Thursday, September 23, 2010

Inaugural Prompt: Autumnal Equinox 2010 - A Doorway Into Balance

For this inaugural prompt of our creative time together, during this time of change to autumn, we are invited to write about balance: how is this time of year a doorway? Stand in a doorway to write the first words of your poem.

NASA's blue doorway


  1. Will you look at this Swiss Army doorway?
    So many travelers gain smart passage:
    we people traverse out and in each day—
    through their own slot fall posted messages—
    the cat’s private stile ushers his surveys—

    light enters through the panes of rumpled glass—
    the small sight-hole transports our safety peeks
    at what’s hidden behind opacity—
    and what’s denied entry by several locks—
    well, that door is some kind of magic, eh?

    As though through glazed membranes today I walk—
    aware—added and subtracted from space—
    the spine of time divided into back-
    bones—multiplied by thresholds, each place’s
    smorgasbord, arrayed aromas presage

    some natural confusion—now balanced
    in a pause—in a doorway of presence.


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  3. equinox: aquarium

    when the doorway becomes a gaping gulf
    and i, upturned, go swimming down into the gully of
    my life,
    i swim past fish bellies
    synchronously gliding,
    my life an aquarium blue.

    i don't know the names of the beings
    whose arms sprinkle guidance daily—
    i sense their immensity,

    this aquarium, this room
    seems to hold my world
    but at the season's doorway,
    i sense greater presence:
    the expanse beyond
    invisible glass
    that contains, protects, constrains me.

    perhaps the wheel of time—equinox and solstice—
    marks out the equipoise of knowing this space and sensing beyond.

    are these time's doorways into ocean?

    Scooter Cascadia

  4. Heading back to bed on the equinox

    With the light at my back,
    slowly the black of your room
    begins to take shape...
    the curve of a curtain,
    the slant of that lamp,
    soft edge of your bed.

    I wait, and watch, and wait,
    as my midnight eyes adjust,
    reluctant to rush to your side.
    It's too soon for me to know
    your apartment in the dark.

    Then you give me a start,
    rolling over with a charming murmur.
    "A glass of water," I explain,
    though I know you're not awake.

    Spilled drink, skinned shins,
    broken bric-a-brac —
    there's little to be gained from
    stumbling about in the dark.
    Yet isn't that what we've been doing?

    We hold tight to one another in the night,
    hand to hip, nose to nape,
    knee tucked neatly inside knee.
    But what do you really know of me,
    a mystery perhaps more dangerous
    than I seem, looming
    in this Victorian doorway.

    Yet it's you, tiny you,
    that I see as a threat,
    a sighing silhouette guilty
    of inexplicable crime:
    trust, unearned, falls asleep
    on my chest week after week.

    My clothes, my keys,
    I could just leave...
    yet there you sleep and dream and breathe
    with me upon your threshold.
    I wait, and watch, and wait.

    And at last, yes, I step
    carefully, consciously, into your room,
    unsure of my footing, unsure of the way,
    but continuing to seek our equilibrium.
    Our days grow shorter, my dear,
    our year grows dark —
    will you meet me completely
    and still retain the faint outline of yourself?


    a yellow wash of goldenrods is nodding
    flagging every untended field
    with the sweet ache of summer's wane

    i knew they were coming,
    watched them swell and push and bud
    then i forgot, got distracted
    until suddenly i am a tiny toy boat
    in a tossing sea of gold.

    maybe they took their cue from the trees,
    who, finished with chlorophyll,
    are spitting the sun's fire anew,
    an elaborate red wilding,
    spirited thank you to helios.

    still, even they were just following the swirl rush of wind
    which has in turn been pulled up
    by a song from the orange sunrise.
    and it is quite possible that only happened
    because the geese honked steadily south
    in widening vees upon vees,
    darkening the evening skies of the night before.

    i don't know how all that motion hangs together,
    this opening show.
    but the deep root-plenishment days are coming -
    and we get to arrive there dancing,humming,dizzy.
    we arrive before our hearts
    which are taking the long way round,
    stepping through a protracted ritual of light
    in the gateway circus of autumn.

  6. Now

    Think of how the moon bride waits
    behind her drifting fog veil.

    Think of how the dark hawk floats
    on the cold breeze of dawn.

    Think of how each moment
    marks a vestibule

    opening into the remainder
    of your astonishing life

    yet also spelling the sorry, sad end
    of your life up to this instant.

    Entrance and exit.
    Graduation, goodbye.

    No easy task, to live
    ever on the threshold

    of some new and
    terrifying light.

  7. better than anything

    I finally made it to that door
    the door that was there all along
    the door that’s not even a door
    the door into the density ~
    this door opens easily
    but getting to it is a whole other story

    It was as if there were leagues
    of vast nothingness to cross, but instead
    it was simply more than I could bear;
    a weight keeping me from going anywhere
    anchoring me from the inside,
    a weight both hallowed and unnameable

    Only to shift, this grey fierceness,
    and without warning
    cloaking something else, some other
    terrain where my life travels and must...
    taking hold like a fever, startling
    the viscera, lighting the pit of the stomach

    Something about it that begs for
    seeing into but also waves off any
    interest, too mild friendliness ~
    it says, 'only speak to me if you can stand
    the most tender part of you becoming
    alight, awake, and awed in agitation'

    When that is so, the door opens ~
    or dissolves ~ all on its own, the fervor
    calls out the very substance of its
    undoing, no show, no thanks, especially
    no trace leaving the unembellished,
    that, which is better than anything