The moon has risen on the last remnants of night– floating she brushes the heavenly stars. The lake has widened till it almost joins the sky and the mist rising from the water has hidden the hills. Far off the Dipper lowers toward the river. You’d think you’d left the earth– body and spirit for a while have changed place and open, open– the world’s affairs, just waves.
A cento poem for NaPoWriMo Day 30. Thanks to Maureen Thorson for once again hosting this wonderful month of verse.
poets in order of appearance Po Chü-i (title) Po Chü-i Li Po Po Chü-i Ou Yang Hsiu Tu Fu Ch’in Kuan Po Chü-i Li-Young Lee Li Po
The shifting mirrors contain contradictory and ethereal messages, as if hidden in the center of a missing source of light. Where are the currents located? The rays seems to come from an absolute stillness embedded in the fraying edges of circles that no longer move.
Once we were seekers, following the contours of the channels that held rivers and oceans, sailing the shorelines, harvesting in abundance the rewards of departure followed by return.
Now we have only illusions sinking into the periphery of fading dreams, scattered like the ancient remnants of empyrean spirals, the movements of mythical stars, the mysteries of a consciousness that once made its home inside a biological form.
bare silence– human remains lost, fossilized
Off prompt for NaPoWriMo Day 29. I wanted to do something for this Redon collage.
The world remains heavy.
Yea, we all could use a little mercy now I know we don’t deserve it But we need it anyhow We hang in the balance Dangle ‘tween hell and hallowed ground Every single one of us could use some mercy now –Mary Gauthier
The day is grey and I am swept along its ways. Dense, impenetrable, uncertain.
And yet here is the sparrow tree. It sings out in tangled branches of song, in a chaotic chorus with no melody but infinite cheer.
The path continues with a chill bleakness. Robins and starlings bathe in puddles of mud. A sudden startle of dog and wings open, rise.
The wind is relentless. I regret dressing as if it were spring, as if winter had actually said its final farewell and relinquished its place on the wheel. My hands dig deeper into my pockets.
Despite the lack of sun, grackles sparkle in the grass. They watch me—curious? wary? amused?—as I stop to take them in.
I have a destination so I turn and travel east. Blue jays echo my movements in a stop-and-start carousel of cries. The moist air clings to my face.
emptying my thoughts to make leeway for feathers– invisible, light
Frank at dVerse asked for a haibun including the birdsongs of spring. A perfect time to bring out the birdlings.
Also linking to earthweal, where Brendan asks us to consider what serves as a commons for where we live. I would argue that every street in NYC is a commons, but the parks, especially, serve as a place where human and non-human intersect. My haibun is based on several recent walks through Central Park. Birds are everywhere (even in winter). But of course more of them and louder in spring.
I see you superimposed on the landscape, melting in to the shadows of buildings, sidewalks, trunks of trees–
woodfern sweetpepper bush cherry maple oak panicgrass fleabane hornbeam chestnut marsh blue violet–
I float on streams to the river– pickerel perch otter duck– climb paths up forested hills– bear fox rabbit deer–
My Lady of Mannahatta– swallowtail buckeye spring azure monarch–you gather me windwhispering
on hawkwings– full green animate, this island— return me to the timeless before, when land was shared, not owned
Welikia means “my good home” in the Lenape language. The Lenape tribe were the original inhabitants of Manhattan and the surrounding lands. Their main village was where Yonkers is now; they had temporary structures on the island of Mannahatta for use in hunting, fishing, and gathering.
The Welikia Project is an interactive map of New York City, where you can find out about the biodiversity and landscape of the island in 1609, before it was developed by Europeans. The idea that the Dutch “bought” the island was not one shared by the native peoples they then forced to leave the land.
Today, the NaPoWriMo prompt is “to write a poem that recounts a dream or vision, and in which a woman appears who represents or reflects the area in which you live.”
The day feels as limber as a body carved in stone, and yet time remains elastic. A Möbius strip to which I cling, never certain if I’m inside or outside or whether, in fact, I’m located anywhere upon the twist of fate at all.
Dylan sang it simple, but simplicity in his mind means traveling on a roller coaster through an arcade of hallucinatory smoke and funhouse mirrors blindfolded and bound by myriad inexpressible desires. “A little confused”? That statement is not only under, but buried so deep beneath layers of denial that the concept of clarity no longer exists.
We are all born too late, really, searching over and over for the lost eternal beginning, the still center, not the unmappable edge we cleave to, against all reason, with the desperation of an addict looking for a permanent fix.
So which way does this finite world turn? Does the Universe have its own compass, or is it, too, like humanity, lost in space?
plus, minus—neither more nor less than tomorrow, yesterday, today
when you leave yourself behind, where do you go?– clouds a shimmering path
blue like a robin’s egg– this liquid sky, darkening into shadow– when you leave yourself behind
does the mirror look back like a lake regarding the sky? where do you go?
do fish see themselves in the stars? do birds ride feathered waves?– clouds a shimmering path
The prompt for NaPoWriMo today was to write a poem that uses repetition. That prompt was made for me. I had been working on and off all week for a poem for Sherry’s prompt at earthweal, to write from that place of holding onto wildness of soul. I thought that today, Earth Day, would be the time to post it.
So I took my ideas and made a cascade, but there were ideas left over, so I did a pantoum too. You can never have too much repetition in my poetry world.
when you leave yourself behind (clouds a shimmering path) where do you go?– windsong the surface
clouds a shimmering path, the lake regarding the sky– windsong the surface displaced by light
the lake regarding the sky– as it hues the reflection displaced by light, does the mirror look back?
as the earth hues reflection, do fish see themselves in the stars? does the mirror look back when birds ride feathered waves?
do fish see themselves in the stars on the remnants of moontides? when birds ride feathered waves, do they flow into calligraphy?
on the remnants of moontides, where do you go? will you flow like calligraphy, leave yourself behind?
1 an enchantment spelled in the blue whisper of your voice disembodied in the dim light– a pretense of sushi and saki– a stolen hour
2 the stitches accumulate, suspended from needles awakening color and fiber into patterns, images, ideas, dreams
3 a glittering ocean of blue starlight afloat massive celestial waves unmoored no longer conjoined– an ancient sentient land
4 how can I remain here, undecided on the edge, an intruder seeking to override forces I neither recognize nor understand?
5 all tautness, the bow hovers between contingencies, conclusions, desires– I hold my breath inside the heart’s beating wings
The NaPoWriMo prompt today is to write a poem in which you first recall someone you used to know closely but are no longer in touch with, then a job you used to have but no longer do, and then a piece of art that you saw once and that has stuck with you over time. Finally, close the poem with an unanswerable question. A prompt that seems ready made for a cadralor. The first four stanzas answer the prompt. Stanza 5 is the conclusion required by the cadralor form, the one that illuminates a gleaming thread that runs obliquely through the unrelated stanzas and answers the compelling question: “For what do you yearn?”