Dawn Doran and Amy Moffitt

Jewels at the Bottom of A Well
By Dawn Doran

Mixed media
Painted using Amy Moffitt’s poem (below) as inspiration

By Amy Moffitt

Memory can be very cruel.

I will never forget
your skin –soft, rose petal soft–
my white hand ghost-like, skeletal
against the warm, deep brown.

And I will never forget how
people turned to stare as
we walked down the streets
of Montego Bay.
Dark faces, curious, admiring you.

Your thick, black hair
and the glittering black eyes
like jewels at the bottom of a well
constantly asking the question
constantly turning away from me
just when I needed the answer the most.

And Indian mothers with
angry eyes and disbelieving faces
–mouths open just slightly, or
twisted in a frown–
who watched us walking
through suburban markets.

I will never forget
the night by the water
with the full moon
and no one else around.

I will never forget when you told me
“You glow”
as we laid together at night.

I wanted
to reach across fences
and rip down brick walls
with my bare, white hands.
I can work hard.
I can do this.

But for all I was willing to give up
Bharat Mata loved you first
and America –to you– is a place for plunder,
not for love.

In the end, you never told anyone about me,
and the walls are standing still
despite my bloodied hands.


By Dawn Doran

Pencil on paper
Inspiration Piece provided to Amy Moffitt

By Amy Moffitt

I was once mistaken for an Irish gypsy
outside St. Mary of the Angels
in Bayswater, London.
I wondered why Father Stuart ignored me as he passed.
He laughed when he realized it later.

I liked the idea.
It seemed to explain why I’d
always watched airplanes with longing,
and found myself staring out windows,
straining to see beyond my vision’s true reach.

But in truth, any freedom has a hidden slavery.
In Oxford, the only gypsies begging were women
–sometimes holding babies–
seemingly tethered to the same spot on the sidewalk
with one hand cupped in front of them.

And back in America, we are free to consume,
our credit lines are IV lines
pumping life into a crepuscular system
as we kill other countries in our search for more fuel.

And in my apartment, I circle alone
from bedroom, to kitchen, to desk,
like a blackbird tied to a branch
by itself
watching the sparrows fly away.

2 Responses to Dawn Doran and Amy Moffitt

  1. […] Over the past month or so I have had the pleasure of taking part in a really interesting art & writing project created by my darling friend Amy Souza. About the project: In September 2008, twelve writers and thirteen visual artists embarked upon this Art & Writing Project to find inspiration from one another. To begin, writers sent artists a story or poem, and artists sent writers a painting or photograph. Working over two days only, each person used their partner’s piece as a jumping off point for new work of their own. The results are displayed on this site. […]

  2. michelle says:

    This is such beautiful work from both artist & writer. The mixed media paintings each tell a story, and they beg you to wonder for a while. The poems are haunting. I feel like I’m stepping into the writer’s skin for a moment, and I want to give her a knowing look of empathy.

    Thank you for sharing your beautiful works of art!


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