The Oracle got a makeover from MagneticPoetry.com. It’s going to take getting used to. I used the new “happiness” category. I can use some, after reading the news this morning.
When I saw the Oracle’s message, I immediately thought of Sun Ra, an artist of living, not just music, that my older brother introduced me to when we were teenagers. “Space is the Place” was a title he used for many different pieces of art.
I had titled these birdling collages from my archives “birdlings in space”. The birdlings make me happy no matter where they are.
where is wonder? make time for space alive with possibility– between comes whispering– soon surprise will follow
The streets are quiet, eerie, the walls blank. I remain inside.
My windows are noisy with things I can’t see. I rarely reply to them because the response flies away on the wind, storm tossed and clouded, darkened by rain and the fading light.
What would I say to the ghosts of the children?– the ones not on the playground not on the streets no longer living in an apartment, a house, a country, a land– the ones no one can find anywhere?
How to say the word death and to also shield them from its consequences. How to explain why and how we have come to be
living in this uncertain tangle of lies ignorance violence– a place full of humans unable to even acknowledge or to bridge the rising waters.
The ones who would rather drown than make amends.
Sherry at earthweal has reminded us of all the grief consuming the world, and asks us to write about it. I wrote a version of this poem first in the midst of New York’s early pandemic. I’ve revised it a bit, but the ghosts of the children have not gone away.
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.
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.
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…
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 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 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
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.
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.
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.