Pattern Upon Pattern

braille collage 2

a tanka sequence by Julie Thorndyke and Jan Dean

August sweeps
over the demolition site—
broken walls, twisted pipes
the torn patterns of old
wallpaper and past lives

layers build
pattern upon pattern
making art
isn’t always so
the best comes easily

so much to do—
can’t find my way
back
to that quiet place
poetry comes from

how like reflection
to make something better
the wrong way up
some day the world will say
twist asunder and start again

I need new words
to populate a poem—
some fish to swim
in the lily pond where thoughts
hover like dragonflies

once the winds
were always in august
now they come at whim
darting here, unbending
restless, ever restless

if the wind
blows from another
direction—shall I
dance a different step
sing a different tune

is anything left
from those long dark days
when everything
was gratefully received?
for some nothing ever suits

on a creaky ship
that rolled and rocked
grandfather came…
and this old frock coat
is all that is left of him

some decide
recycling is warranted
others are happy
to forget the past, move on
saving the best for last

©Julie Thorndyke and Jan Dean
First published Kokako 14 April 2011 p.34-35

 

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