flower of november

you fling
the blooms, graceful–
hands filled with abundance,
harvest untroubled by
time’s immanent
decay,

the cost
of seeds waxing–
each life encircled by
its opposite—how all
language breaks in
to tears—

but dance!–
the seasons are
not closed—the same sun that
sets early now will grow,
expand, greet sky
open

again,
in tangible
contrast to our useless
attempts to resist, turn
back clocks, challenge
the tides

My response to Merril’s autumn ekphrastic prompt at dVerse. I chose the above image, Child Dancing With Chrysanthemum Branch. Chrysanthemums are the birth flower of November, symbolizing both long life and mourning or grief. I’ve used Jane’s Oracle 2 words as inspiration.

I did not realize until after I wrote the poem and was searching for appropriate images how well it fit this response to Nick Cave’s soundsuits that I did for a recent Kick-About prompt.

The soundsuits created by Nick Cave, the artist, are totally different than the songs created by Nick Cave, the musician.

frozen

bombs are cold
explosions of bitterness
sucking the warmth
out of what remains
of possibility

bombs are greedy
machines, meant only
to destroy, burn
any seeds, annihilate
life

bombs are hungry
voracious conduits
for our worst impulses
eating our souls
from the inside out

A quadrille for dVerse, where Lisa has given us the word warm. In 2014 I did a series called “What Is It Good For?” on memadtwo. There were, as always, many conflicts in the news. Hearing this song from Buddy and Julie Miller this morning, it reminded me of the art from those posts.

It also made me think again of how cold this winter will be for the Ukrainians and so many others the world over. How short our attention span. How little we have learned.

What IS it good for–the guns, the bombs, the dying? We know the answer.

who walks this nightpath

My message from the Oracle this morning. The first word she gave me was “animal” but it seems she meant their presence to be inferred by the Badger form.

ask the
long always for
sanctuary—beneath
seasons of riversong
here follows deep
between

why and
how to listen
when moonspirit is about–
wandering ancient light
through forested
earthshine

The art is from the archives–one of many mandalas I did for Sue Vincent’s prompts.

Volcano 4

halfway
is never fixed–
merging not in a line,
but positioned between–
too brief to be
resolved

the madness of fate–
consummation and release,
sweeping life away

Another collage inspired by Elisa Ang’s painting, paired with the Badger and Kick-About poem, above, and my Pure Haiku Volcano contribution which you can read here.

Volcano 3

puzzling
destinations–
the details repeated,
magnified, untraveled–
living outside
a map

random lines break down–
the page explodes, caught trembling–
from nothing, vast light

The Kick-About poem and collage and Oracle 2 Badger above serve as a prelude to my third Volcano offering at Pure Haiku, which you can read here.

Volcano 1

what season is this?
dark, enigmatic, grown wild–
spilling from our eyes

don’t weep–
rings encircle
us inside life’s limits–
we must learn to accept
the turning of
the tides

Elisa Ang provided the artistic inspiration, above, for my series of volcano poems appearing this week at Pure Haiku. Serendipitously, the Kick-About recently hosted a prompt based on Turner’s painting of Mt. Vesuvius, for which I made a series of collages and wrote a cadralor of volcano-themed poems titled “In Search of Venus”. And Jane’s Oracle 2 words provided further inspiration for me to write five Badger poems to go with the volcano theme.

You can read my poem at Pure Haiku here. Thanks, as always, to Freya Pickard for her continued support of my work.

cold comfort

who will hear our voices?

winter winds our walls
snow our blanket

old news now–
drowned out
by the latest atrocities

“Ukrainian Figurines” by Kirill Shevchenko (Groder) Image by Кирилл Шевченко from Pixabay

David, at The Skeptic’s Kaddish, supplied the above photo for Colleen’s Tanka Tuesday this week. I recently ran across a “42” poem I had written and the form seemed just right for this prompt. The situation in Ukraine is full of questions with no easy answers.

I did these collages in my early days of blogging, when Marcy Erb and I did a number of poetry and art collaborations. The poetic excerpt that inspired this work was from Frederick Turner.

On the Death of an Infant

Latecomer, first to go,
Like the small arctic flower
Between the snow and snow,
The fragrance of an hour. 

Frederick Turner (b. 1943) 

Every day new things demand our attention–but let us not forget the people of Ukraine.

shivering the mirror

and what if
you grew roots,
awakened spirit,
became treebound–
your blood flowing
glorious amidst sapwood–
your body suddenly
magnificent, unhewn—
your arms branching
toward the sun,
Familiar to birds,
ancient, floating
on the breath of wings–
your heartwood
trembling, weightless,
awash in light?

A quadrille for dVerse, where De has given us the word wing, and for earthweal, where Sherry has asked us to speak for the trees. I’ve also used Jane’s Oracle 2 words as inspiration.