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!!
Inspiration: The salamanders we used to find, when digging in the garden. I refuse to think they’ve gone extinct for lack of water, preferring their new place of residence to be a secret garden deep below us, near the water table. Here is one of my Sage gardens filled with young CA Native sages, succulents, flowers. 😉
you scan the room eyes travel wide
and land long
as I pick up my badge And later
after lunch again your eyes lock mine…
you scan the hall eyes travel wide and land long as I pick up my badge beside 300 others And later
phase II after lunch this time your eyes lock mine as you announce full volume Ladies and gentlemen no gum in the courtroom please watching as I slowly
And later when we all get lost taking sides piecing together what ifs with how whys I hear my name gather my things to
the bench turn to find you suddenly smiling taking the badge from my hand here let me help as someone says
copyright: Tara Linda
Prompt: Lunch Poems~Frank O’Hara
Today, I begin, again, my poem-a-week challenge PoemX:52. I did it last year, but I’ve no idea how many I’ve written, posted, or not posted this year before today. So I’ll start with as many weeks are there are left (17) of the year of 52 weeks. If my math is right. Just one poem a week; how hard can that be? And lots of tiny ones on Twitter in between. Join me!! Post a link to one of your own poems here, in a comment, and on every post with a poem in it so we can encourage each other. And to my 110 followers~~ thank you! 😉
If there is one thing that Maya Angelou’s poetry says to me, it is ‘Be brave. Summon your courage and keep it close. Always.’ Her words and poems paint worlds so so real, so honest- it hurts. Like the movement of eras in the piece above, I often feel emotions on so many levels when I read her work. But her courage always has the last word- on the page, in my heart, and with a voice that says ‘child, if it can’t be real, don’t bother.” Thank you Ms. Maya Angelou, for all the fire, courage, and bravery in your poetry and life’s work. We will miss you.
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.
she says IN all these sparks
I scatter your way …
Here we are, 13 days into National Poetry Month, and I’ve posted far less poetry than usual. I’m writing lots; incubating, exploring characters, dreams, forms, rhythms- but not feeling like anything is finished enough to post. What’s so different this time?
she says IN all these sparks
I scatter your way
just stop thinking, start
drinking it all down a little
deeper, this juice, this tincture, salve
for the soul. You want the final fixer,
Elixir, here I am-
Actually, writing is feeling really good now- and I’m thrilled April is here, I’m making more time for poetry. Lots of inspiration, joy when I write, hunger for it all… but I have too many balls in the air to court my Muses properly. (Anyone else feel like this?) Feels like I need to submerge with the Muses for awhile, a day (at least an hour! 😉 and not just quickie exercises or posts.
But one good thing- I’m writing song lyrics all over the place. No problem there. Our new project- Fistful of Stars, has about 12 new songs, and we wrote another 2 last week. I love it when I get to write the lyrics to fit the emotional, energetic, kinetic feel of a song. Mine or anyone else’s- pure joy.
Funny, what I posted about this time 2 years ago is spot on for me now as well: A feeling that Muses are impatient with m–, all while I book gigs, plan a Summer Europe tour, cater to the Lyric Muses, plant my garden, and try to finish taxes… Ha!
Nothing kills Muses like taxes.
But there were so many great things about this week…. the Europe tour is coming together nicely; we’re working on videos. My garden is growing; and the hunter moon is lighting the skies.
Time for a million & none for me- gives zero to the bossa waiting patiently. We could sip wine & light a fuse taxes & death are no excuse.”