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Joan Woodbridge

The Artist's Model Meditates on Negative Space

quite suddenly the leaves are gone

the trees
like your abandoned room
are simply there

quiet
bare
unaware

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Stone's Slow Words

adamantine density
inner halls so steeply narrow

how much density must I shed
to travel your bright circuits?

how much lightness and listening must I cultivate
to finally hear your slow words?

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Aimes-tu Brahms?

I am metabolizing Brahms
running his First Piano Trio
directly into an artery

the virus insinuates itself into
the probability field I call my life

lysergic bursts
light the limbic lattices
of my brain

and I
a lucipetal moth
impelled
toward the bright fields of mind

my thinking is wide now
all open
no fastenings
no demands

[...] Read more

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An Easy Winter

winter is working us now
the subtle air holds the hint of snow
we are captured by an irresistible gravity
that demands sleep and disengagement

Bear
torn between hunger and sleep
feels it too
heaviness moves her slowly
toward a somnolence
that encloses
and holds for us
the promise of another Spring

there is an easy winter in your ways
that is cool
and sometimes removed
a wary smile that holds in it
the hint of stirrings

[...] Read more

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Vacated Space

The deciduous year
attenuates
draws thin
my insubstantial resolve

What, beyond a certain grief
can I make of this?

Is not the failure in the striving itself?

What marks the way
between efforting and too easy acceptance?

beyond the failed dialogue between recrimination and defense?

The year contracts
Ah!

Vacated Space again
at once

[...] Read more

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An Uneasy Measure

Time
the uneasy measure
we lay upon unfettered infinity

forgetting
we run innocently
through lily beds and grape arbors
across the millstream to the creek
and the bending grasses of the untamed orchard

forgetting
that Time is measured
not so much by dark and light
as by the relentless beat of Shiva's drum
the uncounted and unaccountable beating
of our hearts

and Time too
forced to exist
forgets

[...] Read more

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Kiswar Q'inti

The Royal Hummingbird of the North has entered this body
penetrating the solar plexus
infiltrating each cell
she brings with her the sweetness of all the flowers of the world
How can I be angry for even one second that you are gone?

She brings with her the Ancestors
the Grandmothers and Grandfathers
now I will never be alone
How can I ever be insincere again?

The vigilant Falcon who lived here before is confused
now the Hummingbird and the Falcon must make their peace
May it be so

This is my victory:
You are not the first longing thought as I wake to the morning
You are not the last night-thought as I fall into dreaming

This is my task:

[...] Read more

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Winter Solstice: The Return of the Light and the Redemption of Darkness

Darkness follows light as light the darkness
the stunned sun halts mid-dance
Shiva Nataraj
motionless
balancing lightly the luminous and tenebrous
exhorting us again to brave the redeeming depth of the shadow

Beyond the celebrated land of light
that seems so divinely uplifting
that dabbles in the windfall waters of virtue
and dallies in the Garden of Diversion...
we find the locus of the Shadow
that disquieting darkness
the vision that threatens to char the sockets of the eyes

We know the shadow by our avoidance
the nimble step,
the sideward glance
the drowsy daydream
the sidestepped fantasy

[...] Read more

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Separate Generous Nameless

Only now may it be spoken
that the Divine had placed Her numinous imprint
upon the holy earth of those several young summers.

Beyond The Law that poured from the mouth of her mother;
Beyond The Law that lived uncertainly in the heart of her father
she discovered a city of refuge
separate generous nameless without discord.
all of this mere steps from the plate-shattering word-hurling din of the house of war

Thus was the conflict-laden foundation born/borne
the beginning of concealment, duplicity, falsehood, shame, and hell-terror
No
hell shockingly was a heavy sinking given

But how then, does one reconcile the hellish and the holy?

Earnest earth
constant earth
your spun sun draws blood

[...] Read more

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