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seasons

oceanic bells
remnants of autumn bending
landscapes into dreams

beneath winter’s frost
ancient stonesongs murmur
through rootpaths
following earthlight
from seed to spring

haiku and gogyohka from the Oracle

October 2020 (Harvest Moon)

autumn dance
condensed into light–
I become
gold tinged with tides,
rising and falling

I did a similar grid with circles a few years ago, but I’ve always wanted to give it another try.  As with the last one, I first painted a landscape (wishing I had my gouache, but done with watercolor), then cut it up, rearranged it, and added collage dots from my collage box.  Here’s the original landscape:

David Hockney-ish I think.  Not my usual style, and perhaps a bit brighter than I intended.  But I like the colors.

I’ve done a tanka for Colleen’s Tanka Tuesday form challenge, which also works for Frank Tassone’s challenge of harvest moon. The paint oracle is totally responsible for turning my moon painting into a tree.

My new view of the full moon.  I have to catch it when it passes between the buildings.

Happy October!

Invocation of the Trees

wishes s

Have mercy on us
we who are poor in spirit
we who are never satisfied
we who strive to possess everything

We who are poor in spirit
bless us and teach us
we who strive to possess everything
fill us as vessels with the breath of stars

Bless us and teach us
cleanse and heal our weary hearts
fill us as vessels with the breath of stars
attach our roots with grace and truth

Cleanse and heal our weary hearts
quench our hunger with light
attach our roots with grace and truth
you who honor both heavens and earth

Quench our hunger with light
we who are never satisfied
you who honor both heavens and earth
have mercy on us

two trees s

I’m reblogging this poem from 2018 for earthweal’s “mentors” prompt, adding some tree art from the archives as well.

winter forest 2 4 x 6 text comma

I’ve written about trees almost as often as birds and the sea.  All good and wise teachers.  But trees (starting with the Tree of Life) both anchor and reach toward the cosmic why.

trees across summary comp

nineteen years (September 2020)

crisp clear sky–
leaves echo the wind
as time stops–

listen–ghostlight calls,
condensed into stars

blue light from the depths–
darkness emptying itself
into clarity

time stops once again–
leaves echo songs of the wind

 

My older daughter and I met at the farmer’s market last weekend, and sat on the Columbia campus afterwards drinking coffee and tea.  As we watched a monarch butterfly wandering above our heads, we remarked at the deep clear blueness of the sky.  It reminded us both of a September morning nineteen years ago.

shell

conch 1 2

well, first the wayward wind—grey—if you tried to hold it, your hands remained empty–

the song of the sirens, spilled into a traverse of stone and sea—perhaps some dragon’s breath—a shape becoming uncovered, a shape turning into a wheel that reminds itself to spiral—

the beach is hungry, but in a subtle way—do not conclude that it can be ignored–

gaping portals
azure shimmering
meeting places

postcard shell 1

 

Stream of consciousness for Grace at dVerse.  I’ve been doing a lot of this because of a recent prompt I saw that incorporated this technique, where you took a treasured object and wrote a bunch of unedited stories about it.  This was from my origin story.

whelk 1 2015 comp

The original writing for this haibun took up a whole page–I just selected a few parts and made a kind of haiku by removing words from one “sentence”.  The drawings are once again taken from my archives.  I’ve spent a lot of time drawing shells.

shell tattoo close up s

Four Poems up at Scribe Base

new year 2017 grid s

I am delighted to be included in the Space issue of Scribe Base along with Damien Donnelly.  You can see it here.

My thanks to editor Chris Hubbard for continued support of my work.

There are still a few days left to submit to the Emergence themed issue–both writing and art.  Read about it here.

triangulations

triangulations s

I am am three wishes
caught in a vast sea-tossed net
of indecision

triangulations close up s

Grace at dVerse asked us to use the words I am in a first person narrative.

Draw a Bird Day: Mallard

collage mallard a

we decoy ducks–turn
them into sitting targets
for the play of guns,

cartoon them with characters
that ignore their balanced grace

mallard f watercolor s

I did a lot of drawings and paintings of ducks and found them to be a challenge.  Often they ended up looking more like decoys than something alive.  I was interested to discover that the expression “sitting duck” came from how easy ducks are for hunters to shoot and kill–less sport than slaughter.

2 mallards s

I also did not know that they spend 2 weeks in late summer or early fall molting, replacing all of their feathers.  During that time they can’t fly.

 

ducklings drawing s

Mallards are good parents, and prefer shallow freshwater wetlands to raise their families.  They are one of the most recognizable and abundant duck species in the world, and ancestor to most strains of domesticated ducks.

For Colleen’s #tanka Tuesday, poet’s choice.  I’ve written a tanka.

on the verge

on the verge s

trees
remember who
we were when

I stand alone surrounded by distances, covered with a vast blue, green layered behind and below.  I have come to the precipice to find my place in the landscape.  I intended to bring beautiful words, to leave poetic gifts as tokens on the wind, to tie threads of song to the sky.

But I find nothing more is required of me than to be here, present, alive.

once
we belonged
to the earth

© 2020 Frank J. Tassone

For Colleen’s #Tanka Tuesday, a haibun inspired by the photo provided by Frank Tassone, above.

on the verge sky s

I’ve had this song on my mind for awhile.

on the verge earth s

also linked to earthweal open link weekend

premises

premises s

karma
waits disguised
in the afterglow

good
or bad
doesn’t always fit

constructing
new fates
with old formulas

dice
thrown divided
and then multiplied

ready
or not
the sun rises

take
your chance
and wing it

always
answer why
with why not

when
asked to
explain say yes

pause
leave room
for something else

My collage, inspired by Nina’s recent painting, above, is not at all what I intended to do.  Not even close.  I feel like this is a good metaphor for life, the way my life is, anyway, now and for as long as I can remember it.  Nothing is as it appears, even in its imagining.

And what is the point of my poem?  Does it have or need one?  I’m not sure, but it travels in a kind of parallel to my train of thought these days also.  As David Byrne said so aptly, maybe it’s time we stopped trying to make sense out of the nonsensical.  Aim as truly as you can and see what happens.

Earthweal asks this week if our poetry can be sufficient for the world we live in.  How do we define “enough” of anything? Everything seems to be both too little and at the same time too much.

We want definitive answers when there are always only more questions to ask.  There’s no guidebook, no map. It’s a circle, not a line. There’s no way of knowing or controlling where the things we begin will end. We can only do our best to say what we think needs to be said, do what we think needs to be done, and be good listeners and caretakers to the world.