avigation, or: how else to touch the sky?

moon appears as reflection–
sun mirrored into night
but brighter, closer

and how far is far away?–
forever, sometimes, as if
never were always the answer
to the question of when

third eye digs deeper,
dreamclosing the distance, the interval
between asleep and wings

It was cloudy when the moon was eclipsing last night, but later on it cleared into mist, and woke me up, as it is wont to do–the top photo is how it looked through my bedroom window about 3am. And above is a close up. The mist allowed me to get some detail–when it’s very clear all that shows up in photos is an intense light.

A quadrille using the word sleep for Sarah at dVerse. I’ve borrowed the dual title idea from David at The Skeptic’s Kaddish–I ran across the word avigation (it means aerial navigation) recently, and I’ve been wanting to use it for something ever since.

The moon was misty last week too.

Beyond After

For how can I be sure I shall see again the world on the first of May?  Until the end I thought it was the beginning of the middle.  Time happened, then all of a sudden what you once believed in could no longer be retreived.  The truth was hard, never soft, never easy.  But it contained a life.

May came, but you did not see it.

And so it begins, and so it ends, always with a question.  And if there is no answer to give—only a silence that acts as if asking were enough—how does the wheel turn?  Or is the question the pivot on a circle whose edge contains only unknowing, infinite stillness?  Is that where you are? 

How can I be sure?  Every answer is the wrong one in a world where there is nothing left to say.

A prosery for Merril’s prompt at dVerse of these words from Sara Teasdale.

“For how can I be sure
I shall see again
The world on the first of May”

Darkness Darkness

The Fashion Institute of Technology had only one dorm, reserved for out-of-town students, so I felt lucky to have been granted a room, even if I knew it was only for the first year of my two-year program.  My roommate had sisters in the city, but had grown up upstate, in a Catholic group home, really an orphanage with all its attendant horrors.  Nothing has changed about that since the time of Dickens.

Her mother died when she was very young.  A family friend wanted to adopt her, but the Catholic Church refused to separated her from her two older sisters—the friend could not manage three more children.  Her sisters married as soon as they aged out of the system, and now lived again in the city where they had been born.  My roommate was a talented artist, and her high school art teacher encouraged her to prepare a portfolio and apply to FIT.  She wanted to be a textile designer.

Her father had abandoned the family when her mother became pregnant with a fourth child.  Unable to imagine being able to support three children, let alone four, on her own, the mother sought an abortion.  It killed her.

Her daughters had no choice but to accept the fact that both parents were permanently lost to them.  But there was a simmering anger in my roommate, a wound of loss and grief, that remained. 

I lost touch with her—we both moved around a lot after getting our associate degrees, and the internet was not even a blip on our consciousness in 1973—but I thought of her again when the decision overturning Roe v Wade was leaked to the press.

Now, as then in the 1950s, our government blames the poor for their poverty, penalizing most of all the living mothers and their living children, abandoned by fathers, or forced to flee abusive husbands and partners, condemning them to hunger and homelessness as a punishment for not being born lucky, for not having friends and family who have enough wealth and stability to pick up the pieces when they need a helping hand.

another grey sky–
spring comes late this year—crow calls
inside the graveyard

For dVerse, where Lisa asks us to consider the topic of grief.

How can we learn to sing when we have no voice?

The shifting mirrors contain contradictory and ethereal messages, as if hidden in the center of a missing source of light.  Where are the currents located?  The rays seems to come from an absolute stillness embedded in the fraying edges of circles that no longer move.

Once we were seekers, following the contours of the channels that held rivers and oceans, sailing the shorelines, harvesting in abundance the rewards of departure followed by return.

Now we have only illusions sinking into the periphery of fading dreams, scattered like the ancient remnants of empyrean spirals, the movements of mythical stars, the mysteries of a consciousness that once made its home inside a biological form.

bare silence–
human remains lost,
fossilized

Off prompt for NaPoWriMo Day 29. I wanted to do something for this Redon collage.

The world remains heavy.

Yea, we all could use a little mercy now
I know we don’t deserve it
But we need it anyhow
We hang in the balance
Dangle ‘tween hell and hallowed ground
Every single one of us could use some mercy now
–Mary Gauthier

Also linking to dVerse OLN, hosted by Grace.

Haibun for a Reluctant Spring

The day is grey and I am swept along its ways.  Dense, impenetrable, uncertain.

And yet here is the sparrow tree.  It sings out in tangled branches of song, in a chaotic chorus with no melody but infinite cheer.

The path continues with a chill bleakness.  Robins and starlings bathe in puddles of mud.  A sudden startle of dog and wings open, rise.

The wind is relentless.  I regret dressing as if it were spring, as if winter had actually said its final farewell and relinquished its place on the wheel.  My hands dig deeper into my pockets.

Despite the lack of sun, grackles sparkle in the grass.  They watch me—curious?  wary?  amused?—as I stop to take them in.

I have a destination so I turn and travel east.  Blue jays echo my movements in a stop-and-start carousel of cries.  The moist air clings to my face.

emptying my thoughts
to make leeway for feathers–
invisible, light

Frank at dVerse asked for a haibun including the birdsongs of spring. A perfect time to bring out the birdlings.

Also linking to earthweal, where Brendan asks us to consider what serves as a commons for where we live. I would argue that every street in NYC is a commons, but the parks, especially, serve as a place where human and non-human intersect. My haibun is based on several recent walks through Central Park. Birds are everywhere (even in winter). But of course more of them and louder in spring.

Spiraling

“A Tunnel” by Vika Muse

Is this the inside of my dream?  These days I am cautious of everything—afraid of the future, the past, afraid even of my fear.  But this is not the grey noir darkness of the usual tunnels my night journeys follow.  There are no trains to miss, no staircases to nowhere.  This passageway is alive, a cocoon of possibility opening into an illuminated aperture.

And do I see rabbits?  I was born in the Year of the Rabbit.  What will we find if we enter into that light?

happy end
ings tucked away just
in case—I
whistle on the wind–
birds echo the song

Mish at dVerse has introduced us to the art of Vika Muse:

“I wish I could have manta rays in the sky… instead of Russian bombs and military airplanes. I’ve noticed that my disturbing paintings didn’t make me happier. They cause even deeper depression. So I’ve tried to draw my future. It is bright and sunny. There are no bombs and war… Only beautiful landscapes and dreamlike sky. I hope I’ll meet such a future someday…
P.S. Be empathetic with your relatives and value your lifestyle. It’s big happiness to have mundane life and safety and independence. So simple and so valuable.”

You can find her on Instagram @get.muse She is also featured on this website http://www.inprnt.com

A tankaprose for Colleen’s #TankaTuesday prompt and for the NaPoWriMo prompt to write about the possibility of good things.

dormant

asleep–
shadowed, murmured by songs
that imitate the deep
voices owned by seasons–
transitioning, replete

asleep–
lingering into dawn
as passages repeat
and echoing, are drawn
into themselves, complete

asleep–
between inside upon–
all spaces merge and meet,
all measurements are wrong–
amorphous, bittersweet

A quadrille with the word season for dVerse in the Bob and Wheel form for Muri’s April Scavenger Hunt and NaPoWriMo Day 4.

verged

she
felt or
dinary–
who was she?—ask
ing questions that never quite knew what they

within my blood swims the first primal sea–
oceans of pre
vious lives
merging
and

e
merging
over and
over, over
over and over again—how can I

sought—trying to exist inside patterns
that contained some
kind of mean
ing, yearn
ing

be
come my
aquatic
body—floating,
following moontides and circles of light

I try to meet the waters and sky, to
let them over
whelm, swallow
me whole
and

to
be re
vealed, seen by
eyes that were not
her own, acknowledged by another mind

unknowing, to tangle me inside the
invisible
nets woven
by the
first

stars,
embraced
by threads that
expand without
limits into what was already there

I’ve been working around this poem all week for the earthweal prompt to “embrace the extra-human wherever it is found, in beast, fish, tree, land- or seascape or star canopy.” Laura at dVerse provided the form, tetractys, that provided some kind of order.

The Gravity of Home

They’re sending out bird machines pasted to the sky over a smoke-filled collage of clouds and burning buildings. In the silence of departure, on a pathway of storms, I turn away from the life I’ve known towards the unforeseen, tangled in bare branches, winter, all of it retreating from a world that contains no escape.

Between the above and the below, floating uneasily, ghostly silhouettes shadow my footsteps as I head blind into a collision with the invisible horizon, held captive by a threshold that seems to extend forever.

No shelter appears here on this road of leaving.

Clinging to tattered
wings, sparrow searches for some
anywhere to land.

Merril at dVerse has given us some wind-tossed paintings to use as inspiration for Ekphrastic verse. I chose the painting below, by Joseph Farquharson, ‘Cauld Blaws the Wind Frae East to West’