Creation Story

Let there be lines, he said.  Let there be vectors, plots and graphs.  He skipped pebbles over the pool of his mind as he devised a plan made up completely of endings.

Let there be angles troubled by twists and turns.  Let forward and backward be arbitrary, just a dubious arrangement of flotsam and blitz.  Let there be clues and traces, but no solution.

Let shapes enter forms that echo shadows cast by ladders to nowhere.  Let uncertaintly be vexed by avoidance and puzzled by what arrives after.  Let eons come before next.

Let all the signs hint at comprehension while remaining unspelled.  Not either/or but henceforth.  And inasmuch as.

clueless
this world
without a prayer

Brendan at earthweal has asked us to describe the unsayable nature of the pandemic we are still fighting our way through.

new world

The Oracle, as usual, resists my attempts to ramble on. I read a Zen saying somewhere to the effect that we’re so busy looking at the teapot that we forget to drink the tea. I think she has a similar idea in mind.

I’ve been working on this collage for awhile. It’s inspired by Redon.

don’t live in symbols–
grow mystery with earthlife
riding waves of sky

Also linking to earthweal Open Link Weekend.

Already Dead

We have written our words all
over the land, constructed cages
to contain what we can’t
control.  We have put a price
on all the things that can’t
be bought or sold, raised
our voices until we are all
deaf.  We have invented gods
of fear instead of harmony,
raped and discarded what could be
raped and discarded, left
bloody sorrow to fertilize
anything mistakenly overlooked.
We long ago sold our souls,
and our hollowness is so vast
no one can measure it.  And still
we look for more more more–
because what can ever satisfy
the absence of what was
never there?

2-gone-silent-s

For Brendan’s earthweal challenge, already dead. The art is a postcard fiction from 2017, but it seemed appropriate to both the theme and my thoughts.

4-empty-handed-s

You have to become empty in order to begin to fill up again. Perhaps we can learn to choose more wisely this time.

Linking to dVerse OLN, hosted by Bjorn.

The Oracle Answers Another Question

The Oracle has an answer to every question. This one made me smile.

Art is once again from the archives. It turns out I’ve done lots of art related to this theme.

How to make joy?

Embrace the rhythm of opening.
Explore the dances of trees.

Bring the ocean home–
listen to all the starsongs
that reveal what you desire.

Rhetoric

The Kick-About prompt this time around is “The Five Canons of Rhetoric”. My mind glazed over as I read through these rigid and formal ways of organizing communication. Of course the word rhetoric has multiple meanings, the first of which, according to dictionary.com, is “(in writing or speech) the undue use of exaggeration or display; bombast”. Something we all been oversubjected to of late.

What is true of all the definitions is that rhetoric involves the use of language. One synonym given particularly caught my eye: ” balderdash–senseless, stupid, or exaggerated talk or writing; nonsense”. The word nonsense immediately made me think of the surrealists.

The surrealists felt that letting go of the need to control your creation would reveal deeper truths. This was true of both visual and written art. They rejected logic and reason.

I often use surrealistic techniques for both my art and my writing. I’ve been doing rorschach images for awhile–these little cards are done by dripping the leftover paint from my watercolors onto the card and folding it in half. Usually the layers are done in several sessions.

I also compose comments for my images using words and phrases I’ve cut out of magazines and advertisements. I limit myself to what’s contained in one envelope for each card, and often spend quite a long time choosing and arranging them. I call it the collage box oracle, as it’s similar to using magnetic poetry. I was originally inspired by Claudia McGill, who is a master at this technique.

I’m usually surprised by what appears. It always makes me think.

I first scanned in just the images, and then worked on the words. When I went to scan them in, I realized I had changed the orientation of the image in half of them. Another unexpected surprise.

Surrealistic Rhetoric has no pretense to being anything but a random arrangement of words. But somehow it manages to incorporate at least 4 of the classical canons–invention, arrangement, style, and delivery. As to memory–well, canon #7 deals with that.

The Eight Canons of Surrealist Rhetoric

Is there anything more archetypal than nothing?

Space is just energy deconstructing.

You expected evolving to be more complex.

Adventure awaits beyond the details of yourself.

Fools rush into the shadow of the projected image.

I was invented from the earth’s fertile surfaces–
otherwise my unlimited nakedness would be alarming.

My plans are to forget to remember.

There was a window from the start—simple and mysterious–
imagine looking through it to what is hidden between.

Appellations

Will you reply when called?
What is your name?  The sky
refuses to say why
you hold the tree.

Why have you conscripted
this perch among the dead?
Abide with me instead
amidst the green.

Have my ghosts entrusted
your wings with messages–
voices of presages
destined for me?

Immovable, silent,
a silhouette distilled–
I seek but am unfilled–
inside stripped clean.

For Sue Vincent’s photo prompt above, and Colleen’s Tanka Tuesday, where she has introduced the poetic form Abhanga. I like it, but I think I need to experiment more with it to get the rhythm right.

Also linking to earthweal Open Link Weekend.

As you may know, Crow and I are old friends.

410,336

piles of names,
ghosts–absent empty
erased gone

erased, gone–
we can’t remember
comprehend

comprehend
them—we are finite
thinkers, minds

thinkers, minds
too crammed with daily
survival

survival–
and yet why is it
no one asks

no one asks
us to stop listen
a moment

a moment–
so many voices
now silent

now silent—
is it too much of
a burden

a burden
to carry them here
alongside

alongside
the living—hold them,
take them in

take them in–
mourn–no longer just
piles of names

For Frank Tassone’s haikai challenge #174 justice.

Art from my Metropolis post last May amidst the height of the NYC pandemic, when much of the rest of the country thought it was our fault, and would stay here. It was a relief to see our President ask us to remember all of those who have been lost–not just in NYC, but from every corner of the United States and also the world.

synergies

nina birthday mandala s

bejeweled
with eyes reflecting
mysteries
blossoming
in every season day and night
and on each new hour–

embryos
in expectation
of bursting
into song,
nestled in the openings
between yes and no–

shall we dance?
the shadows linger,
dissolving
into dusk–
and still our bodies listen
and repeat, reply,

riding dreams
past waves of darkness,
not asking
how each sky
contains the endlessness of
spinning leaping light–

claiming wings
invisible yet
tangible,
our steps rise
following silent music,
orchestrated flight

that repeats,
always being born
perfectly
uncontained–
we have been cast out like seeds–
resplendent, alive

A shadorma chain for Merril’s prompt at dVerse, connections, and Brendan’s earthweal challenge, entanglement. With more art from the archives.

Warnings

My emotional distances keep expanding.  They measure every room I enter, every landscape that passes through my eyes.  The center swims increasingly away from the edges of my being.  The gap is great and undefined.

Shadowshapes of figures frame the shore.  Hands cast their lines into my depths, searching for a reflection, fishing for a response to their repeated inquiries.

How long can I stay afloat?  The gravity of this world exhausts me. Sometimes the great bones of my life feel so heavy, so incomplete.  I have forgotten it–the one key to survival that is unnecessary but crucial.

I’m trying to recall the images that connect to my lingering feelings of kinship  The light flickers, attempts to enter, but my eyes refuse it.  They look sentient, but they are no longer open for business.  Closed, the sign says.  Can’t you read it?—“CLOSED”.

For the dVerse Prosery, Linda has selected a line from Mary Oliver: Sometimes the great bones of my life feel so heavy, from her poem “Spring Azures”.