Inspired by Nina’s butterfly rock, above, a collaboration with the Oracle.
life must shine beneath
this summer moon
breathe bright breezes
through flowering light
walk on air
let the nightsong
follow you home
Last night the rain kept me from seeing the moon, but I did capture it the night before.
in the afterglow
doesn’t always fit
with old formulas
and then multiplied
the sun rises
and wing it
with why not
explain say yes
for something else
My collage, inspired by Nina’s recent painting, above, is not at all what I intended to do. Not even close. I feel like this is a good metaphor for life, the way my life is, anyway, now and for as long as I can remember it. Nothing is as it appears, even in its imagining.
And what is the point of my poem? Does it have or need one? I’m not sure, but it travels in a kind of parallel to my train of thought these days also. As David Byrne said so aptly, maybe it’s time we stopped trying to make sense out of the nonsensical. Aim as truly as you can and see what happens.
Earthweal asks this week if our poetry can be sufficient for the world we live in. How do we define “enough” of anything? Everything seems to be both too little and at the same time too much.
We want definitive answers when there are always only more questions to ask. There’s no guidebook, no map. It’s a circle, not a line. There’s no way of knowing or controlling where the things we begin will end. We can only do our best to say what we think needs to be said, do what we think needs to be done, and be good listeners and caretakers to the world.
The Oracle was simple and direct today. Humans aren’t in the picture at all.
listen to winter
rain and sun
green through birdsong
deep summer air
Nina and I used to collaborate with the Oracle on a semi-regular basis. I’m hoping we will do so again soon.
stories, actions shout, defy
I bought a bird book at a library sale intending to use the photos for collage. Looking through, I was drawn to the same bird in two different sections of the book: the crested caracara. The Cornell Bird Lab says it “looks like a hawk, behaves like a vulture, and is technically a falcon”. Hence my senryu, for Colleen’s weekly challenge with poet’s choice of words. Apply to humans as needed.
Crested Caracaras live from the Southern United States down through Central and South America. They are also known as the Mexican eagle, and are the subject of folklore throughout the region. The only falcon that collects material to build a nest, caracaras are carnivorous scavengers, who will also hunt for small prey by running on or digging in the ground if necessary.
I painted my image first on wax paper using acrylic, intending to do a monoprint, which did not work–the paint was not dense or thick enough. I then painted it on rice paper, also using acrylic. This made the paper shrink in places, but worked better than I expected. I photographed both images, then superimposed the wax paper over the rice paper–strangely they fit together well, considering I did no pencil drawing for either, but just painted each.
Once again, Draw a Bird Day, the 8th of each month, is serving as a placeholder here at MeMadTwo while Nina takes an extended break. I’m hoping she’ll be back in soon. In the meantime, you can find me (Kerfe) at https://kblog.blog/.
owl-shadow, like a prism
scattering the dark
I did a few of these brush-painted flying owls and all of them looked very fishlike to me. I usually think of owls as catlike, but in air they swim. Short-eared owls in flight are described as “moth-like”.
Short-eared owls have wide distribution, occurring on all continents except Australia and Antarctica. The map I saw for North America showed wide declines in coastal populations due to loss of habitat, although those in the center of the United States and Canada seemed stable.
They eat mainly rodents, and are in turn food for raptors and larger mammals because they nest on the ground. Most active from dusk through dawn, they fly low over fields looking for prey.
Also for Colleen’s #TankaTuesday poet’s choice of words. It’s becoming a regular for Draw-a-Bird Day.
Once again, Draw a Bird Day, the 8th of each month, is serving as a placeholder here at MeMadTwo while Nina takes an extended break. I’m missing her, aren’t you?
In the meantime, you can find me (Kerfe) at https://kblog.blog/.
Can you hear it? Earth’s
heartbeat chants in rhythm with
the drumming of birds.
I’ve been meaning to draw a woodpecker for awhile. I painted this without a sketch, so the proportions are a little off, but I think it captures the essence–the colors and the crest and long beak. I also put white on white lines for trees in the background. Pileated Woodpeckers prefer to live in old growth forests, nesting in dead trees, and their numbers declined as forests were cleared in the 19th century. But their numbers seem to be increasing again, as they adapt to new environments.
At my last residence I would see and hear red-headed woodpeckers. I haven’t seen any here, but on many weekends the African drummers are in residence at the historic mansion around the corner. Both man and bird connecting to earth’s rhythms.
Once again, Draw a Bird Day, the 8th of each month, is serving as a placeholder here at MeMadTwo while Nina takes an extended break. Come back soon Nina, and bring some birds!
In the meantime, you can find me (Kerfe) at https://kblog.blog/.
Every beach vacation comes with its own bird. One year it was mockingbirds, one year a very vocal cardinal. One year, crows.
This year we were accompanied by grackles. They would sit on the railing of the beach house speaking in their rusty tongue, lined up like soldiers. If one turned, all turned. Once they saw someone was paying attention they would vocalize a bit more and suddenly disappear.
On the beach they appeared ahead of my walking path and waited for me, foraging in the waves. As soon as I caught up, they flew off ahead again.
Although it’s natural to see their iridescent strutting as a variation on crows, grackles are actually part of the lark family, related also to blackbirds and orioles.
But they do have a connection to crows—all back birds are said to know magic, to live on the borders of the possible unknown.
standing on the edge
between water and shoreline,
you pause, watch me watching you–
our eyes meet through layered light
For Colleen’s #TankaTuesday, poet’s choice of words, a haibun.
Draw-a-Bird Day is placeholding here at method two madness each month until Nina returns. You can find me at https://kblog.blog/ in the meantime.
I’ve also linked to dVerse Open Link night.
you woke me not with
singing, but with squawks—crowlike,
insistent and loud—
a flash of blue amid oak leaves,
glittering with morning sun
I read online that bands of blue jays making a racket are often harassing a predator–must have been a hawk about the other morning.
I will continue to do draw-a-bird day here, but I’ve been posting at kblog while Nina is taking an extended break. Once she returns, I’ll be back at MeMadTwo regularly again. In the meantime, visit me at my other site!
I consulted with the Oracle about this tiny (3″) Mexican hummingbird, one of many of the endangered bird species of the world. Less than 1000 are estimated to exist.
I did my first sketch, above, in colored pencil, but felt the colors lacked enough vibrancy, so I painted the top one with my metallic watercolors.
Flowers grow feathered
wings humming bird poetry
air breathes spiritsong
it’s the alone in
the dance that makes the never
knowing so complete
Amaya at dVerse asked us to consider music that brings us to tears. There are many candidates these days, but I chose Jackson Browne’s “For a Dancer” for it’s longevity and continued relevance in that department. People, places, things…they are always “dancing in and out of view”.
And a ghazal for the song as well.
In the quiet of a summer’s afternoon I think of you
in the absence that is always in this room I think of you
My mind plays tricks and mixes up the present and the past
in memories recalled and then exhumed I think of you
Bananas peaches lemons oranges strawberries and limes
in fruit that ripens and releases its perfume I think of you
I search for guidance in the symbols of mythologies and stars
in portents that appear like ghostly runes I think of you
The fiber spun and dyed the needle waiting in my hand
in threads that cross like patterns on a loom I think of you
Sometimes I seem to recognize a voice calling and turn
in the abbreviation of my nom de plume I think of you
Pay attention to the open skies.