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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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Take These Broken Wings

there's a crow flying #2

Curse not the king, no, not even in thy thoughts, and curse not the rich in thy bedchamber; for a bird of the air shall carry thy voice, and that which hath wings shall tell the matter.
–Ecclesiastes 10:20

Among twenty snowy mountains,
The only moving thing
Was the eye of the blackbird.
–Wallace Stevens, “Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird”

apolcalyptic crows wht s

That which hath wings shall tell
(blackbird whirling in the autumn winds)
The birth of the sky, the void in the flow

Three minds like a tree in parallel
(rising in blueness, the mystery twinned)
That which hath wings shall tell

Blackbirds are involved in what I know
(how to release and how to begin)
The birth of the sky, the void in the flow

A man and a woman are one distilled
(diving divining reflected and twinned)
That which hath wings shall tell

The river is moving in flying shadow
(the question unseen that I can’t comprehend)
The birth of the sky, the void in the flow

Imagine these golden birds aglow
(the crow and the tree and the origin’s end)
That which hath wings shall tell
The birth of the sky, the void in the flow

There's a crow flying # if I flew

For the NaPoWriMo prompt, a villanelle with lines taken from an outside text.  I’ve used both of these poetic sources before; you can see examples here and here.  To the words of Stevens and the Bible, I added text from one of my many crow poems, and art selected from my many pieces inspired by crows.

And since dVerse is conveniently featuring the villanelle form this month, I’ve linked to the collection of villanelle poems.

spiral crows 2s

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Archives

archives s

No army of beasts or men now darkens this way–
this solitary timeline of an arcane place–
no footsteps follow, no watcher casts an eye

What nourishes this soil, this evaporated sea,
this tangle of intricate light and grace?
No army of beasts or men now darkens this way

Bones resting shallow like lines on the palm of memory–
ghostly wanderers, shaded in lace–
no footsteps follow, no watcher casts an eye

What lasts but flowers pressed between a sigh?
just out of reach, these names without a face–
No army of beasts or men now darkens this way

Return these paths to elements that signify–
erase the human presence, leave no trace–
no footsteps to follow, no watcher to cast an eye

These sagas without end, without anything to say,
these battles over nothing that debase–
let no army of beasts or men darken this way–
let no footsteps follow, no watcher cast an eye

A villanelle for Sue Vincent’s photo prompt, above.  Villanelle is the featured form at dVerse for the month of April.  As far as I could tell, I’ve only done one previously, for a hawk I saw out my window.

archives close up s

We’re about to begin NaPoWriMo–I managed every day last year, and hope to do it again.  I’m sure we will find a few villanelles merged into the daily prompts that you can find here at the NaPoWriMo website.  Submit your site, and then your daily poems in the comments section.

 

Hallow

hallow s

summon the bones
uncoiled dream
chasm, koan
raw energy

uncoiled dream
glimpses of signs
raw energy
vanishing lines

glimpses of signs
particles in sync
vanishing lines
held on the brink

particles in sync
images transpire
held on the brink
omens, desire

images transpire
time distills
omens, desire
nowhere reveals

time distills
chasm, koan
nowhere reveals
summon the bones

One more pantoum for the dVerse March poetic form, inspired by Sue Vincent’s photo prompt above.

hallow close up 2s

Sabio Lantz posted a pantoum that I found very appealing in its brief rhythmic images. He said in his post that he had discovered that the original Maylay pantoums had very short lines, so I thought I would try one in that spirit.  I’ve always thought the pantoum form worked well for chants, and the shorter lines magnify this feeling.

 

Equinox

march moon 3s

spring moon magnetic s

Nina gave me a magnetic board for consulting the Oracle.  This was her first message…of course she had to mention this week’s full moon!

march moon 4s

In between all the rain and wind, it was a clear, if misty, night.  I like the way the moon mirrored the streetlight rising over the buildings too.

march moon 1s

breathe spirit from within
be nothing but a moon song
speaking with the wind

march moon2s

 

Poem at the Ekphrastic Review

devil 2 text s

My poem “(and the devil too)”, a response to a mysterious painting by Omar Odeh, is up at The Ekphrastic Review, along with seven other wonderful illuminations of Odeh’s work.  My thanks to editor Lorette C. Luzajic for including my collage poem amongst all the words, and for connecting me to the work of this artist.

(and the devil too) s

filling the margins,
spirits clinging to shadows–
the witching hour

The title is taken from a song by XTC, “Dear God”, a still (sadly) appropriate commentary on the world that we humans have made for themselves.