C. Albert





is a common word. Don’t let your jaded mind

forget its purest derivations.


A topiary forest,

home of a hungry paradise,

a rotund heaven.


The round rind bed

on which a baby roundling sleeps

blanketed in ove leaves.


Without umbrella

for there is no rain or snow;

without insects, snakes

and fears.


Sugary rush from

feasting on melons

as middles grow.


Inheritance of seeds.


Bathing in honeysuckle streams.


When any sense of wrong

is swiftly righted by a twirl through

fields of wildflowers.


The Circular Interval

before Square Time.



like a watermelon lover.



C. Albert is based in Seattle, Washington. She is our resident artist and  can be contacted through inksweatandtears@aol.com.


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Word & Image from C. Albert


Flora the Poet 


In Roundling time when

days were young and she

grew younger –



who dressed in blossoms

of the seasons:

poinsettia, pansy, honeydew and rose,

whose dewy topiary hair was adorned

with watermelon-colored dumplings and her face

painted mountain ochre, berry purple,

aster magenta –



whose divided selves protected

between layers of bark

the hider, the open eye-

der who saw beyond

what be –



whose magic ears recorded Roundling

stories, once upon another layers

of relations, loves echoed, baby round

to aged circles with no owners,

all sharing terra –



who etched day

long hoopy orbs, upside down orations, oval

invocations and endless ooooo’s –


The last of her poems was discovered

inside a mulberry tree dying

in a deserted Tibetan valley.

It was penned in ink onto an Oho tablet:


wndrus think sef wink pink pieces

togeth heven languae


through it all fallen

inta noon gloon

we wheeled way from grids

ta live’n leaf branch’n limb

sleep unda ta wings

de katydid hid neath sleep lids


beams o dusta bendi

gras trunks o

wiz’n branc yond

wisper criks’n

dawners bentwigs

thimpin jus twing

lukin beyon beehind

otherness liftid

ta farness



C. Albert is based in Seattle, Washington. She is our resident artist and  can be contacted through inksweatandtears@aol.com.


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C. Albert

Goddess Topia,


first of all round trees,

was beloved farther than time flung seeds.


Atop ladders, the master gardeners hand-snipped

and shaped leaves and twigs,

while chit-chatting about

a recipe to make rose petal beads

that won’t turn black,

how to keep melon balls from melting

and whatever else mattered at the moment.


The silence of Goddess Topia

was like blank strips of bark

awaiting to be written on.

Her rotund and buxom bush

swayed in the breeze

while leaves and twigs

entwined orotund.



C. Albert is based in Seattle, Washington she is our resident artist and we are pleased to welcome her back after a long break. She can be contacted through inksweatandtears@aol.com.



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C. Albert’s ‘Swallow’ and ‘My Mouth is a Hollowed Apple’


Another word and image pairing from our artist/poet in residence C. Albert.






My Mouth is a Hollowed Apple


I swallowed the seeds and core.

Do strawberry men feel vulnerable
wearing their seeds on the outside?

I swept the playground with a tree branch.
Boys chased me; I fell and skinned my knees.

At snack time, we had graham crackers and milk
then took a nap.

I wore a tight slip to flatten the symbols
rising on my chest.

The first boy who grabbed at them
forgot I was his friend.

Blood oranges have blemishes,
other changes no one warned me about.

I wanted the blood to stop.


*C Albert can be contacted through inksweatandtears@aol.com

My Mouth is a Hollowed Apple was first published in Soundzine

Swallow was first published in qarrtsiluni


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C. Albert begins Spring and Easter


I am delighted to welcome IS&T artist/poet C Albert in residence to begin our Spring and Easter feature….


In Waiting




They Met on a Telephone Line


He was common brown.
There was no trembling of heart
or wing. She simply accepted

then chose a round kitchen vent
in the second floor corner behind
a redwood’s shade.

He brought dried blade of grass,
thin twig, leaf stem,
one after another.
Metal rattled
the frantic weaver’s pace.

Together they attacked
a blue bird and stole
mouthfuls of feathers.

She finished just before
the eggs dropped
between a royal bed
and her own delicate blanket.

Flies were divided
among their open mouths.
When the nest became too small,
she waited on a branch
with bits of grasshopper.

They flew to her,
blended into bark.
She did not chirp, Stay.
Not even a Farewell!

Three figures dipped and soared,
erased by sky.


*C Albert can be contacted through inksweatandtears@aol.com.



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Another Word & Image from our Artist in Residence C. Albert: Prayer





You were bubbles

of wonder when we met

that went pop, pop, pop.

Each strike by electric shock

made you forget.


You came to my studio

for a drawing class that day

and asked,

Do you pray? 


Will you

pray for me?

I said yes, to calm you,

not knowing how.


Later, I saw your face

in my collage.


For your hair, I grew

a grass topiary halo, dotted

with a band of pansies

and marigolds.


I stitched your dress 

of periwinkles. Blue 

cartwheels pollinated the air. 

Snails the size

of fingernails rolled

over your past.


That day I said, 

Don’t be afraid of sadness.


Wearing your purse around

your neck, you sunk

into the soft bed, my couch, where

a young male Daoist once

dreamed of nothingness.


Collage and poem first printed in Mannequin Envy

* C. Albert is based in Seattle, Washington and we will be featuring more of her work in the coming months. She can be contacted through inksweatandtears@aol.com.

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C. Albert’s ‘The Meaning of Roundling’


A poem (with image) from our artist/poet in residence C. Albert. 


Flora the Poet



The Meaning of Roundling


With the edges
of our eyes, we catch glimpses
of roundlings peeking through windows.
Gentle creatures, ready to bolt,
fragile with dark traumas
passed onto them.


Best not to talk
in x,y,z. A whisper,
 “why didn’t you” or “you should”
is an attack of syntax, a barbed construction
that shatters them. They will run
with the thought,
“It is not safe.”


Once they flee,
the void aches with absence
of oval tenderness.


Sometimes they can be enticed
with soft fruits and scents of fresh
lemon, orange or tangerine.
Round stones
will please.


Feed them colors,
speak in fluted ragas,
offer acceptance.


The Meaning of Roundling was first published in Mannequin Envy.

* C.Albert is based in Seattle, Washington and we will be featuring more of her work in the coming months.  She can be contacted through inksweatandtears@aol.com.


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