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Invocation of the Trees

wishes s

Have mercy on us
we who are poor in spirit
we who are never satisfied
we who strive to possess everything

We who are poor in spirit
bless us and teach us
we who strive to possess everything
fill us as vessels with the breath of stars

Bless us and teach us
cleanse and heal our weary hearts
fill us as vessels with the breath of stars
attach our roots with grace and truth

Cleanse and heal our weary hearts
quench our hunger with light
attach our roots with grace and truth
you who honor both heavens and earth

Quench our hunger with light
we who are never satisfied
you who honor both heavens and earth
have mercy on us

two trees s

I’m reblogging this poem from 2018 for earthweal’s “mentors” prompt, adding some tree art from the archives as well.

winter forest 2 4 x 6 text comma

I’ve written about trees almost as often as birds and the sea.  All good and wise teachers.  But trees (starting with the Tree of Life) both anchor and reach toward the cosmic why.

trees across summary comp

on the verge

on the verge s

trees
remember who
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.

once
we belonged
to the earth

© 2020 Frank J. Tassone

For Colleen’s #Tanka Tuesday, a haibun inspired by the photo provided by Frank Tassone, above.

on the verge sky s

I’ve had this song on my mind for awhile.

on the verge earth s

also linked to earthweal open link weekend

nowhere to go (sailing the moon)

nowhere to go 2s

journey like a river,
found in the places
that are always home

sing the music of oceans
weaving patterns of mercy–
journey like a river

become part of each movement,
every path transformed,
found in all places

pass along what has been given–
ride the sky like the wind,
always at home

a channel of water flowing out to sea, with the sun reflecting on the water.

Sue Vincent’s photo prompt, above, immediately made me think of Paul Simon’s “Peace Like a River”–and that made me think of “American Tune”–hence the 2 part title.  The poem is a cascade, always a good form when writing about water.

nowhere close up 2s

Sue titled her photo “Yearning” and I think that’s an emotion Paul Simon captures well.

…and I dreamed I was flying…

 

June 2019

june19 grid s

june poem magnetic

summer sky sings
away shadow music
into gardens of sealight–
daydreams shining beneath
an enormous jeweled sun

The Oracle gave me a sunny day.  I needed it.

 

Reveiled

reveiled s

We are tracing broken shadowed dreams,
lines that curve and end up on the edge–
these places that come back
and close the door

Lines that curve and end up on edges
that cannot be reached
through any door–
both sides spiraling

They cannot be breached–
they remain, still, abandoned
by both sides, spiraling,
bathed in an untranslatable light

They remain still, abandoned–
we freeze them into frames
bathed in an untranslatable light–
we want to keep them safe, unchanged

We freeze them into frames
that hold our lives like clenched fists–
we want to keep ourselves safe, unchanged,
imprisoned in a maze of rooms

We hold our lives in clenched fists
that deny the landscape of after–
imprisoned in a maze of rooms
from the country of before

Lost in the landscape of after,
these places come back
from the country of before–
we are tracing broken shadowed dreams

transition

A pantoum for Sue Vincent’s photo prompt, above.

reveiled close up s

 

Shaded

shaded s

I’m standing
not in the way but
out—myself
here somewhere
yet not quite ready for this
trough that releases

emptying,
revacating the
premises–
I borrowed time
from all those appointments with
destiny, unkept

Reopen
the scar, make room for
new bloodveins,
roots, branches,
a forest to surround, sing
alive alive-O

Imagine
what strange things fortune
could reveal
in its own
time, centered in a place where
the lines intersect

For Sue Vincent’s photo prompt, above, and NaPoWriMo Day 29(!) a meditation on one of my many states of being.

shaded close up s

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Variation on a Theme

two trees s

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.

summer tree close up s

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.

autumn tree close up s

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.

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Circuits

circuits s

Begin with
the labyrinth.  The
center holds
the light.  The
center lies outside, beyond
opening.  Beyond

thought. Beyond
the perimeter.
It blends and
compasses,
hugging the coastline of sight.
It is letting go,

dispersing
rearrangements, caught
and summoned
by the songs
of trees—focusing the verge
into alignment.

For Sue Vincent’s photo prompt, above, and off-prompt for NaPoWriMo Day 19.

circuits triangle s

Evasions

evasions s

What we can’t find
shifts and relocates–
a destination uncontained

by any place, by any time–
(turn around, it disintegrates)–
what we can’t find

is a chord that won’t be captured or sustained,
a rhythmic dance that evaporates,
a destination uncontained

by what is annexed or confined–
(on every verge it hesitates)–
what we can’t find

is an empty signpost, uninscribed–
pointing out and over there, it dislocates
each destination.  Uncontained,

incomplete, and undefined,
 each choice continues and awaits
what we can’t find–
a destination, uncontained.

Another villanelle, for Sue Vincent’s photo prompt, above.  Grace at dVerse talked about slant rhyme this week, and I’ve incorporated some ones that lean pretty far in my poem.  I still find this form difficult, and this one needs some revision, especially in the flow.

evasions close up s

Off prompt for NaPoWriMo Day12.

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I Consider the Threshold

threshold s

What walks with me,
neither ahead nor behind?
What casts its shadow beside?

What remains when I am gone?
What leaves me in its wake?
Who follows what follows after?

Does thought have a clock?
Are memories past if they are present–
do ideas exist only in the frame of time?

Which landscape is real–
the one attached to gravity,
or the one with wings?

For Sue Vincent’s photo prompt, above, and the NaPoWriMo prompt of what if?

threshold close up s

I haven’t consulted the Oracle yet today, but she sent a message anyway.

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