21 | Inklings

One tall candle flame

burns in a sconce.

A black-gowned figure

bisects the scene:

small head — female? —

short hair, downcast eyes.

Candle-light reflects clear,

just on the right cheek.

On the table a wineglass

— or is it a chalice? —

between two dark elbows —

long exaggerated arms.

The right hand shows only

four fingers — no thumb.

The left hand must hide

inside the long left sleeve.

One wonders if the hand

above the glass chalice

pauses in blessing —

or prepares to drop

in another poison pill?

She’s contemplating:

making up her mind,

— waiting for a sign?

Everything is long, lean —

enclosed in angled lines:

praying mantis green,

shades of olive walls.

Shadow-swirls dance —

marling every surface.

There’s one tiny bright

emerald-green triangle

between body-table-arm.

Is that the healing hope?

A similar shade of green

— not quite as brilliant —

covers the lower left corner —

where Mara signed her name.

The lonely circles in this piece

surround the candle flame.

Few other organic forms appear:

in chalice — eyes, lips, and head.

For some, the spleen holds light

— is this what the title reflects?

When demon Mara tempted Buddha

beneath the bodhi tree, he reached


with his right hand — touched dirt —

and said: The earth is my witness.

Yes, earth witnesses us all today

— amidst darkening — and in light.

. . . . .

Susan Powers Bourne

Ekphrastic poem reflecting

‘Spleen’ by Mara Rucki

femmage | 20 apr 1863

20 apr 1890 Carmelita Chase Hinton

Carmelita Chase Hinton (20 apr 1890 – 16 jan 1983 | Omaha NE – Concord MA) farmer, gardener, visionary, adventurer, progressive educator, founding director of The Putney School in Putney, Vermont | women.born.today (c) susan.powers.bourne


20 | Sapphic


Gifts given and received retain their own marks

made upon skin and bone, memory and soul.

Gifts never given, those retrieved soon after,

make void the giving.

. . . . .

20 apr | spb

femmage | 19 apr 1666

19 apr 1666 Sarah Kemble Knight

Sarah Kemble Knight (19 apr 1666 – 25 sep 1727 | Boston MA – New London CT) diarist, teacher, innkeeper, scrivener, shopkeeper, travelled by horseback alone Boston-to-New York | women.born.today (c) susan.powers.bourne

19 | Introducing Meaning

At first glance,

the meanings of culture

seem self-evident.

On closer examination,

they can become

quite complex.

We weave new meaning

using time-tested symbols

as ways to shift thinking.

The greatest hope is

to escape eternal life, unite

with universal spirit —

above both meaning

and meaninglessness

found among people.

Open doors must speak

much more than just mechanics:

they have to show context.

And since we cannot require

any or all particular doors to open,

we must find appropriate

requirements, overlooked

so often like magnificent treasures

hidden in plain sight.

Blessings of the rising sun,

clean hands, double rainbows:

everything becomes sanctified.

Blake said: in between, there are

doors in the ajar, in liminal places

and people — in errors along

margin notes, frayed edges —

where we open to each other,

when we choose to play.

I say: no longer locked behind

closed doors, windows wide open,

we dance the night away.

. . . . .

Susan Powers Bourne

Found poem sourced from first lines

of Google search: “open doors”

femmage | 18 apr 1883

18 apr 1883 Clara Elsene Peck Williams

Clara Elsene Peck Williams (18 apr 1883 – 24 feb 1968 | Allegan MI – Gettysburg PA) painter, etcher, illustrator, comics artist, watercolorist | women.born.today (c) susan.powers.bourne

18 | Bodhidharma


formulaic notions leave,

fly back to tiny lairs —

wait for foggier days,

before they try again

. . . . .

18 apr | spb