pearls

Willed, Done

Posted in notes, nothing special by maggie on 2016/11/30
       

A myriad poems I have written.

Many more I have spoken or sang without writing down. 
And many more I have fragments of, 
waiting to be tied to the rest. 
And countless more I have seen or thought of 
or dreamed 
or known to be there. 
All within reach. 
But these myriad I have committed to ink here 
and in my other books.

A myriad poems I have written during the past decade. 
Slightly longer, as a month is to the cycle of the moon,
as the circumference of a circle is to the line across its center, 
as a man's ten is to a woman's three times three. 
A myriad poems I have written during the past four thousand days.

Four thousand days ago today 
I lost my first muse to a cruelly abusive early death. 
She left me pieces of poems she had to leave behind, 
and she sent me to her mentor. 
A decade ago today after I had found in him a mentor my own, 
he pointed me toward a casting call that led me to my new muse. 
One thousand nine hundred days ago today 
my mentor began a new life 
after walking through death for us a dozen times.  
Forty four months ago today I lost another kindred spirit 
and partner in crime for my poetry and my devotions, 
again to an untimely death.  
And in those four thousand days 
and through that decade 
and with these past nineteen hundred days 
and their forty four months, 
a myriad poems have I breathed through my pen.

Credit Nancy for the fire. 
Credit Adrien for the discipline. 
Credit Sara for the breath.  
And for the life and the love, credit one who wishes not to known.

Still in grief after losing Nancy, 
ten years ago I initially had every intention of quickly following her, 
after first obtaining from Adrien the archives 
she had entrusted to him to be held for her daughter. 
Adrien sensed the risk I posed to myself 
and pointed me to a 100-poem challenge, 
then specifically bringing to my attention a casting call 
made almost simultaneous to my challenge launch. 
I met Sara as I was working on those 100 poems.  
The rituals instilled by that poetry challenge 
and the spell woven by that casting call 
and the fun I had with Sara 
saved my life and reignited my heart.  
Those 100 poems were and will always be the core 
of the myriad I have written around them.

Those 100 poems I began at this very moment a decade ago, 
I dedicated to Nancy and the faith she and I shared. 
I wrote those 100 exclusively in sonnet form, 
reflecting the fortnight of the days in half a moon's cycle, 
from new moon to full moon in the odd-numbered sonnets, 
then from full moon returning to new moon 
in each succeeding even-numbered sonnet. 
Reflecting the continuity of the moon's passages, 
each sonnet was connected to both its predecessor and its successor, 
as in a close mirror. 
With the full circle of sonnets representing 50 moons, 
the images I worked with were designed to approximate a 4-year leap cycle
centered around the moment I first met Nancy, 
although I doubled up on images and memories and expectations 
to suit each fortnight's particular timing. 
I wove in cycles of our stars, 
made love to many of Nancy's own poems, 
collaborated with Sara, 
and blended my voice with my muses both old and new 
as best I could.  
Throughout, 
the ritual served me 
for devotion to our one Muse.

Those who choose to wish me ill 
have falsely accused me of speaking in riddles, 
of employing poetry's holy language of metaphor to conceal. 
Our faith has held our knowledge in secret from the earliest. 
Such secrets are not fashioned to withhold knowledge 
nor to kill it, 
but to preserve it 
and to believe it 
and to give it new life 
from one to another. 
Those who choose not to accept me for who I am 
have falsely laughed at my faith 
and made fun of my words as if they were mere games. 
Our faith has been rejected by countless of every people. 
I do not write seeking publication or audience, 
no hidden agenda. 
So also I crave the acceptance of none, 
not even that of my mentor nor my muse, 
none save the favor of our Muse.

For reasons related to my rituals 
and for those with whom I have been writing, 
I consider this moment as the midpoint of a 20-year cycle, 
as also the midpoint of an 8,000-day period of my writing, 
embracing 3,800-day periods and 88-month periods of life and love.

As dreamed, so willed.
As willed, so created.
As created, so done.
As done, so blessed.

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Opening Gesture — Notes

Posted in notes by maggie on 2014/04/01
 
             
                                                                                                                                                                    Cutting a swath
                                                                                                                                                                    through thick-dewed grass,
                                                                                                                                                                    I set out.
                                                                                                                                                                                                 — Kifu

My pretext for the start of this new sonnet cycle is a death poem by a Japanese poet who passed in Autumn 1898. Its sentiment and its timing give a perfect setting for this journey on which I myself set out — a new birth created out of a death.

How fitting that this being a Tuesday, according to the Tuesday tradition at a poetry website I’ve frequented through past Aprils (and often during the other eleven months each year), that website prompts us to launch this year’s Poetry Month with one or both of two themes: starting and ending. In the spirit of Kifu, I choose both themes.

Which fits well with the cycle I plan: my starting line in today’s sonnet will be my final line in the sonnet I’ll write this coming April 30, like how I did for a 100-sonnet sequence a portion of which I used to start this poetry blog. Like how I plan to circle back around in my theme, now and at the close, and throughout this month.

As I did last April (Far Cry, posted privately for close friends) and the previous April (An Hour Unwound, partially public) and the previous April (entire cycle posted public elsewhere), this cycle (which I plan to post openly here) will consist of 30 Petrarchan sonnets, each with first line given by the final line of the preceding sonnet. No rhyme sets will be repeated, other than via sharing of the last line of one sonnet with the first line of the next.

As with those previous April cycles, each day during this month I will draft the next sonnet in the cycle, reflecting the prompt given by the poetry website I’d used those past years. Obviously, I don’t know what tomorrow’s prompt will be when I draft today’s sonnet. That affects how I need to work at fitting a whole month of unknown future prompts into a single cohesive and coherent overall theme. More immediately evident, I’ll be writing the final line of each day’s sonnet before I know the next day’s prompt, yet will do my best to make each transition work as smoothly as if I’d known all prompts all along.

In solidarity with a friend whose work was arbitrarily and unfairly censored by the website where I used to post these April cycles, I will abstain from posting any further of my own work there, as also do I not imply any endorsement by once again relying on that website’s prompts during this month. I no longer even read any of the writing that website does choose to carry — when good writing is unjustly censored, one cannot trust what is displayed.

As has been the case for all of my poetry since November 2006, this poetry will be written in the light and love I found in one who was my closest friend. As has been the case for everything I’ve ever said and written and desired, any of the bad that is in any of this will not be about her or for her. But as has had to be, as was chosen and demanded, all of the vast good I could say and wish to write of her must remain silent, unwanted and ignored. So although written in my moonlight as always, nothing here will have anything to say of that.

So then, starting this cycle as I’ll be ending it, with Kifu singing background for me—

                                                   Wrapped in last night’s visions, I set out…

And I’ll reserve what I’ll be writing this all “about” until the closing sestet of my 30th sonnet. On with drafting this first sonnet of this April’s turn.

First Draft of my opening sonnet is now complete. I’m not displeased with it enough to start over from scratch, so I have my first steps decided for me. After some editing and some private notes and some more editing, I’ll post here.

As will be my custom throughout this month, I will keep this post open, editing it continuously as I draft and edit each sonnet.


 
 
 

— remembering Sara