fractals (part 2)

the geography of water
parallels and reconfigures
the complexity of the heart–
light, a fissured mirror, reflects
memories in recurrent waves–
the complexity of the heart
parallels and reconfigures
the geography of water

the-silver-well-3

For Colleen’s Tanka Tuesday poet’s choice this week I’ve written an octo poem which is a revision of a poem I published four years ago for Sue Vincent’s photo prompt, spring, above. You can see the original post here (a shadorma, of course). What’s interesting to me is how wildly different my painting is from the photo.

Also, though I like the way this painting looks, I never followed up and did any more with the idea. I need my gouache which is in storage, but it’s got me thinking. Perhaps to be continued.

Fractals can’t be measured in traditional ways. And so it is with springs, memories, and hearts.

Soundings

tides entombed in unchanging light,
reflecting the absent sky,
shimmering with intangibles–
an ancient web woven with stories–

the stilled sea contemplates its origins–
heavy with the cadences of gravity
boundaried by the afterlife–
tides entombed in unchanging light–

surrounded and asunder, astonishment
becomes tinged with enigmatic clarity–
holding particles of stars as if enshrined,
reflecting the absent sky–

the fulcrum rests inside the echo
of what endures, arising
from an aqueous womb
shimmering with intangibles–

the circle continues, horizonless,
quivering in confluence–
who can refuse the voices of the sea?–
an ancient web woven with stories–

I’ve been futzing around with this all week, inspired by the Kick-About prompt, Eugen von Ransonnet-Villez, and the earthweal challenge natural forces. The painting above, my first attempt, probably has 20 painted layers. Watercolor looks very different wet, and each time it dried I was dissatisfied with the result.

Eugen von Ransonnet-Villez was an Austrian artist who designed a diving bell, below, so he could paint the landscape that existed under the sea. This was in the 1860s–both crazy and fantastic. His paintings have an eerie green magic, which was what I was trying to capture.

Eugen Ransonnet-Villez

Because what is the sea but the most elemental of magic?

Like Ransonnet-Villez, I wished to immerse myself inside of it. Being at the moment concrete-bound, I could only try to conjure it with words and paint.

Phoenix

There is no drama in most moments, but the accumulation becomes a story.  One day you wake up, or you think you wake up.  But something burns—you can smell it in the air.  Ashes of yesterday are falling from the sky.  You thought the past was dead, but it has only rearranged itself into today, or is it already tomorrow? 

And what happened yesterday anyway?

I went out to the hazel wood because a fire was in my head.  I walked and walked and walked until I came to a pool of water, still and deep.  I sat beside it, watching my reflection smolder, waiting for something to be revealed.  The light scattered on the liquid surface held me and gave me a different life, turned me inside out.

Now I am only flames, or was that yesterday?  Which side am I on?

For the dVerse Prosery prompt from Kim, some inspiration from Yeats: ‘I went out to the hazel wood,
Because a fire was in my head’.

The art is from a series of constellation poems I did for Pure Haiku. Freya’s current theme is Unfurling–you can submit until February 28.

unmoored

suddenly you open,
falling back into what
was ere, senses bare, taut,
returned, stepped through–

like dusk that silences
the sun, rooted in deep
layers of shadowed sleep,
awaiting night–

the point of transfer is
never clear—the threshold
disappears—uncontrolled,
adrift and lost–

each moment lingers too
long—endings shrink, tied fast
to darkness, floating past
what can’t be seen–

hints of color, mirage
of movement just beyond–
all sense of distance gone–
who owns this fate?

For Sue Vincent’s photo prompt, above, and Colleen’s Tanka Tuesday, an abhanga using synonyms for loose and tight.

The Oracle Answers Another Question

The Oracle has an answer to every question. This one made me smile.

Art is once again from the archives. It turns out I’ve done lots of art related to this theme.

How to make joy?

Embrace the rhythm of opening.
Explore the dances of trees.

Bring the ocean home–
listen to all the starsongs
that reveal what you desire.

Shapeshifter

Do the mountains touch the stars?

Tell me, child of the skylands,
how to balance on the glittering surface of time—

awakening the stillness,
transforming the silence
into answered prayer.

The snow leopard is found only in the mountains of Central Asia. Expanding populations in this harsh habitat compete for the same food sources. Although they are one of the least aggressive big cats, snow leopards kill livestock and are trapped in retaliation. They are also killed by poachers for their pelts and bones, which are used in traditional Chinese medicine. Only 5000-7000 remain in the wild.

Traditional cultures of their habitats consider the snow leopard to be a shapeshifter, a mountain spirit that serves as a guide between worlds. In Tibet they are sacred, existing as vessels to remove the sins of past lives. Anyone who kills one of these creatures is forced to take on the burden of those sins as their own.

They have huge paws and tails, which help them to balance on the snow in the rugged terrain of the mountains.

For earthweal, where Sherry has asked us to consider the earth’s dwindling populations of big cats.

Mercy 1/2 (after M L Smoker)

An answer arrives,
but it’s not words,
not even something
that you can hear.

–not that you
ever listen to anything
anyway–

How do you
recognize it?–
but you know
that your inside has shifted
into what it wasn’t–

At the same time
you are still where you were–
you still face towards impossibility
in every direction—

And yet your mind is not the same–
a strange memory you cannot name
has cleared a path between
the synapses of despair
and you can breathe again.

Is the light lost?
You leave a candle burning,
place it in the window–
come home

For the earthweal prompt of Seasonal Changes 1: IMBOLC hosted by Sarah.

Last year I wrote a series of poems inspired by M L Smoker’s poem, Mercy, which can be found in the anthology Native Voices, published by Tupelo Press. This poem is a combination of numbers 1 and 2.

Currents

How far, how
long?  Is forgotten
gone?  Today
can stretch out
ahead and behind towards both
retreat and escape.

Form has no
real boundaries—light
shifts, guarding
waves wielded
in ways we misunderstand
and fail to protect.

Things change when
we try to measure
them—they be
come contained,
finite, solid, orderly–
ordinary—fixed.

A shadorma chain for Sue Vincent’s photo prompt, above, and Colleen’s Tanka Tuesday words past and present.

Even changing the orientation of an image reconfigures how you see it.

Additional inspiration courtesy of Marcy Erb and Tom Waits.