Friday, October 5, 2012

October is a Funny Month...of Timelessness and Lilies

Clouds in California - Eaton Canyon, Pasadena, September 2012

In Canada, October is the month for Thanksgiving, but in China, Cyprus, Croatia, Germany, Nigeria, Portugal, Taiwan it is the time to celebrate national holidays. In America we have the Columbus Day and a whole month to come up with the most outreageous, bloody or scary Halloween costumes...

Global October celebrations also include the birthday of Mahatma Ghandi, Free Thought Day, World Food Day, Apple Day, Spirit Day, Halloween, and All Souls Day, among many others. There is something different to celebrate in each country in this month of harvests and remembrances of death and dying. 

One of my favorite, nostalgic and melancholy celebrations of October is the annual visit to a cemetery. Families visit the graves of their loved ones, bring candles and prayers. Thousands of candles flicker in the rain, wet leaves shuffle under the feet, the air is scented with smoke and memories of days past... people gone... happiness subdued by absence... I must say that I rather liked it, these dark evenings among the ancient crooked tombstones of Poland...

Cemeteries are different under the brilliant California sun that banishes melancholy. But it is good to remember our place in the stream of time, a raging torrent that becomes more violent every day. Death and life, farewells and welcomes. New babies are being born and cherished. Life goes on...  For October, I selected a poem on cosmic time and timelessness as it is reflected in the transience and beauty of our lives. Someone said that the best way to walk it is to keep one feet in time and the other in timelessness...

© 2008 by Maja Trochimczyk

Yes, there is time
Yes, there is weight
of the rocks on the skin
of the earth making
It harder to breathe
for the beast of eons

Yes, there are clouds
Yes, there is air
cut with wispy stripes
of whiteness wishing,
willing itself into being,
into solid forms that
dissolve in the merest
breeze, flee into nothing

Yes, there we are
Yes, matter stays
atoms, prions, electrons
dance in an endless cycle 
of DNA spirals, molecules,
blades of grass and gravel

Yes, there is time
to watch, to catch
the transient beauty
of living in red harmony
blood circling in our veins,
rock dust changing into stars



My most recent publications include "The Rite of Passage" that appears in the Epiphany Magazine, Issue 16 (October 2012), accompanied by three photographs of mountains, clouds and roses. The poem celebrated my 2011 vacations in the High Sierras of Calfiornia. I love the clarity and jewel colors of montain lakes!

  • Epiphany Magazine, monthly poetry and photography magazine, October 2012 issue - "The Rite of Passage"  
Then, my poem "The Unseen" inspired by teaching arts and ethics in a Los Angeles County Jail, was selected by the online site and print yearbook, Van Gogh's Ear:
The first two poems of the cycle "Among the Lilies" - "Water Lily I" and "Water Lily II" (inspired by Claude Monet's paintings at L'Orangerie) were selected by Marie Lecrivain for her section in the annual mammoth Lummox Journal. The next two "Water Lilies" are a fitting follow up and are reprinted below. These poems are my souvenirs from my trip to Paris in October 2011.

  • Lummox  Magazine, a poetry anthology published by Lummox Press, ISBN 978-1-929878-38-3
    Perfect bound, Trade Paper, 230 + pages; $30, $25 (includes shipping from the publisher)

Fragment of Water Lilies by Claude Monet, L'Orangerie, Paris, 2011 photo by Maja Trochimczyk
                   Lilies by Claude Monet, L'Orangerie, Paris

Water Lily III
(c) 2011 by Maja Trochimczyk

He keeps the colors royal
Vermillion and scarlet
The breeze shifts, scattering the patterns
Cleansing the air
From distant traces of mustard gas 

The breath and the brushstroke are one
He is the wind, moving through the garden
Made to be painted

Fragment of Water Lilies by Claude Monet, L'Orangerie, Paris, 2011 photo by Maja Trochimczyk
                       Lilies by Claude Monet, L'Orangerie, Paris

Water Lily IV
(c) 2011 by Maja Trochimczyk

Lily pads float up into indigo
Gathering like birds before winter
Pulled by the gravity of belonging
They fall into the night

Blossoms and cicadas
A nightingale’s song swirls above their sleep
A cricket counts the brushstrokes

Stiff fingers ache
It is good he had the ponds dug out
Life is good

Fragment of Water Lilies by Claude Monet, L'Orangerie, Paris, 2011 photo by Maja Trochimczyk
                         Lilies by Claude Monet, L'Orangerie, Paris


Photo Credits:
Photo of clouds at Eaton Canyon, Pasadena, CA, September 2012 by Maja Trochimczyk
Photos of fragments of Claude Monet's Water Lilies at L'Orangerie in Paris, October 2011, by Maja Trochimczyk