The Hanged One

and after?

emerging from fire and flood
not with wings, risen from ashes,
but immersed in suspended time–
inside out upside down

to reverse is not to return

to surrender is not to admit defeat

to be still is not to remain forever bound

Sarah at dVerse has given us the word ash for our quadrille this week. The story she told of Odin hanging from the World Tree to gain wisdom made me think of The Hanged Man card from the tarot. I’ve seen it referred to as The Hanged One in several places, and I like that name better.

Continuing my series of tarot inspired collages using Egyptian figures, I put this together quickly, using a funerary figure and the doorway the dead are said to walk through. I usually spend days doing them, so I’m sure it will end up being revised since I’m not quite satisfied with it.

Poem up at the Ekphrastic Review

where does the body lie?

a prisoner of gravity,
it remains forever outside of dreams

unfit for the spiritship,
a vessel of startled complexity–
open, unbounded, secret, extreme

Picture

I wrote the original version (much revised) of the above 42 poem at the same time I wrote my haibun, Unattached, which is published on The Ekphrastic Review today, along with Jane’s lyrical poem, Bronze Dreams, and other varied responses to Frida Kahlo’s painting, The Dream.

My collage is once again based on a tarot card, this the the Four of Swords. Kahlo’s paining reminded me very much of the iconic Rider-Waite card, but my own interpretation drifts in between the card and the painting. I could not find out if Kahlo ever studied tarot, but she was friends with many of the Surrealists, who certainly played with its symbolism. The Four of Swords is a card of restoration and healing, just like Frida’s Dream.

I placed a photo of the interior of an Egyptian sarcophagus in the sky. The figure painted there is the sky goddess Nut, who “spreads out her arms protectively to receive the deceased. (s)He is sheltered by her, is adsorbed into her body, and emerges reborn” (Rose-Marie and Rainer Hagen, “Egypt”).

You can read my poem (and Jane’s) here. My thanks once again to editor Lorette C. Luzajic for supporting my work and the interaction between the visual and written arts.

star light star bright

the star tarot s

raise me up
with words with singing
shout me out
pull me free
of the faceless gravity
escapeless vortex

return me
to a calmer sea
gentle winds
to nourish
star skies opening wing-filled
luminosity

give to me
a landing some place
solid ground
to answer
when I call from where I wait
undestinated

the star girl s

I once had an idea to do my own set of collage Tarot cards.  I started with zero, The Fool, which I’ve done a number of times since.  Over the years I’ve also done a few others–The Tower, the Ace of Cups.  This moment in time seems to me to call out for The Star, the beacon of renewal, hope, and faith that follows the disintegrating Tower in the Tarot deck.

the star venus s

My windows face east, and in the clear early mornings I can see Venus.  The other day, next to her, the half moon shone large and bright over the silhouettes of the buildings across the subway tracks, both anchor and comfort in a world increasingly restricted and isolated.

Linked to dVerse OLN, hosted by Grace.