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Cloud Forest (Draw a Bird Day)

el oro 2s

Outside the visible, the veil persists, a misted crown,
a canopy to shelter woodlands from both up and down–
the spirits dance their circles through the portals of the clouds,
beyond enclosure following the songs of the unknown.

With wings of color bearing light and magic on the air,
the alchemy of green and gold renews and then repairs
this ancient symbiosis moored to currents at its core
awakening new seeds, building a bridge from here to there.

The El Oro Parakeet is an endangered bird living in the Andes cloud forest of Southwestern Ecuador.  Cloud forests are also endangered throughout the world.  You can read about them here.

el oro head s

This is my first attempt at a rubaiyat poem, the featured form at dVerse for February.  I could not make 13 syllables work, so I ended up with 14.  I also fudged the rhymes a bit.  I don’t usually write long lines, and that was what I found to be the biggest challenge for me.

 

Draw a Bird/2/8/19

A WordPress tradition. Here’s my rendition of one of my favorite birds, the owl.

And just because he/she appeared next door, here’s a shot of a turkey vulture eating some squirrel sushi.

Not a drawing but too good not to share. Have a great weekend!

February 2019

feb19mandalas

heavy snow
shoveling away
the solitude
–Rachel Sutcliffe

one set of boot tracks
grey clouds mingle with absence
paths left untrodden

For a long time I started each month with a collage grid and a haiku.  This month, having done a grey February mandala (perhaps next month a grid), I decided to take up Frank Tassone’s challenge to honor poet Rachel Sutcliffe by writing haiku inspired by her words.

his death day
in graveyard shadows
gathered crows
–Rachel Sutcliffe

winter multiplies
voices now lost to the wind
crows calling grey skies

feb19mandalacloseups

Hopefully the grey will clear out before February’s end…

 

 

 

Where are the Birds? (Draw a Bird Day)

branches comp s

awakening, I
see branches growing solid
in the rising light–

the cries of solitary
forms in motion–fleeting, dark

I’ve been drawing the branches outside my window when I wake up.  Above is a grid of 9 of them.  In the early morning light, the birds are like shadows that come and go.

Another poem about branches and birds, Tess Gallagher’s wonderful “Choices”, can be found here.

Happy Draw a Bird Day!

 

 

Scarecrow Joins the Circle Dance

corw dance dark s

Autumn. I fall into disrepair.  The sky still covers me, but my shadow dissolves into the remains of the golden ocean that heretofore eddied and flowed at my feet.  My skin lies ragged, unfilled.

I was crowned, once, with dark discordant ornaments. They sit on other thrones now, unrepentant pretenders, still calling the sun, the wind–the land itself–to task.

A crow flies over
a graveyard—blackness on stone–
change hangs in the air

crow dance close up s

When I saw Frank Tassone’s Haikai Challenge about scarecrows, I was intrigued.  I can’t think of Scarecrow without  thinking of Robert Okaji’s wise sage.  So whatever I did would be colored by what Robert has written.  I also decided to use the words from Colleen’s Tanka Tuesday, synonyms for ghost and hollow, as many of them seemed to fit on Scarecrow too.

crow dance bright s

As to Crow–he’s always around here somewhere.

Once again, different light makes the metallic paint change like the weather and the seasons…and this is another artwork inspired by Joan Mitchell being inspired by Van Gogh.  Circles within circles.

Also linked to dVerse Open Link Night.

Birds: copying from Kerfe

Of course I forgot Draw a Bird Day. I am too distracted.

When I saw Kerfe’s post I sat down and copied her bird sketches. Her post was so good today! I believe birds are our ancestors from the spirit world.

When I see a Red Tailed Hawk flying solo I think it’s my sister. She often appears out the window during Zumba class. I think she’s glad I’m dancing!

Draw a Bird Day: Which Bird?

which bird s

I thought I saw blue jays, but red feathers and whistles turned them into cardinals. I thought I saw cardinals, but the starlings stole their song.  I thought I saw starlings, but they grew huge and then they laughed in a raucous crow chorus.

sparrows 2 s

Which bird? you ask, which
bird?—sparrows, tiny sparrows–
wings to wish upon

This is based on a fragment of a dream that came back to me with the birds in the morning.  All five birds mentioned are often both heard and seen outside my windows and doors (and, apparently, also in my dreams).

cardinal blue jay s

 

 

we rearrange the patterns to reflect light

9_11 wings s

ghostnames wandering
a map of endings—the sounds
of feathers and wings

For Colleen’s Tanka Tuesday, using synonyms for plan and finish.

wings close up s

Remembering the stillness of the days after 9/11, and the crystal blue sky, and the autumn leaves echoing the wind.

 

Draw-a-Bird Day: Unclaimed

feather without a wing s

unclaimed magnetic s

feather without close up 1s

as the stars devour
their darkest dance,
I grow ever smaller–
a feather without wings,
orbiting on cloud sails,
lingering as a hole
in the breath of ghosts

feather without close up 2s

Crows.  The Oracle knows.

 

 

 

The Other Side

feb-2017-gird-crows-s

The sky beneath the stars–
earthbound orbit
shadowed by the night,
divided by itself.

Earthbound orbit
always pulled away,
divided by itself,
vast and gravitating.

Always pulled away–
completely boundless ancient
vast and gravitating
dark, dissolving.

Completely boundless ancient
held by threads that sail–
dark, dissolving
tides of wing and air.

Held by threads that sail,
shadowed by the night,
tides of wing and air–
the sky beneath the stars.

This collage was done originally for a Sue Vincent Photo Prompt.  I’ve posted the art again, with a new poem, in celebration of the publication of Marianne Szlyk’s book, “On the Other Side of the Window”, which uses it for the cover illustration.

I was delighted when Marianne asked if she could use one of my crow pieces for her book of poems.  I know her from her wonderful blog of words, art, and music, “The song is…”, and was pleased also to be able to meet her at the New York Poetry Festival on Governor’s Island a few weeks ago.

marianne book cover s

Also linked to dVerse open link night , hosted by Lillian. And yes, yet another pantoum.