A Collaboration of Art and Poetry: The Blackbird and the Butterfly

Updated on January 19, 2018
Missy Smith profile image

Missy is a unique writer who enjoys inviting her readers into her thoughts through her poetry and other topics of discussion.  

How my Art and Poetry Collaboration Happened

The creative process has always been an interesting thing for me. Sometimes, I come up with a poem just by having a good or bad day. The words will flow out of me, and next thing you know; I have words on paper that I actually like. So, then I will publish them, because what is the point of release without being brave enough to share, right?

That's how it's been with my poetry. However, I only recently started doodling a little.I'm still very new at it, and probably pretty bad - if truth be told. Nevertheless, I don't care! I enjoy the learning process of figuring out how to draw. It has been another great way to calm myself on stressful days.

As I've mentioned here before, my poetry has been self-help therapy for me when I'm depressed, and oddly enough, I started drawing when my anxiety had reached the highest level it has ever been a few months back. But, that's plenty about the reason why I started these two hobbies. I want to talk about the pieces I've displayed here today, and how they collaborated together.

The process was a little different for me this time. I had no depression, and I have had no major anxiety for about a month now. I actually just wanted to draw one day, and so, I started to draw lines. Then, like usual, my imagination got a little dark. I thought of being in the woods, wanting out, but trapped. I thought of briers along a dark path, and the opening at the very end with a beautiful butterfly. I love butterflies, and therefore, this was where my drawing started coming to life; the way I saw it in my imagination. However, I had some areas of the drawing that I didn't quite like, and so, as I have learned through my writing, it is always a good practice just to lay it down, take a break, and come back another day.

As I practiced this writing tactic that I learned to be a very useful tool in the creative process, words for a new poem started appearing in my head. This was a couple of days later, so, of course; I wasn't thinking it had anything to do with my picture. I actually thought it was dark because of a show I was watching when the words came to me. In this show, the girl was crying about being 35-years-old and still single. It made me think about being 46-years-old and not yet being married. I felt her pain; however, I was more sorry for myself at this point (laughing).

My poem began to take on a descriptive story, and about three lines in; it came to me that I was writing out my drawing. I thought of darkness and climbing vines, and I knew it was about this vision of mine that I was sketching. I added the butterfly into the poem, and a blackbird. Voile'... my poem was almost finished at this point. I had incorporated the things in my vision along with the things I had felt at the moment. Even so, my drawing still wasn't finished. I knew something was missing. I put a little bird on a vine; the butterfly was at the end of the path, but why wasn't it finished? I stopped for a break again.

A day later, I was on Facebook, as I usually am, just checking around to see what was new in the world, when I stumbled on a current happening; Dolores O' Riordan, lead singer of " The Cranberries," had died that very day. I was crushed. I absolutely loved their songs and her voice. I started scrambling through any article I could find in order to find out what happened to her. After all, she was only forty-six, just like myself. And the reality hits when you start looking through past pictures of someone; that face! She looked so lost at times, even at her own wedding. Could she have been sad? Her health at times, judging from her body in these pictures I saw, even looked really thin. Could she have had an illness that her fans didn't know about?

After that day of discovery of the talented Dolores O' Riordan's fate, I went to my drawing again, and right there I decided that her haunting face would somehow have tobe put in my picture. The poem read as someone who was lost and sad. Dolores looked lost and morose in so many of those pictures. I needed her face in my creation. I didn't know if it looked precisely like her; my portraits of people rarely look exactly like the person. Even so, I added her. She was the lost girl in my poem and the missing part in my picture.

There you have it, the explanation of two creations that worked together to become one; A poem and a picture! I added another picture for fun, but this publication is about the main picture, the poem, and a dedication and thanks to the late Dolores O' Riordan. Rest in Peace!

The Girl in my Dark Woods: Dolores O' Riordan of The Cranberries

Thanks for the inspiration. Rest in peace.
Thanks for the inspiration. Rest in peace. | Source

Living in the Dark


The Blackbird and The Butterfly

Could there be another like me, someone who has lived lost – all alone?

Where are you my blackbird friend? I need surety that you’re here?

Oh, the woods of brisk to these bones – darkness with tease of joyful glow...

through the branches and up above, you must guide me an out to love.

Desiring of a new life, I need a cobble road, to clear a way - I need a hope.

These briers they rip, my soul is defied; trapping me from that butterfly…



It’s bright and bold, free to fly, in a color field below the big blue


I ask to pardon my beggar ways, but you must realize we blackbirds fray…

living in dark silence, barely hanging on, to shreds of faith, and days of hope.

We wallow in our own tick-tocks of dread. We lapse from reality to keep a sanity


I want a capture from the sun; its warmth to hug my frozen flesh…

For I must live, I want not to die, before I get to feel like the pretty butterfly…

Expecting to Place a Dark Video; Fate Wins Again...

Questions & Answers

    © 2018 Missy Smith


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      • Frank Atanacio profile image

        Frank Atanacio 

        23 months ago from Shelton

        Just checking up on you girl.. how you be? Still thought this was a very entertaining collaboration.. Missy...:)

      • Missy Smith profile imageAUTHOR

        Missy Smith 

        2 years ago from Florida

        Thank you, Mark Tulin. :)

      • Mark Tulin profile image

        Mark Tulin 

        2 years ago from Santa Barbara, California

        Beautiful. Thanks.

      • Missy Smith profile imageAUTHOR

        Missy Smith 

        2 years ago from Florida

        I always feel like I need to share how my creations come to me. They are pretty simple ways, but I like to share my thoughts. It's wonderful to know that someone finds my type of style unique. I have always felt a little different than the normal crowd. :) Thank you again, Chitrangada!

      • Missy Smith profile imageAUTHOR

        Missy Smith 

        2 years ago from Florida

        Thank you, Shyron! I'm always so glad to know you appreciate my work. :)

      • ChitrangadaSharan profile image

        Chitrangada Sharan 

        2 years ago from New Delhi, India

        What an enjoyable read!

        Your explanation of how this hub was created/ written, joining pieces in such a creative way, is wonderful. Conveys a lot about your artistic mind and poetic heart, and that’s a great combination. Yours is a unique style and I really appreciate that.

        Thanks for sharing!

      • Shyron E Shenko profile image

        Shyron E Shenko 

        2 years ago from Texas

        Missy, Missy, your poem is terrific

        And your art is terrific too

        I also appreciation your explanation of your inspiration

        And how it came to you

        I admire your admiration

        Of Dolores O’Riordan the Cranberries girl



        Blessings always my friend

      • Missy Smith profile imageAUTHOR

        Missy Smith 

        2 years ago from Florida

        Thank you, Gypsy!

      • Gypsy Rose Lee profile image

        Gypsy Rose Lee 

        2 years ago from Daytona Beach, Florida

        Most creative and artistic. Enjoyed.

      • Missy Smith profile imageAUTHOR

        Missy Smith 

        2 years ago from Florida

        So glad you liked this, John. You know that your opinion means the world to me. Thanks so much!!

      • Jodah profile image

        John Hansen 

        2 years ago from Queensland Australia

        Missy, I so enjoyed this fine example of your artistic talent for both poetry and drawing. Your explanation of how it all came about and fit into place was a wonderful read. Glad to hear this wasn't inspired by depression (your own at least) and that is a big positive. Great work as always my friend.

      • Missy Smith profile imageAUTHOR

        Missy Smith 

        2 years ago from Florida

        Hey Bill, I do hope I have mustered up a little talent in the writing field. However, the art field is still a learning process that I am enjoying very much. I love to share, because if you aren't brave enough to reveal your dreams, especially in these types of fields, how would you know if you are even halfway on the right path? lol... The truth is, even if I wasn't, I would keep trying if that is what I wanted to do.

        Thank you so much for the wonderful compliment!

      • billybuc profile image

        Bill Holland 

        2 years ago from Olympia, WA

        Well, first of all, I'm happy to hear you have had a month free of depression and anxiety. Secondly, you are insanely talented...poet and artist? That hardly seems fair to the rest of us mere humans. :) beautiful work,Missy!

      • Missy Smith profile imageAUTHOR

        Missy Smith 

        2 years ago from Florida

        Thank you both, Lori and Venkat! I am feeling much better these days. I hope it continues for a while, however, I know the things I suffer with can detain me out of nowhere. I’m not going to think about that though. I’m going to smile for a while!! :) Thanks again!

      • Venkatachari M profile image

        Venkatachari M 

        2 years ago from Hyderabad, India

        I notice some positive change in your perceptions as seen from these lines of poetry and your wonderful doodles, Missy. It's a wonderful creation after a long gap, I think. I am very happy to see you engaged in such things in spite of your distracting moods. My blessings to you.

      • lambservant profile image

        Lori Colbo 

        2 years ago from Pacific Northwest

        Hi Missy, let me start by saying your profile photo is so precious because unlike others you've had, in this one you are bright and beaming.

        Secondly, I loved your poem and the story behind it, and your drawings were amazing. This woman does look very haunting and sad in the photo. Because of the issues I face I could relate to some of the lines in the poem. A very creative collaboration here, Missy. Sending hugs.

      • Missy Smith profile imageAUTHOR

        Missy Smith 

        2 years ago from Florida

        Thank you, Frank. I like the way you describe it. I like taunting and a little nerve-shattering. I'm a bit of a female Edgar Allan Poe, or at least I like to think of myself that way. lol... And if it has a begging pull to it, that's even better.

        This is a great review from a much respected friend and brilliant writer. I thank you again!

      • Frank Atanacio profile image

        Frank Atanacio 

        2 years ago from Shelton

        wow so explosively touching.. you've wonderfully crossed that thin dark line with your poetry..or creation.. I found it taunting and a bit nerve -shattering.. as your lines beg to be read.. brilliant Missy.. just brilliant


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