Why must we always quantify? 4, 3, 10. Add, subtract, multiply. Divide.
My prose poem, Aggregated, based on a painting by Hilma af Klint, was among those selected as a finalist in The Ekphrastic Review Women Artists contest. You can read the entire poem and see all the finalists here. The three winning selections are here.
“Ecosystems are so similar to human societies—they’re built on relationships. The stronger they are, the more resilient the system.”—Suzanne Simard, Finding the Mother Tree
we keep dividing designating a hierarchy to pull what we share apart
and so each of us is missing parts each of us is incomplete
why do we cling to our separation our isolation who we think we are alone?
the foundation is faltering and still we hold on
collapsing into the deep hole of ourselves
During a presentation Suzanne Simard made, early in her career, about her research into the interrelationships between trees and other species in the forest, and how all were necessary in order for the forest to thrive, she mentioned also the threat to climate from disrupting these systems. “Climate change means nothing in Canada” one of the audience said afterwards.
The Oracle got a makeover from MagneticPoetry.com. It’s going to take getting used to. I used the new “happiness” category. I can use some, after reading the news this morning.
When I saw the Oracle’s message, I immediately thought of Sun Ra, an artist of living, not just music, that my older brother introduced me to when we were teenagers. “Space is the Place” was a title he used for many different pieces of art.
I had titled these birdling collages from my archives “birdlings in space”. The birdlings make me happy no matter where they are.
where is wonder? make time for space alive with possibility– between comes whispering– soon surprise will follow
these names that have lost their origins names that have lost their sounds that have lost their meanings lost meanings without references without words words that once rolled off the tongue rolled off the tongue immense with meaning with meaning now lost now untranslatable immense and untranslatable these names without meaning
these names belonging nowhere belonging nowhere to no one to no one at all invisible undernourished undernourished and withered into invisibility without a way a way to put sounds together sounds that together form words words that become names these names that are lost
these names without scripts without scripts or context without the context of language a language of mirrors mirrors now empty mirrors that yield no answers answers to questions questions without context how and what and where and why are they lost and where did they go who knows the names the names the names the names that have lost their meaning
falls apart becomes its opposite expanding into stories
becomes its opposite days into nights into stories the sun intersecting the moon
days into nights future and past the sun intersecting the moon enlarging the horizon
future and past the surprise of delight enlarging the horizon to leave is to arrive
the surprise of delight mind to eyes to leave is to arrive everywhere
The Kick-About prompt this time was a painting by Brian Rutenberg, Low Dense, above. The colors immediately made me think of Monet, which made me think of the grids I did based on Monet’s work. And so I decided to do a grid.
This is a very intense way to look at art, and I learned a lot from it as I not only did some of Monet’s paintings, but an entire book of other artists for The Sketchbook Project. The subtleties of color are amazing when you look closely at them. Rutenberg clearly has an eye for color.
And my second pantoum for the week. Abstract, like the art.
You can see my work with Monet here and here. And my Sketchbook Project book, Art I Like, here.
finding myself I open the cages I travel on paths where I once was we
I open the cages calm and unafraid where I once was we everything begins again
calm and unafraid as intersected species everything begins again inside and out
as intersected species abiding in before and after inside and out following life’s tides
abiding in before and after I travel on paths following life’s tides finding myself
Sherry posted at earthweal this week about Jane Goodall and how her work with chimpanzees led her to start “Roots and Shoots, her program, now 30 years old, that inspires young people to plant trees and care for the areas in which they live”.
I knew I had posted before about chimpanzees as part of my endangered species series on methodtwomadness. When I went back and looked, I found that I had also talked then about Jane Goodall and her work.
Chimpanzees are our closest genetic relative. Of course we still have plenty of work to do learning to treat other humans with respect. We can start by opening the cage doors.
Full was the first word that jumped out at me from the Oracle, but in the end it didn’t fit into what she wanted me to say. But it works as a title I think.
When I’m looking for images to illustrate a poem I search through old posts. I found some of these photos when I searched for trees in memadtwo, from a trip I made to visit my brother and his wife when they were living in Asheville, NC. Like me, he’s moved a lot–after 15 years and 3 cities in North Carolina, they are on their way back to Ohio again. So I probably won’t get back to Asheville.
But the photos and my memories of the landscape fit with the mood of the Oracle.s words today.
when moonspirit walks between nightshading
listen like stones in the riverpath
follow deep rootblankets through dark earth
resting at dawn quiet beneath birdtendriled ancient trees
It seems like every day I read a new article about the need for a sabbatical from technology and the fast pace of the world. Those slow pandemic days are fading fast.
Some people talk about a secular Sabbath, some want to revive the religious one. Some people propose not only ditching technology for 24 hours each week, but creating new shared rituals and places for community during those times. Some talk about just taking a day to go and sit with the trees, to experience the world at their pace. I wonder how many of us could actually slow down and withdraw from our devices enough to actually spend a day that way.
And all of these ideas are a hard sell in a capitalist world.
the water reflects the world through the trees dappled sky moving over rocks and feet planted like hushed reeds waiting to sing the songs of quiet movement and transforming light
This drawing is part of my attempt to try different things in my art journal. Many artists write on their pages as well as draw. The image is based on an advertisement photo–I removed the models and the product (I can’t remember now what it was) and wrote spontaneously about the landscape. Whatever they were selling, I wasn’t buying. But I always notice trees.