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

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.

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...

© 2018 Missy Smith

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