close your eyes

I did have the NaPoWriMo prompt in mind today when I visited the Oracle. At least in terms of a song. My things are mostly in boxes, not drawers, at the moment–this is my third move in the last 18 months so it’s all junk now. I was also thinking how much I would like to just take an entire day and do nothing but sleep. Which led me to James and Joni. And the Oracle obliged.

all I want
is to sleep beneath
a still sky–
a shadow
of whispered light on water
moondreaming the wind

rampant grace

“You were once wild here.  Don’t let them tame you.”
–Isadora Duncan

presence, breath,
the mystery of
the body–
here and now,
never once upon a time–
wild eternity

full of what
is—translating and
transforming
each step through
the labyrinth that is you–
synchronal, alive

This is a Kick-About prompt (the quote from Isadora Duncan) that I never posted. I had an idea to do collage illustrations, but the photos of Isadora dancing made me want to try to capture them in gestural drawings.

I haven’t used pastels in a long time, but I can see why Degas chose them so often to render his dancers. The body becomes transformed by dance, lighter and more transparent. Otherworldly.

For NaPoWriMo, and also linking to the dVerse prompt from Grace, The Body & Poetry.

contexture

“But nobody pointed out that the web itself is a miracle.”
–E B White, “Charlotte’s Web”

how the sun
multiplies dewdrops
hovering
on nearly
invisible threads tiny
iridescent pearls

scattered on
paths that cross woven
in waves that
whisper with
the breeze leaving sparkling trails
like a fairy’s wand

releasing
the magic of stars
to the light
connecting
sheltering enabling this
miraculous life

Today for Day 6 the NapoWriMo prompt says: Go to a book you love. Find a short line that strikes you. Make that line the title of your poem. Write a poem inspired by the line. Then, after you’ve finished, change the title completely. I chose “Charlotte’s Web” which has many many good lines to choose from.

Another shadorma chain, with art from the archives.

interpolated

some days seem
to go nowhere—hours
surround, merge,
a mass of
waiting—you can feel the weight
on your chest inside

heart slowing
barely breathing your
skin sweating
density
as your body disappears
your mind wandering

caught without
contingency—all
locations
remain un
named, uncalendared, unchecked,
suspended, untimed—

a structure
of vast hidden plans,
dimensions
flattened in
to absence, its contents left
carelessly behind

A shadorma chain for the NaPoWriMo Day 4 prompt, to use as inspiration a photo from @SpaceLiminalBot. I chose the photo above.

the great beyond

I consulted the Oracle this morning while thinking about Colleen’s #TankaTuesday theme chosen by Merril, immortality. I was surprised when I went to post it how it follows the Oracle’s message from last week–beyond to the great beyond. Although I am consumed, one might even say overwhelmed, by my moving tasks, as long as my computer is still assembled I will continue speaking with the Oracle on Saturdays.

black as death
we say—but what lies
whispering
like wind like
skyshadow singing through blue
lightdreams and still seas?

remember
the rhythm dancing
dazzled with
starsisters–
embrace the open window–
vast secrets flying

Currents

How far, how
long?  Is forgotten
gone?  Today
can stretch out
ahead and behind towards both
retreat and escape.

Form has no
real boundaries—light
shifts, guarding
waves wielded
in ways we misunderstand
and fail to protect.

Things change when
we try to measure
them—they be
come contained,
finite, solid, orderly–
ordinary—fixed.

A shadorma chain for Sue Vincent’s photo prompt, above, and Colleen’s Tanka Tuesday words past and present.

Even changing the orientation of an image reconfigures how you see it.

Additional inspiration courtesy of Marcy Erb and Tom Waits.

synergies

nina birthday mandala s

bejeweled
with eyes reflecting
mysteries
blossoming
in every season day and night
and on each new hour–

embryos
in expectation
of bursting
into song,
nestled in the openings
between yes and no–

shall we dance?
the shadows linger,
dissolving
into dusk–
and still our bodies listen
and repeat, reply,

riding dreams
past waves of darkness,
not asking
how each sky
contains the endlessness of
spinning leaping light–

claiming wings
invisible yet
tangible,
our steps rise
following silent music,
orchestrated flight

that repeats,
always being born
perfectly
uncontained–
we have been cast out like seeds–
resplendent, alive

A shadorma chain for Merril’s prompt at dVerse, connections, and Brendan’s earthweal challenge, entanglement. With more art from the archives.

Castle in the Sky/the earth sings

Too much and too little of everything,
this disembodied crowd of kings and fools–
the culmination of faith is a leap into the unknown–
the spaces between are all that remains.

The details of life become blurred and distorted,
fragments scattered into ghosts
reflecting the collision of bottomless dreams and desires–
too much and too little of everything.

Plans go astray, linger unrealized.
The path is long and winding and there is no map —
what makes us think we have finally found the truth?
(this disembodied crowd of kings and fools)

Does only night reveal the secret of the star?
The past follows us no matter where we go–
how little is really necessary!
The culmination of faith is a leap into the unknown.

The earth embraces us, teeming with life–
what are we looking for?  where do we belong?
Will we recognize it when we reach our destination?–
the spaces between are all that remains.

memories are
woven into tales–
time and space
expanded
and compressed—fragments scattered
like ghosts of what is

no longer
there—we know why we
seek this thing–
Divine Light–
but there is no star, only an
endless procession

escaping
from its past—still we
always come
back again,
repeating the well trodden
paths of Holy fools–

and when our
destination finds
us what will
we see?  grace
reflecting the gift of life?
or the gold of kings?

I wrote these two poems (a cascade, and a shadorma chain) in response to a painting of the daylight travels of the Magi followed by multitudes of richly garbed men which was part of the Ekphrastic Review Holiday Challenge. These did not make the cut. But when I saw the Earthweal Challenge for the change we are, I thought they fit.

I know my prompt responses often seem to veer off course, and maybe this one is also in that category. Perhaps it stems from my sense of things not fitting properly in the world–myself included–which gives me a general inability to feel I am accurately responding to anything. But I also feel that’s where “we” are at this Solstice 2020. Changes are all around us, but it’s hard to find the proper light in which to tell exactly what they are.

with more art from the archives

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.