we grow wings, awaiting the return of the sun
as branches and leaves dance patterns over the moon–
invisible roots weave themselves through our hands
and become imprinted inside our eyes–
alert to the gaps in the circle,
we lie still, glittering like coiled snakes
We shed our skins, discarding them like snakes
and bask in glittered nakedness beneath the sun.
We turn our insides out, become the circle–
shapeshifting, orbed, a secret following the moon
through the thousand doors of the cosmic eye,
the lines on the palm of the soothsayer’s hand.
We stand just out of reach, beyond time’s hand
among the whispers in the wake of the snake.
The sky trembles as we gather into the Devil’s Eye
and rearrange the seasons by summoning the sun,
dropping it into darkness. Who can contain the moon?
The hares alone see everything, like the circle.
Exposed and whirling us in surprise, the circle
weaves a web of lines into every hand,
a talisman of light reflecting the moon.
It collects our beginnings and endings. The snake
trades paths with the absent elsewhere of the sun,
a geography that exists beyond the all-seeing eye.
Our spirits walk on the edge of the hare’s eye
as hidden crows echo across the circle
trying to catch the light, steal the fire from the sun.
The landscape breaks apart, a wheel without a hand,
consumed by the changing riddles of the snake,
retrieving its magic by chanting the songs of the moon.
Our hares are like ships that sail the moon,
shining in the mirror of the third eye.
We feast on desire like the dreamsnake,
bending layers of souls into a spiraled circle.
Crow approaches and takes each open hand,
extending its wings to carry us far away from the sun.
Reawakening the moon, we reverse the circle,
crossing the hare’s eye with the left hand.
The snake casts its ancient shadow through the sun.
Lisa and David both posted sestinas yesterday, which reminded me I had never posted this one, which I began with one stanza for the Kick About prompt that highlighted the quilts of Harriet Powers. I later revised and completed it to submit to The Ekphrastic Review as a response to the wonderful print by Jane Burn, above.
For the Kick About, I made felt appliqued circles, similar to those found in penny rugs, taking the motifs from the quilts. I didn’t have a large enough piece of fabric to sew them on, so I photographed them on black paper, white paper, and the wood floor. I’m still undecided as to which background would be best, so the circles are still in a bin waiting to be put together.
There were birds in Powers’ quilts too. I didn’t put them in my felt circles, but I didn’t forget them either.