transfiguration

she spins
a new cocoon…
wings folded, form fading,
reflecting back as ghost shadows
–enter–
the dark circle of the forest
moves ever closer as
time compresses
–itself–
quiescent…what
is done is done…what will
emerge as the continuum
–expands–
unbounded, uncharted, starborne
she waits…her elements
recombined as
essence

I used the (repeated) butterfly cinquain form because Diana Peach’s #photoprompt illustration, above, for Colleen’s #TankaTuesday, made me think immediately of a butterfly/cocoon.

For the artwork I did a painting inspired by the illustration and then fooled around with it in Photoshop to try to convey a feeling of metamorphosis.

who are you

bat

who
are you
and who are

you
not—is
there a point

where
each merges
into the other

where
you meet
the both/and

neither–
where it
doesn’t really matter?

The Kick-About #15 features lithography illustrations by Eric Ravilious from the book High Street. I was immediately drawn to the shop full of masks, above. I’ve drawn, painted, stitched and collaged many masks over the years, and I also have quite a few that I’ve collected, stored and waiting for a place to be displayed.

horse

For the prompt, I decided to focus on Mexican animal masks, since the animal masks in the shop illustration seemed to be the most prominent element.

dog

Masking has a long history in the indigenous culture of the Americas, and animals are commonly used in dances, ritual, and ceremonies, often combined with Christian stories and characters.

fox

Masks are vessels in which a powerful energy is stored, an energy than can help cross the boundaries between human and animal, creating a co-existence of spirits in the same body.

bull/lizard

I confess that once I got started with these it was hard to stop.

hummingbird

The technique I used was the Rorschach monoprint–I painted one side and folded the paper in the center and pressed down to create a mirror image.

jaguar
owl

and if they take me
to heart, if they pull me through
their own openings

will I flow, float dreaming in
side their abiding presence–

no, not dead, but yet
not of the living—unbound
by movement or time,

reconnected, emerged as
an ancestor to myself

pig
horned creature

what came out
was not the same as
what went in

eagle
goat

I liked the bat so much I did it twice, once on red paper and once on white.

bat 2

animals
do not need our gods
to exist

Refugee

Lost among the layers of words, my needs slip through the cracks that keep opening into assaults on the ways that have always belonged to me.  I don’t want to be reoriented towards a future I can’t imagine, or pushed through a portal into a world I don’t understand.  A world that does not recognize me and has no relationship to the one that has always sheltered me from unwelcome change.

All those strident sentences you spit out—they mock my choices, erasing any value in what I call a good life.  The scale on which you judge me makes my wishes weigh nothing.  You discard everything that makes me happy.

The tasks of survival are not so easily sorted into black and white, good and evil.  What seems to work for the time being is all we can attain sometimes, worth more than the promises of a future that we can’t see.

It’s impossible to know God’s plans or to understand them—despite your fancy degrees and charts, there are realms beyond the facts, beyond what you call science, that we can’t anticipate or control.

Instead you put yourself above me.  But you appear in my mirror as one-dimensional, rejecting me and the grieving that belongs to me, the losses I have experienced and feel.  You insist they are worthless, I am worthless.  But what do you offer to me that will replace them?

You list all my beliefs and shame them, shame me, shame my culture, my family, my friends.  And you call it compassion.

I am not asking for your false understanding.  I do not want what you want, what you think I need.

I want to be worth something.  I want to matter to someone, something.  I want a world that holds out a hand and tells me I belong.  Where has it gone?

look at me
listen to my life
make me real

Jim Feeney at Earthweal gave us quite a challenge this week: to write a poem from the point of view of someone who is a climate change denier or a climate solution denier or someone who just doesn’t care because they won’t be around when it happens. It’s not easy to put yourself sympathetically in someone else’s shoes. I chose to repeat some of the words and ideas I heard in interviews with Trump supporters, figuring no environmentalist would ever vote for Trump. I have to admit I resent the fact that the media always tells us we need to try to “understand” people who support Trump, and yet Trump supporters never have to return the favor and try to understand those of us who don’t. We are not all wealthy Ivy League educated “elites”.

And the thing is…in the end our desires are not so different. I don’t reject science and I would not talk of God, but I have spiritual beliefs too that involve feelings and ideas that can’t really be quantified. I also often feel unacknowledged, dismissed, invisible. I have lost parts of my life that will never return and cannot be replaced. We all want to matter, to belong somewhere.

Why can’t we make that somewhere a place of mutual respect that honors our interdependence with the natural world? So we have a world where everyone’s children and grandchildren have a fighting chance at survival?

The Color of Zero

Zero nests in between
darkness and light–
the black snake of the enso–
ouroboros consuming itself,
surrounded by circles
of white waves that are all
colors condensed
into the vision of none.

The emptiness of white
is contained in the deep vast
eternity of black–
an uneasy balance of possibility
ready to step into the abyss
like the fool.

Zero is the harlequin of innocence
wearing the mask of either/or–
comedy and tragedy opposing
but always joined–

a placeholder, not grey,
not veiled, but reflecting
an infinity that can be
seen only in relationship,
that when multiplied becomes
both more of what
it is and more of what
it is not.

Dusklight and dawnlight hover
on the border of uncertainty–
the hidden rainbow
and the vast uncolorable
center of waiting
that is
the cosmic
mind.

For the dVerse prompt of synesthesia, provided by Grace.

on all sides (after Neruda)

thus
each day begins again
and wanders to its end

in the deep darkness
I follow and am pushed
through sequences
that turn me inside out

hours pass
as they bypass me–
we seem to be in different stories

the pages open to places
I have seen before
while the landscape becomes
a backdrop
to somewhere else

crow flies
over the fields
between worlds
carrying
the ears of wheat
to be planted in both places
at once

tolling in concert
with the continuous chaos
I wonder at the expanse of tangled
entrances and exits
in the mouth
of the threshold

which side am I on?
my voice carries nowhere
as I reach out to catch the wings
of the wind

This was done for a dVerse prompt from August, where Rosemarie Gonzales offered wheat as a poetic inspiration. I took 2 lines from one of the Neruda poems she provided, Ah Vastness of Pines, and incorporated it in pieces to make my own verse:
Thus in the deep hours I have seen, over the fields,
the ears of wheat tolling in the mouth of the wind.

I’m linking it to dVerse Open Link Night.

The art is from the archives.

The Flames Burn Cold

The voice of the wind is harsh, unending, bringing news of winter.  Under dusky grey I watch the heavens close in as tree bones rattle with last leaves.  Night is everywhere, penetrating with howling visions the sanctity of sleep.

Solitude is impossible.  Chanting surrounds me, invisible hands, the edge of a nightmare hovering on the threshold.  Ghostlike it travels through the streets, knocking on each door, finding the cracks in each soul, rearranging the molecules of each defense.  No prayer or good luck charm repels the chosen path of this bleak pilgrim.  Its faceless form looms like a black hole.

A cacophony of silence tunnels into the center of my mind.  It asks me no questions, desires no answers–an insatiable voice in a vortex ancient, eternal, lost.

forsaken, stars hide–
sky fallen into stillness
swallowing the moon

For the Earthweal Weekly Challenge, A Hallowed Moondance.

parabola

all
most dreamed
synthesized
otherworldly this
hour this hidden light
found by shifting seasons
like a song already known
a secret spellbound heartsown with
haunted melodies resonating
as echoes returned from a lost refrain

For Colleen’s Tanka Tuesday where the prompts this week were a photo provided by Trent McDonald (above) and/or synonyms for the words “MOVE & MAKE” provided by David Ellis.