Midway

If I approach before, must I retreat after?  The mirror is always turning.  The reflection reverts, echos, remembers, forgets.  Meets itself, coming and going.  Centered, stilled.

on the cusp
earth bows to the sun
abiding

Perhaps the sudden and expanded silence is what heals, releases the mind from meaning.  Can words ever really stand in for what they are not?

Without time, I can relocate who I am.  I reach for next, but I don’t understand until later how very far it is from now.

widdershins
the circle dances
into fire

Frank at dVerse has us thinking about the Solstice.

And my title has me thinking about Joni.

More art from the archives.

What is it good for? (#10)

war 4s

The same foolishness
everywhere.  We talk over
each other, repeat
words until they are erased.
The lines become solid form.

We can’t see either
forest or trees.  We respond
without listening.
The same actions, recast,
broken up, taken down.  Angry

outlines drawn like guns.
Hanging over cliffs, waiting.
Holding on, out, back.
We banish heart, soul.  Burning
every single bridge.  Drowning.

war 5 pieces 2 comp

Early in my blogging life, on memadtwo, I did a series of paintings titled what is it good for? Then I did some embroideries titled war is not healthy (for children and other living things). Unfortunately, it’s (always) (still) relevant. Even in my city (mostly) young men are killing and being killed every day by gang and turf wars that are little more than macho posturing. And of course, as in every war, civilians are merely collateral damage.

in which endings are both lost and multiplied close up s

Three linked tankas for Colleen’s #TankaTuesday with synonyms for life and move.

absolutely nothing s

Carapace

Carapace
who speaks?—carapace
dream landscape
indigo
blue paths going from nowhere
into nowhere else.

A shelter?–
a support?–cosmic
tree growing
up and up
with turtles all the way down
to infinity…

green sea turtle s

Sarah at dVerse asks us to consider the word blue. I did have a dream with a disembodied voice repeating “carapace”, and used it as inspiration for the shells I painted for the Kick-About prompt “Museum Wormarianum”. The dream was saturated in blues.

Both Nina and I have painted and drawn and photographed turtles and tortoises many times at memadtwo. They are wonderful–and need I say? endangered–creatures, believed by some cultures to hold the earth, and all life, on their backs.

And here’s some classic blues performed by the Turtle Island String Quartet.

My New Window

My new window looks at rooftops architecture trees
and sky.  My new window opens to the continuous city
work of maintenance and construction going from here
to there and back again the voices of cars and dogs
and humans and birds.  My new window is busy.

After dark my new window sparkles with other windows
imprinted on dark silhouettes.  The night sky changes
color and texture from hour to hour and the full moon
wakes me as it shines its reflected secrets into
my dreaming eyes.  My new window is aware.

The NaPoWriMo prompt for today is to write about what you see through a particular window. This one is in the bedroom of my new apartment. I’m so happy I have such a good view of the moon, which has woken me up every clear night for the past week.

fitzcarraldo

sky quilt s

fitzcarraldo n. an image that somehow becomes lodged deep in your brain—maybe washed there by a dream, or smuggled inside a book, or planted during a casual conversation—which then grows into a wild and impractical vision that keeps scrambling back and forth in your head like a dog stuck in a car that’s about to arrive home, just itching for a chance to leap headlong into reality.

that tiny room
the one with the steps to the attic
the one with only bed and dresser

nothing more fits
but the window with the tree
and the sky and the birds

I could leap out that window
like Wendy and the Lost Boys
riding the wind to faraway dreams

I could hide under the covers
with a flashlight and a book
a transistor radio playing

Fly Me to the Moon
I could accompany myself
by singing wishes on stars

on a moon that illuminates all
these yearnings pulsing through
the bloodsongs of my heart

The NaPoWriMo prompt for today was to write a poem inspired by an entry from the Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows. What a wonderful dictionary! I will be visiting it again.

My fitzcarraldo is a bit less intense than Herzog’s…

centering

I think the Oracle is telling me to slow down, stop trying to do everything all at once. Don’t panic because I can’t even find the box where I packed the scotch tape. Sometimes you just need to take time to breathe.

breathe full deep
climb between
always and after

follow spirit about
let soul in

wander quiet paths

listening to rivers
giving songs
to the wind

Grow NYC

On the run, in retreat,
empty lots, dirty streets–
take the land, make it green–
thumbs and hearts, community.

Food to eat, flowers, herbs,
trees with branches full of birds–
an oasis filled with life–
lost then found, death defied.

I’ve been thinking about the earthweal challenge for Earth Day–what postitive steps have been taken locally to improve the environment?

NYC was in serious decline in the 70s–hence the famous headline, from 1975, below. Everything was falling apart, and there were vacant lots and abandoned properties everywhere.

Ford new york city drop dead

Organizations like GrowNYC, Greenthumb, and OasisNYC began to foster community gardens in abandoned lots, renovated by volunteers from the surrounding area. Today there are nearly 600 such gardens in the city–everywhere you walk, you’ll stumble upon one. Managed by neighborhood residents, they grow all kinds of things, both edible and simply beautiful. They foster new and experienced gardeners, young and old. They sponsor art displays and performances, and act as community centers.

I used Bjorn’s prompt, at dVerse, to compose my poem for Earth Day in Anapestic Tetrameter.

Will They Will

Age is definable but never still–
we try to hold it back, but still
our age continues to rise

We linger in the still dreams lost
ages ago, unable to move on,
still refiguring the past

Must we always be aging children?
still youthful to our inner mirror, but
aged into bitters

Into a stillness of chimeric eternity,
searching for an ageless portal
stilled beyond time

Day 21 of NaPoWriMo asks for repetition. I’m not sure this is exactly what they had in mind, but it’s where I ended up.

The Age of Aquarius

Back when the musical “Hair” came out, some astrologers grumbled that it wasn’t really the Age of Aquarius yet.  But what did we care?  We were tired of the world as it was, ready for Peace Love and Understanding.

Well…maybe not.

chaotic stillness
watching from the whorled center
for new beginnings

During 2020 there were rumblings once again online about the REAL Age of Aquarius finally showing up.  I was skeptical to say the least.

all those lost patterns–
I collect them in my mind,
in new rotations

It seems we had the Age of Aquarius skewed, not only in time.  Yes, it’s a total tearing down and rebuilding.  But it’s going to require hard work.  Taking a lot of drugs and wearing tie-dye and listening to songs about love won’t do it.

all impermanence—
no matter which way you turn
the path continues

Can we change our entire approach to living together, not only with each other, but with the earth, its creatures, its landscape, its elements?  We need to if we want to survive.

giving myself hope
inside my dark wanderings–
a world of wonder

When Phil asked me to choose this week’s Kick-About prompt, I thought immediately of The Age of Aquarius, because I’ve been turning over in my mind the hope that it might be real, that humanity can change. I always loved the music posters of the “Hair” era, and used them as inspiration for my neon colored paintings.

I’m looking forward to seeing all the other responses next week.

light years

black
hole
rabbit
hole—is it
curiosity
or gravity that pulls us in?

black hole sun s

The NaPoWriMo prompt for Day 7 is to write either a shadorma or a Fib poem. I’ve written hundreds of shadormas (see Days 4 and 6 for example), so I decided to try a Fib, inspired by this article I was reading in the NY Science Times: https://www.nytimes.com/2021/03/24/science/astronomy-messier-87-black-hole.html

It’s a form that seems especially good for questions.