I consulted with the Oracle about this tiny (3″) Mexican hummingbird, one of many of the endangered bird species of the world. Less than 1000 are estimated to exist.
I did my first sketch, above, in colored pencil, but felt the colors lacked enough vibrancy, so I painted the top one with my metallic watercolors.
Flowers grow feathered
wings humming bird poetry
air breathes spiritsong
it’s the alone in
the dance that makes the never
knowing so complete
Amaya at dVerse asked us to consider music that brings us to tears. There are many candidates these days, but I chose Jackson Browne’s “For a Dancer” for it’s longevity and continued relevance in that department. People, places, things…they are always “dancing in and out of view”.
And a ghazal for the song as well.
In the quiet of a summer’s afternoon I think of you
in the absence that is always in this room I think of you
My mind plays tricks and mixes up the present and the past
in memories recalled and then exhumed I think of you
Bananas peaches lemons oranges strawberries and limes
in fruit that ripens and releases its perfume I think of you
I search for guidance in the symbols of mythologies and stars
in portents that appear like ghostly runes I think of you
The fiber spun and dyed the needle waiting in my hand
in threads that cross like patterns on a loom I think of you
Sometimes I seem to recognize a voice calling and turn
in the abbreviation of my nom de plume I think of you
Pay attention to the open skies.
jeweled feathers caught
in reflected mist—cloistered
This is another brightly colored resident of the South American cloud forest, the grey-breasted mountain toucan. As with all inhabitants of the world’s cloud forests, they are a threatened species because of habitat loss.
Drawn with neocolors.
The human body is composed of 206 bones. But sometimes bones fuse, and the body contains less.
One in 200 humans has 13 ribs, but not all of these humans are identical in gender to Eve.
Bones are light.
Flesh lies heavy, uneasy, impermanent. Flesh apologizes for itself, asks to be concealed.
To be light.
immense—like Pandora’s box,
inside singing out
The Poetics theme proposed by Anmol at dVerse is Myths and Legends. My collage is based on an Alice Neel painting called Symbols, which I have always found intriguing and was lucky enough to see in an exhibit in March. That’s my photo of it above.
I’ve done a collage based on the painting before–the one, above, done in 2010, was a much more literal interpretation.
clouds increase, decrease–
signs of change thickening–
sky moving higher
Today the prompt for NaPoWriMo was to open a reference book to a random page and make a poem from what you found there. I chose to do a blackout poem from the page I opened in my Encyclopedia of Superstitions which was the one that included “clouds”.
We have a clear blue sky here in NYC though. I will enjoy running my errands today!
Crow calls to me from above. There he is—on that roof. He extends his invitation again and again.
leave sidewalks behind–
rise, and conjure golden fields
waving to azure
skies filled with high flying clouds,
wings singing songs into the air
I know there is magic here, even in places filled with concrete and glass.
Holding out my arms, I wish: carry me home.
watching my child-self
lying in a bed of green–
opened up, shining
For NaPoWriMo today, we are talking to animals. Crow is always hanging around in my world.
I spend myself with what if. I pray to spirits I don’t believe in about things I don’t really know if I want.
What do I want? A light-filled room? Applause? Kind words, a gentle touch?
And you? Not even the imprint of your body remains in the furniture. But you haunt me with your past, the one that spills over into my present and keeps me tangled in lost hours, restless days, sleepless nights.
It’s easy to keep repeating variations on the same inner monologue, difficult to quiet it and focus on something that is beyond the boundaries of myself.
And so I talk to the trees, like Chet Baker did. Do they listen? They give me mornings of birdsong, flowering into green and then transforming into autumn harvests of red and gold. Their branches, when naked, dance against clear blue skies.
I talk to the stars—
they pull me out, glimmering–
circles of the moon.
Is that listening?
It’s close enough.
The prompt for NaPoWriMo today asks us to write something inspired by another form of art. For NaPoWriMo last year, all the art I used for the month of April was inspired by the painter Joan Mitchell. And I have not stopped using her art as inspiration–lately I’ve been obsessed with her tree paintings. Both paintings, above, were inspired by them.
And so I thought to compose a poem about trees. The reference today to Frank O’Hara, who was a friend of Joan Mitchell, got me looking at his poems to see if there were any that talked about trees. There were, and I modeled the beginning of my haibun on his “Meditations on an Emergency”.
But I also was thinking of Lerner and Loewe’s song “I Talk to the Trees”. I like Chet Baker’s version, here with Bill Evans and Coleman Hawkins.
I talk to the trees
But they don’t listen to me
I talk to the stars
But they never hear me
You can see some of Joan Mitchell’s tree paintings here.