Looking at the photo Butterfly on Asters by Lisa Smith Nelson, I’m immediately reminded of a story in Robin Wall Kimmerer’s “Braiding Sweetgrass”. Kimmerer is asked by her college advisor why she wants to study botany. She tells him she is hoping to learn “about why asters and goldenrod looked so beautiful together”. Her advisor is appalled. To him, the beauty of a field of flowers has no place in science.
I could have told her, as her artist friends later did, about complementary colors. But I did not know, as she learned in her further studies, that the eyes of bees, like those of humans, are naturally attracted to complementary colors. I looked up butterflies and their vision, too, is similarly color sensitive. When asters and goldenrod grow together, they complement each other in more than color—they attract more pollinators. Plants need pollinators to reproduce.
The combination of purple and yellow is part of the ecosystem.
It seems that beauty is indeed a necessity for life.
which came first– the delicate wings or the seed?
Colleen’s Tanka Tuesday prompt this week was a photo chosen and taken by Lisa Smith Nelson, above.
more and more crow- ded in- to less and less—un- fold- ed and folded a- gain each new day– do I need to know who I am? words scatter like air– gone, disa- ppeared
David at the skeptic’s kaddish introduced me to the waltz wave, an poetry form that asks you to separate the syllables for some of your words. I like to do this, especially in shadorma.
I found it to be a challenge, especially to find the right subject matter for this kind of verse. In the end I wrote two, both of which seemed to go well with an old collage I had done which was based on a painting by Redon.
do dreams fly or tunnel? flow or stun? spiral to the cen- ter or spin out to the far- thest away? will they em- brace or turn around? para- llel or de- part?
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.
arise to witching hour, the moon eclipsing the sun– in afterlight crow echoes his own call
gathered clouds, a bower of reflected light returned, unwrapping into daylight from its pall
orbits overlapping, crossing time as well as space– a hush that parallels the day’s forestall
twin umbras pause, passing– opposites in brief embrace– Aurora wakes, released to fly withal
Another kerf poem, for Colleen’s #TankaTuesday, where Gwen Plano has provided the words Dawn & Twilight. My apartment doesn’t face east at all, but the eclipsed sunrise felt very different yesterday, veiled and stilled, and the crows had a lot to say about it.
always digging deeper– roots that grow below, restore– listening through decay beyond stillness,
a place that is neither dark nor light, yet full, aware, gathered germinating into witness,
distilled light casting words that linger as counterpart– revealing mysteries in all that is
held on the wings of birds, circulated through the heart, absorbed into the spiraling axis
It’s poet’s choice of form at Colleen’s Tanka Tuesday, and how could I resist a syllabic form called “kerf”? I meant this also to be for the earthweal challenge this week, earthcraft, but obviously did not finish it in time.
The same foolishness everywhere. We talk over each other, repeat words until they are erased. The lines become solid form.
We can’t see either forest or trees. We respond without listening. The same actions, recast, broken up, taken down. Angry
outlines drawn like guns. Hanging over cliffs, waiting. Holding on, out, back. We banish heart, soul. Burning every single bridge. Drowning.
Early in my blogging life, on memadtwo, I did a series of paintings titled what is it good for? Then I did some embroideries titled war is not healthy (for children and other living things). Unfortunately, it’s (always) (still) relevant. Even in my city (mostly) young men are killing and being killed every day by gang and turf wars that are little more than macho posturing. And of course, as in every war, civilians are merely collateral damage.
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
the geography of water parallels and reconfigures the complexity of the heart– light, a fissured mirror, reflects memories in recurrent waves– the complexity of the heart parallels and reconfigures the geography of water
For Colleen’s Tanka Tuesday poet’s choice this week I’ve written an octo poem which is a revision of a poem I published four years ago for Sue Vincent’s photo prompt, spring, above. You can see the original post here (a shadorma, of course). What’s interesting to me is how wildly different my painting is from the photo.
Also, though I like the way this painting looks, I never followed up and did any more with the idea. I need my gouache which is in storage, but it’s got me thinking. Perhaps to be continued.
Fractals can’t be measured in traditional ways. And so it is with springs, memories, and hearts.