Midway

If I approach before, must I retreat after?  The mirror is always turning.  The reflection reverts, echos, remembers, forgets.  Meets itself, coming and going.  Centered, stilled.

on the cusp
earth bows to the sun
abiding

Perhaps the sudden and expanded silence is what heals, releases the mind from meaning.  Can words ever really stand in for what they are not?

Without time, I can relocate who I am.  I reach for next, but I don’t understand until later how very far it is from now.

widdershins
the circle dances
into fire

Frank at dVerse has us thinking about the Solstice.

And my title has me thinking about Joni.

More art from the archives.

Oasis

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.

Night Ride

I drift inside dream rivers open and wild with singing, flowing through unexplored dimensions into rough horizonless seas.  How will I cross?

My vessel waits, slowly filling with circular light.

in between what and
if sail the indigo night
gardens of the moon

A haibun with the theme “flower moon” for Frank at dverse.

The Age of Aquarius

Back when the musical “Hair” came out, some astrologers grumbled that it wasn’t really the Age of Aquarius yet.  But what did we care?  We were tired of the world as it was, ready for Peace Love and Understanding.

Well…maybe not.

chaotic stillness
watching from the whorled center
for new beginnings

During 2020 there were rumblings once again online about the REAL Age of Aquarius finally showing up.  I was skeptical to say the least.

all those lost patterns–
I collect them in my mind,
in new rotations

It seems we had the Age of Aquarius skewed, not only in time.  Yes, it’s a total tearing down and rebuilding.  But it’s going to require hard work.  Taking a lot of drugs and wearing tie-dye and listening to songs about love won’t do it.

all impermanence—
no matter which way you turn
the path continues

Can we change our entire approach to living together, not only with each other, but with the earth, its creatures, its landscape, its elements?  We need to if we want to survive.

giving myself hope
inside my dark wanderings–
a world of wonder

When Phil asked me to choose this week’s Kick-About prompt, I thought immediately of The Age of Aquarius, because I’ve been turning over in my mind the hope that it might be real, that humanity can change. I always loved the music posters of the “Hair” era, and used them as inspiration for my neon colored paintings.

I’m looking forward to seeing all the other responses next week.

International Woman’s Day

Gonna Take a Miracle (for Laura Nyro)

Uneasy.  Have you sinned?  Did Pandora pull you from the box holding your dreams?  Did you flee after filling your mind with the fruits of Eve?

Go naturally.  Sing the madwoman, the sorceress, the witch of becoming, Our Lady of the Moon Eclipsing the Sun.  Sing terrible and trembling, elusive and out of control.

Time is near.  Still living in a paradise of fools.  Still living in a valley full of the shadows of fallen angels.  The Devil is still hungry.  The Devil is still sweet.

Way down there.  Meet fire with broken wings, broken heart, broken promises.  Tangle time up and lay time down.  Wash the sky, the water, the land, the air.  Stand on the brown earth with dreams and a white dove.

No chains.  Going to the moon dock going to the luna tick tock with medicine in my hand going to visit Our Lady of the Holy Woman the Holy Golden Wager.  Footslipping off the cliff out the window got blinds drawn all over me.

Freedom.  Under the boardwalk.  Up on the roof.

A daily blessing:
ride the fury of the soul–
sing the glory road.

fly me top 3s

Ingrid at Experiments in Fiction asked us to post something for International Women’s Day, today, March 8. I wrote this poem, first published in Formidable Woman in 2018, using the music of Laura Nyro as inspiration.. This year’s theme is #ChooseToChallenge. And so she did, and her words continue to resonate.

Creation Story

Let there be lines, he said.  Let there be vectors, plots and graphs.  He skipped pebbles over the pool of his mind as he devised a plan made up completely of endings.

Let there be angles troubled by twists and turns.  Let forward and backward be arbitrary, just a dubious arrangement of flotsam and blitz.  Let there be clues and traces, but no solution.

Let shapes enter forms that echo shadows cast by ladders to nowhere.  Let uncertaintly be vexed by avoidance and puzzled by what arrives after.  Let eons come before next.

Let all the signs hint at comprehension while remaining unspelled.  Not either/or but henceforth.  And inasmuch as.

clueless
this world
without a prayer

Brendan at earthweal has asked us to describe the unsayable nature of the pandemic we are still fighting our way through.

Poem up at the Ekphrastic Review

where does the body lie?

a prisoner of gravity,
it remains forever outside of dreams

unfit for the spiritship,
a vessel of startled complexity–
open, unbounded, secret, extreme

Picture

I wrote the original version (much revised) of the above 42 poem at the same time I wrote my haibun, Unattached, which is published on The Ekphrastic Review today, along with Jane’s lyrical poem, Bronze Dreams, and other varied responses to Frida Kahlo’s painting, The Dream.

My collage is once again based on a tarot card, this the the Four of Swords. Kahlo’s paining reminded me very much of the iconic Rider-Waite card, but my own interpretation drifts in between the card and the painting. I could not find out if Kahlo ever studied tarot, but she was friends with many of the Surrealists, who certainly played with its symbolism. The Four of Swords is a card of restoration and healing, just like Frida’s Dream.

I placed a photo of the interior of an Egyptian sarcophagus in the sky. The figure painted there is the sky goddess Nut, who “spreads out her arms protectively to receive the deceased. (s)He is sheltered by her, is adsorbed into her body, and emerges reborn” (Rose-Marie and Rainer Hagen, “Egypt”).

You can read my poem (and Jane’s) here. My thanks once again to editor Lorette C. Luzajic for supporting my work and the interaction between the visual and written arts.

Aliens

You meet me only on your own terms, describe me and put me into categories based on the systems created by the human mind.  You expect me to respond like you do, refusing to grant intelligence or even sentience to my interactions with others of my species, with the world I know, inhabit, understand.  You deny me even the dignity of knowing who I am.

The sea calls to you—it is where you came from, what you carry in the cells that form your body.  Before history begin, we were all one.  You believe in your own superiority, the pinnacle of a tree with many branches that was seeded in the ocean.  But the branches are subtle, complex.  Our paths are so divergent they intersect only on completely different layers of reality.

You consider the possibilities; I am all potential.  You struggle to reconcile body and mind; my brain is everywhere in my body, fully integrated into my entire being. We have no physical equivalence.  What makes you think your dreams are better, or more real?

what is a thought?  can
words capture it?  images,
colors, patterns—this

is music—transformations
into chords of utter joy

It took me awhile to figure out what animal to give a voice to for the earthweal challenge this week from Sherry, when animals speak. But I kept going back in my mind to a book I read last year by Peter Godfrey Smith, Other Minds, about the octopus but also about how life came to be. Cephalopods are truly alien forms of life.

They are their own canvas, their own clay, with malleable bodies that can change their skin both in color and pattern. Their mind is located throughout their body and arms, and they seem to both learn and play. Is it possible to ever truly understand their consciousness?

what shines through water

Perhaps the rain and windstorm of Christmas Eve is a beginning towards washing away the darkness of 2020. Of course, as the Oracle reminds us, it’s never that simple.

I was pleased to have 3 pieces selected for The Ephrastic Review’s Christmas day post: Weathering, Our Lady of Toil and Trouble, and Mari Lwyd . You can read them here

away from the rain
shadows still ache with light
storms rip together apart

yet sea and sky sing roses
in the mothertongue
of the moon

ask what you want
for the dreams
you need

Also linking to earthweal Open Link Weekend.

What Child is This

Picture
Virgin and Child Surrounded by Angels, by Jean Fouquet (France) 1452-1458

She did not seek this role.  She contemplated her pose, the way her body was placed rigidly on the dais inside the carefully staged script.  Why had they shaved her head, bleached her skin until it reflected like the porcelain doll they placed on the stiff folds of her heavy cape?  Who had created this idea of an infant, disproportionate and so unlike any real child?

The crown, heavy and ill-suited to her countenance, threatened to tumble from its uneasy perch.  As did her entire being from the painted backdrop, so eerie and haunted—the flattened throne, the red demon angels who lacked either substance or joy.  The wall behind it all, painted blue to match her skimpy dress, conjured no images of either nature or heavenly dream.

And why expose a breast that could neither give sustenance or be received by an artists’ idea of a child?  Real children were indeed holy, scared even, alive in all their chaotic glory.  Real angels were full of light, kin to birds, to the cosmos that shone in the actual sky.  A real mother would be full of the earth, flesh blood and breath.

She thought of seeds being planted, how the light returns each year to bring the world to life. She longed to be standing, unadorned, down there, amidst the cacophony of this crowded orb.

circle dance
a child comes to be
and welcome

Jean Fouquet’s Virgin and Child Surrounded by Angels was the Ekphrastic Review prompt challenge this week. My haibun was not chosen, but even among the ones published on the website today, there was some ambivalence about this representation of mother and child. I obviously had more than some. You can read the selections on the website here, and Jane Dougherty’s responses to the painting, here.