I’ve forgotten yesterday by the time today approaches. The past is a dream I can no longer access—an afterthought, insubstantial—something I once acquired and then quickly lost.
But my hands remain busy, continually shuffling the cards. Each time I turn them over I see nothing–both sides are empty. No surprise. They have been empty for a long time now.
The hours chase me unguided through tunnels of almost and maybe, seizing and destoying probably until it’s anyone’s guess. My mind has become an imperfect mixture of what I can’t recall and what I don’t want to remember.
The wind tells me stories, invites me to become a passenger inside its song, cut loose from any need to reconstruct the places I have been, the ones that once contained my life. I am weightless, free. In the tender gray I swim undisturbed.
The prosery prompt at dVerse, chosen by Lisa, is from Celia Dropkin’s “In Sullivan County”.
bombs are cold explosions of bitterness sucking the warmth out of what remains of possibility
bombs are greedy machines, meant only to destroy, burn any seeds, annihilate life
bombs are hungry voracious conduits for our worst impulses eating our souls from the inside out
A quadrille for dVerse, where Lisa has given us the word warm. In 2014 I did a series called “What Is It Good For?” on memadtwo. There were, as always, many conflicts in the news. Hearing this song from Buddy and Julie Miller this morning, it reminded me of the art from those posts.
It also made me think again of how cold this winter will be for the Ukrainians and so many others the world over. How short our attention span. How little we have learned.
What IS it good for–the guns, the bombs, the dying? We know the answer.
my mind ebbs, then flows out like an ocean sailing the wind– empty channels drift away from the center to the edge– multitudes of changing colour, condensed motion, thoughts full
I was going to write a sestina with Jane’s Oracle 2 words and I picked out six that called to me: ocean, colour, wind, edge, motion, full. But after writing the first stanza, it seemed too daunting, so I revised it into a sijo instead.
When looking in the archives for art, I immediately picked out the first painted mandala, but when I saw the collage I knew I had to include it too. It’s based on a painting by Nina’s father that she posted; you can read about it here. Nina has written several times about her father’s service in WWII and this is in honor of all our fathers and mothers and friends and relatives who fought and fight in the world’s continuous wars on this Veteran’s Day 2022. May we wake up and bring the need for them to an end.
I He wanted mountains as his final resting place: climb and let me fly.
II We climbed, ten, The landscape open, no trees, just empty and wide.
III The black ashes fell up to the ground. The sun remained in the sky.
IV A camera captured pieces. All around earth rocks family air.
V Our conflicts dissolving into suspended time, breathing memories, the connections blinding, the future past.
VI The shadow of inheritance. The pull of familiarity. Love crossed with contradiction, no answers, lost words, absences uncertain and unknown.
VII O voice of silences what would you say to us now? Do you not seek the many questions embedded in the reparations we expect to find?
VIII I know only murmurs and the rhythm of searching. But I know too that death is involved in what I know.
IX When we came down from the mountain our bodies flew, scattered to many destinations.
X At the sound of each day and each day returning we noted the discordant measure of hours and years.
XI He did not ask for more time. He did not seek miracles or complain of cruelty. He knew that all stories have an end.
XII Her mind departed long before her heart failed.
XIII We went back up the mountain. It was different and the same and the earth the sky accepted anew our darkest gift.
Joy has asked us this week at earthweal to talk about the first poems that helped you to find your own inner eye and voice, and write about it. I’m sure there were poems and poets that influenced me before Wallace Stevens, but none has been as central to me as his “Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird”. I’ve posted at least 4 variations of it, including one for earthweal.
But the poem above is the one that still cuts closest. The photos are cropped versions of panoramas composed by my older daughter from photos she took in the mountains of Arizona where my father requested that we spread his ashes. My mother did not make any request except to be cremated, but we managed to find the very same place to spread her ashes years later after her death. As I wrote in my original post: I’ve been thinking about my parents. My generation is becoming the elders now. I do not think we are prepared for it.
I couldn’t get the Oracle to work online this morning, so I turned to my box of magnetic tiles and arranged them on the metal magnetic poetry stand Nina gave me a few years ago. Wing was the first word to appear.
Last night I attended a Zoom memorial for a friend who died a little over a year ago. It was clear from everyone’s words that she was a shining light for all those she whose lives she intersected with. Certainly she was for me and my children, and for all her many students, some of whom spoke eloquently about her influence on their lives.
I dreamt about her–although I remember no specifics of the dream, I woke with these words on my mind–“Rise up into the truth that matters”. A fitting epitaph, We miss you Chris.
as if whispered by a child’s dream, magic gardens came flying– butterfly-winged roses inside the mothermoonship of a songforest night
Nina, my old friend of 40+ years, and blogmate from methodtwomadness, came into the city with her husband yesterday for a visit and lunch. It’s only the second time we’ve seen each other since the beginning of Covid.
She brought me one of her beautiful paintings. The Oracle knows how much this lifted my spirits. Thanks Nina
is what we can always give– listening with the language of the heart
happy to be
remembering all the rivers of song shared in the between