sun moon hand eye circle snake

we grow wings, awaiting the return of the sun
as branches and leaves dance patterns over the moon–
invisible roots weave themselves through our hands
and become imprinted inside our eyes–
alert to the gaps in the circle,
we lie still, glittering like coiled snakes

We shed our skins, discarding them like snakes
and bask in glittered nakedness beneath the sun.
We turn our insides out, become the circle–
shapeshifting, orbed, a secret following the moon
through the thousand doors of the cosmic eye,
the lines on the palm of the soothsayer’s hand.

We stand just out of reach, beyond time’s hand
among the whispers in the wake of the snake.
The sky trembles as we gather into the Devil’s Eye
and rearrange the seasons by summoning the sun,
dropping it into darkness.  Who can contain the moon?
The hares alone see everything, like the circle.

Exposed and whirling us in surprise, the circle
weaves a web of lines into every hand,
a talisman of light reflecting the moon.
It collects our beginnings and endings.  The snake
trades paths with the absent elsewhere of the sun,
a geography that exists beyond the all-seeing eye.

Our spirits walk on the edge of the hare’s eye
as hidden crows echo across the circle
trying to catch the light, steal the fire from the sun.
The landscape breaks apart, a wheel without a hand,
consumed by the changing riddles of the snake,
retrieving its magic by chanting the songs of the moon.

Our hares are like ships that sail the moon,
shining in the mirror of the third eye.
We feast on desire like the dreamsnake,
bending layers of souls into a spiraled circle.
Crow approaches and takes each open hand,
extending its wings to carry us far away from the sun.

Reawakening the moon, we reverse the circle,
crossing the hare’s eye with the left hand.
The snake casts its ancient shadow through the sun.

Lisa and David both posted sestinas yesterday, which reminded me I had never posted this one, which I began with one stanza for the Kick About prompt that highlighted the quilts of Harriet Powers. I later revised and completed it to submit to The Ekphrastic Review as a response to the wonderful print by Jane Burn, above.

For the Kick About, I made felt appliqued circles, similar to those found in penny rugs, taking the motifs from the quilts. I didn’t have a large enough piece of fabric to sew them on, so I photographed them on black paper, white paper, and the wood floor. I’m still undecided as to which background would be best, so the circles are still in a bin waiting to be put together.

There were birds in Powers’ quilts too. I didn’t put them in my felt circles, but I didn’t forget them either.

in bitter winds

in bitter winds wht s

The waters rise,
and what is held trembling
is spirited away–
and what is left is enclosed
behind layers and layers
of ice and fire.

Water becomes a weapon, fired,
swirled, and eddied–to rise
and then submerge and drown in frozen layers
of sorrow–a trembling
grief with no direction, enclosed
and then thrown away.

No place to go but away–
no beginning or end to this fire,
the intensity enclosed
inside deceptions rising
until they burst, trembling,
circling back into themselves as layers

that explode again—echoing layers
that gather far away
like stormclouds—trembling,
unable to shed anything but thunder and fire.
The waters rise,
and what is built disintegrates, enclosed

by distilled heat, frozen and enclosed
in layers
waiting to rise
from shallow graves, to fly away
on wings of fire–
released into the wind, trembling—

into this weary wind that trembles
with an unsteady rhythm both enclosed
and exposed, a soundless fire
that frays as the unstitched layers
turn away
from the sun–as it rises,

held trembling behind layers–
its songs enclosed and spirited away–
in ice and fire, the waters rise.

Always a glutton for punishment, I decided to attempt another sestina, the dVerse form of the moment, for Sue Vincent’s photo prompt, above.  I approached it entirely differently this time, taking some lines I had written and just using the end words as they were for the rest of the poem.  It actually seemed much easier, especially since I made no attempt to keep the lines the same length or rhythm.

in bitter winds close up s

As some have already pointed out, Sue gave us this image in 2016.  I looked for my response after I had done my new art and poem.  I was much more optimistic then, and yet the words come from a similar place.

cracked-ice-wht-s

At each stage, the path
lies untested—short, brittle
as the frozen grass.

Beyond, the sky waits—alive,
waking the young day with fire.

 

Journey

journey s

Imagine a world spinning green–
imagine standing under a tree,
beginning a journey
filled with the sky, an endless
searching of the horizon
for a way out of sorrow,

a constant companion–sorrow,
too, follows this path, like the green
stretching to the horizon–
but grief can rest in the shade of a tree,
above roots that touch endless
other wayfarers, merging together each journey–

thoughts turn into themselves, and the journey
becomes slippery with a sorrow
that slithers from an endless
dark place—hidden from the green,
waiting in corridors, like a tree
searching for the sun on the horizon–

wayfarer s

and yet each morning the horizon
opens again with light, and the journey
awakens and takes flight with the birds in the tree–
to come out from behind the sorrow,
to see instead the green
against the blue sky that holds the promise, endless

transformation , endless
colors that sparkle the horizon,
that follow the patterns of green,
that follow the journey
of what began in sorrow
into the enfolding branches of a tree–

a tree that shelters, a tree
that becomes a refuge to endless
migrations of grief, loss, sorrow–
steps taken from horizon to horizon,
into the unknown terrain of every journey–
out of the shadows into a land of green–

Imagine a tree on the horizon–
imagine an endless dream, a mapless journey—
all the secret songs of sorrow turning into fertile fields of green

A sestina for Sue Vincent’s photo prompt, above.  Sestina is the current featured poetic form at dVerse, introduced by Victoria.

green s2

Looking into my past archives, I only found one previous sestina, which also has a hue of sadness, but in red.  Green is much more hopeful.

And I’ve been dreaming of trees.