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Chuck Berry 1926-2017

chuck berry s

Brown eyed handsome man:
the things you used to do.  That
Rock and Roll music.

Water Lilies Revisited

water lilies 1s m1

A few years ago I did a Sketchbook Project of haiku and grids based on Monet’s water lilies paintings.  So when I saw the dVerse prompt for work based on impressionism, I decided to revisit my obsession with Monet’s work.  The Magnetic Oracle was helpful in getting me started, and then I did one on my own.

water lilies 1s poem

You can see my complete “Water Lilies” digitized sketchbook here, and previous posts on the subject here, here, and here.

I think I will be staying with this for a little while again too.

Portents

portents wht s

The clouds are cold, still
heavy with winter.  Layers
reveal blue borders.

Earth holds its breath, forecasting.
Throw spring, uncautioned, to wind.

Colleen’s weekly tanka prompt words were clouds and spring, accompanied by the photo, above.  I also used most of the Secret Keeper’s prompt words from this week.

circle spring

(…and we will catch it, gladly.)

Postcard Fiction: Become a Traveler

how to become a traveler s

What to do between the silent secrets of stars?
Open the question at the crossroads of memory and your dreams.
Chase clouds of deep light.
Learn how to become a traveler in the unexplainable.
(in any order…)

Night_by_Edward_Burne-Jones_(1870)

For Jane Dougherty’s Sunday Strange Microfiction prompt, above.

Creatures of the Wind

nina simone

I have two pieces of art and a poem inspired by the great Nina Simone and her song “Wild is the Wind” on Marianne Szlyk’s  musical blog “The song is…”  You can see them here, along with a fun essay by Bill Cushing on not driving.  Marianne has also included a link to the song, as well as a variety of other musical pleasures.

“The song is..” features a lot of interesting writing, art, and music, so take a look around while you’re there.

Map

at sea s

the map forms
a circle, rhythmic
labyrinth
synchronized
with the tides, the turning of
the moon in earth’s night

the passage
reflected as fire
on water,
as air, wind
beginning in clouds of stars–
an endless return

horizon

For Sue Vincent’s prompt this week, “Horizon”.

 

We all look through windows surrounded by the sea (for Howard Hodgkin)

after hodgkin s

Equal to
the task:  a gesture,
the texture
of brushstrokes,
a conversation beyond
white.  Abstractions act

as ruses,
memories summoned
into light.
Dig deeply
into the familiar and
hold it close.  Timeless.

Image result for howard hodgkin for matisse

I wanted to acknowledge the great Howard Hodgkin, who died this week at age 84.  My collage is an homage to his painting, above, “For Matisse”.  His work often evokes windows, a subject Matisse was fond of as well.

The poem uses the secret keeper’s words for this week.

When the Cold Wind Blows

fire and rain blk s

If you see fire, if
fire is spilled, smothered by rain,
stolen from the sun–

are bridges burned, rivers run
dry?  A cold flaming.  Unquenched.

James Taylor released his album “Sweet Baby James” in 1970, the year I graduated from high school.  It was a constant in my life for the next few years, and remains a touchstone for remembering that time.

When Colleen title her tanka challenge this week “Fire and Rain”, James Taylor’s song immediately began to play in my head.  Almost all the songs on “Sweet Baby James” talk about the sun, yet there’s a touch of melancholy in every word.  Colleen’s prompt photo, too, seems to reflect these contradictory feelings.  Endings, beginnings:  fire and rain.  My tanka is an imagined conversation with the album and the song.

fire and rain close up s

You can read the lyrics to “Fire and Rain” (the source of my tanka’s title) and listen to the song here.  James discusses some of his songs for Rolling Stone, with musical accompaniment, here.  (But you don’t need to explain yourself, James.  We understand these feelings only too well.)

Postcard Fiction: On the Other Side

on the other side s

All sleep ends up on the other side
There’s a turning point that takes everything everywhere
outside of time and space
poised on the edge of nowhere

771px-hans_thoma_-_fru%cc%88hlingsmelodie_1914

Jane Dougherty’s Sunday Strange microfiction prompt, a painting by Hans Thoma.

lizard s

It’s still the Year of the Rooster (Draw a Bird Day)

march rooster s

The crown of red
set on your little head
is charged with all your fighting blood.

Yes, that excrescence
makes a most virile presence,
plus all that vulgar beauty of iridescence.

–Elizabeth Bishop, “Roosters”
In honor of International Women’s Day, an excerpt from a poem by the wonderful Elizabeth Bishop.  You can read the entire work here.
March Rooster Fact:  This Year of the Rooster contains a leap month, to catch up the lunar calendar with the solar calendar.  So it will be 384 days long.
Drawing in Neocolors, smudged with wet paper towels.