The poem is
The poem is
that will not
a place for it
of a swirl of
Our interpretation of writer Brooke Bergan's word of the year.
We each decided that for this installment of Light Entwined, we would see what we could create around our individual words of the year. For each of us, the intention around the word is different. A goal, a prayer, a mystery. It will be fun, as the year progresses, to see how these words unfold for us. Perhaps an end of the year challenge will be to photograph them again, from our future perspectives.
One of our writers, Brooke Bergan, responded to these images with this piece:
IN A POEM
words rest on a page
light as birds alight
on boughs in sudden
the twilit sky lift,
land, lift once
more buds aswirl
in a random breeze
are words again
still on the page
We created the photos first, this time, and our incredible writer responded to the images. Her poem follows.
Diwali or Hanukkah
diffuse & particulate all
jewels spun off
a child's wet curls
whole cultures shook out
Into the dark world.
I want to tell stories.
I want to breath life into worlds that only I can, and scribble it down into a legible form for others to enjoy.
I want to make characters that live and cry and laugh just like you and me, and I want the people who are reading the story cry and laugh with them.
I want to expand my voice across the universe, weave through the fabric of reality, and leave my mark on everything.
I want to create a mass of swirling words, so many that they become stars and moon in the sky, light for someone to read by.
I want someone, out there in the world, to stay up late into the night and read.
I want that person to feel a spark. A flame, with my stories the logs on the fire.
I want that person to go and carve their own universe of words, paper, and pages, and I want their voice to reach out into the universe and scream, just like I did.
“I. WAS. HERE!”
I want to tell stories.
Shed the week with its wrinkled suit coat
school uniform briefcase and backpack
shake off water from a last river swim
summer heat, long bright days, studied
niceties of weekday life lost in laughter
childhood run wild till river, field, and sky
purple in the waning sun as down the road
a man named John strums a blues riff
on a battered Fender, Monday lurking
in the torque of each mournful pitch bend
stretched out like a cat or
sunbeam languid, endless
warming the long winter of life
how you would read for hours
in the crook of a gum tree, swim
in a pool's blue till your lips were,
search for stick bugs or katydids
you could hear but never find, slips
like cat and sunbeam into time’s
capricious rush, into August, into
June bugs cling to a screen door
gypsy moths circle the porch light
lightning bugs flicker on the lawn
a child arranges her toys
for tomorrow's beach day
a boy waits in the dark
for something to happen
the sky flares
with heat lightening
and the sun stands still
above the Tropic of Cancer
before the long days shorten
(lengthen at the other pole)
earth tilted like a heliotrope
stones at Stonehenge
capturing the stalled sun
both midsummer & midnight
sacred in the old religions
still as a photograph
for this long day only
then rushing on
toward that next
and so we begin
an album of seasons,
their inevitable shifts
subtle or spectacular, divers
by place as by season yet always
familiar, ancient, and replete.
It's been forever since we last saw each other,
And it will be forever until we do again.
You kicked me out hours ago, in the wee hours of the morning,
And yet here I am, crawling back to you, and you welcome me as a friend.
The warmth on my face, my familiar seat, the way your eyes light up.
It all fills me with nostalgia, short lived, I'm on the street with air to fill my cup.
We have done this many a time before, and we both know we will do it again.
I may have to wait a while, but on you I can depend.
So take all the time you need, down the twisting turning road.
You always arrive no matter what, rain sleet or snow.
It's been forever since I saw you last,
And an eternity until we meet again.
But it's nice to know, that rain, sleet or god only knows,
I'll always have a friend.
People like to think things are beautiful when they're not, a lie in a pretty pink bow. Flowers are no exception, and set the standard for all the fake pretty things of the world. They choke each other, all starving for food. They compete to greedily drink in the sunlight, and they'll grow wherever they please, even in humans. Yet time and time again, people call them beautiful, and time and time again, I ask the same question, the question I ask about all supposedly pretty things. What makes them, a horrible liar, beautiful?
Will the me of today
remember the you that was,
heartbreak shattered us?
We are forgotten by the waves of triumph. Drowned and pulled down by the tides of another's glory, just because they have a more heroic story. And for what? So the leader can have a day in the light, They won it, for sitting back and letting others die and fight, But after all that they expect us to think the future's still bright? Don't make me laugh.
"Show them to me," I say as soon as the front door closes behind me. Perhaps she smiles, though she doesn't as a rule. She has never warmed to the newfangled mania for smiling, which she considers a regrettable side-effect of snapshots and modern dentistry, so she never minds if I am serious, never asks, "Why the long face?" She is serious too, about our little ritual and about everything else. Hand-in-hand, we walk upstairs to the bedroom that will be called "Nam's room" for decades after her death. She opens the closet door, it always sticks a little, then pulls from the top shelf the large silver box embossed with fruits that she brought back from Italy. We sit on her bed and she begins to empty the box methodically, still by still, telling the stories that go with each image, each face. If she tells me about her trip abroad, I don't remember it. I am not interested in traveling across an ocean. I am interested in traveling back through time. To the exotic land of the past. To the land of the dead. Even pictures of her as a child no older than I am in her high-necked dress and high-button shoes are of some long-lost person, not the stern old woman sitting beside me, skin thin and ivoried as vellum.
That other world
you always thought
Was there just
out of reach
or caught in
the corner of
your eye whisper
wisp or a trick
of the light
the voice you hear
near sleep as close
as this, familiar
Sometimes in life time stops
your indrawn breath the moment
you see the Nike as you turn your
head to look at something else
along that long hall or rising up
out of the harbor wings lifted
in eternal stillness the
voice you surmise
her cupped hand
you barely notice
Like moonlight on this tidal pool
mirroring, doubling, reversing
long-fingered anemones combing
furred sea moss starfish clutching
stars expand contract like
breath drawn in moonlight
drawn by moon still and moving
hidden and showy chips of
light through which to see
the world reversed another
under the skin of
the photo a flick
of sea-green hair
The stillness of a photograph always implies motion. Painting is necessarily a record of moments, a summary of the sitter's imposed stillness. It contains as much of yesterday as of today and will pick up tomorrow where it left off as if nothing had intervened. But a photograph is a single and singular moment snatched out of a continuum. You can snap a series of moments to recreate motion, like Muybridge's galloping horse (motion simulated through stop-motion reveals what the human eye cannot see, the horse momentarily in flight). Or, quickly, even before it is seen
toward the camera's
radiant with possibilities
Doubled or blurred
the leaves I cannot see
without glasses, each twirling
greenly on its own stem, so
singular, turning alone,
together, to sun, to wind,
the chill of autumn,
green leached away
to sweetness, to honey
or amber till even that
withers, draws inward,
Light on water light
as breath in air whisper
of wind displaced or
absorbed, refracted, reflected
incident to the surface
as coins on a tray or
hoarded in a jar