The Song of Love 1 and 2

1 Here

a handless glove, a stone
visage.  A blue orb
planted with life.  Dust
seeds blown by
cosmic winds.

Look backward to see
the future.  Ruins
of visions.  Monumental
doors to nowhere.
The detritus of humanity.
Is this all
that we wish
to leave behind?

Canto d amore - Song of love - Giorgio De Chirico - 1914

The Kick-About prompt for this week is de Chirico’s enigmatic painting “The Song of Love”, above. The collage I did evolved from a lot of other ideas, merging with Merril’s quadrille prompt at dVerse to use the word seed, and Brendan’s prompt at earthweal to write Songs of the Earth Shaman.

2  A Meditation or Maybe a Prayer

for those who ask and those
who don’t answer.  For those
who always make way and those
who have never been found.
For what we know and refuse
to acknowledge.  For what
stands in the center of what
we think we believe.  For what
remains when faith has fallen
apart.  For the times that we
begin again and the times
that seem to have no ending.
For what we hold against
others and what we keep
to ourselves.  For the impossible
and the improbable and all
the borders we draw to keep
from finding out.

Listen.  I am
waiting for you
to come home.

I needed to consider this seemingly unsolvable riddle that is human life on earth from more than one side.

How Now

grid flower close up 1s

Why do you ask me where we are? 
I lost my bearings long ago. 
Each day is different, and yet very much
like all that have been or will be, amen.
You ask me for maps, for calculations, but 
why not shower the world with devotion?

~and why should we not sing~

celebrating what is here and now
but also what leaves and then returns? 
Every story continues beyond its ending.
Why not follow it around?
Why not grow wings, meet each day
without imprisoning it in either space or time?

The NaPoWriMo prompt today is to write a poem that poses a series of questions. Since the majority of my poems ask questions, I also incorporated Merril’s dVerse prompt to write a puente.

sailing on uncharted seas

will those still waters
fail to depart after all?
this center—in my ignorance–
drops me in
amidst a multitude of mirrors–
will I drift away
before even beginning to move
beyond uncertainty?
mind closed,
immobilized by the guilt
of experience, held captive
by that
which always leads back
to this

I used Lucille Clifton’s “blessing the boats” for the Day 5 NaPoWriMo prompt, and decided to revisit the poem for the April 6 dVerse prompt from Jade (Lisa) to choose one of your favorite poems by another poet and flip the meaning on it. I’ve been working on this on and off for awhile–it’s far different than my original attempt, and probably not finished still.

I’ve done similar exercises in the past, but never tried to be so literally opposite. It’s not easy.

Grow NYC

On the run, in retreat,
empty lots, dirty streets–
take the land, make it green–
thumbs and hearts, community.

Food to eat, flowers, herbs,
trees with branches full of birds–
an oasis filled with life–
lost then found, death defied.

I’ve been thinking about the earthweal challenge for Earth Day–what postitive steps have been taken locally to improve the environment?

NYC was in serious decline in the 70s–hence the famous headline, from 1975, below. Everything was falling apart, and there were vacant lots and abandoned properties everywhere.

Ford new york city drop dead

Organizations like GrowNYC, Greenthumb, and OasisNYC began to foster community gardens in abandoned lots, renovated by volunteers from the surrounding area. Today there are nearly 600 such gardens in the city–everywhere you walk, you’ll stumble upon one. Managed by neighborhood residents, they grow all kinds of things, both edible and simply beautiful. They foster new and experienced gardeners, young and old. They sponsor art displays and performances, and act as community centers.

I used Bjorn’s prompt, at dVerse, to compose my poem for Earth Day in Anapestic Tetrameter.

On Rambling/City Streets

Under concrete still lies the earth.
Am I bridged?  Do I travel on or over?
The air takes my thoughts and plays with them,
embroiders them, suspends them between.

Am I bridged?  do I travel on or over?
My fingers want to hold the windwhispers–
embroider them, suspend them between
the bare branches of the trees.

My fingers want to hold the windwhispers
that touch the moon on her journey
through the bare branches of the trees
into the fullness of the reflected light.

I want to touch the moon on her journey.
My own face is shadowed with uncertainty,
backlit by the fullness of reflected light.
My own hands are empty, unthreaded.

My own face is shadowed with uncertainty,
a landscape I too often inhabit.
My own hands are empty, unthreaded.
I keep trying to rearrange what isn’t there–

a landscape I too often inhabit.
I look for birds.  I want to ask them their secrets.
I keep trying to rearrange what isn’t there–
how to be someone that is also everything.

I look for birds.  I want to ask them their secrets.
How to dance across the invisible threads.
How to be someone that is also everything,
crisscrossing land sea sky stars.

How to dance across the invisible threads
that hold both concrete and earth,
crosscrossing land sea sky stars–
(the air takes my thoughts and plays with them)

This pantoum is definitely a work in progress. For NaPoWriMo day 15, and the earthweal weekly challenge: Toward an Ecopoetry.

Also linking to dVerse OLN, hosted by Sanaa.

shorebirds converge with the edge of the sea

moving the water
with my feet
I float on currents,
my shadow following
each intersection with light

not thinking
who or where
I am–
cocooned in myself
and threaded to the aliveness
of what passes me
passing

crossing waves tracks
of lines and circles
forming patterns–
greeting me meeting
myself, transiting

throwing time into the wind
and not waiting for it–
wandering
in place

Kim at dVerse asks us today to write a poem in the first person that compares some trait of ours with something animal. In addition, the title should be the animal thing,

rampant grace

“You were once wild here.  Don’t let them tame you.”
–Isadora Duncan

presence, breath,
the mystery of
the body–
here and now,
never once upon a time–
wild eternity

full of what
is—translating and
transforming
each step through
the labyrinth that is you–
synchronal, alive

This is a Kick-About prompt (the quote from Isadora Duncan) that I never posted. I had an idea to do collage illustrations, but the photos of Isadora dancing made me want to try to capture them in gestural drawings.

I haven’t used pastels in a long time, but I can see why Degas chose them so often to render his dancers. The body becomes transformed by dance, lighter and more transparent. Otherworldly.

For NaPoWriMo, and also linking to the dVerse prompt from Grace, The Body & Poetry.

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.