Vacated

I’ve forgotten yesterday by the time today approaches.  The past is a dream I can no longer access—an afterthought, insubstantial—something I once acquired and then quickly lost.

But my hands remain busy, continually shuffling the cards. Each time I turn them over I see nothing–both sides are empty.  No surprise.  They have been empty for a long time now. 

The hours chase me unguided through tunnels of almost and maybe, seizing and destoying probably until it’s anyone’s guess.  My mind has become an imperfect mixture of what I can’t recall and what I don’t want to remember.

The wind tells me stories, invites me to become a passenger inside its song, cut loose from any need to reconstruct the places I have been, the ones that once contained my life.  I am weightless, free.  In the tender gray I swim undisturbed.

The prosery prompt at dVerse, chosen by Lisa, is from Celia Dropkin’s “In Sullivan County”.

In the tender gray,
I swim undisturbed.

I’ve also used Jane’s Oracle 2 words as inspiration.

Intervaled

The sea gathers me in, keeps me between, a creature of neither water nor land, held forever inside spirals of moontides, echoing back into what is neither mine nor self.

Around and around the waves spin me along the path of an immense Möbius loop.  I oscillate on the edge, barely there, beyond human sensing.

Deeper, extended, enhanced.  I am in need of rendering.  I am in need of being opened until the stars wrap around my core, untill all of me is whispered into music like light.

I absorb the flickering of images—felt but unseen, channeled within each breath, ungraspable.  Always this interpolation, this blurring of what lies beyond as it merges into the finity of my body.  Through the deep caves of thought I hear a voice that sings me into the place where my boundaries fall into the cosmic abyss.

For the dVerse prosery where Lisa has given us a quote from Oliver Wendell Holmes:

Through the deep caves of thought I hear a voice that sings:—
–from The Chambered Nautilus

The art is courtesy of various prompts from the Kick-About.

Beyond After

For how can I be sure I shall see again the world on the first of May?  Until the end I thought it was the beginning of the middle.  Time happened, then all of a sudden what you once believed in could no longer be retreived.  The truth was hard, never soft, never easy.  But it contained a life.

May came, but you did not see it.

And so it begins, and so it ends, always with a question.  And if there is no answer to give—only a silence that acts as if asking were enough—how does the wheel turn?  Or is the question the pivot on a circle whose edge contains only unknowing, infinite stillness?  Is that where you are? 

How can I be sure?  Every answer is the wrong one in a world where there is nothing left to say.

A prosery for Merril’s prompt at dVerse of these words from Sara Teasdale.

“For how can I be sure
I shall see again
The world on the first of May”

The Structure of Night

And if I am also someone else?  Bearing the ship, the fools, the edge of the cliff above the valley, the shadows, the death—acres and acres of endings.  An echo, turning inside out and upside down.

What are my real parameters?  Where is that world located, the one that is opposite, a mirror of this one?  Do I even know anything about navigation, understand what it is?  A moon wrapped in brown paper, perhaps, opening and closing the holes in time.  A compass completely reversed, remattered.

Sometimes I catch a glimpse of that other me, a brief flash on the edge of the dark, invisible, yet fully present.  All at once, nowhere, I become the voyage itself, shored with lunemares, sailing without destination, spinning beyond gravity.

Outside my life remains uneasy, breath held, waiting for the whirling center to draw it in, under.

Brendan at earthweal asks: What then is this wild dark?

Carol Ann Duffy replies, via Bjorn at dVerse: It is a moon wrapped in brown paper

Disguises

My mother loved to wear loud colors, especially red.  Her laugh could be heard above the din of any crowded room.

Not me.  I dress mostly in black, try to fade unnoticed into the background of other peoples’ lives.  I avoid parties.

But my eyes crave color, my hands long to manipulate texture and shape, to form visual ideas that enhance and delight.  I have a hidden closet full of rainbows—painted, embroidered, knitted, woven into intricate arrangements.

All those vivid narratives remain unworn by my own days, the ones I dress in, their stories patterned and purple.

As night surrounds me, only then do I take them out to display, to embellish my own possibilities.  I close my eyes and enter a parallel world, one in which I cover myself with a thousand glittering mirrors, quilted with moonlight, seams stitched with prismatic stars.

For dverse, where Lisa asked us to use a line from Kimberly Blaeser’s poem, “When We Sing of Might,”–I dress in their stories patterned and purple as night–in composing our prosery.

Hibernation

I sleep through the storms, the alarms, the sirens.  I can’t seem to leave the night behind.

Mornings do not touch me. The grey dawn moves around my body, travels somewhere else, into other rooms, other lives.

I am not lost, but I have put myself on hold.  For the time being I follow the thread that has entangled me, in parallel to where the rest of the world awaits.

Darkness knocks at every door.  The wind shivers my bones.  I am bombarded.  Yet I stand resolute at the stilled center, suspended, withdrawn.

I sojourn.  I am filled to overflowing with abiding.

When I return, winter will have receded into a different story, one already told.  A new once upon a time will erase the cold, satisfy my hunger for warmth, birdsong, greenery, light.

Then I can open my eyes.

Then I can breathe.

Merril at dVerse has provided these words from Adrienne Rich for this week’s prosery: I am bombarded yet I stand.

Manifest

Life is difficult.

Well of course it is.  Easy is monotonous.  Uncomplicated is boring.

What is possible must first be imagined.

Am I looking for the Land of Milk and Honey?  Am I waiting for my Ship to Come In?  Do I yearn for Promised Lands?  Do I search for the Pots of Gold at the Ends of Rainbows?

Do I ask to be One of The Chosen Few?

No.  I do not.

Weep at the world.

I am too busy.

Sharpening my oyster knife, so to speak.

Calling to the ocean, sailing on its moontides, seeking kinship on its shore.  Culling only what still contains life, nourishment.

Cutting through the shiny exterior.  Prying open the closed doors.

To see.  What has been kept from me.

Secret, hidden, suppressed, denied.

A pearl or a grain of sand?

You can’t have one without the other.

Jade at dVerse has provided a quote from Zora Neale Hurston from “How Does it Feel to be Colored Me” in World Tomorrow for this week’s prosery: No, I do not weep at the world – I am too busy sharpening my oyster knife.

Indeed she was.

Phoenix

There is no drama in most moments, but the accumulation becomes a story.  One day you wake up, or you think you wake up.  But something burns—you can smell it in the air.  Ashes of yesterday are falling from the sky.  You thought the past was dead, but it has only rearranged itself into today, or is it already tomorrow? 

And what happened yesterday anyway?

I went out to the hazel wood because a fire was in my head.  I walked and walked and walked until I came to a pool of water, still and deep.  I sat beside it, watching my reflection smolder, waiting for something to be revealed.  The light scattered on the liquid surface held me and gave me a different life, turned me inside out.

Now I am only flames, or was that yesterday?  Which side am I on?

For the dVerse Prosery prompt from Kim, some inspiration from Yeats: ‘I went out to the hazel wood,
Because a fire was in my head’.

The art is from a series of constellation poems I did for Pure Haiku. Freya’s current theme is Unfurling–you can submit until February 28.

Warnings

My emotional distances keep expanding.  They measure every room I enter, every landscape that passes through my eyes.  The center swims increasingly away from the edges of my being.  The gap is great and undefined.

Shadowshapes of figures frame the shore.  Hands cast their lines into my depths, searching for a reflection, fishing for a response to their repeated inquiries.

How long can I stay afloat?  The gravity of this world exhausts me. Sometimes the great bones of my life feel so heavy, so incomplete.  I have forgotten it–the one key to survival that is unnecessary but crucial.

I’m trying to recall the images that connect to my lingering feelings of kinship  The light flickers, attempts to enter, but my eyes refuse it.  They look sentient, but they are no longer open for business.  Closed, the sign says.  Can’t you read it?—“CLOSED”.

For the dVerse Prosery, Linda has selected a line from Mary Oliver: Sometimes the great bones of my life feel so heavy, from her poem “Spring Azures”.

Disturbances

Must we pay to travel between dark and light?

I quiet my own voice and listen.  What was not available to me before appears, unembodied, yet fully formed.

This wind.  Its sounds penetrate like sharpened visions, cutting through me with voices in languages I can only sense.  Doors open, my consciousness suddenly blown off its hinges.

I used to think there was an uncrossible chasm between heaven and hell.  But reading what I have just written, I now believe it was just a hole I dug where I should have built a bridge.

I have mingled my breath with forces I cannot control, and the gap is closing in overlap with both sides.

This wind cannot be contained by words.  It shivers me with fingers of fire and ice.  It is both more ravishing and more malevolent than eternity.  

Detached without beginning without end.

Prosery for Lillian at dVerse, with this line from Louise Gluck: “Reading what I have just written, I now believe”