life on the far shore.

you talk about home as if it were behind you
a shadow that fills your heart
spills over into your days
colors the way you walk the world
memories kept alive
with stories and words
told time and again
i close my eyes and listen
to the sweetness in your voice
the way it breaks the words in the wrong places
but how it flows into a picture
of a not so perfect time
i imagine you swimming in the memories
we both end up swimming in them
as if what it means to be on
“the far side of a distant shore”
means you are on one side
and i am on the other
both of us clinging to a life raft
or is it a tree banch
or something more solid that does not change colors in the sun
the trains that go rushing by
the ones that used to stop here
right beside this sea
attempt to make sense of the silence
as it settles along your tiny stretch of coast
into a place that holds beauty
instead of danger….

delicate tracings

these cell phone connections
then crack
it is as if we are trying to speak underwater
as if the words keep getting submerged
as the more we talk
the less we say
our voices keep trying to travel the distance we are left with
our words sink into quicksand
the quicksand we have mined.

i say i love you
and the silence that follows takes on a life of it’s own
it feels like a dull knife twisting in deeper
and then you proclaim how beautiful that silence is
how we should welcome it
explore it
tame it
keep it as our own.

you would think i could see
by now
you would think that maybe i could catch on
by now
that this just isn’t happening
is never gonna happen
i should be able to hear within that silence
that the answer i long for has long gone
at best i should be able to read the signs
at best i should take my cue
then curtsy to the crowd
as the stagelights dim
and all the days and nights we spent apart
and spent together
and just spent this very moment
explode into fragile delicate tracings.

© aneata kristine obrien ~ march 2015

~ under the burnside bridge ~

photos taken at burnside skatepark ~ under the burnside bridge in portland, oregon, u.s.a.

all photos © by a.k.o. ~ february 2015


accidental as can be ~ i saw nothing through the viewfinder since the sun was too the result! 

shadows abound

shadows abound






~ cement wave ~

~ accros the street ~

~ accros the street ~

~ jesus stays here ~

~ jesus stays here ~

..and then she became a butterfly… a self~propelled~flower…



i fell in love with your shadow
the way it meandered
yet always knew its way home
the way it followed me
intrigued by everything i did..

i fell in love with your eyes
the way they peered into me
undressed me
unwrapped a piece of my heart
yet kept it safe behind the blue….

or maybe it was third,
when i fell in love with your whisper
the way you said my name like a secret
the sound that coiled around and then around your lips
was like tiny butterflies
trapped and circling for days on end
finally set free…

© aneata kristine obrien ~ 2.16.15


“…angel with a broken wing taking lessons from a baby bird on how to fly. again….”





…the king of california…


my man, dave.
a few hearts

c/r ~~ ako 2014

c/r ~~ ako 2014


a new day…

velocity girl 1982/2015 into a new day....

velocity girl
into a new day….

looking back we move forward
into a new day
headed to the pacific northwest
to a shack by the train tracks
taking only what matters
into a new life

a new day

delivering mail
i hope there will be lots of love letters
from one to another
for me to deliver
i will know which ones are true
i can advise if a train~wreck is looming

while leaving behind the poison

the lies

he half~truths

the deception

it has taken it’s toll
outlived whatever it needed to teach me

looking back we move forward..
velocity girl flies
leaving the lil birds behind.

“hobo’s place” …. englewood, colorado

dreary day.

(photos c/r ~ ako 2/2015)










more photos ~ 2011 – 2014 by ako


the known words ~ denver, colorado


love or a restless rodeo ~ grants pass, oregon


some kind of Awe ~ aurora, colorado



another day at the beach ~ san francisco, california


couch ~ hollywood, california


just like real life ~ shanto, ethiopia


a picture for the motorists ~ near sunset & alvarado, echo park, california



all photos copyright AKO.

photos by ako 2011~ 2014 (a very small sample)


green ~ new mexico


from a seed ~ aurora, colorado


another sunday ~ las vegas, new mexico


silverlake, california


from a perfect day ~ somewhere in colorado


dog. clouds ~along the platte river, colorado


raku’s ~ claremont, california

all photos copyright AKO.

just awe. and ah. something to make me and you smile

Keeper of the Stars


Any sense of the Imagination
could easily lead us to
an achingly beautiful oasis
a picture-perfect island
barely visable from the coast
shrouded in a blue
that is ever so much more
in and out of view
a mirage
an open heart
an open hand
from which tiny stars
break free
right before our eyes
only to sail forth
and revel along the shore…..

(t h i s) . . . (w a y) . .

t h i s . . . w a y



the pain resides here

a trajectory


to the




like an unmarked car speeding out of control

tracks bent beyond recognition as the train approaches

til your head spins



somedays you walk through the pain

sit and rest with it by the side of the road


“it’s transitory” (they say)

“you won’t always feel”..

t h i s

w a y

you take a bath

take a walk

eat an ice cream cone

try to sleep

get up

make breakfast

scramble eggs

arrange blueberries on a blue plate

see a man about a car

an apartment

a haircut

buy a new pair of shoes

then do it all again tomorow

“it’s transitory” (they say)

“you won’t always feel”..

t h i s

w a y

you wake up

count stars long since faded

look for silver

find gold

try not to stare into the sun too long

your soul feels a million years old

bangs against your chest

you try to write about how it feels

the cats love you becasue the floor is littered with crumpled pages

words flow when you are driving

walking the dog

and a pen is not handy

so you seal them off

m e m o r i z e them

you know when you get home you can release it

let it go

but then the phone rings

the baby cries

the laundry is piled high in the corner

you have an appointment

an obligation

your to-do-list  just transfers from one day to the next

(and then)

when you least expect it

you rise slower than usual

wipe the mud off your shoes

comb the cobwebs out of your hair

dab the tears from the corners of your eyes

turn on the lights

turn off the lights

fill the car with gas

d r i v e

the circle you have been endlessly walking until you can draw it feehand

becomes a path

not too steep

not too rocky

….soft sand beneath your feet.

(my heart)

my heart

sometimes. at the end of the day or even first thing in the morning, i feel way too many things to keep in my heart. it feels like stones, bricks, the weight of the entire world rests here. deep inside. something ancient and heavy follows me. drags me from place to place. it is draining. oh so exhausting to carry this weight around. it makes me long for the days when i felt only the lightness of feathers, birds-blue and forest-green, a mystical-magical-YELLOW, sometimes variations of red. pink. even orange. butterfly wings. infinite patterns to get lost in. colours rule my world. rule and rue my heart it seems. and it always goes back to blue. the winter shades of blue are so light. they hide and my eyes strain to find them. transparent against the gray sky. un-inspiring, mostly. dull. the blue-black sky filled with stars calls me, but i am asleep at the hour they shine the brightest. so i miss the moment. and start over again. maybe today i will not wear my pajamas all day and long for my blankets. maybe i won’t drink gallons of milk. maybe i will figure out how to give some of this burden away….package up the pain and emptiness with ribbons and bows….fly a little bit….

penny candy

penny candy 2

random arcs of light

spark a milky way

a private constellation spirals

silvering celestial eyes

named stars

un-named stars

burning ever so gently against a sky undressed

into the cradle of the crescent moon

these stars



your hands

your heart

your eyes closed to the

ceaseless thunder that is your dream(s)

a pattern of verse imprints

adheres to an inky-blue

you repeat these words

over and over

learn them by heart

out trail the enchantment

an elixir (of sorts)

sits on the tallest shelf

you can never reach

but (always always) try

my inclination

(when things turn upside-down-inside-out-way too far out west)


to lay down beside you

in the wet evening grass


very quietly

without waking you

without staining this sacred ground

remove all the bits of penny candy from your hair……


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