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Year of the Rabbit

time to
slow down—focus
on healing, connections–
become the current, flow
deep into e
motion

This year is supposed to be a calm respite after the 2022 Tiger Year. A year when our seeds will bear their karmic fruit.

Red is always an auspicious color for Chinese New Year, and Rabbit is associated with the moon. But it’s also the Year of the Water Rabbit, highlighting emotions, instincts, and flexibility

I drew a number of rabbits with brush and ink on rice paper, and then copied and collaged them with flowers, putting some on moon backgrounds. The other ones will show up from time to time.

The Year of the Rabbit is supposed to be lucky. One website I visited said that “Life will get better soon.” Fingers crossed.

Happy Lunar New Year!

January 2023

night sky
wide with starry
moonrise, floating inside
cloud-waves that pulse, primal,
elemental,
unknown

Happy New Year!

November 2022

can you be present
can presence be
everywhere can
everywhere be
present, waiting

opening the mind
the mind breaking
down unscared opening
the mind breaking
wide open, unscared

silent with life
life listened to
in silence filled with
presence listening
to life with silence

A quadrille for November and dVerse, hosted by De, where the word is scare.

I did my circular grid in two segments and arranged them in different ways to see what happened. November always seems the most elemental of months to me. Looking for simple and straightforward comforts, quiet ways to light up our own versions of the dark.

9/11/2022

remember—(breathe)–
sky clear crisp blue–
time stands still once again–
ghostname voices–
bone rattled leaves–
bottomless sings the wind

I’ve rearranged some of my previous poetry from 9/11 into a Laurette poem for Muri’s scavenger hunt. Images also from past posts.

September 2022

end of summer–
still sweltering and tired
of the relentless sun

gratis, an impulse to channel
ancient oceanic immersion
keeps me company

I draw on memories
of sand as floor,
the harmony of waves

water flashes through me
like a train I’ve boarded
that has abandoned its tracks

adjoining these ruminations
is an unmasked eagerness
for the refreshing chill of autumn

but I wonder if the shape
of the year still exists–
or if it will always be now

flooded, burning at the edges–
marching into the pages of a book
we didn’t mean to write

I consulted the Oracle 2 words Jane generated this week for my September circle/grid poem. The shape of time seems to get more distorted by the day.

July 2022

neither brave nor free–
our leaders bow down to Mammon,
cast life aside

Find the cost of freedom
buried in the ground
Mother Earth will swallow you
lay your body down

Thursday Doors: Zen Garden

the entrance is an enso  a glowing blue light
a form that contains nothing  inside of the whole
spirit absorbed by essence  emptied of ego
in silent simplicity  opening, complete

My younger daughter took a few days off from work before Memorial Day, and one of her requests was that I take her as my guest to early morning member hours at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, which are on Thursdays from 9-10 am. I had told her and her sister about visiting the Winslow Homer exhibit that way.

One of her favorite places in the museum is the Zen Garden. It wasn’t open in the early hour, but even after the museum opened to the public at 10, we were able to visit without any crowding–it’s tucked away among the Asian art, and if you don’t know where to look, you probably only discover it by stumbling upon it. It’s a bright open empty room with a rocks and a koi pond with a waterfall on the edges.

I used to post about my museum visits a lot, and perhaps in the future I’ll do a post on the Homer exhibit and also the paintings of Louise Bourgeois which were inexplicably hard to find. We asked directions three times, and only found it by accident in the end. But that meant that only one other person was there so we could really look at the art.

The museum also has many wonderful doors and door-like structures, such as the tiled niche above.

My poem is in the Japanese imayo form, which consists of four 7/5 syllabic lines. There is a planned caesura (or pause) between the first 7 syllables and the final 5. Another feature of this form is that it makes three poems–the whole, and one each with the 7-syllable lines and the 5-syllable lines, similar to a cleave poem, except that somehow it seemed more natural to me and easier to construct. I’ve included the color blue for Colleen’s Tanka Tuesday #tastetherainbow prompt.

You can read more about the enso here.

And, as always, find more doors with host Dan Antion, here.

unknowings (draw a bird day)

a motion so finely tuned
it vanishes
in a shiver of light,
appearing as a hush,

an exchange of intersections–
a motion so finely tuned
it enters your breath,
singing your weary bones,

infusing your tired blood
with heartbeats, dancing–
a motion so finely tuned
and completely useless

that it fills you with hope,
measureless and heartbreaking–
whirling you alive inside
a motion–so finely tuned

For the Kick-About #54, “Whirligig”, I made a bird mobile by adding sky and bird collage to three different sizes of wooden rings and hanging them together. It was hard to get good photos, but Phil cleaned up the ones I sent him to give a clearer idea of the mobile in motion.

Here it is flat. I have it hanging in my living room where the ceiling fan keeps it moving.

My poem is in the quatern form, except it doesn’t rhyme, using words from Merril’s random word list that she posted on Sunday. I was inspired by Rumi’s poem “Whirling”, and, of course, birds.

When you dance the whole universe dances.
All the realms spun around you in endless celebration.
Your soul loses its grip.
Your body sheds its fatigue.
Hearing my hands clap and my drum beat,
You begin to whirl.

Beach I Ching 17: #58 Tui (opening)

#58 tui (opening)

light shimmers, exchanging waves between lake and sky
sky dances and calls spirit into the circle
the circle regulates the transforming rhythm of life
life gathers, flowing freely to reveal the truth

truth speaks clearly, stripping away the layered lies
lies pollute the conduits of reciprocity, erode trust
trust opens the way and brings people together
together magnifies all voices, singing them into light

“Be content with what you have.”–Kim Farnell
“You foster trust, and make mutual enrichment possible, by opening up your inner space to exchange.”–Hilary Barrett
“Spread the word, express the spirit in the human community.”–motheringchange.com
“Realize that you do not need to, and indeed cannot, improve on creation.”–Frits Blok

The quotes are from different commentaries on this hexagram.

The poem is once again in the bagua form: 8 lines with 8 words in each line.

You can see the rest of the Beach I Ching series here and here.

May 2022

we mark time
with numbers, naming
circles, lines–
converged
and then divided—each month
we begin again,

ending the
previous parcel
of days in
our minds—when
in fact they overlap—clouds,
sun, showers, flowers

A small shadorma chain for Colleen’s Tanka Tuesday theme of beginnings and endings, picked by Yvette M. Calleiro. I meant to do something completely different with the circles of flowers I cut out, and perhaps I’ll explore that idea later. I got distracted with layering them in different ways.

When I was out walking yesterday I discovered a community garden on West 90th Street–full of tulips. I’ll be visiting it again, to see what’s in bloom in the coming months.