Thirteen ways of Looking

new 13 ways s

Thirteen Ways of Looking at Living

I
He wanted mountains
as his final resting place:
climb and let me fly.

II
We climbed, ten,
The landscape open, no trees,
just empty and wide.

III
The black ashes fell up to the ground.
The sun remained in the sky.

IV
A camera captured
pieces.
All around earth rocks family
air.

V
Our conflicts dissolving
into suspended time,
breathing memories,
the connections blinding,
the future past.

VI
The shadow of inheritance.
The pull of familiarity.
Love crossed with contradiction,
no answers,
lost words,
absences
uncertain and unknown.

VII
O voice of silences
what would you say to us now?
Will you not speak the many questions
embedded in the reparations
we expect to find?

VIII
I know only murmurs
and the rhythm of searching.
But I know too
that death is involved
in what I know.

IX
When we came down from the mountain
our bodies flew,
scattered to many destinations.

X
At the sound of each day
and each day returning
we noted the discordant measure
of hours and years.

XI
He did not ask
for more time.
He did not seek miracles
or complain of cruelty.
He knew that all stories
have an end.

XII
Her mind departed
long before her heart failed.

XIII
We went back up the mountain.
It was different
and the same and the earth
the sky accepted anew
our darkest gift.

13 ways 2s

Jane Dougherty’s poetry challenge this week was to take a line from a favorite poem (song, novel, etc) and use it as inspiration.  I am always returning to the Wallace Stevens poem “Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird”, so I thought to start there.  I’ve been thinking about my parents.  My generation is becoming the elders now.  I do not think we are prepared for it.

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About memadtwo

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34 responses to “Thirteen ways of Looking”

  1. D.S. says :

    Ah, darn! It appears my comment didn’t go through. Well, what I’d said (if this is a repeat, so sorry) is: This post — poem and artwork — is beautiful. The words, touching; the art, moving. And about becoming elders — I know, scary (I think that all the time). 🙂
    Have a wonderful weekend!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Jodi says :

    Wow! Blown away. Such touching words. Such beautiful art. Sooooo very much talent. Deeply moved. Thank you for sharing. Thank you for inspiring! ❤️

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Claudia McGill says :

    First of all poem and artwork – stop-in-your-tracks eloquent and beautiful. Really made me think.

    I have also been thinking about becoming an “elder”. I feel the opposite way – this is the stage of life I have been waiting for, that I belong in. Not because I have so much to offer the younger generations, although I do feel I have something to say, but also for me. I finally feel out from under the restrictiveness and narrowness that I was shown as an example, and I tried not to follow. So now I hope to have a voice for the opposite things, openness, peace, and acceptance, and to be what I am, without the chill in the air – and to help my own descendants and anyone younger if I can, even if maybe I wouldn’t do things the way they want to.

    Interesting, what you have made me think about here. Thank you, and thank you for listening, as I write almost a post here, myself!

    Liked by 2 people

    • memadtwo says :

      You know, I can see and feel the freedom in your work. Maybe it also comes from getting through your medical issues last year. I can affirm that you are an inspiration to my own explorations!
      I guess I’m not sure what role I have to play going forward. I feel that much of my life is still unsettled. I’m no longer really working much as a knit designer, my youngest child will be leaving home, who am I now? And there’s still so much I’d like to ask my parents, and others of that generation who are gone now. Strange to think of the role reversal with someone asking me those questions now.

      Liked by 2 people

  4. Jane Dougherty says :

    Thought-provoking piece. Like Stevens’ poetry. So delicate the way you describe your feelings. I felt much the same way when my parents died, that I wasn’t ready to be on the front line, to be the front line. Like Claudia though I think I’m settling into it. By the time I have grandchildren I shall probably be ready to assume complete leadership 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Laura (Createarteveryday) says :

    Thank you for sharing your feelings and fear and acceptance and …it goes on. I agree completely and wonder the same things. Like Claudia, I had to stop and stare and revisit … so much here to take in. Isn’t it wonderful how pictures and words help is pave the way into our new roles and our front lines? How much easier is it all to bear with the help of pigment, pen and paper. Thanks, Kerfe. 💜

    Liked by 1 person

    • memadtwo says :

      It is easier, and sometimes you don’t know where you’re going with what you do until you see it’s where you needed to go. It’s good for me to see that others are thinking the same things too.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. kirkistan says :

    I am really liking this, Kerfe.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Sharon Mann says :

    I’m in agreement with Claudia, I’m taking on the task as elder, but I have thought am I ready for this time in my life. It is an honor to sit with young people and hear their stories of the day and appreciate where I am now. I’m not in a hurry anymore.
    Your Poem and art touched me so much. Both my parents passed in 2015. And I miss them very much. Thank you for your thoughtful post today.

    Liked by 1 person

    • memadtwo says :

      You will never stop missing them. But it’s part of living, isn’t it?
      It’s heartening to hear that others feel comfortable taking on these new roles. Like Claudia, you feel very solid to me.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Sharon Mann says :

        You are right, the grief is getting easier but I will always miss them. Thank you for your kind comment. As I age, art is one of the best ways I know to communicate my life experience and share with the world. I think our countries at war need to all sit done and make a collage of peace. Art is a common ground for all. Have a great day and thank you for your post today.

        Liked by 1 person

      • memadtwo says :

        A collage for peace is a great idea.

        Liked by 1 person

  8. Lynz Real Cooking says :

    I love the form of the poem and the messages. So much meaning and lovely art!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Jennifer G. Knoblock says :

    The Stevens poem is one of my favorites of all time. You have evoked the original while making something beautiful, moving, and “you.”

    Liked by 1 person

  10. merrildsmith says :

    Beautiful and thoughtful poem. Beautiful art, as well.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Elusive Trope says :

    stunning with its depth of images and emotions and pondering. a brilliantly composed riff off of Steven’s format, and an example of Jean-Luc Gudard meant when he said: “It’s not where you take things from — It’s where you take them to.”

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Teresa Robeson says :

    Power juxtaposition of the poetry and your art…I’m in awe.

    Like

  13. kestrelart says :

    Lively lovely paintings

    Liked by 1 person

  14. artandmoondreams says :

    Beautiful, powerful, and moving.

    Liked by 1 person

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