kinship

to belong
is a feeling–not
words over
heard in pass
ing, but a garment to wear–
it keeps you warm, this

chorus sung
by many voices–
it tells you
how to clear
your self, opening to be
come filled, become found

Sarah at dVerse shared with us once again the paintings of Fay Collins, and asked us to write to what we see in her images. I did not pick any particular landscape, but used the entirety of her work as inspiration for both my words and my watercolor, which reflect her immersion in and love of the earth.

Also linking to earthweal, where Brendan has asked us to praise what matters.

You can see the work of Fay Collins here.

Fireworks

you dreamed without beginning–
breath, stars, flowers
of light

you were happy to hold
hands with what was
not there

you closed your eyes and sang
from the inside, way down,
like flying,

listening to your heart beating,
rearranging the pattern
into constellations

you released what you had not
seen—you gave it away
without thinking

you dreamed with your arms open
and became entirely unafraid–
spilled over

The Kick About prompt this week referenced Flowers of Fire, late 1800s Japanese fireworks catalogues. There were pages and pages of not only beautiful abstract images, but plants, animals, people, and objects. It made me think that the artists who created these light shows were trying to project their dreams into the sky.

Visions of wishes and magical things.

As usual, the collage turned out very differently than I imagined it, but I think it captures the spirit of what I intended to do.

For dVerse, OLN, hosted by Sanaa.

Hibernation

I sleep through the storms, the alarms, the sirens.  I can’t seem to leave the night behind.

Mornings do not touch me. The grey dawn moves around my body, travels somewhere else, into other rooms, other lives.

I am not lost, but I have put myself on hold.  For the time being I follow the thread that has entangled me, in parallel to where the rest of the world awaits.

Darkness knocks at every door.  The wind shivers my bones.  I am bombarded.  Yet I stand resolute at the stilled center, suspended, withdrawn.

I sojourn.  I am filled to overflowing with abiding.

When I return, winter will have receded into a different story, one already told.  A new once upon a time will erase the cold, satisfy my hunger for warmth, birdsong, greenery, light.

Then I can open my eyes.

Then I can breathe.

Merril at dVerse has provided these words from Adrienne Rich for this week’s prosery: I am bombarded yet I stand.

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.

(Re)creation

The mask is mute—it does not
tell what lies beneath–
layers falling backward, a
way from the present–
unglued, it rearranges,
becomes paper becomes
scissors cutting through the air–
thought stilled before form

Continuing my mask theme, three collage masks inspired by Matisse cut-outs that I did for the Kick About a few weeks ago. In my poem I was thinking about a film I saw of Matisse at work.

I’ve been working with masks for a long time in many different media. These are inspired by Mexican Devil masks as well as by Matisse.

Austin Kleon has a great post about masking with some excellent quotes that you can read here. It’s a mode of expression I’m sure I’ll always continue to explore.

Here’s another devil mask and a shovel poem I did for a Sue Vincent photo prompt in 2017. Thanks again, Sue, for all your inspiration.

the door is always open s

“…that what you fear the most/could meet you halfway…” –Victoria Williams, “Crazy Mary”

The horns that
make you.  Tell me what
endures:  you,
masked with fear,
burning life to ashes, the
ender?  Or the most
wild transformation that could
be?  We meet
face to face.  But you
pause.  Halfway.

Also linking up with dVerse OLN, hosted by Linda.

Political Attire

The mask they wear
repeats the same cliches,
pretending to truth,
embellished with lies–
dismissing the facts
when inconvenient.  The Devil watches,
laughs with them.  He knows their true faces well.

The mask they wear
is glued to their ethos–
virtue corrupted
by perpetual
guile—whatever is
required to keep the reigns of power—a
prayer, a riot, a bargain made in Hell.

A duodora for Lisa’s prompt at dVerse, to discuss something that irritates us in the context of Halloween. I admit this goes well beyond simple irritation.

The paintings are from a series of eight I found when going through my files. They are a bit strange–I can’t remember what inspired me to do them. I was waiting for some poem that would go with them. This works.

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.

The Hanged One

and after?

emerging from fire and flood
not with wings, risen from ashes,
but immersed in suspended time–
inside out upside down

to reverse is not to return

to surrender is not to admit defeat

to be still is not to remain forever bound

Sarah at dVerse has given us the word ash for our quadrille this week. The story she told of Odin hanging from the World Tree to gain wisdom made me think of The Hanged Man card from the tarot. I’ve seen it referred to as The Hanged One in several places, and I like that name better.

Continuing my series of tarot inspired collages using Egyptian figures, I put this together quickly, using a funerary figure and the doorway the dead are said to walk through. I usually spend days doing them, so I’m sure it will end up being revised since I’m not quite satisfied with it.

Souvenir

I could not
look at it from be
fore or aft
er, only
the angle of gone, dissolved,
empty, vanishing–

not just the
material thing
that had been
dispossessed,
but what it represented–
a piece of myself,

never to
be recovered–and
here I am
left watching,
clinging to impermanence
like water and wind

“The Kick-About prompt of souvenir seemed perfect: my daughter had given me a small sketchbook, and every day I sat on my beach chair with my feet in the waves doing a drawing, and then writing a haiku to accompany it.  The sketchbook would be my souvenir.

On the last day of my beach vacation the ocean was quite rough, due to Hurricane Henri passing by, so I sat far up on the sand, where only a small piece of a dying wave occasionally brushed my toes.  Holding my sketchbook up to let the watercolor pencil drawing dry I was suddenly totally upended by a rogue wave that covered me completely. I stood up, soaked, clutching my pencils in one hand, but watching my sketchbook being pulled under and out to sea. 

I will replay that image in my mind for a long time, maybe forever.

When I got home, I channeled my emotional turmoil into neocolors, drawing from memory the ocean that was now fixed in my mind.  The sketchbook drawings were so much more beautiful though.  At least that’s how I’ll always remember them.”

For dVerse, where Ingrid asks us to attempt “writing your way out of a place of pain“. I drew it first, then I wrote.