blessing

blessing s

We gather together. We close our eyes, unlearning the darkness.

We are listening to what happens. When we don’t interfere, when we let go, unbe, untry.  When we release our expectations.

We hold everything as if it weighed nothing, as if it could fit into anything at all.

What we are.  Not what we think.  Not what we want.  Not what we fear.

The stillness of grace,
carried by stars on the wings
of birds.  We listen.

For a trio of prompts–Frank asked for thoughts about Thanksgiving in his #haikai challenge this week, and for thoughts about gratitude in his haibun prompt for dVerse.  Colleen  in her #TankaTuesday prompt also referred to the theme of Thanksgiving.

blessing close up s

Thanksgiving at my grandparents’ was loud and chaotic–numerous adults and sometimes 11 children vying for attention.

But we never ate any meal at their house without first becoming quiet and giving thanks.  It’s a ritual that perhaps deserves a revival.

Contingencies

contingencies s

Enmeshed by expectations, I keep spinning into tangles of self-imposed tempests. Where is the thread that will uncoil the gyring currents and release my thoughts into exhalations that echo with waves of light?

spirit of the wind
zephrean lullaby
dance me with dream dust

contingencies close up s

A quadrille haibun using dVerse host Kim’s word “keep” that considers the withering wind of Frank Tassone’s #haikai challenge #111.

Hunters Moon

hunters moon s

I stand at my back window near midnight. The night is cloudy, but still I’m hoping to catch a glimpse of the full October Hunter’s Moon.

I will not be using its light to search for my winter’s food store. So what am I seeking?  What will nourish me in the coming months of short days and long nights?

tell me what I see–
moon appears complete, sudden,
clouds glowing colors

wings against golden black
catch omens, rise, then fly

hunters moon close up 2s

Every two weeks The Ekphrastic Review has a writing challenge.  I usually enter, and always plan to do a collage for the selected work and publish my poem, even if it isn’t chosen.  Of course I don’t actually often have the time.  But Jane Dougherty’s repetition of Dale Patterson’s artwork, with 3 of her poems, spurred me to do my collage and revise my poem, which I wasn’t satisfied with.  It fit right into Frank Tassone’s “Hunter’s Moon” prompt.  Were you lucky enough to see it?

hunters moon close up s

You can see Jane’s poems here.  And those selected by guest editor Jordan Trethewey, at The Ekphrastic Review, here.

indigenous

indigenous comp

I am nowhere indigenous.  Born in the midwestern United States, I have moved through many other regions.  My genetics are blended and confused, my blood relations scattered.  Even within the city I have called home for 45 years I belong to no single neighborhood.  No land or culture claims me as their own.

accumulating
roots of tangled earth and air
unfixed, wandering—

I occupy each season
refilled, resampled, revived

indigenous close up s

For Frank’s haibun prompt at dVerse, considering our relationship to the word indigenous, as we celebrate both Columbus Day and the native peoples who inhabited this land long before Columbus discovered it.

turn turn turn

turn turn turn s

Every year fall foliage surprises us with its clichés. Fibers yellow on the edges, becoming brittle and brown. Scarlet fire burns itself into a colorless ash.

Memory preserves the departed colors, waiting in darkness.

We have been to this place many times before and yet still it catches us, wheeling us with the wind. Time contracts, translating itself into a hidden refuge, a seed to hold and protect through the long nights.

Life turns inward now–
sleep opening like the wings
of migrating birds

turn turn turn close up s

For Frank Tassone’s #Haikai Challenge #107, fall foliage.

9/11

 

jizo s

For 9/11, I’ve chosen my embroidery of Jizo, the Japanese god who helps to heal hearts and lives in times of darkness and grief.

Jizo personifies the Bodhisattva Vow to save all beings from suffering.  He works especially to save the souls of children who have died before their parents.  In Japan, stone Jizo statues are often adorned with children’s clothing and surrounded by offerings of flowers and toys, both as protection for a dead child and in gratitude for the saving of a child’s life.

Jizo is guardian of mothers, children, travelers, pilgrims, and–very appropriately to this day of remembering–firemen.

leaves rattle like bones
through bottomless clarity–
azure autumn sky

 

This is a reblog of my very first 9/11 post in 2014, adding the haiku from my post in 2017, which echoes always my memories of that morning here in NYC.

Adding it Up

never ending

If there’s a deadly sin, it’s power. It’s wanting to be more, by making others less—less than less.  It’s controlling with physical force, psychological terror, subjugation.  And if you don’t possess the genetic make-up to manipulate others directly, you make it up with a knife, a whip, a chain, fear, lies, starvation, locks, poverty, cages, technology, homelessness, isolation, guns, an army, explosives, drugs, religion, words, the law, bombs, lack of medical care, money, corporations, willful ignorance.

There is no end to the expressions of superiority and omnipotence.

Aren’t we rich? Barren
land, rivers of blood flowing–
empty to the core.

As Dylan observed, “all the money you made will never buy back your soul.”

no peace s

 

I’ve posted so many times on gun violence, I’ve stopped counting.  The last time was on June 1 of this year.

 

Placeholder image

Every day 88 people die by gun violence in the United States.

in which endings are both lost and multiplied close up s

Silence weeps
and eyes refuse sight.
No questions
can be posed,
nor answers given. Light is
erased. Dust and blood.

violence close up s

kalamazoo s

What is the color of mourning?
morning
of empty spaces, and Where?
wear
black, but it has no reply.
Why?
just questions and sorrow.
Tomorrow
will remain unfilled,
killed,
killed.  More shots from another gun.
When?
Again.

paris s

war is not healthy haiku s

As Dylan knew, you can’t separate a gun mentality from a war mentality.

Who are we?

It’s haibun Monday on dVerse.  Frank asked us to talk about peace to commemorate Hiroshima.  I’m not feeling it right now.