Risk it Baby

Risk it baby!

Let go of the covers that

have held you

with strings that have loosened

their grip,

Wiggle and Snap.

Loosen the feathers you've

hidden for so many years,

and let your hair fly.......free.

Feathers fall and layers

of undercoat loosen,

fluffy furry hidden before

powdery dust moments

shed themselves and release

fresh coats that shine in a 

brilliance unseen before.

Tiny bones, long curvatures of 

delicate movements

rhythm against one another as

they swirl and twist and 

swerve in their new found


Past history vanishes. 

The paths twist and gather

fresh energy

as we tremble,

our wings gather strength

as our bodies slip

gracefully and yet,


down the newfound slippery

path of life.

Softness of downy feathery


gather in the night when the

stars twinkle and

fly suddenly,

while we sleep. We rest in

unknown before blankets of feathers

of endless beauty that grow

invisibly in the quietness of the 


giving us new possibilities,

gifts of wonder, opportunity

new chances.

Sometimes the jump over the fence

and out of the ring,

is the difference between

safety and risk.

Risk leads me elsewhere 

where new colors soften the


visions of hidden before trails

into the otherwhere appear

and hold me gently in a 

warmth that relaxes my

restless mind.

birds sing their songs,

I can hear them.

I close my eyes

and find new peace.

© H.E.McGurrin Trust  3/15/2019

Steinbeck Library Salinas 12'1'2017 My speaking was about........'Follow your Dreams'

Steinbeck  Library , Salinas talk 12/1/2017

 831 7587311

350 Lincoln Ave  take some cards.....And imagery.

.2 Haitian and Mermaids Erzulie.


 Follow your dreams


My Art is my story telling. I am a Writer, a Photographer and a Painter. 

Exploring, discovering and caring.....following one’s curiosity, imagination, your vision you will discover by asking questions and learning new techniques. 

A playful spirit. Making a garden, planting trees and flowers, reusing and recycling to heal the heart. Celebration of stories, songs, special meals.... celebrating holidays. Giving to the earth. Caring for injured plants and animals. Talking about these things with my students.


Teaching students Poetry and Art to me is about stimulating feelings with a spirit of adventure learning to feel and see by expressing one’s self with photography and artists materials painting and drawing. Writing down each child’s life stories, making god’s eyes, and experimenting with various mediums. Honoring their feelings and painting their thoughts about them.

Learning to trust one’s eyes, and use them carefully. 

Talking about kindness with each other. Thinking about one’s eyes as an instrument... to share your heart through imagery. 

Looking through your eye as a lense. Getting in touch with a place deep inside and make photographs. 

Writing for minutes at the beginning of my classes. Separating the students in a thoughtful way so they can think for themselves. 

Anything they are feeling. Unwinding....

Writing the story of their history, putting their visions and feelings into poetry.Telling personal stories to one another, reading to each other, writing life stories about what they love to do, where they like to go, what they feel about their lives, what they hope for.  

As a young teenager I began spending time in different parts of Mexico and South America. I returned later to explore unsettled regions in Chiapas and translate and photograph for Los Medicos Voladores, in Sonora and Baja.

I am interested in indigenous peoples and their ceremony. 

Temples of the Mayas and the Incas in Peru and Bolivia, I visited.

I have been told my paintings tell stories my images are about being in one's heart. Working with cameras pen and paint. I am interested in people and their amazing courage.

Later on I visited Haiti and Cuba. 


Jazz, Horses, Dogs, and the Ocean.... The mountains


I was hungry for space and freedom,

I was like a young wild horse. 

My eyes looking always for more beauty, resting there for moments,

Colors, Sounds, Tastes, Perfumes and Distractions. 

Far away Places. Horses, Dogs and the Ocean.,

The Seashore.

I love being close to the horses, all the animals, they give me so much love and make me happy, calm me down.


WRITE your feelings out, start writing, need to

blend them into yourself like a recipe.........Garden, 

weed, watch your garden grow. 


To be able to look at, 

Write what you feel. Draw what you love. Encourage.

Play your Music, grow your Passion,

Look deeply, be thoughtful,

always try to be kind. 

Reach out and try new ideas...., 

If you could put all your ideas together, 

imagine what they would look like in a large Mural backdrop painting, 

across a gigantic endless background. Then imagine them 

in a small softly lit Theater, on a quiet rolling hilltop, in an old Artist town, above an old place of pleasure and familiar haunting. 

As a child I remember smooth curving wild beaches,

with ruggedness and gentle edges, all the perfect imperfections. 

The hidden places behind the conversations i never

could understand, 

i wondered.

My family's Artistry goes so far back, thinking of the Railroad, The Agriculture business,

the building of the first Governor's Mansion in Sacramento, the beautiful

old old house, standing gracefully in the heart of old Sacramento, California.

I come from a family who follow their dreams, vast and dreamy.......

I think the magic of Art comes in our bodies like a perfume of desire,

born deep inside.

I went to Big Sur, the mountains to find myself. I needed the Sea. 

Remembering my grandmother playing her piano with her gently moving fingers, with sudden passion, 

of the old man my grandfather laying tired in the back room, dying slowly

and I so shy as I remember going into that room on tiptoe, 

he scared me there, a little girl who could feel

his time was leaving. Now I wonder why I only knew him


Sharing with the young children who I have been so close

to in creating many treasures together. 

Making paintings and paper mache creatures really, Murals for our 

Community, the Monterey Airport, Health and Transportation Departments

in Salinas. I worked with the Art Council of Monterey County, 

teaching in the Public Schools from Castroville, 

Salinas, to Gonzales, Greenfield to King City, 

through the Salinas Valley. 

So many possibilities are out there for our children and our young,

to gather their talents and creative magical worlds of their 

dreams. We need to help them,



x:  content/graphics © 2017 Heidi McGurrin Photography

All rights reserved









Poetry Writings and Readings, Poetry invitations 2017-2018

Typewriter Underground

the Dear John Show

The Order of the Burning Hand

Poetry in the Blood

Thee Creekside Collective

Creative Souls

Illia Thompson's Friday 'Memoirs'


 of my Poetry, Prose and Imagery  available in the Bookstore at Blurb.com and Amazon.

Havana Dream


Poetic Landscapes.    


'Poetry Woman'    self published   paintings

'Pillow Writer'       self published   paintings

'Rocky Point Murder Mysteries' Collection of Local Writers, and  illustrations by Heidi McGurrin.  Noir Press

'Steinbeck Country Revisted'

Collection of local Independent Photographers. Central Coast Press.

'Mosaic' self published paintings

'Coyote' Author Richard Miller, illustrations by Heidi McGurrin


North Beach Library in San Francisco   Tuesday  May 8, 2018   at 6:30      My  Poetry                                                                                  


December 1 Steinbeck Library in Salinas    Guest Speaker 4:00

Carl Cherry Center for the Art, Carmel by the Sea

Seasoned Writings                 

November 25 at 8:00     November 26 Matinee at 2:00    

2018 Monterey Bay Poetry Consortium invitation to read at 'Ol Capitol Books' in Monterey

with Garland Thompson. 

3/2019 Ol Capitol Books reading with Ken Weisner

Monterey Bay Poetry Consortium on line publication of my poem, 'Piano Shoes'.

Rubber Chicken Poetry Slam with Garland Thompson     Wednesday nights at 7:30 in Monterey

Open Mic on first Fridays at 7:00           The Press Club on Fremont  in Seaside   

'Coffee with Underhill Podcast read by Todd Underhill.


Stars, light brilliance

a gift , an obligation to shine 

deep brown pools of endless feelings

have their own glow

they sit close to one another

warm in the familiar breath they share.

blood shed her color of tears, binding

them, invisible threads sewing their dignity

remindful of vintage from a sadder place, 

crippled by thoughtlessness.

star light, star bright........


©Heidi McGurrin 5/19/2017


Old fragile matchstick houses— Heidi Elizabeth McGurrin Artist

Old fragile matchstick houses...my dream.


Feeling completely lost, wandering around curvy streets in a town I felt like

I’d never been to before way up high in the hills, asking directions and getting confusing answers. I suddenly saw houses very tall elegant unvarnished and raw, old wooden Victorian houses one after another all lined up....... old brown worn matchsticks looking, blown by the winds fragile, delicate feeling lined up proud and painterly in soft sunlight.

They seemed to have long deep gardens behind them and felt to be abandoned. Only one made my eyes jump when I saw a for sale sign. Made me wonder who might have lived in these houses and what happened and why there was energy stirring around any of them.

As I wandered back down a lonely street in an unknown direction curving along I suddenly came into a completely different mood of the old houses, more elegant and sophisticated and made from a more substantial sculpted cement very very elegant like the old mansions of San Francisco. They also seemed to be abandoned and I was wondering where I was and how I never knew about this hill with all these amazing houses standing so proud.

I felt that it was getting late and I needed to get moving as I had no idea where I was. Some where I ran into my friend Sarah and for a while I told her about these beautiful old houses on the hill and did she know of them? She said no and didn't seem interested when suddenly her sister showed up. I felt alone again I felt completely ignored by them as they went on talking about money things that I had no interest in and cared nothing about.

I felt the separation of feelings and time. My dream haunts me the way Cuba haunted me when I drove through Mantanzas on the edge of the sea and saw all those pale watercolor feeling elegant houses of the old days with tall columns with gently sculpted top ornaments, all a little different from one another.There were people living in them, another feeling of time, of place. a family a life, a world of its own so far from my own and I was there whizzing by hidden in an old Russian lada car on the way to pick up my friend who promised he would wait for me on the side of the road on the way to Havana. He was there, he didn't disappoint me. I was relieved to see him as I had been feeling so insecure and drinking rum all by myself crying and talking into my tape recorder for it seemed like hours trying to figure out who I was, where I was, what I was doing putting myself out on a limb for a lover and short brief moments of ecstasy to create memories I will never forget. 


© Heidi McGurrin


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Piano Shoes— Heidi Elizabeth McGurrin Artist

She sat young and emotional 

in front of the piano

her grandmother's baby grand

with Mason Hamlin scripted in golden letters

etched across the smooth wood.

She remembers like it was yesterday...........

Her shoes felt slippery on her feet

she thought of the smoothness of the satin soft feeling

cloth when her fingers slipped them over her stockinged

toes, earlier......

she was distracted.

The cool air breezed through the open doors of latticed glass leading into

the back tiled garden with memories floating through her mind of the magnificent olive tree,

must have been over 100 years old...

The birds songs curled her curiosity....

she was lonely sitting there, twisting her feet on the piano pedals,

not sure which one was for what as her feet danced back and forth 

teasing the notes her fingers struck on the soft ivory keys with soft and long depths of sound

each one with own peculiarities....

She kept straying through imagery of antique mirrors surrounding her, sounds

echoing up into high ceilings where notes from her fingers seemed to just float into the rafters and stay,

as long as her feet touched the pedals in a meaningful way.

Her mother was upstairs, she could hear her movements....now she 

felt sad....she seemed to play sad melodies, Pavanne..was one 

that moved her. In her head she imagined her mother in a fit listening as she seemed to play the 

mournful notes over and over.....

Ray Charles 'Born to Lose' was one song and the 'Songs of the Auverne', Paul Bley's touch,

so moved her young childhood.....

She imagined mountaintops of a magical place somewhere faraway, the airs fresh breezes,

the spring light in her mind, her hands dancing and free, 

her pretty shoes responded when suddenly the wind interrupted her reverie

as the music pages 

began to blow and get ruffled,

slipping off their narrow shelf above her hands, faster than she could grab them...

losing her peace 

and creating a silence, unknown before......


©Heidi McGurrin 7/26/2017

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Old Monterey dream— Heidi Elizabeth McGurrin Artist

Old Monterey

Two days in Big Sur

I dreamt I was going to a movie that wasn't there.

So I left, walking over open land in ancient Monterey,

seeing old deep beauty in the distance of an old Adobe in golden light

surrounded by a green forest of trees.

I recognize my uncle Gallatin's place,

from years before. 

Passing crumbled walls,

darkness wandering, crosses,

old cemeteries, darkness huddled people going about their work, 

realizing I had been there before. 

Beauty of shells of old houses, walls, blues of sky 

heavy green grasses and 


Golden light holding the old adobe walls

centered in the Forest.

I am near the Altar. 

High up in front of the Altar piled up piles of old lace with beaded pearls sparkling like candlelight along endless edges of tears sewn and barely hidden under materials laying upon one another, shades of white cloth near very very tall golden candlestick and a priest reciting a mass. Light was streaming in from high above the adobe walls from Spaniard times, down onto this high table with the open coffin which didn't quite cover what I saw underneath where legs hemispheric and arms stretched and appeared like the body of someone. I didn't realize anybody was laying there until after a little while when I started to become hot watching from the front hard wooden bench and was getting restless. Suddenly the priest walked over and pulled up the cloth that was covering the legs and the arms supposedly hidden underneath perhaps in an open casket and suddenly when he lifted up the cloth I saw more legs more arms and somebody’s face that I recognized laying there sleeping. Altogether there were four people laying more or less on top of each other pot pie on this altar table, all seemed to be sleeping except for one.

Out in the old Monterey Street I rushed out seeing people in the twilight wandering around and across the street I saw what looked like a goat, a black goat with very long curls, very wild jumping and leaping around. At first I thought she was a wild goat… or a dog with very long curls and then I realized this creature that I couldn't quite identify was lost. Nobody was paying attention to her and she needed me. So there I was with this beautiful wild creature in hand.

Then I found myself wandering for the longest time in the dark, and I couldn't find my car. I knew my little white car was somewhere but I didn't know if it was on a side street I had no idea where it was now. I have an animal with me and no car. A couple of men came to my help but they couldn't help me either because they had no idea so I wandered around wondering on an old Monterey Street. I went back to the big old Adobe walls of the hollowed out inner courtyard garden where the service was being held for the woman and three mysterious people who were on top of the heap in the open casket. People were starting to pour out of the doorway quite happily like they had been to a happier occasion not something sad like a funeral. Lots of energy in the air and I felt completely bewildered.

Thoughts of some time ago on Chiapas when I had looked down on a hillside covered with crosses dark blue crosses white crosses small crosses tall crosses, all surrounded by flowers. Bunches of flowers and white lilies, pink flowers standing proud and laying loosely in an old cemetery near the walls of a hollowed out ceremonial built of rocks.

Indigenas were huddled in small gatherings there in the silent places around the graves and sounds of their love poured from their voices and violins hummed squeaks of bird sounds. I saw a women cuddling bromeliad flowers as if they were babies close to her breasts, other families held each other and swayed to the violins and their own voices.

I was told the women saved their hair from their combs to put into their graves when they die and the men have a special pair of shoes for their afterlife and a bottle of posh, their sacred drink. Ribbons of many colors were attached to the men's hats and fluttered down over their deep strong black wool ponchos, with their large silver necklaces shining on their chests.


© Heidi McGurrin 5/2016

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Before the light- Heidi Elizabeth McGurrin Artist


Before the light

touches my sleepy eyes,

I go deep for moments,

trying to catch the remnants

of my dreams.

Line them up as in a patchwork,

gatherings of hard and soft,

places of familiar and many new,

wondrous and disturbing sometimes,

not unlike a river whose flow

rushes over endless rocks,

Some of jade, some of ivory if caught

by the sunlight.

Carnelian roughs its colors near slippery green


only dragonflies flutter their wings nearby.

Water, slippery like my dream flows,

drag and twist and brighten my sleep,

toss me around

while my arms lie still

and my eyes flutter with the passing

ships in the night.

I lay in my pillows, shut eye,

traveling back in time,

my wings seem to be made of

feathery flesh,

their bones are light,

tired from the long nights and heavy from

carrying the stardust

accumulated from years of waiting,

watching, listening, and caring.

Zillions of stars watch over me while I sleep,

and troubles and concerns from worldly


seem to trick their madness into liquids of

dissolve, and disappear into clouds of soft 

pillows, holding me gently on my journey

to inside myself.

© Heidi McGurrin 11/3/2017


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China Camp — Heidi Elizabeth McGurrin Artist

Migrant children


Underneath my Chinese lavender flower tree with the big soft floppy green leaves falling all around, the nasturtiums grow like Chinese umbrellas in the rain and give a resting place for the fluttering leaves that fall from above.

My favorite chair with the longest stretch for my legs is my heaven .... my cat and my dog Tintin comfortably resting near me. Only the sounds of bird song and the cooling of doves all around me.

I do know something about the migrant camps along the nearby fields. 

I have taught art and poetry to the children of migrants for years. 

The beauty and sadness that reflects in their words and their strokes of colors, their patterns of ancient feelings I recognize. The children must wait for their parents to come home. Many grandparents and children hold the home fires. Innocence and beauty sparkle deep in their eyes. I see the light change over the near mountain tops, the horses wandering along the riverbank and the smells of barbecue. The small celebrations that give strength and courage and hope, where often there is so little.

The many crosses line the roadsides, crude and handmade, wrapped in colorful flowers, some fresh, some faded to beyond thinness, prayers of love. The graves of memory. Memories of love and laughter, music, guitars singing to the night wind – – to the remembered days so deep and far away in the past. An empty baby bassinet with a tiny blanket and small stuffed animals and little dolls abandoned next to that very long lonely road. 

When hope hung tightly woven in their blankets.

Blankets were dreams. 

Colors were tears. 

Tears were from their gods, the rivers, the mountain creeks, the redwood trees that flew their seeds when fires raged and crackled in their branches. 

Tzotzil, their rain God 

The thunder, lightning, pale blue poking faces through gigantic white puffy clouds

water of hope, brilliance of glory, their arms stretched tall and wide with beauty veiling gently their wrinkles of toil, their earth cracked hands, their worn out feet, their sunken wombs, all hurting from leaning bent over for endless hours of toil in the fields of many colors, the dirt, the silence under the heat and rain. Toiling for the food for their children, to feed us. The luckier ones,. I love their children of many colors.

Their language, their dialects, their piñatas. 

the beauty of their bakery treasures 

a delight to my eyes.

The colors of the rainbow 

which begins and ends over each migrant's head

They are the pot of gold 

Their children are our gifts.


©Heidi McGurrin 4/22/2016

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a dropped feather to freedom- Heidi Elizabeth McGurrin Artist


a dropped feather to freedom

A tiny blue soft off gray feather

sat alone on the ground

its sheen feathery fresh

uncomplicated by the dirt, and the dust.

She had flown off and away, far

off into the high branches of the dark forest

where sunlight gathered gently

touching softly the branches of leaves

and filtering down in shafts of

magical dusty sunlight

where other birds sang, and created a 

symphony, welcoming her into their enchantment.

She had flown fast and furiously

when she felt a gentle tug on 

one of her lovely graceful sapphire

feathery plumes,

she felt betrayed.

Earlier on, she had sung a 

trill of high staccato rifts,

with long endless notes

bursting from her feathered little 

puffs in her throat, warbling

in otherworldly drifts of


Magical floods of feelings sending

chills all over my skin.

The canvas with the cage with

the vanishing bars and the door 

closed by a brush,

worried her innocence.

In the air tiny red flags waved

their warnings.crickets, beetlebugs, dragonflies too.

She could hear the chatter of the forest birds, crying to her high

up in the darkness where sunlight graced the branches in a subtle

golden glowing. 

The light seemed to dapple the colors of

viridian and perelene with a soft yellow, maybe indian yellow,

softer, rougher that lemons.

As she flew high away from the mysterious canvas with the curious bars,

and the door of trapped consequences,

she tucked her tiny feet up high together

against her soft tiny belly of her feathery softness,

not thinking for a second,

just darting away

following the trills of the voices

whose song pulled her high,

safely into their rites of passage

where earlier, she had not been ready.

That tiny tug of awakening,

her feather interrupted,

sent her to brave new heights,

never dreamed about before.

She felt the painter hiding behind the tree,

she knew, she smelled other flowers

suddenly she 

flew away.

©Heidi McGurrin 7/21/2017