December 16, 2019. We’ve just experienced the last 2019 full moon cycle, and I’m now experiencing my first Dracaena bloom watch. You may know Dracaena by her common name – corn plant. She’s a popular houseplant, needing little maintenance, little light, asking only that you periodically cut her back and replant the cuttings. My back porch is full of her long, floppy, dark green leaves. I received a cutting from a corn plant my Aunt Mary Beth left behind in 1990, taken by my sister for her office, divided multiple times. The single stalk I took in (roughly 10 years ago) has evolved to five plants in three large pots. In all that time, I never knew it could BLOOM! A little over a week ago, we woke to find one of the five had sprouted a long bloom stalk overnight.
Fascinated, I went googling to find my plant’s real name is Dracaena Fragranz Massangeana and she does occasionally bloom – a powerful fragrance and a blooming cycle of 3-7 days. I’m still on watch as Dracaena begins Day 9, with well over half her buds yet to open. Though moon phase was not mentioned as catalyst for blooming, I find Dracaena blooming along with the final 2019 full moon intriguing. The poem below emerged piecemeal. The first image is a collage of Dracaena and Moon – the 2nd is a series of photos showing (1) full bloom stalk, (2) a bloom amid unopened buds (with the prior night’s spent bloom clutching a gem of sap), and (3) bud opening.
December 6, 2019. We returned to our haunts near Rio Grande City the week of Thanksgiving. One very good birding location is Salineno World Birding Center located on the Rio Grande River and thus in danger. The current expectation is a wide caliche roadway between river and birding, nothing to spoil the birding center so long as the birds aren’t repulsed by construction. (But there are those insisting we need a continuous WALL …) If anywhere near Salineno in the November-March months, this place is worth the search. (The birds go elsewhere to breed summer/fall.)
I’ve been thinning and tweaking photos since we got back, looking for a green jay image that captures their playful energy. Today, I encountered a poetry form that so fits the experience of watching green jays – birds flapping around noisily, people holding still quietly. I don’t think I’ve seen a puente poem before, and this is certainly the first one I’ve written. Thanks go to Ken Gierke @ https://rivrvlogr.com/2019/12/06/finding-direction-puente/ for stirring my creativity. The puente form puts two perspectives together with a single common thread, and I knew immediately which photos to collage together to show the two “sides” of Salineno: birds on the far side of a large Mesquite growing laterally; birders a few yards away on the entrance side.
October 19, 2019. Monarchs have begun appearing among our blue mist blooms … any day now we expect a large number to swoop through on their way South. This is an annual delight, but now comes with a complication named Brie. She’s spending prime outdoor hours indoors – unless I’m available to go intervene on behalf of the Monarchs. Monarchs seem quiet swift in rising if a cat appears. But. Brie is under restrictions! I found her huddled on the kitchen counter with bananas, clearly pouting.
October 3, 2019. Had a relaxed nap this afternoon in my zero-gravity recliner – recently moved into the living room to increase wiggle space in the den. When I woke, I was staring at two images blurring together, becoming one big tug on my imagination – a waking dream. I lay back awhile exploring possibilities, then got up and did the obvious next thing: I wrote a poem.
The oil painting (perhaps by my grandmother) is of Texas bluebonnets along a country road, near Cuero, Texas. The cat is one of many feline figures decorating various surfaces in my home. Positioning cat within the frame was not entirely imagination – my angle looking upward (glasses nowhere near) contributed. I’ve reconstructed what I “saw” as collage.
Tomorrow I plan a repeat nap, same space. Who knows what I’ll see?
September 26, 2019. Periodically, I get lonesome for times, places past. One such evening, I dug out this poem about just such evenings … and went to work on a collage to capture the primary elements of mini-trampoline, best-ever rocker, parquet floor. I added a dream catcher to symbolize the only way I can go back. Haverhill is an extension of West Palm Beach, Florida – where my first husband and I built the house (1970-1973) – where my kids came to be (1974 and 1977) – where the kids and I continued to live after Dad departed in 1979, up until I brought the kids to my origins in Texas (1986). If I could’ve figured a way to bring that house along to Texas, I would be rocking in it still!
September 10, 2019. This is Mary Oliver’s 84th birthday. This is also a day of numerous stirring poems in my morning read … including cats with whom I have a life-long close affinity (thank you, Cate) and Karma (thank you, LuAnne). Synchronicity arrived to tie it all together nicely: my cat Brie delivering an opportunity to practice good karma on behalf of a not-yet-adult green anole. (I call those lizzies.)
Cate’s poem: https://zenofhen.wordpress.com/2019/09/10/unbecoming-2/
LuAnne’s poem: https://intentionalinterplay.wordpress.com/2019/09/10/karma-dharma/
No camera in hand when I went to investigate Brie’s yowls. And when I returned with camera, my subject was hiding deep, deep in the succulents. Hence, this image is a collage of today’s planter with prior lizzie as stand-in.
August 6, 2019. After a long trip comes an indefinite period of prowling through camera images and phrases noted in journals, piecing together highlights of experiences to be savored (likely not repeated). In June we camped several days in the National Forest up above Cloudcroft NM, where we frequent in August for the annual Gathering Of Circles. This year our mountain time had to be earlier, as Gary’s school year shifted earlier. Tonight the Gathering begins; but yesterday teachers were already back at Stony Point High School. Since I cannot be at the Gathering, I am instead immersed in photos and memories of June’s mountain bliss. Wild irises were in bloom – something I’d never seen before, as they finish their cycle well before August. I found this haiku in my journal.
May 14, 2019. Some days distractions interrupt, spinning me off into wonderment. Today has been one of those, thanks to V.J. Knutson’s post of her poem “Bleeding Edges” @ https://vjknutson.org/2019/05/13/bleeding-edges/
The phrase “envelope of hope” just kept tugging at me. Where better to look for such an envelope than amidst blooming poppies? These blooms are from last month, collaged with a metaphoric envelope.
February 19, 2019. Right about now as I’m posting this, the Super Moon is extremely close to full. It’s daylight and raining, so no right-now photos! Last night She was close enough to full to have a pull on my senses, and to fill my camera. There was a high thin cloud cover moving in, producing a haze which seemed to enhance the overall glow. Intoxicating to stand in the chill, neck twisted at various angles, seeking the best shot through bare tree limbs. The image here is a collage of the best moon uncluttered and the best branches-over-moon.
There have been a number of love poems floating around lately, Valentines of one sort or another. I think this is one of those anothers.
February 12, 2019. Now and then a poem emerges in response to something I’ve read. This is one of those – from puzzling over what Robert Okaji might’ve been thinking when he wrote Window Open, Closed. Realities include Robert’s poem, listening to Alan Watts, and the imagery. Our bay tree suffered heavily in 2018’s freeze, and though now only a fraction of its former size, the image reflects its determination to keep flavoring our suppers. The photo collage includes a prior moon and prior clouds.
Read Robert’s poem here: https://robertokaji.com – click HOME and scroll down to Window Open, Closed.
Listen to Alan Watts “Let Go Of Attachment” on http://www.youtube.com.