The Oracle, as usual, resists my attempts to ramble on. I read a Zen saying somewhere to the effect that we’re so busy looking at the teapot that we forget to drink the tea. I think she has a similar idea in mind.
I’ve been working on this collage for awhile. It’s inspired by Redon.
don’t live in symbols– grow mystery with earthlife riding waves of sky
We have written our words all over the land, constructed cages to contain what we can’t control. We have put a price on all the things that can’t be bought or sold, raised our voices until we are all deaf. We have invented gods of fear instead of harmony, raped and discarded what could be raped and discarded, left bloody sorrow to fertilize anything mistakenly overlooked. We long ago sold our souls, and our hollowness is so vast no one can measure it. And still we look for more more more– because what can ever satisfy the absence of what was never there?
For Brendan’s earthweal challenge, already dead. The art is a postcard fiction from 2017, but it seemed appropriate to both the theme and my thoughts.
You have to become empty in order to begin to fill up again. Perhaps we can learn to choose more wisely this time.
There is no drama in most moments, but the accumulation becomes a story. One day you wake up, or you think you wake up. But something burns—you can smell it in the air. Ashes of yesterday are falling from the sky. You thought the past was dead, but it has only rearranged itself into today, or is it already tomorrow?
And what happened yesterday anyway?
I went out to the hazel wood because a fire was in my head. I walked and walked and walked until I came to a pool of water, still and deep. I sat beside it, watching my reflection smolder, waiting for something to be revealed. The light scattered on the liquid surface held me and gave me a different life, turned me inside out.
Now I am only flames, or was that yesterday? Which side am I on?
For the dVerse Prosery prompt from Kim, some inspiration from Yeats: ‘I went out to the hazel wood, Because a fire was in my head’.
The art is from a series of constellation poems I did for Pure Haiku. Freya’s current theme is Unfurling–you can submit until February 28.
Art from my Metropolis post last May amidst the height of the NYC pandemic, when much of the rest of the country thought it was our fault, and would stay here. It was a relief to see our President ask us to remember all of those who have been lost–not just in NYC, but from every corner of the United States and also the world.
My emotional distances keep expanding. They measure every room I enter, every landscape that passes through my eyes. The center swims increasingly away from the edges of my being. The gap is great and undefined.
Shadowshapes of figures frame the shore. Hands cast their lines into my depths, searching for a reflection, fishing for a response to their repeated inquiries.
How long can I stay afloat? The gravity of this world exhausts me. Sometimes the great bones of my life feel so heavy, so incomplete. I have forgotten it–the one key to survival that is unnecessary but crucial.
I’m trying to recall the images that connect to my lingering feelings of kinship The light flickers, attempts to enter, but my eyes refuse it. They look sentient, but they are no longer open for business. Closed, the sign says. Can’t you read it?—“CLOSED”.
For the dVerse Prosery, Linda has selected a line from Mary Oliver: Sometimes the great bones of my life feel so heavy, from her poem “Spring Azures”.
a prisoner of gravity, it remains forever outside of dreams
unfit for the spiritship, a vessel of startled complexity– open, unbounded, secret, extreme
I wrote the original version (much revised) of the above 42 poem at the same time I wrote my haibun, Unattached, which is published on The Ekphrastic Review today, along with Jane’s lyrical poem, Bronze Dreams, and other varied responses to Frida Kahlo’s painting, The Dream.
My collage is once again based on a tarot card, this the the Four of Swords. Kahlo’s paining reminded me very much of the iconic Rider-Waite card, but my own interpretation drifts in between the card and the painting. I could not find out if Kahlo ever studied tarot, but she was friends with many of the Surrealists, who certainly played with its symbolism. The Four of Swords is a card of restoration and healing, just like Frida’s Dream.
I placed a photo of the interior of an Egyptian sarcophagus in the sky. The figure painted there is the sky goddess Nut, who “spreads out her arms protectively to receive the deceased. (s)He is sheltered by her, is adsorbed into her body, and emerges reborn” (Rose-Marie and Rainer Hagen, “Egypt”).
You can read my poem (and Jane’s) here. My thanks once again to editor Lorette C. Luzajic for supporting my work and the interaction between the visual and written arts.