Annie’s Studio – by Simona Carini

set among redwoods, high branches swing
in the breeze telltale sign of coastal fog
burning off. Inside, the smell of wood blends
with that of paper, domain of painters
and poets. The piece on the table looks
Japanese: dark, with a pattern of waves
silkscreened in silver. Though out of sight
and earshot, the ocean rolls to shore
a short walk away, below the bluff.

“I’m working on it. Love the paper, feels
like fabric.” She’s using gouache to paint
bands of lighter blues on the dark indigo waves
that lend movement to the pattern,
a nest of gauzy clouds above the horizon,
orange rim hinting at sun behind.
Mica powder adds a glint to the sunset
off the western edge of the continent.

I imagine hours at the worktable
weighing choices, seesawing between
elation and frustration, energy swirling,
as with draft poems in my archive.
I know the exquisite anguish and effort
to match creation to concept: an image forms,
doubts halt the hand, a sudden spring forward.

Her brushes, my pen. Gouache, words.
Our shared quest for capturing
snow white trilliums blooming in redwoods’ shade,
electric air under a rain-ready sky,
the ocean’s shimmer when a ray pierces a cloud.

Simona Carini was born in Perugia, Italy. She writes poetry and nonfiction and has been published in various venues, in print and online, including Sheila-Na-Gig online, Star 82 Review, Italian Americana, Intima A Journal of Narrative Medicine, Sport Literate. Her first poetry collection Survival Time was published by Sheila-Na-Gig Editions in 2022. She lives in Northern California with her husband, loves to spend time outdoors, and works as an academic researcher. Her website is