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daybreak

daybreak birdlings s

daybreak magnetic

I like that the Magnetic Oracle is finishing the year on a hopeful note.  And of course the words were perfect for an appearance of the birdlings.

close up 3s

shine light
through these shadows

sing this storm into sun

beneath blue skies
let us dream
soaring
on a thousand seas
of wings

I’m taking a break until the New Year.  Nina is still pretty consumed by the new work situation, but may slip in a post or two before 2018.  But we both want to wish everyone a peaceful and happy holiday season.  See you in January!

close up 2s

 

 

Art featured on The Wild Word

Devon Balwit has written 3 wonderful poems inspired by my art…she’s the artist-in-residence this month at The Wild Word…take a look!

 

Leave the Path Open (plus another koan collage)

made of light s

When I was young I tried to order my life around. I thought if I played by the rules, everything would work out.  But the rules wouldn’t play back.  Once I gave in to the inevitability of life’s whims, what was happening to me became a lot more interesting.  Not easier.  Never smooth.  But sometimes I found wonder and enchantment.  And even sometimes grace.  I just needed to leave a space without expectations to be filled.

I walk through valleys
behind a path that opens–
my cup overflows.

polar bear s

 

I know, there’s a lot going on here.  Frank at dVerse asked us to consider in haibun an occasion when we were pleasantly surprised.  It was difficult for me to focus on that idea because every day I’m surprised (albeit some days more pleasantly than others).  The haibun explains why.

1008px-Hugo_Simberg_-_Näky_(1895)

I was also working on a collage for the painting Jane Dougherty challenged us with, above, by Hugo Simberg.  It doesn’t have much pleasantness about it, and my collage also looked somewhat apocalyptic to me.  But the Collage Box Oracle had its own ideas about the images.  And, somehow, it fits.

Bodies are
made of light
and shadow.
Does chaos reflect
the meaning of
The Inner Cosmology?–
Lives balanced
on the unexpected.

owl s2

…and, well, you know…owls.

 

 

 

Portal (a koan collage)

portal close up s

words 1s

words 2s

dress s

words 3s

words 4s

portal almost whole s

words 5s

This collage is a response to Sue Vincent’s mysterious photo (she has many of them…) below.

It started with a photo of a sparkly dress draped over a chair.  I searched through my collage boxes, trying this and that until the world inside of the portal appeared.  Then to the word boxes…

because of
not knowing how, there’s
always room
for catching
almost anything you want
between what isn’t.

Like the Magnetic Oracle, the Collage Box Oracle has its own ideas…all you can do is keep pulling words out and rearranging them until it’s satisfied.  This started out to be Postcard Fiction, but first of all its size makes it more like Poster Fiction.  But really, although I tried to tell a story, the Oracle usually has other plans.  My daughter liked the art, but as to the words: “I don’t understand it.”  Postcard Fiction has morphed into Koan Collage.

portal whole s

Here’s an explanation of the koan from the Pacific Zen Insititute: “Koans go the other way.  They encourage you to make an ally of the unpredictability of the mind and to approach your life more as a work of art.  The surprise they offer is the one that art offers: inside unpredictability you will find not chaos, but beauty.”  Read more here.

And if you want to see some of the Postcard Fiction I’ve done (mostly for Jane Dougherty’s prompts) you can go here.  Many of them are actually Koan Collage, they just didn’t know it at the time.

 

hush

hush 3s

“…till the morning break
And the white hush end all but the loud beat
Of their long wings, the flash of their white feet.”
–W.B. Yeats, from ‘To some I have talked with by the fire’

hush magnetic

Once again I dipped into Jane Dougherty’s Month of Yeats for some inspiration.  The Oracle seems to have caught a mood circling around the earth which is definitely Yeatsian.

snow4s

Above is the view out back last night, which also somehow feels right for the Oracle’s (and Yeat’s) words…

bird wings like
cloudlight caught between
frost and wind
covering winter with paths
which grow cold shining

 

Hawk watches, contained (Draw a Bird Day)

hawk full collage

In the stillness of being
feathers ruffle, answering the wind–
a place of becoming, of seeing.

Not sleeping, not dreaming–
on each moment twinned
in the stillness of being.

Intense silence teeming–
gathered complete within–
a place of becoming, of seeing.

While watching, a keying–
breath held as if pinned
in the stillness of being.

On edges a freeing–
unmoving around the rim–
a place of becoming, of seeing.

Wings sudden, untreeing–
a shift, an opening, begin
in the stillness of being–
a place of becoming, of seeing.

This hawk spent many hours on the tree outside my office window a few weeks ago.  Then all of a sudden with an opening of wings he was gone.  I first tried printing on a patchwork sky I had collaged (my photos of the hawk show a background of an almost unreal blue sky) but that didn’t work too well, so I ended up painting over it in acrylic.  I like the way the paper buckled up to give a texture to the feathers.

hawk watercolor s

I also did a watercolor on rice paper.  The stillness a hawk can embody is a surprise and delight each time I encounter it.  And with open wings…

The poem is a villanelle, a challenging form for me.  I recently read an anthology of contemporary poetry and found its poetic insistence on formlessness and unrhyming to be wearying, even though I liked quite a number of the poems.

collage hawk close up s

And Happy Draw a Bird Day!  It’s always a good day to celebrate birds.

 

Red Rain (Part 2)

red rain 1s

To be blunt: the sky has collapsed, assaulting all arrangements with raging teeth of fire. And that path?  It pulls everything into its sharp black hole with the crunch of a siren song.

Stones rising, ancient,
like trees burnt under spellfires–
rain falling, abyssed.

red rain 3s

A bit apocalyptic, I know, but two posts yesterday that struck me in a similar way got me to thinking.

red rain 2s

Claudia McGill asked us to make a story from two pieces of art, depending on how she rearranged them (you can read the responses, including mine, in the comments).

red rain 5s

And then, almost right away in my reader, I came upon a piece of art from outside authority with the title “Share your story here”.  It reminded me a lot of Claudia’s paintings.

red rain 4s

Colleen’s poetry challenge words these week seemed to fit with these visions as well.  So I decided to write a 44 word haibun, so I could also participate in quadrille #46 at dVerse.

And there you have it.

You can see the previous post I titled “Red Rain” (also apocalyptic) here.

December 20l7: Winter Specter

winter specter 1s

dec 2017 winter dreams

I’m a bit late with both my monthly grid (well…somewhat of a grid anyway) and Magnetic Oracle consultation.  She felt nonet-ish this week.  The poem also uses The Secret Keeper’s words from this week.

wings close up s

I had this idea to try marbling paper, so I looked online for some way to do it with household things.  I ended up with one involving shaving cream…a bit messy, and the smell!  Also the results were not all I’d hoped for.  I do think I would be more prepared if I tried it again, but only if I can find shaving cream that has no perfume…

Great
wings rip
the sky with
dreams, whispering
sun shadow’s lost time.
Will sleep serve us summer,
the language of sea gardens
chanting through sweet delirious
mist? and singing petals on the wind?

I’m hoping for some of those dreams this evening myself.

Winter Forest

winter forest 2 4 x 6 text comma

silences of white–
stillness digs deeper, rooted,
vast.  Elemental.

Sue Vincent’s photo prompt this week, above, echoed perfectly the image I was working on for winter.  It’s not winter weather here yet, but experience tells me its arrival can be sudden and swift.  And the trees always do look magical when they are wearing snow.

Also linking to Open Link Night on dVerse.

Box

box s

Twelve by ten
squared.  Numbered, measured,
one hundred
percent box.
Organizing a piece of
the air containing

mysteries
that spiral into
hidden and
unrealized
spaces.  What remains unseen?
What role could the box

play? Is your
desire the key to
what shivers
inside? Do
you ask for more? more than the
possible, more than

to open?
The Inner Sanctum.
Still.  Waiting.
Surrounded.
Chambered and then nautilused.
Complete or undone?

Inspired by Sue Vincent’s photo prompt, above, I took an old poem that has already had several lives and reworked it again.  The only thing that remains constant in all the poem’s versions is the fact that it’s about a box.  The one in Sue’s photo seems both sad and mysterious.

box close up s

Once again I’ve taken different pieces of the handmade paper I’ve accumulated and stitched it together.

Shadorma November is almost at an end (but not shadormas, for me, anyway).