the great beyond

I consulted the Oracle this morning while thinking about Colleen’s #TankaTuesday theme chosen by Merril, immortality. I was surprised when I went to post it how it follows the Oracle’s message from last week–beyond to the great beyond. Although I am consumed, one might even say overwhelmed, by my moving tasks, as long as my computer is still assembled I will continue speaking with the Oracle on Saturdays.

black as death
we say—but what lies
whispering
like wind like
skyshadow singing through blue
lightdreams and still seas?

remember
the rhythm dancing
dazzled with
starsisters–
embrace the open window–
vast secrets flying

beyond

KL Caley is continuing Sue Vincent’s #writephoto, beginning with Sue’s original photo, below. I came to Sue’s photo prompts later, so this is my first response to the image. It being Saturday, after I painted my watercolors, I asked the Oracle to help with my poem. We know she has Sue on her mind, as all of us who have been touched by her do.

come through
this between wind
shaded in green light

breathe deep the spirit earth
beneath stonesongs
of pure listening

ask to follow rootpaths
as they seed birdgardens

rest full and true

feel the ancient how
of to be

Thirteen Ways (after Wallace Stevens and Joni Mitchell)

crow #2s

1
Did you know?  Was it you
who sent Crow?  Black wings
swallowed by the sky

2
I had time and seasons
rising to meet me
like trembling in my bones,

3
like Icarus ascending
on beautiful foolish arms
.

There's a crow flying # if I flew

4
Crow and I
are not one–
but we are together in this
cosmos, on this earth.

5
I do not know myself
and yet I know of the intersections
of that unknown self
with the call to attention
that is Crow.

apolcalyptic crow 2s

6
My mind is busy
with trivial things.
The shadow of a cry
spills everything out
empty
waiting for the return
of listening, watching.

7
O ragged soul
why do you take flight?
Do you not see the trees?
They are returning from the dead
again and again.

8
I know many words
and the images that accompany them.
But I know too
that Crow lives deeper and wider
than what I know.

crow tree close up s

9
Diving diving diving diving.
There is no bottom no top
no inside or out.

10
At the sight of Crow
resounding the light
the layers reveal
their chorded songs.

spiral crows 2s

11
I walk these streets
in oblivion,
trying to escape
the fear of the known
by making up stories
that rearrange my life.

12
I hear my fate turn turn turn
how many crows?

13 blackbirds s

13
Always standing in the doorway
like Janus—neither and both–
cursed and charmed
Crow laughs—he knows
I have a dream to fly.

crow #1s

Brendan at earthweal asks us this week to think about the nature of poetry. I first encountered Wallace Stevens and “Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird” in high school and it remains my poetic touchpoint more than 50 years later. But equally important to my connection with poetry was music–first, traditional folk music, and then the whole crop of singer-songwriters that emerged from the folk revival. I love Joni Mitchell’s “Blue”, but “Hejira” has always resonated with me most of all. The form of this poem is based on Stevens, but the spirit and italicized words are taken from Joni and from my own encounters with Crow, a master shaman.

I have not been posting much, and will probably be mostly absent for the next month or 6 weeks–I’m moving (again). But this is good news! I will have a dedicated work space once again, and a real kitchen. I knew the last 2 moves were temporary, but I thought both moves before that would be the last one–so I’m making no predictions. But I’m planning to be there for awhile.

currents 2

Another elemental message from the Oracle. When I was looking for art to accompany it, I came across Sue Vincent’s photo prompt, below, and the paintings I did in response. A perfect match. Sue’s photos always have their own elemental messages, but this one seemed to have been taken just for the Oracle’s words.

how does path
wander through spirit

ask deep earth

follow spring
grow with ancient wild

riverroots

walk between
windsong and forest

full    green    light

You can see the original post, also a message from the Oracle, here.

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.