Like Breathing

circle sky birdlings s

Black is the color of creation.
The void is beginning.
Emptiness must be filled.
You can’t have something without nothing.

And how does that apply to imaginary beings?
Must there also be a counterpart that’s real?

Must every question have an answer and every answer a question?

Catch the words–
in context they become magic.
Recreate the patterns that create potential,
the map to being born.

A cloud is like breathing.
Breathing is like catching.
Catching is like stopping time.
Stopping time is like an earthquake.
An earthquake is like a heart beating fast.
A heart beating fast is like drumming.
Drumming is like dancing.
Dancing is like a bird.
A bird is like flowers.
Flowers are like a rainbow.
A rainbow is like a song.
A song is like the universe.
The universe is like a wheel.

The void is pregnant.

The journey is alive.

Do we get broken so we can be fixed?

For Sue Vincent’s photo prompt, above, from August 2017. I’ve been missing Sue’s prompts. Sending this one out to her along with wishes for healing, a good night’s sleep, and the taste of a strong cup of coffee.

circle birdlings close up 1s

Also linking to Earthweal Open Link Weekend.

sailing the moon

ghost ships rise
along the crescent,
shadowing
their moonmasts–
sails blurred blue into oceans–
dusk stilled into night

For Sue Vincent’s photo prompt of August 20, below.

I posted my original painting on memadtwo with the Oracle’s meditation on Ruth Bader Ginsburg.  I was dissatisfied with it and intensified the dark for the painting above.  I had written the poem at that time as well (even though I was offline), and it complements the Oracle’s words I think.

The crescent moon circle was taken from one of my photos, but I think I should have glued it down.  A small task I will get to soon.

Also sending good wishes to Sue as she deals with a serious illness.

unexplained

unexplained s

gathered in
like harmony
spilling out
like wings

like harmony
a stillness
like wings
unfolding

in stillness
each chord
unfolding
the world

each chord
filling
the world
with song

filling
the edges
with song
reaching

unexplained close up s

the edges
uncontained
reaching
the invisible

uncontained
singing
the invisible
to eternity

singing
beyond reason
to infinity
all needs

beyond reason
spilling out
all needs met
and gathered in

An unrhymed pantoum for Sue Vincent’s photo prompt, above.

seasoned

seasoned s

Do we bless the worn, the weary,
the visible scars?

or do we replace what remains
and begin again, forget?

What do we owe the elements
that lack breath?

They too hold spirits–
remembering, keeping watch—

sentinals of imperfect journeys–
the everything of alive

For Sue Vincent’s photo prompt, above.

seasoned close up2s

Because of all the energy usage due to the heat, Con Ed has been threatening power outages for weeks.  Now it’s the tropical storm/hurricane.  I haven’t had power problems except for intermittent internet.  So if I’m not around much, that’s why.

borderlands

borderlands 1s

time
distills
into the
slow motion of
half-forgotten hours–
astral sunsets emerge
inside the dense dazzled air–
waiting to join the fading light
that veils the edge between earth and sky

A nonet for Sue Vincent’s photo prompt, above, and Colleen’s #tanka Tuesday, with synonyms for blessed and hex, provided by Anita Dawes.

borderlands 2s

I did two  rorschach paintings which turned out slightly different.

wings 2s

But somehow I always end up with wings.

wings 1s

 

A Field Guide to Getting Lost

sue labyrinth s

After “The Owl” by Arthur Sze

I believed I was lost.
Night was on its way–
the path was purple in the dust
and seemed to have ended.
I had arrived here
without a destination.
I longed for sanctuary,
a resting place.

I saw an owl, perched,
watching me.
I spread my arms,
willing wings to appear
so I too could shelter
on a branch.

But I remained earthbound,
weary and alone.
And when the owl stirred,
a fine dust formed patterns
in the disappearing light.
It was as if a portal had opened.

Constellations
fell from its wings.  I was
surrounded by the cosmos,
spiraled into a glowing darkness
and deposited in a held breath.
All was silent then.  And I felt
safe, like the arms of the universe
held me in a vast sacred space.

Nothing stirred forever–then I sensed
the owl quaver.  And at dawn, waking,
I saw with clarity the world
becoming new, transforming
into a landscape that never existed
before now.  The path was green
and meandered back into itself.

I could not see where
I was going but it felt
familiar, like I had circled
with the seasons, following
the path of the planets dancing
with the sun and moon.

We emerged
reborn
into the
May light.

I’m bringing together a lot of different trains of thought here, so bear with me.

in the middle of now june 2016 grid s

The Kick-About challenge #6 is Rebecca Solnit’s A Field Guide to Getting Lost.  Though I have not read that particular Solnit book,  I have read at least one essay she has written about labyrinths (“Journey to the Center” from The Encyclopedia of Trouble and Spaciousness), and that’s the first thing that came to mind.

A labyrinth is not a maze–there is only one path in and one path out.  Labyrinths have been found in cultures all over the world, and are often used as forms of ritual or pilgrimage–a way to return to the source, to lose yourself in something larger and as a result find yourself again.

Sue Vincent’s photo prompt, above, gave me that feeling too–could not those paths be circuits on a labyrinth, doubling back to the beginning of the journey?

mapping the wind s

Labyrinths have been linked to circles, spirals, and mandalas–all patterns of sacred geometry.  They have been compared to a map of the brain.

Solnit:  “Getting lost was not a matter of geography so much as identity, a passionate desire, even an urgent need, to become no one and anyone, to shake off the shackles that remind you who you are, who others think you are.”

map labyrinth s

 

When you walk a labyrinth you are walking the same path to and from the center, yet the journey in and out are not at all the same.  The seven circuit labyrinth is often layered with rainbows, mirroring the 7 chakras, the 7 notes of the musical scale, the 7 sacred planets, the 7 days of the week. The journey creates a bridge from earth to the cosmos and back again. In a symbolic death, you return to the womb, shedding the things you have acquired but no longer need.  Rebirthing back to the entrance/exit you open yourself to finding new patterns, new ways of being in the world.

chakra painted labyrinth s

Lost can mean adrift, forgotten, missing, but also captivated or consumed.  Lost can be hopeless or bewildered but it can also be rapt, immersed.

Solnit: “…to be lost is to be fully present, and to be fully present is to be capable of being in uncertainty and mystery.”

owl moon s

This poem is another instance where I spread out the lines of someone else’s poem and filled in the empty spaces with my own thoughts.  You can read Arthur Sze’s original poem here.

 

Who drinks your tears, who has your wings, who hears your story?
Rebecca Solnit, “The Faraway Nearby”

go make people s

 

among the purple heather

among the purple s

solitude
unwinding beneath
meandering
skies, layers
circling back on themselves, cross
currented by wind–

trees sweep leaves
into shapes–shivered,
spilled over
edges, cast
shadowed with spirits holding
earth connecting air

scattering
blossomed voices—bells
calling words
into breath,
into dances that whisper
sanctuary—“come”

For Sue Vincent’s photo prompt, above.

I recently came across a video that talked about asemic writing, and using it as a prompt for extracting poetry from your unintellible scribbles. I decided to use Sue’s photo as a guide for my asemic composition, first using fine point markers in colors that echoed the landscape.  I then freewrote what I thought my marks were trying to say.

among the purple ansemic s

After that I took watercolor pencils, dipped them in water, and wrote asemically again over the markers, blurring both.  I looked at what I had written in my initial response, extracted some of the ideas, and formed them into a shadorma chain to go with the final composition.

among the purple close up s

 

When I saw Sue’s photo, the first thing I thought of was the traditional Scottish song “Wild Mountain Thyme”.  Joan Baez did a famous version, but I think the one I remember most from my youth is by the Byrds.  It’s been covered and reinterpreted by artists as varied as Van Morrison, the Clancy Brothers, and Ed Sheeran.  I listened to a lot of them, but I really like this one by Kate Rusby.

among the purple ansemic close up s

not crows,

not crows s

she said, but
count them, count them and
remember
what has not
yet been dreamed—what follows each
silhouette–

a breath that
removes what is not
required, keeps
what fills need
and refills it whenever
it becomes empty—

spellcast in
air, each wing gathers
force, compressed
like secrets–
talismans numbered and tossed
waiting for the wind

For Sue Vincent’s photo prompt, above, and also posted to earthweal open link weekend.

not crows close up s