transposed by all that has taken both place and time

the reflection absorbs me–
torn pieces of rainbows,
all those things left undone
turning the inside out–

windows with no edges,
mirrors of light waves,
disintegration–
the reflection absorbs me–

don’t fence me in you say–
your words pile up in layers
that turn into
pieces of rainbows—

I am suspended between,
my replies tangled up
with the silence of the dead–
all those things left undone

all those unsent messages–
castaways held captive
on ships without a shore—
turning us inside out

Jade, at dVerse, has us considering edges.

Art from the archives with a cascade poem.

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.

Phoenix

There is no drama in most moments, but the accumulation becomes a story.  One day you wake up, or you think you wake up.  But something burns—you can smell it in the air.  Ashes of yesterday are falling from the sky.  You thought the past was dead, but it has only rearranged itself into today, or is it already tomorrow? 

And what happened yesterday anyway?

I went out to the hazel wood because a fire was in my head.  I walked and walked and walked until I came to a pool of water, still and deep.  I sat beside it, watching my reflection smolder, waiting for something to be revealed.  The light scattered on the liquid surface held me and gave me a different life, turned me inside out.

Now I am only flames, or was that yesterday?  Which side am I on?

For the dVerse Prosery prompt from Kim, some inspiration from Yeats: ‘I went out to the hazel wood,
Because a fire was in my head’.

The art is from a series of constellation poems I did for Pure Haiku. Freya’s current theme is Unfurling–you can submit until February 28.

Headline Haiku: War Is Not Healthy (for children and other living things)

war is not healthy haiku s

memory fails to
stop enduring grief
daily
farewell
face death alone

war is not healthy s

In 2015, when this post originally appeared, the New York Times published a chart explaining some of the ways civilians have died in the Syrian War.  A little research online shows that in modern warfare it is estimated that 85-90% of all casualties are civilians (June 2014 American Journal of Public Health).  War also wreaks havoc on the environment, leading to more death.

A Hard Rain

has fallen shadowed
by endless endings, ghosts both
multiplied and lost

Some estimates of civilians killed in recent and ongoing conflicts:
Sudan-Darfur  200,000
Iraq  170,000
Syria  200, 000
Congo  60,000
Afghanistan  45,000
Pakistan  35,000
Mexico  50,000
Libya  30,000
Chechnya  100,000
Eritrea-Ethiopia  70,000
Sierra Leone  70,000

These numbers have only increased since 2015.

in which endings are both lost and multiplied close up s
war is not healthy poster s

There are not enough tears to encompass all this sorrow.

Bjorn at dVerse asked us to write poems of war. I decided to repost some of my headline haiku embroideries–I did a number of them from 2015-2017 when war was in the headlines every day. Now we’ve moved on to other things, but lest we forget, civilians and soldiers are still losing both their lives and homes every single day all over the world

aleppo-close-up-s

Silence weeps
and eyes refuse sight.
No questions
can be posed,
nor answers given. Light is
erased. Dust and blood.

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”.

grey morning

rain muffles the noises
of the heavy shrouded dawn

the city unfolds slowly,
tentatively,
as cars whoosh water in the wake
of the bursting clouds

blackness dissolves into spectral mist
the spots of windowlight disappear

colorless facades take their place
as the horizon shifts

the sense of yesterday lingers

like a pause waiting
between opposing forces
for one or the other
to tip the wheel around

today becomes a space

reserved for nothing
empty of ambition
of any sense
of being connected

pull the covers up

close your eyes

For dVerse MTB, hosted by Grace, where the poetic device is imagery.

All That Is

What do we say to death when
it insists on arriving despite the fact that we
are not ready?  We still have love
that needs to be given.  We
haven’t said all that we feel
to those who need to know.  It
is never the right time, is it?  That’s all.

(a shovel poem after Robert S. Carroll  “This Much”)

I get daily emails of poetry from several sources. I don’t have time to read them all, but I look at least one every day. Yesterday when I opened the Rattle email to the poem “This Much” by Robert S. Carroll, about the death of his father, I was stopped in my tracks. I read it over several times, and then wrote this shovel poem from the ending thought “When we love, we feel it all”. I urge you to read Carroll’s poem here.

For dVerse OLN, hosted by Sanaa, and another response to Sarah’s prompt to have a conversation with another poet/poem.

I know everyone is obsessed with Donald Trump right now, but 4000 people died yesterday in the United States from Covid-19.

Nine of Wands (after Emily Dickinson)

child of my past, you
have not traveled far enough
to forget troubles

that once stood before you—ones
you could not tell from the ones

that had been left be
hind—sometimes to understand
means to leave, and some

times it requires being held
by what you could not keep—you

can never find all
the pieces to the puzzle
at the same time—but

so much remains—release what
is lost–make ways to be found

Sarah at dVerse asked us to have a conversation with a poem we read in the last year that resonated with us. Last week I was listening to some poems being read on Brain Pickings, and one particular Emily Dickinson poem, read by Patti Smith, stayed in my mind. As I listened to it several times, I wrote down the words that jumped out at me, and started to make my own poem with them. I sometimes do this when listening to poetry, and find that the emotional tone influences what I write, even if the subject I write about turns out to be totally different.

Sarah’s prompt made me return to and revise the poem, and I thought it went well with a collage I just finished too, based on the Tarot Nine of Wands. I love all kinds of cards, and the symbolism of Tarot is especially rich for the kinds of imagery I use in my collages. Nine of Wands is a card of resilience.

You can read Emily Dickinson’s poem #600, I Was Once a Child, and hear Patti Smith reading it, at Brain Pickings, here.