false storm

I tried to photograph the lightning–
the flash between the layers of sky—

(no thunder)

clouds streaming over the moon

how many miles distant?–
far away, too far away to hear—
a silent film that eluded my camera

so I let it go and let it shine
in bursts through the window
into and through my eyes

the color was salmon, maybe
yellow, maybe pink—a pastel
shimmering against the dark

eventually the moon disappeared
behind the false storm,
and only the city lights glowed–tiny
squares of refuge against the night

For this week’s challenge, Brendan at earthweal asks us to interrupt our usual programming with flashes and booms of this extraordinary power. Lightning falls: what are we going to make of that?

seeds

The Oracle is pensive this morning.

flowers are another always
that open and
then must be remembered–
they need love to bloom

like life itself

the language of a child
is a song filled
with wishspiritdreaming–
voices of belonging and finding home

I’m going to be taking a few weeks off–if we can all avoid the latest Covid wave, visiting with family, and taking care of some things I need to do. I’ll be back sometime in August.

The Language of Riddles

Who provides the soundtrack
when the film ends,
when life is a series of missteps
made in solitude?

Who sings to you
(of love, mostly of all)?
Who puts wings on words
and conjures crows?
Who opens the day with robinsong?

Who walks with you like the wind,
rustlesoft through trees?
Who tells you that you are and are
beyond what you yourself can see?

Who puts your name in a sentence
with a smile, sailing it
on the rippled paths of rivers?
Who tells you what you could be
instead of what you are not?

Who gives you each day
as a gift meant to be shared?
Who reflects your eyes into the vast
silent sky and never questions
the validity of their light?

Who holds you together
and echos your voice across the void,
vibrating through your bones
until they are centered
in its starstrewn tides?

Who hums you the moon?
Who is always waiting no matter
where you go or what you do
to welcome everything about you
home?

For earthweal, where Brendan poses the question: What is this wild language in the deep forest back of our mouths? Mine is evidently riddled with more questions.

consecration

a feather,
a rose, an apple–
small pleasures,
blessings of
continuity, gifts of
joint inheritance,

of stillness–
a hallowing that
exists if
we choose to
walk with the land—unhurried,
emptied, listening

I’ve used words from Jane’s random word list this week from the Oracle II, to answer Brendan’s call at earthweal to the wild stillness

Safari

“Living day by day with elephants, he had absorbed their deeper, more philosophical cues. In fact, he discovered in them the virtues he would work to develop in himself: courage, loyalty, the ability to trust (and the good sense to know when to be distrustful), fairness, patience, diligence, kindness, and humor.”
–Vicki Constantine Croke, “Elephant Company”

Step this way–
sink deep, uncreatured,
into the
mouth entombed
in death—enter the ceaseless
current of slaughter.

Destruction
overtakes rebirth,
permanent–
we cannot
remake the magic of earth,
uninculcate ends.

Silver tongues
make promises, kill
what little
is left, drunk
with power—bleeding life out
to termination.

Elephants once roamed in Syria, Turkey, and Iraq. This species became extinct about 100 BC due to overhunting for ivory. This is still a major threat to both elephants and rhinos, along with habitat loss, which includes all the ramifications of climate change. Poachers are looking for ingredients for traditional Asian medicine. Local residents see wild animals as threats, and/or kill them for food when other sources, such as agriculture, disappear due to extreme weather. And of course Western big game hunters love to take home trophies to prove how manly they are.

The Northern White Rhino recently became extinct.

Endangered African primates include the chimpanzee, the gorilla, the bonobo, and the drill. The cheetah is critically endangered, and lions and leopards are also in a vulnerable state.

Other critically endangered African species include the African penguin, the African wild dog, green turtles, pangolins, and hundreds of species of birds.

For earthweal, where Sherry asks us to consider how humans have changed the African landscape. I’ve used words from the Oracle II list generated by Jane this week.

All the art is from previous posts about endangered species. Interestingly, I only found one other poem written to go along with the images. Perhaps it’s because words are inadequate for me in the face of such a huge loss. It’s easier for me to draw or paint or collage my distress.

this land (the other)

but there is always another side–
the one that is in our face seems real
because we see it—the details,
the form of its existence–
but what of the side we do not see,
what of the one that looks
in a different direction?  the one not
evident, not the same?  the one
we must be careful not to leave behind?

As usual, Brendan at earthweal gave me a lot to think about in this week’s challenge post. His question–What does it meant to be open, unbounded, united and free in an enclosed world?–made me immediately think of this verse Woody Guthrie wrote in “This Land is Your Land”.

As I went walking I saw a sign there
And on the sign it said “No Trespassing”
But on the other side it didn’t say nothing
That side was made for you and me

which was the inspiration for my poem.

The late great Sharon Jones sings it like it is.

Also linking to dVerse OLN, hosted by Ingrid.

This is what we’ve come to

Eric Greitens, a leading contender for the Republican Senate nomination in Missouri, released a new video in which he is depicted as hunting RINOs (Republicans in Name Only).

“I’m Eric Greitens, Navy SEAL, and today we’re going RINO hunting.” Greitens says as he walks down a sidewalk with a gun in hand.

The video cuts to a house where Greitens, surrounded by what looks like a tactical unit, waits by the door. “The RINO feeds on corruption and is marked by the stripes of cowardice,” says Greitens. The unit smashes the door down and throws what looks like a smoke grenade. Greitens strides through the door. “Join the MAGA crew,” he says. “Get a RINO hunting permit. There’s no bagging limit, no tagging limit and it doesn’t expire until we save our country.”—(cnn.com)

nutty?  I
wish it were only
the deranged
ravings of
a single unarmed man—but
it is not fiction

actually
millions are waiting
with their guns–
enchanted
by, and obedient to,
a simplistic lie

sordid words
sprayed like stray bullets,
shattering
sanctity,
all respect for life—the
aftermath is death

Merril was correct when she said the wordlist from Oracle II generated on Sunday by Jane demanded a political response. Reading about Eric Greitens and his campaign ad today sealed it.

The headline haiku art and erasure poem are from my response to the Kick-About prompt a few weeks ago of the art of Basquiat. I painted on a page from the NY Times that interviewed Republican Congress members about their thoughts on gun legislation and listed the amount of money they had received from the NRA. Money talks, and erases the truth.

Guns

do something.  question.
sorry—guns are the problem.
where it starts.  guns.  guns.

nightsong

A peaceful message from the Oracle this week. Even with some strange dreams, and the moon waking me, I’ve been sleeping well.

could I rest here
beneath the quiet dusk
let nightsong in

walk along ancient rivers
know the the intuition of trees
feel every growing thing

as earth follows
its rooted moonpath
into the birdlight of dawn