Why do you ask me where we are? I lost my bearings long ago. Each day is different, and yet very much like all that have been or will be, amen. You ask me for maps, for calculations, but why not shower the world with devotion?
~and why should we not sing~
celebrating what is here and now but also what leaves and then returns? Every story continues beyond its ending. Why not follow it around? Why not grow wings, meet each day without imprisoning it in either space or time?
The NaPoWriMo prompt today is to write a poem that poses a series of questions. Since the majority of my poems ask questions, I also incorporated Merril’s dVerse prompt to write a puente.
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
You can neither forecast
the way the currents
move you, or strand you
in a density that refuses
Some days have wings–
but most rely on gravity
to anchor them–
to keep them
safe from the whims
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.
The eye in my grid is a serendipitous borrowing from Marcy Erb.
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.
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.
carry the end
back to the beginning?
who will remember the lost, re
the disappeared? Who will fill life
with futures, release those
fragile wings to
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.
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.
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
we begin as vessels, empty,
all this space
waiting to find the right oceans—ancient echoes wandering–
all-that-is transformed into an
whispers of traces—spirals
mirroring the sea
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.