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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.

Fallen

fallen s

I wanted to approach Alice Neel’s painting “Symbols”, my prompt-choice for The Kick-About #5, in a different way than I had done previously.  The inspiration for this 3-D collage came when I was cleaning out some papers and came upon the paper insert for the Evanescence cd “Fallen”.   The cover photo of Amy Lee seemed to echo the face of the doll Neel had painted.

Symbols_Alice Neel

upon my end I shall begin–
I’m going under

I’ve been sleeping a thousand years it seems
without a thought without a voice without a soul

the truth drives me into madness,
my spirit sleeping somewhere cold

no one’s there–
never was and never will be

save me from the nothing I’ve become,
return to me salvation

maybe I’ll wake up for once,
fallen angels at my feet

let me stay,
bow down and stare in wonder

I know who you are–
the goddess of imaginary light

fallen close up s

This was music my younger daughter played over and over in her adolescence, and it was fun to go to YouTube and pull up the songs.  I still like them.  Maybe I even like them more now.  Amy’s voice is a force, and she can be way over the top.  But the gothic flavor of the music seemed also apt to the painting.

purple sky s

As I did recently, I did the main collage on a fold out card so it could stand up.  I then created a field of paper flowers and a purple sky inspired by the lyrics of the song on the Fallen album called “Imaginary”.  Then I photographed it from a few angles.  Above and below are all the individual elements.

fallen flat s

paper flowers s

The poem is a cento, composed from lines in the songs on the album.

How does all this relate to Alice Neel’s painting?  As reflected in my previous collages, I think Neel is addressing her struggle as a woman, a mother, an artist, a person constrained by family and cultural circumstances.  She lost her oldest child to her husband’s family who considered her an unsuitable mother. The life she chose was not easy, but she never gave up her need and her right to make her art.  Must a woman be only a virgin mother or a childless whore?  And why should gender determine who we are or what we can be at all?

You can see the other collages I did based on this painting here.

I would be remiss if I did not include a few Evanescence videos.  If it’s not your style of music, you can turn the sound down and just enjoy the visual barrage.

And here’s a live version of “My Immortal”, the hit from “Fallen”.  That’s the song I remember coming out of my daughter’s room.

 

Solstice Moon

solstice moon s

horizon
trails flames of solstice–
moon shines dark

Inspired by Nina’s gouache painting, above, and Frank Tassone’s #Haikai challege to choose our own summer kigo.

solstice moon close up 2s

Nina’s painting made me think of flowers and butterflies.  And when I saw the photo of Martha Graham dancing in the Times, I felt immediately that she must be holding the moon.

solstice moon close up 1s

Summer solstice this year coincides with a solar eclipse of the new moon.  Magic is afoot!

Amabie

amabie s

pandemic
healing spirit rises
from the sea

I missed Draw-a-Bird Day in March.  Amabie is not exactly a bird, but they have a bird beak.  A Japanese Yokai spirit, Amabie has reappeared recently in fresh interpretations all over the world.  The image of the Yokai itself is supposed to act as a charm against infectious disease.

Mine is a bit more fierce than most, but I feel the ferocity is warranted.  You can read more about Amabie, and see some gentler interpretations, here and here.

Tomorrow starts NaPoWriMo!  As Nina is still on haitus, I will be posting each day at my blog https://kblog.blog/.  Join in!

June 2019

june19 grid s

june poem magnetic

summer sky sings
away shadow music
into gardens of sealight–
daydreams shining beneath
an enormous jeweled sun

The Oracle gave me a sunny day.  I needed it.