Karen Dennison

Poet and artist


Responding to images – poems by Elly Nobbs and me

My friend and fellow poet Elly Nobbs (author of The Invisible Girl) had the neat idea to give each other an image to respond to and below are the results. Check out Elly’s web page.

When Elly sent me the bird image it helped me to go back to a couple of fragmented lines I’d written and abandoned which I was able to incorporate into something new.

I love where the image I sent Elly took her. It’s interesting what links we make with abstract images to concrete ideas.


“Sunprints”, layered photographs by Karen Dennison

For the child

life’s like a hole
where once there was a stove pipe
in the kitchen ceiling
of an old house

with a bedroom
above: she’s on the floor
not sleeping
— one ear over this chance
to learn secrets

and no, the sounds
weren’t like seas inside a conch
shell or comets

— poem by E.E. Nobbs



“Betwixt”, digital drawing by E.E. Nobbs, using Sketchpad (based on “Blackbird”, photograph by Tom Myers)


I pull on the shape of the crow’s
silhouette, wear it like a hooded coat,
push my arms into its feathers.

I plant my feet in the branches of a tree,
autumn leaves jigsaw beneath me.
My field of sight moves, widens.

Sky is my country now. I’ve sacrificed
words for wings, speech for song.
I hover above our house, squall farewell.

— poem by Karen Dennison