who walks this nightpath

My message from the Oracle this morning. The first word she gave me was “animal” but it seems she meant their presence to be inferred by the Badger form.

ask the
long always for
sanctuary—beneath
seasons of riversong
here follows deep
between

why and
how to listen
when moonspirit is about–
wandering ancient light
through forested
earthshine

The art is from the archives–one of many mandalas I did for Sue Vincent’s prompts.

cold comfort

who will hear our voices?

winter winds our walls
snow our blanket

old news now–
drowned out
by the latest atrocities

“Ukrainian Figurines” by Kirill Shevchenko (Groder) Image by Кирилл Шевченко from Pixabay

David, at The Skeptic’s Kaddish, supplied the above photo for Colleen’s Tanka Tuesday this week. I recently ran across a “42” poem I had written and the form seemed just right for this prompt. The situation in Ukraine is full of questions with no easy answers.

I did these collages in my early days of blogging, when Marcy Erb and I did a number of poetry and art collaborations. The poetic excerpt that inspired this work was from Frederick Turner.

On the Death of an Infant

Latecomer, first to go,
Like the small arctic flower
Between the snow and snow,
The fragrance of an hour. 

Frederick Turner (b. 1943) 

Every day new things demand our attention–but let us not forget the people of Ukraine.

meditation

my mind ebbs, then flows out like an ocean sailing the wind–
empty channels drift away from the center to the edge–
multitudes of changing colour, condensed motion, thoughts full

I was going to write a sestina with Jane’s Oracle 2 words and I picked out six that called to me: ocean, colour, wind, edge, motion, full. But after writing the first stanza, it seemed too daunting, so I revised it into a sijo instead.

When looking in the archives for art, I immediately picked out the first painted mandala, but when I saw the collage I knew I had to include it too. It’s based on a painting by Nina’s father that she posted; you can read about it here. Nina has written several times about her father’s service in WWII and this is in honor of all our fathers and mothers and friends and relatives who fought and fight in the world’s continuous wars on this Veteran’s Day 2022. May we wake up and bring the need for them to an end.

enumeration

1
ask about cloud children
secret and ocean born

2
come dance with life
flying on foolish beginnings

3
the vast healing rhythm of green
opens slowly into always

4
stars surround the idea of time
sailing the voices of trees

5
if we listen to nothing
we can hear the universe sing

My message(s) today from the Oracle.

When I was looking for art, I stumbled on the dot collages I did for NaPoWriMo 2017. I did not do the entire month, but I did create new art for each post–the only year I’ve done that. Lately I’ve been creating a lot of the month’s art ahead of time, inspired by one or more artists’ work–Joan Mitchell, Matisse, Diebenkorn, Redon. But this might be worth trying again. I can never recreate things I’ve done in the past, so it would be interesting to see how I would approach the project now.

misdirection, or:  the politics of suicide

listing waves of change–
immense confused unwell–
a bitter solitude–
fretful shapeless still

wilderness estranged–
damaged undazzled quelled
reversed and left unmoored–
a landscape murdered killed

misunderstood deranged
hypnotic words cast spells–
a whispered mania–
the mind unravels, spills

connection broken frayed–
once Paradise, now Hell

Bjorn at dVerse gave us the challenge of writing a bref double poem. I had a lot of trouble with the rhythm of this form, a dissatisfaction that I could only resolve by making the b and c rhymes similar.

Like Punam, I looked to Jane’s Oracle 2 words for inspiration and received a similar message.

Careful

I don’t think anyone ever told me it was wrong, exactly, to spend my wishes on myself.  I could want things, ask for them, covet them, even.  But wishes were in another dimension.

The earliest thing I actually remember wishing for consistently was along the lines of “peace love and understanding”.  That was adolescence, the 60s—wasn’t every sane person wishing for the same thing? Aren’t they still?

Even now I am cautious of wishing.  But I can’t help wishing humans would consider the consequences of what we say and do, and take responsibility for what happens as a result.  And I wish fervently that we would be better caretakers of the earth and all of its inhabitants. 

And for myself, today?  I pour another cup of coffee–

watch birds
open wings, touch the sky–
all I need

For Colleen’s Tanka Tuesday where the theme chosen by Anita Dawes is what you wish for. I’m also linking to dVerse OLN, hosted by Linda.

When I was searching for this song I found more different versions of it on YouTube than any other song I’ve ever looked for. It obviously strikes a chord.

and of course, the original…

encircled by orbiting

in this recurring dream
the forest disappears–
unbound by earthly time,
collapsed into spiraling

the forest disappears
behind layers of eternity,
collapsed into spiraling–
who can disentangle the dark?

behind layers of eternity,
casting threads into moonrings–
who can disentangle the dark?–
the shadows seem insufficient–

casting threads into moonrings
to catch the reflection of owl–
the shadows seem insufficient
for gathering the ancestors–

to catch the reflection of owl,
take your fears and hide them–
gather the ancestors
in the bottomless wildness of light–

take your fears and hide them–
unbounded by earthly time–
in the bottomless wildness that lights
this recurring dream

For earthweal, where Brendan asks us to visit the forest of light and shadow. I am certain one will always find an owl there.

rise up

I couldn’t get the Oracle to work online this morning, so I turned to my box of magnetic tiles and arranged them on the metal magnetic poetry stand Nina gave me a few years ago. Wing was the first word to appear.

Last night I attended a Zoom memorial for a friend who died a little over a year ago. It was clear from everyone’s words that she was a shining light for all those she whose lives she intersected with. Certainly she was for me and my children, and for all her many students, some of whom spoke eloquently about her influence on their lives.

I dreamt about her–although I remember no specifics of the dream, I woke with these words on my mind–“Rise up into the truth that matters”. A fitting epitaph, We miss you Chris.

as if whispered
by a child’s dream,
magic gardens came flying–
butterfly-winged roses
inside the mothermoonship
of a songforest night

Trees Ring You With Watchful Silence

Hands pause—you whistle between.  White bridge slips through your fingers.
Who can number the space of days?  To cross them, you must open.
The gate shapes all beginnings, all answers, to equal zero.

This is a black & white image of an ornate pond & garden from the Felt Estate in western Michigan
© Lisa Fox, Felt Mansion

Lisa, at Tao Talk, supplied Colleen’s #TankaTuesday image, above. I wanted to try a sijo, which is the Wombwell Rainbow’s form this week. I think I’ve done one before, but it was a long time ago. I like the way it encourages the writer to think about different aspects of the same thought.

I’ve used some embroidered circles I did for a Kick-About prompt as illustration–the Eames Powers of Ten film, a barrage of images, made me think of zero, Lisa’s photo reminded me also of crossing the circles of space and time.

This week’s Oracle 2 words from Jane gave me a starting point–whistle. Which made me think of whistling in the wind. The human condition. Nevertheless, we continue.

You can read the story of the photo at Tao Talk here.