if the circle opens, will it become a line? (#2)

The Oracle’s message today reminded me of a collage I had done awhile ago. When I found it, I stole the title as well as the image. You can read the original here.

if I can remember
the color of myself
insideout

naked    foolish    magic

will my broken breath open
and ask for the air I need
to see voices
sailing on a vast listening
of oceans surrounded
with life’s slow sacred rhythm?

As usual, the answers are elusive.

washed but not cleansed

the day lost–where did it go?  did it depart or disappear?
what summons took it away, left us hanging in empty wind?–
scattering bits of sanity like lost laundry, unflown birds

The prompt for NaPoWriMo Day 20 is to write a sijo.

The only thing I unpacked today after the movers left was the computer. I know I’m behind on reading posts, but will try to catch up in the next week.

Later and Later (a rant, but not a humorous one)

Don’t start with contrition–
how you didn’t mean to, how you
rue the results of the actions
that brought us all to this place
where it seems the only way forward
is to give up and be be swallowed
by despair.

Don’t answer every question with
the anger of guilt, an attack masking
the refusal to ever admit that you
knew the ending but thought
it would not be laden with consequences,
given the assurance that you
would be protected.  

You pretended not to see,
to know, to understand the evil
that seeps even through the walls
of superiority and raw fear
you built to keep yourself
untouched by what others
experience.

You dismissed the world
outside your circle, considered it
beyond your personal responsibility
or control, your conclusions
leaping into the arms of death
which has no loyalty to any time
or space.

Now what you didn’t do
or say or think about
expands to include the exclusive
as well as the excluded
to fade the fortunes
of both the lucky and
the lost.

The currents recognize no
artificial boundaries.
The transmission of sorrow
travels into every corner
of acceptance, denial, and bridge
that attempts to turn back, turn away,
or cross.

I know NaPoWriMo asked for a humorous rant. But my anger at the moment is not funny.

bending light

bare branches
so still
they turn to stone

and skip across
the water
rearranging

crosscurrents–
altering
form and function

The NaPoWriMo prompt for Day 18 is to “write a poem based on the title of one of the chpaters from Susan G. Wooldridge’s Poemcrazy: Freeing Your Life with Word“. I chose “bending light”.

close your eyes

I did have the NaPoWriMo prompt in mind today when I visited the Oracle. At least in terms of a song. My things are mostly in boxes, not drawers, at the moment–this is my third move in the last 18 months so it’s all junk now. I was also thinking how much I would like to just take an entire day and do nothing but sleep. Which led me to James and Joni. And the Oracle obliged.

all I want
is to sleep beneath
a still sky–
a shadow
of whispered light on water
moondreaming the wind

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.

breathing the bones

(at the heart)

may every
tree spread its roots interlocking
together to create a vast
community
bird-adorned canopy
meeting in
the intersected threads
cast by branches and
leaves    maple ginko
oak beech linden willow pine
walk with the wind as they sail
ancient stories of beginning
stillness echoed back

The NaPoWriMo prompt for Day 5 was to find a poem, and then write a new poem that has the shape of the original, and in which every line starts with the first letter of the corresponding line in the original poem. I chose Lucille Clifton’s “blessing the boats”

I was also inspired by an article in the NY Times yesterday about the wonders of the oak tree.

The paintings were inspired by the tree paintings of Joan Mitchell.

interpolated

some days seem
to go nowhere—hours
surround, merge,
a mass of
waiting—you can feel the weight
on your chest inside

heart slowing
barely breathing your
skin sweating
density
as your body disappears
your mind wandering

caught without
contingency—all
locations
remain un
named, uncalendared, unchecked,
suspended, untimed—

a structure
of vast hidden plans,
dimensions
flattened in
to absence, its contents left
carelessly behind

A shadorma chain for the NaPoWriMo Day 4 prompt, to use as inspiration a photo from @SpaceLiminalBot. I chose the photo above.

Thirteen Ways (after Wallace Stevens and Joni Mitchell)

crow #2s

1
Did you know?  Was it you
who sent Crow?  Black wings
swallowed by the sky

2
I had time and seasons
rising to meet me
like trembling in my bones,

3
like Icarus ascending
on beautiful foolish arms
.

There's a crow flying # if I flew

4
Crow and I
are not one–
but we are together in this
cosmos, on this earth.

5
I do not know myself
and yet I know of the intersections
of that unknown self
with the call to attention
that is Crow.

apolcalyptic crow 2s

6
My mind is busy
with trivial things.
The shadow of a cry
spills everything out
empty
waiting for the return
of listening, watching.

7
O ragged soul
why do you take flight?
Do you not see the trees?
They are returning from the dead
again and again.

8
I know many words
and the images that accompany them.
But I know too
that Crow lives deeper and wider
than what I know.

crow tree close up s

9
Diving diving diving diving.
There is no bottom no top
no inside or out.

10
At the sight of Crow
resounding the light
the layers reveal
their chorded songs.

spiral crows 2s

11
I walk these streets
in oblivion,
trying to escape
the fear of the known
by making up stories
that rearrange my life.

12
I hear my fate turn turn turn
how many crows?

13 blackbirds s

13
Always standing in the doorway
like Janus—neither and both–
cursed and charmed
Crow laughs—he knows
I have a dream to fly.

crow #1s

Brendan at earthweal asks us this week to think about the nature of poetry. I first encountered Wallace Stevens and “Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird” in high school and it remains my poetic touchpoint more than 50 years later. But equally important to my connection with poetry was music–first, traditional folk music, and then the whole crop of singer-songwriters that emerged from the folk revival. I love Joni Mitchell’s “Blue”, but “Hejira” has always resonated with me most of all. The form of this poem is based on Stevens, but the spirit and italicized words are taken from Joni and from my own encounters with Crow, a master shaman.

I have not been posting much, and will probably be mostly absent for the next month or 6 weeks–I’m moving (again). But this is good news! I will have a dedicated work space once again, and a real kitchen. I knew the last 2 moves were temporary, but I thought both moves before that would be the last one–so I’m making no predictions. But I’m planning to be there for awhile.

currents 2

Another elemental message from the Oracle. When I was looking for art to accompany it, I came across Sue Vincent’s photo prompt, below, and the paintings I did in response. A perfect match. Sue’s photos always have their own elemental messages, but this one seemed to have been taken just for the Oracle’s words.

how does path
wander through spirit

ask deep earth

follow spring
grow with ancient wild

riverroots

walk between
windsong and forest

full    green    light

You can see the original post, also a message from the Oracle, here.