frozen

bombs are cold
explosions of bitterness
sucking the warmth
out of what remains
of possibility

bombs are greedy
machines, meant only
to destroy, burn
any seeds, annihilate
life

bombs are hungry
voracious conduits
for our worst impulses
eating our souls
from the inside out

A quadrille for dVerse, where Lisa has given us the word warm. In 2014 I did a series called “What Is It Good For?” on memadtwo. There were, as always, many conflicts in the news. Hearing this song from Buddy and Julie Miller this morning, it reminded me of the art from those posts.

It also made me think again of how cold this winter will be for the Ukrainians and so many others the world over. How short our attention span. How little we have learned.

What IS it good for–the guns, the bombs, the dying? We know the answer.

who walks this nightpath

My message from the Oracle this morning. The first word she gave me was “animal” but it seems she meant their presence to be inferred by the Badger form.

ask the
long always for
sanctuary—beneath
seasons of riversong
here follows deep
between

why and
how to listen
when moonspirit is about–
wandering ancient light
through forested
earthshine

The art is from the archives–one of many mandalas I did for Sue Vincent’s prompts.

meditation

my mind ebbs, then flows out like an ocean sailing the wind–
empty channels drift away from the center to the edge–
multitudes of changing colour, condensed motion, thoughts full

I was going to write a sestina with Jane’s Oracle 2 words and I picked out six that called to me: ocean, colour, wind, edge, motion, full. But after writing the first stanza, it seemed too daunting, so I revised it into a sijo instead.

When looking in the archives for art, I immediately picked out the first painted mandala, but when I saw the collage I knew I had to include it too. It’s based on a painting by Nina’s father that she posted; you can read about it here. Nina has written several times about her father’s service in WWII and this is in honor of all our fathers and mothers and friends and relatives who fought and fight in the world’s continuous wars on this Veteran’s Day 2022. May we wake up and bring the need for them to an end.

Thirteen Ways of Looking at Living  

I
He wanted mountains
as his final resting place:
climb and let me fly.

II
We climbed, ten,
The landscape open, no trees,
just empty and wide.

III
The black ashes fell up to the ground.
The sun remained in the sky.

IV
A camera captured
pieces.
All around earth rocks family
air.

V
Our conflicts dissolving
into suspended time,
breathing memories,
the connections blinding,
the future past.

VI
The shadow of inheritance.
The pull of familiarity.
Love crossed with contradiction,
no answers,
lost words,
absences
uncertain and unknown.

VII
O voice of silences
what would you say to us now?
Do you not seek the many questions
embedded in the reparations
we expect to find?

VIII
I know only murmurs
and the rhythm of searching.
But I know too
that death is involved
in what I know.

IX
When we came down from the mountain
our bodies flew,
scattered to many destinations.

X
At the sound of each day
and each day returning
we noted the discordant measure
of hours and years.

XI
He did not ask
for more time.
He did not seek miracles
or complain of cruelty.
He knew that all stories
have an end.

XII
Her mind departed
long before her heart failed.

XIII
We went back up the mountain.
It was different
and the same and the earth
the sky accepted anew
our darkest gift.

Joy has asked us this week at earthweal to talk about the first poems that helped you to find your own inner eye and voice, and write about it. I’m sure there were poems and poets that influenced me before Wallace Stevens, but none has been as central to me as his “Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird”. I’ve posted at least 4 variations of it, including one for earthweal.

But the poem above is the one that still cuts closest. The photos are cropped versions of panoramas composed by my older daughter from photos she took in the mountains of Arizona where my father requested that we spread his ashes. My mother did not make any request except to be cremated, but we managed to find the very same place to spread her ashes years later after her death. As I wrote in my original post:  I’ve been thinking about my parents.  My generation is becoming the elders now.  I do not think we are prepared for it.

encircled by orbiting

in this recurring dream
the forest disappears–
unbound by earthly time,
collapsed into spiraling

the forest disappears
behind layers of eternity,
collapsed into spiraling–
who can disentangle the dark?

behind layers of eternity,
casting threads into moonrings–
who can disentangle the dark?–
the shadows seem insufficient–

casting threads into moonrings
to catch the reflection of owl–
the shadows seem insufficient
for gathering the ancestors–

to catch the reflection of owl,
take your fears and hide them–
gather the ancestors
in the bottomless wildness of light–

take your fears and hide them–
unbounded by earthly time–
in the bottomless wildness that lights
this recurring dream

For earthweal, where Brendan asks us to visit the forest of light and shadow. I am certain one will always find an owl there.

rise up

I couldn’t get the Oracle to work online this morning, so I turned to my box of magnetic tiles and arranged them on the metal magnetic poetry stand Nina gave me a few years ago. Wing was the first word to appear.

Last night I attended a Zoom memorial for a friend who died a little over a year ago. It was clear from everyone’s words that she was a shining light for all those she whose lives she intersected with. Certainly she was for me and my children, and for all her many students, some of whom spoke eloquently about her influence on their lives.

I dreamt about her–although I remember no specifics of the dream, I woke with these words on my mind–“Rise up into the truth that matters”. A fitting epitaph, We miss you Chris.

as if whispered
by a child’s dream,
magic gardens came flying–
butterfly-winged roses
inside the mothermoonship
of a songforest night

gifts

Nina, my old friend of 40+ years, and blogmate from methodtwomadness, came into the city with her husband yesterday for a visit and lunch. It’s only the second time we’ve seen each other since the beginning of Covid.

She brought me one of her beautiful paintings. The Oracle knows how much this lifted my spirits. Thanks Nina

time

is what we can always give–
listening with the language
of the heart

happy to be

remembering all the rivers
of song shared
in the between

incorporeal

to be an observer
is more than a mere o
pening of the eyes–
you must vanish from the sight
of what you see, become
an immersion, a current
consumed by the between,
inside its invisible
core of light

Brendan at earthweal gave us some photos to work with for our poems this week. I chose the photo above, although the other ones are still on my mind.