August 2020: under the weather

ennui no levels a

The day was packing heat,
hanging it like a curtain
between me and the world–
dampening all sound,
clogging the airways,
slowing synapses down.

The open windows
provided no threshold
of relief–no wind
came knocking.

You can neither forecast
nor change
the way the currents
move you, or strand you
unmoved, trapped
in a density that refuses
to vacate.

Some days have wings–
but most rely on gravity
to anchor them–
to keep them
safe from the whims
of Gods.

The Kick-About #7 Challenge is Walter Richard Sickert’s painting, Ennui, above. Ennui is most closely associated with boredom, but it is heavy with an attitude that it seems to me is mostly posturing.  It’s a self-indulgence of the privileged who needn’t even be bothered with the daily tasks of life like cooking or washing clothes, or even gardening, as they have servants to deal with such mundane things.

Boredom infers monotony which does reflect the world many of us inhabit right now–the endless days and hours that we can’t keep track of anymore.  But it’s not really boredom.  I have no problem filling my days, though I can’t always point to what exactly it is I’ve filled them with.  But I find it hard to focus, to find motivation, and I’m often anxious and uneasy and feel unsettled and displaced.  The relentless heat is no help.

That’s what I tried to capture in my August grid and poem.  The pandemic world of now seems to box you in, surround you with a sameness of grey.

ennui close up s

The eye in my grid is a serendipitous borrowing from Marcy Erb.

July 2020

july 20 grid 1s

I see twilight be
coming dawn–clear, unjingo
istic, open, free

I usually do a red white and blue grid for July, but this year it doesn’t feel right, just like our national anthem has never felt right to me.  Not even considering the character of Francis Scott Key, I never wanted to celebrate bombs bursting in air.  I don’t think God is on “our” side.  There is nothing that makes me any more deserving of anything than any other living being of any other nationality, race, or religion.

july 20 grid 2s

Everything that happens everywhere affects everyone and every place on Earth.  Unless we learn to act on that truth, there is little hope for humanity’s survival.

 

 

To the Monarch (May 2020)

may grid s

Who will
carry the end
back to the beginning?
who will remember the lost, re
locate
the disappeared?  Who will fill life
with futures, release those
fragile wings to
the skies?

brown monarch s

I decided to do my May grid and a butterfly cinquain for both the NaPoWriMo Day 30 prompt, “something that returns”, and Colleen’s #Tanka Tuesday prompt theme, chosen by Elizabeth from Tea and Paper, “the day after”.

When Nina and I first started blogging at memadtwo, one of my recurring themes was endangered species.  I posted twice (here and here) about the Monarch Butterfly, and wrote in one post:

Most people know that monarchs migrate from the United States and Canada to central Mexico to hibernate in winter. This can mean a trip of nearly 3,000 miles!

Between 2012 and 2013 the amount of butterflies who wintered in the Mexican forest decreased by 40%. The forest habitat itself is disappearing as a result of illegal logging. But the extreme weather conditions of the last few years, due to climate change, have also caused lower hatching rates. Another factor is the loss of milkweed plants, the primary food source for monarchs, killed by agricultural herbicides.

may grid close up s

Perhaps the coronavirus will provide these beautiful creatures with some respite from human destruction.

When looking for music about migration I remembered Steve Earle’s song.  Monarchs remind us that borders are only the lines that we ourselves choose to draw.

Thanks to Maureen Thorson and all the participants in NaPoWriMo 2020 for helping me to travel all over the world and creating bridges that reached far beyond the walls and borders of our politics and our forced isolation.

napo2020button1-1

October 2019

oct grid scan s

For my grid this month I decided to try something different–I consulted the collage box oracle for the haiku and incorporated the words into the grid.  I tried both photographing and scanning it, but neither exactly captured the colors–they had a strange red cast.  I had a little better luck adjusting them in Photoshop with the scanned image, above.

who you are connects
the transit of where you are
to the shape of next

I’m also linking this to Colleen’s #TankaTuesday, poet’s choice of words.

oct 19 grid s

I’m finally seeing some yellow leaves on the street trees outside this morning.  But tomorrow is supposed to be 90 degrees…

(more) blue

blue ocean grid s

we begin
as vessels, empty,
all this space
waiting to
find the right oceans—ancient
echoes wandering–

 all-that-is
transformed into an
azure song,
composed from
whispers of traces—spirals
mirroring the sea

Color BLock Blue Story by Beverly Dyer

A shadorma duo for Colleen’s #TankaTuesday poet’s choice of words.  The art inspiration is via Mish at dVerse, who introduced us to artist Beverly Dyer, and asked for an ekphrastic response to one of her paintings.  I chose her grid, “Blue Story”, above, and did my own grid to match with pieces of ocean and sky.

The poem was also inspired by Joni Mitchell.

 

 

August (2019)

autumn 2019 grid s

Is it the sky I seize when my hand reaches out to touch the storm of rain? Or do the heavens remain behind the veil, rainbowed and unclouded, waiting for the thunderings of the gods to echo into quietude as they follow the flashes of light to the edge of the horizon?

Everything around me is covered with drops of liquid light.

Gaia, drunk with the season’s retreat, builds an improvised framework out of the movements of the moon.

I look for the line
between now and again, where
flower becomes seed–

All is stillness, dense, restless–
leaves shiver, rattled by wind.

A haibun for my August grid, using the prompt words clear and nature from Colleen’s #TankaTuesday.  Last night’s thunderstorm seemed to be straddling seasons.  Two of Jane Dougherty’s recent poems, “Damp Morning” and “Stories” are similar in feeling.

august grid close up s

The grid and poem started out in the same general area but were revised in different directions I think.  Well, my drawing teachers always emphasized the importance of contrast in art–what isn’t there being as necessary as what is.  It’s up to the reader/watcher to fill in the blanks with what they need.