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Guns and Grudges

Who knows the questions?  or the time?
What if there is no time?
What if all the time has all been wasted, or lost?

When karma comes around,
where will it go?

Why keep running into the same things?
How did we get here?

If only I knew
how to fix it all–
I would be honored
to be unremissed.

I’ve been having trouble completing things lately. Bjorn at dVerse has us asking Google to finish our thoughts. Perfect.

What I learned:
1) Many of those searching on Google are thinking about death–lots of killing and dying going on.
2) And remiss. Many many of us feel we are remiss.

October 2020 (Harvest Moon)

autumn dance
condensed into light–
I become
gold tinged with tides,
rising and falling

I did a similar grid with circles a few years ago, but I’ve always wanted to give it another try.  As with the last one, I first painted a landscape (wishing I had my gouache, but done with watercolor), then cut it up, rearranged it, and added collage dots from my collage box.  Here’s the original landscape:

David Hockney-ish I think.  Not my usual style, and perhaps a bit brighter than I intended.  But I like the colors.

I’ve done a tanka for Colleen’s Tanka Tuesday form challenge, which also works for Frank Tassone’s challenge of harvest moon. The paint oracle is totally responsible for turning my moon painting into a tree.

My new view of the full moon.  I have to catch it when it passes between the buildings.

Happy October!

shell

conch 1 2

well, first the wayward wind—grey—if you tried to hold it, your hands remained empty–

the song of the sirens, spilled into a traverse of stone and sea—perhaps some dragon’s breath—a shape becoming uncovered, a shape turning into a wheel that reminds itself to spiral—

the beach is hungry, but in a subtle way—do not conclude that it can be ignored–

gaping portals
azure shimmering
meeting places

postcard shell 1

 

Stream of consciousness for Grace at dVerse.  I’ve been doing a lot of this because of a recent prompt I saw that incorporated this technique, where you took a treasured object and wrote a bunch of unedited stories about it.  This was from my origin story.

whelk 1 2015 comp

The original writing for this haibun took up a whole page–I just selected a few parts and made a kind of haiku by removing words from one “sentence”.  The drawings are once again taken from my archives.  I’ve spent a lot of time drawing shells.

shell tattoo close up s

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…

 

Flying Shoes (a sonnet for Townes Van Zandt)

flying shoes 1s

“Days full of rain, sky’s comin’ down again
I get so tired of these same old blues, same old song
baby, it won’t be long ‘fore I be tyin’ on
my flyin’ shoes, flyin’ shoes
till I be tyin’ on my flyin’ shoes”
–Townes Van Zandt

The leaves of autumn linger in my mind,
disturbing the returning of the sun.
I thought my time of shedding skin was done.
Instead I crumble, fragile, in the wind
that blocks the way before I can begin.
The threads I gathered turn away unspun–
the landscape ebbs, and with it shelter—one
by one the seasons falter, fall behind.

If only I could tie myself to stars
and rise, my surface shining like the moon,
my sails like wings that shimmer in the sky–
I’d find a motherland in my guitar,
that I could voice with harmony and song–
a refuge where my dreams could wake and fly.

flying shoes close up s

I was listening to Lyle Lovett’s 2-CD salute to  Texas songwriters, “Step Inside This House”, which includes so much wonderful music including four songs from Townes Van Zandt.  There is a mystery and a melancholy to all of his music, and “Flyin’ Shoes” has always been a favorite of mine.  Townes died in 1997 at age 52 after years of substance abuse and mental health problems.  I hope he’s got those shoes tied on tight.

I wanted to try another sonnet for the dVerse challenge this month.  This one uses the Petrarchan form, which has a very different rhythm from the Shakespearean.  I’m still reading my way through everyone’s sonnets, but I want to thank dVerse for providing such a good forum to explore this poetic form.  I’ve learned a lot from not only my own attempts at writing, but from seeing the variety of responses.

I also used the Secret Keeper’s prompt words,
LEAF | HOME | ALTER | LIGHT | FRONT 

And here’s Lyle.

 

It’s 4 am and I’m wearing a blue raincoat (after Leonard Cohen)

blue raincoat comp 2

It’s 4 in the morning, almost December–
each day I return to you hoping you’re better,
New York is a hospital, dying and living,
machines full of numbers, the music of beeping—

Do you dream of your house with its ceilings and stairs?
Are you living inside it now, making unseen repairs?

As your past comes by full of stories and tears,
what you gave what you feared–
all the things left unsaid…
drowning in the unsaid—

Now each day is the first and the last and the always,
no masks to uncover, disguise what the time plays–

We come and we stay and we go meeting only ourselves,
spending fortunes and throwing them away like wishes in wells—

You hand us no thoughts and your eyes gaze beyond,
skipping dreams through the air like stones on a pond—

I see you there still breathing harshly with pain,
what abides, what remains–
will we waken or sleep?
to release or to keep—

Oh what can I tell you, what can I tell you,
what can I possibly say?
All the sorrows forgiven, lost tomorrows now riven,
our lives intersected and frayed…

All is circling round to the center of you–
you can be who you need to be now without fearing the truth—

And thanks for the gifts that you didn’t intend–
thread to bind and to mend—lives I didn’t expect—

And the years collapse spilling stories and tears,
nothing left now to fear–
all the words disappear…

Picture

Inspired by William Edouard Scott (above) and Leonard Cohen.  The responses to Scott’s painting (which immediately brought to my mind Cohen’s “Famous Blue Raincoat”),  can be read here, at The Ekphrastic Review.  My thanks to Lorette C. Luzajic for selecting my poem for publication.

br close up s

Also linking to dVerse, “The Art of Confession”.

 

The mandala was photographed wet (left) and after drying (right).  The mystery and surprises of watercolor.

Aretha

aretha s

sounds become
music erupting
suddenly
awakening
into everything as fire
blended with pure sky

 

Draw a Bird Day: Hoopoe

hoopoe 2s

I Ask the Hoopoe Three Questions

In my dreams I am always traveling: as Joni says, “looking for something, what can it be?”  My home is the stairway down to the subway, up to the train platform, watching the landscape moving beside the bus.

Here I am again, on the road…in the median I see the bird—huge, red crested, black and white striped wings. I step off the highway into the lush green.

Hoopoe is both real and mythical.  It is associated with death, war, and disease, but also with purity, virtue and leadership. Sometimes it is a messenger between heaven and earth.

I like best the hoopoe in the Sufi story-poem, “The Conference of the Birds”.

What did you
find at the end of
your journey?
Dark and light
intermingling inside your
eye?  Do you know Crow?

hoopoe dream blk s

I really did have this dream, and spent a few days online looking for the bird.  I knew the hoopoe from the Sufi story, but I don’t think I knew what it really looked like.  It’s a beauty!  dVerse also had a prompt earlier in the week about hometowns, which was the starting point for my haibun .

You can read about “The Conference of the Birds” here.  And I highly recommend Peter Sis’ beautifully illustrated version of it, which you can read about here.

And any excuse for some Joni Mitchell (I was at this concert).

Happy Draw-a Bird Day!

Repent

is is not

Desire is hidden
up our sleeves, playing us with
serendipity

Joker’s wild with make-believe
(better hide those foolish hearts)

I’ve bent everything here–prompts, forms, words, cards.

The prompt words are from Colleen’s Tanka Tuesday, but liberties have been taken with the tanka.  Also inspired by–although not really following–the dVerse pentimento prompt (well, pentimento does mean “to repent” in Italian), and a poem I wrote awhile ago based on Laura Nyro’s “Flim Flam Man”.

I do love that Joker/Fool card too.