms that love you.⁣

But what he didn’t know was that the sky wouldn’t twinkle for long. ⁣

Heavy curtains of clouds soon extinguished those little points of light and the soft summer breeze that called him out onto the water became a gale. His friendly wooden boat turned fiend and dumped him into the dark water.⁣

At first, he was annoyed, as he’d worn his favorite pajamas, freshly laundered. Now they’ll smell like lake, he thought to himself. ⁣

But soon enough, he was panicked, splashing farther and farther from the boat as the storm whisked it out of reach. ⁣

Pull yourself together, he thought, stop splashing and float. ⁣

For a minute, it worked. Then it was as though slithering fingers pulled at his ankles, bit into his feet and dragged him under.⁣

Down, down he went until his ears popped. The dark all there was, all he could see, all he could hear and taste, all he could breathe.⁣

And then the queen of the deep, covered in scales and blooms, swam so close he could see the light that lived inside her. ⁣

They looked at each other and blinked, both surprised to see the other. She knew what needed to be done.⁣

She brushed her fins against his fingers and he latched on. She swam and he kicked and together they neared the surface. ⁣

He knew he didn’t have much longer. He felt dizzy and the world was far away. He couldn’t feel his toes, he couldn’t even feel her anymore. ⁣

How much farther? he thought. Is this my end?⁣

He looked up and saw diffused lightning beyond the water. He looked down and saw the light inside her fading as it fell home.⁣

He didn’t want to look away. She’d saved his life, after all. His friend, his savior, the angel he never expected. ⁣

Her light turned pink and his head began to pound. He kicked upward still and finally felt the cool of the air touch his head. ⁣

But still, he didn’t want to look away. ⁣

Her light was a bloom now, dark red and purple. It sent showers of stars into the dark. He thought it looked like the sky. Was it the sky?⁣

He felt sleepy and calm. He reached toward her as he felt his eyes close.⁣

Her light grew brighter and bigger and more scarlet. ⁣

She rushed at him just before he fell asleep. She pushed him back into his world.⁣

And he breathed.

August 5, 2019

It Was The Birds

cosmos botanical illustration, prairie warbler

It was the birds that woke her in the morning

And sang her lullabies at night.

The birds who danced about her fingers

While she hung the wash up, crisp and white.

They carried to her blooms in spring

And berries in the fall.
They lifted her when she was weary  

And laughed with her when she felt tall.

They perched on sills at night

And nestled soft in her dreams.
They slayed her dragons while she slept

And whispered strange and lovely things.

When skies were heavy and she cried,

They cooed melancholy too,
While they sat together under branches where

The cold and quiet rain fell through.

August 1, 2019

Kitchen Window

foxglove botanical illustration

It isn’t much. Barely a shack, really. But this little place is so full. Full of things you can’t see. ⁣

At the table, there beside where the potatoes are now, was where Jimmy lost his first tooth. Pulled it out and held it up to the light so proud, right in the middle of dinner one night. And then he set it on the table and asked for a piece of pie.⁣

The hook by the door is where that shabby umbrella used to hang, the faded one with two holes that let the rain in. We’d huddle together under it while we ran out to the truck before church on rainy Sunday mornings. You remember that?⁣

And that stool in the corner over there? That’s where you stood when you were four years old and told the preacher a joke that made mama blush. I didn’t get it but the preacher laughed so hard. Mama did too…later on.⁣

The window over the sink, now that one makes me ache a little. That’s where I watched you march off into the world with your suitcase and your hat. ⁣

Even still, I love that window best of all the things in this house, seen and unseen. I couldn’t do without it. Because every great now and then, I get to stand there and watch you come back.

July 29, 2019

Yet They Heard Him

peony botanical illustration

There was no oath, no collection of words that could say everything he wanted to. So, he was silent.⁣

Yet, they heard him.⁣

They heard everything when they saw how his eyes gathered each detail in the room, every smirk and frown, every squirming posture, every drop of sweat. ⁣

They heard it in his lack of expression, in his deliberate steps. ⁣

They heard it in the way his hands still reached for something that was no longer there.⁣

He walked in his deliberate way to the front of the room and turned to face them. He didn’t remove his hat because there was no one there who deserved respect. Instead, he glared at them from the shadow of the brim.

July 22, 2019

Sunflower Babes

sunflower botanical illustration

The sun laughed and seeds fell from the corners of her mouth. They burrowed deep into the earth and slept for a season.⁣

When the sun came again, they pushed back against all that was above them. They stretched their arms to the sky, desperate to reach their mother. ⁣

But she was so very far they had to be content to follow her with their faces, to wave to her in the morning and wink at her when she said goodnight.⁣

So they did and still do, her many, many children. And each day, she wakes and covers them in blankets of light.

July 15, 2019

The Sticky Quiet

camellia botanical illustration

We clasped hands under the big green sky, in the sticky quiet that comes before the storm. Nothing dared to move as the whole world held its breath, waiting to see what was to come.⁣

And then it came, all at once, and the scorching breath of summer was chased away, replaced with wind that chilled us deep.⁣

We pulled each other along, hands still tight together, all the way to the house that lived close to the clouds, where you could taste the electricity before it struck.⁣

July 1, 2019

Carousel The Color Of Night

geum botanical illustration

It went around and around, never stopping, never slowing, that carousel the color of night.⁣

Its horses were covered in stars and when they tossed their manes, glittered light fell to the ground.⁣

The children riding it wore shadows and smiles, they flung rings of flowers to those who watched. ⁣

They curled their fingers and beckoned, laughed and sang, and begged us to join their swirling dance under the moon.⁣

We touched their hands, an eternal choice. Now destined to spin forever under the sky that would always be dark. ⁣

The children no longer smiled and sang, they wept or they screamed or they were empty and burned. ⁣

The stars on the horses were thistles and burrs. They bared their teeth and they hissed and they cursed.⁣

We fell dizzy to the old wood of the thing, and it cut our knees. ⁣

We stood and the poles’ splinters pierced our fingers.⁣

The lucky ones fell off when no one was watching. They ran home, bleeding and scarred.⁣

But the rest of us, we are here still. We smile and dance, toss flowers and sing, we weep and scream and burn.⁣

And when we can’t anymore, we stagger to the mirrored panes at the center, pull them apart, and step inside. ⁣

And wind the small music box suspended above the sharp rusted gears. ⁣

Then we lie down near it and sleep: silent, dreamless, and thick. ⁣

June 24, 2019

Thistle And Beach Rose Tattoo

custom tattoo design

I have one more commission spot available this month. This could be for a logo or tattoo design, or even just a special illustration of your favorite plants and flowers. Be sure to let me know if you want in!⁣

This tattoo design is made up of elements that are very special to the owner. I love it when I can design something infused with so much meaning and love! Thistles, beach roses, and ferns make up this composition. Every one of them some of my favorite plants.