Silk

A recent Daily Create was called “Silk Weaving,” and it said, “Ever had the urge to weave some silk? You’re in luck. Design your own weave here.” The link (go ahead, try it!) takes you to an interactive online app that allows you, the user, to move your mouse against a dark background to create brightly colored filaments of silk.

firetree

This is the one I created, which I called, “I Sing the Body Electric” after Walt Whitman’s famous line.

Somehow the image and the action of the falling silk strands entered the back door of my imagination, tossing lines of poetry at me as I drove home from work last night.

journalSilk

This morning, I started working out what at first I imagined as a sonnet, and it still has some of that loose structure and rhyme and variable pentameter, but I added a couple more couplets at Peter’s suggestion.

 

Silk

Tonight, fireworks explode

against the dark sky raining fiery

strands of silk zenith to horizon,

then Dark Spider darts across the road

 

to gather up those threads of memory

now in her possession.

 

It is She who shuttles back and forth

and weaves the worlds together;

only now I dare to cross

her fragile swaying web of silk and feathers.

 

I climb shining veins of the living tree

and lift my arms, shaking like a shaman

in a trance, my faint shout of, “Me!”

heard only by my father, spirit, always human.

 

Beloved dead flame like shooting stars

in solar wind that ceaseless pours

these brilliant silks streaming by;

my wild branches catch them as they fly.

You can listen to me reading “Silk” by clicking on the bright orange arrow below:

:
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The Other World

RedBushes

There’s something about the structured mental work of teaching that allows for a quiet daily river of creativity, but it is only after I’ve been “on vacation” for a couple weeks that I begin to feel

the wild bird of imagination beginning to flap its wings a little harder, seeking lift off.

wildbirdofimagination

At a certain point, I feel myself heading for the full flow of that river of air, and everything I do or see or write becomes an opportunity to create. Some soul wind comes up under my wings, and I feel like I’m going to get somewhere this time.

Chance favors the prepared photographer, and this was a very magical journey to another world.

Hence, this little two mile walk out around the ponds and back turned out to be at exactly the hour of the setting sun, which has moved its scheduled setting back a little since Solstice to coincide with my daily journey out over the Willamette River and back.

Chance favors the prepared photographer, and this was a very magical journey to another world of fire and water.

Have you explored the Other World in your neighborhood? Who lives there? What are its secrets? Tell me if you know!

And oh. School starts again on Monday.

Music is Tchaikovsky’s Violin Concerto (he only wrote one) played by Joshua Bell.

Year’s End

Year’s End, Sweet Creek

Go up the Sweet Creek Trail on a winter
afternoon. Soon the canyon closes in,
and the trail becomes a catwalk bolted
to the cliff.  
Hanging over the rail,
you can lose yourself in the white roar of falling water–
throwing everything but your body into the rush and run of the river,
turn until dizzy as a twig in a green punch bowl.
Shafts of sunlight get spattered
out by the rain.

Put your pack down.

Your soul pulls toward the water.

Perhaps the dipper birds have hidden it under
the white wing of the stream that veils their home.
You climb higher, watching steelhead leap the falls–
you see them once and will forever search
that particular cascade, forever longing to be like them
diving deep into the green plunge pools.
The year ends on so many sad stories
and yet lost between the canyon walls,
purified by the sound of many waters,
suddenly you understand how it is that

anything could happen to you.

–with inspiration from William Stafford’s poem,
“How to Regain Your Soul” from
The Darkness Around Us Is Deep collection.

The Wave

Wave.jpeg

 

The Wave: A Poem by Peter Jensen

I was at a family gathering at the Oregon Coast over the weekend. Peter and I were reading and writing quietly when he suddenly said, “May I read you a poem?”

I said, “Just a second!” and turned on the closest piece of technology that would voice record, which happened to be the microphone feature of iMovie.

“Okay, I’m listening!”

I just knew it was going to be a great poem, and it was.

I added some media from our adventures that day to honor his thoughts.

The Dreaming

On Mother’s Day, eight of us went hot air ballooning at dawn up the Willamette River.

image

 

Then on Tuesday, I hiked with a friend and a guide up to Cascadia Cave, a 6000 year old rock art and native ceremony site.

image

 

This digital poetry story is the result:

 

Three Spirits

Screen Shot 2014-05-05 at 11.28.01 AM

I am a great admirer of the poetry of Portland poet Don Hynes. He and I both love the great Pacific Northwest, its coast and forests. In this digital story, Don narrates three poems that make up a wonderful trilogy. You can find out more about him and his poetry, including books for sale, at donhynes.com.

To Love What is Close

I received a new poem in my e-mail in-box this morning that I would like to share with you:
 

In the Olympic old growth

 

 

 

 

To Love What is Close

By Don Hynes

On March 19, 2014

I found this place
before the winter snows,
green and tender
with the wet smell of life,
the ground soft and open,
speaking in the timeless way.
Resting here, the old wounds healing,
the impulse to go on
quieted beside the river,
limbs like drooping cedars,
ready to let go and touch the earth.
The pass ice is melting,
the way across the mountains
opening for spring
yet I don