a collection celebrating creativity

Tree Branches at My Ribs

Poetry and Mixed Media Collaboration

Christy Birmingham and Jolie Buchanan

Tree Branches At My Ribs
Poking at my ribs,
Your fingers were hard as tree branches –
And your mind wasn’t any softer.

You told me to do more, see more,
And my heart fell into itself when you
Said the words feel more.

You played the song of doubt with
Too many choruses, and I forced myself to
Sway along with every oppressive note.

Those were the melodies and I was the girl
Who feared she had no branches of her own,

Who wanted only to build roots with you and
Grow, in a field that I didn’t realize was
Cluttered already with foreign bosoms.

I needed my own sunlight, I see that now, and
You poked a bit too much at the body of
This woman who wants to keep dreaming for more.

©2014 Christy Birmingham

Cheers To Creating!


Christy Birmingham is a poet, author and freelance writer in British Columbia, Canada. Her debut poetry collection Pathways to Illumination is available exclusively at Redmund Productions. If you haven’t been by her blog Poetic Parfait, yet, check it out. You can also find Christy on Twitter

Jolie Buchanan is a mixed media artist and student; Connect with her on the Jolie B Studios facebook page, Twitter, or Google +.


7 responses

  1. Jolie, the collaboration looks amazing now that it’s published! Thanks for the way you formatted it, looks wonderful. Many hugs – I think this is our best one yet. So glad we were able to combine efforts again as I really enjoy doing so ♥


    May 26, 2014 at 6:04 pm

  2. Reblogged this on Poetic Parfait and commented:
    Ah, yes, collaboration! Here is the latest offering from Jolie Buchanan and Me. The project began when artist Jolie took a daytime shot of a tree, which she then darkened and overlaid onto an original painting of hers. Then, this fabulous mixed media creation was sent to me to write my poem. I put the image onto my right computer screen as I typed freehand on my left screen. Next, I edited the poem and showed it to Jolie. We both love the collaboration (our third one!) and hope you do too.


    May 26, 2014 at 11:04 pm

  3. I loved the analogy of the tree, its branches and roots that Christy have used to describe a personal state of mind…

    As to your great painting, Jolie… it is mesmerizing… I love it!

    Congratulations and best wishes,

    Aquileana 😛


    May 27, 2014 at 12:20 am

    • Jolie B

      thank you kindly Aqui


      May 29, 2014 at 9:55 pm

  4. Great collaboration. Picture and words. Did you draw inspiration from the picture or vice-versa? I hope that you have found your on sunlight. It appears that way to me. : )


    May 27, 2014 at 2:45 pm

    • Jolie B

      Thank you Syl – Interesting question…we’ve done them in different ways. For this particular one, the artwork itself was completed and sent to Christy who wrote to the artwork. Other’s have had more background on my process and/or thoughts to the work. Given that she wrote directly to the piece I feel showed through in the outcome….but then again, we don’t really really know do we 😉


      May 28, 2014 at 8:26 pm

      • You’re welcome Jolie. Very inspiring on both ends.


        May 29, 2014 at 12:14 am

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