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’

Night Bridge

World spinning dark in trembled night–
morning returns and still no light
except in fiery landscape, stark.
An emptied people, desperate flight
from history’s repeated arc–
in trembled night, world spinning, dark.

This collage was done for the Kick-About prompt inspired by the work of artist John Stezaker. I took Van Gogh’s “Starry Night”, cut it up, and inserted it into works by Monet, Gauguin, Matisse and Homer. This pairing is with one of Monet’s water lilies paintings.

The poem is, like many of the responses to the dverse prompt of the sparrowlet form (introduced to us by Grace), inspired by world events.

And in a bit of serendipity, one of my poems is included in The Ekphrastic Review ebook of responses to Van Gogh’s Starry Night, which you can download here. My thanks to editor Lorette C. Luzajic for her continued support of my work and of Ekphrastic writing.

The Structure of Night

And if I am also someone else?  Bearing the ship, the fools, the edge of the cliff above the valley, the shadows, the death—acres and acres of endings.  An echo, turning inside out and upside down.

What are my real parameters?  Where is that world located, the one that is opposite, a mirror of this one?  Do I even know anything about navigation, understand what it is?  A moon wrapped in brown paper, perhaps, opening and closing the holes in time.  A compass completely reversed, remattered.

Sometimes I catch a glimpse of that other me, a brief flash on the edge of the dark, invisible, yet fully present.  All at once, nowhere, I become the voyage itself, shored with lunemares, sailing without destination, spinning beyond gravity.

Outside my life remains uneasy, breath held, waiting for the whirling center to draw it in, under.

Brendan at earthweal asks: What then is this wild dark?

Carol Ann Duffy replies, via Bjorn at dVerse: It is a moon wrapped in brown paper

Beshadowed

Forever is black, black is forever,
moon disappears, changes black into moon–
nowhere is lost, afraid, travels nowhere,
soon returns itself to shadow–too soon.

Pretend to be endless, and then pretend
time is a circle without any time–
wind-condensed twilight rides currents of wind–
alive, passing through everything, alive.

Become the orbits as they now become
adrift, sepulchral echoes adrift
among whispers, a stillness caught among
shifts of always and evermore, dark shifts.

Trees grow into night silhouettes of trees–
mysteries surrounding life’s mysteries

I decided to take up the challenge Laura provided at dVerse to write a shadow sonnet. I admit, I started with an old sonnet I had written, but by the time I was done, it barely resembled the original. It needs more work, but it’s time to let it go for now.

clarified

morningtide chills,
causes the moment
of wakening to linger–
scattering the vestiges
of dreaming into limbo

where am I?

hidden inside
my longing to stay
covered, warm,
release all
obligations

I shiver

wonder whether
I can reject this
habitual rising
for a protracted
pause

They turn the heat off in my building at night and it doesn’t come on again until 6 am. My alarm goes off at 5:30, and these days it’s very tempting to linger for a half hour or more.

A quadrille for dVerse, where Merril has provided the word shiver.

Portents

Colleen’s #TankaTuesday Ekphrastic prompt, a painting by John Waterhouse, reminded me very much of the paintings Jane Dougherty used to provide for her writing prompts. And so, as I did for those paintings, I created a collage response and consulted the Collage Box Oracle. A badger’s hexastitch was the result.

outside
the rules of time
matter gathers stories
of reimagined light
dreamed into the
beyond

Also linking to dVerse OLN.