The Dance (The Show Must Go On)

The Poem

The poet describes the dancing crowd as “an ocean of mud”. Perhaps that was her perspective from the stage as she sang to the audience.


The Picture

This painting sat half done all summer. The imagery is inspired by the words of the poem. The paint application is a study of motion, swirling, spinning… I also enjoy how the background figures have taken on a character of their own.


The Dance (The Show Must Go On)


Lights and slow




People who

Come and go,


and go.


Currents of thought

Waters of vision

Seas of intentions

Oceans of mud,


of mud


Gripping, Smothering




Overly uncontrollable.


Pelicans in flight

Awkward dance

Rising above,




Currents of pain.


Poem by: Susan Michaud



Picture by: Sylvia Arthur 

© Sylvia Arthur

The Reality of Sparrows

The Poem

I feel this poem is about how self-absorbed people can be. We often think only about themselves and only from our own perspective, with a lack of understanding for other people. The raven has no idea of what reality is for the sparrow.


The Picture

I have been busy creating art using new print media. This is my first ever linocut of a sparrow (Cowbird). It was created for another project, but the poem and image fit together perfectly. Look for the raven (crow) linocut to be posted later this month. These prints will also be appearing on a number of downtown Calgary utility boxes.


The Reality of Sparrows

Strong, powerful and

cock-sure of myself.


though not really.


Driven by ignorance and


awaiting attention.


Laughing at pain while


is dying

or has died.


Flocked ravens with small brains

All squawk


No concept of the reality of sparrows.


Poem by: Susan Michaud


Cowbird print

Picture by: Sylvia Arthur

Crow Print_small

Picture by: Sylvia Arthur


© Sylvia Arthur


Hearts Need a Home

The Poem

The theme of homeless people has returned once again. I think Sue was remembering the poor people she met while she was on the road playing in bar bands. Many just lived day to day scraping together a few dollars, stuck in a life of poverty. The same people she would later try to help in her job as a social worker.


The Picture

This is a new addition to the cardboard “Suite Street” paintings. Charlie and Rose, who are pictured in this painting are imagined people, but they embody the many I’ve met living in the shabby old hotels where Sue and the band played, struggling to get by.


Hearts Need a Home

How many hotels I wonder,

Are housing to some poor, lonely soul

Whose heart never had a home?


Charlie was at the Oxford

Al in Yellowknife,

Margaret and Rose too

But not at the Inn.


I never tried to count

Until just now

Now that my heart has a home

And a fire


All this warmth

And all those lonely people


We all need someone to care for us

And yet I wonder,

Does anyone care for them now?


I wonder if Charlie and Margaret and Rose

Ever found a real home

Other than the hotel,

I wonder if their hearts still beat.


Poem by: Susan Michaud


Charlie and Rose

Picture by: Sylvia Arthur


© Sylvia Arthur

Analyze This

The Poem

Music is not a simple thing when it is analyzed. It’s mathematical and exact, so it seems to be quite a contradiction that making music can be such a spontaneous, joyful experience.


The Picture

This painting was begun a long time ago and sat half finished in a corner for years. Recently, I realized the painting expresses the same idea as the poem. Sue’s poem inspired me to rework the painting and even start over with a new guitar player (always the guitar player). This is about the love of music.


Analyze This

If experience is life

and art is experience

what makes one man’s experience

so different from another man’s experience


that he believes is better;


and by extension, more important

than others


this art that is music;

the precision of

melody       blended time


the laboured


of the

“mathematics of sound”


it is not

systematic understanding

and perfection of the craft that

lifts our hearts and

refreshes our souls



the miracle of

making it.


Poem by: Susan Michaud


It's Only Rock and Roll

Picture by: Sylvia Arthur


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All Rights Reserved

Work Out Song

The Poem

This little ditty is plain and simple. The message is work out, eat right and you will be healthy and happy. I wish I could hear the music that goes with the words, but the song died with the singer. No doubt this would have been a great, upbeat, work out song.


The Picture

This is the largest and most detailed painting created for this blog so far. My intention was to capture the action and strength of the back flip. The message echo’s the poem. Physical vitality and human spirit are developed through exercise. Exercise is uplifting.


Work Out Song

Good to go and get your work out on

Good to go and get your body strong

If you like to eat and play all day

Listen to the healthy words I say


If you want to get your mind in tune

Take a listen what you got to do

Don’t eat the bad stuff that will take away

A healthy body that you use all day


So what you do is chose wise healthy food

And even if you are not in the mood

Get off your butt and get your exercise

And you will get a great big prize


Health! Health! and a happy mind

Kind of go together when you take some time

So keep a focus on it every day

And look at it like a little way to play


And when you’re fighting a bad attitude

Put on some music to get you in the mood

No need to worry about your appetite

Working out will make that part all right

Poem by: Sue Michaud



“Back Flip” Picture by: Sylvia Arthur


Contents of this Site

Copyright © 2015-2016

All Rights Reserved

Evelyn 14

The Poem

I believe this poem describes the act of writing a poem or song. The poet acknowledges that the inspiration for her poetry comes from the situations and sorrows of people she knew “from so long ago”.

The Picture

This time, the meaning of the poem did not influence the subject matter of the art. Instead, certain words jumped out at me (black, white, tea, hope, sorrow, so long ago, Evelyn). Those words created a spontaneous picture of “Evelyn” in my subconscious mind, which I then put to paper.


Evelyn 14


Black Letters

white page


high contrast




street life

over tea






the song




exposed faces



singed realities


fused hope


and achievement




from sorrow

so long ago.


By: Susan Michaud


“Evelyn” By: Sylvia Arthur

Short Shorts

The Poem

This short, sweet poem is about how our children become like us over time. Or at least so I thought at first. But Sue the poet always has some underlying, darker message that ebbs beneath the surface. When you look closely, the message is clear.


The Picture

In this painting, the imagery is as sweet as the first words of the poem. I didn’t intend anything beneath the surface, but I did intend for the paint to sit on the canvas’ surface. As a painter I am experimenting with paint and pattern. It feels good and may be the start of a new “painterly approach” for me.


Short Shorts

In our children soon appear

snippets of ourselves so clear.


Water falls in pools,

One drop springs up like salmon

Ripples flow downstream.


Data is

And data does

As data



Machines replace the beauty of

Such human things as love.


By: Susan Michaud



“Kelsey and William”, By: Sylvia Arthur

Lucky Me Unlucky You

The Poem

It’s a little ironic that Sue wrote this poem about a dear friend that died and now the same poem applies so perfectly to her.


The Picture

To me, November is a dark month. It’s the month of Remembrance Day, my mother’s passing, Sue’s passing, as well as several others. This portrait of my father is painted from a photo taken on the day of my mother’s funeral…in November.


Lucky Me Unlucky You

Should I say that I loved you and nobody’s above you

or say that it wasn’t that way

All the times we drove home and we laughed and we cried

Now my dear friend has died

And I still can’t believe that you’re gone


No one that had known you could say that without you

the world would be better that way

I still can’t believe that you’re gone


You were so damn good thought you’d be the son

To get that first knock out round one

Now it’s all undone


Should that be the last time I ever would see your face

How did you ever leave such a space

Never thought that would be the last time


Life’s so strange and people do change

and you’re never sure what you’ll get

Life’s rearranged now that you took that train

but I thank my stars that we met


You still said I was the best kept secret of anyone you knew

I wasn’t sure

but I thought that the only one who could see me was you

And that came true

We’re just calls that never got through


By: Susan Michaud



“The Widower” By: Sylvia Arthur

Head Radio

The Poem

This poem is about the joy of music and the way it connects to our lives in a personal way. A song can just take hold of us and make everything else go away. Our poet, Sue was a brilliant musician who always lived with a song on her lips and a beat in her step.


The Picture

I worked to create a mood of joy and rhythm in this picture, much the same way a favourite song can take over our feelings and lift our spirits.


Head Radio


Kinship with strangers

late at night

starting to feel whole again

                   no explaining the feeling

thinking about old love


Got high today

listening to Neil Young

he says just “walk on”


“sooner or later it all gets real”

too real



Smoke a little more red

that’s been going around

Then, later on


pours from a large black box

                  I got from a new friend



Led Zeppelins

Rise with the heat


“My time is gonna come”


death or prosperity…

no one serves two masters

and you got to serve somebody


When old DJ’s die

where do they



By: Sue Michaud


Sounds of Music

“Sounds of Music” By: Sylvia Arthur

Simply Fade Away

The Picture

Sorry this months post is so gloomy, but it’s been that kind of a month. This poem made me think about how short life is. It reminded me of the loss of loved ones, including the poet who wrote these words. How they simply fade away.

The Poem

The message I heard when I read this poem is that lives are lived; accomplishments and fortunes are made, but in the end, everything including us, will simply fade away. There are many layers of messages here, but I think the most optimistic is that our lives are part of the whole. The next generation will carry on.

Simply Fade Away

Rhythmic bass plays in my head

Should I sit back or now rejoice

Find the light in my new voice, or

Simply fade away


Philosophers so rank and file

None of them sit on the green mile

Find the peace left for a while, or

Simply fade away


Praise the sun and Holy Ghost

Cause you win if you have the most

What have we seen in all our years

We simply fade away


Generations come and go and life still has its ebb and flow

What will tomorrow really bring Armageddon or ides of spring


All that we touch and all we see is not what life will ever be

Because we are a part; not whole, the world is as time unfolds


The choice is you and it is me but God is still a mystery, to

Those who chose to make him


Rhythmic drums pound in my heart

Begin to die or live to start

What is this curse or happiness, to

Simply fade away


Demographers show data’s toll

But never all the leading roles

Think what you can or what you will, it

Simply fades away


Rich man; poor man; beggar; king

All kiss the hand and kiss the ring

Who’s in control for now will be, then

Simply fade away

By: Sue Michaud


Waiting IMG

“Waiting” By: Sylvia Arthur