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Destinated (Thursday Doors)

The threshold is uncontainable, peripheral–
it is not the same thing as its door.
It’s in-between, transient, invisible.

What is inside or outside is conditional–
are you coming or going?  here or there?
The threshold is uncontainable, peripheral.

An opening to movement, pivotal
to an after that is also a before–
it’s in-between, transient, invisible,

a pause within a timeless interval–
it starts at zero, neither less nor more.
The threshold is uncontainable, peripheral.

It wanders on the contour of the mythical,
reflecting like Janus, a two-way mirror.
It’s in-between, transient, invisible.

It takes no sides, yet holds the oppositional–
it intersects with each and every sphere.
The threshold is uncontainable, peripheral–
it’s in-between, transient, invisible.

These three brownstones, on West 75th Street, were designed in 1890 by architect Gilbert A Schellenger. I could find no other information about them, although some of his other buildings have stories online. The center building had the steps and original door removed, replaced with a plain garden entrance, and a new window where the original door was, below.

The details on the two original entrances attracted my attention–the ornamentation is both varied and intricate. The upper details on the buildings are also quite lovely.

I’ve written a villanelle for the W3 prompt from Braden, who asked for either a sonnet or villanelle describing an animal, plant, or object. I’m always happy to write a poem on the subject of doors.

The threshold, whether associated with a door, or any other between place, is a symbol of transition.

And look for more doors, or add your own, here, at Thursday Doors, hosted by Dan Antion.

vanishment (draw a bird day)

I found this erasure poem in a folder when I was cleaning last week. I think I meant to illustrate and post it but it somehow got lost in a pile of other things. Although the article is from 2019, things have only worsened in the intervening years.

It reminded me of a post I did early on in my blog life about the passenger pigeon, which once numbered from 3-5 billion in North America. The last one died in captivity in 1914. What happened? Native Americans coexisted with the bird, which they hunted for food, for 15,000 years.

In the 19th century, pigeon was marketed as cheap nutrition, and massive hunts of these very social and easily located birds took place. At the same time, there was a rapid decrease in their forest habitat. But it still seems unreal that such a large population could dwindle to nothing in so short a time.

But we keep allowing it to happen, not only to birds, but to all of life, both plant and animal, everywhere.

I did a monoprint of dead passenger pigeon specimens, which is all we have now. The one above is my printing glass, which I photographed after I finished printing and before I washed it off. The top image is the print, with a little ink detailing on top.

taking wing now–full
extinction reveals loss–
mornings of no sound

Following Up at the Met (Thursday Doors)

point of view
changes dimensions–
the picture
beyond the edges, around,
on the other side

I promised some follow up photos in my previous posts about the Metropolitan Museum. Here’s the front façade, looking north, above, and south, at the top. The building is basically a mirror image around the front entrance–impossible for me to get the whole thing in one photo. It’s huge, both inside and out.

And here are the fountains located on either side of the entrance, also promised months ago.

They cycle on and off.

These were taken awhile ago, but on my most recent visit I suddenly realized what was on the other side of those doors that are all windows, the ones that reflect Cleopatra’s Needle, on the back side of the museum.

This is the back of the Petrie Sculpture Court. You can reserve the space for events, hence the doors for the caterers I would guess. Well that’s a general you–I think it might be out of the price range for most of us. It would be a great space for a party though.

And this is the Charles Engelhard court next to the American Wing. There’s a food court by the windows and doors. The building façade on the right belonged to the Second Branch Bank of the United States, originally located on Wall Street, built in 1822 and demolished in 1915. Efforts were made at the time to preserve the building, designed by Martin Euclid Thompson, and when those failed, the president of the Met had the façade preserved and installed as the entrance to the American Wing.

I also took photos of and from the balcony of Velez Blanco, which was closed when I took my original photos. But those are for a future post.

Remember to visit Thursday Doors for more doors, hosted by Dan Antion, here.

June 2023

June butterflies days
with peripheral visions–
fleeting shadowed light

June butterflies days
with makeshift impermanence–
colors cast in dreams

of peripheral visions–
horizons weave time
into salty sea-sky wind,

fleeting shadowed light
tinged with endings—summer melts
backwards into fall

Colleen’s Tanka Tuesday prompt had us taking a test to determine our spirit animal. Butterfly was my answer yesterday, although if I took the test today it would probably be different. My answer to most questions of this type are “it depends”. But I’m not displeased–butterflies are wonderful creatures.

I wrote a troiku turning butterfly into a verb, as requested by Sarah for her prompt at dVerse. I also used words from this week’s Oracle 2 Random Word Generator.

winged surprise startles
as it alights on my arm–
the world pauses, stilled

The collages are old ones from the 70s that I discovered in my archives.

Interpolated (Thursday Doors)

photo by wheat salt wine oil

The day is empty
like this house—tentative, flat,
merged with the landscape.

Each layer resides
inside its own dimension–
unfinished, ajar.

Spinning in circles,
a surface with no inside–
an imprint of thought.

A moment’s whimsy–
not really a door at all–
more like a portal—

A passageway to somewhere
in the middle of between

My final entry to the Thursday Doors May Writing Challenge, a haiku sonnet, uses a photo from Wheat Salt Wine Oil as inspiration. The collage is another one of mine from my youth.

Next week, back to my own doors.

The Third Story (Thursday Doors)

image by Thoughts of a Wanderer

Majestic, they said, but
enter at your own risk–
dogs live there–horses, too–and
insects we can’t identify.

The thing is, the future requires
adjustment.  Your Utopian maps
tell me nothing.  They only
impede the stitching together of time.

Orange looks different at
night, but I turn on the lights so the
door is visible.  You can’t miss
it.  It sits in the clouds, gaudy, towering.

Space is always disordered–
check all the boxes and it verifies nothing.
Interactions are not a test—what is
permissible is learned, but not necessary.

Like home, the gift of colour
inside our far-flung journeys replaces
needless worry with surprise–
erratic prose turns poetic, jumps into the air.

Coincidentally, this is my third poem for the May Writing Challenge at Thursday Doors. When the Random Word Generator chose door as its first word this week, I knew I would once again be referring to its list for what I wrote. Another word that jumped out at me was orange, so I knew which photo I would choose to write about as well.

The W3 challenge this week from Punam is to write an acrostic poem from a list of words she provided. I strung two of them together, meditation and discipline. Then I chose a lot of the beginning words from the random word list and wrote around what resulted, including other words from the list whenever they seemed to fit. It is an interesting method of constructing a poem.

Above is one of my orange-embellished door collages from the 1980s. And for more doors from the present, you can always visit Thursday Doors, hosted by Dan Antion.

Evasions (Thursday Doors)

image by Teresa

They say our finite ocean is
but a minor detail–
a boat
resting on the back of Great Fish–
that our true home sets sail


are where we came from—light scattered
and caught by His Eye–
into what reflects His Matters–
the opposite of sky–
held, caged


away from home—I wish to leave
this vessel, to unlock
the door–
there is so much I can’t conceive–
my mind keeps casting thoughts


I number my questions, detail
the longings between words–
what if?
and why?  Who Are You?  Can you tell
me how air flies birds–

image by Erik Johansson

I’ve written a double memeuente for the Thursday Doors Writing Challenge, using an image submitted by Teresa. Serendipitously, I found an image on Erik Johansson’s website that gave me a direction for my poetic narrative. Johanson’s work was introduced to us by Mish at dVerse as inspiration for a surrealistic poem.

I’ve also used some of this week’s words from the Random Word Generator.

I’ve always thought there was a connection between fish and birds.

You can see many doors (and their stories) every week at Thursday Doors, hosted by Dan Antion.

And take a journey through alternate worlds at Erik Johansson’s website here.

Willow Ptarmigan (Draw a Bird Day)

by season—winter
white, summer
feathers, snowshoe feet, hidden
in thickets, burrows

I first saw a photo of the willow ptarmigan in winter, when it is completely white and fades into the snowy landscape of its subarctic home. Upon further investigation, I was surprised to find that it molts its feathers twice a year, to match the summer browning of its environment. It looks like a completely different bird.

Above is a male in the between-state. The red above the eye becomes prominent on the male during breeding season. Willow ptarmigans are monogamous and pair off while raising their families, but are very social in winter when they form flocks as large as 2000 birds. They are ground dwellers, building their nests in tree thickets and sheltering in snow burrows during the winter months. Their thick plumage and large heavily feathered feet with sharp elongated claws help them navigate and survive the cold, snow, and ice.

Members of the grouse family, willow ptarmigans are native to the subarctic tundra, heather moors, and thicket forests of Canada, the United States, Scandinavia, Mongolia, Russia, Ireland, and the UK. Willows are a favorite component of their diet of bugs, twigs, leaves, seeds, and berries. They are not endangered, but their habitat is threatened by the rising temperatures of the arctic region.

The willow ptarmigan is the state bird of Alaska.

The Green Door (Thursday Doors)

It’s not black and white.  But is it whimsical, or serious?  Is that a lock? Is there a key?  Magic words?  Please?  Somehow that doesn’t seem like enough

I want to form those intersecting lines into a map.  Surely it was drawn deliberately, that triangular pattern.  The power of threes.  Animal vegetable mineral?  Past present future?  Mind body spirit?

What do the strange messages graffitied on the surface of the glass mean?  Can anyone enlighten me?  The numbers lack clarity–nebulous, impossible to calculate. 

And what is that hum that seems to be taking over my mind?

lost continents lost
languages—are they portals?
Where is my third eye?

Thursday Doors holds a writing challenge in May. Doors from the last year’s posts are submitted, and we are invited to write a story, poem, or hybrid of some sort based on one of the photos. For my first one, I’ve chosen Manja’s mysterious green door, above.

I also used some of the Oracle 2 words from this week’s Random Word Generator list.

And here’s a bonus collage appropriately called “The Power of Three”. Perhaps that’s what is on the other side of the Green Door.

Dan Antion is the host of Thursday Doors.

May 2023

each moment full
of growing—the spaces
in your mind once occupied
by words transformed
into pockets of color–
a chorus spiraling
between the layers
of inner and outer life–
weaving you
into your surroundings,
branching like rivers
rippling in the elemental current
that always seeks to return
to the sea—your senses
float you, a particle
in the molecular dance
of ebb and flow, rising and falling
in time with the luminescent tides
that follow the singing
of the flower moon

It’s May! After 3 days of gloomy grey and pouring rain there’s a blue sky. Maybe I’ll even get to see the full Flower Moon on Friday.