This week Frank Tassone’s challenge is to write a poem about the sturgeon moon. The sturgeon is a fish that was once plentiful in North America. These mighty fish have survived on Earth for millions of years but are now critically endangered. How very, very sad. http://wwf.panda.org/knowledge_hub/endangered_species/sturgeon/
These days my wandering is localized. My times of flying off to distant destinations and wandering as a tourist though other people’s lives are over, at least for now. I really don’t like flying – it hurts my ears and damages my equilibrium on all kinds of levels. I’m over long distance driving right now too. I’ve done too much of it and besides, its expensive and burns up fossil fuels at an alarming rate. These days most of my driving is confined to the wider area around my home.
Often I leave the car at home and walk along the treed avenues nearby. This part of town is known as the ‘old town’ though by European standards it’s just a baby. Here in Victoria, Australia it passes for old for some of the houses date back a hundred years or so. The trees are big and shady. Footpaths are mostly grassy tracks. All in all, it’s a good place to wander.
I don’t miss the wider world. It can come to me through my computer or I can find it in the shops around about. Yesterday I went to a large warehouse that stocks unusual items the owner collects in Japan. I bought some old glass sea floats. Back home I hung them on a clump of sea worn twine I found as I wandered along these southern shores.
echoing in my footsteps
I wander home
Prompt by Ammol: Write a poem titled, “Poetry as…,
The spire of the cathedral burns
old energies are cleared
in the flames
the abuse of children
and single pregnant girls
the ancient burnings of the witches
the persecution of mystic Christians
are exposed by the fire
The spire of the Cathedral burns
the people weep and wail
a cultural icon gone.
The old ways crumble
the edifice of power is
The cathedral dome
in the flames
so long enclosed
beneath the overarching dogmas
Open you hearts
she roars in the flames
from ancient chains
let them melt away.
Hear now the cries of Mother Earth
her pain is your pain
your pain is her pain
The cathedral dome
a new space is revealed
a space where healing can occur.
As the sun rose over the rooftops like a searing ball of flame another day of excessive heat was born.
The couple out for an early morning fitness walk stopped in their tracks and viewed the spectacle.
“I feel so impotent,” said the man.
The woman glanced sharply at him wondering if her long term partner and father of her children was about to reveal some emergent sexual problem.
The man, oblivious to how his words had been misconstrued, continued on: “I mean, what can I do? Out there across the country bushfires are burning out of control while record breaking floods swamp the north east. Millions of fish have died in the extreme weather affecting the inland river systems. Across the world beneficial insects and bees are dying.”
The woman shifted uncomfortably. These thoughts had been on her mind too. “And still governments refuse to act on climate change,” she muttered.
“I could volunteer for the emergency services,” the man reflected, “but I doubt I’d be much use. I’m a scrawny artist guy not a macho fire fighter.”
“And I’m a writer and poet,” said the woman.
“Make art then,” said a lilting voice beside them. “Write stories. Sing. Dance. Take photos. Create, create, create.”
The couple looked around in confusion. They had thought they were alone. Both gaped as their eyes fell upon a small ethereal being dancing in the sun beams.
“Oh good, you can see and hear me,” the being sang/spoke. “I’ve been working at making myself visible to you. I have a message for you.”
“A message?” the man queried. His tone hovered between aggression and disbelief. Seeing fairies was not something he was accustomed to.
“Yes, yes. Don’t argue. Just listen. I don’t know how long I can hold this form.” The being appeared to flicker in and out of manifestation in the bright sunlight. “This isn’t my natural state you know.”
“Well who’s the message from,” the man demanded in a practical, no nonsense tone.
“Oh the fairies and all the elementals,” the being said impatiently. “We’re worried. The Earth’s in trouble. We’re trying to contact all the artists, musicians, writers and creatives who are open to new inspiration. It’s time for you all to get busy.”
“I know,” the woman murmured, “but I’ve been feeling so blocked lately. My last book sunk like a stone and I haven’t felt like trying again. I seem to have run out of stories.”
“Put all that aside,” the being advised. Its voice was more kindly now. “There’s no time for all that creative angst any more. After all those creative blocks are really just personal personal obstacles. They are negative by-products of the wounded ego so many of you creatives are afflicted with. Now is the time to heal your wounds and see the bigger picture. Your creative talents are a gift you can use to help heal the world. You can take whatever raw materials you choose to work with – paint, words, musical notation, wood, stone – even food or garden plants – whatever motivates you to create. Take those base materials and transform them into new forms that offer, healing and beauty to you as the creators and to those your work reaches.”
The being dancing in front of the couple blazed in the light like a beacon. “Creativity expressed with intention can make the invisible realms of the imagination visible to others. It can operate as a portal to worlds of expanded consciousness. Shifting hearts and minds in this way allows room for healing.”
The man and woman nodded slowly. The words echoed heart callings they both felt deep down but hardly dared express even to each other.
“The creatives amongst you all are the voice of the time you live in. Creativity is a gift that moves through you. It’s not something you own. It’s greater than you.” The being’s voice rang like a bell in the morning air. “Sure it can bring you undone. It can consume you if you let it. But, if you use the energy in a trans-personal way, it can uplift you and the world around you. It’s time now to heal yourselves and step into your greater role as creative healers.”
As the sun climbed higher in the sky the temperature rose further. The elemental being seemed to dissipate and become part of the white light that beat down upon the dry ground. At the same time the memory of the encounter shifted into the mythic and neither the man nor the woman was entirely what sure what had just occurred.
“Ooh, it’s so hot,” said the woman. “I’ve got to get out the sun. I want to go to my study. I’ve got a feeling those notes I made a while ago might form the basis of new story after all.”
“Yes,” the man mused. “I feel like painting today. I have an urge to express all this.” He flung his arms out wide as if to embrace the world. A faraway expression graced his face. The woman left him to it. She knew him well enough to know some new creative impulse was brewing within him. Talking now would only dilute it. Besides, she had to get home. She had work to do.
not quite sleeping
not quite waking
the ocean roaring
a ringtail possum
outside my window
It’s imbolc I hear
– an old celtic festival midway
between solstice and equinox –
a cross quarter day.
What does that mean
where the Wheel of the Year inverts
that makes it
Imbolc is feminine – yin
Lughnasadh is male – yang
Australia in summer
yang, yang, yang
Everything is bright, hot, light,
Where does that leave us
of celtic descent
and introverted inclinations
living here in Oz?
we seek to go within
yet the sun calls us out
In and out – all at once
Imbolc and Lughnasadh
rolled into one
The masculine and feminine
seeking some way to come together
-to act and to reflect
all at once
A turquoise sea
calm beneath a cobalt sky.
Looking to access the beach
we find the way is barred.
Cliffs have appeared,
– just last summer –
we rambled down a gentle slope.
A new fence has been made
and signs proclaiming hazard.
The winter storms
ate the shore
here, there and everywhere
along this southern coast.
“So many global statements have been made about climate change ~ both learned and popular ~ that I implore myself and you to do something different in our poetry: Make it personal and specific. Amplify an aspect of the world so that others can see it too. Whatever your politics and moral positions are when it comes to climate change ~ let us seedetails, the evidence of your senses, your time and your spirit. Make us hear, see, touch your world.”