Today’s prompt is “awareness of awareness”.

One of the things I love about prompts is it allows me to think of an object of how it symbolically may mean  – and what lessons may be learned from it. This awareness of awareness has created some of my most prized metaphors – like seaglass as unrequited love – as my mind is given freedom to make connections between unlikely partners. Or it makes me focus in on realities I take for granted; with the prompt “skin” – I really had to focus and become aware of how my skin felt to me at that moment, which was as if I was wearing something foreign  (I was in the midst of a latex reaction at the time; hives, swolllen, felt full of glasss shards).  Which led me to think about Native America’s versions of shape-shifters – beings that wear another’s skin …. which led to other thoughts & similies. That poem became “SkinWalker”.

Today – I want to you to explore this. When you look at something – what are you aware of about it? And what knowledge does that awareness take you to?

Skin Walker

your own skin is a terrible place to dwell,
to obsess over, to live in and inhabit; there
is a reason why we breed, become more than
just ourselves, create others to think about,
care for; it gets us out of our skin., we decorate
the skin of our walls with paint, wood, ink

photographs – trying to escape the limitations
put upon us, the boundaries. we drape fabric
& metals over our own lath & plaster. even inked
words are meant to remove us out of myopic vision
allow passage into another’s, to feel contented dermis
pumping blood, air caressing their mitochondria, sun

creating melatonin and synthesizing cholecalciferol;
learning locations of their pleasures, their scars –
how the world looks through windows not brown
and half-shaded with sleep and worry. my brain too
wants to escape into another’s skin, to let go
of the irritation that flares when fingers catch

the dermal layer, want to escape the riot of histamines,
a immune system gone amok and cancerous, welts
are layered in layers where i sit, where i unsuccessfully try
to lay. not even fingers combing out hair is consequence-free:
hair follicles feeling like volcanic plugs under pressure
under siege – i can feel my skin bubble, give way on

my soles when walking – letting go of integral cohesion.
i am walking on sponges, on rotted wood, in swamps;
my spirit is an animal yearning to escape it’s mortal coil,
it’s imposed springs and catches, it’s huddled den,
it remembers walking among others, eating, evolving
to being more than just flesh – journeys that fed

words and sustenance, journeys among warming sun
and hibernating snow; my spirit remembers the heat
and smell of fire in the hearth, placing dishes around
a gathering table – not this year – this present, i must shun
all but my own skin; no secure blankets, no covering
clothes or shoes, no being held in another’s arms …

i don’t dare touch myself.



Poinsetta by CC Willow
Poinsetta by CC Willow

Reminder, my Etsy site CC Willow Arts will be 10% off through December (I can gift-wrap for you). Also – If you like my zentangle patterns, many are available on items, like pillows, on RedBubble. I’ve got over a few more new ones uploaded. And will get even more uploaded today …

Poinsetta by CC Willow
Poinsetta by CC Willow

If you are into community theater and in Oregon’s Willamette Valley – the murder mystery that I have been in rehearsals for – “Christmas At The Blizzard” -opened Dec 1 and is running weekends through Dec. 17.  See Silverton’s  Brush Creek Playhouse’s website for details …