Vacated

I’ve forgotten yesterday by the time today approaches.  The past is a dream I can no longer access—an afterthought, insubstantial—something I once acquired and then quickly lost.

But my hands remain busy, continually shuffling the cards. Each time I turn them over I see nothing–both sides are empty.  No surprise.  They have been empty for a long time now. 

The hours chase me unguided through tunnels of almost and maybe, seizing and destoying probably until it’s anyone’s guess.  My mind has become an imperfect mixture of what I can’t recall and what I don’t want to remember.

The wind tells me stories, invites me to become a passenger inside its song, cut loose from any need to reconstruct the places I have been, the ones that once contained my life.  I am weightless, free.  In the tender gray I swim undisturbed.

The prosery prompt at dVerse, chosen by Lisa, is from Celia Dropkin’s “In Sullivan County”.

In the tender gray,
I swim undisturbed.

I’ve also used Jane’s Oracle 2 words as inspiration.

flower of november

you fling
the blooms, graceful–
hands filled with abundance,
harvest untroubled by
time’s immanent
decay,

the cost
of seeds waxing–
each life encircled by
its opposite—how all
language breaks in
to tears—

but dance!–
the seasons are
not closed—the same sun that
sets early now will grow,
expand, greet sky
open

again,
in tangible
contrast to our useless
attempts to resist, turn
back clocks, challenge
the tides

My response to Merril’s autumn ekphrastic prompt at dVerse. I chose the above image, Child Dancing With Chrysanthemum Branch. Chrysanthemums are the birth flower of November, symbolizing both long life and mourning or grief. I’ve used Jane’s Oracle 2 words as inspiration.

I did not realize until after I wrote the poem and was searching for appropriate images how well it fit this response to Nick Cave’s soundsuits that I did for a recent Kick-About prompt.

The soundsuits created by Nick Cave, the artist, are totally different than the songs created by Nick Cave, the musician.

frozen

bombs are cold
explosions of bitterness
sucking the warmth
out of what remains
of possibility

bombs are greedy
machines, meant only
to destroy, burn
any seeds, annihilate
life

bombs are hungry
voracious conduits
for our worst impulses
eating our souls
from the inside out

A quadrille for dVerse, where Lisa has given us the word warm. In 2014 I did a series called “What Is It Good For?” on memadtwo. There were, as always, many conflicts in the news. Hearing this song from Buddy and Julie Miller this morning, it reminded me of the art from those posts.

It also made me think again of how cold this winter will be for the Ukrainians and so many others the world over. How short our attention span. How little we have learned.

What IS it good for–the guns, the bombs, the dying? We know the answer.

Volcano 4

halfway
is never fixed–
merging not in a line,
but positioned between–
too brief to be
resolved

the madness of fate–
consummation and release,
sweeping life away

Another collage inspired by Elisa Ang’s painting, paired with the Badger and Kick-About poem, above, and my Pure Haiku Volcano contribution which you can read here.

Volcano 3

puzzling
destinations–
the details repeated,
magnified, untraveled–
living outside
a map

random lines break down–
the page explodes, caught trembling–
from nothing, vast light

The Kick-About poem and collage and Oracle 2 Badger above serve as a prelude to my third Volcano offering at Pure Haiku, which you can read here.

Volcano 1

what season is this?
dark, enigmatic, grown wild–
spilling from our eyes

don’t weep–
rings encircle
us inside life’s limits–
we must learn to accept
the turning of
the tides

Elisa Ang provided the artistic inspiration, above, for my series of volcano poems appearing this week at Pure Haiku. Serendipitously, the Kick-About recently hosted a prompt based on Turner’s painting of Mt. Vesuvius, for which I made a series of collages and wrote a cadralor of volcano-themed poems titled “In Search of Venus”. And Jane’s Oracle 2 words provided further inspiration for me to write five Badger poems to go with the volcano theme.

You can read my poem at Pure Haiku here. Thanks, as always, to Freya Pickard for her continued support of my work.

cold comfort

who will hear our voices?

winter winds our walls
snow our blanket

old news now–
drowned out
by the latest atrocities

“Ukrainian Figurines” by Kirill Shevchenko (Groder) Image by Кирилл Шевченко from Pixabay

David, at The Skeptic’s Kaddish, supplied the above photo for Colleen’s Tanka Tuesday this week. I recently ran across a “42” poem I had written and the form seemed just right for this prompt. The situation in Ukraine is full of questions with no easy answers.

I did these collages in my early days of blogging, when Marcy Erb and I did a number of poetry and art collaborations. The poetic excerpt that inspired this work was from Frederick Turner.

On the Death of an Infant

Latecomer, first to go,
Like the small arctic flower
Between the snow and snow,
The fragrance of an hour. 

Frederick Turner (b. 1943) 

Every day new things demand our attention–but let us not forget the people of Ukraine.

ancient voices

Goddess was the first word that the Oracle gave me this morning. The collage above is a very old one I named “sha/wo/man”–it’s a stitched collage. I did a few of them about 10 years ago. I don’t know where the original is, but I recently found a photo of it in my files.

I found Ishtar in my files also–a message from the Collage Box Oracle in 2019 with a very similar theme.

I am listening for
the language of the goddess–
dishonored and swept away
by linear time

nightwings remember when
our motherworld was a sacred song,
a home for voices belonging
to the spirits of stars

if only we could soar
the daysky on our dreams

meditation

my mind ebbs, then flows out like an ocean sailing the wind–
empty channels drift away from the center to the edge–
multitudes of changing colour, condensed motion, thoughts full

I was going to write a sestina with Jane’s Oracle 2 words and I picked out six that called to me: ocean, colour, wind, edge, motion, full. But after writing the first stanza, it seemed too daunting, so I revised it into a sijo instead.

When looking in the archives for art, I immediately picked out the first painted mandala, but when I saw the collage I knew I had to include it too. It’s based on a painting by Nina’s father that she posted; you can read about it here. Nina has written several times about her father’s service in WWII and this is in honor of all our fathers and mothers and friends and relatives who fought and fight in the world’s continuous wars on this Veteran’s Day 2022. May we wake up and bring the need for them to an end.