the chorus of everywhere

tree 2

“Trees are sanctuaries. Whoever knows how to speak to them, whoever knows how to listen to them, can learn the truth.”
Hermann Hesse

stop making
maps—destinations
are without
meaning—this
journey does not follow roads
to faraway lands

look around
at the familiar
landscape—light,
water, stone,
the patterns of trees joining
wings to earth and sky

listen to
the stillness of no
time—listen–
suspend all
expectations—what you need
is already here

tree 2 close up s

For Colleen’s #Tanka Tuesday, a shadorma chain inspired by a quote from Hermann Hesse, selected by Sue Vincent.

tree 1s

In Praise of Ecology

trees s

calling all the names–
circles of words and being
woven into life

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I greet the oak, the way
its branches frame the sky–
morning and evening
preserving the winter light
holding as shadows
the imprints of birds.

Listen:  they begin
the day—robins and blue jays
emerging from the cacophony
of sparrows and starlings–
and here again—my constant
companion, Crow.

We name our streets
after the trees that once stood
there:  elm, walnut, pine, maple,
chestnut, cedar, oak.  I wonder at
the words, now only images,
memories of  a lost inheritance.

Once landmark and shelter,
the empty vertices wait–
listening for the bearers
of seeds to refill
the gaps that echo barren
now, seeking new songs.

trees close up s

For earthweal where Sherry asks us to write love songs to mother earth.

Ancestor (Dance of the Happy Shades)

ancestor comp

He seems friendly
enough, this presence
of the past, shifting
languorously as if
drugged by sun
light shining in his eyes
after a thundering rain

In truth his voice
is seldom called
upon—an apparition
furniturial, fixed
impermanently in
corners and along
walls

ancestor close up 1s

His dance contains
unpredictable
undertones—the hours
move around him
as his buddha smile
glimmers knowingly
in the dark

ancestor close up 2s

Phil Gomm’s Prompt #3 at The Kick About is Dance of the Happy Shades.  My Rorschach ancestor mirrors himself and transforms in both vertical and horizontal directions.  It was fun to add a little nonsensical creation to my days.

the circle game part 2

circle game 2bs

Times Square is empty, like the weather—grey now, the colors drained like the empty subway cars, residing hidden in tenements, written in the isolation of morning coffee.  The Sunday newspaper remains undelivered (again) as even that thread of connection frays into feral cats in dark corners and the shadows of crows haunting the hometown I never knew.

All of this is imaginary, of course—flora and fauna are absent from this enclosed space, except as chimera, impoverished by the boredom of my own company, the same jeans and shirt waiting to be worn like the trackless days.  No Significant Other to keep me in, and an invisible barrier blocking me from leaving.  Outside my window a graffiti of exclamation points greets me each day behind the passing cars and on clear evenings I say “Goodnight Moon”, remembering bedtimes with small bodies close and sleepy and warm.

But the lines have been drawn, and as Joni reminds me, the seasons still go round and round.  We’re always captive on the carousel of time.

tomorrow
blue skies
growing new wings

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The NaPoWriMo prompt today was “to fill out, in five minutes or less, the following “Almanac Questionnaire.” Then, use your responses as to basis for a poem.”  You can see the questionnaire here.

 

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when hands pause, listening

lemon tree close up s

following
the branchings, my brush
tells stories
of reaching
for sun, gathering roots to
awaken new growth

lemon tree black s

NaPoWriMo day 18 asks for “an ode to life’s small pleasures”.  For me, drawing, whether with pencil or brush, always provides comfort.

I drew here from one of my lemon trees, grown from seeds planted by my daughter long ago, after the cherry pits (inspired by the Vera Williams book) didn’t sprout.  A monoprint, I first drew with paint on wax paper, then pressed grey paper lightly over the image and pulled it off.  It’s always a slightly different reflection of the original lines, a little surprise.

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Blues and Greys

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I been traveling with the days from blue to grey,
my self merging with the days from blue to grey–
seems like colors all got lost, can’t find their way

Every day the subway rumbles past outside,
going uptown downtown rambles past outside–
filled with weary riders, got no place to hide

In the dawn sometimes I hear the robins sing,
waking up I listen, hear those robins sing—
between blues and greys they’re telling me it’s spring

I keep worrying each day from blue to grey,
breathing in and out the days from blue to grey–
like the colors, feeling lost, can’t find my way

blues and greys close up s

The NaPoWriMo prompt for Day 15 is to “write a poem inspired by your favorite kind of music”.  I like all kinds of music, but I think nearly all popular music today has its roots in the blues.

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Art inspired by Matisse.

(in a) material world

material world tree s

If I could disguise
myself as a tree—ancient,
unnoticed, unknown–

when all was wild
unruled
each day began

alive, encircled
by the present
all was strangely itself

taking refuge
without before or after
neither first nor last

accepting changes
as intrinsic
to what is

a dance
always balanced between
darkness and light

material world tree close up s

Mish, at dVerse, asked us to talk about what has been revealed to us by our present isolation.  I try to write a bit each morning and this was composed from fragments in my current notebook.

The art is from my continuing series inspired by Joan Mitchell’s trees.