Tears of

My life–
How much more of it remains?
The night is brief.

–Masaoka Shiki

My hand traces invisible lines through each day.
Life has its endings, but I wonder again why and
how do we create so many boundaries?  How
much do we know of what we call ourselves? And what
more is left, at this late date, to be discovered there?
Of what am I really thinking when, with sudden fear,
it seems that everything is impossible, that nothing
remains?  Have I used it all up–the synapses firing,
the cells’ ability to regenerate rather than destroy?  The
night and the day and the sky and the land?  Why
is it so difficult to relocate the silence, that interlude of
brief completion when everything is being born again?

The NaPoWriMo prompt today is a reverse Golden Shovel poem–instead of placing the words from the selected poem at the end of each line and writing around it, the words are placed at the beginning. Either way, it’s a good way to approach writing when you’re stuck. I’ve chosen a haiku from Masaoka Shiki for my poem, but I’m adding a little afterward from Joan and Bob.

Tears of rage, tears of grief
Why must I always be the thief?
Come to me now, you know we’re so alone
And life is brief

–Dylan

Also for Muri’s prompt of a Golden Shovel poem with the theme of change.

Serpent’s Tale

The serpent grew wings–
emerging from the cosmic egg,
it became a bird.

Embracing the tree of life
and all of spirit’s progeny,
the serpent grew wings.

Beginning as a vast secret
of stars and swirling light
emerging from the cosmic egg

The serpent shed its skin
and imagined miracles.
It became a bird.

The NaPoWriMo prompt today was to write a poem about a mythical person or creature doing something unusual . My response is not exactly on prompt–I took a mythical creature but I reimagined it into hope instead of despair. As Brendan at earthweal says: let’s celebrate radical hope — that hope whose only basis is our faith in the wonder of life and our capacity to embrace it.

The form I used for the poem is the Cascade, one of Muri’s April scavenger hunt poetic prompts. I’d forgotten how much I like it–thanks Muri!

I did not have to look far into my Redon-inspired collages for a mythological subject. The stitched mandala is from my constellation series–this is the Phoenix, first published on Pure Haiku.

Your ashes illume,
cradled beyond day and night – 
great is the unknown.

Conjunction

She had been too much with herself for too long.  She remembered all those years of nights spent sheltered by the warmth of another body, two forms fitting their angles and curves into the same space, under the same quilt, following the same moontides.  Even after the inevitable discord of their diurnal interactions, the darkness enclosed them in a safe place.

Or so it seemed in retrospect.  Their anatomies had long since diverged, inhabiting vastly different and irreconcilable dimensions.  Where were those piercing chameleonlike eyes, the uncomfortably perceptive mind with its acerbic tongue?  She missed them.

The flesh she inhabited now seemed to belong somewhere else.  Why was she still trapped inside?  Sleep had become a mystery, with a map that consistently confused her.

When she dreamed, she wandered a vast dark underground, always missing the train.  One night a penumbra approached.  It seemed to be human, someone she knew, and yet she could identify nothing about them.  “You are alone.”  It was not a question, and it was true.

Without warning, an extended and overpowering embrace filled all the empty silences of her being.  She yielded to the invisibility of the voice which spoke a language she had once known but forgotten.

morning songs—shadows
of blue, a flash of red wings–
returning the light

Today’s NaPoWriMo prompt is to write your own prose poem that, whatever title you choose to give it, is a story about the body. The poem should contain an encounter between two people, some spoken language, and at least one crisp visual image. I’ve also included the murisopsis prompt word yield.

Threads and Circles

1
to be a thread held
on the wings of birds soaring
through vast light-filled air

2
layers merge
separate become
something else

3
stilness waits
to expand beyond
what is here

4
particles of light
that remain uncaught—a song
you can almost hear

5
tethered to itself
or maybe nothing at all–
just an idea

The last Kick-About prompt was Naum Gabo’s sculpture, linear construction #2, above. It brought to mind some small shibori swatches I had that I wanted to embroider on. I meant to do a few of them, but only had time for one. But the others are waiting.

NaPoWriMo begins tomorrow, and I also wanted to post the 5 Japanese-style poems I wrote to accompany my stitching in anticipation of a month of poeming–I have not been writing many new things lately.

The first year I participated was 2016, so this will be my seventh year. As in recent past years, I’ve tried to accumulate a month’s worth of new art to use with the writing. This year, a lot of my inspiration has come from the art of Redon.