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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.

Beach I Ching 16: #43 Guai

#43 Guai Resolute

Will life spill over, fall from the heavens,
cascading down below, overflowing its limits, breaking through?
How to become the ritual that includes, gathers,
distributes everything as if it belonged to all.

Spirit dancing on currents, following the vibrating lines
of a delicate web, through portals, ancient stories
that talk of roots, the branches of trees
keeping the world order balanced and growing—true.

Everyone is born with the ability to make a choice.
–sunsigns.org

You cannot stop the spread of lies by spreading more lies.
–divination.com

Fear stalks its own reflection.
–cafeausoul.ocm

The call of truth involves danger.
–JamesDeKorne.com

A compromise with evil is not possible.
–ichingonline.com

Move at the abiding center of things and you never go astray.
–David Hinton

I started my Beach I Ching series the first year Nina and I began our blog, 2014, when I was photographing the things I had collected on the beach and noticed they formed hexagrams. I did a lot of them the first two years and then they fell by the wayside. But each trip to the beach I photographed more. One of my intentions for the past two years is to get back to doing them.

In Guai the water is above, the heavens below. It is a time when renewal is possible, a breakthrough. But it is a mistake to go about this cleansing in a negative way. And remember to be generous, and share the bounty. Be resolute and persevere.

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

The poem is in the Bagua form, which consists of 8 lines of 8 words each, divided into 2 stanzas.

A Strange Week

After being sick in bed with Covid for four weeks my dear husband was admitted to the hospital last week. He had Covid and staph pneumonia and was quite sick. He finally saw an infectious disease doctor and she put him in the hospital. He still tested positive for Covid and was in isolation. Finally I got to see him on Saturday and he was discharged on Sunday. He is home and feeling better.

This piece is a collage I gave him shortly after we were married in 1981.

I am thankful to have him home and hoping fervently that he will make a complete recovery.

February 2022

The snow gathers everywhere, grown from nothing, reflecting the hidden sun like feathers dancing. I awaken to a world both light and dark, suspended in the wind. I can’t see the morning moon behind the whirling veil, but I know it is a waning crescent, almost new.

At night, I light candles and think of those lost to me, all the spirits now absent from this world. Do I only imagine that I hear their voices singing on the currents of the stormtides? Inside my memories I assemble the seeds they entrusted to me, promise to plant them in the unfolding aurora of spring.

cold winter nights—sky
dazzles to infinity–
translucid, complete

For the new month, the New Moon, and dVerse Haibun Monday, hosted by Frank, where the subject is winter.

January 2022: into the darkness

all of it, this New Year,
erasing the old one–
we wish it gone–
but it lingers, overlapping—

erasing the old one
in a circle of continuous return–
it lingers, overlapping–
there seems to be not enough space

for a circle of continuous return–
branches extending in all directions–
there seems to be not enough space
to hold everything–and yet

branches extend in all directions–
sometimes, for a moment,
we hold everything—and yet, still,
here we are, as always, between—

sometimes, for a moment,
pausing on the threshold–
here, where we are, between,
we can see eternity filling,

pausing on the threshold
under an infinite star-filled sky–
we can see eternity filling,
brimming with birds

under an infinite star-filled sky–
we wish it to stay,
brimming with birds,
all of it–welcoming this New Year

A pantoum for 2022. Happy New Year!

Weekend work 12/27/21

Worked a bit this weekend and I thought it was interesting to see the process/progress as I work on these paintings. The little bits of paper just add interest to me.

Honestly I like the before painting better. For some reason I start on black paper and wind up leaving no black showing.

The third one maybe still in progress. Again I left none of the black paper showing. That’s why I cut them out and start again.

I hope everyone had a pleasant holiday. Chilly in northern NJ today, stay safe! Nina

December 2021

deceptive,
this amidst—always
searching for
hereafter–
breath catches, consumed, clinging
to vanishing light

silence waits,
determinedly grey,
unfinished–
holding on
to the bare crowns of branches–
expectant, fallow

wind rattles
inside—brumal, edged
with frozen
promises–
hope hangs tenuous, threaded–
taut, still, wintering

A seasonal dVerse quadrille for my December grid. De provided the word crown as inspiration.