Talk Like Shakespeare Today

What fools, what fools, what fools these mortals be
what fools to mimic riches glitter fame
what fools to in those masks refinement see
what fools embraceth folly without shame

Where every likeness hath its own deceit
wherein it looketh match to opposite
pretended twin to answer in repeat
the shoe that forceth toes and heel to fit

With voices like to painted artifice
with jaws that stretcheth into polished teeth
with promises that proveth meaningless
duplicity a smile cached underneath

And will the masquerade yet come undone?
I fear the jester killeth us with fun.

The Earthweal challenge this week is titled A FEAST OF EARTH FOOLS. Brendan has asked us to “Mix your human essence with another living entity”, in the spirit of the ancient seasonal celebrations that invite reversals, chaos, and ghosts into the world in order to transform it.

I’ve often written about fools, and decided to repost some of them this week, while considering how to answer Brendan’s invitation. It’s not a bad idea this time of year to consider the folly of humankind.

This poem was written in April 2016 for Shakespeare’s birthday, and Talk Like Shakespeare Day (yes it really exists).

what shines through water

Perhaps the rain and windstorm of Christmas Eve is a beginning towards washing away the darkness of 2020. Of course, as the Oracle reminds us, it’s never that simple.

I was pleased to have 3 pieces selected for The Ephrastic Review’s Christmas day post: Weathering, Our Lady of Toil and Trouble, and Mari Lwyd . You can read them here

away from the rain
shadows still ache with light
storms rip together apart

yet sea and sky sing roses
in the mothertongue
of the moon

ask what you want
for the dreams
you need

Also linking to earthweal Open Link Weekend.

Between

between full comp

The path connects the path divides,
the sky is rising like a tree–
the ending moves, retreats, and hides
what is, is not, has yet to be.

The sky is rising like a tree,
the land grows, following behind
what is, is not, has yet to be–
an offering returned in kind.

The land grows, following behind
the dance of water, spirits, earth–
an offering returned in kind–
a trance, a dream, remembered birth.

A dance of water, spirits, earth–
the ending moves, retreats and hides
a trance, a dream, remembered birth–
the path connects the path divides.

A pantoum for Sue Vincent’s photo prompt, above.  I love the rhythm of circular dance that this form always evokes for me.

between close up wood s

I photographed the art on many many backgrounds; it looked different on each one.  But I kept going back to these two:  vivid blue and wood floor.  Each brings out a different aspect of the painting/collage.

between close up blue s

This is a reblog from February 2018. Sue’s prompts have inspired a lot of work that holds up for me when I look back at it. Her photos are always magical.

Linking to earthweal Open Link Weekend.

Inside my December room, Wednesday 8 pm,

the window reflects only me, but
I know that beyond, in the dark, the
branches cast their shadow
against the sky—a patterned whisper, a voice
like wrinkled wind.  Outside is
far away from the artificial glitter of a
wire-wrapped tree, sparkling a mere
imitation of stars, pretending to echo in a vibration
of what the night has to say—the messages passed amongst
the members of the nocturnal choir.  The
listening of the landscape requires attention—the trees’
murmuring, air displaced by invisible wings, thin
threads woven in soundwebs—stillness shivering the leaves.

A golden shovel poem for the dVerse prompt from Peter for endings. I’ve used a line from M L Smoker’s poem “Mercy”–a source for a number of pages of writing in my journal.

“But the shadow voice is a mere vibration amongst the trees’ thin leaves.”
–M L Smoker, Mercy

infinity

in the beginning, dark–
isn’t it always?—then
inside the seed, the egg,
illumination—orbs
invoking each other,
imagined, conjoined, kin–
instruments of (re)birth

The musical selection of seasonal carols that is the Kick-About challenge #17 made me think of the cosmos–not just the return of the light this season celebrates, but the vast circles of time and space to which we belong. But how to show this in a concrete way?

I turned to sacred geometry–the Seed of Life and the Egg of Life, images based on seven circles as a framework for the whole of creation, forms that also echo the tones of the musical scale.

For my collages I used images from 2 of my reference books–Majestic Universe and Space Odyssey. It was a learning process, fitting all the pieces together like a puzzle, but I eventually approached the images I had in my mind.

And for the poem, a seven line form–appropriately named Pleiades. Its six-syllable lines also reflect the 7 + 6 circles of the Egg of Life mandala.

the collision of infinity

My heart was split, and a flower appeared
–Solomon

the stillness rises,
leaving trails, glittering dust,
illuminated–

illuminated
path, column to sky portal–
what is left behind?

what is left behind
fills the silence, the silver
unmooring the ghosts–

unmooring the ghosts,
the whisperer raises limbs,
phantoms smoldering–

phantoms smoldering
from cracks growing like branches,
brambled, wintering–

brambled wintering,
hard as stone–not casting spells,
she is praying them,

she is praying them,
unshrouding the rapt tempest
as it waits, glowing,

as it waits, glowing
through trajectories of light
into the unknown–

into the unknown,
weeping, she follows, verged—her
eyes are full of birds

Laura at dVerse has challenged us to write mystic poetry for Advent.

Also linking to the earthweal challenge of Advent for Earth.

Disturbances

Must we pay to travel between dark and light?

I quiet my own voice and listen.  What was not available to me before appears, unembodied, yet fully formed.

This wind.  Its sounds penetrate like sharpened visions, cutting through me with voices in languages I can only sense.  Doors open, my consciousness suddenly blown off its hinges.

I used to think there was an uncrossible chasm between heaven and hell.  But reading what I have just written, I now believe it was just a hole I dug where I should have built a bridge.

I have mingled my breath with forces I cannot control, and the gap is closing in overlap with both sides.

This wind cannot be contained by words.  It shivers me with fingers of fire and ice.  It is both more ravishing and more malevolent than eternity.  

Detached without beginning without end.

Prosery for Lillian at dVerse, with this line from Louise Gluck: “Reading what I have just written, I now believe”

Tossed Between What Is Not

I open my eyes to
solitary mornings–
no clear signs or warnings
of what comes next.

I can’t travel through time
when days seem to be
horizonless—empty,
lost in details.

What is important can
never be known until
it is gone—and we fill
the unseen with

repetition as we
continue—hoping then
hiding—wondering when
we will move on.

I formulate questions
that have no proper place–
the answers hesitate–
waiting.  Waiting.

For Colleen’s Tanka Tuesday, poet’s choice. I decided to try a new form from The Poet’s Collective index of Syllabic Poetry Forms. This one is call abhanga, an Indian poetic form that has a 6/6/6/4 syllable count with a rhyme on the middle two lines.

It seems easy, but it was not, at least for me. I also wasn’t sure what I was writing about, but in the end, it seems to summarize 2020 for me. The art was an exercise I saw to do a shadow doll. That also seems appropriate for this strange year.