sun moon hand eye circle snake

we grow wings, awaiting the return of the sun
as branches and leaves dance patterns over the moon–
invisible roots weave themselves through our hands
and become imprinted inside our eyes–
alert to the gaps in the circle,
we lie still, glittering like coiled snakes

We shed our skins, discarding them like snakes
and bask in glittered nakedness beneath the sun.
We turn our insides out, become the circle–
shapeshifting, orbed, a secret following the moon
through the thousand doors of the cosmic eye,
the lines on the palm of the soothsayer’s hand.

We stand just out of reach, beyond time’s hand
among the whispers in the wake of the snake.
The sky trembles as we gather into the Devil’s Eye
and rearrange the seasons by summoning the sun,
dropping it into darkness.  Who can contain the moon?
The hares alone see everything, like the circle.

Exposed and whirling us in surprise, the circle
weaves a web of lines into every hand,
a talisman of light reflecting the moon.
It collects our beginnings and endings.  The snake
trades paths with the absent elsewhere of the sun,
a geography that exists beyond the all-seeing eye.

Our spirits walk on the edge of the hare’s eye
as hidden crows echo across the circle
trying to catch the light, steal the fire from the sun.
The landscape breaks apart, a wheel without a hand,
consumed by the changing riddles of the snake,
retrieving its magic by chanting the songs of the moon.

Our hares are like ships that sail the moon,
shining in the mirror of the third eye.
We feast on desire like the dreamsnake,
bending layers of souls into a spiraled circle.
Crow approaches and takes each open hand,
extending its wings to carry us far away from the sun.

Reawakening the moon, we reverse the circle,
crossing the hare’s eye with the left hand.
The snake casts its ancient shadow through the sun.

Lisa and David both posted sestinas yesterday, which reminded me I had never posted this one, which I began with one stanza for the Kick About prompt that highlighted the quilts of Harriet Powers. I later revised and completed it to submit to The Ekphrastic Review as a response to the wonderful print by Jane Burn, above.

For the Kick About, I made felt appliqued circles, similar to those found in penny rugs, taking the motifs from the quilts. I didn’t have a large enough piece of fabric to sew them on, so I photographed them on black paper, white paper, and the wood floor. I’m still undecided as to which background would be best, so the circles are still in a bin waiting to be put together.

There were birds in Powers’ quilts too. I didn’t put them in my felt circles, but I didn’t forget them either.

34 thoughts on “sun moon hand eye circle snake

      1. I still find it incredible that not only did Sue and I grow up in the same small town and went to the same fish and chip shop, that I passed her house every day on my way to school, but that we both moved to Paris at the same time. Sue was there for a few years and went back to England.

        The roses here are magnificent this year. It’s as though the drought last year has given them the drive to make the most of the bit of rain that’s falling and bloom and bloom and bloom. Feminine perseverance.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. That is quite a strange connection. Like Nina and I being in Cincinnati and then coming to New York and going to FIT, but just not at the same times. We were clearly on a path to intersect at some point, it just took a job to provide the time and place.

          I’ve actually seen quite a few brownstones here this year that have roses planted in front beside the stairs up to the door. Lovely to meet them just walking down a city street.


    1. Thanks Melissa. I really like that print too.
      I’ve given lots of art away, but rarely made anything on request. I worked for 40 years as a designer, trying to satisfy customer whims, and now that I’m retired, I like to do things for myself. Did you have something in mind? I’m in the process of trying to archive my work, and I seem to have accumulated hundreds of collages.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. I like the motif in the symbols seen in the image. The repetition works so well. Happy you shared your sestina and love the 6 words you chose. Nicely done as you take ideas and turn them into art ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Jade. The quilts were full of symbols, which is part of their appeal I think. I’ve a long fascination with all of those words and what they represent.


  2. This post is just the best labyrinth I’ve let my mind wander through in a long time. I love the idea of those circles waiting, as well, for the right placement.

    Liked by 1 person

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