Correspondences

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.

just like that/either way

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?

For Colleen’s #Tanka Tuesday, poet’s choice.

Also linking to dVerse OLN, hosted by Mish.

shadorma/liala

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.

scattered dreams

sleepless I
reach deep skyward, wish
ing for wings
to appear–
my hand pauses, empty, catch
ing only moonlight

Colleen chose me to provide this week’s #TankaTuesday image, and I sent one of my artworks, above. I always enjoy reading what others see in what I’ve created. I haven’t done a shadorma in awhile.

I went back to the original post with this image, which was in 2016, to see what I had written (a san san based also on another poem), and used it as a starting point for what I wrote.

shadow work

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.

Another collage from the archives.

composted

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.

Once again, art from the archives.

What is it good for? (#10)

war 4s

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.

war 5 pieces 2 comp

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.

in which endings are both lost and multiplied close up s

Three linked tankas for Colleen’s #TankaTuesday with synonyms for life and move.

absolutely nothing s

excavations

only
stillness remained
afterwards—everything
else unearthed, uprooted,
exposed into
absence

A badger’s hexastitch for Colleen’s #TankaTuesday with synonyms for the words provided by Jude: search and lost.

And because I’ve been neglecting the NaPoWriMo prompts recently, a short Skeltonic poem for Day 16.

The sunny day
has gone away–
I want to say
it’s not OK.

It’s been a very showery April so far. Hope that portends a very flowery May.

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

fractals (part 2)

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

the-silver-well-3

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.