recalibrations

where is the center?
always moving–
I can’t locate
the pivot

always moving–
the place of stillness,
the pivot
of this labyrinth

stillness
retracing
this labyrinth
emerging

retracing
beginning
emerging
expanding

to begin,
I relocate–
expanding
the center

For Earthweal, where Ingrid asks us to consider our labyrinthine times.

Twenty Years

I had written my own poem earlier in the week, but since the anniversary of 9/11 is on a Saturday, I also consulted the Oracle. We are both feeling the shadows and the ache.

ghosted, these
ruins—shadows left
imprinted
on this day–
each returning resurrects
the ache of absence

beneath blue skies
death shows up
raining red

the day lives raw
our dreams ache
with rust and blood

language is shadowed
as if love
will never be recalled

music whispers
on the wind
through still light

just like that/either way

more
and more
crow-
ded in-
to less and
less—un-
fold-
ed and
folded a-
gain each new day–
do I need
to know
who
I am?
words scatter
like air–
gone,
disa-
ppeared

David at the skeptic’s kaddish introduced me to the waltz wave, an poetry form that asks you to separate the syllables for some of your words. I like to do this, especially in shadorma.

I found it to be a challenge, especially to find the right subject matter for this kind of verse. In the end I wrote two, both of which seemed to go well with an old collage I had done which was based on a painting by Redon.

do
dreams fly
or
tunnel?
flow or stun?
spiral
to
the cen-
ter or spin
out to the far-
thest away?
will they
em-
brace or
turn around?
para-
llel
or de-
part?

For Colleen’s #Tanka Tuesday, poet’s choice.

Also linking to dVerse OLN, hosted by Mish.

Still #2

70 years cranes s

“It doesn’t make a damned bit of difference who wins the war to someone who’s dead.”
― Joseph Heller

“And a step backward, after making a wrong turn, is a step in the right direction.”
–Kurt Vonnegut

crane 2s

August 6 marks the 76th anniversary of the bombing of Hiroshima, which was followed by the bombing of Nagasaki on August 9—the only time nuclear weapons have been used in war.

Between 130,000 and 230,000 people were killed, mostly civilians.  Many of those who survived the bombing itself were stricken with radiation sickness and died painful and premature deaths.

The story of 12-year-old Sadako Sasaki’s attempt to make 1000 origami cranes after falling ill with leukemia turned the Japanese Crane, long a symbol of immortality, into a symbol of the wish for nuclear disarmament and world peace.

There are currently less than 1800 Japanese cranes surviving in the wild, for the usual human reasons—loss of habitat and food sources, pollution and poisioning, poaching, disease.

And so it goes…

burning floods
birds singing silent
ash and bones

cranes s

For Frank’s haibun prompt at dVerse, August. I’ve written about this in August and used these images several times before.

 This is our cry.
This is our prayer.
Peace in the world.

–inscription on the Children’s Peace Monument in Hiroshima
http://www.nippon.com/en/images/k00009/

crane 5s

Sadako Sasaki was a toddler living in Hiroshima when it was bombed by the United States.  Ten years later she died as a result of leukemia, “the atomic bomb disease.”  If you don’t know the story of Sadako and the 1000 Cranes, you can read about it here:  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sadako_and_the_Thousand_Paper_Cranes

70 years close up 1s

unrest

Another mostly sleepless night. But the Oracle sees beauty in those hours too. And how else would I have seen the sliver of the moon?

And look closely on the right–there’s Saturn too.

who is this self
sailing slowly through the dark

always away

blue with haunted oceans
flying from the ghosts of time

breathless as the dance
of skyholes
lingering in starfire
awakening the open eyes
of this goodnight

Aggregated

Why must we always quantify?  4, 3, 10.  Add, subtract, multiply.  Divide.

My prose poem, Aggregated, based on a painting by Hilma af Klint, was among those selected as a finalist in The Ekphrastic Review Women Artists contest. You can read the entire poem and see all the finalists here. The three winning selections are here.

also linking to dVerse OLN

incohesive

“Ecosystems are so similar to human societies—they’re built on relationships.  The stronger they are, the more resilient the system.”—Suzanne Simard, Finding the Mother Tree

we keep dividing
designating
a hierarchy
to pull what we share
apart

and so each
of us is missing
parts
each of us is
incomplete

why do we cling
to our separation
our isolation
who we think we are
alone?

the foundation
is faltering
and still
we hold
on

collapsing
into
the deep
hole
of ourselves

During a presentation Suzanne Simard made, early in her career, about her research into the interrelationships between trees and other species in the forest, and how all were necessary in order for the forest to thrive, she mentioned also the threat to climate from disrupting these systems. “Climate change means nothing in Canada” one of the audience said afterwards.

For earthweal.

sabbatical

It seems like every day I read a new article about the need for a sabbatical from technology and the fast pace of the world. Those slow pandemic days are fading fast.

Some people talk about a secular Sabbath, some want to revive the religious one. Some people propose not only ditching technology for 24 hours each week, but creating new shared rituals and places for community during those times. Some talk about just taking a day to go and sit with the trees, to experience the world at their pace. I wonder how many of us could actually slow down and withdraw from our devices enough to actually spend a day that way.

And all of these ideas are a hard sell in a capitalist world.

the water reflects
the world through the trees dappled
sky moving over
rocks and feet planted
like hushed reeds waiting to sing
the songs of quiet movement
and transforming light

This drawing is part of my attempt to try different things in my art journal. Many artists write on their pages as well as draw. The image is based on an advertisement photo–I removed the models and the product (I can’t remember now what it was) and wrote spontaneously about the landscape. Whatever they were selling, I wasn’t buying. But I always notice trees.

let life move
while you rest outside
and listen

For earthweal, Interdependence Day.