Wonderland

Feed your head they said—what does that
really mean?  How can any time
be larger than now, more extreme
than here, this cosmic habitat?

Microscopic, yet infinite–
reflected, a mirrored convex
lens—adjust, open, refocus
your inner outer space—do you
need to follow white rabbits to
become unbounded—curious?

An espinela poem for Muri’s April Scavenger Hunt with vision as its subject, and following the NaPoWriMo prompt to write a poem that starts with a command. “Feed your head” was, somewhat strangely, the first command that popped into my mind (along with some Jefferson Airplane playing in the background), and fortuitously I had these cut up paintings from the Kick About prompt based on Marie Menken’s film “Lights”, which worked well with the words.

It’s all in context, perspective, how open your senses are to what surrounds you. What you notice. What notices you.

Five Answers to the Same Question Blues

When you stand beside the ocean
    resonating with each wave,
Shimmering beside the ocean
    ebbing flowing with each wave,
It’s as if you’re moving with it
    spiraling and uncontained.

When the moon shines in your window
    and it wakes you with its light,
Near full moon shines in your window
    wakes you up with silver light,
Even shadows turn to magic
    and everything’s all right.

When the birds begin the morning
    fill the air up with their song,
Robin cardinal and blue jay
    sing the sun up with their song,
Even grey days seem to open
    make you feel like you belong.

If someone should think about you
    get in touch just say hello,
An old friend is thinking of you
    gets in touch to let you know,
All your worries are forgotten
    all those things that brought you low.

Then your mind distills and empties
    leaving room for what you’re not,
All those thoughts retreat get quiet
    now there’s room for what you’re not,
You can hear life’s heartbeat whisper
    you give thanks for what you’ve got.

For NaPoWriMo Day 18 where the prompt is to to write your own poem that provides five answers to the same question – without ever specifically identifying the question that is being answered. and Muri’s April Scavenger Hunt where one of the prompts is to write a blues poem.

Art in “The Time Issue” of Feral

Four of my word collages are featured in The Time Issue of the Journal Feral. You can see them here.

My thanks to editor Beth Gordon, and her team Narmadhaa and Amanda McLeod, for featuring my work.

The above collage is from my response to the Kick-About prompt of the work of Saul Bass.
If you follow fate far away to the return of time, understand that the passage into prophecy and myth is final

immersion

secretly you hold the cosmos
as if
it were a newborn child–
you are
overwhelmed by the sheer magnitude the latitude the longitude–
seamless
in its capacity to expand and carry
your bones
inside your body at the intersection of all dark,
all light

The prompt for NaPoWriMo Day 11 is to write a poem about a very large thing. I’ve used the waltmarie form with the subject of healing, prompt 12 from Muri’s April Scavenger hunt. I love the way this form illuminates itself with its interior verse.

Circumstantial

I’m not sure it ever existed,
and yet
I remember it well–

romanticized in living color,
Mon Amour
where is that film now?

It disappeared while we
were somewhere
over the rainbow.

We thought we could stop time,
inhabit that first
shining moment again and forever

as we continued to rehearse
a montage
of cinematic chaos–

myth disguised as memory,
wishes
turned into proofs.

Behind the glass, nostalgia.
Is that me?
Is that you?  We dreamed

ourselves onto a tiny screen
replaying
a storied past–fools exposed

by darkness–captured,
drowning,
in artificial light.

A sort of a love poem for NaPoWriMo Day 10 and Muri’s prompt of blindness.

on the surface underneath

who am I but an
avatar for some
one else?—perhaps once I saw
them, imagined the
life lived—or maybe
in the end they are a tear

in my own fabric–
a bit of magic,
a sliver caught unveiled, stilled
for a moment in
the light of the moon–
a gap waiting to be filled

For NaPoWriMo Day 8, the prompt is to write about your alter-ego.

Muri suggested the alouette form for her April Scavenger Hunt, which I have attempted here, with the rhymes a bit slanted.

Serpent’s Tale

The serpent grew wings–
emerging from the cosmic egg,
it became a bird.

Embracing the tree of life
and all of spirit’s progeny,
the serpent grew wings.

Beginning as a vast secret
of stars and swirling light
emerging from the cosmic egg

The serpent shed its skin
and imagined miracles.
It became a bird.

The NaPoWriMo prompt today was to write a poem about a mythical person or creature doing something unusual . My response is not exactly on prompt–I took a mythical creature but I reimagined it into hope instead of despair. As Brendan at earthweal says: let’s celebrate radical hope — that hope whose only basis is our faith in the wonder of life and our capacity to embrace it.

The form I used for the poem is the Cascade, one of Muri’s April scavenger hunt poetic prompts. I’d forgotten how much I like it–thanks Muri!

I did not have to look far into my Redon-inspired collages for a mythological subject. The stitched mandala is from my constellation series–this is the Phoenix, first published on Pure Haiku.

Your ashes illume,
cradled beyond day and night – 
great is the unknown.

Ophelia

Lady sings
the blues,
the reds, whatever

she can find—

–Kevin Young, “Stardust”

She dreams
in the languages
of flowers,
wandering
corridors
of vast gardens
fragrant
with the chaos
inside her heart.
Lady sings

in riddles–
bouquets
of rhymes
imagining
an oasis
of roses,
an enchantment
blooming into
the mystery of
the blues.

Who will be
her lover now?
Where is
the prince
to penetrate
the thorns
enclosing
her mind?  Blood
shadowed with
the reds, whatever

her grief has
aborted  
into deceptive
darkness.  She is
muted into
madness. She is
drowning
in every aromatic
sepulcher
she can find.

The NaPoWriMo prompt for day 3 was to write a “glosa” – literally a poem that glosses, or explains, or in some way responds to another poem. The idea is to take a quatrain from a poem that you like, and then write a four-stanza poem that explains or responds to each line of the quatrain, with each of the quatrain’s four lines in turn forming the last line of each stanza.

Kevin Young is writing about Billie Holiday. Like Ophelia, she is associated with flowers, and had her own ways of drowning in her sorrows. My collage is based on a painting by Redon, who visited the subject of Ophelia many times.

I’ve incorporated roses into my poem for Muri’s poetry scavenger hunt.