Tributaries: Raffles

Raffles Girls SchoolToday Phil and I visited Raffles Girls School in Singapore and were overwhelmed with gifts. So many letters and drawings and packages! I couldn’t scan all of them, but these were some of my favorite. The top is a folder that a bunch of girls made for me, taken from a line of “Postcards.” The second is a drawing by Hu Jun Yi which is exciting because I’ve never been an anime character before. The bottom two are both by Sophia Kim Chi, and I love them. I especially love how creepy the one without faces is, and how accurate the hair is. The line that is quoted is from our duet poem, “An Origin Story.” Plus, a personalized Pokemon cartoon? Too cool. (Although in real life, I’m the same height as Phil, despite my Pokemon avatar’s diminutive size!)

Tributaries: Poem Quilt

Poem QuiltNoelia A. writes:

“Mi name is Noelia, I´m from Argentina and I´m a huge fan or your work. I found you, like many others, through TED talks. Your poem, Point B, moved me so much. I probably listened to it around 40 times. I had never listened spoken poetry before. Your talk woke up an interest I didn´t think I could ever have. I´m a crafter, mainly a quilter, I work with my hands an create objects but I´m not very good with words. With the melody of your poem in my head, I thought I could use the words to make a quilt. Essentially, the words are what make the quilt (the quilting itself, what keeps all the layers together. I chose some of the lines of the poem, not all of it and fee-hand quilted them over a piece of linen) and then added the rainbow embroidery, which is to my quilt what the melody is to your poem.”

What an absolutely beautiful quilt. Click the image above to get a better look at Noelia’s beautiful craftsmanship.

Tributaries: Mumbai Gift

Mumbai Gift Someone named Vainavi V. sent me this painting that was inspired by my poem “B.” Vainavi came to see our show at the Blue Frog in Mumbai, which was a particularly special one for me. I’m glad I have this painting to connect me to that night. I’m glad the girl in this picture has braids.

Tributaries: Pune

Aditi in PuneTonight Phil and I had a show in Pune, India. It was the first time in history that Pune had hosted a large scale spoken word poetry show, and we had a blast. As an added surprise, someone brought a painting that had been made based off of “B“! The artist’s name is Aditi, but that’s all I know about her!

Tributaries: Viewpoint School

Viewpoint Poetry People Elizabeth W. Writes in:

“My friends, teachers, and I still talk about your visit to Viewpoint School and how special it was. I wanted to drop you a quick note to tell you what my poetry club, Poetry People has been up to since we last spoke. I initiated and directed a spoken word show featuring eight of Poetry People\’s poets, entitled “All the Girls in the World.” We performed it on National Women’s Day in October for middle and upper school, and have done a few service learning performances in Pasadena. In January, we filmed the production, and are in the process of making a website where girls all over the world can post their poems. I have posted the link below and would love to hear your feedback!”

I love when schools continue to expand their spoken word poetry community after a visit from Project VOICE. Big kudos to Elizabeth and the whole gang for putting this together. Click the image above to watch their video.

Tributes: This Funny Place

This Funny Place
Somebody got a tattoo of a line from “B” on their torso: “be sure your mind lands on the beauty of this funny place called life.” That’s a pretty long tattoo. Maybe I need to start writing shorter lines in poems. For the sake of people’s skin.

Tributes: Peanut Butter to the Gherkin

Peanut Butter to the Gherkin
A friend of mine found this online today:

In English, we heard “love letter from a toothbrush to a bicycle tire”, which is quite sweet and smart. So, because it is Singles Awareness Day (S.A.D., as labelled by the year 13s at my school), I thought I’d share! In English this lesson, we were also required to try to write a piece of our own, which I am posting here, albeit that it is an (unfinished?) piece. (It was inspired by Sarah’s poem, mentioned above, and arguments I used to have with a friend, who remains loyal to peanut butter and gherkin sandwiches to this day (I’m the one who’d say eww 😛 ). It does not in any other way relate to my life.)

Here’s the poem they wrote:

A lot of people think that we’re just weird together.
When we go out to lunch and come across a friend,
They take one look and saw “eww, why are you with him?!?”
Sometimes they whisper in my ear “are those warts on his nose?”
And I always have to explain that you’re not about to be sick,
You’re just olive-toned.

Though you like the briny sea
While I prefer to stay sheltered and dry inside,
Does it matter which jar we’re in, if we both enjoy
The company? (Although, I could do without
The 20-odd siblings who all seem to share your room.)

My mum says that I’m sweet, and what am I doing with such a salty kinda guy?
But I don’t want to wreck her dreams,
So I hold within
Myself the secret grains of salt that I have hidden
Beneath my silky smooth skin.

When we meet, I always hug you;
Slip into your nooks and melt into your crannies
Because when we’re together,
I feel like the other side of me has been put back,
Like I am made complete.
Even if it’s only for half a day,
I know that this bond we share is real:
Sticky and joining us together,
Leaving small reminders, even as we part.

What a perfect “Tributary” for Valentine’s Day. You can read the original here.

Tributes: I See the Moon

I See the Moon
Miss Katie Ness writes in to say:

I am a 27 year old mixed media artist from the UK who works with video art, Arabic dance, illustration, sensory room installations, poetry, collage and much more. I enjoy making children’s book illustrations, embellishing my costumes with broken jewellery and old pieces of junk and painting Henna patterns on my hands. Art and Belly Dance make me happy and my ambition life is to become an expressive arts therapist to help others express their emotions through art. This illustration was inspired by your song/poem about the moon…

What a lovely illustration.  She’s talking about the first few lines of “Astronaut” which go:

I see the Moon, the Moon sees me.
the Moon sees somebody that I don’t see.
God bless the Moon and God bless me.
And God bless the somebody that I don’t see.
If I get to Heaven before you do
I’ll make a hole and pull you through.
And I’ll write your name on every star,
that way the world won’t seem so far.

I didn’t actually write those words, they are from an old children’s song. But I did make up the melody that I sing it to. You can click here to watch the video of Astronaut. You should also check out Katie’s website for more of her work!