Double Original (and collaboration!) Friday – Phase Transitions

intermediary s.jpgIn a flash the first two months of 2016 are gone and winter is nearly over! (Well, at least the calendar says “1st day of Spring” in just under two weeks.) For our seasonal poetry/collage collaboration, Kerfe Roig and I decided to tackle the transition from winter to spring. I am thrilled to present the results here – Ms. Roig’s collage above and my poem below. I learned from Kerfe that the two-faced Roman god Janus was invoked for all transitions and not just the new year; I found that particularly inspiring for my poem as he is a truly appropriate starting point for thinking about all kinds of transitions, from the intensely personal to climate change. If you have not dropped by Ms. Roig’s blog, Method Two Madness, lately, it is my hearty recommendation that you do! Kerfe and her dear friend Nina make inspiring and collaborative art on a daily basis. Collage by Ms. Kerfe Roig, poem by me. Have a wonderful Friday evening!

Phase Transitions

It’s the transitions
that get you
my boss said
the day before
he fired me.

I sat there
thinking of bulbs
in freezer bags,
California grandmothers
trying to get
daffodils to grow.

But the hard freeze
doesn’t come
anymore –
anywhere.
Mild winters turn
into ambiguous springs,
and I don’t know what to do.

Perhaps it won’t
rain again
for 10 years,
headlines will read:
winter ends for good
in Greenland.

I got in my car
and drove west
looking for work
on the fourth of July –
there was snow melting into
the harbor.

The seasons used
to be easy
they are now
two-faced,
a year round
going out of
business sale.

27 comments

  1. Marcy, you and Kerfe make a wonderful team! I love the contrast in the collage, and the lines of your poem are magic—the opening stanza grabs the reader right away. I do hope, though, that there’s no autobiographical aspect to the part about losing a job.

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    1. Thank you so much! Kerfe is a very good artistic influence on me – I am grateful each time she agrees to collaborate with me.

      Sadly, that part of the story is true – but so is the part about snow melting into the harbor on the 4th of July! (the Boston plowed snow pile didn’t fully melt until mid-summer last year) – it was an incredibly difficult time for me but I am in a much better place now.

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      1. I knew from your blog that you had relocated from Boston to the West Coast but didn’t realize the difficult circumstances behind the move. That had to have been hard. I am glad that things are going better now.

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    1. Thank you, Jilanne! I wanted to keep the lines very short, so it wasn’t easy to see “what was next” – like the unpredictability of the seasons these days! I loved all the textures in the collage and the movement; I felt it was a really dynamic picture and deserved an equally dynamic poem.

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  2. What a cool collage – love it! Your poem is so right on. Well done! Here in NorCal our seasons have always been unpredictable. Daffs were out in early Feb and are now dying.

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    1. Thank you, Jan! The El Niño weather has been confusing the plants down here in SoCal too! Whenever I think of seasons in the SF Bay I always recall the quote (falsely) attributed to Mark Twain: “The coldest winter I ever spent was a summer in San Francisco.” 🙂

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  3. As commented to Kerfe, this collaboration is fantastic and treat for the senses. Really enjoyed reading your poetic collage, it really strikes and emotional chord, love the depth and layers. Wonderful pairing.

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  4. Oh Marcy, what a poem you have written. I feel it.
    I already commented on the illustration, and it is wonderful too. The two together make a real little gem of an experience for me today. Thank you.

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    1. Thank you so much, Claudia! We decided to start with the theme – transitions – and then the collage and poem followed. I think it worked really well! I mentioned to Sharon that I was a touch nervous about the poem: Kerfe had sent me this fabulous collage and I wanted to write something that would do it justice and add to the conversation.

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    1. Thank you, Sharon! It is my pleasure. Your comment means a lot to me. I was a touch nervous about this poem since it is partly autobiographical – but I think people can sense the genuine voice and pain.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much! The Janus image in Kerfe’s collage, the faces screaming into the wilderness, really inspired me to explore my personal transitions together with the bigger ecological transitions. In my mind they intertwine in unpredictable ways!

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