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Emergence

Poetry and Art by Lisa Kagan


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Emergence

Poetry and Art by Lisa Kagan

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Contents

Brilliance Obscured

9

Mt. Zeus

25

Moonrise

in the Garden

45

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This book is dedicated to my family,

east and west. With special gratitude

to my editors, my dad Neil Kagan and

my husband Lewis Childs.

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Words

Quietly they emerge

some are seed words

ready to plant themselves

multiply

cross pollinate

repopulate

some are shadow words

living in caves

labyrinths of roots and bugs

some are new words

self-invented

entrepreneurs

explorers

some are God words

unspoken

hovering in the universe.

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Brilliance Obscured

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Cartwheels

You are all ocean

sea caves

a multitude of tiny stones

sun kissed you carry me

through tide pools

starfish slowly turning cartwheels

one rotation will take a lifetime to complete.

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Today

In the mornings, amidst the fog

I desire to dissolve into nothingness

feel my bones mingle with the salt of the earth

some days I could just float off

making my home on a warm rock

at the mouth of a bellowing sea cave

but today, I will lie down in the tall grass of this crazy life

with a breath of thanks,

rejoice that it is my own.

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22


Brilliance Obscured

Hailstorms blacken a channel

of afternoon sky

I stand in the heart of brilliance obscured

falls rush

in an endless conversation with gravity

thunderous call

resonates off walls of rock

the scream inside of me is released.

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Mt. Zeus

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Sustenance and Song

You are a soft grin

that dips down a little on one side

lights up the whole room at a glance

you are a steep slope

vaulting shamelessly into the sea

tails flying, effortlessly in motion

sailing across the whole world in one deep breath

you are a spark

all handstands and shooting stars

filling the night with howling visions

galloping through celestial fields

a stallion trailing glitter and stardust

you are a cavernous wonder

obscure columns and hidden rivers

spelling out secret stories in the darkest hours

whispers of earthquakes

tremors trapped in rocks

ladders carved up into another time

you are a ripe fruit

spellbound with glory

ready to be devoured

drop by drop in the early morning light

sweet color swells

sustenance and song.

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Aerial Conception

Asymmetry of delicate wings

charts the beauty of your flight

traversing the surface of afternoon in a kinesthetic embrace

exhibition of aerial harmony

anticipates offspring of exquisite grace

your conception in the sky

transforms stillness into life

quietly I become one of those golden leaves

drifting slowly past

becoming the evergreen’s shadow

silence born to night.

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44


Moonrise in the Garden

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Moonrise in the Garden

I dig my hands into the winter earth

surrounded by trees

strikingly bare in retreating afternoon sun

fall plumage of red and gold

dissolving to a brown rumpled pile at their roots

some stand proudly

branches arching boldly across the sky

others, more reserved

humble brown trunks keeping their brilliance

hidden beneath the ground

preparing to bloom once again

I feel like I have entered into their space

at a very intimate moment

as if they were getting undressed

and lost in the serenity of their unveiling

stark figures showing off their individual forms

without distractions of leaves and flowers

quiet surrender

I glimpse remnants of summer’s unrestrained passions

clematis vines intertwine with the crabapple tree

in a silent embrace

wildly overgrown butterfly bushes bow deeply

dreaming of butterflies, far off in their migration

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in this temperate December rainforest garden

not everything is sleeping

already fresh green heads peek out from the dark earth

I want to tell them to go back to bed

you are up too early, sun hardly rises here now

your exposed tips will be taken by frost

yet they are arriving in their own perfect harmony

even on the darkest days of the year

harboring enough faith to believe in the coming light

a single purple flower stares at me unblinkingly

taken by its bold presentation

amidst a tumble of brown and green

it seems unperturbed that it is the only flower blooming

in the entire garden

now as the moon rises

today’s wonders become shrouded in darkness

obscured, at peace with the night

they keep each other warm in their underground chambers

quietly at rest

amidst the rain, amidst the stars

writing their own poems to be unearthed in the springtime.

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The Same Dream

Night breathes slowly into the room

outside humming birds are hidden in the shadows

beaks dripping with nectar

garden photosynthesizes beneath the stars

spiders draw lines of silk from branch to branch

weaving a delicate twilight of fine bridges

scent of lilies populates the rooms of the house

wild bodies explode from the vases

veins of magenta

tiny hairs

deep purple stamens

brilliant green stars

bursting

still wet with yesterday’s rain

others lounge languidly in the corners

petals cascading over the edges

watching

ones in the bedroom seem to be swimming off

dreaming of one day becoming sea turtles

free in the vast tumult of waves

in the currents of our sleep last night,

I believe we also had the same dream.

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Credits

Poetry and Art by Lisa Kagan

Designed by Lisa Kagan

Lisa Kagan Designs

www.LisaKaganDesigns.com

Portland, Oregon

The poetry in this book was written between 2001 and 2009.

Copyright © 2009 Lisa Kagan Designs

All rights reserved. Reproduction of the whole or any part of the contents without

permission is prohibited.

Printed by Stevens Printing, Portland, Oregon.

Front cover: Metamorphosis, 2009, Mixed Media

Celebrating the human spirit through the

transformative nature of the artistic process

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