Crow on the Cradle

They had collapsed into an empty cave of nowness, replacing a past of empyrean wonder with the unceasing presence of burning flesh, condemning the contagious and aliferous joy of birds to smoke-filled air hanging heavy over stone landscapes that had lost all green.  What they called life, the promise of continuity, was at an impasse.

They had forgotten to build an ark.

They had forgotten to build an ark, and so they were left standing between a raging wall of flame and an infestation of endlessly rising waters.  A fierce susurrus rose from the spirits of the ancestors–an oddly wordless murmur riding on the howling wind, carrying the silent but distinct rattle of bones.

what happens when where
we were going is gone?–crows
seize the winter sky

For earthweal, where Brendan asked us to fill your poem’s sails with a blast of something akin to the hurl of atmospheric plumes, and dVerse, where Mish has given us a list of uncommon words to incorporate in our poem. I’ve also taken inspiration from Jane’s Oracle 2 wordlist.

swifts & slows

I have four word collages in the current issue of swifts & slows. In addition to writing, they publish some really interesting combinations of image and text.

You can see my collages, and read the rest of the issue, here. Be advised that the link might not work if you’re using Firefox.

My thanks to editor Randee Silv for featuring my work.

be the asking

My message this morning from the Oracle. My dream last night included lots of children–laughing, singing, and telling each other stories.

when the universe was young
born from color
and rhythm-kissed voices
singing open with ferocious joy

sacred fools danced into always
flying like cloud ghosts
dazzled with star magic

who lost the way to eternity
the secrets of sailing ocean skies
the heartbreath of how we are?

River Man

She did not remember the way, but she remembered the times, the place.  She wanted to connect present to past.  She did not know how or where to begin, and yet she needed to try to construct that bridge.  Words were all she had now.

Two ways, really, even though she always pretended they were the same.  Or maybe it was only her longing that failed to understand that they were two, not one.

She had been dreaming of a river.  A man, a boat.  Trees, weeping, or was that her own voice, crying on the wind?  It had been summer once.  Flowered.  Sweet.

But here was the river again, littered with fallen leaves.  What magic word would turn back the seasons, dispel the haze, repair a lifetime that had already disintegrated into dust?

Was she coming or going?  In her dreams a voice kept repeating you have to choose.  But between what?  Who?  Did she get to choose who would be waiting on the other side of the river?  Or was she to be the one left waiting?

to begin,
become the current–
sing its song

Brendan at earthweal has more to say about rivers this week and poses the question: What voyages are found there, which deities are vast in its depths? It made me think of my response to the Kick-About #61 prompt, which was Molly Drake’s haunting song, “I Remember”.

I wasn’t aware of Molly’s connection to Nick Drake, but when I learned that she was his mother, Molly’s song immediately made me think of Nick’s song “River Man”. I took the feeling I got from both songs–a kind of remembering intertwined with uncertainty, loss, and the passing of time–and wrote the above prose poem, adding a haiku coda for earthweal, and some water art from my archives.

Jupiter Dreams

I visited the Oracle as usual early this morning, and her words so much reminded me of the NASA photos of Jupiter I saw recently that I did something I haven’t done in a very long time–I painted a piece of art especially for her words, rather than searching through my archives. It’s still wet, so the colors may change when it dries, and it doesn’t exactly resemble Jupiter, but it’s the spirit more than the exact image that I wanted to capture.

The cosmos is endlessly and unbelievably beautiful, despite the havoc humans may be imposing on our tiny and insignificant blue planet. A little perspective does the psyche good.

born in the blush
between air and breath

like laughter dancing naked
over oceans of ferocious life

the voice of the universe
embraces the holes
in our foolish desires

sailing them open
into a vast sky of magic nights
surrounded by dazzling stars

A Turn in the Wheel, or:  Portaled

I collect myself and all my possessions, worn
and piled up beneath the light of the ragged
waning moon.  Too late says the night, it’s
too late.  Too many calamities to count.
  A
summoning will not suffice.
  Too few doors stretch
open.  Too many openings shrink closed. 
To
the weight of the world I say:
Give me hope for a reprieve.  Mercy.  I’m
in need of unburdening.  Forgiveness.  To be free.

A golden shovel poem for the W3 prompt, using this line from David’s prompt poem:
Worn ragged, it’s a stretch to say I’m free.

The River Knows Your Name (reprise)

The river has songs to fill every season.  I turn with the circles, swimming the wind that chases the water, bending around the curves, following the changes in tempo and depth, bound to the ripples that radiate from every slight disturbance of the surface.  Looking for the most efficient path.

I construct imaginary boats and then dismantle them, leaving the remains dashed and forgotten on the farthest shores.  The river continues, reflecting the sky’s transformations, a window opening into the changing light.

Stilled, I try to capture the current as it passes by, to fill my pockets with the riddles it holds inside its voice, all the wisdom gathered from its ancient repeated journeys.  I want to be cleansed of all the outside forces that try to bind me, to find again the center hidden somewhere inside that keeps escaping my grasp.  But I am too far, too long, too hindered by my own noise.  I have lost the lines and the point of the contents of my brain.

Let it go the river sings.

Not anything.  But.
And this too.  What seems.
To be.  There.  You are.

Brendan’s challenge prompt of rivers at earthweal brought to mind another recent post, consecration, that featured John Haitt’s title song as it’s coda. It, too, included the weekly words from Jane’s Oracle 2 generator.

And of course I can never have too much of John Haitt’s song.

the past is a ghost that never forgets

The Oracle gave me the enigmatic title first and then two seemingly disparate messages. The messages reminded me of these word collages I did for the Kick About challenge which used the posters of Saul Bass as inspiration.

we long to become wild starsailors–
embraced by oceans of healing night–
opened inside out and flying

words bleed into air
voices die surrounded by need

hard to breathe

who listens to our dark and broken hearts?

when the hidden clue
is fluctuating between
sinister truth and the vestiges
of myth

haunted by an inferno of blood
shattered by grief–
why this needless danse macabre?

if you follow fate far away to the return of time
understand
that the passage into prophecy and myth
is final

Intervaled

The sea gathers me in, keeps me between, a creature of neither water nor land, held forever inside spirals of moontides, echoing back into what is neither mine nor self.

Around and around the waves spin me along the path of an immense Möbius loop.  I oscillate on the edge, barely there, beyond human sensing.

Deeper, extended, enhanced.  I am in need of rendering.  I am in need of being opened until the stars wrap around my core, untill all of me is whispered into music like light.

I absorb the flickering of images—felt but unseen, channeled within each breath, ungraspable.  Always this interpolation, this blurring of what lies beyond as it merges into the finity of my body.  Through the deep caves of thought I hear a voice that sings me into the place where my boundaries fall into the cosmic abyss.

For the dVerse prosery where Lisa has given us a quote from Oliver Wendell Holmes:

Through the deep caves of thought I hear a voice that sings:—
–from The Chambered Nautilus

The art is courtesy of various prompts from the Kick-About.

the how of why

I expected something much darker from the Oracle this morning but she knows I’ve been watching the moon.

be full of this
always moon

never let dawn
fall through air unwalked

every path comes and leaves
between earthlight songs–
deep ancient nights rooted in following
the seasons of birdgrown afterdays

ask why and
if

Photos taken from midnight to this morning.