Why must we always quantify? 4, 3, 10. Add, subtract, multiply. Divide.
My prose poem, Aggregated, based on a painting by Hilma af Klint, was among those selected as a finalist in The Ekphrastic Review Women Artists contest. You can read the entire poem and see all the finalists here. The three winning selections are here.
“Ecosystems are so similar to human societies—they’re built on relationships. The stronger they are, the more resilient the system.”—Suzanne Simard, Finding the Mother Tree
we keep dividing designating a hierarchy to pull what we share apart
and so each of us is missing parts each of us is incomplete
why do we cling to our separation our isolation who we think we are alone?
the foundation is faltering and still we hold on
collapsing into the deep hole of ourselves
During a presentation Suzanne Simard made, early in her career, about her research into the interrelationships between trees and other species in the forest, and how all were necessary in order for the forest to thrive, she mentioned also the threat to climate from disrupting these systems. “Climate change means nothing in Canada” one of the audience said afterwards.
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
these names that have lost their origins names that have lost their sounds that have lost their meanings lost meanings without references without words words that once rolled off the tongue rolled off the tongue immense with meaning with meaning now lost now untranslatable immense and untranslatable these names without meaning
these names belonging nowhere belonging nowhere to no one to no one at all invisible undernourished undernourished and withered into invisibility without a way a way to put sounds together sounds that together form words words that become names these names that are lost
these names without scripts without scripts or context without the context of language a language of mirrors mirrors now empty mirrors that yield no answers answers to questions questions without context how and what and where and why are they lost and where did they go who knows the names the names the names the names that have lost their meaning
finding myself I open the cages I travel on paths where I once was we
I open the cages calm and unafraid where I once was we everything begins again
calm and unafraid as intersected species everything begins again inside and out
as intersected species abiding in before and after inside and out following life’s tides
abiding in before and after I travel on paths following life’s tides finding myself
Sherry posted at earthweal this week about Jane Goodall and how her work with chimpanzees led her to start “Roots and Shoots, her program, now 30 years old, that inspires young people to plant trees and care for the areas in which they live”.
I knew I had posted before about chimpanzees as part of my endangered species series on methodtwomadness. When I went back and looked, I found that I had also talked then about Jane Goodall and her work.
Chimpanzees are our closest genetic relative. Of course we still have plenty of work to do learning to treat other humans with respect. We can start by opening the cage doors.
It seems like every day I read a new article about the need for a sabbatical from technology and the fast pace of the world. Those slow pandemic days are fading fast.
Some people talk about a secular Sabbath, some want to revive the religious one. Some people propose not only ditching technology for 24 hours each week, but creating new shared rituals and places for community during those times. Some talk about just taking a day to go and sit with the trees, to experience the world at their pace. I wonder how many of us could actually slow down and withdraw from our devices enough to actually spend a day that way.
And all of these ideas are a hard sell in a capitalist world.
the water reflects the world through the trees dappled sky moving over rocks and feet planted like hushed reeds waiting to sing the songs of quiet movement and transforming light
This drawing is part of my attempt to try different things in my art journal. Many artists write on their pages as well as draw. The image is based on an advertisement photo–I removed the models and the product (I can’t remember now what it was) and wrote spontaneously about the landscape. Whatever they were selling, I wasn’t buying. But I always notice trees.
I recently took the collage above out of the storage room and hung it in my new apartment. It’s based on a painting, Freedom, by Ilya Repin, that Jane Dougherty used back when she was doing writing prompts, and that both she and Merril have returned to numerous times. I liked it so much I did two collages based on it.
I didn’t start out with this idea at all, but as soon as the Oracle pointed to ferocious dancing in the wordlist the entire poem began to reference Repin’s painting. It’s a wonderful painting, full of beautiful messages.
I’m quite sure she isn’t finished sending me back to it either.
laughter’s breath kisses like star-sky
here is a rhythm to embrace
ask the ocean for the secrets of sailing airborn
surrounded by voices that dazzle open magic windows of ferocious dancing into a universe without time
You can see the original posts for each of my above collages here and here.