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September 2022

end of summer–
still sweltering and tired
of the relentless sun

gratis, an impulse to channel
ancient oceanic immersion
keeps me company

I draw on memories
of sand as floor,
the harmony of waves

water flashes through me
like a train I’ve boarded
that has abandoned its tracks

adjoining these ruminations
is an unmasked eagerness
for the refreshing chill of autumn

but I wonder if the shape
of the year still exists–
or if it will always be now

flooded, burning at the edges–
marching into the pages of a book
we didn’t mean to write

I consulted the Oracle 2 words Jane generated this week for my September circle/grid poem. The shape of time seems to get more distorted by the day.

July 2022

neither brave nor free–
our leaders bow down to Mammon,
cast life aside

Find the cost of freedom
buried in the ground
Mother Earth will swallow you
lay your body down

Green Man: Thursday Doors

Green Man first appeared as an architectural element in ancient Rome, where he was associated with Pan and Bacchus.   As a symbol of resurrection, Green Man was incorporated into Medieval Christian architecture along with other Pagan images.  Victorian architects began adding representations of Green Man, along with other decorative elements, to secular buildings, where the Guardian of the Forest now protects the doors and windows of both public buildings and private homes.

many hands
gathered in circles,
tree dancing

illumination–
crossed over, bridged

When I began looking at my door guardian photos, I was struck by the recurring face of Green Man, a figure embodying the relationship of humans and nature. A spirit occurring in many cultures, he has been resurrected as a symbol of the Green environmental movement in modern times.

I did a collage of him in 2016 for Earth Day.

I like the way the paired doors, of two adjacent brownstones, work together. The doors themselves are different, but complement each other.

My poem is in the tanka prose form for Colleen’s #TankaTuesday.

And, as always, find more doors with host Dan Antion, here.

unknowings (draw a bird day)

a motion so finely tuned
it vanishes
in a shiver of light,
appearing as a hush,

an exchange of intersections–
a motion so finely tuned
it enters your breath,
singing your weary bones,

infusing your tired blood
with heartbeats, dancing–
a motion so finely tuned
and completely useless

that it fills you with hope,
measureless and heartbreaking–
whirling you alive inside
a motion–so finely tuned

For the Kick-About #54, “Whirligig”, I made a bird mobile by adding sky and bird collage to three different sizes of wooden rings and hanging them together. It was hard to get good photos, but Phil cleaned up the ones I sent him to give a clearer idea of the mobile in motion.

Here it is flat. I have it hanging in my living room where the ceiling fan keeps it moving.

My poem is in the quatern form, except it doesn’t rhyme, using words from Merril’s random word list that she posted on Sunday. I was inspired by Rumi’s poem “Whirling”, and, of course, birds.

When you dance the whole universe dances.
All the realms spun around you in endless celebration.
Your soul loses its grip.
Your body sheds its fatigue.
Hearing my hands clap and my drum beat,
You begin to whirl.

June 2022

slipknot
the thought

ready to fade away–
the story lost, mislaid

between image and words—falling,
asking to be caught up, calling—

and if it were–
what then?—now here,

now unconfined, a seed
to open, finally freed—

surprise breaks through
in green and blue

After I saw Muri’s hexaduad the other day I wanted to try one. I took a rough poem I wrote recently, and revised it to fit. It’s a pretty flexible form, despite the rhymes.

We’ve had so much rain and so little very hot weather that it’s lush and green here in NYC to begin June.

Beach I Ching 17: #58 Tui (opening)

#58 tui (opening)

light shimmers, exchanging waves between lake and sky
sky dances and calls spirit into the circle
the circle regulates the transforming rhythm of life
life gathers, flowing freely to reveal the truth

truth speaks clearly, stripping away the layered lies
lies pollute the conduits of reciprocity, erode trust
trust opens the way and brings people together
together magnifies all voices, singing them into light

“Be content with what you have.”–Kim Farnell
“You foster trust, and make mutual enrichment possible, by opening up your inner space to exchange.”–Hilary Barrett
“Spread the word, express the spirit in the human community.”–motheringchange.com
“Realize that you do not need to, and indeed cannot, improve on creation.”–Frits Blok

The quotes are from different commentaries on this hexagram.

The poem is once again in the bagua form: 8 lines with 8 words in each line.

You can see the rest of the Beach I Ching series here and here.

May 2022

we mark time
with numbers, naming
circles, lines–
converged
and then divided—each month
we begin again,

ending the
previous parcel
of days in
our minds—when
in fact they overlap—clouds,
sun, showers, flowers

A small shadorma chain for Colleen’s Tanka Tuesday theme of beginnings and endings, picked by Yvette M. Calleiro. I meant to do something completely different with the circles of flowers I cut out, and perhaps I’ll explore that idea later. I got distracted with layering them in different ways.

When I was out walking yesterday I discovered a community garden on West 90th Street–full of tulips. I’ll be visiting it again, to see what’s in bloom in the coming months.

April 2022

inner visions waiting to
be seen suddenly
present as if what the earth
imagined and what
now exists had no border
between them at all

Baltimore Oriole (Draw a Bird Day)

my eye attempts to join
with wings, lifted
by an unseen wind–
a blurred displacement
of air expanding the horizon
beyond all sense of limits–
the sky trembles, held
in a featherlight embrace,
as if it, too, would rise,
spellbound,
into the cosmic sea

A quadrille that includes the word eye for dVerse, hosted by Bjorn. It’s not specifically about an oriole, but in the spirit of Draw a Bird Day.

The Baltimore Oriole, named for its orange and black feathers that are the same colors as Lord Baltimore’s coat of arms, summers in the Northeastern and Central United States and Canada, migrating to Florida, the Caribbean islands, and Central and South America in winter. New World orioles are not related to Old World orioles, but are part of the blackbird and meadowlark family.

Residing in forest edges and open woodlands, the oriole’s diet includes insects, flowers, and fruits. They especially like ripe fruit, and can be attracted to bird feeders with orange slices or sugar water. They weave unique hanging nests that look delicate but are remarkably strong. You can see photos and read more about their nests here.

Females and young males have a subtle grey and golden coloring although females grow more orange with each molt, and may end up close to the bright male coloring as they age.

Orioles are not endangered, but they are in decline, partially due to their preference for nesting in elm trees, which have been devastated by Dutch Elm Disease.

Orioles are the second of my orange and black birds for the Year of the Tiger. You can see the first one, the Rufous Treepie, here.

March 2022

impending
does not need to be
ominous
dark afraid–
it can stand on the edge of
hope nurtured with light

life scatters
its seeds into small
crevices–
finds the soil,
opens into roots growing
from tiny nowheres

spring arrives
with slow spiralling–
longer days
returning
once again, awakening
birdsong, touch of green

A shadorma chain for the arrival of March. Not much flowering here yet, but the birds are very vocal about spring’s immanence.