Cosmos

The world cries out for Mother;
fast food and high heels can
never get us back to hands
in earth, in soil, rich firmament
above, dark umber below; heads
in a clear azure sky and feet
on the goodness of ground;

On the ground we may feel,
can sense a pulsing heartbeat,
the oneness with all; there is
no disconnection, sky from soil,
tree from root, sentient beings
one from another, we all crave
nurture, a lasting sustenance;

We may do others a disservice
when expecting them to stand in
for the Elements, arms seem to
come up empty every time; people
leave our lives, everything changes,
so much loss and toward what end?

Meanwhile as long as we draw each
necessary breath, this dependence
automatic, the Sacred awaits our
intentional participation
in this ecstatic cosmic dance.

All photos ©2019, Bela Johnson

Plume

Rising phoenix-like from the core of our Mother,
she gathers shards of herself into long, sinewy
fingers pointing straight or now diverging
into strands of molten marvel, goddess breadth
of hips dancing, swaying, undulating ribbons
of pāhoehoe folding in and over the land;

Now to temper in salty waters, spilling forth,
expanding continentally in the unseen depths
of turquoise sea to rise anew, again, bony spine
arching above, belly anchored far below
on the ocean’s quaking floor, tremors felt
through seismic needles oscillating wildly
or sporadically slowing, never flatlining;

Creation made manifest, insistent, beyond
the reach of meddling hands, this is lovely
Hawai’i nei, land of volcanoes, Pele’s domain,
locus of wonder, millennia in the making,
verdant forests rooting in rock, curls of ferns
in misty elevations furling in and out of memory,
mosses drinking vapor in droplets, conducting
underground symphonies to tangled roots,
ōhia striking through ebony lava with fluffy
crimson blossoms as majestic koa soar above;

An ancient kinetic knowing rules her expanding
coastline, slowly waxing under Hina’s watery eye
while we slumber soundly beneath her pale glow;
meanwhile creatures of the night begin rustling
and emerging from the cool of earth’s
dark shelter until dawn streaks watercolors,
welcoming the morning sun.

Volcanoes National Park lava tube
Volcanoes National Park – fern forest
Bark of old koa tree, Volcano Village

Kalapana lava flow – 2016
Ōhia (Pele’s flower) on the flanks of Mauna Kea
Pololu Valley, early morning – 2015
~ all photos ©Bela Johnson

CRUMBLE

Pieces of an intricate puzzle
are how I assemble life,
not pausing to consider position on the template
nor noting how many fragments remain
heaped on the fringes,
awaiting destiny’s promptings.

Days arrive on tradewinds
blowing me this way and that,
shuffling the mix until, exhausted,
I surrender once more to the grand Equalizer,
plans pulling up even with spontaneity.

To tie it together, attempting to make sense
through conclusions and deductions
might prove the downfall of science
in an overreach to flex grey matter
beyond its intended orbit.

Who can tell in the final analysis
what remains of the ruminating centuries;
heaps of equations and algorithms
scattered amidst the remnants
of yet another forgotten,
if magnificent, civilization?

Mathematical_equations

Lost in Translation

The voices speak in silence,
drowned not upon the wind;
deep inside lurks a stillness,
point of light in a dark crystalline sky.

Are they drawn from imagination’s well,
unconfused by chaotic din?
Does it matter where wisdom is garnered
like sheaves of grain in an August field;
asking nothing, freely sharing
until language loses meaning
in translation?

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Groundless

An avalanche or a rockslide cleaves sharply

from its origins; boulders of perception tumbling, tumbling

thundering carelessly over terrain flinching passively;

unexpected projectiles lodging fragments into storied ice.

 

Millennial madness, and it drives and it falls

as it plummets and crumbles into heaps of rubble and debris,

like emotions or grief lodging sideways into DNA.

 

Choreographed over ages too wide and deep to fathom,

mountains draw themselves down toward the sea;

humans carelessly careen into one another,

conductors of orchestrated imaginings

waiting to fasten on,

as the ground slips away, and away.

 

TRINER_1806_Goldauer_Landslide1

Unmoored

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As a writer, it seems I’ve come to this strange juncture of late, where words are beside the point. It’s not writers’ block, because I could always write about anything under the sun. It’s more like a space in time where I find I’m fatigued by the effort of using language. Has this ever happened to you?

I used to ‘hate’ math, or anything to do with numbers. Yet most of my life I have experienced deep encounters with the symbolic. And, similar to Carl Jung, it is toward these symbols that I feel compelled – especially the more I observe language used and abused, whether in conversation or in written form. Is this the sort of world Einstein inhabited? If so, I’ve missed my calling as a mathematician!

Words are powerful instruments that connect and lend us a common thread to follow. Yet if the pen is mightier than the sword, are symbols not more powerful than the locution we employ in describing them? Further, how are thoughts transmitted to begin with? Are they not formulated from a place essentially void of verbiage? Even if we label certain impulses feelings, it requires a secondary effort to interpret them. It removes one from the emotion, itself – which admittedly can sometimes be a good thing. And yet …

So here I am, writing about not using words! Perhaps I’m trying to excuse my lack of verbosity this past month or more. But honestly? I’m simply in the frame of mind I have described right now, not sure in which direction I am headed. Maybe, as Joni Mitchell lyricized in Woodstock, it’s the time of year, or maybe it’s the time of man – and I don’t know who I am, but life is for learnin’… I’m not experiencing distress, though I do feel a bit unmoored. Drifting off into an ocean of possibilities, it feels right to simply go with the flow.

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