Candied Peels

(C) Annette Marie Hyder

I make tangerine petals and orange branches
while the moon is high in the sky,
sugared tongues sticking out on the waxed paper waiting
for their taste of chocolate, a dark that’s almost bitter
for the nectar sweetness of the former and the lightness of milk chocolate
for the strong bite of the latter. I am finding that spot between extremes
where the savor is, where the tightrope sings.

It is cold outside but the fragrance from the simmering peels
breathes hotly against the window.
I feel secretive and witchy stirring bubbling syrup
by the full bright light of the moon.
Memory serves as a broom
that I ride back to the time of the rustling groves by our house
and the neighbor’s cows that regularly escaped enclosure
to moo right outside my window.

Citrus peels are usually discarded
but they can be used to sweeten, to garnish, to put the final touch on,
to tuck sachets of summer into the pockets of winter.
Sometimes thoughts of home, of family, curl in just such a way —
bright and pithy with the essence condensed.
And I am glad for these sweet scraps, from the small things,
here in cold Minnesota.

Without the Magpie

By Annette Marie Hyder

The tree tops look like black finials
that have come alive to twist against the sky
like a Sleeping Beauty wall of thorns
barring heaven’s molten door.
No Babylonian hanging gardens here,
whose flowers throw themselves wantonly on the air,
but the sun this morning touches each sharp point
of these November trees, drapes silk and plumps pillows
of pink shadow; paints gloriously and with soft sighs
something like, and yet without, Monet’s Magpie.

Notes about Monet’s The Magpie (French: La Pie)

From the Musée d’Orsay website: “This painting of a place in the countryside near Etretat, executed on the spot, uses very unusual pale, luminous colours, a fact highlighted by the critic Felix Fénéon: “[The public] accustomed to the tarry sauces cooked up by the chefs of art schools and academies, was flabbergasted by this pale painting.”” Read more here.

From Wikipedia:
“The Magpie is an early example of Monet’s investigation of colored shadows…French Impressionists popularized the use of colored shadows, which went against the artistic convention of portraying shadows by darkening and desaturating the color. Colored shadows can be directly observed in nature…Read more here.

The Moon Is a White Feather

By Annette Marie Hyder

The moon is a white feather curled against the purpling sky.
Night settles flamboyantly, swirls like a cloak, around the tall shouldered buildings
and the metro lights glint like gold capped teeth of the city as pimp
with a feather in his cap.

On Destruction’s Lips

By Annette Marie Hyder

Spare scenery scratched against the backdrop sky,
a chorus of raindrops sings in the theater of night.

A regiment of soldiers rattles by hoisting high their banner,
their flag, the canvas upon which they paint their dreams.

I watch them with my smith’s eyes, listen with my poet’s ears,
tiny tin roofs each, to catch every rattle of the rain to know

the silence that echos behind their rousing drumbeat and refrain
and I know that they are ghosts.

Even those who have not yet to die are here as phantoms
of their former selves — muted sighs exhaled against the machinery of war,

the everlasting titanium plated clockwork held — in the the giant palm
of Destruction herself (senseless with the wine of war upon her lips).

Fall 2012 Facing Feminism: Feminists I Know Exhibit

Thank you!

Thank you to everyone who came to the Facing Feminism: Feminists I Know Along the Light Rail Corridor exhibit and to all the fabulous feminist participants!

Panoramic 1, room 1, Facing Feminism exhibit at The Lab at The Lyric, photo Jasmine Rain Hyder

Panoramic 2, room 1, Facing Feminism exhibit at The Lab at The Lyric, photo Jasmine Rain Hyder

We had wine, we had flowers,
we had good things to eat, art for the eye and art for the soul. Wish
we’d had you! Maybe next time? Hope to see you at the next exhibit!

Room 1, Facing Feminism exhibit at The Lab at The Lyric, flowers, wine, cheese and crackers, delicious salted caramel chocolate torte (handmade by JoAnne Makela), photo Jasmine Rain Hyder

The Facing Feminism: Feminists I Know project came about through a desire to counter stereotypes of feminists and feminism propagated by mass media. You can visit the Facebook page for the project here. Please do click the ‘like’ button and leave a comment while you are there!

Marquee on sidewalk, poster, slideshow reflected in window of room 1 at The Lab at The Lyric, photo Jasmine Rain Hyder

Minnesota Monthly’s Best Public Art 2012

This exhibit was made possible through a grant from Irrigate, listed in Minnesota Monthly as Best Public Art for 2012.

I built on the existing Facing Feminism: Feminists I Know project and took it in a new direction for this exhibit by focusing attention on feminists who live and work along the light rail corridor. These feminists provided photos of themselves along with statements that were then combined into “photoems” and displayed in poster art facing University Avenue and included in a slideshow/print exhibit of the entire photoem collection at The Lab at The Lyric, right along the light rail corridor.

Slideshow and performance 1, room 2, Facing Feminism exhibit at The Lab at The Lyric, left to right clockwise: Rachel Summers, JoAnne Makela and Lucy Sweitzer, Faye Washington, photo Jasmine Rain Hyder

During the exhibit, JoAnne Makela and her group MedusaHead (with Lucy Sweitzer and Susan Thurston) provided music and spoken word performances.
Guest performers Sarah Newberry, Annaliese Sweitzer, and Donald Washington infused MedusaHead’s
soulful standards with jazz sax and a bit of sweet twang.
JoAnne opened with the poem, The Legislation of Flowers.

Slideshow and performance 2, room 2, Facing Feminism exhibit at The Lab at The Lyric, left to right clockwise: attendees, JoAnne Makela and Annaliese Sweitzer, Shaney Matson and Lucy Sweitzer, photo Jasmine Rain Hyder

Photographer/poet Jasmine Rain Hyder put the photoems for the local participants and the background soundtrack playlist for this event together, photographically documented the event, and created a website to house the project (website to launch very soon!).

Slideshow and performance 3, room 1 and 2, Facing Feminism exhibit at The Lab at The Lyric, bottom left to right clockwise: JoAnne Makela and friends, slideshow and prints, Sarah Newberry, photo Jasmine Rain Hyder

What it was like

With art and music inside The Lab at The Lyric, and the bones of the light rail outside, the Facing Feminism: Feminists I Know Along the Light Rail Corridor exhibit focused on the faces and voices of feminists featured as photoems in posters and prints hung on the walls as well as postcard size prints as souvenir takeaways. The photoems were also projected in a double display slideshow exhibit.

The photoems were created using the faces and the words of participants who submitted a photo and a brief statement about what feminism means/is to them with the aim of expanding feminist dialogue and counteracting negative feminist stereotypes. Local participants in this project included, among others, Jennifer Cheesmen, Lauren Fulner-Erickson, Patti Isaacs, Kit N., JoAnne Makela, Malia Schroeder, Amy Sparks, Lucy Prillaman Sweitzer, Susan Thurston, Amy Unger and Sherley Unger, Kwami Wood, and Diana Yefanova.

I was surprised at how
excited people got about the very small postcard sized prints of the
photoems. I let attendees each pick one to take for free as a souvenir
of the event. It was touching to see how much time they spent reading
the messages and poring over the images to make sure that they got just
the right one. The final selections they made really seemed to resonate
with them.

It has been fascinating to watch the light rail take shape, to see the bare bones of design come to life as the contours of the tracks and stations fill in and the neighborhoods along the light rail clothe it in their varying styles. The finishing touches are still to be added but some of the color and flourishes that define a space are already in place with the exhibits and installations created by the artists along this corridor. It has been an honor and a privilege to be a part of placemaking along the corridor.

Contributor notes for the Facing Feminism: Feminists I Know project

This project includes participants from around the world and even though most of our international contributors could not be here in person, they were with us in spirit. You can learn more about them and what they have to say about feminism through their photoems at the Facing Feminism: Feminists I Know Facebook page and also at the Facing Feminism: Feminists I Know website.

Here is a small gallery of photoems from the exhibit. See them all and read what they have to say at the Facing Feminism: Feminists I Know Facebook page.





From top to bottom, left to right. Row 1
: Larry and Shelley Jaffe, Row 2: Malia Schroeder, Kwame Wood, JoAnne Makela, Diana Yefanova, Row 3: Jennifer Cheesman, Amy Sparks, Susan Thurston, Lauren Fullner-Erickson, Row 4: Mikel K Poet, Lucy Prillaman Sweitzer, Amy Unger

Collaborator notes for the Irrigate funded Facing Feminism: Feminists I Know Along the Light Rail Corridor exhibit 2012

JoAnne Makela
is a published writer/dramatist/poet and principal of MedusaHead
Productions. Her work has been produced for the Minnesota Fringe
Festival and she and her poetry/funk/pop/retro group MedusaHead have
appeared in local boits and charhouses for the past 15 years. She enjoys
slinging hash and long walks along the beach. And has been known to spout oracular visions during prolonged turns at the mic.

Jasmine Rain Hyder
is a published photographer/poet and writer who is a resident of Carleton Artist Lofts. Her photos have been featured in
Empowerment4Women Magazine and her poetry has been
included in the award-winning InTheFray Magazine. Something about the country of England has
captured her imagination and will not let it go. She plans to sort
matters out with England by visiting, as many times as necessary


Behind the scenes

Photo Jasmine Rain Hyder

I have blogged about this project before. You can read previous posts here:

Fall Saint Paul Art Crawl
Please do join us for this event

News about Facing Feminism: Feminists I Know
Spring Saint Paul Art Crawl

Happy International Women’s Day 2012

Sunday Things: First Sunday of November 2012

Image courtesy of

Come To Me
By Annette Marie Hyder

Come to me extra hour hour of sleep
that I may make you welcome
and rejoice in you.
I have been waiting for you
with plump pillows
and the wine of repose at the ready.
Take me in your arms
and let us lie down together.

Yes! It is time, here in most of the United States, to set the clocks back an hour. Enjoy!

Congratulations to the Twilight Times Books Treasure Hunt Winners!

2012 Twilight Times Books Treasure Hunt Contest Winners

First Place
: B&N Nook Color and $50 Gift Voucher ~ winner
Duane Studdard

Second Place
: Kindle Fire and $35 Gift Voucher ~ winner Sandra

Third Place
: Google Nexus Tablet and $25 Gift Voucher ~
winner Jasmine Buford

Fourth Place
: Basket of 12 print books (Retail value
$150.00+). ~ winner Yvette Ulloa

Fifth Place
: Basket of 12 ebooks (Retail value $75.00). ~
winner Doug Lowe

The 2012 Treasure Hunt is over so you can feel free to stop hunting for those jewels. Thank you for your

Celebrating fourteen years as a publisher, Twilight Times Books is listed in the Writer’s Digest 2012 Top 100 Markets for Book & Magazine Writers.

Happy Halloween 2012!

Image Copyright Annette Marie Hyder

Here are three poems for Halloween from Samhains past and a list of my top 3 favorite witches:

Top 3 favorite witches

1) Baba Yaga, of Russian folklore — Her flying mortar and pestle (not just a broom like all the others) and chicken-legged house are hard to beat! I also like that she is sometimes a sort of twisted fairy godmother, like in the tale of Vasilissa the Brave, wherein she rewards Vasilissa for her goodness and courage.

2) Esmerelda “Granny” Weatherwax and Gytha “Nanny” Ogg, of Sir Terry Pratchett’s Disc World series — A tie for second place here. These two make me laugh out loud and reread their passages for the sheer joy of Nanny Ogg’s terrible bathtime singing and Granny Weatherwax’s attempts at prim and proper ways.

3) Ceridwin, of Welsh folklore — Medieval Welsh poetry refers to this beautiful enchantress as possessing the cauldron of Poetic Inspiration (Awen). Hmm. Maybe I should have put her first on the list…

Happy Halloween!

Halloween Without the Props
By Annette Marie Hyder

Along a Minnesota street
that does not have a plethora of props —
pumpkins perched on every edge
purloined spider web
wart-pimpled witches
and “candy porn” —
it still looks like Halloween to me.

Halloween’s bones show through
the ragged dress of branch and leaf.
The night will wear pumpkins as earrings
dance down the streets
flirting with every scarecrow
ghost and zombie she sees
peer through the eyes
of every reveler’s mask
and drink fright in large gulps
as if it is an autumn brew
in a bottomless flask
and she just turned twenty-one.

Halloween is looking for a good time
and she is bound to get it.
But for now she quietly waits
for the sky to grow dark —
her timepiece that tells her what o’ the clock.
She’ll meet you at seven at every crossroads
and on every block.

the porch lights are all turned off now
By Annette Marie Hyder

leaves rustle like empty candy wrappers
along the road
every shadow wears a mask
and the dark is costumed in cold

the witches and goblins
have all gone home
in their minivans and been put to bed
by now

i linger outside just wishing
on the sharp wind
that even one of the ghost stories
i’ve ever heard was true

because you’re gone
i’d brave demons and monsters
real or imagined
if i could get ghosted by you
little brother
if i could get ghosted by you

By Annette Marie Hyder

Absinthe and toadstools
Bat wings and goth
Heavy eyeliner
And all things dark

Cauldrons of candy
A chill in the air
Demons and wicked
Mask painted stares

Widdershins brooms
Aloft on the air
Bogeys and nightmares
Lurk under your chair

Fasten the windows
Douse all the lights
Leave no open ways
For the nicks and the frights

To enter or haunt you
Put you under a spell
Bring water and crosses
Paper and bells

Twirl three times in darkness
But in sight of the moon
Be kind to the shadows
When you enter a room

Criss you and cross you
On Halloween night may you
Have all of the fun
And just some of the fright!