Friday, February 14, 2014

Broken Glass


Broken Glass


In the stained glass woods
colors fly, cricketsong falls
into the well that has no bottom. 
Life is light poured small
till form forks heavy-footed.

Wind-flown through the ripening
acid of air, bees of bright gold
halt and falter.
Things of the black wing
know without being told

to gather.
Birds of harlequin feather,
fins of the blue wash
hit the cliff's edge together.
Stained glass breaks

in the sudden
shatter-clashing of bones.
What can't live without plunder
eats the world and itself,
discussing the corpse asunder.

This wind murders rice.
The weak will die twice
in the knowing wealth wastes;
bees will make honey
or husks from what they taste.


~February 2014




posted for    real toads
Interpretations with Margaret: The Art of Toril Fisher
The artist's eye of Margaret Bednar focuses us on the graceful artwork of Toril Fisher, of  Second Cloud on the Left Farm., who is "..currently working on a series of paintings rehabilitating old beehive lids she found in the woods. Her hope is that by placing images of our relationship to nature on the homes which housed these vital and beautiful creatures, she might begin a conversation...[on]... the beauty and interconnectedness of all living creatures..." For more information on this artist and the challenge, see the Real Toads link above.



Process Notes: This poem covers several themes. I have written about Colony Collapse Disorder before, but only recently heard about the ongoing  acidification of our oceans  due to CO2, which among other factors, including accelerating climate change, may possibly threaten a  sixth mass extinction of species. You can read about all these frightening concepts in detail at the links.





Artwork: Kaleidoscope Creek, copyright Toril Fisher
Used with permission.

25 comments:

  1. "Life is light poured small
    till form forks heavy-footed." ~ I like this reminder to lighten our foot print.

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    1. This is also my favorite couplet. Really, it's a tour de force - I wish I had written it :). You paint directly, without being maudlin, using tropes with power and grace, to illume the awful condition we upright walkers have inflicted on the rest of the planet's inhabitants ~

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  2. Joy - I knew (just knew) Toril's artwork would inspire you. You two have so much in common - and challenge my "set" mind time and again :)

    This is truly a poem of beauty - and like stained glass - can be enjoyed time and again. I have printed this out. I'm considering buying this painting. ;)

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    1. I would buy it in a heartbeat if I had the spare cash--it's striking, and for a good cause, too. Thanks so much for the challenge, Margaret.I always love the artists you feature, but this time especially.

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  3. Your poem touches on the horror that awaits, the disintegration of our own habitats, as we continue to dismantle the world around us, one pane of coloured glass at a time.
    Brilliant poem, Hedge, heart-breaking as such a subject can only be.

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    1. Thank you, Kerry--sometimes I feel that it's good to be old, and know I won't see all the bricks come tumbling down--other times I wish I could stick around and watch us solve these problems before it's too late--whichever, it's not a conclusion I'll ever be able to know. I wish the young good luck.

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  4. Those last two stanza's hit hard. Love how you played on the artwork with this creation. Just bought Gemini/Scorpio/Capricorn . . . looking forward to digging into it this weekend.

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  5. Hedge~
    I love the fourth stanza... the shatter-clashing, thunder and discussing the corpse asunder dance off the page. Excellent write.

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  6. I look at that picture and see, just right of center, a slightly drunken white elephant wearing an Uncle Sam hat. You look at it and see this unraveling of the interconnected living world, and the horror of extinction and disruption. Those who see the world as a place to be conquered and turned to their advantage will seemingly always have more power than those who see themselves as a part of, or a guest of sorts, in that world. At the heart of all this is a dire lack of imagination--the imagination necessary to understand that when other beings die, the proverbial bell tolls for us as well.

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    1. Now every time I look at the picture, I see an elephant. You and Karin have got me with pachyderms on the brain. ;_) Thanks Shay--you absolutely nail what I was going for here.

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  7. Terrifying...the topics that you bring to light. Utterly, saddening.

    Your piece is balanced on such a fine point of beauty and demise each portion singed with the truth within. Your touch in bringing awareness in a creative way is astounding.

    Superb work, Hedge.

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  8. the beauty of the interconnection of all creatures...if only we held that conversation a bit more you know...i like the opening thought of the stain glass woods....and then it all shatters...our acid air and what we have done wears at such beauty, leaving behind what? haunting last couple lines there as well....

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  9. What is very striking to me here is how the stained glass feels so stained here -- the glass not half full, or perhaps way overflowing. You use the enjambement so well, between the stanza and the halt and falter line was so strong--the whole poem strong. The discussing the corpse asunder also got to me--we will keep talking about it all as it collapses about us. Just terrible.

    I understand the big news this winter is really the warm temperatures--up in the arctic, which has led to a disintegration of the jet stream, and the polar vortex down here. Just crazy. k.

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    1. The Sixth Extinction is on my shortlist to read--I find it terrifying how we have crowded everything else on this planet into smaller and smaller spaces, all in the service of money. This poem had extensive rewriting and cutting--it started as just thirty words, grew to almost a hundred, and then had to be massively pruned. Thanks for picking up on so much of what is under the hood, as always, K.

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  10. love the last couple of lines especially

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  11. There's the terrible beauty of the nightmare in every plate of colored glass assembled here, a reverence for nature abstracted to the stained glass window (which presents us not with the world but what we'd like or need to see of it), an artefact shattered by the realities of what it still tries to portray. So many careful joists and tenons in this poem -- well crafted, friend -- portraying a impossible relation and the damage we're due for. The stained glass window become the kaleidoscope of catastrophe--that "shatter-clashing of bones." How should anyone presume to carry on the work (indulgence?) of writing poems with everything breaking and how? What's a poem without bees? I wait to read the further news here.

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    1. One hopes I think, to salvage some sort of harmony with the living world, to thumb one off in defiance of the killers--every flower i grow, or poem I laboriously put together I try to give to the service of something else that has nothing to do with the Almighty Dolla. I don;t know if it is indulgence, or just a desperate attempt to cling to sanity. ;_) Thanks, Brendan, for your thoughtful comment, as always.

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  12. This is exquisite imagery turned inside to a statement of truth and a stark warning. I find colony collapse absolutely terrifying. Our dying will start small.

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  13. This is absolutely wonderful. I chose the same picture, but with a completely different take on the poem. A friend in Scotland commented that the painting looked like stained glass.
    I hope we are able to salvage harmony with the living world, but there are so few poets, and so many right-wing politicians who don't see the need.
    Sigh.
    Luv, K

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  14. Lovely poem - the lines that resonate the most with me: "Birds of a harlequin feather" and "What can't live without plunder eats the world and itself." I have a feeling these will stick with me all day. Cheers!

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  15. Stellar work specially the last stanza ~ Nouns are very forceful like, shatter, murders, gather ~

    A gem to read Joy ~

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  16. Exquisite writing, Joy Ann. Without the bees there is no honey, and there is no life. Thanks for thinking of me. I am not doing well here.

    Pamela

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  17. Can't add much here to what's been said. Incredibly vivid imagery and tight use of language as always.

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  18. I am like a butterfly reading this. (risking sounding completely insane) As a transient insect, I flex between the attachment to knowing something very important, and the detachment gained from the not-knowing. It is the way you use color with sound, and also the way wind carries this composition that makes it so beguiling for me. love your work, Hedge. Your last two lines clarify like only a storm can.

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'Poetry is an echo asking a shadow to dance' ~Carl Sandburg