on a turtle’s back

turtle back round s

we cling to ourselves
(a)mending all our invitations
with threads that must be pulled
in just the right way

we disguise our own
houses as fortresses–
foundations sunk deep
into the growth of the economy

we arrange nature
to reflect order, not chaos,
not seeds strewn on the wind–
we kill the intruders,
the unwanted, unexpected,
the exceptional,
with chemicals and pruning

we have forgotten
awe, the strangeness
of wonder, of what
we did not know
to look for

we’ve forgotten to be
curious, to open
the door, to enter
into dialogue with
forces we cannot control

we no longer know how
to return what is given
with care and kindness–
to celebrate the earth,
to leave room for her
to sing her own song

turtle back half a

Merril’s photo of the turtle she moved off the road on one of her walks provided the inspiration for both my art and my poem.  Turtles are symbols for Mother Earth in many cultures, and are said to carry the world on their backs.

They could use some help right now with the load we have given them.  For the earthweal challenge culture and nature.

turtle back close up s

Nina and I both love turtles and have posted about them on memadtwo many times.  You can see some of the posts here.

turtle shell s

and it shall come to pass

selkie whit 2s

and who am I and what is he?
and how will I keep this unborn child?
are we not all changelings?

we dwell half in night’s shades,
half in sun dappled waters–
and who am I and what is he?

far away in ancient song,
and never and always, becoming three–
and how will I keep this unborn child?

green earth or deep green sea–
our very being vibrates between–
are we not all changelings?

selkie close up s

A cascade poem for dVerse, where De has us considering sea people.  I’ve used the Child Ballad, The Great Silkie of Sule Skerry, as inspiration.  The artwork was done for a previous poem on the same subject.

There are so many beautiful versions of this song.  It has been recorded by Joan Baez, Judy Collins, Maddy Prior, June Tabor, Roger McGuinn and Solas among others.  Below are  2 very different recordings, by Steeleye Span, and Port.

not crows,

not crows s

she said, but
count them, count them and
remember
what has not
yet been dreamed—what follows each
silhouette–

a breath that
removes what is not
required, keeps
what fills need
and refills it whenever
it becomes empty—

spellcast in
air, each wing gathers
force, compressed
like secrets–
talismans numbered and tossed
waiting for the wind

For Sue Vincent’s photo prompt, above, and also posted to earthweal open link weekend.

not crows close up s

 

byways

byways s

earth and its creatures
magic in shadow
byways reflected moonward
starpaths that carry
the edges of endless tides

Colleen gave us the photo, above, as our #Tanka Tuesday inspiration.  My collage and gogyohka approach it from a distance.

byways close up s

After I saw how Jude at Tales Told Different reversed the order of his tanka lines to make a new and complementary poem, I decided to try it with my 5 lines.  To my surprise, it also works when turned around…an unplanned bonus.

the edges of endless tides
starpaths that carry
byways reflected moonward
magic in shadow
earth and its creatures

sometime room

sometime room s

rooms contain
sometime sleeping some
time awake

all day long
talk turns to singing–
the radio

night windows
open unseen sounds–
the light inside

Frank T. at dVerse gave examples of Imagist poets and poems and asked us to try our hand at it.  I don’t generally write in concrete terms, so this was a challenge for me, and I don’t think I really got very close to what Imagism is, even after reading numerous examples and attempting to imitate them.  My mind just won’t process it–I haven’t got a clue.

sometime room close up s

The collage is mostly concrete though.

The Rectangular Table (Poem up at The Ekphrastic Review)

mary 1s

My poem, “The Rectangular Table” has been posted at The Ekphrastic Review today. The painting that inspired it, The Last Supper by Sister Plautilla Nelli, is below.

Picture

I have a little sketchbook that I take along to museums where I draw the faces and sometimes the hands of the Marys I see in paintings, but especially in sculpture.  Since the museums closed, I’ve been drawing from photos of art I find online.

mary 2s

Why do these images resonate with me?  Unlike representations of Jesus, they seem to reflect an actual human the artist knows and loves…a sister, wife, mother, daughter.  All those denied a place at the rectangular table.

My thanks once again to editor Lorette C. Luzajic for supporting my work and the interaction between the visual and written arts.

You can read my poem, along with other responses to the painting, here.

shine bright

shine bright blk s

Is who we are first tribal, or is it nothing at all?—particles unjoined, the dust of eons.  How do we make sense of our place in the world as homo sapiens?  Do we even need to hold on to that identity?  Must we be labeled, categorized, forbidden, dismissed?

Embracing the isolation of our own self-definitions, we pretend to be the only ones allowed—better, exclusive, oppressed by difference.  All the while the net frays, the miracles of being turn into an infinity of voices drowning in egos with closed eyes, with closed hearts, with lost souls.

shine bright
you are everything and
like nothing else

shine bright wht s

Ammol at dVerse asks us to consider Pride Month.

In Praise of Ecology

trees s

calling all the names–
circles of words and being
woven into life

branches comp s

I greet the oak, the way
its branches frame the sky–
morning and evening
preserving the winter light
holding as shadows
the imprints of birds.

Listen:  they begin
the day—robins and blue jays
emerging from the cacophony
of sparrows and starlings–
and here again—my constant
companion, Crow.

We name our streets
after the trees that once stood
there:  elm, walnut, pine, maple,
chestnut, cedar, oak.  I wonder at
the words, now only images,
memories of  a lost inheritance.

Once landmark and shelter,
the empty vertices wait–
listening for the bearers
of seeds to refill
the gaps that echo barren
now, seeking new songs.

trees close up s

For earthweal where Sherry asks us to write love songs to mother earth.

keyhole

sue key s

I do not
know this body—is it
mine?  It does
not obey
the years that hide the past—it
unravels like lies.

It tries to
pretend, believe in
what never
was—always
the wrong age for the face I
imagined, the face

remembered
by the self I thought
secret—now
I stand exposed–
a silhouette seen in the
doorway of the night.

I tried something a little different with my collage for Sue Vincent’s photo prompt, above.  I used a generic thank you card I had received in the mail for a donation as a base, and decided to go over the edges and make a kind of diorama with it.

sue key close up s

And then of course it needed a story.

Here is how it looks when laid flat.

sue key flat s