It took me awhile to get started with the Oracle this morning, but once I got the first couplet, the rest wrote itself.

I also consulted with the Oracle to answer Suzette’s W3 prompt for a haiku on the theme of a way to relax or unwind. The Oracle, as usual, has good advice.

who knows where now
has hidden its secrets?

the seeds root deep beneath
a wandering path of song

you must listen
to the rustle of stone

be forest whispered–
dream in sky music, soaring
on seawind moonships


Open the word list; allow the words to
roll around in your mind for awhile.  Pay
attention to the ones that jump out, that
correspond to intuition.  Observe;
listen; rearrange.  Coherence can be
encouraged, but best to follow Her lead.

Colleen asked us to write a syllabic acrostic for Tanka Tuesday from a list which included the word oracle. I have regular conversations with several of Her manifestations. And as Kate recently asked me to clarify what to do with the Random Word Generator (aka Oracle 2) that I post on Sundays, I decided to use my acrostic to give some general instructions. But really there are no rules.

The top collage uses the Collage Box Oracle, which is just a box of words I’ve cut out of various places that I pull out and arrange in a similar fashion to the Magnetic Poetry Oracle (seen in the second collage and here on Saturdays). For my acrostic I’ve used words from this week’s Random Word Generator as inspiration.

Our surroundings are always singing to us–all we need to do sometimes is be still and take the time to listen.

what do we really know?
the emptiness of space
the rhythm of light


Twice each year the absence digs a deeper hole.  The day of your birth.  The day of your death.  What I should have said.  What I should have done, but did not.

But time has other sides.  Ends also have beginnings, middles.  I remember seasons that soared so high they grew wings.  And what remains from the center still holds my hand.

downy woodpecker
on the tree trunk beside me–
spirals, holding on

For dVerse, where Frank has given us the subject of memory.

the apparatus of death

Another stark message from the Oracle. But she also reminds us that even from inside what seems sometimes like endless darkness we can work for change.

with what shadow whisper
could the goddess soar
the skyship through this sea
of raw blood tongues
that scream only in the language
of me?

it is never too late
to ask why
after must be like before

sing as if you were one with moontime–
shining light into these black waters
of stilled life of a thousand unmet needs

“Beware of greedy leaders…they take you where you should not go.”

sun moon hand eye circle snake

we grow wings, awaiting the return of the sun
as branches and leaves dance patterns over the moon–
invisible roots weave themselves through our hands
and become imprinted inside our eyes–
alert to the gaps in the circle,
we lie still, glittering like coiled snakes

We shed our skins, discarding them like snakes
and bask in glittered nakedness beneath the sun.
We turn our insides out, become the circle–
shapeshifting, orbed, a secret following the moon
through the thousand doors of the cosmic eye,
the lines on the palm of the soothsayer’s hand.

We stand just out of reach, beyond time’s hand
among the whispers in the wake of the snake.
The sky trembles as we gather into the Devil’s Eye
and rearrange the seasons by summoning the sun,
dropping it into darkness.  Who can contain the moon?
The hares alone see everything, like the circle.

Exposed and whirling us in surprise, the circle
weaves a web of lines into every hand,
a talisman of light reflecting the moon.
It collects our beginnings and endings.  The snake
trades paths with the absent elsewhere of the sun,
a geography that exists beyond the all-seeing eye.

Our spirits walk on the edge of the hare’s eye
as hidden crows echo across the circle
trying to catch the light, steal the fire from the sun.
The landscape breaks apart, a wheel without a hand,
consumed by the changing riddles of the snake,
retrieving its magic by chanting the songs of the moon.

Our hares are like ships that sail the moon,
shining in the mirror of the third eye.
We feast on desire like the dreamsnake,
bending layers of souls into a spiraled circle.
Crow approaches and takes each open hand,
extending its wings to carry us far away from the sun.

Reawakening the moon, we reverse the circle,
crossing the hare’s eye with the left hand.
The snake casts its ancient shadow through the sun.

Lisa and David both posted sestinas yesterday, which reminded me I had never posted this one, which I began with one stanza for the Kick About prompt that highlighted the quilts of Harriet Powers. I later revised and completed it to submit to The Ekphrastic Review as a response to the wonderful print by Jane Burn, above.

For the Kick About, I made felt appliqued circles, similar to those found in penny rugs, taking the motifs from the quilts. I didn’t have a large enough piece of fabric to sew them on, so I photographed them on black paper, white paper, and the wood floor. I’m still undecided as to which background would be best, so the circles are still in a bin waiting to be put together.

There were birds in Powers’ quilts too. I didn’t put them in my felt circles, but I didn’t forget them either.


in new translations
love blooms—unclouded, bewinged–
hearts embedded, twined

Colleen’s Tanka Tuesday Ekphrastic Challenge was the above painting by Ferdinand Georg Waldmüller. Colleen pointed out that it was unlikely the woman in the painting would have been using a cellphone in 1860, the date of this artwork (although that’s what it looks like), and asked us to consider that when we wrote our poem.

The Oracle is Abstruse

she says that they are secrets, each to the other

Not only was the Oracle exceptionally cryptic this morning, I was uncertain how to punctuate her message.

how is never?        how is never
like a star,               like a star?
its life is finite

no she said
that cannot be

but who is this voice?     but who is this voice
and why?                          and why
are the words broken?

I wait this one out

as if the night
could bring me
its open secrets

The birdlings are always welcome, day or night.

As Echoes

My nights are glimmers, like the stars
I almost see behind the haze
of misted air—reflected dark–
a shadow of what?  I cannot say

for certain what bewitched my mind
and held it captive in the sky
outside my window—its edges shine
like invisible wings that silent, fly

between the fragments of absent dreams,
beyond the capacity of words–
I sail on sheet-tossed restless seas
awaiting dawn–the songs of birds

Laura at dVerse asked us to write an alternate rhyme poem–3 stanzas of 4 lines each–borrowing alternate rhyme pairs from a published poem and using them in the order in which they appeared in the original poem. A cursory look provided no inspiration from other poets, so I looked at the sonnets I had written and found three that were appropriately rhymed.

I chose the first 12 lines from my sonnet “Purple Dreams”–itself inspired by the song lyrics of Prince–because how could I resist a final word list that began with stars and ended in birds?

that which is not

night has no dimension, open
to every wandering
walls dissolve between now and then–
time sails a yondering


is it possible to exit
when there’s nowhere to go?–
narratives engulf you, cosmic
tides that whisper: hello–
join us

The NaPoWriMo prompt today was to “pick a poem you drafted earlier in the month and write a poem that contradicts or troubles it”. I chose “Who Is”, here

The collages above were first published in The Time Issue of the journal Feral last April.

Day 30. I made it.