who sings and with what tongue

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

Poem up at the Ekphrastic Review

where does the body lie?

a prisoner of gravity,
it remains forever outside of dreams

unfit for the spiritship,
a vessel of startled complexity–
open, unbounded, secret, extreme

Picture

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.

grey morning

rain muffles the noises
of the heavy shrouded dawn

the city unfolds slowly,
tentatively,
as cars whoosh water in the wake
of the bursting clouds

blackness dissolves into spectral mist
the spots of windowlight disappear

colorless facades take their place
as the horizon shifts

the sense of yesterday lingers

like a pause waiting
between opposing forces
for one or the other
to tip the wheel around

today becomes a space

reserved for nothing
empty of ambition
of any sense
of being connected

pull the covers up

close your eyes

For dVerse MTB, hosted by Grace, where the poetic device is imagery.

The Daily Question

And what of this life?

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”.

Gifts. For this week’s earthweal challenge.

31 xian (Seeking Union)

To open,
join opposites.
Receive what is given.
Let the unexpected pathway
unfold.

This poem was first posted in 2018, inspired by Sue Vincent’s photo prompt, above, and I Ching 31, which appeared in the envelope collage I did based on a linear print by Joan Mitchell.

I read many interpretations of this hexagram, and tried to distill what I thought was its essential message.

Shelter encloses, but it opens, too.

For earthweal, open link weekend.

visitations

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

All That Is

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.

For dVerse OLN, hosted by Sanaa, and another response to Sarah’s prompt to have a conversation with another poet/poem.

I know everyone is obsessed with Donald Trump right now, but 4000 people died yesterday in the United States from Covid-19.

Nine of Wands (after Emily Dickinson)

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.