shivering the mirror

and what if
you grew roots,
awakened spirit,
became treebound–
your blood flowing
glorious amidst sapwood–
your body suddenly
magnificent, unhewn—
your arms branching
toward the sun,
Familiar to birds,
ancient, floating
on the breath of wings–
your heartwood
trembling, weightless,
awash in light?

A quadrille for dVerse, where De has given us the word wing, and for earthweal, where Sherry has asked us to speak for the trees. I’ve also used Jane’s Oracle 2 words as inspiration.

misdirection, or:  the politics of suicide

listing waves of change–
immense confused unwell–
a bitter solitude–
fretful shapeless still

wilderness estranged–
damaged undazzled quelled
reversed and left unmoored–
a landscape murdered killed

misunderstood deranged
hypnotic words cast spells–
a whispered mania–
the mind unravels, spills

connection broken frayed–
once Paradise, now Hell

Bjorn at dVerse gave us the challenge of writing a bref double poem. I had a lot of trouble with the rhythm of this form, a dissatisfaction that I could only resolve by making the b and c rhymes similar.

Like Punam, I looked to Jane’s Oracle 2 words for inspiration and received a similar message.

The River Knows Your Name (reprise)

The river has songs to fill every season.  I turn with the circles, swimming the wind that chases the water, bending around the curves, following the changes in tempo and depth, bound to the ripples that radiate from every slight disturbance of the surface.  Looking for the most efficient path.

I construct imaginary boats and then dismantle them, leaving the remains dashed and forgotten on the farthest shores.  The river continues, reflecting the sky’s transformations, a window opening into the changing light.

Stilled, I try to capture the current as it passes by, to fill my pockets with the riddles it holds inside its voice, all the wisdom gathered from its ancient repeated journeys.  I want to be cleansed of all the outside forces that try to bind me, to find again the center hidden somewhere inside that keeps escaping my grasp.  But I am too far, too long, too hindered by my own noise.  I have lost the lines and the point of the contents of my brain.

Let it go the river sings.

Not anything.  But.
And this too.  What seems.
To be.  There.  You are.

Brendan’s challenge prompt of rivers at earthweal brought to mind another recent post, consecration, that featured John Haitt’s title song as it’s coda. It, too, included the weekly words from Jane’s Oracle 2 generator.

And of course I can never have too much of John Haitt’s song.

this land (the other)

but there is always another side–
the one that is in our face seems real
because we see it—the details,
the form of its existence–
but what of the side we do not see,
what of the one that looks
in a different direction?  the one not
evident, not the same?  the one
we must be careful not to leave behind?

As usual, Brendan at earthweal gave me a lot to think about in this week’s challenge post. His question–What does it meant to be open, unbounded, united and free in an enclosed world?–made me immediately think of this verse Woody Guthrie wrote in “This Land is Your Land”.

As I went walking I saw a sign there
And on the sign it said “No Trespassing”
But on the other side it didn’t say nothing
That side was made for you and me

which was the inspiration for my poem.

The late great Sharon Jones sings it like it is.

Also linking to dVerse OLN, hosted by Ingrid.

Agnes was here (before Hugo, Fran, Floyd…

…Isabel, Jeanne, Ivan, Charley, Katrina, Rita, Wilma, Ike, Irene, Sandy, Maria, Irma, Harvey, Michael, Laura, Ida…)

the glass falls shattered by the wind
the water rises to the trees
the heavens cry that we have sinned
approach the ending on your knees

the water rises to the trees
the air in spirals bends the sky
approach the ending on your knees
you’ve passed the time for asking why

the air in spirals bends the sky
a wild revolving cosmic hole
you’ve passed the time for asking why
you must surrender all control

A wild revolving cosmic hole
the heavens cry that we have sinned
you must surrender all control–
the glass falls shattered by the wind

In his discussion this week at earthweal of extremes, Brendan specifically mentions unrelenting storms and hurricanes as part of the new weather patterns brought on by climate change. When I looked up the damage and death from hurricanes in The United States and the Caribbean the last 50 years, since Agnes in 1972, it was hard not to be stunned by the continued lackadaisical response of our government to the obvious magnification of severe weather. Band-aids for situations that require surgery.

I choose a place that is unfrequented by men

The moon has risen on the last remnants of night–
floating she brushes the heavenly stars.
The lake has widened till it almost joins the sky
and the mist rising from the water has hidden the hills.
Far off the Dipper lowers toward the river.
You’d think you’d left the earth–
body and spirit for a while have changed place
and open, open–
the world’s affairs, just waves.

A cento poem for NaPoWriMo Day 30. Thanks to Maureen Thorson for once again hosting this wonderful month of verse.

poets in order of appearance
Po Chü-i (title)
Po Chü-i
Li Po
Po Chü-i
Ou Yang Hsiu
Tu Fu
Ch’in Kuan
Po Chü-i
Li-Young Lee
Li Po