circling back on themselves, cross
currented by wind–
trees sweep leaves
shadowed with spirits holding
earth connecting air
into dances that whisper
For Sue Vincent’s photo prompt, above.
I recently came across a video that talked about asemic writing, and using it as a prompt for extracting poetry from your unintellible scribbles. I decided to use Sue’s photo as a guide for my asemic composition, first using fine point markers in colors that echoed the landscape. I then freewrote what I thought my marks were trying to say.
After that I took watercolor pencils, dipped them in water, and wrote asemically again over the markers, blurring both. I looked at what I had written in my initial response, extracted some of the ideas, and formed them into a shadorma chain to go with the final composition.
When I saw Sue’s photo, the first thing I thought of was the traditional Scottish song “Wild Mountain Thyme”. Joan Baez did a famous version, but I think the one I remember most from my youth is by the Byrds. It’s been covered and reinterpreted by artists as varied as Van Morrison, the Clancy Brothers, and Ed Sheeran. I listened to a lot of them, but I really like this one by Kate Rusby.
bending air, a bridge–
rampant hues filling the gap
between heaven and earth
For Frank Tassone’s #haikai challenge #145, wild iris. I had promised Jade I would look for some of my old iris drawings, but I also found this rainbow spirit that somehow resembles an iris–Iris is the Greek rainbow goddess, messenger and link between mortal and deity.
The drawings are from one of my many abandoned projects, taking a journal from 1989, and doing something similar (at that time in 2015) and comparing them. 1989 is on the left, 2015 is on the right. If I could buy a bouquet, I would try it again right now, as both were done from live flowers. Maybe next year.
For Sue Vincent’s photo prompt, above, a shadorma collaboration with the Oracle.
and clouded air live
water and wind—ask the light
to sing your soul through
Watercolor with neocolor lines drawn over it
My poem, “The Rectangular Table” has been posted at The Ekphrastic Review today. The painting that inspired it, The Last Supper by Sister Plautilla Nelli, is below.
I have a little sketchbook that I take along to museums where I draw the faces and sometimes the hands of the Marys I see in paintings, but especially in sculpture. Since the museums closed, I’ve been drawing from photos of art I find online.
Why do these images resonate with me? Unlike representations of Jesus, they seem to reflect an actual human the artist knows and loves…a sister, wife, mother, daughter. All those denied a place at the rectangular table.
My thanks once again to editor Lorette C. Luzajic for supporting my work and the interaction between the visual and written arts.
You can read my poem, along with other responses to the painting, here.
room to breathe
silent no more, in
the streets, witnesses we are
citizens, we are
citizens, we ask
for truth, justice, a way: the
way that was promised
that was promised in
all those lofty words: where is
the living of them?
the living has become
the dying, dying, fathers
mothers daughters sons
I looked back at my post from December 2016 and realized, like my repeated reblogs of earlier words and images after each new mass shooting, there is little new to add to these images and words.
Our world, our country, our communities, are caught in a tape loop of unaddressed violence, injustice, unkept promises, fear, abandonment, poverty, chaos, greed, and despair. We need a lot more than thoughts, prayers, and tweets from our leaders to build a better world.
My mother’s cousin Paul was a pilot who was shot down and killed in WWII. She often spoke of him with admiration and affection.
When my mother died, she left boxes of unidentified family photos; my aunt helped a bit with identifications, but she was much younger than her siblings, and had not known the southern Ohio cousins very well. In my mother’s address book, I found her second cousin Mona, Paul’s niece, who patiently looked through many photo scans I emailed her.
Finally I had a face to put to my mother’s words.
silence speaks your name–
through distant shadows of trees
crow answers, calling
This is a revision of a post from 2015. However we are spending this day, let’s take a moment to remember those who served their country and sacrificed their lives so that we could enjoy our own.
For Frank Tassone’s #Haikai Challenge #140, Memorial Day.
moving as one
Trying to draw Little Richard as a young man made me realize just how beautiful he was beyond the exuberant music. I couldn’t do justice to the fine bone structure of his face, the eyes that had so much to say.
As his obituary in the NY Times pointed out, one of the early criticisms of rock and roll was that it increased integration between people of different races. Little Richard crossed many boundaries–racial, social, gendered–opening doors that had long been locked.
Perhaps empathy plants its seeds in the music that rocks our souls. Time to get up and dance!
Some call it
silly, the do or
do not, the
can’t name the fears that lead them
into the darkness—
unlearn what they have
bear with their
failures and then pass them on–
transform shadow to stars
Last fall a local non-profit arts organization showed all the “Star Wars” movies, in time sequence, once a week leading up to the release of the “last” episode in December. My younger daughter, a huge fan, convinced me to go with her–every week. Corny and unsophisticated, that first movie was–the only one I had seen multiple times, or in one case, at all–but there was something that grew on and pulled at me as the special effects grew more elaborate and the characters aged and became more intensely themselves.
There is a thin line between who we think we are and what life calls on us to be. And yet again and again many find a way to rise to the occasion.
My quadrille, for the dVerse word silly, hosted by Lillian, is composed of the thoughts of Yoda.
Happy Star Wars Day!!