clarified

morningtide chills,
causes the moment
of wakening to linger–
scattering the vestiges
of dreaming into limbo

where am I?

hidden inside
my longing to stay
covered, warm,
release all
obligations

I shiver

wonder whether
I can reject this
habitual rising
for a protracted
pause

They turn the heat off in my building at night and it doesn’t come on again until 6 am. My alarm goes off at 5:30, and these days it’s very tempting to linger for a half hour or more.

A quadrille for dVerse, where Merril has provided the word shiver.

Portents

Colleen’s #TankaTuesday Ekphrastic prompt, a painting by John Waterhouse, reminded me very much of the paintings Jane Dougherty used to provide for her writing prompts. And so, as I did for those paintings, I created a collage response and consulted the Collage Box Oracle. A badger’s hexastitch was the result.

outside
the rules of time
matter gathers stories
of reimagined light
dreamed into the
beyond

Also linking to dVerse OLN.

The Alchemist

Below my feet the path waits
for the earth to open me–
the layers of brown and green
remember the moon, its circles
orbiting continuously
through both dark and light.

The chill of morning warms
to birdsong. The seasons
endure.  In spring the autumn
seems far away, but life is
always preparing to die
and start all over again.

What is the secret of transformation?–
ancestors embedded in every root,
in every branch rich with leaves
that will blaze in a sudden last glory–
nourishing what follows
with what has come before.

We know so little, after all,
of the workings of nature,
of its consciousness.  Does it
even have yesterdays or tomorrows?
Does it acknowledge return, or is all
but a single endless moment in time?

We mirror our own inner maps
as stars–the dust of elements
contained in our bones–
merely vessels, seeking
the essence of who we are
inside the question itself.

The Kick About challenge this week was the alchemy book “Splendor Solis”. Out of the 22 images, I chose to work with Plate 2, The Alchemist: “Seek the Nature of the Four Elements”. 

The Splendor Solis of Salomon Trismosin - 2

First I did a collage based on the painting alone (above), then, after reading a bit about its symbolism, I made my own, looser interpretation.  I was especially drawn to the Alchemist’s connection to the natural world, in particular flowers and birds, and his alternate identity as the Deity of Celestial Light.

to sail or to swim

The Oracle begins the year for me with questions–not a surprise. My dreams have been vivid of late.

I did a series of these small circle collages for NaPoWriMo 2017. They continue to resonate .

ask the wind if the moon cries
when dreams are lost
in stilled seas

can the sky sing life back
with blue light?

will we be who we are
as time blows the ship of sleep
from here to there?

what to my wondering eyes

the night lengthens
into hours that refuse to pass

the stars grow larger,
constellations singing

suddenly a bridge,
a ladder made of light

silence becomes a dance,
its ancient steps retraced

the circle keeps its promise–
a child will lead the way

The latest Kick-About prompt is the above illustration by Arthur Rackham for A Visit From Saint Nicholas.

The night sky needs no man in a red suit, sleigh, or reindeer to inspire wonder.

After visiting the Oracle tomorrow, I’ll be taking a break until 2022. Happy New Year!

Vagabondage (after Kenneth Koch)

When did you start to follow
me?  I don’t remember
the tables turning—but then
my recollections were never
very reliable.

Even the tangible accumulations
of the collected years that now
emerge from their wrappings
of old news surprise me–
(the news itself does not surprise
me—yellowed headlines that fit
as well into today as yesterday)

How and when did the journey
become so heavy with the past,
so filled with lost voices
calling my name, faces I think
I see in passing, disappearing
into the crowded landscape
full of images I can’t place,
invisibly in plain sight?

I scatter my biography,
filling it with empty spaces,
holes for the wind to find
and carry back on a song through
the branches of winter trees.

I can still hear the melody–
it vibrates along synapses,
along veins and into the heart.
Isn’t that enough in the end?–
the rhythm of a dance
that has no direction,
but spirals everywhere all
at once with no destination
but now.

I was reading Kenneth Koch’s poem “To Old Age”. It made me think of my own journey.

For the earthweal challenge to write a journey-poem.

Jacob Wrestling with the Angel

Our memories are full of secrets–
we have no innocence to be rejected.
We long to be the spirit that stalks us–
the last man falling.

Disguises

My mother loved to wear loud colors, especially red.  Her laugh could be heard above the din of any crowded room.

Not me.  I dress mostly in black, try to fade unnoticed into the background of other peoples’ lives.  I avoid parties.

But my eyes crave color, my hands long to manipulate texture and shape, to form visual ideas that enhance and delight.  I have a hidden closet full of rainbows—painted, embroidered, knitted, woven into intricate arrangements.

All those vivid narratives remain unworn by my own days, the ones I dress in, their stories patterned and purple.

As night surrounds me, only then do I take them out to display, to embellish my own possibilities.  I close my eyes and enter a parallel world, one in which I cover myself with a thousand glittering mirrors, quilted with moonlight, seams stitched with prismatic stars.

For dverse, where Lisa asked us to use a line from Kimberly Blaeser’s poem, “When We Sing of Might,”–I dress in their stories patterned and purple as night–in composing our prosery.