“Highs and lows,
There are pits and lines
On the ground that you stand.
Flux and flow,
And you fix your plans
Then you straighten your hand…”

-Lights


We call the following showcase “Flux and Flow,” which is inspired by our admiration of the musical artist, Lights. Her song, by the same title as this showcase, is featured below. Her song lyrics are especially fitting.

By definition, a flux is the action of something flowing in and out. During life, there are ups and downs, and highs and lows — and despite our best laid plans, changes often come along to alter our path.

It’s important to learn how to go with the flow and use challenges to our advantage. We can’t lose the creative spark that characterizes our human condition, no matter what is going on around us.

And sometimes, what’s going on in the world around us inspires our art.

This is one of those times.

A number of artists, musicians, and writers submitted pieces that were either influenced by feelings during these unusual times or pieces that felt significant to our current experience.

We hope you enjoy this online showcase, and please join us in person for an upcoming celebration. Date TBD.

 

SHOWCASE


FEATURED SONG



THE SHOWCASE


Music

“Stay in Place” by Renee Levesque

 

“A Friend” by Sydney Palmer

 

“Guessing?” by Eric and Ethan Robbins of O the Fool

 

“Shattered” by Mike Machaby of Melic Moon

 

“The Rose of Saratoga” by Alex Brewer

 

“When I Go Outside Again” by Brian Morris

 

“Gypsy” by Tianna Esperanza

 

“My All American Dream” by Tianna Esperanza

 

“Nightingale” Cover by Tianna Esperanza

 

 

Poetry and Assorted Writings

air waves

by Shane Rohane

 

Stay home and decide
Where tone is broken
Denied a memory to sing your name 

Finnicky air on existence’s plane
A plucked note unknown
Melodized to defy confusion
Breath prolongs the illusion
Inside disorder I am frozen 

Captivated by your caring face
A sound wave colored by thought
A conversation that I forgot 

Uncertain of harmonics and longevity 

In patterns and labels faux brevity 

Inverted signs that await fables 

Longing diminished and unstable
We swell in prolonged passion 

Resonate and recede into song
A blur in the recesses of memory

Leticia’s song

by Christina Rauh Fishburne

It should have begun differently–

Stationed by the crossroads.
A hot air balloon.
A parachute.
A silken streak of bending light.

It should have been louder.
The good chords.
The clear tones of story and ache.

As it is,
The world lies curled and clutching.
Wringing its hands.
Looking west.

It should have been faster,
More frantic,
More fanfare–

Not a small and timid note.
A question.
An apology.
A mask.

As it is,
The Aegean rises.
The moors breathe out their triumph.
The city finds a key.

It should have been a larger thing—
A marked and mended sign.

As it is,
we are an accidental blood–

Or, perhaps, a streak of paint from the same knife.

The laundry boy

by Harrison Timperley

Here in the land of the rising sun
the yak still play and the bars still run

Even in the times of the horrid corona
shochu sake, cigars and girls’ll moan-a

Osaka to Tokyo they’ve locked down the sector
But here in the middle, it’s a safe prefecture

I’ve got plenty of time but no cash to spend
a situation that only a laundry boy a can amend

Out to the bars he cleans out the stains
overpriced sake and everyone gains

So when you have an itching to ikimasho
It’s nice to have a friend who pays as you go

But heed my warning, social distance from the hand that feeds
Otherwise you may be asked to do some very dirty deeds.

1. Yak: is short for yakuza, the Japanese mafia
2. Shochu sake: clear japanese rice wine
3. Ikimasho: Means “let’s go!” in Japanese

 

Radiantly Beyond

by Shane Rohane

Notes emote lines confined
Into blurred tones infinite space
In my uncertain grip confident
Despite worry still lithe
Fretting to fret intonation just right
A groove unspecified yet finite
Slash inversions in roaming roots
I hold your neck
Pluck hidden melodies
My first position lionized within

Drunken reveries off-set swagger
A charm worn and haggard
Vowels strain, sing to remain

Serpentine and sanguine shot through

Weaving moods and elocution dance Inside endless confusion fusions
Tense inside the tonic bind
Moods in minor dreams sonic
What is and isn’t melodic
Layered contrast, slip-stream scenes

Forgotten in transparent apparitions

Unmentioned in sound radiantly beyond

Locksmith

by Christina Rauh Fishburne

On September 11th I locked myself out of my car. Or was it my house. I think it was both. It must have been because I could see my keys inside my car from where I stood in my crumbling driveway with nowhere to go. I could break the glass. I could cry. I could run for help. I was alone in Alabama. New York was on fire. My family was in Virginia, in between. I think I blamed the appropriate people. God can fix this, I must have said.

My fiancé was sent to fix it. It didn’t go well. He was sent to fix it some more. My brother went too. I think I was very afraid. Or was I very young. I must have been both because I lived in Germany and couldn’t read road signs well. I got many speeding tickets. Each time I turned the key I waited for punishment.

I was born right after the Three Mile Island accident with wider consequences. My parents found me perfect. They must have. But the world was not looking at me because my entrance had been overshadowed by disaster. From then on I’ve tried not to be seen. I had a baby in Germany. Our door locked automatically from inside. The key was unremarkable but I had it with me at all times. I had a baby in England. Our door was 140 years old. The key was a beautiful curiosity and a pleasure to keep on my person. On the Mexican border I locked myself in darkness while trying to fix a timer. My children slept inside. My husband was fixing the world again. I was alone. The door was shut. It would not open. I cried. I couldn’t run for help. It was locked. It was locked. It was locked. I said, God, bring him home! God, keep them safe! God! Open this door! It opened. There on the porch where it was locked, it opened. I had a baby in Hawaii where the door was at the top of many stairs and the key in the lock meant legs burning, arms hurting, heart speeding. I was never locked out at the top with no strength.

Yesterday was my birthday. New York is on fire again. My family is inside it. The world isn’t looking at us. It has its own flame, its own accident with wider consequences.
Where is the glass to break in this emergency? it must be asking. Where is the ax? Where is the key? We must turn this off!

I see the key from where I stand on a crumbling surface. I try not to blame the appropriate people. I try not to look at the world. I mustn’t. I’m going too fast, running too quickly for help. If I’m unfocused I’ll crash. Or I’ll burn. Or I’ll put my own fist through the glass too soon and instead of saving myself I’ll be cut.

Distance

by Shane Rohane

What life is there in distance

The divide insistent, will diminished
In an instant to close the gap, look back

Between our perceived connections
The shifting eyes of many-sided lives Boundaries and walls, fleshed out spaces

Unfocused numberless days in endless haze

Trapped in solidarity, emotions binary.
The only way to be intact:
Keep apart to stay together.
Attach to this promise,
Survive defeat, keep going.

Into ourselves we retreat through the looking glass

—cracked—

I stare back untethered

Not believing in belief
In relief disjointed prose

Comfort wound intricately

No warmth only scrutiny In the zeal of fervor

The chill of doubt akin to fever Obsessing endlessly for explanation

Seduced by the scent of memories The past whispers in my heart

—Beats—

Into the voice I forget
Into sleep and amorphous dreams
In morphing images abstract scenes
Inside scattered fragments I find
The distance between me and everything else.

Where we live now

by Christina Rauh Fishburne

This is a Hiraeth tabletop.

My daughter picks daffodils while my sons toast more waffles. She is a beauty, a vibrant, thrilling, delight. I catch her swearing in perfect context a few moments later. Her birthday has been cancelled. Like a sold out show. Like an event due to inclement weather.

All I’ve wanted is to stay where I am, at all times. Unless all I want is to get away. To be only a daughter again. To be told to go to bed. To be only a sister again. To fight over cartoons and sand toys.

I have forgotten how much I love the sun. When it shows itself, when the cloud cover burns away, I squint up at it in confusion. I forget what it is to be warm. The garden is a green planet from a different universe with purple and white and yellow hands but I sit here. Inside. Between and among my children in front of a screen which is in front of a bigger screen. A tournament has commenced but none of us understand the rules or how to operate the controls correctly. An arm reaches across my face again as a scream pierces my eardrum. Again.

Everyone is angry. Everyone wants a snack. Everyone is filled with righteous indignation. I close my eyes to keep the swear words inside. I close the windows. There aren’t written rules or posted house blessings nor are there any waffles left for me. Which I wouldn’t eat anyway because I fear carbs. As I fear fullness. And the invisible, the inoculated.

I don’t have a neighborhood. There is only this house and my people in it. There is only us and our fight, our fear, our snack, and our plan to wake up at the usual time. The planet outside my window ends at the gate. Beyond the iron is the rest of the plan.

This is a Decameron room.

I don’t know what the city feels like today. I assume the street is still hard enough to scrape my knee when I fall. I trust that restaurants have glass windows that reflect the sunlight so that their empty tables rest in another dimension.

We wait in the country. We are the Pevensies passing the time until the bombs stop falling. We tell stories but not to each other. We are story enough together. While I live in words, he lives in graphics and victory. The children live in Narnia and Aslan is on the move.

The sun is out. The sky is blue. The laundry is almost done and no one is fighting  anymore. We say grace. We eat just enough to get dessert. We argue about whose piece is bigger. We sit in time out. We give hugs. We take hugs. We tell each other to go to bed. We plan to wake up at the usual time.

This is not my country. This is not my home. This is where I live for now and we will live it up.

Untitled Poems

by Laurel Woodfairy


Perspective, a subjective truth
Whispering hearts
to tell your stories,
the dreams and lullabies
Every thought
ingrained with a feeling
Down to your cells
where they wait
To be excited, turned on
Breathing your history
And more stories of life
and love. But always,
In relation to you
Your reality
Created by each thought
and feeling you’ve ever had
So how do we explain
In just a moment
A single thought
When no thought is ever single?
Objective perspective.
So what is the truth
And how do I help you see
The depth of my story
Like art that perhaps
You don’t understand
You can see and hear
And stand in awe
Of the beauty of perspective
What if each thought expressed
Was art, a canvas covered in paint
Or a melody whose colors
and notes we recognize
And lead us to say
I see you.
Appreciation,
For each tiny part
That makes up the whole
And each piece of our reality
That we are brave enough to share
Because perception
That’s our reality
And we create our world
From the inside out.

For the empaths and the sensitive
among us, and for all of those
that absorb the pain and suffering
of life and of this world like a sponge
we must learn to release and transmute
through the rhythmic movements
of our writhing bodies, through the
raging rivers of our salty tears
and through the blood of our wombs
as we shed layers of the past
and cleanse our wounds, so that
we may let go of all the fear that
no longer serves us and humanity
and so we may find ourselves again
as eternal sparks of divine light
amidst the echoing darkness
as we learn to love ourselves
and each other over and over again.


Transformation, my own, and the divine mother
mother nature, she changes, like the wind
not perfect, or perhaps that is perfection
to move and change form, that which I sit
quietly watching.

The warm air tugs at my dress and plays with my hair
kissing my cheek, whispering sweet nothings
bare knees and shoulders are warm, but oh,
my toes are cold.
I’ve trudged through the snow
in leaky boots, the worn leather coated
in mud and ice.

A bank of snow along my path
collapsed beneath my weight
bringing its icy chill up my thigh
and down into my boot.
But the sun, and air, both so warm,
catalyzing nature’s transformations.

Puddles have formed atop the dense ice covered lake,
and I can see the waves of evaporation where the sun shines.
The scent of earthy moss and pine, and the dripping sound
of melting water in all directions.

This moment, in the midst of change,
like the moment the butterfly leaves her cocoon.
It all changes, but more slowly,
and yet we move so quickly that
we do not even take notice of this change.

This world is mirroring my soul,
as I sit here humbled and connected.
This is transformation and this is change,
I am change and transformation,
but I must slow down to clearly see.

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