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.

Saturday, November 18, 2017

Weekend Mini-Challenge: Doors

Doors mark our coming in and going through and out of this life. Big doors, little doors, stone doors, blue doors.

“If one were to give an account of all the doors one has closed and opened, of all the doors one would like to re-open, one would have to tell the story of one’s entire life,” writes Gaston Bachelard in The Poetics of Space.  

The Romans had a deity for doors: Janus, the two-faced god. January ends one year and begins another, and Janus sanctifies all passages and transitions with a gate that swings both ways. He was associated with Portunus, another gateway god who presided over harbors, travel, and shores.

Because doors have two sides to them, our relation to them is always duple. Albert the Great wrote, “In Germany there once lived twins, one of whom opened doors by touching them with his right arm, and the other who closed them by touching them with his left arm.” Our brain is halved by left and right hemispheres, each with their own realm of functioning—one analyzing, reducing, the other synthesizing, adding up. Is there a door between them which keeps us fiddling with its lock at the same time keeping its bolts in place?

Doors font inspiration. What creative impulse in us can resist opening them?  A shepherd on a remote Hebrides island in the early nineteenth century accounts that at night, “a woman often came out of the sea and said strange foreign words at the back of his door, and these, he added, in a whinnying voice like that of a foal ; came, white as foam ; and went away grey as rain. And then, he added, ‘she would go to that stroked rock yonder, and put songs against me, till my heart shook like a tallow-flaucht in the wind.’" (Fiona MacLeod, “Sea Magic”)

There’s always a danger in doors; they secure our world but also knock loudly with the Other. According to the old Irish dinshenchas, the hero Riach places into a well the severed heads of warriors slain in battle. The presence of the heads seems to magically affect the water and it becomes highly dangerous. In order to prevent it from rising up against him, Riach constructs a building over it in which it can be contained. But one night he forgets to place the capstone “door” back over the well one night and it rises up and drowns him.

Today our theme is Doors: Portals in, passage out. Find a door and try it.  Will it open or is it barred? Half-open, almost-closed? What freedom flows in as you go out? And what is the melancholy click of a door closing forever? Is there one door representative of the whole, a page which emblems the bestiary? Or is there a poem which resembles a house-shaped Advent calendar, with a door or window to peer into along every step of its way? You choose.

Write a poem about one door (or many) and bring it back here to share with your fellow portalettes. (Hmm.) What will we open on our separate lily pads? What singing skulls and water wonders we will find! What an Advent calendar we will house!

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Bits of Inspiration ~ Dragonfly

First of all I must brag about my daughter, Carrie. She is Artist Relations Director at Art Colony Association Inc. and they are the producers of the Bayou City Art Festival. It is an important event in Houston. We are so proud of her. It would take pages to write all the work she puts in along with staff to bring all this talent together in our city. 

At the this year's Bayou City Arts Festival I discovered the beautiful art of Ann Byrd and purchased two prints.  One print is a dragonfly.

I really love how she describes her art. "My pieces tell a story, but not the whole story. They are windows into certain glimpses in a narrative that is already in play. Visions of things you catch out of the corner of your eye, but cannot be sure are real or merely ghosts of your imagination."  Ann Byrd

I'd like to share the totem meaning of the dragonfly and quotes with you.

The dragonfly totem carries the wisdom of transformation and adaptability in life. As spirit animal, the dragonfly is connected to the symbolism of change and light. When the dragonfly shows up in your life, it may remind you to bring a bit more lightness and joy into your life. Those who have this animal as totem may be inclined to delve deep into their emotions and shine their true colors.

"Time is for dragonflies and angels. The former live too little and the latter live too long."  ~  James Thurber

"It's very far away/It takes about a half a day to get there/ If we travel by-dragonfly." ~  Jimi Hendrix
Who would deduce the dragonfly from the larva, the iris from the bud, the lawyer from the infant? ...We are all shape-shifters and magical reinventors. Life is really a plural noun, a caravan of selves." ~ Diane Ackerman

Also the painting is titled "Tipping Point." 
tip·ping point
1. the point at which a series of small changes or incidents becomes significant enough to cause a larger, more important change.

So for today's challenge I would like you to write an original poem about a  dragonfly/dragonflies. It can be in any form you choose. Please post it on Mr. Linky and visit your fellow poets to read where their wings took them.

Note: I've contacted Ann and have been given permission to use and share her  dragonfly print. If you use the dragonfly art print on your page, please credit Ann Byrd and link it to one of her art sites. The first link I used is to her Facebook page. The second is her website.