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.

shivering the mirror

and what if
you grew roots,
awakened spirit,
became treebound–
your blood flowing
glorious amidst sapwood–
your body suddenly
magnificent, unhewn—
your arms branching
toward the sun,
Familiar to birds,
ancient, floating
on the breath of wings–
your heartwood
trembling, weightless,
awash in light?

A quadrille for dVerse, where De has given us the word wing, and for earthweal, where Sherry has asked us to speak for the trees. I’ve also used Jane’s Oracle 2 words as inspiration.

Central Park Walk November 2022

1
It’s crisp but not yet glove weather.
Elongated shadows fall from the autumn sun.
Above the sky is so blue it looks unreal.

2
People are seated along the path, faces turned up toward the sun.
Construction workers eat their lunches together in Spanish.
Empty benches line the shaded side of the street.

3
Girls in short plaid school uniforms drift in bunches.
A couple walks slowly, holding hands.
A nanny sings softly to the child in her carriage.

4
Dogs wait patiently as their owners chat.
Squirrels chase each other, rustling leaves and bouncing branches.
Birds call in many languages; I only see sparrows and starlings.

5
The remains of the Marathon are piled up along Fifth Avenue.
Vestiges of Halloween decorations still linger on buildings.
Pine cones and needles mingle with oak leaves on the ground.

Brendan at earthweal discussed this week the intimacy of our landscapes. He suggested “a walk on the wild side”. This is not exactly a wild walk, but it’s my landscape, where I often go both to get from Point A to Point B here in the city, and to get outside of myself.

Also linking to dVerse OLN, hosted by Sanaa.

misdirection, or:  the politics of suicide

listing waves of change–
immense confused unwell–
a bitter solitude–
fretful shapeless still

wilderness estranged–
damaged undazzled quelled
reversed and left unmoored–
a landscape murdered killed

misunderstood deranged
hypnotic words cast spells–
a whispered mania–
the mind unravels, spills

connection broken frayed–
once Paradise, now Hell

Bjorn at dVerse gave us the challenge of writing a bref double poem. I had a lot of trouble with the rhythm of this form, a dissatisfaction that I could only resolve by making the b and c rhymes similar.

Like Punam, I looked to Jane’s Oracle 2 words for inspiration and received a similar message.

Careful

I don’t think anyone ever told me it was wrong, exactly, to spend my wishes on myself.  I could want things, ask for them, covet them, even.  But wishes were in another dimension.

The earliest thing I actually remember wishing for consistently was along the lines of “peace love and understanding”.  That was adolescence, the 60s—wasn’t every sane person wishing for the same thing? Aren’t they still?

Even now I am cautious of wishing.  But I can’t help wishing humans would consider the consequences of what we say and do, and take responsibility for what happens as a result.  And I wish fervently that we would be better caretakers of the earth and all of its inhabitants. 

And for myself, today?  I pour another cup of coffee–

watch birds
open wings, touch the sky–
all I need

For Colleen’s Tanka Tuesday where the theme chosen by Anita Dawes is what you wish for. I’m also linking to dVerse OLN, hosted by Linda.

When I was searching for this song I found more different versions of it on YouTube than any other song I’ve ever looked for. It obviously strikes a chord.

and of course, the original…

destinations

step through, not around–
inside the moon, inside dark–
be a traveler

step through, not around–
body recedes, senses flow—
become the beyond

inside the moon, inside dark,
merge with currents, remnants hewn
before conscious thought

be a traveler–
look within through lunar eyes–
transorbital guide

Sarah at dVerse provides the irresistible prompt of moon-names for October’s full moon.

I’m still obsessed with the troiku form, and I revisited my moon postcards from POPO 2021 for further inspiration.

Fairy Tale World 2022

1
Once upon a time, wonder.  Inside narrative, it becomes lost, leaves only invisible tracks.  Who will see them, find them, save them?  Always a long journey to the center of the spiral.

where
is happily?
nowhere to be

seen–
and after?
suddenly it engulfs

2
Over rainbows, they said, somewhere, lies the road to NirvanaDon’t be fooled, they said, by the enticing Road to Ruin.  But where to begin?  Where, even, is the rainbow?  I appeal to the mystery hidden inside darkness.

track
my journey
by the moon

Two quadrilles for dVerse, where Merril provided the word track. I was inspired to write these by Lisa at Tao Talk, who used “once upon a time” as the beginning of one of her troikus for her poetry postcards this year. I’ve illustrated the quadrilles with some of my own poetry postcards from 2021, where I printed some of my moon photos and gave them words.

Marinating

I am aged, but still raw, uncooked, unfinished.  I steep myself in cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, preparing for winter.  But still I fail to render more than a rough uncertain embodiment of what will satiate my continued thirst.  For what?  With what mural of flavor do I wish to paint the days, the seasons, the years?

I never expected to find the perfect recipe—only to be somewhat clarified.  Not cured, but blended into the essences of a Tuscan sunset, infused with the richness of the bouquet of approaching night.

waiting for the moon–
new, it opens the cosmos–
full, it whispers “time”

A haibun for Merril’s dVerse prompt of spices. The grids are from a 100-day project I did in 2015 combining colors and grids. In my final post for the project, I included some quotes from poet Sara C. Harwell. This one seems eerily prescient of what I wrote today.

It looks like a painting by someone I can’t remember.  How have I reached the point, is it age?
When the sky resembles a painting more than the sky?

–Sarah C. Harwell, “Cloud Cover”