as it is

…and so it begins with essence—unmeasured, all-seeing, untranslatable, present.

What is really there–here?  Everywhere.  It gathers nowhere, takes all in.  Releases the vast emptiness of center.  Unpredictable but never random.  Jumping through and crossing over.  Falling down down down into the other side of what was never, into the opposite of what is.

Only the light. The compass that points in all directions, overlapping and then merging into pure vibration.  A conduit of currents, waves with wings, voices without identifiable form or name.  Pinpoints glittering against the darkness, floating on the gasp of final breaths, forever on the verge.

Belonging neither to man nor to god nor to anything in between. 

Immersed in song.

This prose poem is a revision of a revision of a revision (no doubt to be continued). The art, on the other hand, was an experiment that exceeded my expectations. And so it goes.

For NaPoWriMo Day 15, on the eve of the full moon, where the prompt is to “write a poem about something you have absolutely no interest in”. To put it plainly,

I have no
interest in writing
a poem
about something I
have no interest in

But I’m enjoying reading the rants of my fellow poets on the subject.

immersion

secretly you hold the cosmos
as if
it were a newborn child–
you are
overwhelmed by the sheer magnitude the latitude the longitude–
seamless
in its capacity to expand and carry
your bones
inside your body at the intersection of all dark,
all light

The prompt for NaPoWriMo Day 11 is to write a poem about a very large thing. I’ve used the waltmarie form with the subject of healing, prompt 12 from Muri’s April Scavenger hunt. I love the way this form illuminates itself with its interior verse.

Circumstantial

I’m not sure it ever existed,
and yet
I remember it well–

romanticized in living color,
Mon Amour
where is that film now?

It disappeared while we
were somewhere
over the rainbow.

We thought we could stop time,
inhabit that first
shining moment again and forever

as we continued to rehearse
a montage
of cinematic chaos–

myth disguised as memory,
wishes
turned into proofs.

Behind the glass, nostalgia.
Is that me?
Is that you?  We dreamed

ourselves onto a tiny screen
replaying
a storied past–fools exposed

by darkness–captured,
drowning,
in artificial light.

A sort of a love poem for NaPoWriMo Day 10 and Muri’s prompt of blindness.

Tears of

My life–
How much more of it remains?
The night is brief.

–Masaoka Shiki

My hand traces invisible lines through each day.
Life has its endings, but I wonder again why and
how do we create so many boundaries?  How
much do we know of what we call ourselves? And what
more is left, at this late date, to be discovered there?
Of what am I really thinking when, with sudden fear,
it seems that everything is impossible, that nothing
remains?  Have I used it all up–the synapses firing,
the cells’ ability to regenerate rather than destroy?  The
night and the day and the sky and the land?  Why
is it so difficult to relocate the silence, that interlude of
brief completion when everything is being born again?

The NaPoWriMo prompt today is a reverse Golden Shovel poem–instead of placing the words from the selected poem at the end of each line and writing around it, the words are placed at the beginning. Either way, it’s a good way to approach writing when you’re stuck. I’ve chosen a haiku from Masaoka Shiki for my poem, but I’m adding a little afterward from Joan and Bob.

Tears of rage, tears of grief
Why must I always be the thief?
Come to me now, you know we’re so alone
And life is brief

–Dylan

Also for Muri’s prompt of a Golden Shovel poem with the theme of change.

The Gravity of Home

They’re sending out bird machines pasted to the sky over a smoke-filled collage of clouds and burning buildings. In the silence of departure, on a pathway of storms, I turn away from the life I’ve known towards the unforeseen, tangled in bare branches, winter, all of it retreating from a world that contains no escape.

Between the above and the below, floating uneasily, ghostly silhouettes shadow my footsteps as I head blind into a collision with the invisible horizon, held captive by a threshold that seems to extend forever.

No shelter appears here on this road of leaving.

Clinging to tattered
wings, sparrow searches for some
anywhere to land.

Merril at dVerse has given us some wind-tossed paintings to use as inspiration for Ekphrastic verse. I chose the painting below, by Joseph Farquharson, ‘Cauld Blaws the Wind Frae East to West’

almost

The first part of this one went quickly, but the Oracle made me work for the last 2 lines. Only when I decided to see if I could make the word “illusions” would She let me complete it. “Life is but a dream” or so they say.

sleep whispers
in tongues of blue mist–
as if moons
seadream light
though shadows above still water–
illusions of time

Colosseum

“Let’s go to Italy,” said my friend,
an architecture student–
she would study and photograph the buildings.
I brought along my sketchbook.

Maybe Nero didn’t fiddle
while Rome burned, but he used the land
cleared by the massive fire to build
his Golden Palace and his Pleasure Gardens.

I did not sketch many buildings–
only one drawing of the Colosseum–
I did not know it had been constructed
on the ruins of Nero’s cruel rule.

From the evidence of my sketchbook,
I seem to have preferred the Borghese Gardens–
sculptural forms for me to sketch,
plenty of columns for my friend’s camera.

I did not go inside the Colosseum–
perhaps I sensed the bloodthirst still hanging
in the air, reflecting a world that continues
to devour itself with public spectacles of death.

Nine thousand wild animals, mostly African, were killed in the Inaugural Games at the Colosseum, which was largely financed by spoils taken from the Jewish Temple by Titus after the Roman defeat of Jerusalem in 70CE. The public spectacles of human and animal slaughter continued for nearly 400 years. It is estimated that 400,000 people, and millions of animals, died in the staged hunts, wars, and executions.

For dverse, where Merril asked us to write about a historical artifact. Since I’m late with it, I’m linking to OLN.

And also inspired by this post about the Colosseum from Manja. I knew I had drawn it when I visited Italy in 1976, and I found the sketchbook right away (falling apart, taped together, obviously seen better days…)

water and air

ocean riding sky–
waves rise untethered floating
entangled in clouds

For Ingrid’s concrete poetry prompt at dVerse. Like Ingrid, I’m usually abstract with my verse, so I’m not sure even this short verse meets the requirements. I didn’t use any of the forbidden words though.

The top collage was done for a collaboration with Marcy Erb in 2015. The beach sketch, which reminds me somewhat of those in my lost sketchbook from last summer, was done in 2016.

Like the Lines in the Palm of Your Hand

Every question is a riddle–
we are stuck here in the middle–
borderlined.

But still we keep on asking why,
continue waiting, standing by
for guidelines.

Answers just confuse, pretending
somewhere there exists an ending–
a lifeline.

Deceiving with complexity,
embroidering with fantasy–
we’re traplined.

In silence there are many words
unspoken and more clearly heard–
sibylline.

Grace at dVerse introduced us to a new form called Compound Word Verse. Wow! this was hard. But enough revising–at a certain point you need to let it be.