Monday, December 28, 2009

Inner Warrior

When I was little,
I found a piece
of scrap fake leopard fur
in a ditch
slightly visible under
a layer of melting spring ice
and thought
it was a warriors vest
sent to me from
the African gods
to give me strength.

I wore it everywhere
despite my mothers embarrassment
and coaxing
to please, not wear it in public!
It had magic and
in becoming "lion-hearted"
I rode imaginary zebras
and ran as fast as the cheetahs
to the power lines
which I called South Africa.

That was the beginning
of my inner native,
my African self
oddly, I knew everything
about the continent early on
the names and location
of each country and its capital
and what animals lived where
so in my blood
and heart
that African music
or just the word Africa
spoken out loud
makes me weepy.

What is it about a place
never actually visited that pulls
and calls our name?
Reincarnation, unspoken spirits?
Some unforgotten ancestral guidance?

A couple years ago,
I got my spots,
a tattoo on my ankle
my warriors' mark
and when I need a vest of strength
I pull out something with
animal print on it
for my warrior wear
and I walk with lions again!

Pam Piper Rain
Artwork by Pam Reinke

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Letting go

And there it is...
tried but
out run it
...never can.

Been feeling it for days
knew it would arrive
this fluid pain...
that which was 'last year'
stunningly altered,

And although the lessons?
in dancing in joy
and humor
and in being and breathing,
so abundant,
moments my feet knew
only clouds
and play and starlight
it is not...
without its opposite.

The rain.

In my most difficult chapter
from 'The Heart of a Wild Woman'...
written and rewritten,
Princess Piper tries
to tell the woman
her heart is a book,
a story to tell.

Edited so many times
I thought it wouldFont size
never come to me...
and yesterday it did!

With the story in hand,

Princess Piper said, goodbye

“wait, its not finished,”

the woman said with a cry

“it never really is,” Piper said,

“the story continues on,

it’s a snapshot in time,

a prayer, a poem, a song!”

Their meeting was brief,

but she had come at the right time,

giving her an encounter

of divine... rhythm and rhyme.

People come in and out

like smoke

like air

a passing fragrance

a whisper

and I understand


that we don't lose them

we learn to let them go,

and that distant hum

is a gift

...of hallelujah.

Pam Piper Rain

Illustration and excerpt from

Heart of a Wild Woman

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Forever Farrah

Today's blog is about my hair
my hair!

It seems it is highly misunderstood...
first of all
let me state the facts
it IS naturally blond
(and hmmm...admittedly gray)
but not naturally curly
I pay for that.
I have had the same hairdo
for twenty years
and I don't care
yes I suppose it is kind of BIG
(but not National Lampoon
or Farrah big, I don't think)
preferring to think its wild
and messy like my illustrations
sort of a trademark look
and people who know me well...
know I use it to hide behind
it is my shield, my veil, my net
and finally
Velcro and my hair don't get along
at all!
(Oh and branches also
got tangled in a tree once!)

So when in a conversation
with my paddling mates
the other day
I noticed there were
far too many questions about my hair
along with
relayed comments about
their own Farrah days...hmm???
And...the mention of "big" hair...
one too many times
(all words
I have a bit of an aversion to...)
and there is the ongoing banter
of 'who likes pink and who doesn't?'
between Anita and I!

Pink is the only color
I can honestly say I hate
probably due to the many
childhood moments
spent next to a pepto bismol bottle
(its a sad story, don't ask)
(tho now, it makes me think
of my late friend Jen who loved
everything pink)

So when someone said
"Would have thought you'd love pink
because of your girlie girl hair"
I am so offended"
I stormed laughing
and outraged, truly!

Never having seen myself as
a 'girlie girl'
never even been called that???

So what kind of misconception
is occurring
because I have big messy Farrah like hair
that Velcro and branches are attracted to?
And do I really care?
as long as no one gets me
anything pink to wear in it!
Its going to be
Farrah forever!

Pam Piper Rain

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Holy's Tucson

Last show of the year is always in Tucson.
It is traditional to attend for
myself and my two wild artist friends
(who I affectionately call
Sister Mary Janet)
This year when I said,
"I think I will pass,"
they said, "Oh No, you won't."

Rich in adventures and the hilarious
oddity that is downtown Tucson!
It is always a parade of the bizarre!
And we have a collection of stories
told and retold
to anyone who will listen!

Janet's rendition of the intoxicated girl,
who was listening and weaving
to 'far away 'music while
holding up her bike
and trying to apply chap stick
around and around,
ultimately... on her whole face,
continues to entertain me
every time I hear it!

This year there are kids
with hugs for sale,
"regular ones and deluxe"
hmmm, curious about the
deluxe version but not that curious...
a lot of three legged dogs
which made us wonder...whats going
on down here?
And whats up with all the facial hair
on these women?
Don't they have friends who will tell them
"honey, pluck!

There are the usual sights
like people dressed up
as stuffed animals or carrying exotic ones
but our new favorite is
"creepy stick man"
he would slink through the crowd,
white faced, arms and legs
banded with sticks,
clicking and clacking like old bones,
(even saw a woman scream
when he startled her...)
To us, its just.... Tucson!

This year we started a journal
for our commentaries
and observances...
taking turns passing it back in forth
between our booths
which were side by side in a row of three
this made it easier to say,
"Holy crap, Did you see that?"
like when Cleopatra came sailing down
the sidewalk in her array of gold lamete'.
(Wait, that might have been last year!)

We eat at the same place for every meal,
(the second reason why we come here)
a fun little restaurant that everyone
who has 'good taste' is seen dining in.
Black bean burgers for every dinner and
homemade biscuits with honey and butter
in the morning...
Janet and I decide these
are a sticky golden piece of heaven
for people who are really good!

The third reason is to make sales
(of course)
but that's not what we ever really remember
its the stories, the moments,
the experiences
that we gather along the way
the ones that make our faces hurt
from smiling
too much and too long
creating permanent lines of happy,
that we wear proudly
through the rest of the year!.

On the way back to Phoenix.
I suggest, "next year
we should show up with something
funny to wear all week end..."
"yeah, like a tiara, or a fake nose
maybe even some sticks?"
Mary adds in agreement.

Hey, when in Rome...!"

Pam Piper Rain

alias Sparkly Pants
or was it Piper Jo?

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Birds and pants

Its dusk on Mill Avenue in Dec.
in Tempe, Arizona and it is cold
I am helping Mary tarp off
the three booths her and Janet share.
there are a multitude of birds
flying overhead,
to the trees lining the sidewalks,
they come in flocks
to roost for the evening
with a high pitch chirp chatter
deafening and yes...
there is pooping!

Trying to duck out of range
is a challenge and some artists.
aren't as lucky
We are tired...
so tired up since 3:00 am
and cold
bone achingly cold!

"Why do they poop while flying?"
Mary asks me,
"It's not like we poop while running."
"Well, because we wear pants," I answer,
she looks at me, "What????"
"Well, you know, if all we had was a tail
and our feet were tucked behind us..."
We start laughing at the visual
our usual 'we're too tired
to make sense
tangent' about to begin.

In the car, it continues,
the senseless commentary of the day
and somehow I earn
the nickname "sparky pants"
for the weekend
always there is a nickname.

Art festivals...
is this odd lifestyle
of smirk and snipe,
funny and cranky,
while exhausted...
long prior studio hours,
making stuff....
lots of driving,
packing up stuff and setting up stuff,
up too early, up too late,
put more stuff together
too hot, too cold complaints,
we have happy money moments
or sad say nothing results...
but always there is humor
and stories to tell
and retell
these, 'our standout moments!'

For some reason I lose my mind
when I am with, Mary and Janet
I lose my mind...
and everything else it seems!

Last year in the spring show,
thought I lost my keys
and returned to Starbucks
in search of them
"did you find my keys?"
"No, but we have a purse!"
"Hmmm, no thanks,
looking for a set of keys"

Three hours later
having found my keys,
Starbucks calls
to tell me they have my purse

Mary and Janet love this story
telling it again and again.

So this past weekend
it was no surprise
when I showed up without my keys
to my truck and trailer
left over Thanksgiving,
and had to call a locksmith.
They were patient as usual
but the next night when
I relayed my discovery
of a missing box of prints
(left possibly at my last show location)
the teasing was relentless.
"Call Starbucks,
they probably have them!"

But I wasn't listening,
more important things
were on my mind...
like birds' wearing pants
...and hmmm...where's my purse???

Pam Piper Rain
alias "Sparky pants" ??

Thursday, December 10, 2009

In Memory of a Muse

Had the pleasure to have a muse
for awhile...
one that inspired in me
a language
that was deeper and richer
than I had yet known.
During that time
volumes of poetry were produced
in a desperate attempt to record
moments that were merely on loan,
it seemed.

Tho the muse is no more,
this body of work
stands as "hands down"
my best and most prolific work
as if someone else had written it.
Thinking it a shame to let it hide
in a digital file
one I don't have the courage
to open most times
but when I do
it takes my breath away

and I believe in something
more than myself...

This is one!

One Saturday

a 10 year olds'
map of forgotten places,
precedes a 12 year olds'
life story...
hauntingly read at twilight,
a picnic of buses and
story telling walks
heels to desert dust,
a dance of wind playing
“rock a bye puppy”
and strings tethered
to colored air,
when scarey Santa goes bye bye,
her 15 year old
misplaced voice
is found
against a sky
of blue and pink ribbons,
adult dream weavers
read and listen to
the treasure of old words
of a brave teenager
& runaway pony moments...
are understood,
one Saturday...
the unreinable wild one
and the moon eyed flower child
find themselves wondering over
themselves and one another
as grown women admittedly lucky
to know this and that...
and the surprise
of finding a “kindred child”
far from the fern forests
of the midwest,
in a place where skies dazzle
and the earth
knows how to create
gardens of heart shaped stones.

Pam Piper Rain

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Wildly OZ

Okay, this could be my favorite piece ever!
Never a fan of Wizard of Oz
(the flying monkeys sacred me as a kid)
until last year,
I was enchanted.
And was inspired to do this
for a local performance of the play!
It will be raffled off to
help a young woman, Megan Hall
give back to her drama teacher,
Grace Ann in a foundation
called Kids Cool Wish.
Honored to help make this happen!
Isn't Toto the cutest little stick dog ever?

Prints will be available on my website!

Lets see who else
can I turn into Wild stick figures?

Pam Piper Rain


how strong you are,
the disappointments life?
It never stops...
and all you can do
is remember...
how strong you are
sometimes thats all you got
all you got sometimes
and it just
has to be enough!

Pam Piper Rain

Sunday, November 29, 2009


Walking in the wash
the desert is wetted
with passing rain,
thick beds of mud
like mocha chocolate,
heavy and sticky,
sludge on shoes
want to take a stick and
write something in it
nothing comes to me...
but "chocolate or mud?"
a perspective thing
good or bad?
grief or celebration?

And without tasting it...?
could be either...!

Pam Piper Rain

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

My friend, Kinipela

Because it was this time of year
I will tell this story here...
an anniversary thank you
to the woman I met on a Thanksgiving night
five years ago...

Around my neck, I wear two pendants
one is a paddle and one reads
(the other side of that, "sixasone")
they are my most prized possessions
and I am seldom seen without them!

On a beautiful patio belonging
to my favorite people,
we are gathered with collected food,
to talk and drink...
and give thanks
it's a long table of sixteen,
overlooking the darkened
and illuminated lake,
most of us, are artists and a few neighbors,
and some others I don't know...
it's a time of transisiton for me
having lost access to my partner
and kids,
I am just glad to be somewhere...
anywhere with smart, witty, clever people.

Coming at me in long strides
is a woman over dressed for the occassion
(not to mention Havasu)
she's tall and blonde gorgeous,
in all black,
with a thick "foo foo" waist slinging
kind of belt,
fur something around her shoulders,
more "foo foo" hanging from her ears...
and around her neck...
(okay, lets face it, she was "foo foo" everything)
stunning, really,
but I admit, I judged
and thought, "Who is this bimbo?"
Little, did I know then,
this bimbo?
was destined to be my dearest friend!

Jennifer sat across from me
with her husband, it was their anniversary!
And was the sweetest, most engaging
creature I had ever met!
I was instantly crazy about her!

We had just started paddling and were newly
excited about the sport,
she expressed an interest,
promising to come the next day
I doubted it..."SHE, wasn't the type"
Judging again!

Yet, there she was on the beach
and every morning after that,
for the next three years.

Then there were four others
and we became "Sixasone"
falling in love with one another
and the sport,
we won medals and were inseparable,
Jennifer, the wonder glue
we came together for her,
as an assignment, a predetermined destiny...
an agreement
because she was going to NEED us...
because... she had cancer...!

In that short time,
she gave me, US,
the friendship of a lifetime
our happy golden retriever type
she was my confidante and inspiration,
so unbelievably brave...
I would have walked to the ends
of the planet for her and back...

The last time I saw her
it was a "sixasone moment"
all together, last January
helping her take down the
Christmas decorations
in her house, she was weak...
it had an ominous sentiment of
finality to it...
but I was in denial,
had to be...we all were!

That day we felt like "us" again,
funny, together playful
Sixasone, she said...
"until I look in the mirror and remember"
she concluded!

The bracelets that we wore with
our theme song of U2s, "Its a beautiful day"
inscribed on it, didn't feel right to her
with her frail wrists
so we traded, mine for hers, hers for mine,
and I had to choke back the emotion..
it was significant,

and it was...
I never saw her again.

Now I also wear her paddle
and her name in Hawaiian
What I wouldn't give to be able to call
her as I always did...
and hear her say "hi, my friend!

Happy friendship anniversary, Jen!
I miss you more everyday!

Pam Piper Rain