spirits of place

infused with
what?  forms shimmering,
unfocused,
almost not
there—breaking into bits of
color, sprinkled light–

watching the
air, you can’t quite be
lieve, place, what
you thought you
saw, significant portions
of which have faded

into blurred
memories that have
discarded
their presence–
the lost and found of the mind,
a vast space without

an index–
tangled up with myth,
stray remnants
dismissed as
merely imagination–
how do we discern

what is true?
maybe what is real
is really
made up—all
wrapped together in spirits
that are beyond sense

Brendan at earthweal discussed land-spirits and asked us to write about a local spirit. My locale has been NYC for 50 years, but within the city it has been constantly on the move. I thought first of birds and trees, which made me think of my own trees that move with me from place to place. My lemon trees are nearly 30 years old, grown from seeds planted by my older daughter as a young child. I also have a corn plant tree, rescued from the basement discard room in an apartment building I lived in briefly about 15 years ago.

tree sprit face tree 3s

I carry their spirits with me, but I have also given them form from time to time. Like the plants, they provide companionship and continuity, a living connection to reciprocal relationships that exist without needing any specific place or time.

tree sprit face tree s

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.

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?

equinox

summer s

gather well
in preparation
for winter

give good thanks
harvest the sharing
nature’s gifts

day then night
opposite equal
complete whole

wheel turning
the waning of light
enfolding

birdling center s

I’ve borrowed this birdlings collage from the archives to illustrate Frank Tassone’s #Haikai Challenge this week, autumn/spring equinox.

seasons lg s

I haven’t seen the birdlings since my previous move–they may be in storage.  But they are always here in spirit.

Room to Fly

perhaps hand s

Imagine a window
in a wall that is constructed
of fear and superstition

Imagine an open window–
it does not exist because
no one has built a wall for it

Imagine flowers–
bloomings that subsist only
in the invisible world of the window

Imagine wings
growing in the unseen air,
releasing the imprisoned breath

Imagine a window,
a portal to what isn’t there–
a borderless unceilinged sky

birdlings close up 4s

Laura at dVerse asks us to make some room.  And Sherry at earthweal asks us to consider all that is wrong with the world and how we can make things right.  As John Lennon knew, our ability to change is often just a failure of our imagination.

I thought the birdlings were appropriate to these words.  And the window is an old collage based on the work of Miriam Schapiro, who knew a thing or two about both portals and collage.

Poem up at The Ekphrastic Review

hallowed be s

My poem “Hallowed Be” is among the responses to Goya’s “El Conjuro” posted today at The Ekphrastic Review.

hallowed be top s

As it’s Draw a Bird Day, I’ve enlisted the newly returned birdlings for my collage response (along with some actual birds and the moon).

hallowed be bottom s

You can see Goya’s painting and read my poem, and all the other responses, here.  My thanks to editor Lorette Luzajic for once again including my work in this bi-weekly challenge

what is lost

searching s

searching magnetic scan s

The birdlings have been lost since my last move.  I didn’t make the connection between the Oracle’s message and finding them yesterday until I started thinking about art to accompany it.

birdling 3s

Reason and bearings are still lost

birdling 2s

but my family and friends are always there

what is lost

tell me to believe
the promise of wings
threaded between star and sky

the language of voices
belonging together

we receive each other as gifts
remembering the dreams
that fill rivers with shared songs

birdling 1s

 

opening the sky

steal away comp 2

opening the sky magnetic s

The Oracle gave me birds today.  I’ve resurrected the birdlings to accompany the words.  I don’t know where the real birdlings are in my disorganized office, but I have photos of their past adventures.  I used this for one of Jane Daugherty’s Yeats prompts a couple years ago.

steal away 4s

The blue jays have been drowning everyone out all summer on my street, but recently a crow has been trading barbs with them.

steal away 3s

crow and blue jay
ferociously awake morning–
linger like steel dazzled glass
devouring air

 remember who you are–
a fool for wild voices,
born naked
sailing a secret ocean
of star fever dancing

Keeping the Secret Keeper, whose words I used for Jane’s prompt, in my thoughts too.

steal away 2s