My friend, Ingrid, of Experiments in Fiction has posted this call for submissions on the climate crisis and/or biodiversity loss.
Birds take flight
leaving their shadows
on blue water
trees reflect, remembering
fields of green and gold.
A shadorma for Colleen’s Tanka Tuesday, using the photo selected by Jane Dougherty.
I read the news—an Alaska man finds a bottle with a fifty-year-old message inside. The Russian sailor’s note conveys friendly greetings. They drift through Cold War seas, through glasnost and perestroika to shores not yet submerged by the rising seawater of melted glaciers. The man shows the message to his sons.
Past meets the future
carried on time’s tumbling waves
ebbing and flowing
lives tide-lifted and lowered
as moon-silvered sea rolls on
This is a Haibun tanka (because sometimes you have to break the rules) for Colleen’s tanka Tuesday photo challenge, using the photo above.
Here is the story that was in the news.
“Just like that tune,
Simple and clear,
I’ve come to hear
Breaking my heart,
Op’ning a door,
Changing the world!
Hear it forevermore!”
Stephen Flaherty and Lynn Ahrens
Was the mockingbird mocking me
as he sang so urgently in the tree?
I awakened from a dream
he seemed haunted,
or was it me?
taunted by a world in change
everything upside down and rearranged
hearing new music in the air
wondering why it’s everywhere–
the sound of marching feet,
syncopated beats, ragged rhythm of the street,
the sound of hate and guns and bombs
oh, merely percussive runs, my darling ones
new music, forevermore
the constant hum of waves, their roar
as islands sink beneath the sea
perhaps the mockingbird sings a ragtime rhythm of nevermore
and the world weeps for what’s now in store–
yet, as I turn from song back to sleep
and wonder what the day will reap–
both dawn and dusk share radiant color and diffused light
but we must determine which we want, and what is right
if the sun will rise or set hereafter
on the sound of birds and bees and laughter
Another much-needed poetry break. I was awakened by a mockingbird last night and listened to it sing. Then I read the news and listened to a bit of Ragtime in the car this morning (gym break!). So, this is what happened.
Ship berthed, door opens,
friends lost, remembered now, here
the odyssey ends
far from the blue planet Earth,
immigrants from a dead world
By Reto Stöckli (land surface, shallow water, clouds) Robert Simmon (enhancements: ocean color, compositing, 3D globes, animation) Data and technical support: MODIS Land Group; MODIS Science Data Support Team; MODIS Atmosphere Group; MODIS Ocean Group Additional data: USGS EROS Data Center (topography); USGS Terrestrial Remote Sensing Flagstaff Field Center (Antarctica); Defense Meteorological Satellite Program (city lights). (http://visibleearth.nasa.gov/view.php?id=57723) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
This tanka is for Colleen Chesbro’s Weekly Tanka Challenge.
The prompt words were friend and door.
User: (WT-shared) 耕太郎 at wts wikivoyage [CC BY-SA 4.0-3.0-2.5-2.0-1.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0-3.0-2.5-2.0-1.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons
Monday Morning Musings:
Henry: “If you look across the desert, the earth takes on the appearance of the sea. You think you’re standing upon a rock that rises from solid ground only to discover that you’re standing on an island in the middle of the ocean. And you don’t know if you’re looking back into the past or into the future. Water covered this earth and water will cover it again and the days that man walked here will prove just a moment in time.”
–Andrew Bovell, When the Rain Stops Falling
The here and now,
from the past
Back and forth,
each moment lost
before it registers.
is already gone.
The play begins with rain falling on the stage,
a fish falls from the sky
and a man picks it up.
It will be his lunch,
lunch with the son he has not seen in many years.
The man had heard rumors that fish still existed
not totally extinct,
fish do not normally drop from the sky
life is full of unusual moments
and strange coincidences.
Patterns are repeated
fractals, the Fibonacci numbers, golden spirals,
tessellations, waves, and ripples,
ripples of time
the shape, the color of an eye
You look just like your grandfather,
your mother, your sister—
fathers leaving sons
And so might words also be repeated,
particular phrases also carry through time?
In the play,
they eat fish soup
in different times and places.
I think of the fish soup
I made for my husband, for me.
Mine, unlike the one in the play,
was made without heads,
but with plenty of vegetables.
More of a stew, actually,
It was a few weeks ago,
do you remember?
It was delicious,
and we ate it for a couple of days,
enjoying each spoonful
till it was gone,
in the past,
Yet there is a photograph,
posted on social media sites–
the moment frozen in time
lasting through eternity.
I have a dream.
my mother is younger
her hair still dark brown,
and she is going to work.
She leaves through a front door,
and my cat,
a cat who is my constant companion now,
in the here and now,
goes out the door, too.
but he does not run away.
I scoop him back into the house,
where I play the piano,
I tell my sister,
or is it one of my daughters,
(the generations mix and blur)
it’s the theme song I remember,
but it is a Bach minuet.
I can’t actually remember when my mother was a young girl.
I wasn’t born.
Does she remember it,
youth, I mean?
I see her in a photograph–
that moment frozen.
That moment then
is here now for me to see.
But as I look, my thoughts move on
to the future,
even as I regard the past.
When we watch a play,
or a movie,
when we read a book,
we are there,
while being here.
Is this a paradox of human existence?
The here and now,
the past, present, future
time and place co-existing in our minds?
And in the play
it is raining,
raining for days,
and sometimes it seems,
it seems as though the rain will never stop falling.
But it does,
and we walk out of the theater
and the clouds are gone.
The sun is shining
as it has through the past
and will continue to do
for some time, I hope.
when I am no longer here.
here and now,
it is shining brightly
illuminating the darkness,
chasing the shadows away.
We saw When the Rain Stops Falling by Andrew Bovell
At the Wilma Theatre in Philadelphia. I enjoyed it very much, an intriguing play with characters from periods of time between 1959 and 2039, in London and Australia, sometimes on the stage at the same time. The all share a connection.
There is relationship between the family saga and the Anthropocene. It’s possible that I said to my husband, “I love plays that come with further reading.” And that he laughed and said, “I know you do.” There is an interview with the playwright on the Wilma Theater’s web site.