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.
The mind sets itself, darkening, wandering through a self-contained maze.
But here’s the sun, shining on my face– melting the brittle brumal pathways that detour spirit.
In the middle of the afternoon, on a clear day, the sun shines between the buildings across the street right into my windows. The other day just as I took a break and lay down on my couch, savoring the warmth, this version of John Denver’s “Sunshine” came on the radio.
Which of course made me think of George Harrison’s “Here Comes the Sun”.
Once again, the Oracle made me work hard. I did not intend this to accompany the image I did for the Kick-About challenge last week, but I think that, strangely, it works. I’m sure the Oracle is acquainted with the vase-goddess who inspired the collage.
do our secrets listen to the night?
starry-eyed ghosts opening like sails in wild air
lingering at windows like haunted skyvoices wordclouds dancing on oceans of dark
child of my past, you have not traveled far enough to forget troubles
that once stood before you—ones you could not tell from the ones
that had been left be hind—sometimes to understand means to leave, and some
times it requires being held by what you could not keep—you
can never find all the pieces to the puzzle at the same time—but
so much remains—release what is lost–make ways to be found
Sarah at dVerse asked us to have a conversation with a poem we read in the last year that resonated with us. Last week I was listening to some poems being read on Brain Pickings, and one particular Emily Dickinson poem, read by Patti Smith, stayed in my mind. As I listened to it several times, I wrote down the words that jumped out at me, and started to make my own poem with them. I sometimes do this when listening to poetry, and find that the emotional tone influences what I write, even if the subject I write about turns out to be totally different.
Sarah’s prompt made me return to and revise the poem, and I thought it went well with a collage I just finished too, based on the Tarot Nine of Wands. I love all kinds of cards, and the symbolism of Tarot is especially rich for the kinds of imagery I use in my collages. Nine of Wands is a card of resilience.
You can read Emily Dickinson’s poem #600, I Was Once a Child, and hear Patti Smith reading it, at Brain Pickings, here.
angels without bodies heads with wings gazing with dismay upon humanity–
where indeed? did they come from will they go? and who knows
who they are who we are and why we are on opposite sides?
who is this? who petitions the heavens surrounded by sky waves encased in a floating shell
held by cherubs– the sun waits uncertain afraid while multiple madonnas
hover above the mission grounds– what is the mission? of this line drawn
over and under– who drew it? who was first to deny kinship
to question the connection between we and they– is it just a matter of transposing
the words the sounds? what prayers must Our Lady carry past the pleading priests? over the waves
through the clouds into the night where the moon waits patient and wise
For the earthweal challenge A FEAST OF EARTH FOOLS. Once again, I am uncertain if my answer fulfills the question. But I believe the moon, patroness of lunatics, deserves a seat at earth’s table.
Part of this poem came out of something I wrote about an engraving in the Hispanic Museum celebrating Our Lady of Guadalupe. It was an unhappy scene I thought–even the angels looked distressed. The sun appeared to be attempting to hide. Only the three visions of the Lady seemed to hold any real spiritual essence. It was titled “Recognizing the Day of the Virgin of Guadalupe”–clearly what was needed was to recognize the night.
What fools, what fools, what fools these mortals be what fools to mimic riches glitter fame what fools to in those masks refinement see what fools embraceth folly without shame
Where every likeness hath its own deceit wherein it looketh match to opposite pretended twin to answer in repeat the shoe that forceth toes and heel to fit
With voices like to painted artifice with jaws that stretcheth into polished teeth with promises that proveth meaningless duplicity a smile cached underneath
And will the masquerade yet come undone? I fear the jester killeth us with fun.
The Earthweal challenge this week is titled A FEAST OF EARTH FOOLS. Brendan has asked us to “Mix your human essence with another living entity”, in the spirit of the ancient seasonal celebrations that invite reversals, chaos, and ghosts into the world in order to transform it.
I’ve often written about fools, and decided to repost some of them this week, while considering how to answer Brendan’s invitation. It’s not a bad idea this time of year to consider the folly of humankind.