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Giving Thanks

I spent a lot of time thinking about the earthweal challenge this week, to write a poem of thanks. It all came down to the same thing: I’m thankful for life, to be alive. But I couldn’t think of another better way to say it.

always unexpected—this
grace, this balancing—darkness
shining into light

Happy Thanksgiving to those celebrating, and those who are not. May we remember and honor all life with care and gratitude.

Poem up at The Ekphrastic Review

My poem, “Talking to Andy”, inspired by Warhol’s iconic soup can, is posted today at the Ekphrastic Review along with work by Marcy Erb and 15 other writers. You can read it here.

My thanks once again to editor Lorette C. Luzajic for supporting my work and the interaction between the visual and written arts.

a fragment of a dream, caught in the morning light

and I am reminded again of who I am,
what I see when I look up at the night sky,
the scent of the earth in spring–

I feel the summer lingering,
long days of sun and sand
and the salty taste I carry
through days that follow me in rhythm
with the waves–

I see the sharpness of blue sky
behind black branches,
a playground of white snow
that culminates in hot chocolate,
logs burning,
the inside warming the outer—

I have been uprooted and transplanted
so many times that nowhere is home–
everything is temporary–
I’m always expecting to move on–

but I remember looking up
through the shade of oak trees,
the roses in my mother’s garden,
lilacs filled with butterflies—

the rust and gold of autumn
singing beneath my feet

For the earthweal challenge, a song of earth-praise from 2019. How far away that seems now. But I am still thinking of my mother.

Draw a Bird Day: Nuthatch

upside down
the world becomes new–
balancing
body mind
opened into new visions
enlarged perpectives

One weekend sitting on campus with our coffee and tea, my daughter and I were surrounded by birds. A mockingbird sang a complicated repertoire of songs for about a half hour, blue jays and cardinals visited, crow got in a word or two, and there were lots of sparrows–at least we assumed all the small birds were sparrows–until one started going up and then head down around a tree trunk. Sparrows definitely don’t do that.

When I looked it up in my birdbook at home, I discovered it was a white breasted nuthatch. They like to forage in the bark for insects, and even cache seeds in the crevices. They are quite common in the United States, although I don’t recall ever noticing one before.

I had found my subject for draw a bird day, and wrote a shadorma to accompany the art for Colleen’s #TankaTuesday, poet’s choice.

Poem up at The Ekphrastic Review

My poem “repostory” was among those chosen to accompany the painting “Alacena”, by Maria Izquierdo, at The Ekphrastic Review. You can see the artwork and read it, along with the rest of those selected here.

I am always drawn to Mexican art, but I have no references at hand to cut and collage, so my art is more in the spirit of my words than an exploration of Izquierdo’s painting.

As is this song that keeps running through my head by Tracy Chapman.

My thanks once again to editor Lorette C. Luzajic for supporting my work and the interaction between the visual and written arts.

Diane di Prima (1934-2020)

the stars over the bronx s

          …we do it for
the stars over the Bronx
that they may look on earth
and not be ashamed.
–Diane Di Prima
from “April Fool Birthday Poem for Grandpa”

stars close up s

I wanted to note the death of Diane Di Prima, a poet, social activist, Buddhist, and teacher.  A native New Yorker, she was a member of the Beat Poets, and moved to California in the 1960’s. I made this grid of the Bronx in April 2015, inspired by her poem, “April Fool Birthday Poem for Grandpa”.

Read an obituary with some wonderful videos of her reading here.

And here is a reading of the entire poem that inspired my grid.

Poem up at Pure Haiku

Part of the ARTURINA theme.

You can read it here.

My thanks, as always, to Freya Pickard for supporting my poetry.

seasons

oceanic bells
remnants of autumn bending
landscapes into dreams

beneath winter’s frost
ancient stonesongs murmur
through rootpaths
following earthlight
from seed to spring

haiku and gogyohka from the Oracle

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.

Stellar’s Jay (Draw a Bird Day)

hawk’s cry
hungry birds scatter
blue wings appear
a raucous throng
feasting

A gogyohka for Colleen’s Tanka Tuesday, poet’s choice.

I’ve been hearing blue jays everywhere I go for the last month. Since I’ve already featured blue jays, I decided to draw and paint its West Coast relative, the Stellar’s Jay. Like all jays, they are excellent mimics, and imitate hawks to scare other birds away from food they want to eat. They also pretend to be dogs, cats, squirrels and chickens.

Stellar Jays prefer dense coniferous wooded habitats, but being scavengers and opportunists, have adjusted well to the encroachment of humans.