Once rampant with color, its fragrance long gone, the paint has dried into textured lines– afternoons of melodic stillness now mourned– decorative traces lost inside frozen time.
The paint has dried into textured lines, ringed by the noise of questions unasked– decorative traces lost inside frozen time bleeding destruction we haven’t yet grasped,
Ringed by the noise of questions unasked life is tenuous, scattered, emotions removed– bleeding destruction we haven’t yet grasped, as over and over we bandage the wounds.
Life is tenuous, scattered, emotions removed, following roads that only disappear– over and over we bandage the wounds– the darkness rises, overwhelming with fear.
Following roads that only disappear, like the garden once bursting with growth— the darkness rises, overwhelming with fear– sky is silent, empty, brittle as bones
We lived in a garden bursting with growth, afternoons of melodic stillness, now mourned– sky is silent now, empty, brittle as bones– once rampant with color, its fragrance long gone.
I love pantoums, but I usually don’t rhyme them, so this proved challenging to me. It still could use some revision, but I need to let it sit for awhile. Punam asked for a pantoum on the theme of abandonment for her W3 prompt this week. I had also been thinking about Sherry’s prompt at earthweal, asking us to write about all the species vanishing around us. And Colleen’s prompt for Tanka Tuesday, a painting by Monet (below), had me thinking about what we’ve lost since Monet painted all his overflowing gardens at Giverny. Will we one day only know such beauty as a digital image?
I also started out with a lot of words from this week’s Random Word Generator, but some of them dropped out during revisions.
I am floating face down in a horizonless body of water. My eyes are open; I seem to be balanced in the center of a giant labyrinthine sphere. Like an octopus, or a circular net with ends stretching down, down, beyond all comprehension. Somehow I can breathe.
All the rootpaths below me are in constant motion. I dive between, in the unfixed spaces that surround them. I sense that they are hollow, that they lead somewhere, but I can’t locate the wormhole. The orb turns, whorling, gathering me into its patterned dance.
I am nowhere in space in time. I sit thousands of feet above the sea, star-covered, as I swim inside the ocean’s womb. I don’t understand how to locate myself, how to divide the illusions until they reach zero. The still point of what is and is not. There. Here? Both. And…
Merril provided this quote from May Sarton this week for dVerse prosery: “In space in time I sit thousands of feet above the sea” But as she pointed out, my prose is too much like poetry to really be prosery. I had a couple requests to leave the post up anyway, so I decided to put it back up.
Laura at dVerse provided lists of word-threesomes to choose from to write a sequence of three poems. Sun, moon, earth jumped out at me and the Oracle seemed the right place to go to construct verse using those three words.
1 ask the sun if dusk feels as full as the dawn
2 ask the moon if dark is as deep as always
3 ask the earth if between grows roots with seedsong
I’m waiting for the robins to begin my morning–the cardinal, the flicker, the mockingbird. Then I will be certain spring has arrived. But the crows are back, as opinionated as always, and the crowds of blue jays and sparrows never left. A mourning dove croons from a nearby roof outside my kitchen window as the sun rises.
I habitually tune out the sirens, garbage trucks, helicopters, low-flying planes, motorcycles, cars and buses, construction—all the normal background noise of city living.
But the air itself has gotten louder lately. Sometimes when I wake up in the middle of the night I can barely hear myself think over its whisper-hum. My head is completely emptied of dreams; I am conscious only of my body in bed, surrounded by a constant movement murmuring in my ears.
Daylight does not mute the stormy sounds that show up suddenly and randomly, demanding attention, interrupting thought. The nonstop intersection of voices, layered in a language I don’t understand, drowns out all other discourse.
It reminds me of the ocean–unbroken, all-encompassing, alive. A presence much larger than my own. To be inside of it is perhaps all the translation, the guidance, that is necessary.
on the street dogs bark– the sky darkens—lights turn on– I breathe in, then out
I’m a little late with Sherry’s prompt from last week at earthweal of Soundscapes–I’m squeezing it in at the last minute for the weekend open link. I’ve also used some of this week’s random word generator oracle words, which you can find here.
Even though paint, tint and grey do not exist in the Oracle tiles, those were words that I kept seeing this morning. After I figured out how to make them, the rest of the words fell into place.
When I was looking for art, I came across the above drawing, misfiled among some old collages. It seemed just right, and I went looking for the right folder, which contains a series of landscapes I did inspired by some landscapes I had seen by Georg Baselitz, which had black lines and spare use of color. The one above is colored pencil on an ink marker drawing I did as one of my original black and white ideas. That uncolored drawing is below.
Later on I painted the landscape without black lines, in gouache (the top landscape). I thought this sequence, backwards, contained the feeling in the Oracle’s words today.
the black-tinted shadow of sleep paints an ache swimming through the whisper of stilled sunlight
a grey language lies beneath the early sky
as a raw mist plays with the bare bones of time you say less and less
The music of your tongue is sweet, flattering– yet I re main unmoved, quite resistant to the tiresome songs
you string with vague glittering charm. A flashy pointlessness can be pleasant, amusing– but rapidly fades
into the redundancy of easily forgotten old news.—May I direct you this way, to the door?
Colleen provided the above painting, Portrait of Lady Agnew of Lochnaw by John Singer Sargent, as an ekphrastic prompt this week for Tanka Tuesday. Bjorn’s prompt at dVerse to use an AI tool had me consulting the Random Word Generator–I realized Jane had not posted one this week, so I generated the words below to choose from.
It led me in a direction I would not have thought of on my own, which is the point I think.
As to the collage–as you may have read in a previous post, I’m in the process of archiving all of my art–50+ years of it. This has led to quite a few surprises. It seems I did a group of abstract door collages in 1983–who knew? Not me, that’s for sure. The colors of this one work well with Sargent’s painting I think.
Frank @ Beach Walk Reflections posted this week about love. His meditations always make me think of music and I considered all the love songs I knew, and how difficult it was to capture the essence of love in words. This morning I put on Donovan’s Fairy Tale album and the first song, “Colours”, struck all the right chords, as it had when I first heard it 50 years ago, conjuring that time and space in my life when the complexities of the future did not yet exist. Ephemeral, but nonetheless still very real, even now, from this far away country where I presently reside.