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"The Panic Vine"

Updated: Aug 11

Copyright Marla J. Loss, Mixed Media 28" x 36"



The first picture in this series was “The Window Pain” which I wrote about in my last post. In that mixed-media piece I was expressing the feeling of being mentally stuck. In this second piece, “The Panic Vine,” the flat space has begun to change through the breaking up of the composition and through ripped pieces of paper. A linear mass of branches and vines emanate from the head and throat, although torn and crumpled paper obscure the eyes. Two poems are included: one from my 15-year-old-self about how I felt trapped. The poem has no title and is painted in large letters to my left. It is behind me but still a part of me. The second poem, “The Panic Vine” by Isabella Gardner has been collaged to my right. I happened upon her book, "Birthdays from the Ocean," in the library as a young adult, and checked it out based on its title. Gardner's poem speaks of buried anxiety. Exposing the roots to light despite all fear starts to rip up the past creating new possibilities for beginnings and dimensions. Creating this piece was the start of my "breaking out of the box" so to speak. It was messy, and I couldn't see what was going to happen. But I was moving and growing. Here is a detail photo:




Poetry inspired this piece as well as several other art pieces of mine. Have you been inspired by poetry, music, or art to move forward in your life? Let me know in the comments below.

Prints available. Original has been sold. To see other pictures in this series, “The Window Pain” and “Soul Cell” click here and here.



The Panic Vine

by Isabella Gardner


The panic vine quickens on the spine with the rise and fall of every breath

and blooms inside the eyes

A cold fruit bulges from the veins of wrists and arms

to bleed a virus juice into our sueded palms.


We spread disease when our begloved infrequent rites

of greeting are performed.

If we exhume the roots

that lie in nightsoil bedded with the lungs of crows

roots watered by the coiled insistent garden hose

cold-framed against the thorn, the analytic wind

the dazzling showers of the thundering sun bird blood

the grey goose feather and

the white mare mother's cud

if we expose these roots to weather and to wound

they would survive and we could bear the scattered rose

the spattered foal the honking flight and the sun's alms.


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