centermost

become empty—o
pen yourself until the wind
fills you to zero

draw yourself in circles, hold
your essence out, listening

For the final day of NaPoWriMo, the prompt is to write a poem in the form of a series of directions describing how a person should get to a particular place.

Thanks to Maureen Thorson for once again providing a home for poetry and for all those who read and commented on my efforts this April.

Approaching Beltane

What is?
Why not say blue
mirror, say deep well–
Why not say sun
light, say bright fire?

Dancing circles
into braided beginnings,
the meeting of earth and air

Weaving flowers
to welcome back
the missing and missed

Swallowing the past,
planting the future–
doing and being both—

Balancing the between
to expand
in both directions

What is?
Why not say moment
of birth, say the point when
life begins, say spirit,
breath, embodiment?

What is?
Why not say the pivot
of is and is not?

Sarah has given us the inspiration of Beltrane at earthweal this week. Whatever you choose to write about, remember that this is a celebration, of new life, of love and of the endless bounty of this planet.

sailing on uncharted seas

will those still waters
fail to depart after all?
this center—in my ignorance–
drops me in
amidst a multitude of mirrors–
will I drift away
before even beginning to move
beyond uncertainty?
mind closed,
immobilized by the guilt
of experience, held captive
by that
which always leads back
to this

I used Lucille Clifton’s “blessing the boats” for the Day 5 NaPoWriMo prompt, and decided to revisit the poem for the April 6 dVerse prompt from Jade (Lisa) to choose one of your favorite poems by another poet and flip the meaning on it. I’ve been working on this on and off for awhile–it’s far different than my original attempt, and probably not finished still.

I’ve done similar exercises in the past, but never tried to be so literally opposite. It’s not easy.

In Response to Liu Xia’s poem “Twilight”

I too like the places
where categories are neither
and both—indistinct forms
replace the sharp edges and play
with what is no longer there.

Past and future give way
to presence, and dissolve
who I am—nothing
has yet been decided.

There is no need
to consult time, to hasten
the turning of the wheel–

life pauses–

the landscape seems different,
unattached to words
or specific actions as it
gathers me in, murmuring
my pulse with invisible
currents.

Crow calls to my soul–
a shadow casting deeper
than darkness or light.

The NaPoWriMo prompt for today is to write a poem that responds, in some way, to another. Liu Xia is a Chinese artist, activist and poet. “Twilight” is one of the poems in her book Empty Chairs. Although that particular poem is not available online, you can read some of her other poems here.

washed but not cleansed

the day lost–where did it go?  did it depart or disappear?
what summons took it away, left us hanging in empty wind?–
scattering bits of sanity like lost laundry, unflown birds

The prompt for NaPoWriMo Day 20 is to write a sijo.

The only thing I unpacked today after the movers left was the computer. I know I’m behind on reading posts, but will try to catch up in the next week.

Later and Later (a rant, but not a humorous one)

Don’t start with contrition–
how you didn’t mean to, how you
rue the results of the actions
that brought us all to this place
where it seems the only way forward
is to give up and be be swallowed
by despair.

Don’t answer every question with
the anger of guilt, an attack masking
the refusal to ever admit that you
knew the ending but thought
it would not be laden with consequences,
given the assurance that you
would be protected.  

You pretended not to see,
to know, to understand the evil
that seeps even through the walls
of superiority and raw fear
you built to keep yourself
untouched by what others
experience.

You dismissed the world
outside your circle, considered it
beyond your personal responsibility
or control, your conclusions
leaping into the arms of death
which has no loyalty to any time
or space.

Now what you didn’t do
or say or think about
expands to include the exclusive
as well as the excluded
to fade the fortunes
of both the lucky and
the lost.

The currents recognize no
artificial boundaries.
The transmission of sorrow
travels into every corner
of acceptance, denial, and bridge
that attempts to turn back, turn away,
or cross.

I know NaPoWriMo asked for a humorous rant. But my anger at the moment is not funny.

bending light

bare branches
so still
they turn to stone

and skip across
the water
rearranging

crosscurrents–
altering
form and function

The NaPoWriMo prompt for Day 18 is to “write a poem based on the title of one of the chpaters from Susan G. Wooldridge’s Poemcrazy: Freeing Your Life with Word“. I chose “bending light”.

shorebirds converge with the edge of the sea

moving the water
with my feet
I float on currents,
my shadow following
each intersection with light

not thinking
who or where
I am–
cocooned in myself
and threaded to the aliveness
of what passes me
passing

crossing waves tracks
of lines and circles
forming patterns–
greeting me meeting
myself, transiting

throwing time into the wind
and not waiting for it–
wandering
in place

Kim at dVerse asks us today to write a poem in the first person that compares some trait of ours with something animal. In addition, the title should be the animal thing,

abiding

If I became
the wind, I would be
breath itself–

no need to swallow
air and turn it
vibrating into sound.

I would be
the universal chord
transformed into stories

that appear suddenly
surrounded
by stars,

carried by
the voices of
cosmic seas.

I would speak
in parallel
with the trees,

listen
as they released
their wisdom

on the wings of
birds, woven
with ancient messages

still wild and waiting
to be translated
into form.

I would be
the light
reflected as sky,

the night’s
dark
mystery.

I would be
every song
all at once,

the portal
into what can’t
be seen.

Do you hear
the whispered
invitation?

It is the unbroken
promise of
the moon’s return,

the painted journey
of the sun hovering
on the horizon,

of the waters
that rock the ages
into safe harbors.

Will you follow?
Stand open
and still

and be
prepared
to fly.

I’ve been working on this poem on and off for awhile. And I may work on it again, but here it is, as of today.