April 14, 2019. Recently I had the opportunity to sit in silence by a campfire, letting the dancing flames erase just about every thought … then present a face smiling at me from a burning log. Not a laughing grin … a serene smile. Apart from the added circle, this image is what my phone captured. The next morning I stared again at the face, recalling how it had indeed smiled all the way to sudden collapse. The haiku here is the result of multiple revisits to figure out just what message to take from that smile.
Maybe you will see a different message.
April 7, 2019. No, nothing to do with martial arts!
One week into Poetry Month, and under the influence of an evocative SoulCollage® group session yesterday, I take my stand – as poet, yes, but not just poet – as creative human giving creativity space, attention, support to flourish.
A word about SoulCollage® – a Jungian therapy process developed by Seena Frost – I’ve been practicing this since 2007. It’s something you DO as opposed to read about, but if curious, go here: https://www.soulcollage.com/
This image is a collage for four SoulCollage cards created yesterday. Image details were clipped from calendar/magazine pages and pieced together intuitively. Each of the four cards (5×8″) can be “read” – imagery speaking to whatever inside me chose and arranged the pieces. Collectively, they delivered this poem.
March 28, 2019. Spring has announced herself with an abundance of green coming up through dried leftovers of prior green frozen to the ground. Lots to clean up in the yard! I tackled the crinum bed alongside driveway a bit at a time to avoid arthritic reaction to the necessary bending, stooping at unusual angles. This poem emerged from the meditative nature of putting face repeatedly near earth … plus it was Mother’s birthday. The following day, my email brought me the poem Earth Song – including:
Those who are dead are never gone;
The dead are not down in the earth:
They are in the trembling of the trees
Indeed, Mother was right there with me in the crinums’ upward thrust.
Crinums produce large lily-like blooms – mine are a vivid pink, prolific come June.
I’m unable to find a direct link to Earth Song, Traditional from Senegal. I received it via Panhala – to subscribe, send a blank email to:
March 16, 2018. This poem emerged while studying Zen poets – mostly male, but one female poet made the syllabus. Otagaki Rengetsu (1791–1875) became a Japanese Buddhist nun and one of the country’s most respected female artists – combining her poetry, calligraphy, and pottery. She learned from Kyoto potters and decorated her rough and rugged bowls, cups, and other vessels with her poetry, either painted on or scored into the clay in flowing calligraphy. Orders from tea masters and others kept her very busy. This collage of found images shows both her pottery and calligraphy styles.
February 16, 2018. My affinity for digital collage is two-fold — for the freedom to make a moon as dominant in the image as in my mind’s eye, and for the meditative process of detailing, removing distractions to emphasize desired geometry — directed by whim.
A nod to recent posts from Michael Fiveson (m5son.wordpress.com) and Stephanie Harper (slharperpoetry.com) – your words stirred mine.
January 18, 2018. Tuesday Austin Texas shut down due to iced roadways – schools, government offices, many businesses sent out alerts the night before: please stay off the roadways. This happens once every year or so, usually for one day. In colder places, cities take remedial action and keep roadways open. Here, we get a day off (except schools must take away a planned free day later in the calendar.)
I slept in, waking to the lure of chicken soup simmering, gave the day’s opportunity a few select thoughts, and pulled out a jigsaw puzzle. Not just any puzzle – I chose the greenhouse scene, plants thriving while “shut in” – like me. The collage hopefully conveys my sense of being in the greenhouse while working the puzzle.
December 5, 2017. I spent yesterday foraging through 15 years of digital photos, seeking the right image for this poem. Finding the poem was a simple search on title. The search was triggered by reading Robert Okaji’s poem “Shakuhachi Blues” (on his blog: https://robertokaji.com). It took me back to the mountain above Cloudcroft NM, sitting around an evening campfire, watching a young man whittle while listening to my man play a wooden flute – feeling the flute vibes reshape me.
That evening was in 2008, before I began pairing poems and photos. In time the right photo surfaced – an image from elsewhere in New Mexico, at sunset, man and flute in beautiful trance.