It’s that wonderful time of year again, to honor and celebrate all things poetic- Poetry and Poets for April’s National Poetry Month!
But before I post my first poems, I wanted to segue from a post last year where I introduced the topic of visual Poetry Journaling. I mentioned starting a Pinterest board of visual poetry to get inspired, and indeed, this all started a new journey begun last April to incorporate more visuals on my otherwise white pages. The biggest push into this wonderful world has been the many artists I discovered on IG who inspired quick, 15 minute journal pages, abstract moods, collage, found poems, asemic writing, mindful mending, and messy mixed media techniques. You can follow my arty discoveries here on IG @OrbitingOracle.
Blending arts and media in this way makes a lot of sense for any artist, and why not? For me, my poems are never separate from musical Muses, which are never separate from lyrics, which are never separate from the constant visuals- all of which is fed by emotion, imagination, spark, and color. To explore this gorgeous cross fertilization, I began a journey into the art world via classes, art challenges, and personal projects for the first time as I set about to jazz up my journals.
I also mostly make my own journals now, made of different papers (watercolor, scrap, sketch, junk, and vintage). While I’m not there yet- a poetry journal style that leaves ample space for words and forms with a dance between image, texture, color, and written sentiment- the journey and discoveries have been fascinating; I feel like a poet-musician wandering about one mixed media artist’s studio after another as I try varied things- and it’s been a blast! But my overall aim is to bring it all home; spacious pages that hold my poems ensconced in visuals when the mood strikes.
So ‘what if…we told ourselves that nothing else mattered but our art in April?’ Here is my Day 1 poem:
For National Poetry Month this year, I’m excited to try different art and collage visuals with my poems, with cues coming from my usual favorite poetic forms (free verse, short haiku, waka, tanka…) and others. As usual, inspirations will be more spontaneous than cued; overheard conversations, other poets’ work, my Muses, and scattered prompts.
And because I always make it a point to buy more poetry in April from local bookstores and small publishers, (YES!- Support Poets: read/buy more Poetry!) I will be also be showing you favorite poet authors and recent book purchases. Please leave a comment below to let me know if you are also writing and posting poetry for the next 29 days, or just say Hi!!
Awakening is our first offering praise, an open eye taking in first light, space, color ~ A stretch, body’s first gift of movement, vibration, cells alighting, muscles expand, remembering~ Gratitude. Warm contentment, Freedom before thought weightless presence, first breath, Joy ~ our ultimate prayer.
I saw you tonight, just after sunset, plucking small scales from
sand, the Pacific rolled back as far as vast, timeless- your slate cleaned by
expanse, even the crabs withdrew in yearning, your tears glistened grey
I saw you tonight, just after sunset, plucking small scales from sand, the Pacific rolled back as far as vast, timeless- your slate cleaned by expanse, even the crabs withdrew in yearning, your tears glistened grey breaching a swell, a strait, the dunes of your cheeks, hope and fog swirling
cumulus above hurt. These are the vistas you will forget by morning, as you place each scale like a sequin on the bare skin of your shoulders, filling in blanks, erasing vulnerable, to become or shed, a counterbalance mended in
dreamtime, where only the fish know, pelagic ones drinking down your tears each night, swimming into bays, spits, coves, to shed more scales to help you cover, mend, soothe that pale membrane, the cool damp of your exposed back, where raven’s wings have stopped just shy of whole, full, metamorphosis fettered, that stasis where truth shivers itself warm.
when I came to see you,
time was the shirt on your back
unraveling as we walked…
This visit, when I came to see you, time was the shirt on your back unraveling as we walked. You led the way, down flower fan path, your hand so firm on mine, it pressed each moment from blood into bone and back- new territory, before desert, my skin yielded in tiny coils, touched chert in Rock-that-tells-stories, its crevices filled with moss and shell, wet waving tentacles.
So, the last photo I posted apparently wasn’t such a mystery; Laura guessed it within seconds of posting; Pacific Abalone, the green spp. Although she is a CA girl, with perhaps an unfair familiarity ;), she wins. And since she already has all 4 of my CDs, I gave her another gift, besides music. The last post, and this photo- hints of what has been keeping me busy lately, beyond musica.
And here is another~
The great Southwest. NV with sagebrush in the foreground and as far as the eye can see; Desert Sage. This was also a common plant and scent of much of my Arizona childhood. It’s hard to explain, but I came home from the last tour across the Southwest, from California, Arizona, New Mexico, to Colorado– a little heartsick. I don’t know why, but it feels strangely, as if… I left my heart behind on the last tour, somewhere between Durango, CO and Joshua Tree, CA. So I will try to explain in the next few posts, to come close in poems, starting tomorrow; shed light. All in time for April’s National Poetry Month; a poem a day, every day for 30 days. + MicroPoems on Twitter.
I’ll still be posting musings, New Inspirations, and Artist Crushes, but poems and poetic prompts will be mixed in. It’s always great to connect with the Poetry community this time of year. This always motivates me to post more. If you are posting poems in April, leave a comment on any post this month, with a link back to your site so we can all visit/comment. It feels good to feel poets hard at work writing daily all across the globe! Great also to stop by each others sites and say ‘Hey keep on going!’ 😉
You called it.
Leaving a high bog to skirt
a canyon, sea urchin spines
tracing our path down a wall, and
over, oyster ridge to the Pleocenes…
Epoch walk you called it.
Leaving a high bog to skirt a canyon, sea urchin spines tracing our path down a wall, and over, oyster ridge to the Paleocenes.
Winded, we climb upriver gather discs and arcs past Miocene mists, to the boulderfield gateway of glass cuttlefish, rays giant ammonites.
Finally, sun fixed high, where all seas retreat this treasured lagoon at our feet, a crusted floor
of barnacles, bone shards, trilobite stepping-stones, scored iridescent with nacre.
Abundance. You look at the horizon to tell time-
Here, we weren’t yet predators, you and I
I eye you carefully. Smart enough to flee. Fast. Soft. Bony enough to fit, trap snugly in my shark tooth grasp.
This poem is inspired by Corey and her inspiring collection of found objects from collecting excursions. In her Etsy shop TreasureHider, you can find fossilized coral, shark teeth, oyster shells, belemnite, ray dental plates, and small mammal bones- all found on her walks around the Chesapeake. Holding them, and imaging where and when they were found, takes me on a fantasy walk through epochs, where predator/prey relationships shift like sand.