harbinger

I had a long and complicated dream about Sue Vincent last night. I’m still trying to disentangle and figure it out. But the Oracle always knows what’s on my mind. After I visited Her, I looked for some art I had done for one of Sue’s prompts to accompany it. I knew immediately this was the one to use.

above
the rain do dreams
swim on light?  is that how
moon music recalls the language
of sea shadows
singing?

the blue of
darkness is
a blank canvas

from translucent music
comes
the shadow
of hope

moonbird rising
toward
the center of deep
light

night, owl, moon

observe the owl,
illuminated with shivering shadows
cast between branches
by the moon—

is it a sign,
an initiation?
or simply a reflection
of the enormous mystery
of a journey
whose path can never be
foretold?

When I saw Jane’s Random Word Generator list this week, the first word that jumped out at me was owl, which of course reminded me of my moon and owl painting that seems to go so well with so many poems. I was thinking about it when David published the W3 prompt for this week, which invited us to respond to Denise DeVries’ poem “Generation Gap” using a computer aid, such as a Random Word Generator.

In Denise’s poem, she and her granddaughter look up in wonder at the night sky.

The words I used from Jane’s list were: observe, owl, illume (illuminated), shivering, cast, sign, initiate (initiation), reflect (reflection), enormous, foretell (foretold).

Denise wonders if using a Random Word Generator would be cheating. But words are just words, no matter the source–why would it be cheating to take any word from anywhere as inspiration for a poem? It’s the poet who must make them sing.

Haibun for a Reluctant Spring

The day is grey and I am swept along its ways.  Dense, impenetrable, uncertain.

And yet here is the sparrow tree.  It sings out in tangled branches of song, in a chaotic chorus with no melody but infinite cheer.

The path continues with a chill bleakness.  Robins and starlings bathe in puddles of mud.  A sudden startle of dog and wings open, rise.

The wind is relentless.  I regret dressing as if it were spring, as if winter had actually said its final farewell and relinquished its place on the wheel.  My hands dig deeper into my pockets.

Despite the lack of sun, grackles sparkle in the grass.  They watch me—curious?  wary?  amused?—as I stop to take them in.

I have a destination so I turn and travel east.  Blue jays echo my movements in a stop-and-start carousel of cries.  The moist air clings to my face.

emptying my thoughts
to make leeway for feathers–
invisible, light

Frank at dVerse asked for a haibun including the birdsongs of spring. A perfect time to bring out the birdlings.

Also linking to earthweal, where Brendan asks us to consider what serves as a commons for where we live. I would argue that every street in NYC is a commons, but the parks, especially, serve as a place where human and non-human intersect. My haibun is based on several recent walks through Central Park. Birds are everywhere (even in winter). But of course more of them and louder in spring.

anomalies

phantasma
goria exposed
by shadows
dissolving
into borrowed wings eclipsed
by casting out light

11 surrealist women artists take centre stage for the ...

I’m behind a few weeks on posting my contributions to the Kick-About, but this is the most recent, a collage inspired by Sheila Legge’s Phantom of Surrealism, above. Masked in roses, she was photographed in a white dress and gloves, surrounded by pigeons in Trafalgar Square, a performance inspired by a painting by Dali.

Woman with a Head of Roses, 1935. By Salvador Dalí ...

I was drawn to the statuesque quality of the photo, particularly given the location, and I can never resist using birds in a collage.

And of course we all don our own masks–some are just more obvious than others.

just like that/either way

more
and more
crow-
ded in-
to less and
less—un-
fold-
ed and
folded a-
gain each new day–
do I need
to know
who
I am?
words scatter
like air–
gone,
disa-
ppeared

David at the skeptic’s kaddish introduced me to the waltz wave, an poetry form that asks you to separate the syllables for some of your words. I like to do this, especially in shadorma.

I found it to be a challenge, especially to find the right subject matter for this kind of verse. In the end I wrote two, both of which seemed to go well with an old collage I had done which was based on a painting by Redon.

do
dreams fly
or
tunnel?
flow or stun?
spiral
to
the cen-
ter or spin
out to the far-
thest away?
will they
em-
brace or
turn around?
para-
llel
or de-
part?

For Colleen’s #Tanka Tuesday, poet’s choice.

Also linking to dVerse OLN, hosted by Mish.

shadowsong

that song that your words called
into my mind, that song is like
a lost world, just images
in fragments, suspended like
a raincloud without rain,
a weight that refuses
 to dissipate–I can almost
feel the memory but it won’t
land, it keeps circling
through the things that aren’t
quite there–like a bird
call I can’t locate, disembodied
wings hovering invisible
inside my head

I realized immediately that I had seen Lotte Reiniger’s work before when I clicked on the link from the Kick-About prompt. It did not surprise me to hear her say, “I could cut out silhouettes almost as soon as I could manage to hold a pair of scissors.” Her work is, yes, “astonishing”.

Fairytale silhouettes by Lotte Reiniger - Beauty will save ...

Me? I never had that dexterity, not even when young. I also don’t work in film, which was Reiniger’s medium. So how to respond to this prompt?

I was going to work with simple bird silhouettes, but was unhappy with the ones I made myself. Once again, I had constructed a 3-D collage environment with cardboard pieces inside a paper bag. I decided to use photos of bird silhouettes, and hang them from strings at the top so they would move.

I used circles to enclose the bird forms so I could put different photos on each side–the images would change when the dangling circles turned.

Using the ceiling fan to create more movement, I began to take photos.

You can read more about Lotte Reiniger here, and see her extensive filmography here,

path of souls

I just learned last night of the death in November of Sharon Mann, a wonderful artist and bright spirit, who was diagnosed with brain cancer in 2019.

You can find her magical art and words here.

black dreams beat away sleep
with raw beauty beyond recall

what language uses shadows

to whisper why to ask
the moonlight to show who

sings the lost wind soaring
through the still blue time
of aftering