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forms in nature

be always
impossible be
enchanted
reaching out
in reciprocity to
meet the world halfway

The Kick-About challenge this week uses Ernst Haeckel’s “Art Forms in Nature” as inspiration. If you’ve never seen these images, take a look here. Below is the sample provided with the challenge, but I decided to use different images as inspiration for my composite creatures.

I looked in my collage box/reference book collection for nature images that I could combine to create new forms based on Haeckel’s paintings.

This is a project that could go on and on…

Featured Art

My art is featured in the Winter 2021 showcase of The Zen Space (available online here) and the Summer 2020 Raw Art Review (available for download here). My thanks to editors Marie Marshall and Henry Stanton for selecting my work.

Conception (Reprise)

1
imagine
growing roots into
fertile ground

fertile ground
the protective cloak
of the earth

of the earth
talking to the moon
with stillness

with stillness
welcome the new year
imagine

2
always, earth
transitioning—life
rearranged
into new
patterns—open your arms wide–
inhale, welcoming

For Frank Tassone’s #haikai challenge for the New Year, and Colleen’s #tanka Tuesday challenge to write a poem of hope, I’ve written two variations of the same idea, and reprised a collage I did for an earlier #tanka Tuesday in 2019.

Colleen asked us to use our favorite form of poetry and to tell why we like it. Of course I love pantoums and all repetitive poetry, and I often write using Japanese poetic forms, but I most often write in shadorma. Somehow its rhythm and length work well with the way I express my thoughts, and when I’m stuck, it works to focus me, making me consider the exact words I’m using and why.

I used the haiku form of the first poem, with the repeating lines, in a post on kblog, but couldn’t remember where I had seen it. I’ve since discovered it is called Shi Rensa, and it was invented by Ronovan, who has his own haiku and decima challenges at RonovanWrites.

reflections

ancestors speak in voices
carried by skies singing wings

Colleen’s #TankaTuesday prompt was the watercolor, above. She also challenged us to write a wakiku–two seven-syllable lines that some how connect with the hokku she wrote to accompany the painting. You can read Colleen’s poem here.

Draw a Bird Day: Cedar Waxwing

give and take–
belonging nurtures
from both sides

Cedar waxwings are social birds, known to gather in large flocks for eating, where they can often be seen feeding each other. Their food sources include cedar cones, fruit, and insects, and they migrate in groups when all the local fruit, their favorite meal, has been consumed. They are also attracted to the sound of running water, and can be found bathing in both creeks and fountains.

A group of waxwings is called a “museum” or an “earful”–they can be quite loud.

I also posted about the cedar waxwing a year ago–a good December bird I think.

Clearwater

#13 Fellowship with Men

“True fellowship among men must be based upon a concern that is universal. It is not the private interests of the individual that create lasting fellowship among men, but rather the goals of humanity.” (Wilhelm)

“all I did was plant a seed…”—Pete Seeger

they called it Clearwater
build a boat
a replica of an 18th century Hudson River sloop
to save the river

they had a vision
if there’s something wrong
the river returned to its origins
speak up!

free of contamination
realize that little things
sewage and toxic chemicals
lead to bigger things

fish would come back
get people together
humans could enjoy the river again
and they’ll act together too

fresh water without fear

italicized words from Pete Seeger

There’s so much wrong with the world–what can we do? Pete Seeger believed in working locally with the people in your community–what needs to be fixed? Realize that little things lead to bigger things.

Founded by Pete and Toshi Seeger, Hudson River Sloop Clearwater, Inc, has played a major role not only in cleaning up the Hudon River to allow both the river and the surrounding ecosystems to recover and flourish, but in pushing for judicial solutions to pollution everywhere in the United States.

Until I did a little research for this post, I did not realize that Clearwater’s opposition to the Storm King power plant led to the first court case to grant legal standing to environmental groups so that they could file lawsuits to protect the public interest. The NRDC and all organizations challenging the right of business and government to pollute or destroy ecosystems for profit began here–with the Clearwater. This is a tool whose value cannot be overestimated.

I used to frequently see the sloop sailing up and down the Hudson in the years I spent a lot of time in lower Riverside Park. It continues its mission with public education and helping people organize–and of course with music.

“Participation—that’s what’s gonna save the human race.”

The first collage/photo is from my Beach I Ching series. It seemed appropriate to this subject in many ways. The other art is from various things I’ve posted over the years.

could disappear s

This post was inspired by Sherry’s challenge at Earthweal this week: what happens to one, happens to us all.

December 2020

all shadow,
this season—sky-rilled,
edged in ice–
overflown
with feathers of darkening–
hovering between

Poem up at The Ekphrastic Review

My poem, “Talking to Andy”, inspired by Warhol’s iconic soup can, is posted today at the Ekphrastic Review along with work by Marcy Erb and 15 other writers. You can read it here.

My thanks once again to editor Lorette C. Luzajic for supporting my work and the interaction between the visual and written arts.

Poem up at The Ekphrastic Review

My poem “repostory” was among those chosen to accompany the painting “Alacena”, by Maria Izquierdo, at The Ekphrastic Review. You can see the artwork and read it, along with the rest of those selected here.

I am always drawn to Mexican art, but I have no references at hand to cut and collage, so my art is more in the spirit of my words than an exploration of Izquierdo’s painting.

As is this song that keeps running through my head by Tracy Chapman.

My thanks once again to editor Lorette C. Luzajic for supporting my work and the interaction between the visual and written arts.

Diane di Prima (1934-2020)

the stars over the bronx s

          …we do it for
the stars over the Bronx
that they may look on earth
and not be ashamed.
–Diane Di Prima
from “April Fool Birthday Poem for Grandpa”

stars close up s

I wanted to note the death of Diane Di Prima, a poet, social activist, Buddhist, and teacher.  A native New Yorker, she was a member of the Beat Poets, and moved to California in the 1960’s. I made this grid of the Bronx in April 2015, inspired by her poem, “April Fool Birthday Poem for Grandpa”.

Read an obituary with some wonderful videos of her reading here.

And here is a reading of the entire poem that inspired my grid.