that song that your words called into my mind, that song is like a lost world, just images in fragments, suspended like a raincloud without rain, a weight that refuses to dissipate–I can almost feel the memory but it won’t land, it keeps circling through the things that aren’t quite there–like a bird call I can’t locate, disembodied wings hovering invisible inside my head
I realized immediately that I had seen Lotte Reiniger’s work before when I clicked on the link from the Kick-About prompt. It did not surprise me to hear her say, “I could cut out silhouettes almost as soon as I could manage to hold a pair of scissors.” Her work is, yes, “astonishing”.
Me? I never had that dexterity, not even when young. I also don’t work in film, which was Reiniger’s medium. So how to respond to this prompt?
I was going to work with simple bird silhouettes, but was unhappy with the ones I made myself. Once again, I had constructed a 3-D collage environment with cardboard pieces inside a paper bag. I decided to use photos of bird silhouettes, and hang them from strings at the top so they would move.
I used circles to enclose the bird forms so I could put different photos on each side–the images would change when the dangling circles turned.
Using the ceiling fan to create more movement, I began to take photos.
You can read more about Lotte Reiniger here, and see her extensive filmography here,
I recently took the collage above out of the storage room and hung it in my new apartment. It’s based on a painting, Freedom, by Ilya Repin, that Jane Dougherty used back when she was doing writing prompts, and that both she and Merril have returned to numerous times. I liked it so much I did two collages based on it.
I didn’t start out with this idea at all, but as soon as the Oracle pointed to ferocious dancing in the wordlist the entire poem began to reference Repin’s painting. It’s a wonderful painting, full of beautiful messages.
I’m quite sure she isn’t finished sending me back to it either.
laughter’s breath kisses like star-sky
here is a rhythm to embrace
ask the ocean for the secrets of sailing airborn
surrounded by voices that dazzle open magic windows of ferocious dancing into a universe without time
You can see the original posts for each of my above collages here and here.
I was surprised and pleased to receive an email from Kristen at Visual Verse last week asking me if I would like to be one of the featured poets for July. She sent me the image, by Maria Victoria Rodriguez, and I sent her back my poem. You can see both here.
the landscape pauses, quiescent– waiting on the edge of movement—no time passes here– framed in memories
Colleen’s #TankaTuesday prompt this week was an interesting one–
First, choose your favorite syllabic poetry form. Write your poem.
Next, give your poem some different characteristics to make it something different. You can change the syllable count, rhyme scheme (add or get rid of it), anything you want to create a new form. Write this poem.
Give your new syllabic poetry form a name.
I chose shadorma. How to change it? I had noticed before that all the lines had odd numbers of syllables, so I added one syllable to each line, to make them all even.
landscape pauses, quiescent, waiting on movement’s edge—no time passes here– a stilled photograph of silence– time framed in memories
Thinking of a name was difficult. Shadorma seems to be totally made up, although several people noted the similarity to the word shadow. So I decided to pick a name with a beginning from light. I ended up with Liala, because I like the sound of it and the repetition of the a ending. It’s evidently a girls’ name but I could find no meaning for it.
There is a subtle difference between the odd and even syllabled poems, but I’m not sure which one I like best.
The photos are cropped versions of panoramas composed by my older daughter from photos she took in the mountains of Arizona where my father requested that we spread his ashes. My mother did not make any request except to be cremated, but we managed to find the very same place to spread her ashes years later after her death.
The streets are quiet, eerie, the walls blank. I remain inside.
My windows are noisy with things I can’t see. I rarely reply to them because the response flies away on the wind, storm tossed and clouded, darkened by rain and the fading light.
What would I say to the ghosts of the children?– the ones not on the playground not on the streets no longer living in an apartment, a house, a country, a land– the ones no one can find anywhere?
How to say the word death and to also shield them from its consequences. How to explain why and how we have come to be
living in this uncertain tangle of lies ignorance violence– a place full of humans unable to even acknowledge or to bridge the rising waters.
The ones who would rather drown than make amends.
Sherry at earthweal has reminded us of all the grief consuming the world, and asks us to write about it. I wrote a version of this poem first in the midst of New York’s early pandemic. I’ve revised it a bit, but the ghosts of the children have not gone away.
I am still waiting for clarity– sometimes I think about the things I can’t see and I wonder how to place them inside my mind–
Out of the dark and still I am dreaming of colors liquid currents of sound moving in all directions between the gaps–
Do our visions swim cataracted with refractions– flooding the invisible barriers of the portals into our eyes?
As I told Phil, this week’s Kick-About prompt, fundus photography, was made for my watercolor mandalas. First, photographing the inner eye naturally makes for roundness, and the liquid state calls for watercolor to represent it.
I did 4 watercolors and embroidered on 2 of them. If I exaggerated the colors a bit, well, my eye often does the same.