new world

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

Also linking to earthweal Open Link Weekend.

Already Dead

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?

2-gone-silent-s

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.

4-empty-handed-s

You have to become empty in order to begin to fill up again. Perhaps we can learn to choose more wisely this time.

Linking to dVerse OLN, hosted by Bjorn.

Phoenix

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.

The Oracle Answers Another Question

The Oracle has an answer to every question. This one made me smile.

Art is once again from the archives. It turns out I’ve done lots of art related to this theme.

How to make joy?

Embrace the rhythm of opening.
Explore the dances of trees.

Bring the ocean home–
listen to all the starsongs
that reveal what you desire.

Appellations

Will you reply when called?
What is your name?  The sky
refuses to say why
you hold the tree.

Why have you conscripted
this perch among the dead?
Abide with me instead
amidst the green.

Have my ghosts entrusted
your wings with messages–
voices of presages
destined for me?

Immovable, silent,
a silhouette distilled–
I seek but am unfilled–
inside stripped clean.

For Sue Vincent’s photo prompt above, and Colleen’s Tanka Tuesday, where she has introduced the poetic form Abhanga. I like it, but I think I need to experiment more with it to get the rhythm right.

Also linking to earthweal Open Link Weekend.

As you may know, Crow and I are old friends.

410,336

piles of names,
ghosts–absent empty
erased gone

erased, gone–
we can’t remember
comprehend

comprehend
them—we are finite
thinkers, minds

thinkers, minds
too crammed with daily
survival

survival–
and yet why is it
no one asks

no one asks
us to stop listen
a moment

a moment–
so many voices
now silent

now silent—
is it too much of
a burden

a burden
to carry them here
alongside

alongside
the living—hold them,
take them in

take them in–
mourn–no longer just
piles of names

For Frank Tassone’s haikai challenge #174 justice.

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.

synergies

nina birthday mandala s

bejeweled
with eyes reflecting
mysteries
blossoming
in every season day and night
and on each new hour–

embryos
in expectation
of bursting
into song,
nestled in the openings
between yes and no–

shall we dance?
the shadows linger,
dissolving
into dusk–
and still our bodies listen
and repeat, reply,

riding dreams
past waves of darkness,
not asking
how each sky
contains the endlessness of
spinning leaping light–

claiming wings
invisible yet
tangible,
our steps rise
following silent music,
orchestrated flight

that repeats,
always being born
perfectly
uncontained–
we have been cast out like seeds–
resplendent, alive

A shadorma chain for Merril’s prompt at dVerse, connections, and Brendan’s earthweal challenge, entanglement. With more art from the archives.

Warnings

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”.

Poem up at the Ekphrastic Review

where does the body lie?

a prisoner of gravity,
it remains forever outside of dreams

unfit for the spiritship,
a vessel of startled complexity–
open, unbounded, secret, extreme

Picture

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.