Anna Casamento Arrigo Mini-Series I

It is striking that accomplished authors often have hidden talents. It can be painting or musical talent, it could be anything to do with artistic endeavour. Some authors produce book covers professionally, and some authors knit or embroider. For my post this week, I’d love to introduce the author Anna Casamento Arrigo, who is a poet and a visual artist. I intend to feature her work in a miniseries, that will be the topic for this and the next two painting posts. Without further ado, I’ll leave her to tell about her art.


Thank you, Hanne for this opportunity!

On July 20th, 2011, I suffered a frontal-parietal stroke. Prior to that, I had taught eighth grade Language Arts to AP classes in an inner-city school. Now, the last side of my body paralyzed and my vestibular system and speech affecting each aspect of my being, I felt lost. Three months after this life-altering event, and recuperating at the Kessler Institute for brain injuries, occupational thereby became part of my recuperative process. This included art. And my new path began. Ever so slowly, I forced my left cadaver hand to action. Additionally, painting became my go-to when my thoughts led me to bouts of rumination. I took the strategies I had learned from my occupational art sessions, invested in a multitude of art media, and set about the, often frustrating task of capturing my feelings, frustrations, and, most specifically, my road to refining myself. My first feeble attempts were just that-feeble but, albeit therapeutic. I found the drop method of painting the easiest for me to manage. I had rediscovered a new sense of self. This is one of the very first works, which I called, ‘Saturn’s Sunrise.’ (It, in an aberrant, and perhaps, way captured a journey of that place lying in full view but also, somehow, untrainable). #strokesurvivor

Regards! Anna


Here is Anna’s painting Saturn’s Sunrise


Here are Anna’s links:


© HMH, 2020

HM Stray Toughts

Collective Living: A Utopia?

Does twosome bliss exist? Some people claim that it exists, but there’s little evidence of it. Most individuals seem to go along with less than ideal conditions. Ask Graham Greene, he dissects so-called happy marriages in The End of the Affair in the most appalling manner. He cuts deep, but there’s no doubt about his understanding of the mechanisms of jealousy, boredom, loneliness, and heart-wrenching sorrow that goes into a marriage.

Must we pity or envy those unmarried lovers that stand outside, longing to be inside? Maybe no good solution can be found. So many humans are lonely whether in or out of relationships. Those who know how to deal with our innate loneliness, or learn to enjoy solitary pleasures, are probably better off than everybody else.

Of course, there will always be those moments of doubt. Moments, when we crave company, but there’s nobody to talk to. Friendships may be the best alternative. Still, there’s the question of sex. Is it true that sex and marriage don’t go together too well? Promiscuous sex causes all sorts of problems. Yet, we need somebody to make love to, to feel we’re truly alive. It could be so simple if we didn’t have the idea that we can own a person. When will we learn to understand that ownership has nothing to do with love?

Love is a gift, but not a contract. Marriage may be a contract, but then it has little to do with love. Is it a common mistake that Eros and agape are one and the same? It couldn’t be further from the truth.

That brings me full circle. Would it hurt a good erotic friendship to turn away from being lovers and elect twosome and married bliss? Probably. What would model love-life be like in an ideal world? Is it possible to avoid being possessive in love? Who knows?

I suppose there were attempts to rule out such complications in the sixties’ and seventies’ collectives. If ten or more people share a living space, the questions of loneliness don’t arise. There might be other problems though. Like how to sort out practicalities: who should cook, get in groceries, clean, and do the laundry? That can be difficult in a small family unit, but would these difficulties increase, or would it be a matter of organisation. How would the free love-life fare? Nothing is simple where humans get involved.



© HMH, 2020

HM Poetry

Eternal Friends

Noble pursuits of gracious souls

Perfume the garden where resides

That unattainable courteous devotion

Walled in by ideals or ruled out as unruly.

Minstrels build castles in the air bending the ears of

Exquisite maidens who never age or change;

Box hedges and labyrinths lead the applicants

To bowers of roses where turtle doves nest.


Peacocks flutter their shrill voices and

Cause the construction to tumble and fall

Dreams easily shatter when visions become overblown.

Courtly love was ever under siege:

Every victory left perpetual misery in its wake



© HMH, 2014

HM Paintings

Digital Sketches

At present, I’m figuring out what to paint next. These are my options.

The moon always fascinated me, especially the full moon. I’ve numerous sketches and photos — more or less successful — but this isn’t all bad.

You could say that this is a tropical fantasy, I’ve no idea where it came from. Maybe it was a dream. If so, it must’ve been glorious. What I like about it are the colours.

This last one, I fancy is an autumn scene. Pine tree on a beach. Again, I’ve no idea of the origin. Anyway, I believe it too could work.

© HMH, 2020