what is/is not

everywhere
falls apart
mind to eyes
expanding

falls apart
becomes its opposite
expanding
into stories

becomes its opposite
days into nights
into stories
the sun intersecting the moon

days into nights
future and past
the sun intersecting the moon
enlarging the horizon

future and past
the surprise of delight
enlarging the horizon
to leave is to arrive

the surprise of delight
mind to eyes
to leave is to arrive
everywhere

Brian Rutenberg Low Dense (SOLD), 2010, oil on linen, 63 x 158 inches

The Kick-About prompt this time was a painting by Brian Rutenberg, Low Dense, above. The colors immediately made me think of Monet, which made me think of the grids I did based on Monet’s work. And so I decided to do a grid.

This is a very intense way to look at art, and I learned a lot from it as I not only did some of Monet’s paintings, but an entire book of other artists for The Sketchbook Project. The subtleties of color are amazing when you look closely at them. Rutenberg clearly has an eye for color.

And my second pantoum for the week. Abstract, like the art.

You can see my work with Monet here and here. And my Sketchbook Project book, Art I Like, here.

who am/are

finding myself
I open the cages
I travel on paths
where I once was we

I open the cages
calm and unafraid
where I once was we
everything begins again

calm and unafraid
as intersected species
everything begins again
inside and out

as intersected species
abiding in before and after
inside and out
following life’s tides

abiding in before and after
I travel on paths
following life’s tides
finding myself

Sherry posted at earthweal this week about Jane Goodall and how her work with chimpanzees led her to start “Roots and Shoots, her program, now 30 years old, that inspires young people to plant trees and care for the areas in which they live”.

I knew I had posted before about chimpanzees as part of my endangered species series on methodtwomadness. When I went back and looked, I found that I had also talked then about Jane Goodall and her work.

Chimpanzees are our closest genetic relative. Of course we still have plenty of work to do learning to treat other humans with respect. We can start by opening the cage doors.

chimp 1s

My first pantoum of the week–there will be more.

On Rambling/City Streets

Under concrete still lies the earth.
Am I bridged?  Do I travel on or over?
The air takes my thoughts and plays with them,
embroiders them, suspends them between.

Am I bridged?  do I travel on or over?
My fingers want to hold the windwhispers–
embroider them, suspend them between
the bare branches of the trees.

My fingers want to hold the windwhispers
that touch the moon on her journey
through the bare branches of the trees
into the fullness of the reflected light.

I want to touch the moon on her journey.
My own face is shadowed with uncertainty,
backlit by the fullness of reflected light.
My own hands are empty, unthreaded.

My own face is shadowed with uncertainty,
a landscape I too often inhabit.
My own hands are empty, unthreaded.
I keep trying to rearrange what isn’t there–

a landscape I too often inhabit.
I look for birds.  I want to ask them their secrets.
I keep trying to rearrange what isn’t there–
how to be someone that is also everything.

I look for birds.  I want to ask them their secrets.
How to dance across the invisible threads.
How to be someone that is also everything,
crisscrossing land sea sky stars.

How to dance across the invisible threads
that hold both concrete and earth,
crosscrossing land sea sky stars–
(the air takes my thoughts and plays with them)

This pantoum is definitely a work in progress. For NaPoWriMo day 15, and the earthweal weekly challenge: Toward an Ecopoetry.

Also linking to dVerse OLN, hosted by Sanaa.

Ersilia

skulls of saints–
the bones of the dead
dismantled–
spiritual songs

the bones of the dead
seeking a form–
spiritual songs,
grey life

seeking a form–
labyrinth,
grey life–
they are nothing

labyrinth,
consumed moon–
they are nothing–
times chant

consumed moon,
intricate relationships–
times chant
blood

intricate relationships
dismantled–
blood,
skulls of saints

A pantoum mash up of phrases from Samuel Greenberg’s “The Pale Impromptu” for Laura at dVerse, and The Kick-About prompt #13 “Ersilia” from Italo Calvino’s Invisible Cities.

The Kick-About prompt immediately made me want to take actual thread and do something three-dimensional to represent the abandoned city of Ersilia. Cardboard boxes were my starting point. Weaving my embroidery floss with a needle between the supports I cut and folded up, it became obvious how the city inhabitants became tangled in a state of impasse, forcing them to move on.

I decided to do a landscape background–the text spoke of viewing the deserted city from the mountains–and I spent a lot of time laying out possible landscapes on my floor from the collage references I had. I then dismantled and retaped a box to make a sort of diorama and glued the landscape pieces down.

Then I had fun rearranging the threaded bones of the city and photographing it from different viewpoints against the background.

Laura’s prompt, to incorporate phrases from Greenberg’s poem into our own verse, made me think of combining those words with phrases taken from the Calvino excerpt. There seemed to be an affinity between the two.

I read “Invisible Cities” in 2016 and posted a review on Goodreads. At the end I wrote: “Certainly it inspires visions that could be transferred to paper…and perhaps some of them will come to form for me at a future time.” And so they have.

turning the crossroads

Feet to the stars, and moon-skulled,
–Sylvia Plath, “You’re”

feet to the stars
two places at once
and moon-skulled–
who will ride the ghost horse?

two places at once
floating on nothing–
who will ride the ghost horse,
the pulse of here and now?

floating on nothing
above the bones of the landscape–
the pulse of here and now
on every breath–

above the bones of the landscape,
casting the spirit away
on every breath–
sojourners through the dark,

casting the spirit away,
spiraled like serpents–
sojourners through the dark,
upside down, reversed,

spiraling like serpents
and moon-skulled–
upside down, reversed–
feet to the stars

This is what I was trying to post when I realized they had switched me to the block editor and I could not figure out how to add an image.  I actually did finally figure it out, but I still dislike it and find all the extra steps necessary to put a post together annoying. I am glad to still be able to do things the simple and direct way through WP Admin.

Jade, at dVerse, posted in Poetics about clowns and their many manifestations.  She gave us a choice of using clown in our poem, or using a line from one of the three poems she provided for illustration. I chose the Plath line quoted above–could I resist the word “moon-skulled”?

unexplained

unexplained s

gathered in
like harmony
spilling out
like wings

like harmony
a stillness
like wings
unfolding

in stillness
each chord
unfolding
the world

each chord
filling
the world
with song

filling
the edges
with song
reaching

unexplained close up s

the edges
uncontained
reaching
the invisible

uncontained
singing
the invisible
to eternity

singing
beyond reason
to infinity
all needs

beyond reason
spilling out
all needs met
and gathered in

An unrhymed pantoum for Sue Vincent’s photo prompt, above.

the ancient shores of galaxies still call

printed geese 1s

I stand facing the ocean
tides of wing and air–
time fades into mystery,
emptied of illusions

sea sketch 2s

tides of wing and air
held in light–
emptied of illusions
I swim in dream languages

forms die s

held in light
horizon merges into skylandsea–
I swim in dream languages,
wordless songs that awaken stories

elaborate music s

 

horizon merges into skylandsea
consumed by rivers of stars–
wordless songs that awaken stories
mirrored in ethereal blue

ocean pencil drawing s

consumed by rivers of stars
time fades into mystery–
mirrored in ethereal blue
I stand facing the ocean

blue 2s

For earthweal, sacred (sea)scapes.  How many poems have I written about the sea?  As many as I have about birds and stars and moons.  This unrhymed pantoum contains lines from many of them.  The artwork is from my many previous ocean-themed posts as well.

the way out is also the way in

the way out s

a journey far from home
outside of existence
filled with voices
containing only silence

outside of existence
the mirror turns away
containing only silence
the echoes of opening

the mirror turns away
reflected in portals
the echoes of opening
where time remains lost

reflected in portals
held in absentia
all time remains lost
until the stars sing

held in absentia
amid the unexplained
until the stars sing
souls crossing over

amid the unexplained
filled with voices
souls crossing over
a journey returning home

the way out close up 1s

Another pantoum.  Ammol at dVerse asks us to consider portals.

the way out close up 2s

rebirthing

rebirthing s

falling down
like water–
to begin again,
cross over–

like water
waiting to be
crossed over,
awakening.

waiting to be
encircled,
awakening,
drowning in flowers,

encircled
in dreams,
drowning in flowers–
fix the bridge–

in dreams
we begin again–
fix the bridge
falling down

rebirthing close up 2 s

De provided the word “fix” for our quadrille prompt at dVerse.

rebirthing close up s

I wanted to see if I could do a pantoum in just 44 words.

in the country of the blind

country of the blind s

how is survival?
is it away beyond?–
a lost sense of arrival,
neither here nor gone–

is it away beyond,
tethered unto itself?–
neither here nor gone,
undefined, unfelt,

tethered unto itself,
like stars fading at dawn–
undefined, unfelt,
a whispered shadow song

like stars fading at dawn–
a journey, a myth,
a whispered shadow song
of silence and death–

A journey, a myth,
a lost sense of arrival
in silence and death–
how is survival?

800px-Joseph_Mallord_William_Turner_-_Norham_Castle,_Sunrise_-_WGA23182

A pantoum for NaPoWriMo, where we consider rhymes, and Jane Dougherty’s Pictures and Poetry Challenge where she posted the Turner painting, above, and some words from the Francis Ledwidge poem The Dead Kings as inspiration.

country of the blind close up s

My painting was inspired by the Turner painting, and Ron Sexsmith provides the musical coda.

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