translational

listen to the sound of air–
filling the distance,
tiny continuous hums–
whispers weaving nets,
forming a loose cocoon un
seen, awash, present–
between silences singing–
distilled reflection

Brendan at earthweal this week asks us to “describe an enchanted moment”. Neither words nor images seem adequate for the sound of air, but I attempted it anyway. It doesn’t happen all the time, but sometimes when I meditate everything else fades away and I can hear the air. Most often it sounds like the image above.

But sometimes it has more clarity.

And in rare moments, it takes colors into the layers of movement.

The images were created by taking some of the art from one of my Kick-About responses to a film about light and applying Photoshop filters. I’ll get around to posting the originals at some point.

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.

now, when

what crowns morn
ing what binds begin
ning connects
endings to
portaled timelessness what re
news continues life

if not birds
if not stars if not
dawn if not
rain wind sky
if not fertile earth turning
into trees—what then?

For earthweal, spending some time with trees. My painting is, once again, inspired by Joan Mitchell’s tree paintings which I return to again and again.

recalibrations

where is the center?
always moving–
I can’t locate
the pivot

always moving–
the place of stillness,
the pivot
of this labyrinth

stillness
retracing
this labyrinth
emerging

retracing
beginning
emerging
expanding

to begin,
I relocate–
expanding
the center

For Earthweal, where Ingrid asks us to consider our labyrinthine times.

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.

incohesive

“Ecosystems are so similar to human societies—they’re built on relationships.  The stronger they are, the more resilient the system.”—Suzanne Simard, Finding the Mother Tree

we keep dividing
designating
a hierarchy
to pull what we share
apart

and so each
of us is missing
parts
each of us is
incomplete

why do we cling
to our separation
our isolation
who we think we are
alone?

the foundation
is faltering
and still
we hold
on

collapsing
into
the deep
hole
of ourselves

During a presentation Suzanne Simard made, early in her career, about her research into the interrelationships between trees and other species in the forest, and how all were necessary in order for the forest to thrive, she mentioned also the threat to climate from disrupting these systems. “Climate change means nothing in Canada” one of the audience said afterwards.

For earthweal.

who am/are

finding myself
I open the cages
I travel on paths
where I once was we

I open the cages
calm and unafraid
where I once was we
everything begins again

calm and unafraid
as intersected species
everything begins again
inside and out

as intersected species
abiding in before and after
inside and out
following life’s tides

abiding in before and after
I travel on paths
following life’s tides
finding myself

Sherry posted at earthweal this week about Jane Goodall and how her work with chimpanzees led her to start “Roots and Shoots, her program, now 30 years old, that inspires young people to plant trees and care for the areas in which they live”.

I knew I had posted before about chimpanzees as part of my endangered species series on methodtwomadness. When I went back and looked, I found that I had also talked then about Jane Goodall and her work.

Chimpanzees are our closest genetic relative. Of course we still have plenty of work to do learning to treat other humans with respect. We can start by opening the cage doors.

chimp 1s

My first pantoum of the week–there will be more.

sabbatical

It seems like every day I read a new article about the need for a sabbatical from technology and the fast pace of the world. Those slow pandemic days are fading fast.

Some people talk about a secular Sabbath, some want to revive the religious one. Some people propose not only ditching technology for 24 hours each week, but creating new shared rituals and places for community during those times. Some talk about just taking a day to go and sit with the trees, to experience the world at their pace. I wonder how many of us could actually slow down and withdraw from our devices enough to actually spend a day that way.

And all of these ideas are a hard sell in a capitalist world.

the water reflects
the world through the trees dappled
sky moving over
rocks and feet planted
like hushed reeds waiting to sing
the songs of quiet movement
and transforming light

This drawing is part of my attempt to try different things in my art journal. Many artists write on their pages as well as draw. The image is based on an advertisement photo–I removed the models and the product (I can’t remember now what it was) and wrote spontaneously about the landscape. Whatever they were selling, I wasn’t buying. But I always notice trees.

let life move
while you rest outside
and listen

For earthweal, Interdependence Day.

eating the heart out

The streets are quiet,
eerie, the walls blank.
I remain inside.

My windows are noisy
with things I can’t see.
I rarely reply to them
because the response flies
away on the wind,
storm tossed and clouded,
darkened by rain
and the fading light.

What would I say
to the ghosts
of the children?–
the ones not
on the playground not
on the streets no
longer living
in an apartment, a house,
a country, a land–
the ones no one can
find anywhere?

How to say the word
death
and to also shield them
from its consequences.
How to explain
why and how
we have come to be

living in this uncertain
tangle of lies
ignorance violence–
a place full
of humans unable
to even acknowledge
or to bridge
the rising waters.

The ones who
would rather drown
than make amends.

Sherry at earthweal has reminded us of all the grief consuming the world, and asks us to write about it. I wrote a version of this poem first in the midst of New York’s early pandemic. I’ve revised it a bit, but the ghosts of the children have not gone away.

(con)verged

the tear
in the chronology
gets larger and frays
into an edgeless rift–
it weighs nothing
this breathing out
this feather
that has lost its wing

we follow the circle
around the burning bush
the light too intense
to hold our gaze—
who is this transparent
being that takes hands
 and pulls them into patterns
made whole by what lies

beyond envisioning–
we blur like dervishes
tangled in life’s netting
until our falling and rising
are indistinguishable
until the center is outside
any definition of ourselves
until the hidden reveals

the opening in our eyes–
every nerve becomes
a soundless song
a complete chord
that pauses in nexus–
source proof reason
meaningless irreversible
stilled

For earthweal A Midsummer Night’s Dreamtime.

and linking to dVerse OLN hosted by Bjorn