Like Breathing

circle sky birdlings s

Black is the color of creation.
The void is beginning.
Emptiness must be filled.
You can’t have something without nothing.

And how does that apply to imaginary beings?
Must there also be a counterpart that’s real?

Must every question have an answer and every answer a question?

Catch the words–
in context they become magic.
Recreate the patterns that create potential,
the map to being born.

A cloud is like breathing.
Breathing is like catching.
Catching is like stopping time.
Stopping time is like an earthquake.
An earthquake is like a heart beating fast.
A heart beating fast is like drumming.
Drumming is like dancing.
Dancing is like a bird.
A bird is like flowers.
Flowers are like a rainbow.
A rainbow is like a song.
A song is like the universe.
The universe is like a wheel.

The void is pregnant.

The journey is alive.

Do we get broken so we can be fixed?

For Sue Vincent’s photo prompt, above, from August 2017. I’ve been missing Sue’s prompts. Sending this one out to her along with wishes for healing, a good night’s sleep, and the taste of a strong cup of coffee.

circle birdlings close up 1s

Also linking to Earthweal Open Link Weekend.

Poem up at The Ekphrastic Review

My poem, “The Healing of Emptiness” is posted on The Ekphrastic Review today, immediately following Jane Dougherty’s luminous “Horse Dreams”, acting almost like a coda to the ruminations of her protagonist’s mind. The inspirational art is Franz Marc’s Tower of Blue Horses. You can read all the selections here.

Picture

My thanks once again to editor Lorette C. Luzajic for supporting my work and the interaction between the visual and written arts.

mercy 4 (after M.L. Smoker)

one morning you wake up and
the reasons for everything
are gone

the sky has already fallen
and the wind changes direction
continuously—the trees
wave wildly as they try
to keep their roots
grounded, hold tight to their
branches and seeds and leaves

the birds have long ago
disappeared into
the expanse of nowhere
that used to be a horizon
not even a line anymore
but bottomed out
down and far beyond away

you appeal to all spirits
any spirit listening
asking for some small
sign that things will return
to a state of understanding

slow down at least and give
you time to adjust—to what?
what is left of any
configuration? will it be
improved by changing
the velocity?

nothing is sensible or even
nonsensical

you yourself appear
only dimly in the mirror–
perhaps even your bones
have taken leave and only
your thoughts remain

invisible
mad
beside themselves
alone

In July and August I wrote a series of poems inspired by M.L. Smoker’s poem “Mercy”. As I’ve been having trouble writing anything new, I decided to revisit them, and I’ve been worrying this one, #4, all week. I’m not exactly sure it fits the Earthweal challenge this week of a haunted wilderness, but it’s in the spirit.

“Everybody’s crying mercy when they don’t know the meaning of the word.”
–Mose Allison

“Mercy” is not available online, but you can read about M.L. Smoker, and read some of her other works, here.

wake up

I needed
herbal tea and drank
peppermint
chamomile
lemon ginger—aromas
filled the afternoon

awakened
this morning my head
pounded with
forgotten
caffeine—I had neglected
to include coffee

I needed
to smell the coffee
pot brewing–
inhale
the cup–cravings satisfied–
snug, reblanketed

I wrote two blanket poems yesterday–one was depressing and the other too enigmatic, to put it kindly. This poem came to me spontaneously this morning as I waited for my caffeine to brew–along with a drawing to help the time pass more quickly.

A quadrille for dVerse, where Merril has given us the word blanket

of fairies and birdlings

it’s easy
to say no—but what
does that word
really mean,
exactly?—“not now”?—“never”?–
“I don’t understand”?—

“I don’t want
to deal with it”?—what
lies between
the letters,
the sounds hard and long?  if you
take away the n

what is left?–
only a surprise,
a sense of
wonder—worlds
filled with possibility–
the magic of ”o!”

photo

The Kick-About prompt this week features a photo of the Cottingley fairies, above, taken by two girls in England in 1917. Looking at the photo from the vantage point of digital manipulation in 2020, it’s easy to laugh at the fact that anyone could have actually believed that they were “real”. And yet…

(and here I find I must make more birdlings)

Are fairies true? Are birdlings?

navigations

superimposed lines–
pick them up, examine
the landscapes beneath,

follow the intersections–
the map of bodyworn years

I chose the theme for Colleen’s #Tanka Tuesday prompt #192, Maps, but did not get a chance to post my response. When I pulled it out to look at it this morning it took awhile to remember my creative process.

I wanted to use a map of NYC and a self-portrait and layer them somehow. I had seen a layered piece of art that used holes cut in the top layer which I liked. The challenge was to make the holes work with the portrait underneath.

As usual, I managed to take off a few years from my face in my drawing, but otherwise I think it’s a pretty good likeness. Our faces contain many maps, but sometimes you have to look closely to see them.

intersections 2

birdlings in space s

The Oracle’s enigmatic message this morning had me looking through my archive of birdlings art. This one fit the bill.

slow she sails like stars,
kissing awake
the broken heart,

healing the holes of decay
that devour time–

fools are born
dancing
with the universe–
surrounded by the rhythm
of dazzled skies

POPO 2020

each day be
side itself with all
fresh waves of
surprise—all
gathered believing in be
longing everywhere

This year I participated in POPO the August POetry POstcard Fest–where the challenge is to send a different postcard with a poem you’ve composed for each day in August, 31 in all. After you register, you receive a list of names in your participant group, and go down the list until you get back to your own.

I decided to do shadormas, as they would fit easily on the back of a postcard, and to connect them through repeating part of the last line of each poem to the first line of the poem for the next day. I made over 40 postcards in anticipation, and sent some to my friends as well as to the people on my list.

everywhere
what we see is what
we don’t know
and more than
enough remains unanswered
to  fill many books

I received 27 cards back. The mail has been unreliable as we all know, so that’s a pretty good percentage. I enjoyed both the giving and the receiving and looked forward each morning to picking out a card and composing a poem. Below is a photo of all the cards that were sent to me. I’ll be posting the ones I sent, along with the poems, from time to time, and at the end I’ll tie them all together in a multiverse shadorma chain.

I highly recommend it! You can already sign up for next year, but you have until next summer if, like me, you wait until the last minute to decide these things.

I’m linking this to dVerse open link night, where Mish is hosting, in the hopes that it will inspire some pub members to participate in 2021.

it’s dark and raining and I can’t see the night sky shining

she said it
and then she repeated it

we already knew
but we had forgotten

and then she sang it
in the voice of sunfire

she sang it blue
through the clarity of sky

she grew it greenwise
inside the trees

and with the wind she
sudden opened hidden wings

shining golden between
floods of cleansing and sorrow

shining silver under
the full stillness of the moon

shining through the dark
with a universe of welcoming

and every word she said
was filled with grace

and every sound that lifted
her voice was mercy

and every feather
was transformation

glittering like stars on
the outline of her embrace

When I saw the dVerse prompt this morning, I could see the hand of the Oracle.  I had just written the above poem the night before.  Although I usually use the magnetic tiles to consult with her, these very vatic words, which certainly did not come from the planning of my conscious mind, had all the elements of her voice.

The image provided not only seemed to mirror my words, but reminded me of some of my art from the archive, rorschach paintings that also come out of the unplanned intersection of paint and surprise.

I wasn’t sure how I would approach posting these words, but here was the opening.  Thanks Jade!

autumn moon (bundled in hope and fear)

The shadows follow my intersections with the moonlight as I move the ground with my feet.  I am not thinking of who I am or where I might be going.

Cocooned in myself I walk alone, yet I remain threaded to the aliveness of what passes me by.  I cross paths and spiral through scattered clouds, patterned in parallel with the shining dark sky.

who
enters this
circle of night?

 

More moon meditations for Frank Tassone’s haibun prompt at dVerse.