Creative writing, business writing, collaborative writing, performative writing, spirit writing, these are some of the names by which I categorize the many forms of writing that arise from my engagement with/in pathways of curiosity and passion in life. I invite you the reader to determine which if any category the written word offerings on this page fall into.


finding my stories

a line came
in a dream
or was it
in the space
it seemed
a perfect line
for a poem

                            faded from memory
                            writing brings back
                            alive and new
                            returning refreshed
                            finding ground
                            in a place
                            unhooked from the pain

tell the story
                images offer themselves
to me
            to my process
                to the words

tell the story
in the very act of writing
allowing voice
my voice
in the very act of voicing
finding story
my story

                            telling my story
                            in my voice

telling the story
i don't know
                            bringing the voice
                            i have not heard
weaving the words
compelling the heart
                            enjoining the mind
which cortex
        which brain
                remembers the story

April 2015
great thirst
a spoken word poem

lost without the love
exposed without the valour
fearful without the embrace

slowly surely silently
life ebbs away
as one by one all earth's beings
shrivel and die

speak prayers to the clear sky
heartsongs for the forests
dig down to the dry aquifers
send your soul among the rocks

May 2015
On Turning Seventy
a spoken word poem

it's true  i'm turning seventy         the big 7  0
i remember being nifty at fifty
sexy at sixty
what rhymes with seventy
so of course I googled it
devandy  devaney spelled five ways and heavenly
heavenly at seventy??

so what is this about
why am i thinking so much about this

why is this number so significant
what is it      i    am so bothered about
it's just a number

well     no     it's not just a number
it   is   an   accounting   of   the   years
an accounting of my life

it is a moment      to pause and consider
a moment     to look around at the world i live in
at the life i have created

a moment to ask myself
how did i get here

a moment between the edges of young and old
seeing the future so much shorter than the past

a moment to know another decade has gone by
a moment to consider the one that is to come

a moment to take a breath
and wonder why
i still ask question
have i done enough

the grey hairs are many
the wrinkles abound
like a landscape of seasons
each cycle profound

there's growth and decay
there's the heart ever faithful
her beats strong and steady
her music grateful

grateful for adventures my life has contained
grateful for sound mind and strength that remains
and troubled by much in this world of my making
a world that perplexes and saddens my waking

images of conflict, harm, injustice and anger
they're firing gas and rubber bullets at students again

reports of disasters, chaos, sickness and hunger
devastation and baby slaughter consequence of war

how did we the flower power generation of the sixties
create this from our desire for peace, love, freedom and happiness
was it all for nought the protest songs Dylan, Lennon and Seger
the rallies the marching the love-ins in New York

look at us now losing freedoms daily
as the clamps are tightened and our voices ignored

my generation was 'golden' with our privilege and wealth
but we took we used we greedily consumed
destroying  ignoring our sacred planet's health

now look what we've done we've created this mess
and how could we     I ask    was this really our best

and what was my contribution?
my work I thought was worthy
my income rightly paid
my home my comfort well deserved
my abundance rightly earned
yes the 'golden' generation
it was easy and secure
there was a middle class
not 'rich' we always had enough
I've watched the growth of corporate power the 1% take all
until there is no middle class no further can we fall

i've watched the change in politics
the demise of independent thinking
the loss of trust in our bureaucracies
as politician's power erodes the roots of our democracy

I'm sad turning seventy
i don't want to celebrate
we've lost so much hope
wasted so much potential

then there's a flicker of light as I remember
youthful voices and the courage of movements in our midst

Idle No more

May 2015

the Enbridge pipeline
a spoken word poem

it's the talk of the time the enbridge pipeline
they're movin' it groovin' it all down the line they say it's safe all the way from alberta 'cross the lines of the rivers and the land 'cross the plains where the strains of the mountains with their rocky peaks and valleys feel the pain of the threat of a leak or a spill of the  slow black oozing petrocarbon killer

the streams where the salmon feed the trees that fill the forests where their seeds of life are scattered and grow into the shade of the canopy that houses all the eagles and the hawks and the ravens and the crows  of the rain forest world

the habitat of bear and wolf where the streams
touch the banks and the roots of the pine and the cedar and the hemlock and the firs where they grow along this line

no pipe

no line

no pipeline

through the meadows where the moles and the mice and the crickets and the shrews and the fox and the gopher make their homes

across the wetlands where the frogs and the ducks and the herons and the geese and the swans find a sanctuary home

contaminate desecrate destroy and disease this oil that fuels our greed for those things that we don't need

fuels our travel in the jet planes that fly so far and high yet at 38,000 still emissions streak the sky and particulate emanates fouling the atmosphere
the air we use to breathe
the balance of the oxygen our lungs so badly need

contaminants, effluents, emissions, conditions of life on this planet in the twenty-first edition of the centuries that go by so fast we cannot count them as the world around us changes we run faster in our crazy search to find the answer to the perfect future dream

and scream, the beam, hang high above the sky in the open space a universe a mystery of why - why we don't say what we know when we go to the river and we pray that we're tired of the way it is done every day

authority despotic unethical immoral dishonorable despicable
the earth weeps in waiting for the day when change we will
rearrange we will
engage we will
in stopping all this madness and the
sorry state of sadness

overwhelming all the realms of living beings seen unseen as on we go our big feet crushing her tender skin her soft and gentle thin membranes of protection our footprint and direction growing bigger she responds with loss of vigor changing climate bringing rain and floods of weary tears

we ask the question is it just the  indigestable contestable detestable undetectable state of being that we lie about  let fly about cry about
this, this is the life we have
this is not the life we want                            so let us change rearrange break remake terminate regenerate restorate                     in as many ways and times and days          that we need to make the one, final, firm, non-negotiable, absolute, stand
and always hold to what we know
to be the life we have to go to
and the world we have to leave to
the generations yet to come.

Gestare Art Collective - Collaborative Writing

Bickel, Barbara, McConachy, Medwyn & Nané Ariadne Jordan. (2011). Gestating Art in the Matrixial Labyrinth. Journal of the Motherhood Initiative.2(1)

Gestating art_Bickel_McConachy_Jordan-1.pdf Gestating art_Bickel_McConachy_Jordan-1.pdf
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Type : pdf

Oracular Co-Encounters

A multi-media art installation by Barbara Bickel.

Oracular beginnings

My first encounter with the oracular images came when Barbara posted three of them as 'border crossings' on our Gestare Art Collective website. She described them as three diptychs reminiscent of the oracle holes found in the temples of Malta which had emerged from an artworking using prepaid return cards from art magazines. The cards had evoked a spontaneous intense response to the commercialized phallic driven world of contemporary art.  As Barbara's densely physical lines of oil pastel colours blocked out the return postage and address, she found herself emitting non-verbal acoustic sounds and layered them into the images.

Barbara's description of this matrixial co-encounter called back my own memories of sounding in the cavernous underground chambers of Malta's Hypogeum. Sensuous womblike walls contained oracle holes, resonant openings through which our acoustic offerings evoked imaginings of the prophetess/seer whose messages would pass from chamber to chamber eerily echoing through/with/in the deep underground passageways. 

In June as we were planning for our annual residencies, I received an invitation from Barbara to send her more art magazine cards and to offer feedback on her application of Ettinger's* matrixial language in the artist statement about the blue 'border crossing' diptych which had been selected for the cover of The Journal of Critical Inquiry, a new publication in Pakistan. A larger image of the art piece accompanied the statement and I was drawn further into the metramorphic communication and transformation process borderlinking me to Barbara's work.

Oracular relationship

Barbara's residency was in process the July day I arrived at the STAG. On entering the studio space I encountered three of the diptychs mounted and unveiled at this point on the wall facing me and gasped 'Oh they are amazing!' to which Barbara replied 'That is exactly the right response!'.  Thus began the next phase of my journey with these artbeings with whom I already felt a strong connection and was about to become more intimately involved.

During each of our annual residencies I have enjoyed opportunities for co-engagement with Barbara and her work and this year was no exception. My sewing fingers, my photographer's lens, and my spontaneous responses drew me deeper into relationship with the five oracular representations. As they were mounted on heavy interfacing panels and re-hung on the studio walls their dimensionality began to emerge emitting a magnetic attraction force calling me towards/in/to relationship with the oracular energies within each artbeing. With the hanging of the window panels, the spatial relationships between the oracular images and the vibrational space of the studio established an ongoing co-vibrational simultaneous presencing of the oracles' voices from the past with the acoustic exhalations of our own voices as we worked with the installation's daily progress.

Oracular invitation

Barbara's invitation to a day long oracular sounding co-event gave space for further exploration into my relationship with the oracular installations. I moved from wit(h)nessing the installation in process to encountering the art and the space through/with/in my own oracular experience.  Crossing into the matrixial borderlinking presence of two other women artists at the STAG I began to prepare myself for a direct encounter with one of the art pieces.




*Bracha L. Ettinger - artist, psychoanalyst and theorist


Oracular encounter

The five oracular veils hang motionless holding the perimeter of the

room, anchoring the space for the bright blue lines that define the

three circuit labyrinth in the centre of the studio floor. A floor

that moans with the weight of each footstep taken through

the labyrinth and creaks as I come to stillness

before the oracles.


As I encounter each piece, gazing at it through the window in the veil, I

am reminded of my annual journeys through the mists

crossing the veil between the worlds to visit

with the spirits of my ancestors.

My body resonates with each encounter and

soon guides me to the oracle with whom

I am to journey on this day.


Slipping easily into an anchoring attendance to the co-encounters of

the other artists, I immerse myself in the resonant container of

our co-formed metramorphic harmonics.

Stone and wood,

paper, plastic and human flesh emit sonic waves.

Vibrant vocal threads sear their keening


the space as artist enters art.


Microphone attached, camera positioned I step up already full

of resonant sensation, wondering what will come

through/to me from the dark intense purple and

black convergent lines of the oracle.

Images emerge of ancestral beings whose wisdom comes to me

 through the shadowy mists of the 'otherworld'.

My breath deepens into my belly and in return come sounds,

mirroring the intensity of line in the oracular art.

I lean into the evocative interplay between body, sound and image,

a communion in time/space, alive with compassionate hospitality.

My voice in-voking the M/other on an-other co-plane, co-dimension

below/above/beside/within the I of my own knowing.

My gaze affixed to the oracle draws forth a deep longing, loving,

grieving sound vocalizing heart and womb together,

a combining of earth M/other energies

borne of both/other worlds.


I feel my flesh wrapped upon bone encasing the

throbbing pulsing blood of my body.

I feel my throat open and raw from the heartsound pouring forth

resounding off the pure clear white walls of this sacred oracular


I watch as my sounds weave through lines and colours.

A flash of light.

A disappearing into the dark, the dark inside me,

my womb, my flesh, my blood, my form my being.

A transgression with/in-to/through oracular artbeing.


Exhilarate ....... annihilate....... exhale....... inhale

breath mouthing around sound soul song

spoken into/surrounding sounding



calling sound song



oil and blood


lakeshore      wide sand beach

           black cormorants     shadows against the sun                    

deep blue green clear                             lake water on sand

soft clean                     green weeds

dropped feathers                drift across silky smooth mirror surface

                                                                                                                                   unseen i know     the air          particulates water dissolved pollute

but this is nothing

oil        layering the beaches         suffocating the birds

               choking the shellfish

                       killing the fish eggs

                                   poisoning the fish


              they used to call it black gold

                       but gold never killed

gold did not explode    pollute    poison    spread    decimate and destroy

our addiction to the motor vehicle

plastic appliances     technology gadgets

we are creating this destruction

it is we who drilled the well with our gluttonous desire for

more bigger better faster fancier best

we who destroy the living creatures of the earth

             we who destroy in our lust for power and dominance

                           we who have wandered so far away from the mother

and now the mother

is bleeding to death

and her blood has turned to oil

Medwyn McConachy – Gibraltar Point – June 4, 2010


womb entering


     as sisters we gather

          women entering our circle

               of trust and love

womb entering                                       

mentoring our                                            







as divine sisters we greet with reverence

and respect, embracing harmony

inviting spirit into our sacred space

we share with each other our lives

 speaking our language of faith


                 blessed be    









circling together in this womb

feeding from the nourishment

we hold each other and our work

intimate, open, vulnerable and true

 we gift ourselves with time

to connect                            

to grieve                                           

to celebrate                                                        

to pray                                                                          

to learn                                                                                     

to care                                                                                                 


called to the dance by the beat of the drum

circling, swinging, we bear aloft the images of she who creates

                               she who wonders in the eternal resonance of woman’s womb entering


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