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Is That a Human Voice? (after Toshikazu Yasumizu)

jm 2a right blk s

Mountains circle a city
of women dancing like feathers.
Mountains circle a city
of women dancing like feathers.
Silence embraces the flowing.
Silence embraces the flowing
patterns, bending with the wind.
Turning, repeating, transforming, rising–
silence follows.

jm 2a right close up s

Bending with the wind, turning.
Where are the birds?
Repeat and follow.
Bending with the wind, questing.
Opening, questing–
repeat and follow.

jm 2a left close up s

Embrace these wings, bending with the wind.
Turning, repeating, transforming, rising–
silence follows.

jm 2a close up mid s

The NaPoWriMo prompt for day 5 was to take an untranslated poem, pair it with a photo, and make a poem referring to both.  I chose to use one of the artworks I did for this month instead of a photo, and I used a Japanese poem by Toshikazu Yasumizu, “Is That a Human Voice?”, partly because I love the title.  You can see the poem and the translation (which works well with my embroidery also) here.

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The embroidery is once again based on a painting by Joan Mitchell.  The calligraphic nature of Japanese writing reminds me a lot of the marks of stitching.

logo-napowrimo

I’m also linking to dVerse open link night.

Draw-a-Bird Day: Birdlings are Back

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The Motions of Molecules

Appearing
suddenly,
the patterns compose
themselves.  Shapes
of silence.  Supplicants to
the definitive.

birdlings close up 3s

This will be my last post for awhile.  Continuing my nomadic lifeI will be moving uptown 10 blocks.

birdlings close up 1as

The birdlings will be coming along.

birdlings close up 4s

And I plan on being back for NaPoWriMo.  It’s just around the corner…

Waking up to a Nor’easter

Driving yesterday I saw all these blackbirds on a lawn and felt happy. Spring must be coming! Today I woke up to huge flakes of snow and predictions of high winds later.

Probably will be an easy work day as people never like to go out in bad weather. And it’s Friday.

I apologize for not posting more. As usual, a gentle nudge from Kerfe made me sit down and do this quick image of what I saw yesterday. And I saw some green shoots coming up as well.

blue space 2

blue raven s

silhouette transformed–
matter into spirit—lore
guides the willing eye

blue raven close up s

Suzanne at Calm and Chaos inspired me with her post this morning.  I also used Colleen’s words to illustrate my initial reaction to the first photo in Suzanne’s post.

 

Draw a Bird Day: Hoopoe

hoopoe 2s

I Ask the Hoopoe Three Questions

In my dreams I am always traveling: as Joni says, “looking for something, what can it be?”  My home is the stairway down to the subway, up to the train platform, watching the landscape moving beside the bus.

Here I am again, on the road…in the median I see the bird—huge, red crested, black and white striped wings. I step off the highway into the lush green.

Hoopoe is both real and mythical.  It is associated with death, war, and disease, but also with purity, virtue and leadership. Sometimes it is a messenger between heaven and earth.

I like best the hoopoe in the Sufi story-poem, “The Conference of the Birds”.

What did you
find at the end of
your journey?
Dark and light
intermingling inside your
eye?  Do you know Crow?

hoopoe dream blk s

I really did have this dream, and spent a few days online looking for the bird.  I knew the hoopoe from the Sufi story, but I don’t think I knew what it really looked like.  It’s a beauty!  dVerse also had a prompt earlier in the week about hometowns, which was the starting point for my haibun .

You can read about “The Conference of the Birds” here.  And I highly recommend Peter Sis’ beautifully illustrated version of it, which you can read about here.

And any excuse for some Joni Mitchell (I was at this concert).

Happy Draw-a Bird Day!

With the Moon on my Wings

swan moon totem s

The past holds the door with the moon on my wings
between now and before with the moon on my wings.

I look to the tree with the moon on my wings
for the power of three with the moon on my wings.

The threshold unfolding with the moon on my wings,
releasing and holding with the moon on my wings.

I look to the earth with the moon on my wings
for death and rebirth with the moon on my wings.

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What will be has an end with the moon on my wings
that will fade and begin with the moon on my wings.

I look to the stones with the moon on my wings
to honor the bones with the moon on my wings.

Water that flows with the moon on my wings,
stillness that grows with the moon on my wings.

I look to the air with the moon on my wings
for what is not there with the moon on my wings.

maiden mother crone s

On the spiral is spun with the moon on my wings
what belongs to no one with the moon on my wings.

I create and I heal with the moon on my wings,
I hide and reveal with the moon on my wings.

Do you know me by name with the moon on my wings?
I begin and remain with the moon on my wings.

shrine

My response to Sue Vincent’s photo prompt, above.  I used the ghazal form, which was a dVerse prompt last week.  I had many false starts, which is why I missed the cut off to post it there.  I just couldn’t find a rhythm.

The poem I ended up with sounded eerily familiar to me–like I had done something similar before.  And I had–one of Jane Dougherty’s poetry prompts, for a ghazal, resulted in almost exactly the same format, and was also based in myth.  “Mother of Winds”–you can see it here.

 

That Which Hath Wings

spiral crows 2s

“Curse not the king, no, not even in thy thoughts, and curse not the rich in thy bedchamber; for a bird of the air shall carry thy voice, and that which hath wings shall tell the matter.” –Ecclesiastes 10:20

Black is for nothing
waiting—shadow bird, mirrored
particles of air

of skies that open
wings, hold inside the absent
voice that shatters all

which is, which becomes,
which hath grown darkness—veiled words
becoming matter—

Nothing is waiting,
nothing sings but the silence.
All is black on black,

formless, flying on
feathers’ breath, and all shall be
now and forever

nothing nothing no
thing nothing nothing nothing
nothing nothing no

cries no conjuring–
every thing zeros falls in
to black as black is–

Frank Tassone’s Haikai Challenge this week is “Raven”.  I have many a crow poem and many pieces of crow art in some form of completion, and this is a poem I’ve been worrying for awhile.  I changed its form recently from a series of shadormas to haikus.  I think the shorter stanzas are better.  But it’s still a work in progress.

Yesterday I was walking on 153rd Street, which borders Trinity Cemetery, and I heard some crows–then many many crows–looking up, a murder, circling and calling against the blue sky.  I haven’t seen that in the city before.  And I thought, well, I have artwork for that too.

What it signified I don’t yet know.

crow tree sky

apolcalyptic crow 2s

 wondering why then suddenly where
the crow
diving divining reflecting sky scrying
the crow
and the tree and the meaning of be
the birth in the sky and the void in the flow
rising in greyness
the mystery flying
letting and leaving the tree now receiving
the question
crow
carries that no one can see
the sky grey the tree
the crow

always leaving

For Sue Vincent’s photo prompt above.  I can no more resist a crow than the moon.

apolcalyptic crow1s

Also linking to open link night on dVerse.

apolcalyptic crows wht s

Fare Thee Well (Year of the Rooster)

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“When your rooster crows at the break a dawn
Look out your window and I’ll be gone…”
–Bob Dylan, “Don’t Think Twice, It’s All Right”

You say you’re leaving–
but your crowing lingers,
louder than the blackest cry,

echoing down that dark side
where your soul wanders, lost,
afraid to open either window or door.

Did you really once love?
I wonder not why, but how–
how and where and who—

Who? The call that you can’t hear
is not for you.  Not your name,
but a chorus for a new dawn—

(when you’ll be gone)–bound
for a land beyond the telling.
It’s all right then; it’s all right.

It’s Draw-a-Bird Day, and I’d like to say (almost) good-bye to the Year of the Rooster.  I did 3 Bird Day posts with roosters last year, but my initial post, for the Chinese New Year in 2017, has an eerie similarity to this (not so fond) goodbye.  As I said in that post: “The disruption of the Year of the Monkey gives way to more intensity….the cockiness of the Year of the Rooster.  Most of the predictions I read online for 2017 were not too positive.  They recommended keeping your head down, staying organized, and working hard.”  My poem even mentioned the Dark Side.

Let’s hope the Year of the Dog is kinder to birds (and all other living creatures as well).

 

 

Draw a Bird Day Jan.2018

Kerfe emailed me to remind me it’s Draw a Bird Day. I drew a bird of many colors in ink then filled in with trusty NeoColors.

This is direct steal from the Brookdale Park Conservancy. It was so cute and clever that I had to copy it. Whomever did this logo is very clever! I will send them a donation to atone for being a thief.

Of course I had to paint color in. The black and white is very cool though.

Happy Draw a Bird Day!