On my lips

Just some haiku-musings at the end of summer ~

slow breath between the sea rose dawn

the tang of late summer brine on my lips

twilight settles the quiet beauty of seaglass

to the last minute crimson sunset

Venus on the lee edge of a why not sky

alone on shore the moon sends a path


The New Black

Mrs. O’Leary’s BBQ

Sounds like a summer place to meet for some ribs and draft beer?  Not.  

After polishing my toenails (a chore to be tolerated at best), I decided to check out the polish color name.  Late in life – color names have taken on the panache of children and pet names.  Out of nowhere it seems, “overalls”  is the new blue, “girls’ night out” is the new lilac and “hail a cab” is the new moniker for yellow.

I kid you not.  As a haiku poet, I have wandered into a big box store on occasion to pilfer a few paint color chips looking for poetic inspiration. (Full disclosure – got caught once and lied that I was an art teacher using them for a painting class). I was amazed to find virtual stories used as paint names and was inspired to write many a haiku/senryu for fun and to test my wits.  It seems that paint names are not-to-be outdone by moms with strollers.  

Here are a few new favorite color names by “allen + roth” (the name is trade-marked just as typed) and their tag line is “classic style with a modern twist” –  I’ll buy that.

Try to guess the color by the new name.  Answers (to the best of my old color sense) are given below:

1 – corner pub
2 – shaken not stirred
3 – elavator button (this is destined to become a classic)
4 – sigh
5 – first kiss
6 – inhale
7 – lazy days
8 – toll booth (another winner)
9 – poetry in the park (sic)
10 – shop ’til you drop

Gotta love love the whimsy, humor and guts.  It’s this kind of stuff that strengthens my belief in a higher order.

Ok, here are the matching Crayola Crayon color equivalents:

1 – dark green
2 – beige or taupe
3 – gold
4 – off-white (that’s more of an appliance color than Crayola)
5 – cherry (at least I can see a connection here)
6 – light gray (fog)
7 – very light green
8 – a non-descript brown cross with beige (sort of dull – right on again)
9 – an earthy lilac
10 – dusty orange

At least Mrs O’Leary’s BBQ is actually the color of a bbq sauce.  What enticed me about the color name is that it belongs to a great old Irish woman!  

I do hope that the paint companies keep it up without “jumping the shark” so to speak.  Hey – that might even be the name for the new black.  LOL – you heard it here first!

This haiku was first published by Modern Haiku and the first line is a paint color name:

picnic basket
our plans
on hold


Teach Your Hands Words

“Your Hands Need Words”

This from an artist-teacher that I am studying with.  Her name is Laurel Oswald Clark, and she is unafraid to tell it like it is regarding my growing body of work in paint and drawing.  Laurel also said “teach your hands to talk.” As a poet and a painter, this advice intrigued me to no end.  I have tried, since I put pen to paper and brush to canvas, to mix up my mediums.  My goal is to poet with paint and paint life’s poetry.  This may not be exactly what Laurel intended, however my thoughts flew in this direction.  Her message is that we need to teach our hands through practice – the language (words) to express our vision/intention.  What a great way to say it!

Language is an amazing concept, and I am learning that there are so many non-linear languages that are carried on around us.  For instance, flowers speak to us through color and fragrance.  Dogs use body language and scent, birds sing and squawk etc.

Now I am being urged to teach my hands yet another language – that of sight and my tools are line, color, shape, texture and more.  My hands are fairly adept as their own set of tools to function as part of my physical being.  But it never occurred to me before that I would have to teach them “words”.  I absolutely love the concept and along with Laurel’s other recommendation to “set an intention every single time you set out to paint” –  I now have the extra oomph that I need to express my own vision/version of lyrical abstract-impressionism.

I am very grateful to Laurel Clark for sharing this bit of wisdom with me.  I am equally grateful to all my instructors who are guiding me and fellow artists/students along our creative paths with all their hard-earned knowledge, experience and blessings.  Each one of these hard-working artists is supportive, nurturing and gifted.  It is wonderful to hear them quote their own favorite instructors-mentors and pass on stories and lessons with such generous and gracious hearts.

Please visit the websites of these extraordinary NJ artists and instructors:

Julie Friedman: http://www.juliefriedmanart.com
Leah K. Tomaino: http://www.leahktomaino.com
Dannielle Mick: http://www.danniellemick.com or http://www.lakesideartstudio.com
Laurel Oswald Clark: http://www.laureloswaldclark.artspan.com

and my own art (in a toddler stage as of this writing):  www.andrearosegrillo.com

as the land holds stories unfold in garden voices

ag ~ 2013

At the Farmer’s Market

At The Farmer’s Market

On most weekends
are women who farm
wearing a look of dusty denim
and tired smiles.

You exchange pleasantries
with most everyone
as you bag and bundle
the week’s harvest.

There is no time for makeup
and your hair is cropped short
or haphazardly pulled back
without a second glance.

Soil under your fingernails
accent strong fingers and hands
while on your feet
only water and mud-proof shoes will do.

Tee shirts or faded flannel
with rolled-up sleeves
cannot hide your muscled arms
or disguise an earthy beauty.

Musky scents that ripen
with the nurture of birth,
growth, harvest, death and decay
mix into your sweat and laughter.

At the farmer’s market
are women who farm
and walk home after long days
wearing their fields on dusty denim.

With gratitude.

ag ~ 2013

A Gardener’s Gloves

So very often
a garden lingers
longer than the gardener’s 
frayed gloves
and loving touch

still scenting
still swaying
growing toward the sun
tended to by butterflies and bees 
wind and rain

without melancholy
without longing
and without knowing
summer’s end
is soon enough.

ag ~ 2013

I wrote this for Robin 
in memory of her many gardens,
but it wasn’t quite finished
until I saw a photo
of her garden gloves.

With peace and love,
(and many more tears),


Garden Grace











I love my late summer garden.  Especially at twilight when colors ripen, crickets vibrate at a high pitch and bees and ladybugs are still hard at work.  A hummingbird also finds early evening a fine time to sip nectar from the sage.  Work is mostly finished for the day and since it’s Friday – mostly for this week.  My eclectic garden is small yet packed with color and texture and I’m proud to say – in a highly populated deer and ground-hog habitat.  Thank the Goddess for all the sages, both annual and perennial.

But in order to really admire the abundant yet tiny blooms, I like to rub my nose and elbows with the honey-bees, moths, ladybugs, butterflies and even aphids.  Most tolerate my intrusion with very good humor – i.e. they ignore me.  So I am able to photograph close-up.












I cannot live without the blues, blue and more blue.
























As well as apricot, and pink, raspberry and tangerine …












Aubergine has a lovely dark spot in my heart and garden.












Check out the golden aphids (and the ladybug devouring them) on the stems of the orange-crimson annual:












And my statue “Garden Grace”  herself ~















wild rosehips

and mine

belong to

a summer garden



ag ~ August 2013



As If a Lovely Blue Silk Scarf

La Bella Luna

A Short Whimsical Colloquy


Merl ~ The Sea
Luna ~ The Moon
Stella ~ A Star
Nuvola ~ A Cloud

The Scene: A tranquil tropical beach.

The Time: Before the crescent moon rises to infinity.

Merl: Cara mia Luna, you are wearing the evening as if a lovely blue
          silk scarf.              

Luna: How silly you are – that is only Nuvola, but a lingering cloud that 
           keeps pursuing me.

Merl:  La Luna, have you forsaken me and played my heart like a
          windharp?  I want to see more of you tonight.

Luna:  Oh La Mer,  I could never leave you, but sometimes I think that 
           you flirt more with Stella – that young brilliant star!

Merl:  (with a hardy laugh) – Bella Luna, – she is very sweet, but my heart
          belongs to your light.

Luna:  I know Deepest Love, and this Nuvola is but a puff of mist 
           disappearing into your reflection.

Meryl:  Cara mia, How beautiful you are…I await your fullness when we 
             can dance as waves onto the shore.

Buonno notte ~ the End.

soft waves
once again
with and without you

ag ~ August 2013 
Grand Water Trine