March 10, 2018. I spent February studying Zen poetry – reading many of the classics and writing to suggested prompts. Lorraine “Bird” Mejia is a skilled online teacher and manages to pull things from me I did not expect. True with the Zen writing, for sure. But one of the exercises took me a bit off-prompt, smack dab back to the New Mexico mountain where we camp every August – specifically, back to the “snag” (a tree dead but standing, top broken off) where I sit in solitude. I posted about that snag in 2015, and here I repeat that earlier poem followed by my “Zenish” perception. One snag, two takes.
Who knows? There could be more snag poems to emerge …
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 28, 2018. This poem (for my mother, on the anniversary of her death) was triggered by the surprise appearance of her blanket. Our kitten managed to tug this particular blanket out from the bottom of a stack of blankets and quilts … and leave it where I would step on it getting into bed. I don’t believe in coincidence – I lean toward synchronicity, and I went to bed (but not to sleep!) with Mother, the blanket, and numerology swirling. Mother was 28 when I was born, so she lived 28 years without me. She has been gone now for 28 years, so I have lived 28 years without her. Also intriguing, I am now the age she was at death. A lot to contemplate on a cold night. I got up and wrote this poem!
January 11, 2018. It’s been a little over five years since I slipped my left wrist into the silicone band bearing the wisdom Celebrate What’s Right With The World – motto of Dewitt Jones, photographer and philosopher. I’d just spent a week “on Molokai time” recalibrating with Dewitt and others. I wondered how long the band might last. At least five years: the one I am retiring to my altar shows no wear until placed on top of a new one. Then I can see it has thinned, which explains sometimes slipping off.
2012 held a pair of life-changing encounters. A week with Mr. Poetic Medicine, John Fox, in Canyon De Chelly broke me open. Mother Nature delivered a Vision Quest where I’d anticipated just poetry and nature appreciation. I came home wobbly, at best. Within days, notice of a Dewitt Jones workshop on Molokai slid into view, and I signed up on the spot. I was a fan of Dewitt’s philosophy from videos in wisdom classes. With crossed fingers, I began another adventure. Getting to Molokai felt a lot like another Vision Quest, but the Island way and the people (once there!) were what I needed. I will never forget returning, standing outside the Austin airport waiting to be picked up, unable to contain my smiles, eager to say THANK YOU! to the one picking me up (the one who put up with me after Canyon de Chelly!)
December 21, 2017. As this year moves closer to closure, usual seasonal mood swings squeeze into limited interior space crowded with national tensions, frustrations way beyond individual control and impossible to expel. Thank you, Nature. Your cycles remind “this, too, will pass”. Optimistic fingers tightly crossed, I look toward 2018.
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.
November 29, 2017. I love to wander the aisles of hardware stores, or Home Depot. Usually I have a problem on my mind, looking for some fix. But I can be sidetracked by a gizmo with no apparent use. Like the day I found the goddess, thinking she would never set posts!
The new power line to the tiny house my daughter is building needed to be elevated, visible above grasses soon to regrow from recent mow. Though others had previously borrowed the goddess for such, this was my first post thrusting. Impressive.
(Yet I continue to revere her for hue and curve aesthetics.)