holiday

i have a dream s

The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.
–Martin Luther King, Jr.

You would think if you shared a birthday with someone whose date of birth merits a national holiday, people would remember.  But the actual date of my own birth is still a constant confusion to many of my family and friends. (I know it’s in January…what day again?)

Maybe it’s the moving of all holidays in the U.S. to Mondays, so everyone can enjoy a long weekend.  No need to acknowledge why their employer or school is giving them a day off—the real reason for holidays is to have 3 days off in a row with no work, right?

mid-January–
voice of crow under grey skies–
how to fill the hole

mlk-2017-s

Kim at dVerse prompted us to talk about our birthday.

seasoned

seasoned s

Do we bless the worn, the weary,
the visible scars?

or do we replace what remains
and begin again, forget?

What do we owe the elements
that lack breath?

They too hold spirits–
remembering, keeping watch—

sentinals of imperfect journeys–
the everything of alive

For Sue Vincent’s photo prompt, above.

seasoned close up2s

Because of all the energy usage due to the heat, Con Ed has been threatening power outages for weeks.  Now it’s the tropical storm/hurricane.  I haven’t had power problems except for intermittent internet.  So if I’m not around much, that’s why.

whalesong

blue whale s

whalesong magnetic s

When I saw what the Oracle had given me today, I went looking for an old post I had done on blue whales.  What I wrote six years ago is only more true today.

The blue whale is the world’s largest and heaviest existing animal. Hunted almost to extinction by whalers in the 19th century, it is currently endangered, like many other species, by habitat loss due to pollution and climate change. Toxic chemicals and the warming of the ocean disrupt migration and food sources, sonar disrupts whale communication, and whales also collide with ships and become entangled in fishing gear.

Humans have not been kind to whales.

blue whale eye s

A good, if depressing, compilation of whale and human history can be found in Philip Hoare’s book “The Whale”.  My review on goodreads is here:  https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/118181104

http://www.whale.org/
http://www.savethewhales.org/

Also linking to earthweal open link weekend.

ancient blue
spirtsong follows
deep moonpath

listen as
secrets breathe between
waterlight

August 2020: under the weather

ennui no levels a

The day was packing heat,
hanging it like a curtain
between me and the world–
dampening all sound,
clogging the airways,
slowing synapses down.

The open windows
provided no threshold
of relief–no wind
came knocking.

You can neither forecast
nor change
the way the currents
move you, or strand you
unmoved, trapped
in a density that refuses
to vacate.

Some days have wings–
but most rely on gravity
to anchor them–
to keep them
safe from the whims
of Gods.

The Kick-About #7 Challenge is Walter Richard Sickert’s painting, Ennui, above. Ennui is most closely associated with boredom, but it is heavy with an attitude that it seems to me is mostly posturing.  It’s a self-indulgence of the privileged who needn’t even be bothered with the daily tasks of life like cooking or washing clothes, or even gardening, as they have servants to deal with such mundane things.

Boredom infers monotony which does reflect the world many of us inhabit right now–the endless days and hours that we can’t keep track of anymore.  But it’s not really boredom.  I have no problem filling my days, though I can’t always point to what exactly it is I’ve filled them with.  But I find it hard to focus, to find motivation, and I’m often anxious and uneasy and feel unsettled and displaced.  The relentless heat is no help.

That’s what I tried to capture in my August grid and poem.  The pandemic world of now seems to box you in, surround you with a sameness of grey.

ennui close up s

The eye in my grid is a serendipitous borrowing from Marcy Erb.

the chorus of everywhere

tree 2

“Trees are sanctuaries. Whoever knows how to speak to them, whoever knows how to listen to them, can learn the truth.”
Hermann Hesse

stop making
maps—destinations
are without
meaning—this
journey does not follow roads
to faraway lands

look around
at the familiar
landscape—light,
water, stone,
the patterns of trees joining
wings to earth and sky

listen to
the stillness of no
time—listen–
suspend all
expectations—what you need
is already here

tree 2 close up s

For Colleen’s #Tanka Tuesday, a shadorma chain inspired by a quote from Hermann Hesse, selected by Sue Vincent.

tree 1s

the ancient shores of galaxies still call

printed geese 1s

I stand facing the ocean
tides of wing and air–
time fades into mystery,
emptied of illusions

sea sketch 2s

tides of wing and air
held in light–
emptied of illusions
I swim in dream languages

forms die s

held in light
horizon merges into skylandsea–
I swim in dream languages,
wordless songs that awaken stories

elaborate music s

 

horizon merges into skylandsea
consumed by rivers of stars–
wordless songs that awaken stories
mirrored in ethereal blue

ocean pencil drawing s

consumed by rivers of stars
time fades into mystery–
mirrored in ethereal blue
I stand facing the ocean

blue 2s

For earthweal, sacred (sea)scapes.  How many poems have I written about the sea?  As many as I have about birds and stars and moons.  This unrhymed pantoum contains lines from many of them.  The artwork is from my many previous ocean-themed posts as well.

The Local Crow (revised)

crow 3s

Crow calls to me from above–
“Crowman are you stalking me?”
There he is—on that roof.

Call to attention–
the question
harsh, always interrupting

the pause between the lines.
“Do you want me to look up?”
He extends the invitation again and again.

“I’m telling stories,”
shape-shifting in the interlude–
“remaking the recent past.”

how to release and how to begin–
but that part’s invisible,
stark with intention.

“…or do you hear it?”
unseen voices echo across the gap,
“and are you laughing at me?”

an interior bathed in blue–
“OK—I’m leaving that world—”
memories circle round and round–

“I’m here now, present.”
thoughts hang in the air–
“I’m unfolding those regrets.”

Crow flies over my shadow.
“Are you happy now?”
the clash of silence, unbound

crow 1s

Crow has been following me around for about 15 years now.  I notice birds all the time, but I don’t always know what they are saying to me.  I have a tendency to space out, especially when walking.  Crow’s message has always been clear:  get outside yourself, pay attention.

crow 4s

A message that’s more important than ever.  For Earthweal, messages from the wild, hosted by Sherry, a revision of one of my many poems about Crow.

around repeatedly

around repeatedly s

Wherein lies the origin of mystery?
Does any story have an ending
and can any name the place
where all stories begin?

All stories are branches
of The One Story, a circle
retreating and returning
reversing and rewinding
retracing and redirecting
repeating and renewing.
Each sentence orbits and spirals
inside and out again.

Where is the place between
before and after?  Is there
even a way to find
the location of no before?

around close up s

I spiraled off a bit myself from the dVerse prompt from Merril, revolution.  Blame it on the heat.