Definition

One must make a distinction however: when dragged into prominence by half poets, the result is not poetry, nor till the autocrats among us can be “literalists of the imagination”—above insolence and triviality and can present for inspection, imaginary gardens with real toads in them, shall we have it.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Falcon and the Woodpecker Converse

A piece of musicality for your enjoyment, 

if it pleases you...






When we two toads came into tandem, our attempt to get to know each other grew into a 20-page conversation on Google Docs which included personal histories, astrology, and the Native American Medicine Wheel. 
   

We used each of our earth influences: Awakening Time for Hannah and The Long Days Time for Susan. We employed our animal and birth totems: Falcon for Hannah and Woodpecker for Susan. And we added our mineral totems as well: Opal for Hannah and Rose Quartz for Susan.
   
Next, Susan used Hannah’s text and Hannah used Susan’s text to create separate erasure poems.  Finally, we wove the erasure poems together to create the following poem, “Words Between Birds.”


Susan says: Hannah!  What a pleasure to have you as my pen pal over the last month.   I learned a lot from you, and Hey!  We  built our poem with no panic or writer’s block.   You are one amazing person, and--though we wrote as birds--I am happy to be a toad in the same garden as you.  

Hannah says: Ditto, Susan!! It has been such a joy to write with you. The space that we created became a shared personal journal and the experience and you have been very inspiring to me. It was such a treat and honor to get the opportunity to glimpse life from your perspective and to share a bird's eye view of life in my world as well!

Birds of a feather and toads of the same cool pool....it has been such a pleasure!!

Without further ado we present to you, 

our friendly toads, the poem...



(via Flicker By donjd2 under creative commons)



Words Between Birds

It’s just a thinking day for me,
a day to take apart the furrows from brows
create surrealistic pillows,
hearts as we look out windows.
It rained all night…
I was a child and had chickens out back.
I was a child…
refusing to come down
from the weeping willow tree near the cornfield.
It rained all night.


So much potential in this wide-open white space
looking at snow fall--the really tiny-orby-kind
that floats around before falling -- the full moon . . .
shines through falcon eyes, opal, awakening time.
That very first moment when our eyes met the thinness
of the veil-- between heaven and earth in that moment…

I wished to access true aboriginal Astronomy,
I wished to access The Long Days Time.
When you waken having not slept,
when you awaken containing the moon,
are you connected to the tides?  
Do you feel phases of the sun?
Do you feel the true Astronomy
of long ago days?

The boys are buzzing around, the two year old
shaking a box of blocks on the couch.  Sometimes
overwhelmed with love and other times of the month
swamped with disconnect...so much love and hate...
I am fire: words buoy up to speckle the diamond-bright
surface just where they’re meant to be.

Large Starlings sit on the feeder
and discuss world’s end:
impossibly transformed-
seeds not up to sprouting-
not up to inventing some inner voice.
What if you need a spark?
What if you’re cold and you need a fire?
What if God just shows up?

What does it feel like not to have been a parent?
Who hasn’t parented in some way?  lots of different
ways?  in current affairs and history? by teaching
The Word in sign language, reading lips?  When
will this day let down her gray-guard...heavy
and blanketed breath of mist?

Windy and cold today…
It would feel noisy,
(bare arms on soft sweater),
to me it feels quiet
like a tree house in a deep back yard.
Windy and cold today
but I am water woman
basking in lingering family warmth.

Barren-dark twiggy fingers grope for a clearing,
claw for one last glimpse of clear sky-hungry
for even just a shred of sunshine’s warmth.
Childlessness...makes the heart ache …
Falcon and Woodpecker plucking and placing
each other’s words...nesting them together.

        I am woodpecker seeking rose-quartz
        waiting for a baby to be born.
In their arms they hold their labor,
I see tears and I think I understand  
how it feels to look at a person you made.
How golden her eyes are…
a sweet bouquet of flowers
in a weedy day;
intensely beautiful.
Just a thinking day for me...




23 comments:

Mary said...

I really enjoyed reading about your complex creative process for this poem, Hannah and Susan. Love the beginning and end like "It's just a thinking day for me" and all the thoughts shared in between!

Kim Nelson said...

Who knew that a process so lengthy and complicated could create a poem so clear and precise. Lovely work, ladies. Collaboration suits you.

Marian said...

wow. the waxing on childlessness rather got to me, as well as boy/buoy and "What if God just shows up?"
fly, women! fly!

Fireblossom said...

flap flap flap flap flap flap flyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy

Grandmother said...

This collaborative poem is lovely. God did show up and spark this amazing creation. Thank you.

Sherry Blue Sky said...

Your entire process is fascinating and so original. Love the idea of the conversation, segue-ing into found poems and then this poem evolving from that.

The entire thing is amazing, the resulting poem spectacular. This inspires one with the possibilities of collaboration. I love the musings,the birds, the stones, the questions.........fantastic work!!!!!

Herotomost said...

Alot of intense collaboration going on at all levels apparently...I really liked how you thaought this thing through while finding out a bit about each other. It ended in a lovely write that took to task relationship to the child and the self and the universe in one magnificent package. I love the Just thinking day line sandwiching the whole peice, because this felt just like that, thoughts that pass in and through and make a soft mark in the psyche. Great work you toads...remakable.

Helen said...

Hopping around in the Garden .. reading collaborations like this .. reinforces why I return time after time after time. This felt seamless to me, incredibly beautiful. So much effort and thought went into its creation ...

OK, now you are going to get my WOW!

(I have learned my birth totem is brown bear, gem is amethyst, color is purple, moon is harvest ~~ poetic inspiration)

Susie Clevenger said...

What a wonderful piece. It stirs my heart with tears and joy. The work that was done even before the poem was written is amazing. There are so many phrases I love. I started to copy them, but realized it would be the entire poem. Thank you so much for sharing it with us!

Kerry O'Connor said...

What I love the most about collaborations is the great unexpected revelation each one brings to me, and other readers. The second best thing about them is the way they bring two people into a closer union, an understanding across the miles and an accord which may have far reaching effects.

I am totally blown away by this, our newest collaboration. The sense of conversation between two bird women, the gentle questions, the respect for old lore and natural things... It fills me up, ladies, and I thank you for it.

Kay L. Davies said...

Definitely in tandem, you two. A work of art born of two artists. Beautiful!
K

hedgewitch said...

Some intense imagery, stream of consciousness, and very effective repetition in first and last stanzas especially. Always a good day for bird song, rainy, windy or cold.

Isadora Gruye said...

Hannah and Susan: you toiled much to bring this effort to us today, and I thank you both for the insight into the process and for the lovely words each of you crafted in tandem. Viva la

Audrey Howitt aka Divalounger said...

I am fascinated by the process involved here and loved the piece--thank you!

Heaven said...

Thank you for sharing the fruits of your labor and care ~ I love the process of your collaboration specially the questions like What if you need a spark or if God just shows up ~ Great weaving of voices ladies ~ Much enjoyed ~

Ella said...

Oh, you both soared in this breath taking journey! I am in caw, I mean awe of your voices blurring into one...
Wonderful and so true we all are teachers n' parents in our own ways~

Love it! YOU both amaze me :D

Hannah said...

Wow...you guys...what a joy you all are to share with. Each one of you have such thoughtful and generous things to say...I appreciate you all SO much!! Thank you greatly!! Warm-humbled-smiles... ♥

Susan said...

I am grinning. This was a totally new way to work, and I both loved the process and was scared silly to actually finish it and show it. Finally we read it to each other over the phone and let it go. Now I wonder to have been afraid! I bow to your thoughtful comments and generosity. You are partners to the creative process. Thank you. Hey Hannah! Hugs.

Nimue said...

This is amazing !!
Reminds me of how japanese poets wrote tanka poetry for days .. those 40 + verses long poems :D

Lovely work both of you :)

manicddaily said...

So many beautiful lines and images here, and a tender and poignant flow. A wonderful mix of the quotidian and deep questions. K.

kkkkaty said...

Two obviously talented people collaborating like this, creating something so new and different enhances and multiplies what they started with..like a marriage or..like bringing new life into the world...very lovely.

Hannah said...

Yes!!! ((hugs)), Susan!! Reading it aloud together I will never forget! How cool to hear each other's "bird-chirps!!"

Nimue...so neat the tanka...I'm going to need to look this up...intriguing!

Again, thank you SO much poets!! I agree with Susan...you all have a part in this...in a unique way we all carry each other in our hearts. ♥

Kay L. Davies said...

Forgot to mention how lovely the music is!
K