Inspired by Nina’s butterfly rock, above, a collaboration with the Oracle.
life must shine beneath
this summer moon
breathe bright breezes
through flowering light
walk on air
let the nightsong
follow you home
Last night the rain kept me from seeing the moon, but I did capture it the night before.
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.
to the earth
For Colleen’s #Tanka Tuesday, a haibun inspired by the photo provided by Frank Tassone, above.
I’ve had this song on my mind for awhile.
also linked to earthweal open link weekend
in the afterglow
doesn’t always fit
with old formulas
and then multiplied
the sun rises
and wing it
with why not
explain say yes
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
The Oracle was simple and direct today. Humans aren’t in the picture at all.
listen to winter
rain and sun
green through birdsong
deep summer air
Nina and I used to collaborate with the Oracle on a semi-regular basis. I’m hoping we will do so again soon.
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.
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.
Summer solstice this year coincides with a solar eclipse of the new moon. Magic is afoot!
I follow you
into the dark crescendo
of sleepless nights
I was inspired to draw a nightingale by Rose Ausländer’s beautiful elegy, “My Nightingale”.
Once upon a time my mother was a doe.
The gold- brown eyes
stayed with her from the doe-time.
Here she was
half angel half human –
the middle was Mother.
When I asked her what she would have wanted to be
she said: a nightingale.
Now she is a nightingale.
Night after night I hear her
in the garden of my sleepless dream.
She is singing the Zion of the ancestors
she is singing the long-ago Austria
she is singing the mountains and beech
forests of Bukowina.
sings to me night after night
in the garden of my sleepless dream.
Once again, Draw a Bird Day is holding the fort at memadtwo, hoping Nina will be back soon.
tiny wings perch, still–
suddenly swoop downward, flash
trail of jeweled light
sudden swoop trails flash
It’s the 8th of the month again! Draw a Bird Day, and Poet’s Choice for Colleen’s #TankaTuesday. This month I’ve taken my haiku and reduced it twice. This is a good exercise for any poem I find.
I chose to draw the Asian Dwarf Kingfisher this month because of its colors. It’s a tiny bird–5″–one of 114 species of kingfishers. I did not realize this species was so large and varied. All nest in burrows and hunt by swooping down from a perched position. Many hunt fish–that was my impression of them–but may also, like the dwarf kingfisher, eat insects, earthworms, and small amphibians.
Dwarf kingfishers, like many birds, are under threat of extinction due to loss of habitat. Their main predators are foxes, raccoons, and snakes.
Nina gave me the set of brush markers that I used experimentally in doing the last 2 drawings (the one on black was done in colored pencil). I am still trying to convince her to start posting again. She’s been doing some painting…maybe by next Draw a Bird Day. In the meantime, you can find me most of the time at https://kblog.blog/.
voices in waves
sea calling gathering in
Seagulls and pigeons are the main birds I see from my window. But I hear robins every morning, and crows have started to visit the neighboring roofs as well.
This is a multiple poem posting for both Colleen’s #TankaTuesday (poet’s choice of words) and Frank Tassone’s “#Haikai Challenge #133 (twittering). Seagulls do not twitter, so I wrote the lines above.
I’ve been wanting to try a gogyoka, so for that I put in a little twittering.
with birds twittering dawn
across each uncharted day
Once again I’m posting for Draw a Bird Day as a place keeper for MeMadTwo until Nina gets back. I’m doing NaPoWriMo at https://kblog.blog/
stories, actions shout, defy
I bought a bird book at a library sale intending to use the photos for collage. Looking through, I was drawn to the same bird in two different sections of the book: the crested caracara. The Cornell Bird Lab says it “looks like a hawk, behaves like a vulture, and is technically a falcon”. Hence my senryu, for Colleen’s weekly challenge with poet’s choice of words. Apply to humans as needed.
Crested Caracaras live from the Southern United States down through Central and South America. They are also known as the Mexican eagle, and are the subject of folklore throughout the region. The only falcon that collects material to build a nest, caracaras are carnivorous scavengers, who will also hunt for small prey by running on or digging in the ground if necessary.
I painted my image first on wax paper using acrylic, intending to do a monoprint, which did not work–the paint was not dense or thick enough. I then painted it on rice paper, also using acrylic. This made the paper shrink in places, but worked better than I expected. I photographed both images, then superimposed the wax paper over the rice paper–strangely they fit together well, considering I did no pencil drawing for either, but just painted each.
Once again, Draw a Bird Day, the 8th of each month, is serving as a placeholder here at MeMadTwo while Nina takes an extended break. I’m hoping she’ll be back in soon. In the meantime, you can find me (Kerfe) at https://kblog.blog/.