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March 2021

what dream is this?  circling
spiralling into form
slipstreamed fertile reborn
continuous

Colleen’s Tanka Tuesday theme is dreams, so I’ve written a variety of dream poems for March, a dreamy month I think. I’ve interspersed some of my previous March grids.

March 19 grid 2s

in March I
ruminate return
remember
rains that be
come sun-dappled spring—shining,
blooming with birdwings

march 2018 grid s

dreams become
part of the landscape
filling in

march-17-grid-s2

colors
begin to dance
with waves of light, singing
sun into roots, filling
my nights with dreams
of dawn

Poetic forms are, in order, abhanga, shadorma, haiku, badger’s hexastitch.

Year of the Metal Ox

holding pattern—keep
at it, follow through, rebuild,
preserve—demand truth

Happy Chinese New Year!

You can see previous Chinese New Year posts (I missed last year as I was moving) here, here, here, here, and here.

Poem up at the Ekphrastic Review

My poem Upon a Time, inspired by “Spinning Flax”, by Maria Martinetti, below, is posted on The Ekphrastic Review today.

Picture

hushabye, don’t cry–
all the pretty horses fly
shining starborne dreams

You can read the entire poem here.

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

Martin Luther King Day 2021

mid-January–
voice of crow under grey skies–
how to fill the hole

“Take the first step in faith. You don’t have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step.”

“Courage is an inner resolution to go forward despite obstacles; Cowardice is submissive surrender to circumstances. Courage breeds creativity; Cowardice represses fear and is mastered by it. Cowardice asks the question, is it safe? Expediency asks the question, is it politic? Vanity asks the question, is it popular? But conscience ask the question, is it right? And there comes a time when we must take a position that is neither safe, nor politic, nor popular, but one must take it because it is right.”

“He who passively accepts evil is as much involved in it as he who helps to perpetrate it. He who accepts evil without protesting against it is really cooperating with it.”

“Never, never be afraid to do what’s right, especially if the well-being of a person or animal is at stake. Society’s punishments are small compared to the wounds we inflict on our soul when we look the other way.”

“We may have all come on different ships, but we’re in the same boat now.”

“We must accept finite disappointment, but never lose infinite hope.”

for earthweal open link weekend

Draw a Bird Day: Warblers

tangled green
flashes of yellow
passing through

Last fall my daughter and I were sitting on Columbia’s campus, talking and drinking coffee and tea, when we noticed a tiny yellowish bird looking for insects in a tree nearby. It looked a lot like the wood warbler I’ve drawn, above.

We didn’t see it well enough to positively identify it, but a birder friend suggested from my description that it was a warbler. Many species migrate through the area, in addition to common local residents like the yellow warbler.

The Blackburnian Warbler can also be found in New York, but I haven’t been lucky enough to see one. I would like to watch the intricate aerial dances they perform when protecting their territories.

I first drew the yellow warbler by itself, and scanned it, as backgrounds are always a problem for me. I’m still not sure about this one, although I like the colors.

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.

Giving Thanks

I spent a lot of time thinking about the earthweal challenge this week, to write a poem of thanks. It all came down to the same thing: I’m thankful for life, to be alive. But I couldn’t think of another better way to say it.

always unexpected—this
grace, this balancing—darkness
shining into light

Happy Thanksgiving to those celebrating, and those who are not. May we remember and honor all life with care and gratitude.

Poem up at Pure Haiku

Part of the ARTURINA theme.

You can read it here.

My thanks, as always, to Freya Pickard for supporting my poetry.