indigenous

indigenous comp

I am nowhere indigenous.  Born in the midwestern United States, I have moved through many other regions.  My genetics are blended and confused, my blood relations scattered.  Even within the city I have called home for 45 years I belong to no single neighborhood.  No land or culture claims me as their own.

accumulating
roots of tangled earth and air
unfixed, wandering—

I occupy each season
refilled, resampled, revived

indigenous close up s

For Frank’s haibun prompt at dVerse, considering our relationship to the word indigenous, as we celebrate both Columbus Day and the native peoples who inhabited this land long before Columbus discovered it.

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.

 

Milky Way

milky way blk s

a river of light
captured by the air, turning,
spinning outside in—

uncontained by outlines–this
arc of souls with wings sailing

A tanka for Frank Tassone’s Milky Way Haikai Challenge.

milky way close up s

The Milky Way is, mythologically speaking, a roadway built by the gods linking heaven and earth–souls and birds use it for traveling between the two worlds.

Just so.

Linked also to Open Link Night at dVerse.

 

August Moon

sturgeon moon s

night wears luminous
scales—I feel its pulses through
invisible nets

time resolves into kinship–
everything opened, laid bare

what has been follows
like a shadow, until it
too is discarded

stitched into shining patterns
ancient and always brand new

A double tanka in honor of August’s Sturgeon Moon for Colleen’s #TankaTuesday words, light and dark, and Frank Tassone’s #HaikiChallenge.  Also called the Red Moon, perhaps the sky will clear enough tonight so I can see it.

As many have noted, the sturgeon is an ancient and endangered species.  I was please to find we have our own Hudson River sturgeons, still hanging on.  Fishing for them was banned in 1996.

 

August (2019)

autumn 2019 grid s

Is it the sky I seize when my hand reaches out to touch the storm of rain? Or do the heavens remain behind the veil, rainbowed and unclouded, waiting for the thunderings of the gods to echo into quietude as they follow the flashes of light to the edge of the horizon?

Everything around me is covered with drops of liquid light.

Gaia, drunk with the season’s retreat, builds an improvised framework out of the movements of the moon.

I look for the line
between now and again, where
flower becomes seed–

All is stillness, dense, restless–
leaves shiver, rattled by wind.

A haibun for my August grid, using the prompt words clear and nature from Colleen’s #TankaTuesday.  Last night’s thunderstorm seemed to be straddling seasons.  Two of Jane Dougherty’s recent poems, “Damp Morning” and “Stories” are similar in feeling.

august grid close up s

The grid and poem started out in the same general area but were revised in different directions I think.  Well, my drawing teachers always emphasized the importance of contrast in art–what isn’t there being as necessary as what is.  It’s up to the reader/watcher to fill in the blanks with what they need.