Arts

The Arts section of Orient Lodge

#Rhizo15 Online Associative Poetry

When I was younger and it was my turn to put the children to bed, I would grab a few poetry anthologies to read to them. I would typically start off with one poem, and then moved to another poem that was somehow connected to the first, at least in my own mind.

Years later, I would go to ‘social dreaming matrices’ where people would share dreams and associations they had to the dreams. It was a challenge to resist the urge to interpret the dreams and instead to just share associations and observations about these associations.

Now that our youngest daughter is now a teenager, we have a new activity. We will sit around the dining room table and have a ‘riff off’. One person would play a song, typically from YouTube or Spotify on one electronic device or another. The next person would then play a song related to the first, and we would go around taking turns associating one song to the previous.

Recently, I’ve been thinking about this with poetry, combining the childhood reading of poetry with the free association on dreams or music, free associating from one poem to the next in an online community.

It seems to fit nicely with the whole rhizomatic learning event I’ve been participating in and it might be a fun thing to try there. I will share this post in the Practical Discussion group on Facebook. For that group, a starting poem could be The #Rhizo15 Artifact poem I wrote for this week. One person could share a poem they associate to this poem, and then others could share poems they associate with each subsequent poem. If they really like the idea, they could start a similar rhizomatic sharing of a poem with associations in other places, which could potentially serve to start other associative poem sharing in a fractal manner.

I will also probably start a similar thread on my own Facebook page and see if either of these take off.

The #Rhizo15 Artifact

We shall not cease from exploration
And the end of all our exploring
Will be to arrive where we started
And know the place for the first time.

Many paths converged
(each path a learning subjective)
out of the directed graph
of carefully measured online posts;

the content in the creators,
the content in the community,

arriving back at the initial thoughts
as foretold by Eliot
and foreshadowed by Joyce.

riverrun, past Eve and Adam's, from swerve of shore to bend
of bay, brings us by a commodius vicus of recirculation back to
Howth Castle and Environs.

Along the way
we experience
the goddess
the temptress
the father,
we kill the Buddha
and get of the idea
of ‘dave’.

The ultimate boon?
An artifact?
A map?
L’objet petit a?
Perhaps an amulet
or talisman
that can assist the next hero
in their journey.

A Summer Evening Storm

It was a light fog,
not enough to be dangerous
or obscure objects,
just enough to add a halo
around lamp posts
and a softness to distant views.

Above, there was a flickering,
perhaps from stray headlights
caught in the fog,
an optical illusion,
or perhaps
from far away lightning.

The flickering became more frequent
and the roll of thunder
answered one question
to be replaced with another.

Would the storm pass to the north
or would we feel the full force?
Was it something beautiful,
something dangerous,
or a little bit of both?

It was all a matter of perspective
that the start of the rain
did not help resolve.

(Categories: )

Sweet Briar Graduation Day – Between the Ascension and Pentecost

The Teacher Ascends
to bid the students farewell.
The past few years
have changed everyone.

Yes, there are still a few
Judases around
more interested in money
than perpetual memory.

Earlier in the spring,
it looked like all hope had been destroyed
only to return
a few days later.

It is still a confusing time
now that we must go out into the world.
What spirit will sustain us
in our daily lives?

"Random Acts of Kindness"

At the bookstore checkout
I asked the manager
if there were any more copies
of Levertov’s
“Sands of The Well”.

He motioned to a young man
standing near the counter.
“He just bought the last one.”

The young looked at me and said,
“Here, take it.”
“But you’ve already paid the price”
I protested.
“It is a gift,” he said.

All eyes turned to me.
“I don’t deserve this gift”
I thought to myself.

Another customer explained
that Robbie always did stuff like that,
“random acts of kindness.”

I accepted the gift with thankfulness
and wondered,
“Is this how Peter felt when Jesus washed his feet?”

And at the final day
will I ask, “is there any more forgiveness?”
only to hear
the manager say,
“Jesus bought it all”

Will Jesus say,
“Here, take it.”
Will I protest
“But you’ve already paid the price”?
Only to hear
“It’s a gift”

Will the prayer of humble access come to mind
as others explain
that Jesus always did stuff like that,
“random acts of kindness”.

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