Castle in the Sky/the earth sings

Too much and too little of everything,
this disembodied crowd of kings and fools–
the culmination of faith is a leap into the unknown–
the spaces between are all that remains.

The details of life become blurred and distorted,
fragments scattered into ghosts
reflecting the collision of bottomless dreams and desires–
too much and too little of everything.

Plans go astray, linger unrealized.
The path is long and winding and there is no map —
what makes us think we have finally found the truth?
(this disembodied crowd of kings and fools)

Does only night reveal the secret of the star?
The past follows us no matter where we go–
how little is really necessary!
The culmination of faith is a leap into the unknown.

The earth embraces us, teeming with life–
what are we looking for?  where do we belong?
Will we recognize it when we reach our destination?–
the spaces between are all that remains.

memories are
woven into tales–
time and space
and compressed—fragments scattered
like ghosts of what is

no longer
there—we know why we
seek this thing–
Divine Light–
but there is no star, only an
endless procession

from its past—still we
always come
back again,
repeating the well trodden
paths of Holy fools–

and when our
destination finds
us what will
we see?  grace
reflecting the gift of life?
or the gold of kings?

I wrote these two poems (a cascade, and a shadorma chain) in response to a painting of the daylight travels of the Magi followed by multitudes of richly garbed men which was part of the Ekphrastic Review Holiday Challenge. These did not make the cut. But when I saw the Earthweal Challenge for the change we are, I thought they fit.

I know my prompt responses often seem to veer off course, and maybe this one is also in that category. Perhaps it stems from my sense of things not fitting properly in the world–myself included–which gives me a general inability to feel I am accurately responding to anything. But I also feel that’s where “we” are at this Solstice 2020. Changes are all around us, but it’s hard to find the proper light in which to tell exactly what they are.

with more art from the archives

25 thoughts on “Castle in the Sky/the earth sings

  1. A wonderful post – the question of whether we’ll see grace reflecting the gift of life or the gold of kings is the crossroads we are at. I loved both poems, and the artwork, as always. I love the title of this post especially.

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  2. Your poems sum up a lot of what I’ve been feeling, Kerfe, especially that sense of disconnection. I’d managed to keep fairly positive but I think the darkness of midwinter has started to get to me. Thank goodness we are turning back towards the light, in solar terms at least!

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  3. K, your first image looks like a tattered mask that also serves as a filter through which we’re looking at the state of things. You’ve captured the disorientation so well in the words. We are looking for a destination but the destination will find us. That last question lingers.

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  4. I think you’re always on track. There are far more questions than there are answers and anyone who is certain about everything is an idiot. Following light is a start, but as you say, when you catch up with it, do we see a material bliss or something much more important?

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    1. Thanks Jane. I think prompts should open doors, not close them, but not everyone agrees. In the end, I just write what seems right to me.

      I do wonder who we will be when we have less restrictions on our lives and behavior. Clearly we can survive on much less stuff than we thought, but will we remember that? and will remember the importance of our connections?


      1. It would be comforting to think that we’d learned something from our enforced fasting from shopping, but I’m not sure we have. Most people have even forgotten how pleased they said they were to be able to hear the birds in the morning instead of traffic.

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  5. I love the artwork, titles and the forms you chose, Kerfe, which intrigued me on first seeing them – their shapes are different, and yet they cross over. I know what you mean about things not fitting properly in the world, which so many poets have written about this year, whether they realise it or not. Two lines that chime with me are: ‘the spaces between are all that remains’ and the details of life as ‘fragments scattered into ghosts’, which is picked up in the shadorma. You’re right about us ‘repeating the well trodden paths of Holy fools’.

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    1. Thanks Kim. Perhaps those paths are the best we can do under the circumstances. I hope you can enjoy the holidays despite being back in lockdown. I suspect we are in for more restrictions as well. (K)

      Liked by 1 person

  6. A wonderful offering of thought and artwork. I wonder about those details of life becoming blurred and distorted. Hopefully, one day soon our vision will become clearer. Too much and too little of everything lately.

    peace, light and hope

    Liked by 1 person

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