#7: Excuses #8: Physalia Love. Poems

#7   Jealous Muse

Time for a million
and none for me, gives zero
to the bossa waiting patiently.

We could sip wine and light a fuse
taxes and death are no excuse.

© 2013 Tara Linda

This prompt is clear; distracted by paperwork & taxes this month, to the exclusion of music & writing. Think I’ll pick another month for poems next year, like Haiku March.

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#8  Physalia Love

How can I forget? The day we met, all signs
faded in the hot Gulf sun, Peligroso!’s letters dissolved in
the venomous glow. I swam to you, as you surrounded
me, enrapt the moment we touched, my legs & arms made
numb with sensations I’d never felt before they left,
leaving just below the surface of mirth & warmth,
just you & me in this chocolate sea.

Oh how many ways you held me! If
I could count them all, sweet Siphonophore,
opals embedding in tiny tentacles, dangled light to my skin, just
below your majestic sail, that glistening iridescent mast, that
veil submerged- just once, in our sea-green water waltz.

And how you tethered one to many- eloquently, as I swam
through, you- so selflessly giving all, each colony, its own treasured
jewel, each a dance of give & take, all held afloat by one
well-healed hunger, one desire to feed, to move, to gather in tryst
over & over held, then burned in your nematocyst kiss.

© 2018 Tara Linda. V1

Prompt: a poet friend and I challenged each other to retell a terrible life experience, something we couldn’t forget; cast in a positive poetic light.  Mine was a run-in with a Portuguese Man-of-War when swimming in the Gulf of Mexico years ago. It was awful; I went into shock and had to be hospitalized. My second degree burns taught me (as a budding then marine biologist), that there are at least 3 types of tentacles on Physalia physalis, each specialized for defense and feeding, each inflicting a different type of wound to hapless prey. The best thing about that experience was that I learned to play drums in the 30 days that I could not sleep, due to the steroid treatments from the burns. Drums became my heart instrument for the next 20 years, ironically. I suppose that should be another poem for the Muses. What did not kill me, made me musical. Haha! 😉

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NaPoWriMo

#6: I Hope the Devil is a Dog

(Or three reasons to never stop barking)

The dog in the house down the street
barks incessantly, and we wonder if it is out of
loneliness since it begins when his owner leaves, like shouting to
fill space, loud enough to fill absence, and keep
yourself company.

Or maybe he his sounding fear, because anything can happen
in emptiness, so he barks in constant tempo to scare away
dread, to fill the house with the might of amplitude, loudness splattered
like paint in giant blasts across the walls.

Or perhaps it is all simple anger, a defiance to tear the house down
altogether, so that nothing stands between the dog and the neighbors, whose faces are knotting up grimaced as we speak. The dog must think it’s a
human kind of snarling.

Either way, the house is an amplifier, presenting his bark in
all directions, first at Loudness-8, Reverb-10 to the apartments next door,
and traveling down the overpass, leveling off to Loudness-7 before hitting
our house and the crossroads that turn it all up, projecting the bark in
two more directions.

I hope the devil is a dog, there, at the crossroads,
kindred kind to negotiate something fair between this maybe-lonely
animal and all these neighbors, pockets filled with anger coins,
ready to ransom a canine soul
for silence.

Vs. 1:   4/11/2018

Taralinda  2018

If it matters to anyone- my numbering system in my post titles now, doesn’t follow the NaPoWriMo prompts anymore, since I have been writing more, ironically. My goal is simply to post as many poems as possible this month; 30 poems in 30 days would be nice. 😉 That said, I did experiment with longer lines for once (Prompt #6), and there is a parallel of perspectives in this piece (Prompt #10).

And speaking of the length of a linebreak in a poem, I just realized in this poem post, that long lines are not supported in the formatting of this blog template; ergh! Although I don’t use them often, I detest being limited by force. Time to look for a new blog template. What are your favorite WordPress templates for writing poetry?

Thank you for reading!

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NaPoWriMo

When Forgiveness Was a Stage

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Oh we don’t go to church anymore
made her realize, how much she missed
that, his belief, casting bygones          gone, when
forgiven was a stage everyone got to walk       across,
acting lead parts.

Grace.
Easier times, with enough space to wonder aloud,
wander through, no one jumping to bets why,
only questions, and time enough       to say, everyone
waiting for reasons, everyone waiting for you to say
your lines.

Vs.ii © Tara Linda 4/19/17

After the Rains

I hope this New Year has begun well for you, Friends. My wish may seem late, but since I tend to spread out my new year celebrations over several weeks between the first new moon, through Chinese New Year (last weekend), and into the Tibetan New Year (starts Feb 27)- I’d say my wish is right on time. 😉  As my Mum would say: Child, keep Celebrating!!!moon-casting-sheet-1-1024x1024

Source: Carrie Paris

This year began a bit differently- in retreat, on the Northern Cali coast.

Sitting in Rain

How many drops

can this silence hold?

Waves. An Ocean. Minds eye

draws the curtain, sheets of intention

falling to earth. Grey beyond

grey, thirst beyond deluge.

How many raindrops in one breath?

The empty gourd, turns its mouth

receptive, for all sensation to

overflow. Holding

Emptiness. Infinite

gush. Space.

 Tara Linda © 2017

These rains, of course long overdue to our thirsty Cali lands, have been shocking in abundance, a delightful respite from a 5 year drought. The psyche, mountains, and ground water tables are all happy. Personally, to recharge via silence when the world parties in a New Year-ha! Highly recommended.

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2016 was a creatively and musically fairly quiet;  I passed up our usual EU summer tour, radio promo and tour for our latest CD,  and US shows, all to spend more time on the home front with family and friends. There’s nothing like death or a dying parent to get you thinking of the value of putting your house in order so to speak. So 2016 was more of all that. I didn’t want to have regrets, or leave anyone else with any, when it matters. I realized that it really doesn’t take much to say ‘hey, I appreciate you’, or to find as many ways to say goodbye inside someone else’s shrinking space. And yet we all keep so busy. And so we just don’t. Realizing this made 2016 full.

ON the HORIZON:  New music of course! I have projects to finish for others who have commissioned songs (yep- getting back to it, creating time to create, starting this month). I have a revamped studio courtesy of my very supportive music engineer, and can’t wait to start recording again along new & unexpected directions. There are new songs begun for a follow up Tortilla Western CD.

And some work that is entirely different too (hint: no vocals 😉

One current inspiration for this later direction is composer performer Nicolas Jaar.he works with a huge sonic vocabulary as an electronic writer- interesting stuff. I recommend streaming his CDs on Tidal (https://listen.tidal.com/artist/3832155 ), a music streaming service if you haven’t heard, that was begun by musicians for musicians. Tidal was heavily promoted by Prince because  we get paid for our music better than the others.

Writing wise, I am enjoying the challenge of sonicscapes and backdrops built in real time, as Nicolas does if you see him live. He writes long pieces that build with vast libraries; chill, world music, jazz, voice and dialog, classical, all placed within the the usual electronic genres. This is excellent ambient background music; on the videos- if you don’t like something, just skip ahead. 😉

I have several new projects in the works for 2017 too. Of course, the 52 Poems a Year project begins again with this post. And there are 2 other blogs of projects Ii just started as well, that I will spill the beans on, next post.

Wishing you an AMAAZING New Year filled with Joy, Mystery, and Creative Abundance!!

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Thank YOU for visiting this blog!

Sappho’s Muse

Aloof

Muse awoke

You promised me a poem

I faltered…no time-

Then read your Sappho! she whirled

Leave your fragments, crumbs to Air!

Tanka. ©Tara Linda

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I’m enjoying this awesome new book~ Searching for Sappho by Philip Freeman. I like it because in addition to offering her poems, it presents her fragments within a cultural construct; what could have been happening in and around Sappho on Lesbos and elsewhere in the region, notably Sparta and Athens, as she was living and writing? What could have influenced and inspired her? What were the marriage ceremonies that she wrote so much about? What is a possible cultural basis of the last Sappho poem found- as evidenced by other neighboring Greek writers, existing histories (that were not burned), and the writers who came later quoting Sappho in their poetry courses and writings in ways more complete than her found fragments show. What is news to me is that while she had her detractors, yes, there were more who respected her- masters, Aristotle among them- who held her poems, songs, and words as a supreme example of a highly skilled poet who equaled and surpassed the writers of her day, in voice, complex Greek forms and technique, as well as output.  This book is a fast read; highly recommended. Even if your Muses spurn you for not wanting to put it down to write for them. 😉

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Oakland Drummer- I

We hear him first

two blocks away, past Grand Avenue

the din of a parallel freeway, his bass and back up.

Loud, small, young, maybe 14       he plays     alone,

nested in a 5-pc kit, on a throne, sidewalk street corner 

while hundreds run, tightrope-walk-balance, drive

play soccer around him.

 

Hard hitting and lush

his tempos tame time in waves that roll 

connecting our smiles from inside out before moving 

across the Lake      into open windows and back through

the Farmer’s market and up      on beyond blue where

hungry stars and planets await this little gift

of rhythm.

 © Tara Linda 2016

 

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