The Painting & Poetry Project 2021

Week 2: Awaken

Year 2021. What does it mean to you? To Addie and I, it is full of hope and promise. It is a turning point. The beginning of the end of a pandemic. The end of a volatile presidency and a return to sensible governance. The end of quarantines, isolation, and social distancing and a return to physical human interaction. We will once again congregate, gather with those we love, see them up close, touch and feel again … not in an impersonal virtual space, but in the very real and beautiful world.

We want to celebrate 2021 with an outpouring of creativity and optimism!

Each week, we’ll choose a theme upon which to write and paint. We have many exciting topics to explore, and we are excited to share our work.

So, without further ado, let’s begin the adventure of this new year!


The second theme for the new year is awaken.

each morning we’re born again
of yesterday nothing remains
what’s left began today

Anselm Hollo, Corvus


Awaken By Addie Hirschten


The Crow

When the sun shines and you fall asleep,
I too fall asleep,
and in my dreams words follow you
like a pack of hungry dogs.

When the moon’s high and you lie awake,
I too lie awake,
and a long, sibilated syllable
encompasses all the black, starry space.

Black, starry space.
Black like your feathers–
slick, cunning, and artful.
You are a crow and, however hard you try,
will always be black.

On what tree and on what branch
did you perch precariously
on the last frozen winter night?

I see you now behind the sweet orange dawn-curtain.
The riptide carries you out onto the skywater,
where you flit and you play.
Another among your number takes your lead,
and then another,
until a murder of soaring actors
has taken the stage.
Comedy or tragedy–
it’s both and all the same.

But from my front row seat,
I distinguish you from the rest,
my dear crow.
Not by your shrill croaking, or the fast, charcoal black of your feathers,
Or by the way your talons clutch momentously
the spindling tree–
but by the familiar glint of your black bean eye,
wherein is your soul contained.

When the play’s over,
I’ll watch you while you sleep,
and on the morning next,
follow you out to sea.


Brad & Addie

We’ve selected 52 themes (one theme per week for the year), and each week for 2021, I will write a poem and Addie will paint a painting inspired by that theme.

Expect an outpouring of creative energy! This is the sort of big project that artists live for … where we can say what we yearn to say.  Big picture stuff. Heart wrenching stuff. Expect surprises, love, and a passion for life.

Check Out Addie’s Instagram Account:

Check out Addie’s art studio — Studio Alchemy:

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