Friday, December 28, 2012

Moving Water

Perhaps rain is an artist that transfigures all as it cuts through stone and loosens the fragrance of flowers. Enveloped in a shapeless air with our towns of fixed streets and houses, we wait for this transitory guest to arrive and dissolve whatever is caught, hardened or entangled as it swirls through the shade of our tenements and fills our inner wells with a fresh source of the elemental.

Or maybe rain is the elegant return of memory, the heart of the earth held open to receive the buoyancy of its dream-filled flowing forth; a liquid that does what words would love – seldom pushing or straining while keeping all unlikeliness to itself.


Night of the Knight (guest blogger Julian Magdalenski, age 12)

Perhaps darkness, creeping around the corner, gobbles everything that it sees. It jumps from building to person to person – to anything that it please. Little does life know that it is not spreading but running from the light. The soul of the sky.
Maybe the only thing that night wants is not to go into that light so bright, to fight the light and grow in height. Become a knight of the night.

Saturday, December 22, 2012

The Performance (guest blogger Tess P)

Perhaps the performance was encouraged by the onlookers as they rose slightly in their chairs and showed their white and tender knuckles as they braced the arms of their theater seats; and the orchestra was drowned out by gasps as the aerialist seemed to be alone up there, without any support, only one of her legs crossing a red band of silk as she spun wildly about us.

Maybe we grew faint and transfixed as the woman dangled her life in front of us as if we were watching a house on fire and wondering if all of the sleepers were found, wondering if all of the closets were opened, if under the beds the floors were scanned by an eye for such detail because our very lives may depend upon it.

Friday, November 23, 2012

A Call for Maybe(s)

In the spirit of collaboration I invite you, readers of my blog, to contribute a maybe to the following post Tenderness Calls. Post it as a comment, or send it directly to my email lizbrennan@yahoo.com.

The more maybes the merrier, I always say. You may also feel inspired to add your own maybe to any previous post. In any case, I'd love to hear from you.

Tenderness Calls

Perhaps anywhere that tenderness gathers itself amidst the cut and thrust of life, held safe for a time within the curving vault and delicate cone of sea shell and bone, it calls us away from regions of life grown strange with despair. What infinitely precious thing do we seek along the shore?
Liz Brennan

Maybe the fog of the blue coast far off in memory is part of longing, and the ear is compelled to seek the sea in an orchestra of its own device within a shell, which keeps time at bay, like a wrinkle in the linen that lets in a liminal impression left by the child just lately having rested his head on a pillow. 
Tess P

Or maybe the blue fog lifting persistently out of the blue tips of the trees on the third set of hills above the ocean's cove cloaks, delights, the woman grown strange with longing--a longing that rakes the length of her body from child's heart to her heels lifting out of footprints already flooding behind her with saltwater and foam to the cadence of hide or reveal, hide or reveal.
Tania Pryputniewicz

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Between Earth and Water (with Tess P)

Perhaps the landscape, heavy with yellow pears and wild roses, hangs down into the lake, mirrored in the still water where object and reflection are joined – halves of one real, unreal whole.

Maybe the floating world is on the path of yellow marigolds that lead into the house where the sugar skulls are on the table as sweet reminders of those who have loved you and who you will be when you are undone; and your love will be there on the lake when someone bends toward the water, in the flicker of the candle, among the flowers blown across the earth.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Ley Lines (with Tania P)

Perhaps ley lines, mapped in hindsight, presage the order of prayer, akin to intent prior to action or the path of ions aligning before lightning strikes. Nightly, how far above her dreaming body, after days of hours of calligraphy charting the path of the god of her time, pages of rows and rows of letters, steeped in infinitesimal kinship with each passage, did the abbess drift?

Maybe a thin film of dust has settled on what the abbess has shed and left: ruby earrings, embroidered skirt, a giltwood looking-glass that once held her face. Staring mutinously at the intricate pattern woven into the worn carpet, how often did she silently question her own abilities – a quest that served to flatten her face into a series of dramatic angles; exaggerate her heavy, lidded eyes and long aquiline nose into a seamlessly jagged silhouette that today we enjoy looking at – compelled as we are to reassemble her distant reality out of its shards.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Some Human Actions (with Tania P)

Perhaps some human actions trigger the animal brain, wiring the recipient to view most of a life’s peopled interactions as omens and intimations of potential danger, causing one to sift perpetually threat from love in a prolonged surging towards waking from reptilian slumber.

Maybe as you stand in the gleam of an autumn tree and watch the strangeness of the gentle world gone wrong tightening in prowling circles, a wind so worn from weathering quiets the tension in your limbs, cools the hot, thick flow of trepidation threatening to overcome your peace of mind, takes you by the hand and dries the tears that are the blue paint on the tip of your brush touching the white paper of the day and spreading out into a flower-shaped cloud, soon to rain snowflakes over the earth in a wintery hush.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Happiness (guest bloggers Kalli James and Sabina Fritz, age 12)

Perhaps happiness is a kitten, soft and sweet with big blue eyes, a wet black nose, and when you walk by it attacks your toes.

Maybe happiness is a burning in the dark. It draws us towards it, bright and alive like a friend in the cold, or a cricket chirping in the night. It sounds as through it is calling to the world.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Moon Blessing (guest blogger John O'Donohue)

Perhaps when you meet the one in whom your heart can really be at home, distance does not make you falter. Longing sweeps you upward. Arriving in magic, you are the moth and you are gone.

Maybe a circle of white wind plucks wild hyacinths for your hair, and no one hears you blossoming fresh with love’s scent. Only a young moon flowing like a silver well over sky mountains meets your gaze. 

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Oblique Strategies (with Tess P)

Perhaps you shouldn’t be frightened to display a disciplined self-indulgence as you make an old idea valuable by placing it in an exquisite frame. Is it finished? What mistakes did you make last time? You are an engineer of bricks, discarded axioms, simple subtraction, and slow preparation. Breathe more deeply as you carry on.

Or maybe you are hesitant to complete the evidence, admitting that each piece is a rough simulacrum of a music you once heard when the buds of the white birches wore red as if paintbrush tips dipped in a river that bled, held above you in that certainty of blue that recalls the inside of someone's lips close to the gum; if you were to examine the tissue, you might consider unfinished things that require a cupping of one's hand, a modest but slightly lavish signature.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

In Childhood (with Tess P)

Perhaps in childhood when nights you waited at the foot of your bed, watching the moths draw their circumference around the streetlight as the stars fell, you listened to the quiet pumping of crickets and cicadas and wondered at the dense darkness of the forest below; and you caught a whiff of disappointment and it came from God; you had thought his great arm had reached across the road that shines like a snake at night, bringing a small offering of light, some jewel from a crown, but when God opened his palm in the solitude of your room, you beheld nothing. It was then that you turned to the wall and out of its paper, the roses, the carriages; the long, billowing skirts like down-turned umbrellas; it was all life that took your breath away, night after night out of paper, and the horses again and again their curved legs and hooves were all pieces of that magnificent moving alphabet.
Maybe every childhood is braided with quiescence: moments when a grey-blue haze enfolds the hum of the house, muffles the dog’s bark. Lakes sleep without a ripple. Suddenly a harsh flutter of ragged black wings erupts as an awkward shape emerges from the delicacy of the silent lake. Your question is the gaze you turn toward it. Its answer has no need to push or prove itself.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Transmigration (with Tania P)

Perhaps life passes from one body to another to rise again and look out with refreshed eyes. So pods and fruit appear, only to be plucked by a child’s greedy hunger, or, shaken by a breeze, to reseed the earth for another season – populating farms, towns and cities where words once thrived with meadows of silent grasses and golden poppies.

 Maybe the poppies, so credibly orange and famished red, signal the child, urging her eat the fruit within reach, not necessarily the ripest, signposts of the planet’s collusion to fade memories of stars, wars, lovers and lakes traversed prior to this birth, city, this mother, the slats of past in place, gated, peripherally viewed like the black legs of Thoroughbreds sidling before the bell. 

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Monday, July 23, 2012

Atlantis (with Tania P)

Perhaps the female body, at point of conception, rimmed with oracular palace green like a trio of Wyland dolphins, spirals to the ocean floor for one night in Atlantis. The father, if he wakes in time, finds his way by the rivulets of her beads of air.

Maybe at the moment of birth, the daughter emerges from the churning sea as if awakened from a trance, draped with green flowers of Poseidonia. Her venturing out from the unsearchable spot relaxes brittle sponges until they are soft and supple, filling them with the beauty of the outcome.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Three Stars (with Tania P)

Perhaps this longing, like the nude spring wind slipping through the window screen, shifting the redwood boughs to allow three stars their intermittent due, belongs to me, the maker, and the one I love, perfect in deformity of distraction and infinite reach. Stay, stars, in direct line of view. Stay, body, bridged in this remembrance, this forgetting.

Maybe, when peering into the depths of my own shadow, every beginning and ending disappears in the heavy silk tapestry of dream, where all overlapping is seen in an instant, like watching a circle close.  Tonight as I rest in the geometric curve of perfumed air crowning the starlight above my head, I hear your voice removing darkness like food for the birds – stitching a golden thread of flowering plum along an unfurling road.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

A Lost Art ( a collaboration with Tess)

Perhaps when you are silently reading, your hair takes on the appearance of somebody sleeping. You move among the pages, turning over between two dreams. The mountains rise behind as you inhabit the stillness of the bay, and immerse yourself in the gentle sunlight gliding along the water’s surface. The story is worth your attention, yet nothing will come of it, no one will be saved.

Or maybe your stillness invites the anonymous sleeper who curls into the placid blue surface of your dream, to be that silent witness beside you in waves like the rippling heat rising as you turn to see the plunge and shadow of a pelican’s wing, just as it passes beneath the sun. And you are of two minds, one that will stay after the dream recedes to watch the water, the other that will travel through the mountain passes with men one can only dream of, their thick braids hidden under the wooly coats they wear, and their large empty hands like wooden begging bowls. In the distance, a soft clanging of bells.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

A Fine Disinterest (with Tania P)

Perhaps as we age, we cultivate a fine disinterest in the attraction of objects until they no longer catch at us like brambles or hang on us like burrs – voices, bells, birdsong; health of body and peace of mind; the wild thumping of my heart at the brush of your fingertips – all flakes that dissolve into a fine grey mist at the slightest touch.

Maybe the body, thus transfixed, discarding the desire to name, to quantify, to recall – recalls its former bliss of first vibrations when one heartbeat set the pace for the one still forming its chambers, darkly delicate and writhing in quantifiable syllables of time meted by the breath of the host.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Beautiful Unity, a reading

Perhaps just after the rose is cut and set into a crystal vase it brings summer into any room – yet one by one as petals drop they disperse the beautiful unity that the rose once was. Fragrant, fragile wings that leave their cherished bloom – each a poem that unfolds with a wisdom waiting to be pressed between the pages of any book.

Maybe the finder, years later, a mother herself, re-reads the passages housing the near translucent petals, willing answers to questions she failed to fathom asking back then, standing rooted and vibrant in the rear view mirror of her mother’s passing, which passes back to her in the skin of this morning’s dream, outlines disintegrating but pulsed by a memory of burl trunked but steady love.

Monday, June 4, 2012

The End (with Tania P)

Perhaps we put a period at the end of each sentence to curtail the fear of the dark that lies beyond that dark with its unknown duration before light returns. Outside, his warble silver and pocked as the half-moon impaled on branches, the mockingbird. On the other side of the windowpane, the sleeper hesitates.

Or maybe each perceived ending is a pivot that at best gives us pause; each dark mark a turning point. Silvery flashes of fish swerve up their natal river in a rush to the spawning ground as the luminous sleeper unconsciously beckons the pale sunlight of dawn, waving goodbye to festive stars and sweeping the darker slices of night through a gap in the clouds. 

Thursday, May 10, 2012

The Search (with Tania P)

Perhaps you could use an old idea. Or accept advice. Go to an extreme before moving back to a comfortable place. Look at the order in which you do things. Do the words need changing? (You can only make one dot at a time).

Or maybe you could use a new lover. Or accept the one you have, like a lighthouse unable to stop orbiting the ocean surface whether the fog descends or not, hoping less for a ship to warn than a force – (the wish) – more like water than light (no pointillist reduction of rays) – to ravage you: seduction by deluge. Who asks us to choose?

Sunday, April 29, 2012

A Choice of Wings (with Tania P)

Perhaps chivalry, hive and liver belong in the same vase on a fur-lined mantle. Women come and go, speaking of Michaelangelo. The widow's second choice arrives preceded by a dream of archipelagos and three-winged birds with indigo feet.

Maybe, when in the midst of a day's hundred indecisions, we actually dare to eat a peach; and in looking inward through a new set of lenses glimpse the soul's most chaotic movements as dazzling symmetries nestled securely within each winged yearning's beautiful shape.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Absence of Presence (Liz B. and Tania P.)

Perhaps it is the absence of presence that leads us to question the coin. We know that the possibility of tossing heads is one half – yet each time it comes up tails. We say that something is wrong. We say that the coin is false.

But truly, neither the querent nor the result of the toss spurred by multiple desires for a single answer figure false, but the fortune assumed gained or lost. Forgotten: the compass of the body in a tech-drunk world where bodies sever peripherally from the heart, nonchalant in the lure of the addiction to sending messages to listeners no longer in the room the body occupies, the sex of distance.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

The Scarf (a second collaboration with Tania Pryputniewicz)

Perhaps Amelia disliked the scarf, pale yellow under glass in the San Diego Air and Space Museum, where in a cubicle it sits beside her book, begging the question, when did she last wear it – several times wrapped against her freckled cheek, fringe rippling behind her shoulders miles over the ocean, or perhaps, more likely and responsible for its immaculate preservation, found on her closet floor on top of her boots.

Maybe we are drawn to the scarf in order to question the boundary between the unknown and the known that honors the undercurrent of loss – extending our collective faith beyond the sharp edge of experience and into the arena of exquisite artifact while preparing at the same time for the immense richness of our own individual lift-off.

Friday, April 6, 2012

Beauty to Memory (a collaboration with Tania Pryputniewicz)

Perhaps, just before its end, each sentence descends to earth, however humbly, and the light of this instant polishes the odd green glow of the words, preserving their honest work for fear of a future forgetting.

Maybe future forgetting has its roots in the way the earth conceals its core, an inward melting without trace, red burning gold thus keeping the lawn secure for the bare feet of a woman, her eyes trained on the undersides of green leaves, their spines, her attempt to assign their spectacular beauty to memory before dusk clears her slate.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Winter's Wind (Tess P)

Perhaps winter’s wind is a song of longing with nothing to brush against save the cold limbs of the season, a kind of mournful moan and, at night, a lonely howl that begs the sleepers wake.

Or maybe winter’s wind moves through the trees, not like a sheet pulled from the basket of clothes, not like that, but a music closer to human speech between a parent and a child, a whispering that wraps the body in its hold, warm as wool.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

A Lonely Night (guest blogger Julian Magdalenski)

Perhaps as darkness falls over the land and the many creatures of the night come out, they do not rush, for they know something that others don't - a dark secret.

Maybe even the sweetest times must have a dark flow across space and time - so as the owl coos and the fox scurries, everything is night.

Saturday, January 14, 2012