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.
four leaf clover–
the greening magic
on different wings
June always reminds me of my childhood summers, spent almost entirely outdoors. Looking for 4-leaf clovers was one recurring activity.
calling me home
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.
gathering the light of stars
turning in stillness
My December grid and words for Frank Tassone’s #Haikai Challenge of Advent.
December and winter have indeed arrived.
flames of memory
crossing in both directions–
past and present fuse
For dVerse OLN, hosted by Linda, and Frank Tassone’s seasonal #Haikai Challenge #110.
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.
I’m finally seeing some yellow leaves on the street trees outside this morning. But tomorrow is supposed to be 90 degrees…
as vessels, empty,
all this space
find the right oceans—ancient
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.
The poem was also inspired by Joni Mitchell.
covered with voices
songs like the rattle of bones
a chorus of leaves
mirroring the wind
spiraling dances transformed
with patterns winging
newly colored hours
stillness in constant motion
shadowing the light
My September grid, and an autumn contemplation for Frank Tassone’s #haikai challenge 102.
The elements are turning.
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.
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.