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.

The Daily Question

And what of this life?

The mind sets itself, darkening,
wandering through a self-contained maze.

But here’s the sun, shining on my face–
melting the brittle brumal pathways
that detour spirit.

In the middle of the afternoon, on a clear day, the sun shines between the buildings across the street right into my windows. The other day just as I took a break and lay down on my couch, savoring the warmth, this version of John Denver’s “Sunshine” came on the radio.

Which of course made me think of George Harrison’s “Here Comes the Sun”.

Gifts. For this week’s earthweal challenge.

Aliens

You meet me only on your own terms, describe me and put me into categories based on the systems created by the human mind.  You expect me to respond like you do, refusing to grant intelligence or even sentience to my interactions with others of my species, with the world I know, inhabit, understand.  You deny me even the dignity of knowing who I am.

The sea calls to you—it is where you came from, what you carry in the cells that form your body.  Before history begin, we were all one.  You believe in your own superiority, the pinnacle of a tree with many branches that was seeded in the ocean.  But the branches are subtle, complex.  Our paths are so divergent they intersect only on completely different layers of reality.

You consider the possibilities; I am all potential.  You struggle to reconcile body and mind; my brain is everywhere in my body, fully integrated into my entire being. We have no physical equivalence.  What makes you think your dreams are better, or more real?

what is a thought?  can
words capture it?  images,
colors, patterns—this

is music—transformations
into chords of utter joy

It took me awhile to figure out what animal to give a voice to for the earthweal challenge this week from Sherry, when animals speak. But I kept going back in my mind to a book I read last year by Peter Godfrey Smith, Other Minds, about the octopus but also about how life came to be. Cephalopods are truly alien forms of life.

They are their own canvas, their own clay, with malleable bodies that can change their skin both in color and pattern. Their mind is located throughout their body and arms, and they seem to both learn and play. Is it possible to ever truly understand their consciousness?

Castle in the Sky/the earth sings

Too much and too little of everything,
this disembodied crowd of kings and fools–
the culmination of faith is a leap into the unknown–
the spaces between are all that remains.

The details of life become blurred and distorted,
fragments scattered into ghosts
reflecting the collision of bottomless dreams and desires–
too much and too little of everything.

Plans go astray, linger unrealized.
The path is long and winding and there is no map —
what makes us think we have finally found the truth?
(this disembodied crowd of kings and fools)

Does only night reveal the secret of the star?
The past follows us no matter where we go–
how little is really necessary!
The culmination of faith is a leap into the unknown.

The earth embraces us, teeming with life–
what are we looking for?  where do we belong?
Will we recognize it when we reach our destination?–
the spaces between are all that remains.

memories are
woven into tales–
time and space
expanded
and compressed—fragments scattered
like ghosts of what is

no longer
there—we know why we
seek this thing–
Divine Light–
but there is no star, only an
endless procession

escaping
from its past—still we
always come
back again,
repeating the well trodden
paths of Holy fools–

and when our
destination finds
us what will
we see?  grace
reflecting the gift of life?
or the gold of kings?

I wrote these two poems (a cascade, and a shadorma chain) in response to a painting of the daylight travels of the Magi followed by multitudes of richly garbed men which was part of the Ekphrastic Review Holiday Challenge. These did not make the cut. But when I saw the Earthweal Challenge for the change we are, I thought they fit.

I know my prompt responses often seem to veer off course, and maybe this one is also in that category. Perhaps it stems from my sense of things not fitting properly in the world–myself included–which gives me a general inability to feel I am accurately responding to anything. But I also feel that’s where “we” are at this Solstice 2020. Changes are all around us, but it’s hard to find the proper light in which to tell exactly what they are.

with more art from the archives

Inside my December room, Wednesday 8 pm,

the window reflects only me, but
I know that beyond, in the dark, the
branches cast their shadow
against the sky—a patterned whisper, a voice
like wrinkled wind.  Outside is
far away from the artificial glitter of a
wire-wrapped tree, sparkling a mere
imitation of stars, pretending to echo in a vibration
of what the night has to say—the messages passed amongst
the members of the nocturnal choir.  The
listening of the landscape requires attention—the trees’
murmuring, air displaced by invisible wings, thin
threads woven in soundwebs—stillness shivering the leaves.

A golden shovel poem for the dVerse prompt from Peter for endings. I’ve used a line from M L Smoker’s poem “Mercy”–a source for a number of pages of writing in my journal.

“But the shadow voice is a mere vibration amongst the trees’ thin leaves.”
–M L Smoker, Mercy

infinity

in the beginning, dark–
isn’t it always?—then
inside the seed, the egg,
illumination—orbs
invoking each other,
imagined, conjoined, kin–
instruments of (re)birth

The musical selection of seasonal carols that is the Kick-About challenge #17 made me think of the cosmos–not just the return of the light this season celebrates, but the vast circles of time and space to which we belong. But how to show this in a concrete way?

I turned to sacred geometry–the Seed of Life and the Egg of Life, images based on seven circles as a framework for the whole of creation, forms that also echo the tones of the musical scale.

For my collages I used images from 2 of my reference books–Majestic Universe and Space Odyssey. It was a learning process, fitting all the pieces together like a puzzle, but I eventually approached the images I had in my mind.

And for the poem, a seven line form–appropriately named Pleiades. Its six-syllable lines also reflect the 7 + 6 circles of the Egg of Life mandala.

exposed

“That what you fear the most
Could meet you halfway”
–Victoria Williams, Crazy Mary

we live both predator and prey
our expectations threatening–
attack, suppress, retreat or stay,
we live both predator and prey
to welcome or to turn away
each action, choice, a reckoning—
we live both predator and prey
our expectations threatening

Sherry at Earthweal this week challenges us to think about our relationship with sharks, or the idea of sharks. I chose to focus on the fear, a good stand-in for many of our anxieties about living in and being part of a connected world.

Ever since Laura at dVerse posted her prompt with a link to eight line poetry forms, I have been fooling around with some of them. This poem is a triolet.