Monthly Archives: April 2020

NaPoWriMo Day 30: Go Away


This is the last day of National Poetry Month–and National Poetry-Writing Month. This is my 24th poem for this year’s challenge.


Go Away
by ARHuelsenbeck

he’s back
like a bad penny
this time he was gone
for almost two years
he has the sour smell
of someone who’s been
drinking for days

I don’t let him in
go away

don’t be like that
I’m sorry
just let me crash here
I’ll leave in the morning

I close the door
and lock it

he pounds on it
Mary Ann Mary Ann
you’re my last hope

I call 9-1-1
there’s a bum on my doorstep
and he won’t go away

they can’t arrest him
if he hasn’t broken any laws
but I don’t want to wait for that
when the cop car pulls up
he runs away

he’ll be back
maybe tomorrow
maybe next year
he always comes back
lucky menapo2020button1-1

Guest Post: War and Conflict in Paintings, by Joy of Museums


Thank you to Joy of Museums for putting together this compendium of the Art of War.


The Massacre at Chios by Eugène Delacroix

A Virtual Tour of War and Conflict in Art

“The Art of War” in this context, is the artistic representation of the conflict between groups or between just two people and can range from extreme violence to non-physical aggression.

Art Galleries are full of Art representing and commenting on War. War is generally characterized by extreme violence, aggression, destruction, and mortality. Total war is warfare that is not restricted to purely legitimate military targets and can result in massive civilian or other non-combatant suffering and casualties.

While some scholars see war as a universal and ancestral aspect of human nature, others argue it is a result of specific socio-cultural, economic, or ecological circumstances. Below we examine how Art through the ages has interpreted War between states and individuals.

To continue with A Virtual Tour of War in Paintings, click here

Z is for Zentangle


Zentangle® is a method of drawing patterns. Many of the designs are repetitive. Working on zentangle is focused and relaxing. It’s a good activity for being present in the moment. Plus, it’s beautiful, and provides lots of opportunities for being creative.

I first discovered zentangle in a round-about way. My husband likes to carve gunstocks. He bought a zentangle book thinking he could use some of the designs in his carving. He changed his mind and gave the book to me.

You know how when you’re planning to be a certain car, every fourth car you see on the road is the car you want? Well, I began seeing zentangle online, on blogs, on social media, on YouTube. It made me want to learn more.

I discovered a Facebook group called Tangle All Around. Alice Hendon, the administrator, offers weekly challenges: 7 tangles (designs to try), a string (a way to segment your drawing surface so you can fill each section with a different tangle), and a dare (suggestions for using your imagination to create variations for a tangle, or to come up with your own design).

This year, she came up with the special project, which she calls “Zen-untangled.” Over the course of 25 weeks, the participants are making a keepsake notebook of the 101 “official” zentangle patterns. I am way behind in mine (my completed pages are the images in this post), and I have entered mine in a different order, skipped some, and added others. But it’s a very convenient way to have a reference of the tangles I like or am interested in incorporating into a project some day.

If you’d like to learn more about zentangle, it’s been a frequent topic on ARHtistic License.


NaPoWriMo Day Twenty-Nine: Tell Me Your History


Selfie with Ralph

Tell Me Your History
by ARHuelsenbeck

What happened to you in
your past life, Ralph?
Why is it that you cringe and
run away when I stoop to
pet you? Why do you refuse
to take a treat from my
hand, but grab it when I
put it on the floor and step back?
Why do you growl at Daddy,
who’s never ever hurt you?

The neighbors laugh when
they see me walking west
with you. They say, “Doesn’t
it defeat the purpose if you
carry your dog on your
walk?” I have to explain
you only walk toward the
house, never away.

You’re so damaged. You
never come when I call you.
I can only touch you when
you are in your safe places,
your little beds throughout the
house. We’ll never know what
happened before you came to
the shelter, a stray. But don’t
worry; you’re safe now.


Wordless Wednesday: Y is for Yellow


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NaPoWriMo Day Twenty-Eight: Oma’s Federbett



Oma’s Federbett
by ARHuelsenbeck

The summer I was nine
my family visited relatives in Germany.
It was the first time my parents
had returned since emigrating to
the US ten years earlier.

Tante Resi’s house was our base of
operations. My grandmother turned her
bedroom over to me. It contained a
wardrobe, a bed, and a nightstand. A door led to
a balcony from which you could see the
garden, the Bavarian village, and the woods beyond.

But the best thing in the bedroom was the
Federbett, literally “feather bed,” a colorful,
puffy ticking envelope filled with feathers.
Today we might call it a down comforter.
I’d never seen one before.

Even though we visited during the summertime,
the temperature plummeted at night, and the
only heat in the house was the wood stove
in the kitchen downstairs. (Heck,
they didn’t even have a bathroom,
but that’s another story.)
The Federbett was so thick
it weighed several pounds. At bedtime,
Tante Resi covered me, and I remained
toasty warm all night.a-to-z HEADER [2020] to size v2

X is for Xenophobia



sharon-mccutcheon-TZZwC_xsClY-unsplashXenophobia is the fear of foreigners. It can be manifested as barring of immigrants, refusal to do business with people from other backgrounds, and victimization of foreigners.

Xenophobia is an incongruous affliction in the United States. After all, most of us here either came from someplace else, or descended from someone who did.

When the first European settlers came to the New World, they were welcomed and assisted by the indigenous people already here, who were amused by the ideas that the newcomers brought with them, such as ownership of land. And what did the white people do? Though some lived in mutual harmony with the natives, others murdered tribal people, and eventually the American government drove them from their lands and forced them onto reservations, out of sight.

Part of the problem of xenophobia comes from perceiving the person who doesn’t share our background as being “other,” ineligible to join our society, automatically deemed inferior due to being different.

No one has the right to judge another person. We’d most likely be wrong, anyway. As fellow human beings, we have much more in common with each other than we do differences.

I know I’m over-simplifying things. But simple is not wrong.

Marvin Gaye’s song is as timely today as it was 49 years ago:

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NaPoWriMo Day Twenty-Seven: Noisy


by ARHuelsenbeck

applauding the brilliant performance
burping the ABCs
chortling like a baby
drumming your fingers on the table
ear-splitting screams of terror
foghorns warning of danger
giggling at the silliest faces
hiccupping despite holding your breathe
ick! get that away from me
joking with each other
krunching through the snow
laughing all the way ha ha ha
mumbling an apology
noise inescapable
ouch! that hurts
popping balloons
quarreling like an old married couple
rumbling like an empty stomach
shots fired in the night
tooting horns
ululating uvulas
volume turned all the way up
whistling in the graveyard
x-clamations of joy
yelling at your children
zapping the alien with your ray gunnapo2020button1-1

W is for Weaving


Taken at the Arizona Renaissance Festival, February 2019:




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NaPoWriMo: Day Twenty-Six: Meanwhile, somewhere in Arizona


Meanwhile, somewhere in Arizona
by ARHuelsenbeck

seen from a red tile roof:
cactus and palm trees and wildflowers and weeds
discarded furniture and yard debris
rattlesnakes and scorpions
and a unicorn
t-shirt-, shorts-, and flip-flop-wearing walkers
strolling past the inverted pyramid
speaking in Spanish
protected from burning rays by baseball caps, zinc cream, and sunglasses
Trump’s anti-scientific musings have been dangerous
scary droplets
Love You Forevernapo2020button1-1