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.

resounding

bells
answer
each other
ringing over
and over as they
tangle with the wind, spin
sailing into echoed waves–
voices patterning the air with
streaming currents, orbed layers of song

A reverse nonet for Colleen’s #TankaTuesday words, mingle and drift.

I had an idea for the art and I did a few different versions with ink and watercolor on rice paper. Although none are exactly what I had in mind, they all have aspects I like.

Also linking to dVerse OLN.

and as a bonus two very different versions of The Carol of the Bells

innervisions

yellow
mellow moon
is the color

blue
velvet moon
is the color

red
blood moon
is the color

green
–not easy–
(but then nothing ever)

is (quite) the color
of the amphibious moon
music of my mind

Mention a color, and all kinds of music comes into my mind. Grace at dVerse has us thinking about musical synesthesia. Stevie Wonder has it. It has nothing to do with the vision of your eyes.

swing stroll slide

be
bop shout–
rhythm–blues–
eight to the bar–
oompah oompah groove–
boogie-woogie back beat
jingle jangle jive talkin
double time front line howl growl whine–
interlude solitude riff raff boom–
whistle whomp wah wah zoomba zoomba zoom

The Kick-About’s challenge #14 was a short film by Norman Maclaren called “Boogie Doodle”. It really reminded me of Matisse’s Jazz collages, and I used his abstracted figures as inspiration to create my own dancers based on photos of jazz dancers I found on the internet. I also wanted to recreate the shadow effect for both the dancers and the dots. Primary colors seemed a natural fit for both dots and ground, and I cut out the figures in black and white as contrast, inspired by the film.

For the poem I wanted to use music and musical sound words. It was much harder than I anticipated, but I like the idea of a poem composed mostly of sounds, and may visit it again. I found a great onomatopoeia dictionary online too.

Linking to dVerse OLN hosted by Linda.

among the purple heather

among the purple s

solitude
unwinding beneath
meandering
skies, layers
circling back on themselves, cross
currented by wind–

trees sweep leaves
into shapes–shivered,
spilled over
edges, cast
shadowed with spirits holding
earth connecting air

scattering
blossomed voices—bells
calling words
into breath,
into dances that whisper
sanctuary—“come”

For Sue Vincent’s photo prompt, above.

I recently came across a video that talked about asemic writing, and using it as a prompt for extracting poetry from your unintellible scribbles. I decided to use Sue’s photo as a guide for my asemic composition, first using fine point markers in colors that echoed the landscape.  I then freewrote what I thought my marks were trying to say.

among the purple ansemic s

After that I took watercolor pencils, dipped them in water, and wrote asemically again over the markers, blurring both.  I looked at what I had written in my initial response, extracted some of the ideas, and formed them into a shadorma chain to go with the final composition.

among the purple close up s

 

When I saw Sue’s photo, the first thing I thought of was the traditional Scottish song “Wild Mountain Thyme”.  Joan Baez did a famous version, but I think the one I remember most from my youth is by the Byrds.  It’s been covered and reinterpreted by artists as varied as Van Morrison, the Clancy Brothers, and Ed Sheeran.  I listened to a lot of them, but I really like this one by Kate Rusby.

among the purple ansemic close up s

Little Richard (1932-2020)

little richard young 1s

audiences
remixed up
moving as one

little richard old s

Trying to draw Little Richard as a young man made me realize just how beautiful he was beyond the exuberant music.  I couldn’t do justice to the fine bone structure of his face, the eyes that had so much to say.

As his obituary in the NY Times pointed out, one of the early criticisms of rock and roll was that it increased integration between people of different races.  Little Richard crossed many boundaries–racial, social, gendered–opening doors that had long been locked.

 Perhaps empathy plants its seeds in the music that rocks our souls.  Time to get up and dance!

 

To the Monarch (May 2020)

may grid s

Who will
carry the end
back to the beginning?
who will remember the lost, re
locate
the disappeared?  Who will fill life
with futures, release those
fragile wings to
the skies?

brown monarch s

I decided to do my May grid and a butterfly cinquain for both the NaPoWriMo Day 30 prompt, “something that returns”, and Colleen’s #Tanka Tuesday prompt theme, chosen by Elizabeth from Tea and Paper, “the day after”.

When Nina and I first started blogging at memadtwo, one of my recurring themes was endangered species.  I posted twice (here and here) about the Monarch Butterfly, and wrote in one post:

Most people know that monarchs migrate from the United States and Canada to central Mexico to hibernate in winter. This can mean a trip of nearly 3,000 miles!

Between 2012 and 2013 the amount of butterflies who wintered in the Mexican forest decreased by 40%. The forest habitat itself is disappearing as a result of illegal logging. But the extreme weather conditions of the last few years, due to climate change, have also caused lower hatching rates. Another factor is the loss of milkweed plants, the primary food source for monarchs, killed by agricultural herbicides.

may grid close up s

Perhaps the coronavirus will provide these beautiful creatures with some respite from human destruction.

When looking for music about migration I remembered Steve Earle’s song.  Monarchs remind us that borders are only the lines that we ourselves choose to draw.

Thanks to Maureen Thorson and all the participants in NaPoWriMo 2020 for helping me to travel all over the world and creating bridges that reached far beyond the walls and borders of our politics and our forced isolation.

napo2020button1-1

what it is

what it is s

I open my grandmother’s trunk and the smell of cedar recalls my father’s woolen army blankets, faded and frayed.  The inside of the chest had become their home, a refuge from the memories woven into fibers that had crossed the ocean twice.

My father would not talk about the war itself, but he brought home with him both blankets and cots.  We never used the blankets.

On hot summer nights my brothers and I opened the cots to sleep in the basement, unaware of the secrets they could tell us, the images seared into our father’s eyes and carried in his bones.

all those silences–
invisible ink written
on the wings of birds

what it is close up a

Day 28 NaPoWriMo–the prompt is to describe a significant space from your life.

napo2020button1-1

messages

messages s

messages magnetic

Some words from the Oracle for Sue Vincent’s photo prompt, above.  Most of my collage references are in storage, so everything in this collage except for the cosmos photos were taken from newspapers from the past month.

messages close up 1s

What I saw when going through the news reflected on how our stories may change in details, but remain similar in form.

messages close up 3s

we are making
stories out of star
voices flying
broken through holes
that sail us home

messages close up 2s