always digging deeper– roots that grow below, restore– listening through decay beyond stillness,
a place that is neither dark nor light, yet full, aware, gathered germinating into witness,
distilled light casting words that linger as counterpart– revealing mysteries in all that is
held on the wings of birds, circulated through the heart, absorbed into the spiraling axis
It’s poet’s choice of form at Colleen’s Tanka Tuesday, and how could I resist a syllabic form called “kerf”? I meant this also to be for the earthweal challenge this week, earthcraft, but obviously did not finish it in time.
It’s a robin, I think, as the melody enters my consciousness through the window. But then it morphs into a litany of birds from cardinal to crow. There may even have been a frog thrown in for good measure.
I can’t locate the bird to see who is gifting me with its repertoire of local wildlife sounds. It could be a starling—I once lived in an apartment where the local starlings would sit on the roof railing next door every morning and tell me all they knew. But there are also plenty of both mockingbirds and catbirds hanging around.
city fades a sanctuary feathered skies
A meditation on sanctuary for earthweal. Also linking to dVerse OLN, hosted by MsJadeLi.
I can almost hear them echoed on repeat through my bones spiralled gifts collected in the overlap of landsea the fluid movement that follows after what hasn’t happened yet cleansing
sheer sound waves etched in side winds calling I can see them sometimes—doubled visions currents vibrating against a blurred sky gyring like the shadow of a raptor glimpsed briefly between the singing of reflected light sailed whole
In my mind the Prospect Cottage prompt from the Kick-About, below, intersected with the Otherworld of Brendan’s earthweal prompt and then merged with my shells, collected over years of visits to the ocean. The shore is where I lose myself and meet “Not Here” and Prospect Cottage felt like it was a portal into that suspension of the normal framing of time and space. “Like landing on the moon,” as the narrator said.
Most of my shells are still in storage, but I’ve carried some weathered whelks along with each move I’ve made, both to look at and draw. The spirals sing, and bring the sea to me. I drew three of them from different angles on the same page–first pencil, then colored pencil, then with a brush in gouache.
I decided to add grounds. It’s not always easy to tell when you’ve gone too far, but I think I definitely did so with the colored pencils. I may take an eraser to the ground to fade it so the shells don’t get so lost. I was trying to capture the garden of Prospect Cottage.
The pencil drawing was impossible to photograph well, but I like the weathered effect. I wrote words around and connecting the shells, which you can see better in the close up. These are quotes from the video interspersed with my own observations. This one has exactly the feeling I wanted, of secret messages, indecipherable voices on the wind.
The painted shells–it felt so good to get my gouache out of storage and paint with it again!–captures the colors I was feeling from both prompts–a sense both of otherness and belonging, of being just exactly in the right place without time.
I do not wander randomly but I also do not follow a map. Unlocated, I listen, I look. The Earth claims me, returns me with her favor. I cannot name all the colors, nor sing all the songs she has nested in my heart. They are unmeasurable, eternal.
a handless glove, a stone visage. A blue orb planted with life. Dust seeds blown by cosmic winds.
Look backward to see the future. Ruins of visions. Monumental doors to nowhere. The detritus of humanity. Is this all that we wish to leave behind?
The Kick-About prompt for this week is de Chirico’s enigmatic painting “The Song of Love”, above. The collage I did evolved from a lot of other ideas, merging with Merril’s quadrille prompt at dVerse to use the word seed, and Brendan’s prompt at earthweal to write Songs of the Earth Shaman.
2 A Meditation or Maybe a Prayer
for those who ask and those who don’t answer. For those who always make way and those who have never been found. For what we know and refuse to acknowledge. For what stands in the center of what we think we believe. For what remains when faith has fallen apart. For the times that we begin again and the times that seem to have no ending. For what we hold against others and what we keep to ourselves. For the impossible and the improbable and all the borders we draw to keep from finding out.
Listen. I am waiting for you to come home.
I needed to consider this seemingly unsolvable riddle that is human life on earth from more than one side.
What is? Why not say blue mirror, say deep well– Why not say sun light, say bright fire?
Dancing circles into braided beginnings, the meeting of earth and air
Weaving flowers to welcome back the missing and missed
Swallowing the past, planting the future– doing and being both—
Balancing the between to expand in both directions
What is? Why not say moment of birth, say the point when life begins, say spirit, breath, embodiment?
What is? Why not say the pivot of is and is not?
Sarah has given us the inspiration of Beltrane at earthweal this week. Whatever you choose to write about, remember that this is a celebration, of new life, of love and of the endless bounty of this planet.
NYC was in serious decline in the 70s–hence the famous headline, from 1975, below. Everything was falling apart, and there were vacant lots and abandoned properties everywhere.
Organizations like GrowNYC, Greenthumb, and OasisNYC began to foster community gardens in abandoned lots, renovated by volunteers from the surrounding area. Today there are nearly 600 such gardens in the city–everywhere you walk, you’ll stumble upon one. Managed by neighborhood residents, they grow all kinds of things, both edible and simply beautiful. They foster new and experienced gardeners, young and old. They sponsor art displays and performances, and act as community centers.
I used Bjorn’s prompt, at dVerse, to compose my poem for Earth Day in Anapestic Tetrameter.