still

life
and death
structured together, partnered

nothing
to subtract
or to add

rended,
essence floats
beyond secrets–incandescent

Picture credit: Britta Benson. This photograph was taken inside St. Cecilia’s Church (built in 1739), Heusenstamm, Germany. 

A haynaku for Colleen’s #TankaTuesday Ekphrastic prompt, using Britta Benson’s photo, above, as inspiration. I’ve also used words from Jane’s Oracle 2.

nightsong

A peaceful message from the Oracle this week. Even with some strange dreams, and the moon waking me, I’ve been sleeping well.

could I rest here
beneath the quiet dusk
let nightsong in

walk along ancient rivers
know the the intuition of trees
feel every growing thing

as earth follows
its rooted moonpath
into the birdlight of dawn

my life

And why not I thought to myself, why not
–Robert Creeley, “Like They Say”

in the beginning and
also in the middle and the end I wonder why
I am not
someone or something else, why I
am thinking this thought
when there is so much else to
consider in the universe that is not myself–
so much waiting to be asked why
and what and how—so much I am not

Another shovel poem for Muri’s April Scavenger Hunt. And my response to the NaPoWriMo prompt write a poem that takes the form of the opening scene of the movie of your life.

Come In (she said)

What do we remember of the womb, the world of mother-child, when we were one?  Do we remember gentle waves,  rocking on a seabed of safety, embraced by its self-contained shores?  Do our cells forever feel the pull of oceans?—longing to find once more the lost liminal—floating free, water and earth overlapping in an intertidal dance?

Is shelter the same as home?

If we carry our belonging on our back like snails.  If we build temporary abodes like caterpillars, waiting for transformation, a future entirely reconfigured, a momentary ephemeral flight.

Is there an either/or, or is it always both/and?  The leaving, the long road back, the journey the same but different, a vast and endless circle, each step verged, again and again.

I stand impermanently on a threshold of sand, looking for solidity, a resting place.  Where is the first mother, starborne, moonshadowed?  What existed before the beginning, the original dreaming?

mystery
of return—how to
meet yourself

Sometimes I feel like I keep recomposing the same poem over and over. This meditation on shelter, for earthweal, is just the most current version of my repetitive state of mind.

Oscillations

You kept it close,
hidden deep in the forest
of your being.

Spellsounds, the rhythm
that held so much underneath–
what came before, and also
the possibility of entirety
constructed out of something
beyond thought, beyond reasoning–

It became like singing,
a chord that vibrated both
inside and out,
flowing from brain to blood–

It had no source, no need
of one—just this blanket
of aliveness, hungry
for untamed light–
glowing waves of particles
that could neither be
located or contained.

For earthweal, where Brendan asks: How else are we to sing?

I’ve spoken before about how sometimes (usually when meditating), when I’m very still, I can hear the air. I was also thinking about Heisenberg’s Uncertainty Principle. In the end, we are only, like the rest of the universe, particles and waves.

sailing on uncharted seas

will those still waters
fail to depart after all?
this center—in my ignorance–
drops me in
amidst a multitude of mirrors–
will I drift away
before even beginning to move
beyond uncertainty?
mind closed,
immobilized by the guilt
of experience, held captive
by that
which always leads back
to this

I used Lucille Clifton’s “blessing the boats” for the Day 5 NaPoWriMo prompt, and decided to revisit the poem for the April 6 dVerse prompt from Jade (Lisa) to choose one of your favorite poems by another poet and flip the meaning on it. I’ve been working on this on and off for awhile–it’s far different than my original attempt, and probably not finished still.

I’ve done similar exercises in the past, but never tried to be so literally opposite. It’s not easy.

The Age of Aquarius

Back when the musical “Hair” came out, some astrologers grumbled that it wasn’t really the Age of Aquarius yet.  But what did we care?  We were tired of the world as it was, ready for Peace Love and Understanding.

Well…maybe not.

chaotic stillness
watching from the whorled center
for new beginnings

During 2020 there were rumblings once again online about the REAL Age of Aquarius finally showing up.  I was skeptical to say the least.

all those lost patterns–
I collect them in my mind,
in new rotations

It seems we had the Age of Aquarius skewed, not only in time.  Yes, it’s a total tearing down and rebuilding.  But it’s going to require hard work.  Taking a lot of drugs and wearing tie-dye and listening to songs about love won’t do it.

all impermanence—
no matter which way you turn
the path continues

Can we change our entire approach to living together, not only with each other, but with the earth, its creatures, its landscape, its elements?  We need to if we want to survive.

giving myself hope
inside my dark wanderings–
a world of wonder

When Phil asked me to choose this week’s Kick-About prompt, I thought immediately of The Age of Aquarius, because I’ve been turning over in my mind the hope that it might be real, that humanity can change. I always loved the music posters of the “Hair” era, and used them as inspiration for my neon colored paintings.

I’m looking forward to seeing all the other responses next week.

transposed by all that has taken both place and time

the reflection absorbs me–
torn pieces of rainbows,
all those things left undone
turning the inside out–

windows with no edges,
mirrors of light waves,
disintegration–
the reflection absorbs me–

don’t fence me in you say–
your words pile up in layers
that turn into
pieces of rainbows—

I am suspended between,
my replies tangled up
with the silence of the dead–
all those things left undone

all those unsent messages–
castaways held captive
on ships without a shore—
turning us inside out

Jade, at dVerse, has us considering edges.

Art from the archives with a cascade poem.

Rhetoric

The Kick-About prompt this time around is “The Five Canons of Rhetoric”. My mind glazed over as I read through these rigid and formal ways of organizing communication. Of course the word rhetoric has multiple meanings, the first of which, according to dictionary.com, is “(in writing or speech) the undue use of exaggeration or display; bombast”. Something we all been oversubjected to of late.

What is true of all the definitions is that rhetoric involves the use of language. One synonym given particularly caught my eye: ” balderdash–senseless, stupid, or exaggerated talk or writing; nonsense”. The word nonsense immediately made me think of the surrealists.

The surrealists felt that letting go of the need to control your creation would reveal deeper truths. This was true of both visual and written art. They rejected logic and reason.

I often use surrealistic techniques for both my art and my writing. I’ve been doing rorschach images for awhile–these little cards are done by dripping the leftover paint from my watercolors onto the card and folding it in half. Usually the layers are done in several sessions.

I also compose comments for my images using words and phrases I’ve cut out of magazines and advertisements. I limit myself to what’s contained in one envelope for each card, and often spend quite a long time choosing and arranging them. I call it the collage box oracle, as it’s similar to using magnetic poetry. I was originally inspired by Claudia McGill, who is a master at this technique.

I’m usually surprised by what appears. It always makes me think.

I first scanned in just the images, and then worked on the words. When I went to scan them in, I realized I had changed the orientation of the image in half of them. Another unexpected surprise.

Surrealistic Rhetoric has no pretense to being anything but a random arrangement of words. But somehow it manages to incorporate at least 4 of the classical canons–invention, arrangement, style, and delivery. As to memory–well, canon #7 deals with that.

The Eight Canons of Surrealist Rhetoric

Is there anything more archetypal than nothing?

Space is just energy deconstructing.

You expected evolving to be more complex.

Adventure awaits beyond the details of yourself.

Fools rush into the shadow of the projected image.

I was invented from the earth’s fertile surfaces–
otherwise my unlimited nakedness would be alarming.

My plans are to forget to remember.

There was a window from the start—simple and mysterious–
imagine looking through it to what is hidden between.