MusingWith: Poem & Responses

MusingWith: Mei-mei Berssenbrugge

Kandice Chuh, Patricia Ticineto Clough, Kimiko Hahn, Jennifer Hayashida, Joseph Jonghyun Jeon, Kyoo Lee, Russell C. Leong & Simon Leung


Series guest-edited by Kyoo Lee


Table of Contents

Turquoise Shade, by Mei-mei Berssenbrugge ………………………………… 1
after and before, by Kandice Chuh ……………………………………………….. 2
A diagram: five shades of turquoise, by Patricia Ticineto Clough … 3
A Response to Mei-mei, by Kimiko Hahn………………………………………… 4
sky holds the timing, by Jennifer Hayashida ………………………………….. 5
On “Turquoise Shade”, by Joseph Jonghyun Jeon ………………………… 6
Through a Turquoise Dialogue, by Kyoo Lee ………………………………….. 7
On Shade, by Russell C. Leong ……………………………………………………….. 8
There’s a collection of birds, by Simon Leung ………………………………… 9

 

Turquoise Shade

Mei-mei Berssenbrugge

For Leslie Silko

1

Sun shines laterally through ragged shade cloths on the patio, datura, morning glories, hibiscus in pots.

A cactus wren lands and walks around, mourning dove; a grackle lands on a palo verde, it’s early spring dawn.

One woodpecker with a red spot on his head lands at the top of a tall saguaro, and one hiding there pops up.Mine tumbles easily down cactus needles, like the side of a building, feathers sliding lines along lines.

Bee lands on a yellow flower, and now air is warm.

I hear quail murmur beyond the wall in Sonoran Desert luxe from rain.

Leslie created this place dense with being, with shade, the progenitor, shade inter-being with light stepping down to matter as onto new leaves of an ironwood tree in the wash.

In a world where I did not visit this spring, “someone” did, who is a moment influencing my mesa here.

That daydream of me didn’t act like me; she fell between two boulders in a wash in noon heat and sheltered under the ironwood.

There would be enough shade, though finite in dimensions in the present, was infinite in inter-being and feeling in Tucson.

An image was propelled into the present by knowing you in protean time; strands approach one another, bifurcate, intersect or become asymptotic with permutations.In some you exist and not I, or vice versa.

Space between your patio and watching light over the Jemez here is active structure.

Shifting from the perspective of memory to an appreciation of space and intimacy link.

I try to set up an environment of objects: my return flight, ambition, an apple green Sung vase, poem about antelope; then these interact and give themselves to other situations.

They’re accessible, open, like space above a lake.

2

It fluctuates, as on film of you telling a story when we were young, your voice like a lake at night with fireflies blinking on and off above it.

Our moments together and separate are pervaded with space above the lake.

Each molecule between places may be full of gaps, discontinuities allowing us to slip through landscape more easily.

Soon the lake is no longer reflecting at all.

Stars on the surface are not reflections of fireflies in this part of space.

They’re stars from somewhere else, and they’re not on the surface; they shine in open space visible through the lake.

By lake, I mean landscape between reflection and translucence condensing to a point of what we say, while watching real Sonoran fireflies and phosphorescent cacti blossoms.

Memory is how one expressing an outline in the form of a blossom becomes the glow of that form.

Seeds planted in the mental glow-strand continuum create cooperative conditions for my encounter in real time as feeling for others, light extending into mandala, if any friend dies ever, mirror on the ground you see through when I think of you.

Ground is dark lava.

3

There’s still snow on hillsides.

Pinions, irregular dots, must weigh down pink sand for it to continue to the blue Jemez caldera horizon.

Distance holds space for sky, sky holds the timing of seeing light across the day holding darks.

The causal continuum can’t explain this sequence—things growing, ecological distribution.

I open through space to expose finite timed fields of being with you now because “I” visited you in early spring.

Space provides that specific constituting nurture for us, a characteristic landscape sweep from my porch.

Though I’m so conditioned by the transitory, any aspiration just fills gaps in the grid of objects on land as intentions interacting or intimacies, one after another, which bear value like traveling toward a blossom.

4

The plants at your house were in near-ground shade.

I look into shelter resonance like mother-of-pearl, shade iridescence, potted hibiscus and cereus.

Dense speech of pet macaws fills around me.

Shadows of branches, scurryings in mottled light manifest the deva friend in near spring light.Visualizing deva-form attains that form as distance across this valley.

An archetype appears through the secretive dark of a volcanic blue cone across space on which light subsides like an ocean wave into consciousness, creating “mountain” from the potential, non-vibratory state.

From this state, awareness, the observer, I evoke “self” awareness of flora and fauna.

I question banal tears for deva-mother ground, a condensation of lighted strands of my body I materialized by looking out.

Her clear referring light crystallizes cells along immutable immaterial ideas, forming and non-discursive, like perfect whorls of purple aster petals and golden cactus needles.In the same way, your morning terrace is my offering forming by seeing.

5

North on the mesa, dry deer grass, dry rabbit bush, glowing green sticks with dry flower husks, cobbles gray or beige, gray creosote bush with narrow green leaves, stick matrices of ephedra, young yucca with last year’s stalk, giant dark juniper, pinion tree skeletons, finches, jays, volcanic basalt, wind, snow flurries and dust in April; it’s a long day of light already.

Even for separated persons, some properties of their particles become linked, such as earth and animals.

Moving from place to place, spreading out the landscape actually “times out” in the same place, an opening like diffusion.

The great intelligence of the ant community here is its deva, an ideal form, eight feet tall, and I can communicate with her through my feelings of care and affection.

Ants need that in order eventually to know their source.

I take I as deva, offering as visualizing relation in array.

She communicates presence as my deep fulfillment I attempt with ants as appearance, word, reference, entangling event.

No point establishes the next point, never having been with respect to distance.

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