If the circle opens, will it become a line? (new moon/almost like praying)

I wanted to reblog my response to an old prompt of Sue Vincent’s in honor of the New Moon this weekend. The Oracle had something to say about it too.

In my original post, I explained my inspiration: I discovered this week that the plural for luna mare (moon sea) is lunar maria …is that wonderful, or what?  So when I saw Sue Vincent’s Luna photo prompt, above, I had to incorporate it into my response.

Here’s the poem I wrote for Sue’s photo:

The arc of
lunar mountains, edged
dark with bays
of basalt…
Maria!—your names reflect
as mirrors to fill

with sorrow,
forgetfulness, snakes,
storms and fear.
Can we find
the sea of tranquility
and sail into dreams?

between is and if only
we listen
as earth grows restless

breathing wild ancient song
beneath murmuring leaves

climbing windshine
over rock rooted paths

wandering through the hidden secrets
of the moon’s dark night

And of course this song is still and always appropriate.

You can see 14 other interpretations of “Maria” here.

Also linking to Earthweal Open Link Weekend.

Refugee

Lost among the layers of words, my needs slip through the cracks that keep opening into assaults on the ways that have always belonged to me.  I don’t want to be reoriented towards a future I can’t imagine, or pushed through a portal into a world I don’t understand.  A world that does not recognize me and has no relationship to the one that has always sheltered me from unwelcome change.

All those strident sentences you spit out—they mock my choices, erasing any value in what I call a good life.  The scale on which you judge me makes my wishes weigh nothing.  You discard everything that makes me happy.

The tasks of survival are not so easily sorted into black and white, good and evil.  What seems to work for the time being is all we can attain sometimes, worth more than the promises of a future that we can’t see.

It’s impossible to know God’s plans or to understand them—despite your fancy degrees and charts, there are realms beyond the facts, beyond what you call science, that we can’t anticipate or control.

Instead you put yourself above me.  But you appear in my mirror as one-dimensional, rejecting me and the grieving that belongs to me, the losses I have experienced and feel.  You insist they are worthless, I am worthless.  But what do you offer to me that will replace them?

You list all my beliefs and shame them, shame me, shame my culture, my family, my friends.  And you call it compassion.

I am not asking for your false understanding.  I do not want what you want, what you think I need.

I want to be worth something.  I want to matter to someone, something.  I want a world that holds out a hand and tells me I belong.  Where has it gone?

look at me
listen to my life
make me real

Jim Feeney at Earthweal gave us quite a challenge this week: to write a poem from the point of view of someone who is a climate change denier or a climate solution denier or someone who just doesn’t care because they won’t be around when it happens. It’s not easy to put yourself sympathetically in someone else’s shoes. I chose to repeat some of the words and ideas I heard in interviews with Trump supporters, figuring no environmentalist would ever vote for Trump. I have to admit I resent the fact that the media always tells us we need to try to “understand” people who support Trump, and yet Trump supporters never have to return the favor and try to understand those of us who don’t. We are not all wealthy Ivy League educated “elites”.

And the thing is…in the end our desires are not so different. I don’t reject science and I would not talk of God, but I have spiritual beliefs too that involve feelings and ideas that can’t really be quantified. I also often feel unacknowledged, dismissed, invisible. I have lost parts of my life that will never return and cannot be replaced. We all want to matter, to belong somewhere.

Why can’t we make that somewhere a place of mutual respect that honors our interdependence with the natural world? So we have a world where everyone’s children and grandchildren have a fighting chance at survival?

how she flies

I’ve been working on this collage all week, and I asked the Oracle about it.

moon dances

open nevertime

ask air to let nightflower ghosts
bleed spirits like wild dark
star angels

the rhythm of eternity
wakes the secrets of fools–
voices that devour the hauntings
lingering in the icy oceans
of desire

Also linking again to Earthweal’s moondance.

The Flames Burn Cold

The voice of the wind is harsh, unending, bringing news of winter.  Under dusky grey I watch the heavens close in as tree bones rattle with last leaves.  Night is everywhere, penetrating with howling visions the sanctity of sleep.

Solitude is impossible.  Chanting surrounds me, invisible hands, the edge of a nightmare hovering on the threshold.  Ghostlike it travels through the streets, knocking on each door, finding the cracks in each soul, rearranging the molecules of each defense.  No prayer or good luck charm repels the chosen path of this bleak pilgrim.  Its faceless form looms like a black hole.

A cacophony of silence tunnels into the center of my mind.  It asks me no questions, desires no answers–an insatiable voice in a vortex ancient, eternal, lost.

forsaken, stars hide–
sky fallen into stillness
swallowing the moon

For the Earthweal Weekly Challenge, A Hallowed Moondance.

spirits of place

infused with
what?  forms shimmering,
unfocused,
almost not
there—breaking into bits of
color, sprinkled light–

watching the
air, you can’t quite be
lieve, place, what
you thought you
saw, significant portions
of which have faded

into blurred
memories that have
discarded
their presence–
the lost and found of the mind,
a vast space without

an index–
tangled up with myth,
stray remnants
dismissed as
merely imagination–
how do we discern

what is true?
maybe what is real
is really
made up—all
wrapped together in spirits
that are beyond sense

Brendan at earthweal discussed land-spirits and asked us to write about a local spirit. My locale has been NYC for 50 years, but within the city it has been constantly on the move. I thought first of birds and trees, which made me think of my own trees that move with me from place to place. My lemon trees are nearly 30 years old, grown from seeds planted by my older daughter as a young child. I also have a corn plant tree, rescued from the basement discard room in an apartment building I lived in briefly about 15 years ago.

tree sprit face tree 3s

I carry their spirits with me, but I have also given them form from time to time. Like the plants, they provide companionship and continuity, a living connection to reciprocal relationships that exist without needing any specific place or time.

tree sprit face tree s

At the Crossroads

Once we were all earth.  We were only ourselves when we were each other.  Our world had not yet been divided into good and evil, dark and light.

Golems we were, every one of us, raw elements of matter and light, untamed magic.  Cosmic dust animated by water air and fire, rising from the depths of the sea.  Pure energy concentrated into simple patterns over skeletons of increasing complexity.

Our origins shadow us, a mirror containing our destination.  We fear who we are and so we seek to distance ourselves, destroying all reminders of our fragile mortality, our kinship with clay and mud.

We have transformed the golem into a fearful beast.  We look at him through the wrong end of the long telescope of Time.  What words can return us to our proper place on the winding wheel?

How do we spell life?

Prosery for dVerse using the poetic line from D.H. Lawrence suggested by Kim: ‘We look at him through the wrong end of the long telescope of Time’.

Also for the Earthweal challenge Earth-Masks.

Like Breathing

circle sky birdlings s

Black is the color of creation.
The void is beginning.
Emptiness must be filled.
You can’t have something without nothing.

And how does that apply to imaginary beings?
Must there also be a counterpart that’s real?

Must every question have an answer and every answer a question?

Catch the words–
in context they become magic.
Recreate the patterns that create potential,
the map to being born.

A cloud is like breathing.
Breathing is like catching.
Catching is like stopping time.
Stopping time is like an earthquake.
An earthquake is like a heart beating fast.
A heart beating fast is like drumming.
Drumming is like dancing.
Dancing is like a bird.
A bird is like flowers.
Flowers are like a rainbow.
A rainbow is like a song.
A song is like the universe.
The universe is like a wheel.

The void is pregnant.

The journey is alive.

Do we get broken so we can be fixed?

For Sue Vincent’s photo prompt, above, from August 2017. I’ve been missing Sue’s prompts. Sending this one out to her along with wishes for healing, a good night’s sleep, and the taste of a strong cup of coffee.

circle birdlings close up 1s

Also linking to Earthweal Open Link Weekend.

mercy 4 (after M.L. Smoker)

one morning you wake up and
the reasons for everything
are gone

the sky has already fallen
and the wind changes direction
continuously—the trees
wave wildly as they try
to keep their roots
grounded, hold tight to their
branches and seeds and leaves

the birds have long ago
disappeared into
the expanse of nowhere
that used to be a horizon
not even a line anymore
but bottomed out
down and far beyond away

you appeal to all spirits
any spirit listening
asking for some small
sign that things will return
to a state of understanding

slow down at least and give
you time to adjust—to what?
what is left of any
configuration? will it be
improved by changing
the velocity?

nothing is sensible or even
nonsensical

you yourself appear
only dimly in the mirror–
perhaps even your bones
have taken leave and only
your thoughts remain

invisible
mad
beside themselves
alone

In July and August I wrote a series of poems inspired by M.L. Smoker’s poem “Mercy”. As I’ve been having trouble writing anything new, I decided to revisit them, and I’ve been worrying this one, #4, all week. I’m not exactly sure it fits the Earthweal challenge this week of a haunted wilderness, but it’s in the spirit.

“Everybody’s crying mercy when they don’t know the meaning of the word.”
–Mose Allison

“Mercy” is not available online, but you can read about M.L. Smoker, and read some of her other works, here.

stars of everything

stars of everything mandala s

In my childhood, even our suburban house was only half a block from woods and meadows and creeks to explore.  We had no devices to keep us indoors, and we went outside at every chance.  There were still open spaces, for butterflies dragonflies tadpoles bees creeks meadows woods trees rocks sky prickers blackberries colors and clouds and wind—we ran wild, my mother just told us to be home for dinner, who does that now? They would take your children away from you.

I had the companionship of trees plants wild things animals and such clouds to contemplate–I used to lie on my back in the grass and just look at the sky, what was I thinking? Maybe thoughts beyond thought before thought.  Now my mind is so busy it never stops to just be and let the world run through like a river like the wind.

watching my
child-self lying in
a bed of
greentree bird
sky
everything is opened
up, shining—the world

explodes in
to a forever,
endless waves
merging as
they ebb and flow—cascading
landscapes shouting yes!

stars of everything mandala close up s

Sarah at earthweal asked us to think how we connected with nature in childhood.  I took sentences and lines from 5 previous posts–especially I remembered writing about this subject in a collaboration I did with Claudia McGill, and the bulk of the text is from there.

The art was done as a homage to artist Thornton Dial–I took his title, Stars of Everything, and made my own collage and accompanying words.  He knew about the power of art.

“Art is like a bright star up ahead in the darkness of the world. It can lead peoples through the darkness and help them from being afraid of the darkness….Art is a guide for every person who is looking for something.”
–Thornton Dial

 

hollering (75th anniversary of Hiroshima)

hollering s

I hold my own hand
and step into that place
I don’t know and can’t see–

I was always making it up,
but in reaction,
waiting for clues–

Now I see only myself,
my indecision mirroring back
and making me hesitate–

More than a crossroads–
paths appear everywhere
as the center shifts–

I sway with choices–
pick a card, any card–
eeny meeny miny mo

cranes s

I wrote this for the earthweal weekly challenge strange world.  When I went to post it today, I realized it’s the 75th anniversary of the Hiroshima bombing, so I decided to include some of the art and words from my previous 70th anniversary post.

70 years cranes s

The madness of humanity has been evident for a long time.

no meaning no sense
words are lost is there a way
to stop this bleeding

70 years close up 1s

What are we going to do about it?

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/

also linking to dVerse OLN hosted by Lillian