seasoned

seasoned s

Do we bless the worn, the weary,
the visible scars?

or do we replace what remains
and begin again, forget?

What do we owe the elements
that lack breath?

They too hold spirits–
remembering, keeping watch—

sentinals of imperfect journeys–
the everything of alive

For Sue Vincent’s photo prompt, above.

seasoned close up2s

Because of all the energy usage due to the heat, Con Ed has been threatening power outages for weeks.  Now it’s the tropical storm/hurricane.  I haven’t had power problems except for intermittent internet.  So if I’m not around much, that’s why.

August 2020: under the weather

ennui no levels a

The day was packing heat,
hanging it like a curtain
between me and the world–
dampening all sound,
clogging the airways,
slowing synapses down.

The open windows
provided no threshold
of relief–no wind
came knocking.

You can neither forecast
nor change
the way the currents
move you, or strand you
unmoved, trapped
in a density that refuses
to vacate.

Some days have wings–
but most rely on gravity
to anchor them–
to keep them
safe from the whims
of Gods.

The Kick-About #7 Challenge is Walter Richard Sickert’s painting, Ennui, above. Ennui is most closely associated with boredom, but it is heavy with an attitude that it seems to me is mostly posturing.  It’s a self-indulgence of the privileged who needn’t even be bothered with the daily tasks of life like cooking or washing clothes, or even gardening, as they have servants to deal with such mundane things.

Boredom infers monotony which does reflect the world many of us inhabit right now–the endless days and hours that we can’t keep track of anymore.  But it’s not really boredom.  I have no problem filling my days, though I can’t always point to what exactly it is I’ve filled them with.  But I find it hard to focus, to find motivation, and I’m often anxious and uneasy and feel unsettled and displaced.  The relentless heat is no help.

That’s what I tried to capture in my August grid and poem.  The pandemic world of now seems to box you in, surround you with a sameness of grey.

ennui close up s

The eye in my grid is a serendipitous borrowing from Marcy Erb.

the ancient shores of galaxies still call

printed geese 1s

I stand facing the ocean
tides of wing and air–
time fades into mystery,
emptied of illusions

sea sketch 2s

tides of wing and air
held in light–
emptied of illusions
I swim in dream languages

forms die s

held in light
horizon merges into skylandsea–
I swim in dream languages,
wordless songs that awaken stories

elaborate music s

 

horizon merges into skylandsea
consumed by rivers of stars–
wordless songs that awaken stories
mirrored in ethereal blue

ocean pencil drawing s

consumed by rivers of stars
time fades into mystery–
mirrored in ethereal blue
I stand facing the ocean

blue 2s

For earthweal, sacred (sea)scapes.  How many poems have I written about the sea?  As many as I have about birds and stars and moons.  This unrhymed pantoum contains lines from many of them.  The artwork is from my many previous ocean-themed posts as well.

A Field Guide to Getting Lost

sue labyrinth s

After “The Owl” by Arthur Sze

I believed I was lost.
Night was on its way–
the path was purple in the dust
and seemed to have ended.
I had arrived here
without a destination.
I longed for sanctuary,
a resting place.

I saw an owl, perched,
watching me.
I spread my arms,
willing wings to appear
so I too could shelter
on a branch.

But I remained earthbound,
weary and alone.
And when the owl stirred,
a fine dust formed patterns
in the disappearing light.
It was as if a portal had opened.

Constellations
fell from its wings.  I was
surrounded by the cosmos,
spiraled into a glowing darkness
and deposited in a held breath.
All was silent then.  And I felt
safe, like the arms of the universe
held me in a vast sacred space.

Nothing stirred forever–then I sensed
the owl quaver.  And at dawn, waking,
I saw with clarity the world
becoming new, transforming
into a landscape that never existed
before now.  The path was green
and meandered back into itself.

I could not see where
I was going but it felt
familiar, like I had circled
with the seasons, following
the path of the planets dancing
with the sun and moon.

We emerged
reborn
into the
May light.

I’m bringing together a lot of different trains of thought here, so bear with me.

in the middle of now june 2016 grid s

The Kick-About challenge #6 is Rebecca Solnit’s A Field Guide to Getting Lost.  Though I have not read that particular Solnit book,  I have read at least one essay she has written about labyrinths (“Journey to the Center” from The Encyclopedia of Trouble and Spaciousness), and that’s the first thing that came to mind.

A labyrinth is not a maze–there is only one path in and one path out.  Labyrinths have been found in cultures all over the world, and are often used as forms of ritual or pilgrimage–a way to return to the source, to lose yourself in something larger and as a result find yourself again.

Sue Vincent’s photo prompt, above, gave me that feeling too–could not those paths be circuits on a labyrinth, doubling back to the beginning of the journey?

mapping the wind s

Labyrinths have been linked to circles, spirals, and mandalas–all patterns of sacred geometry.  They have been compared to a map of the brain.

Solnit:  “Getting lost was not a matter of geography so much as identity, a passionate desire, even an urgent need, to become no one and anyone, to shake off the shackles that remind you who you are, who others think you are.”

map labyrinth s

 

When you walk a labyrinth you are walking the same path to and from the center, yet the journey in and out are not at all the same.  The seven circuit labyrinth is often layered with rainbows, mirroring the 7 chakras, the 7 notes of the musical scale, the 7 sacred planets, the 7 days of the week. The journey creates a bridge from earth to the cosmos and back again. In a symbolic death, you return to the womb, shedding the things you have acquired but no longer need.  Rebirthing back to the entrance/exit you open yourself to finding new patterns, new ways of being in the world.

chakra painted labyrinth s

Lost can mean adrift, forgotten, missing, but also captivated or consumed.  Lost can be hopeless or bewildered but it can also be rapt, immersed.

Solnit: “…to be lost is to be fully present, and to be fully present is to be capable of being in uncertainty and mystery.”

owl moon s

This poem is another instance where I spread out the lines of someone else’s poem and filled in the empty spaces with my own thoughts.  You can read Arthur Sze’s original poem here.

 

Who drinks your tears, who has your wings, who hears your story?
Rebecca Solnit, “The Faraway Nearby”

go make people s

 

July 2020

july 20 grid 1s

I see twilight be
coming dawn–clear, unjingo
istic, open, free

I usually do a red white and blue grid for July, but this year it doesn’t feel right, just like our national anthem has never felt right to me.  Not even considering the character of Francis Scott Key, I never wanted to celebrate bombs bursting in air.  I don’t think God is on “our” side.  There is nothing that makes me any more deserving of anything than any other living being of any other nationality, race, or religion.

july 20 grid 2s

Everything that happens everywhere affects everyone and every place on Earth.  Unless we learn to act on that truth, there is little hope for humanity’s survival.

 

 

thought for the day

postcard 15s

wish for bird gardens
your mind will grow feathers
float through air surprised

Another one of my postcard collaborations with the collage box Oracle.  This one was done on a postcard  of Monet’s “Peace Under the Lilac Bush”

I’ve been reading a book about Monet’s water lilies.  He didn’t start those monumental paintings until he was in his 70s, and worked on them throughout the years of World War I, refusing to evacuate from his beloved home and gardens at Giverny.  I haven’t quite reached that age yet, so I guess there’s still time for a creative endeavor or two for me as well.

linked to dVerse OLN, hosted by Bjorn

 

byways

byways s

earth and its creatures
magic in shadow
byways reflected moonward
starpaths that carry
the edges of endless tides

Colleen gave us the photo, above, as our #Tanka Tuesday inspiration.  My collage and gogyohka approach it from a distance.

byways close up s

After I saw how Jude at Tales Told Different reversed the order of his tanka lines to make a new and complementary poem, I decided to try it with my 5 lines.  To my surprise, it also works when turned around…an unplanned bonus.

the edges of endless tides
starpaths that carry
byways reflected moonward
magic in shadow
earth and its creatures

sometime room

sometime room s

rooms contain
sometime sleeping some
time awake

all day long
talk turns to singing–
the radio

night windows
open unseen sounds–
the light inside

Frank T. at dVerse gave examples of Imagist poets and poems and asked us to try our hand at it.  I don’t generally write in concrete terms, so this was a challenge for me, and I don’t think I really got very close to what Imagism is, even after reading numerous examples and attempting to imitate them.  My mind just won’t process it–I haven’t got a clue.

sometime room close up s

The collage is mostly concrete though.