I see you superimposed on the landscape, melting in to the shadows of buildings, sidewalks, trunks of trees–
woodfern sweetpepper bush cherry maple oak panicgrass fleabane hornbeam chestnut marsh blue violet–
I float on streams to the river– pickerel perch otter duck– climb paths up forested hills– bear fox rabbit deer–
My Lady of Mannahatta– swallowtail buckeye spring azure monarch–you gather me windwhispering
on hawkwings– full green animate, this island— return me to the timeless before, when land was shared, not owned
Welikia means “my good home” in the Lenape language. The Lenape tribe were the original inhabitants of Manhattan and the surrounding lands. Their main village was where Yonkers is now; they had temporary structures on the island of Mannahatta for use in hunting, fishing, and gathering.
The Welikia Project is an interactive map of New York City, where you can find out about the biodiversity and landscape of the island in 1609, before it was developed by Europeans. The idea that the Dutch “bought” the island was not one shared by the native peoples they then forced to leave the land.
Today, the NaPoWriMo prompt is “to write a poem that recounts a dream or vision, and in which a woman appears who represents or reflects the area in which you live.”
The first part of this one went quickly, but the Oracle made me work for the last 2 lines. Only when I decided to see if I could make the word “illusions” would She let me complete it. “Life is but a dream” or so they say.
sleep whispers in tongues of blue mist– as if moons seadream light though shadows above still water– illusions of time
We have heard and noted your cries for help. Un fortunate ly our sovereign borders are currently closed.
We fear that we must turn away from any images of drowning, freezing, starving. They disturb our sleep.
But we are not completely heart less. We will send you our Condolences, as well as our Thoughts and Prayers.
For earthweal, where Sherry, after bringing us up to date on the flooding in her Canadian homeland, asked us to write Verse Letters: a form of address, akin to dramatic monologue, to all parties involved – letters to the lost, perhaps; to those who caused the extinction; or to those of us who are in the middle.
to belong is a feeling–not words over heard in pass ing, but a garment to wear– it keeps you warm, this
chorus sung by many voices– it tells you how to clear your self, opening to be come filled, become found
Sarah at dVerse shared with us once again the paintings of Fay Collins, and asked us to write to what we see in her images. I did not pick any particular landscape, but used the entirety of her work as inspiration for both my words and my watercolor, which reflect her immersion in and love of the earth.
Also linking to earthweal, where Brendan has asked us to praise what matters.
I could not look at it from be fore or aft er, only the angle of gone, dissolved, empty, vanishing–
not just the material thing that had been dispossessed, but what it represented– a piece of myself,
never to be recovered–and here I am left watching, clinging to impermanence like water and wind
“The Kick-About prompt of souvenir seemed perfect: my daughter had given me a small sketchbook, and every day I sat on my beach chair with my feet in the waves doing a drawing, and then writing a haiku to accompany it. The sketchbook would be my souvenir.
On the last day of my beach vacation the ocean was quite rough, due to Hurricane Henri passing by, so I sat far up on the sand, where only a small piece of a dying wave occasionally brushed my toes. Holding my sketchbook up to let the watercolor pencil drawing dry I was suddenly totally upended by a rogue wave that covered me completely. I stood up, soaked, clutching my pencils in one hand, but watching my sketchbook being pulled under and out to sea.
I will replay that image in my mind for a long time, maybe forever.
When I got home, I channeled my emotional turmoil into neocolors, drawing from memory the ocean that was now fixed in my mind. The sketchbook drawings were so much more beautiful though. At least that’s how I’ll always remember them.”
For dVerse, where Ingrid asks us to attempt “writing your way out of a place of pain“. I drew it first, then I wrote.
phantasma goria exposed by shadows dissolving into borrowed wings eclipsed by casting out light
I’m behind a few weeks on posting my contributions to the Kick-About, but this is the most recent, a collage inspired by Sheila Legge’s Phantom of Surrealism, above. Masked in roses, she was photographed in a white dress and gloves, surrounded by pigeons in Trafalgar Square, a performance inspired by a painting by Dali.
I was drawn to the statuesque quality of the photo, particularly given the location, and I can never resist using birds in a collage.
And of course we all don our own masks–some are just more obvious than others.
the landscape pauses, quiescent– waiting on the edge of movement—no time passes here– framed in memories
Colleen’s #TankaTuesday prompt this week was an interesting one–
First, choose your favorite syllabic poetry form. Write your poem.
Next, give your poem some different characteristics to make it something different. You can change the syllable count, rhyme scheme (add or get rid of it), anything you want to create a new form. Write this poem.
Give your new syllabic poetry form a name.
I chose shadorma. How to change it? I had noticed before that all the lines had odd numbers of syllables, so I added one syllable to each line, to make them all even.
landscape pauses, quiescent, waiting on movement’s edge—no time passes here– a stilled photograph of silence– time framed in memories
Thinking of a name was difficult. Shadorma seems to be totally made up, although several people noted the similarity to the word shadow. So I decided to pick a name with a beginning from light. I ended up with Liala, because I like the sound of it and the repetition of the a ending. It’s evidently a girls’ name but I could find no meaning for it.
There is a subtle difference between the odd and even syllabled poems, but I’m not sure which one I like best.
The photos are cropped versions of panoramas composed by my older daughter from photos she took in the mountains of Arizona where my father requested that we spread his ashes. My mother did not make any request except to be cremated, but we managed to find the very same place to spread her ashes years later after her death.