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”

Headlines

The Voice kept trying to turn him back—“there is nothing behind the wall except a space where the wind whistles”—but he refused to believe its repeated lies.

And yet he could not find the source, hidden somewhere within the dimensionless shadows of the vertical, the angled, the edge.

He himself was scrabbled, suspended out of sight, waiting underneath many meaningless layers of illusion.  The indifference did not bother him; neither did the newsprint words strewn carelessly about. 

He considered himself abandoned, lost inside an unwritten story.  Curious strings embedded his thoughts in articles torn from the back page.

But what had happened to his body?  It was a puzzle he could not figure out.  He could see, listen, think.  But his position never changed.

Was his mind an orphan, birthed incompletely, accidentally, a false start left unfinished?

Was he himself the Voice?

I did this collage a few months ago, and I’ve been waiting for the right words to pair with it. Merril’s prosery prompt at dVerse,
“there is nothing behind the wall
except a space where the wind whistles”

from “Drawings By Children” by Lisel Mueller
found its way into an old freewrite page in my notebook that contained the phrase newsprint words strewn carelessly about and gave it some shape.

At the Crossroads

Once we were all earth.  We were only ourselves when we were each other.  Our world had not yet been divided into good and evil, dark and light.

Golems we were, every one of us, raw elements of matter and light, untamed magic.  Cosmic dust animated by water air and fire, rising from the depths of the sea.  Pure energy concentrated into simple patterns over skeletons of increasing complexity.

Our origins shadow us, a mirror containing our destination.  We fear who we are and so we seek to distance ourselves, destroying all reminders of our fragile mortality, our kinship with clay and mud.

We have transformed the golem into a fearful beast.  We look at him through the wrong end of the long telescope of Time.  What words can return us to our proper place on the winding wheel?

How do we spell life?

Prosery for dVerse using the poetic line from D.H. Lawrence suggested by Kim: ‘We look at him through the wrong end of the long telescope of Time’.

Also for the Earthweal challenge Earth-Masks.

Time Has Come Today

time won't let me cosmic s

You can sometimes combine the beginning with the end.  But take care. The interplay must never be rippled—look for translucence, a changing density that mirrors the journey of the stars.  Listen, then turn around.  Threaded into the horizon you will sometimes find the edges.  Two of nothing will show you the way.

The clock invited me into its worn house, where twice a day there was a meeting place that balanced on the verge of departure.  Forward or backward?  I became lost in the movement, spinning around into all directions, endlessly lost inside each new location.

If I had found the common denominator…if I had been able to reconfigure what was left behind…if I could have traveled in tandem with the shadows…but if is not when.  It is over, said and done.

It was a time and there was never enough of it.

time won't let me white

For Prosery Monday at dVerse, Merril gave us a quote from Allison Adelle Hedge Coke: when it is over said and done/it was a time/and there was never enough of it.  I ended up writing with a stream of consciousness hangover.

For my art, I took an old collage and superimposed it on a newish painting in Photoshop.  As soon as I read the quote I thought immediately of this song.

 

 

that they are

secrets white

The stars answer each other, singing over and through the wind.  Coming and going follows patterns that signal a chorus of light from within chords I cannot name.

We are not on the same journey, the stars and I.  We go in different directions, down the imperturbable street that seeks both its ending and beginning in a place that can’t be found.  We pass each other on separate orbits, reflected in the pulses of moontides.  We circle and spiral, held by different arrangements of time and space.

Holding the sea, I lift it to the sky, trying to capture and distill the chiaroscuro into a garment of rainbow clouds.  Join me, I ask silently.  Dance with me, become with me a kaleidoscope that shifts the darkness of chaos into currents that gyre together, a collective river of song.

secrets
become visible–
exchange of self

each to the other

Merril’s prosery prompt at dVerse quotes from poet Gwendolyn Brooks:  “We go in different directions down the imperturbable street.”

Merril posted some wonderful photos of light in her Monday Morning Musings today, and several of them reminded me of collages I had done for Jane Dougherty’s microfiction prompts.  This one is from 2016 (you can see the original post here).

Beware of Darkness

beware of darkness s

What can I do to contain the presence that isn’t here?  Take my fear, tie it into knots around his neck, raise the window, and let out the dark as his shadow shouts on a nightmare scream?

The door opens and absence returns.  I wash everything again, dripping silence onto the bare floor where I stand unsupported.  The stains won’t come out of the air.  They remain, unmoving, like the clock whose numbers have blurred into thick ghostlights.  Unclean, these words piled up like dirty dishes, this blackness that sucks all reflections into the other side of the mirror.

beware close up 1s

Is dead ever really dead?  Is dead ever the ending of anything until all beginnings cease?  Can the universe uncreate being, collapse time beyond infinity, disintegrate energy into its opposite?  Become a vortex spinning itself into a before that never

existed,

unmattering–

gone, gone, gone?

beware close up 2s

For dVerse prosery, where Bjorn has given us a phrase from Maya Angelou: “his shadow shouts on a nightmare scream”.

 

DownBound Train

down bound train s

Sleeplessness overtook me as it always did.  I wrestled with my twilit mind as it replayed the inner landscapes waiting patiently behind the mask of the day.  Resigned, I drifted out of myself, captive to the mares of night.

No color, no sound.  Everything happens in slow motion, like an old film running through the fading light of a disintegrating projector.  Once again I descend the staircase down, down, down, looking for the elusive station, the place to redeem my ticket to the place I needed to go.  The tracks remained still, empty, silent.  No one left and no one came. On the bare platform my shoes echo like gunshots, reverberating to the pounding of my heart.

Breaking towards the opening on the other end of the platform, I begin to count my steps backwards.

Another weary night tangled into the sheets of dawn.

down bound close up s

Sara at dVerse gives us a line from poet Edward Thomas to use in our 144 word prosery: No one left and no one came on the bare platform.

Go Away Now

go away now s

Complications sour the air. It sits heavy like a rock, immense and expanding.  I am pinned to the low and the unbending, hard consonants without vowels.

This place reeks of precarious edges and uncertain lines. I am starved for words.  The familiar has become unreadable, untold.  Noises have become forms that weave themselves into a motionless net around each ungathered piece of what might pass for sanity.  I grow continuously neither better nor worse.

I do not remember what I asked of the universe, the cosmic spirits that randomly move the pieces of my life, that giveth sometimes but often only taketh away.

O yes, their ways are mysterious. Blood and Violence merging into Just The Way Things Are.

If it’s darkness we’re having, let it be extravagant, deeper, emptier, more ravening than their insatiable hunger.

Let them dine alone—I will swallow myself

go away now close up s

Victoria at dVerse has given us words from poet Jane Kenyon
If it’s darkness
we’re having, let it be extravagant.
for this week’s prosery, a 144 word composition.

I am also linking to The Myths of the Mirror November Writing Challenge–a non-human point of view.