Traveling in the Wilderness

Mid the woods,
snowdusk shadows are
spare–lovely
but cold, dark,
clinging like shaded brume and
wandering silent and deep.

Drawn here but
not belonging, I
do not have
promises
of morning or an end to
this vigil I keep

of if and
beyond—all those miles
now lost to
me.  I go
in circles of before–I
beg the night for sleep.

The Kick-About prompt this week was the last 4 lines of Robert Frost’s “Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening”. I was struggling with my poem, a shovel poem (using the words of Frost’s lines as the last words in the lines of my poem) in the shadorma form, when Sarah at dVerse posted her prompt suggesting titles taken from “Surfacing” by Kathleen Jamie. The idea of traveling in the wilderness helped me find a focus.

I had already spent a long time fooling around with the art. The diorama I planned didn’t work out as I expected, but I liked the background paintings I did more than I thought I would.

Done on very wet rice paper, with black ink and silver and pearl metallic watercolor, they had much more of the feeling of Frost’s words than I expected. The diorama on the other hand, failed to match my vision, and I took 50 photos to come up with just a few that I liked.

Still I learned from the experience, including how natural light is much more blue than that from my drawing table lamp which has a yellow cast.

And I got a surprise in the monoprint that emerged from under one of the wet rice paper paintings which also seemed to capture well the feeling of my poem.

Acquainted With the Night (after Robert Frost)

acquainted with the night s

The day was grey, dying, losing its grip. Silhouettes of broken promises cut the distance into unrelated pieces.  The landscape was confined, restless, waiting on the edge of night.

She was unoccupied, absorbed in her solitude, when far away an interrupted cry broke the spell she had unconsciously cast. The stitches fell into the long gone as she tried to gather in the few remaining threads of meaning.  Crow, she said, Crow.  The iridescent blackness echoed and magnified the emptiness of her voice.  She was nothing now, surrounded by the remains of what had almost been.

Wings sounded, pouring into her mind from everywhere. What had been hidden now emerged.  What had been lifeless grew roots and branches and leaves.  The air glittered with possibility.  The intangible multiplied and divided.  The spiral awakened and uncoiled.

She was no longer alone.

acquainted with the night close up shear s

Bjorn at dVerse introduced a new form, prosery, which merges a line from a poem (in this case “when far away an interrupted cry” from a poem by Robert Frost) into flash fiction of 44-144 words.  I am not a fiction writer and I’m not sure this is actually fiction.  But I enjoyed writing it.  I was inspired by finding one of my collage crows while (still) searching for the birdlings.  They’re here somewhere.