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.

Confluence

1
The music of birds gathers
in the minglings of sky and trees.

2
Voices weave separate paths that cross
each other and echo into themselves.

3
Who arranges the sequences
into song, the patterns into stories?

4
Who maps the contingent journey
of roots and branches?

5
Who casts the landscape into wings
that lift spirit into light?

I’ve been wanting to try a cadralor, and Bjorn at dVerse gave me a push by suggesting the form in his prompt. I’ve also been worrying a poem for earthweal, where Sherry asked us to look for “moments of collateral beauty“. Having a specific form to work with helped me to organize my thoughts.

I know: birds again. Yes.

The stitching was inspired by the art of Joan Mitchell, as was all the art I did for NaPoWriMo 18. It seems a lifetime ago now.

of feather and stone

rock high against
the firmament
stone smooth
against the palm–
what wishes are veined
inside each heart?
which dreams skim
the surface in currents
riding wings that touch
both earth and sky?
who can draw the line
between what is
and what might be?

Jane’s recent poems mentioning kestrels reminded me of this strange collage I made awhile ago from a kestrel painting and a brush drawn portrait, neither of which satisfied me.

It was inspired by Ethiopian healing scrolls, which contain both words and talismanic images, although except for the square face in the center, it doesn’t resemble any of the images in the scrolls. I still don’t know what to make of the collage, but now I, too, have attached words to it.

A quadrille for dVerse, where De has provided us with the word stone.

at bay

shadows edge flush along the side
of day, post sentries that abide
within the holes where secrets hide

when sun falls sudden into night
colors retreat to black and white,
orbiting like a satellite,
a rippled undulating tide

unlike a dream which speaks in signs,
eidola plot their own decline–
they vanish in between the lines,
a hushed wake of penumbral glide

Grace at dVerse introduced us to a new poetry form: Zéjel. In my recent cleaning mode, I discovered the strange embroidery pictured above, and decided to compose a verse to accompany it.

I stitched this piece as an assignment for a class I took about 15 years ago–we were trying out new stitches. I can’t remember what inspired this design, nor can I figure out now how I produced some of these stitches. I may have kept notes about it, but I haven’t discovered them yet. But I have many boxes still to go through…

I found this poetic form to be a challenge, and I’m not sure I’m done tweaking what I wrote. But I do think its strangeness is a good match for the art.

(re) corded

weaving light
waves that cross over
in curved lines,
waves that land
inside the pause of the edge,
waves that linger cusped–

a small piece
of time, and yet it
fills me up–
I balance,
holding on to tides synapsed
between spells and signs

Punu Ngura (Country with trees) 4, 2019 by Peter Mungkuri ...

Peter Mungkuri’s “Country with Trees”, above, is the current Kick-About prompt. The layering of the different elements got me thinking about an idea from Claudia McGill that I had copied and saved which I recently found when sorting out files.

She took a magazine and tore pages partially out to create a new layered collage-like image. I did not have any magazines with trees, but I have lots of surfing magazines I bought on eBay because they are full of images of sea and sky to use in collage. So I layered the ocean.

My poem is a shadorma quadrille for dVerse, using the word provided by Linda, linger.

just like that/either way

more
and more
crow-
ded in-
to less and
less—un-
fold-
ed and
folded a-
gain each new day–
do I need
to know
who
I am?
words scatter
like air–
gone,
disa-
ppeared

David at the skeptic’s kaddish introduced me to the waltz wave, an poetry form that asks you to separate the syllables for some of your words. I like to do this, especially in shadorma.

I found it to be a challenge, especially to find the right subject matter for this kind of verse. In the end I wrote two, both of which seemed to go well with an old collage I had done which was based on a painting by Redon.

do
dreams fly
or
tunnel?
flow or stun?
spiral
to
the cen-
ter or spin
out to the far-
thest away?
will they
em-
brace or
turn around?
para-
llel
or de-
part?

For Colleen’s #Tanka Tuesday, poet’s choice.

Also linking to dVerse OLN, hosted by Mish.

Still #2

70 years cranes s

“It doesn’t make a damned bit of difference who wins the war to someone who’s dead.”
― Joseph Heller

“And a step backward, after making a wrong turn, is a step in the right direction.”
–Kurt Vonnegut

crane 2s

August 6 marks the 76th anniversary of the bombing of Hiroshima, which was followed by the bombing of Nagasaki on August 9—the only time nuclear weapons have been used in war.

Between 130,000 and 230,000 people were killed, mostly civilians.  Many of those who survived the bombing itself were stricken with radiation sickness and died painful and premature deaths.

The story of 12-year-old Sadako Sasaki’s attempt to make 1000 origami cranes after falling ill with leukemia turned the Japanese Crane, long a symbol of immortality, into a symbol of the wish for nuclear disarmament and world peace.

There are currently less than 1800 Japanese cranes surviving in the wild, for the usual human reasons—loss of habitat and food sources, pollution and poisioning, poaching, disease.

And so it goes…

burning floods
birds singing silent
ash and bones

cranes s

For Frank’s haibun prompt at dVerse, August. I’ve written about this in August and used these images several times before.

 This is our cry.
This is our prayer.
Peace in the world.

–inscription on the Children’s Peace Monument in Hiroshima
http://www.nippon.com/en/images/k00009/

crane 5s

Sadako Sasaki was a toddler living in Hiroshima when it was bombed by the United States.  Ten years later she died as a result of leukemia, “the atomic bomb disease.”  If you don’t know the story of Sadako and the 1000 Cranes, you can read about it here:  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sadako_and_the_Thousand_Paper_Cranes

70 years close up 1s

Flashback

how to become a traveler s

Our origins are hard to find–
we turn around, try to unwind
the center point of what’s behind–
we travel blind, we travel blind.

With roots and branches all entwined,
we’re lost in our unconscious mind–
remembrance wanders unconfined
and recombined, and recombined.

We long for all to be divined,
controlled by talismans and signs–
but life seems always disinclined
to be defined, to be defined.

For Grace at dVerse, a monotetra. I don’t usually write to a specific rhythm, but I enjoyed composing this. I happened also to pick a good rhyming word right off.

I could not find the photos for this art, which I did for one of Jane’s Sunday Strange Microfiction prompts, in 2017, so I don’t have a close up. But here’s the translation of the words.

What to do between the silent secrets of stars?
Open the question at the crossroads of memory and your dreams.
Chase clouds of deep light.
Learn how to become a traveler in the unexplainable.
(in any order…)

Just goes to show I’m still writing about the same things. Although in this case I had some help from the collage box Oracle.

somehow the blank piece of paper becomes something else

my hands drawn
into lines—tensely
embracing
escaping
furtively from fear, riddled
with hesitation

erasing
beginning again
layering
accruals
disguised by repetiton
over and over

and yet not
the same these motions
these attempts
to capture
a moment streaming tracing
the outlines of time

I’ve used the image from National Geographic provided by De at dVerse as inspiration for my watercolor/quadrille using the word stream.

Also linking to earthweal, where Sarah discuss the harvest festival of Lammas and asked us to think about how we harvest and transform in our own lives.

Aggregated

Why must we always quantify?  4, 3, 10.  Add, subtract, multiply.  Divide.

My prose poem, Aggregated, based on a painting by Hilma af Klint, was among those selected as a finalist in The Ekphrastic Review Women Artists contest. You can read the entire poem and see all the finalists here. The three winning selections are here.

also linking to dVerse OLN