Today’s prompt is to write an ekphrastic poem, to take a piece of art, and to write a poem about it. All month, I have been writing a poem, and then creating a piece of AI art to go with it. As I began to create a piece of AI art to use for this prompt, the poem approached. Before I managed to create a piece of art, the poem had found its way to my notes, and so I created the art to go with the poem that went with a piece of artwork that I had imagined. And so it goes: Which comes first?
Which came first:
the image or the word,
the sound or the sense,
the egg or the bird?
Did it happen with BANG or “Begin,”
with the seed or the dream,
with poem or picture,
with to say, or to seem?
A project, a poem, a world comes to be
in the nodes where the lines of word and image cross,
the woven fibers of vision and voice interlocking,
and in the silence and darkness between,
meaning–like water– trickles into the spaces,
into the interstices, of the living, breathing tapestry.
word takes shape and image speaks,
and something new comes into being.
1. Every day right now: November Roses!
2. People telling their stories
3. The buck who whuffed at me in the grove
4. Cardinal singing in the cherry tree
5. Words and images
May we walk in Beauty!
“Choosing to be honest is the first step in the process of love. There is no practitioner of love who deceives. Once the choice has been made to be honest, then the next step on love’s path is communication.”
― bell hooks, All About Love: New Visions
“Some believe it is only great power that can hold evil in check, but that is not what I have found. It is the small everyday deeds of ordinary folk that keep the darkness at bay. Small acts of kindness and love. Why Bilbo Baggins? Perhaps because I am afraid, and he gives me courage.” ―Gandalf
Let the rain come and wash away
the ancient grudges, the bitter hatreds
held and nurtured over generations.
Let the rain wash away the memory
of the hurt, the neglect.
Then let the sun come out and
fill the sky with rainbows.
Let the warmth of the sun heal us
wherever we are broken.
Let it burn away the fog so that
we can see each other clearly.
So that we can see beyond labels,
beyond accents, gender or skin color.
Let the warmth and brightness
of the sun melt our selfishness.
So that we can share the joys and
feel the sorrows of our neighbors.
And let the light of the sun
be so strong that we will see all
people as our neighbors.
Let the earth, nourished by rain,
bring forth flowers
to surround us with beauty.
And let the mountains teach our hearts
to reach upward to heaven.
―Rabbi Harold Kushner
I place in the hands of Time these stones:
the story of this day,
the people I have been near to,
the songs the Fates have whispered in my ears,
the colors that haunt me.
See how they turn to mist,
how they glow for a moment–
red, then golden, then blue–
then dissipate like ash blown by a wind
before I can register
that they have lost their substance.
Where does memory go
when it flows out with the tide,
when it slips down the drain,
when it is blown out with the morning fog?
I am still the child in the forest,
walking blind through the swirling mists,
under the shadows of the great trees.
With each forward step on the trail,
a little bird flutters from the pathway behind,
a bread crumb in its beak.
“When I stopped trying to change you, you changed me.” ―Rachel Macy Stafford
2 thoughts on “Ekphrastic Poem”
Oh Beth…this may be the poem I will read again and again. Its so evocative of the great mystery we are an unknowable part of…
And a practical question…how do manage social media, poem making, wisdom and inspiration through your daily posts and the rest of your life. Honestly…I am retired, busy with actions, with community, with friends and family…but I still find it so difficult to make space for my writing. I am in a memoir group that keeps me engaged, but lately, I know I must find the time. So…how do you do it. I need some advice. Thanks…Reni
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Thanks, Reni! I do find that I have to remain really focused during these months of poem-a-day, that in the moments between things, I need to bring my brain back to the prompt of the day.
I’ve realized that in the past few months, I’ve needed to find ways to express what is happening on my inner journey, so I usually twist the prompts to reflect what I’m already processing in my meditation and prayer time.
Sometimes I get more done wheni have too much to do? But I try to integrate those various things, do the social/emotional teaching/learning I do at school interweaves with the rosary prayers I say in the morning, and then the poems each day become part of that.
With this month in particular, I feel like a dam is bursting, like the trauma of that awful job loss and my parents’ cancers has needed to come out in some way other than brooding and worrying and rehashing, so the poems have been coming a little more easily, I think, because the feelings have been so intense.
And short poem-writing on a daily deadline doesn’t take the kind of focused brain-work that grading or lesson-planning does, so I try to get the work stuff done when my brain is crisp, and do the poeming when my brain is in a dreamier state. It’s one way of claiming time inside my own brain for myself.
Also, we’re not super-tidy housekeepers. Jon does most of our shopping and cooking. The kids do their own thing and don’t want much attention (sigh).
I don’t know if that helps. I daydream about living a writer’s life. My dream is to write novels, but I don’t have the time to even craft stories right now. Poems are portable.