Not only is this totally different from the poem I started to write, but the Oracle took me in a completely unexpected direction. She also led me right to an old piece of art that fit, one whose origin I’ve forgotten. She clearly had a message for me. If I could just decipher it…
we are but thoughts mad gardens of whispering wind soaring on shadows cast by wordstorms
ask how or why and be chanted into the music of timeless dreams
a prisoner of gravity, it remains forever outside of dreams
unfit for the spiritship, a vessel of startled complexity– open, unbounded, secret, extreme
I wrote the original version (much revised) of the above 42 poem at the same time I wrote my haibun, Unattached, which is published on The Ekphrastic Review today, along with Jane’s lyrical poem, Bronze Dreams, and other varied responses to Frida Kahlo’s painting, The Dream.
My collage is once again based on a tarot card, this the the Four of Swords. Kahlo’s paining reminded me very much of the iconic Rider-Waite card, but my own interpretation drifts in between the card and the painting. I could not find out if Kahlo ever studied tarot, but she was friends with many of the Surrealists, who certainly played with its symbolism. The Four of Swords is a card of restoration and healing, just like Frida’s Dream.
I placed a photo of the interior of an Egyptian sarcophagus in the sky. The figure painted there is the sky goddess Nut, who “spreads out her arms protectively to receive the deceased. (s)He is sheltered by her, is adsorbed into her body, and emerges reborn” (Rose-Marie and Rainer Hagen, “Egypt”).
You can read my poem (and Jane’s) here. My thanks once again to editor Lorette C. Luzajic for supporting my work and the interaction between the visual and written arts.
The mind sets itself, darkening, wandering through a self-contained maze.
But here’s the sun, shining on my face– melting the brittle brumal pathways that detour spirit.
In the middle of the afternoon, on a clear day, the sun shines between the buildings across the street right into my windows. The other day just as I took a break and lay down on my couch, savoring the warmth, this version of John Denver’s “Sunshine” came on the radio.
Which of course made me think of George Harrison’s “Here Comes the Sun”.
Once again, the Oracle made me work hard. I did not intend this to accompany the image I did for the Kick-About challenge last week, but I think that, strangely, it works. I’m sure the Oracle is acquainted with the vase-goddess who inspired the collage.
do our secrets listen to the night?
starry-eyed ghosts opening like sails in wild air
lingering at windows like haunted skyvoices wordclouds dancing on oceans of dark
What do we say to death when it insists on arriving despite the fact that we are not ready? We still have love that needs to be given. We haven’t said all that we feel to those who need to know. It is never the right time, is it? That’s all.
(a shovel poem after Robert S. Carroll “This Much”)
I get daily emails of poetry from several sources. I don’t have time to read them all, but I look at least one every day. Yesterday when I opened the Rattle email to the poem “This Much” by Robert S. Carroll, about the death of his father, I was stopped in my tracks. I read it over several times, and then wrote this shovel poem from the ending thought “When we love, we feel it all”. I urge you to read Carroll’s poem here.
child of my past, you have not traveled far enough to forget troubles
that once stood before you—ones you could not tell from the ones
that had been left be hind—sometimes to understand means to leave, and some
times it requires being held by what you could not keep—you
can never find all the pieces to the puzzle at the same time—but
so much remains—release what is lost–make ways to be found
Sarah at dVerse asked us to have a conversation with a poem we read in the last year that resonated with us. Last week I was listening to some poems being read on Brain Pickings, and one particular Emily Dickinson poem, read by Patti Smith, stayed in my mind. As I listened to it several times, I wrote down the words that jumped out at me, and started to make my own poem with them. I sometimes do this when listening to poetry, and find that the emotional tone influences what I write, even if the subject I write about turns out to be totally different.
Sarah’s prompt made me return to and revise the poem, and I thought it went well with a collage I just finished too, based on the Tarot Nine of Wands. I love all kinds of cards, and the symbolism of Tarot is especially rich for the kinds of imagery I use in my collages. Nine of Wands is a card of resilience.
You can read Emily Dickinson’s poem #600, I Was Once a Child, and hear Patti Smith reading it, at Brain Pickings, here.