Driven

He lost his head that day.
Disappeared into green lush woods,
the gardens of his mind.
Some nurturing space of his own design
between the borders of insanity and reason.

City engineer.
Day in and day out
he plotted and planned.
Highways, byways
throughways and roundabouts.
Traffic control,
exit ramps and entry lanes.
Cement road-snakes for autopilot mannequins.
Metal caskets on wheels,
rushing here and there and everywhere.

Head full, he just stopped.
Could not cope.
Could not recognize
patterns, directions,
escape routes from today
into the morrows.

And so he stared,
that morning at his desk.
Never moved.
Retreated into a nowhere,
his forest of nothingness.

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Written for Tuesday Poetics at dVerse, the virtual pub for poets. Today, Grace is hosting and asks us to use the word “border” within the poem or in the title. And, extra credit if we write somehow about a mental state.
Sculptur i
s in the de Cordova Sculpture Park and Museum in Lincoln Massachusetts. Eternal Presence by John Wilson, 1987; a study for the full size, seven-foot tall sculpture which stands outside the National Center for Afro-American Artists in Boston.

 

Vacation Haibun

Our long planned summer holiday became a retreat from the turmoil of hatred and anger flooding the news. In five days we traveled to six art galleries in Western Massachusetts. We deliberately drove the back roads, immersing ourselves in rolling hills, farmsteads, streams and wildflowers. We noted “Thickly Populated” signs announcing upcoming small towns.

Our first stop was the Mass MOCA located in rehabbed 19th century factory buildings. Football field-sized Building 5 houses Nick Cave’s Until installation. 16,000 spinners hang from ceiling to floor. Walking through them was magical. Sol Lewitt’s colorful graphic walls made us smile. Most fun, was the Eric Carle Museum of Picture Art. Squealing children were right at home in this cheerful place. We laughed in delight to see The Very Hungry Caterpillar original art work. We walked in quiet contemplation through the Museum of Russian Icons.  Beautiful paintings from the 17th, 18th, and 19th centuries. In hushed amazement we realized, none of this exquisite art is signed – the anonymity of artists intent on reverence rather than aggrandizement of self. Our last day, we wandered the deCordova Sculpture Park and Museum, enjoying the juxtaposition of natural beauty and the possibilities of humankind’s creative genius.

waters glisten, shine
fish flicker at the surface
nature’s palette divine

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It’s Haibun Monday at dVerse, the virtual pub for poets. Toni asks us to write about a summer vacation, either recent or past. Haibun: 2 or 3 tight paragraphs that cannot be fiction, followed by a haiku that must have a nature theme. Pub opens at 3 PM Boston time.

We visited Western Mass. last week. Origins of the artwork pictured above are all mentioned in the haibun except for the last photo which is the sculpture Humming by Jaume Plensa. Locations: Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art is in North Adams; Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art is in Amherst; Museum of Russian Icons is in Clinton; deCordova Museum and Sculpture Park is in Lincoln. We also visited the Clark Art Institute and Williams College Museum of Art in Williamstown — both were exceptional as well.

 

The Process

Mindful verbosity
irridescent gems within my mind,
words shiver flutter, push for prominence.
Ideas flow through synapses
sometimes like scattered leaves
rearranged by sudden gusts.
Poetic musing wrestles reality.
Cacophonous silent noise
atonal at times,
until the coda appears.
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Moonlight

Daytime, meandering through the Peabody Essex Museum. I stopped to stand and look at a painting on the wall. The looking turned to gazing. Time shifted and everything disappeared. I was under the stars, the shifting clouds. Felt night’s cool air upon my face. Marveled at the moon’s path upon glistening sea. This magical night enveloped me. There was no one else. Nowhere else. Until a tap upon my shoulder made me turn my head.

luminous moon
reflects beauty in darkened sea
neath star spattered sky

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Double posting today! (see also Wishful Thinking) Written for dVerse haibun Monday where Toni, the maven of haibuns, asks us to write about the night sky. A haibun consists of a short, concise paragraph of prose that cannot be fiction, followed by a haiku. PHOTO taken at the Peabody Essex Museum in Salem, MA:  Moonlight, created in 1892, oil on canvas. Painted by impressionist Childe Hassam (1859 – 1935). The scene is from Appledore Island, the largest of the Isles of Shoals off the coast of New Hampshire, where he spent many a summer at the cottage of Celia Thaxter.