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.

 

Summer Meadow

summer meadow close up s

visions of windsong–
waves play currents of magic
painting textured light

Inspired by the photos of Phil Gomm, I tried to recreate one of his beautiful fields.  I will need to explore this further, and of course, as always, I think it needs some stitching.  (I’ll add that in my spare time…)

summer meadow s

For Trank Tassone’s #haikai challenge #148 summer meadow.

It’s so unbearably hot here, it’s hard to find much motivation.  Con Ed keeps calling to warn me the power might go off due to everyone overloading the grid by using their air conditioners.  (I have open windows and 3 fans.)  They are promising us a break on Friday.

borderlands

borderlands 1s

time
distills
into the
slow motion of
half-forgotten hours–
astral sunsets emerge
inside the dense dazzled air–
waiting to join the fading light
that veils the edge between earth and sky

A nonet for Sue Vincent’s photo prompt, above, and Colleen’s #tanka Tuesday, with synonyms for blessed and hex, provided by Anita Dawes.

borderlands 2s

I did two  rorschach paintings which turned out slightly different.

wings 2s

But somehow I always end up with wings.

wings 1s

 

Graveyards

painted skull comp

Where do we bury the words
we didn’t say, our silent
protests—do they die
with our bodies, encased
in the skull, still afraid to move
the hand, the jaw bone?

Regret is relentless–
thoughts become blurred,
bordering madness and crossing
into the places where nothing
connects, nothing fits,
everything rests only in disease.

We try to hard to reverse
time, spinning wheels
in a landscape of quicksand–
in a landscape of chasms
that open like cut veins
spilling every trace of life.

The sky has already fallen,
abandoned even by
the phantoms of what was left
undone—this place is beyond
haunting–subtract everything
you thought you knew.

Add it to the ending.

painted skull don't look comp

Some old paintings and a new poem for earthweal’s weekly challenge, shifting baselines.

A Field Guide to Getting Lost

sue labyrinth s

After “The Owl” by Arthur Sze

I believed I was lost.
Night was on its way–
the path was purple in the dust
and seemed to have ended.
I had arrived here
without a destination.
I longed for sanctuary,
a resting place.

I saw an owl, perched,
watching me.
I spread my arms,
willing wings to appear
so I too could shelter
on a branch.

But I remained earthbound,
weary and alone.
And when the owl stirred,
a fine dust formed patterns
in the disappearing light.
It was as if a portal had opened.

Constellations
fell from its wings.  I was
surrounded by the cosmos,
spiraled into a glowing darkness
and deposited in a held breath.
All was silent then.  And I felt
safe, like the arms of the universe
held me in a vast sacred space.

Nothing stirred forever–then I sensed
the owl quaver.  And at dawn, waking,
I saw with clarity the world
becoming new, transforming
into a landscape that never existed
before now.  The path was green
and meandered back into itself.

I could not see where
I was going but it felt
familiar, like I had circled
with the seasons, following
the path of the planets dancing
with the sun and moon.

We emerged
reborn
into the
May light.

I’m bringing together a lot of different trains of thought here, so bear with me.

in the middle of now june 2016 grid s

The Kick-About challenge #6 is Rebecca Solnit’s A Field Guide to Getting Lost.  Though I have not read that particular Solnit book,  I have read at least one essay she has written about labyrinths (“Journey to the Center” from The Encyclopedia of Trouble and Spaciousness), and that’s the first thing that came to mind.

A labyrinth is not a maze–there is only one path in and one path out.  Labyrinths have been found in cultures all over the world, and are often used as forms of ritual or pilgrimage–a way to return to the source, to lose yourself in something larger and as a result find yourself again.

Sue Vincent’s photo prompt, above, gave me that feeling too–could not those paths be circuits on a labyrinth, doubling back to the beginning of the journey?

mapping the wind s

Labyrinths have been linked to circles, spirals, and mandalas–all patterns of sacred geometry.  They have been compared to a map of the brain.

Solnit:  “Getting lost was not a matter of geography so much as identity, a passionate desire, even an urgent need, to become no one and anyone, to shake off the shackles that remind you who you are, who others think you are.”

map labyrinth s

 

When you walk a labyrinth you are walking the same path to and from the center, yet the journey in and out are not at all the same.  The seven circuit labyrinth is often layered with rainbows, mirroring the 7 chakras, the 7 notes of the musical scale, the 7 sacred planets, the 7 days of the week. The journey creates a bridge from earth to the cosmos and back again. In a symbolic death, you return to the womb, shedding the things you have acquired but no longer need.  Rebirthing back to the entrance/exit you open yourself to finding new patterns, new ways of being in the world.

chakra painted labyrinth s

Lost can mean adrift, forgotten, missing, but also captivated or consumed.  Lost can be hopeless or bewildered but it can also be rapt, immersed.

Solnit: “…to be lost is to be fully present, and to be fully present is to be capable of being in uncertainty and mystery.”

owl moon s

This poem is another instance where I spread out the lines of someone else’s poem and filled in the empty spaces with my own thoughts.  You can read Arthur Sze’s original poem here.

 

Who drinks your tears, who has your wings, who hears your story?
Rebecca Solnit, “The Faraway Nearby”

go make people s

 

reversal

reversal 3s

to recur,
move further away–
becoming
mote covered
constellated skies, stories
embroidered in blue

darkness fades
into emergence–
the tides of
return shaped
by manifestations of
ghost ships left unsailed

indigo
currents bridged between
symbol and
spirit—each
helix twisted round itself–
doubled, multiplied

reversal 2s

For dVerse, a blue quadrille, hosted by Kim.  The art is composed of two different painting experiments that accidentally fell on top of each other–I photographed them in a bunch of different ways, and added the blue with Photoshop.

reversal 1s