Night Journey/passages

I submit most months to Visual Verse, and have had many poems published (thank you!). But some I like better than others. This month’s poem, “Night Journey”, is one of them. You can read it here.

My poem “passages”, written to Jo Zider’s artwork, is also up at The Ekphrastic Review. My thanks to guest editor Sandi Stromberg, and to Lorette C. Luzajic for her continued support. You can read it here.

I think the poems complement each other. Which only highlights how I return to the same themes again and again…

still

life
and death
structured together, partnered

nothing
to subtract
or to add

rended,
essence floats
beyond secrets–incandescent

Picture credit: Britta Benson. This photograph was taken inside St. Cecilia’s Church (built in 1739), Heusenstamm, Germany. 

A haynaku for Colleen’s #TankaTuesday Ekphrastic prompt, using Britta Benson’s photo, above, as inspiration. I’ve also used words from Jane’s Oracle 2.

The Melting of Time

Snowfall.  Night.
The shore is distant.
I dream of
flying—but
I remain enclosed within
ice blue, glittering.

North seems far–
where I am has no
direction.
The landscape
retreats until almost all
is trapped within dreams.

Barren seas
echo with silence.
The world cracks.
Wind weeps in
side chasms of solitude–
the melting of time.

Sherry’s heartbreaking photo, above, that accompanied her prompt at earthweal to talk about the connections between life and the melting ice of the arctic, inspired the dreamscape of my shadorma chain, written also for Colleen’s #TankaTuesday, where Jules selected shadorma as this month’s form.

River Man

She did not remember the way, but she remembered the times, the place.  She wanted to connect present to past.  She did not know how or where to begin, and yet she needed to try to construct that bridge.  Words were all she had now.

Two ways, really, even though she always pretended they were the same.  Or maybe it was only her longing that failed to understand that they were two, not one.

She had been dreaming of a river.  A man, a boat.  Trees, weeping, or was that her own voice, crying on the wind?  It had been summer once.  Flowered.  Sweet.

But here was the river again, littered with fallen leaves.  What magic word would turn back the seasons, dispel the haze, repair a lifetime that had already disintegrated into dust?

Was she coming or going?  In her dreams a voice kept repeating you have to choose.  But between what?  Who?  Did she get to choose who would be waiting on the other side of the river?  Or was she to be the one left waiting?

to begin,
become the current–
sing its song

Brendan at earthweal has more to say about rivers this week and poses the question: What voyages are found there, which deities are vast in its depths? It made me think of my response to the Kick-About #61 prompt, which was Molly Drake’s haunting song, “I Remember”.

I wasn’t aware of Molly’s connection to Nick Drake, but when I learned that she was his mother, Molly’s song immediately made me think of Nick’s song “River Man”. I took the feeling I got from both songs–a kind of remembering intertwined with uncertainty, loss, and the passing of time–and wrote the above prose poem, adding a haiku coda for earthweal, and some water art from my archives.

Jupiter Dreams

I visited the Oracle as usual early this morning, and her words so much reminded me of the NASA photos of Jupiter I saw recently that I did something I haven’t done in a very long time–I painted a piece of art especially for her words, rather than searching through my archives. It’s still wet, so the colors may change when it dries, and it doesn’t exactly resemble Jupiter, but it’s the spirit more than the exact image that I wanted to capture.

The cosmos is endlessly and unbelievably beautiful, despite the havoc humans may be imposing on our tiny and insignificant blue planet. A little perspective does the psyche good.

born in the blush
between air and breath

like laughter dancing naked
over oceans of ferocious life

the voice of the universe
embraces the holes
in our foolish desires

sailing them open
into a vast sky of magic nights
surrounded by dazzling stars

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.

Intervaled

The sea gathers me in, keeps me between, a creature of neither water nor land, held forever inside spirals of moontides, echoing back into what is neither mine nor self.

Around and around the waves spin me along the path of an immense Möbius loop.  I oscillate on the edge, barely there, beyond human sensing.

Deeper, extended, enhanced.  I am in need of rendering.  I am in need of being opened until the stars wrap around my core, untill all of me is whispered into music like light.

I absorb the flickering of images—felt but unseen, channeled within each breath, ungraspable.  Always this interpolation, this blurring of what lies beyond as it merges into the finity of my body.  Through the deep caves of thought I hear a voice that sings me into the place where my boundaries fall into the cosmic abyss.

For the dVerse prosery where Lisa has given us a quote from Oliver Wendell Holmes:

Through the deep caves of thought I hear a voice that sings:—
–from The Chambered Nautilus

The art is courtesy of various prompts from the Kick-About.

false storm

I tried to photograph the lightning–
the flash between the layers of sky—

(no thunder)

clouds streaming over the moon

how many miles distant?–
far away, too far away to hear—
a silent film that eluded my camera

so I let it go and let it shine
in bursts through the window
into and through my eyes

the color was salmon, maybe
yellow, maybe pink—a pastel
shimmering against the dark

eventually the moon disappeared
behind the false storm,
and only the city lights glowed–tiny
squares of refuge against the night

For this week’s challenge, Brendan at earthweal asks us to interrupt our usual programming with flashes and booms of this extraordinary power. Lightning falls: what are we going to make of that?

seeds

The Oracle is pensive this morning.

flowers are another always
that open and
then must be remembered–
they need love to bloom

like life itself

the language of a child
is a song filled
with wishspiritdreaming–
voices of belonging and finding home

I’m going to be taking a few weeks off–if we can all avoid the latest Covid wave, visiting with family, and taking care of some things I need to do. I’ll be back sometime in August.