Poems from Trance Form

by Penn Kemp

how porous the permeable membrane
            that shuts us from the elements
            that opens us to the elements
            in whose skin we are
            in whose ear we are drum
            in whose eye we are retina
            emerges thru our silence
            our speech
            in the desert
            by water
            up mountain
where ever
            light bursts to prism
            violet first then blue green orange yellow red
            energy fans into form
            her forms in the moment of
 ( a rose breasted grosbeak
 whirls chirps settles on rafter
 all the impetus of spring string
 in its beak)
                      the moment of

©Penn Kemp

apantomancy, they call it, & this turtle
chances upon me deliberately
on the margin of marsh
-bubble clusters bead the surface
he breaks for air
gold eye at swamp level
black pupil hollow
to ancient telling
turtle, do you know the way to centre island?
comfort me, speak - he says nothing
tho his mouth cracks open like a smile
to snap bugs flitting
sun lights upon water
reflect/ refract pattern
he enters obliquely
at angle of incidence
his denser medium home
-flippers push thru seaweed strands
turtles wear their home upon their back
familiar with deep div(in)ing
i follow slowly sluggish with change
to-unclean green brackish water
rolling off our great horn shells
first i thought how awkward
 to manipulate that weight
but swimming of course we're light
-amphibians adapted to both
between sleep & waking
we surrender to the littoral manifold
where elements meet

©Penn Kemp

we are all your surrounding  whose form is
of necessity  feeling  encoded in landscape

creak of red-winged blackbird  chittering tree
what need to art/iculate  we trance scribe

i hear you lady  in your element  the lowlying
frequency of silence  where thought stops clean

the senses fold in from the quarters  fold out
from the body  2-way currents consume me wholly

till your forms start up again in the more or less
corresponding characters of a different tongue

concerned friends intrude  i am they say spaced
blown thru & out the other side of reason by past

question & concept:  how are you? what are you
doing? what have you done? what  will you do?

i need not reply in person  for all so apparently
I'm here  in the continuous  pattern of response

©Penn Kemp

wait       for the moment
         when ocean recedes
      when the sound   of ocean

                              sky opens

enter the elegant spiral of seashell
   enter matter
                 climb the double helix
                        see the light at apex

                                         out there

      sand or shellwall cloud the gap
                  how to pierce trancelucence
                            lady windows promise light
                                       but bar it

         opacity will clear
                the coils will spin
                                                without sound


©Penn Kemp

Penn Kemp

Penn Kemp has been active in Canada’s literary scene since her first publication of poetry, Bearing Down, by Coach House (1972). As well as editing Canada’s first anthology of women’s writing, IS 14 (1973), she wrote the first play produced in Canada about abortion rights. She was London's inaugural Poet Laureate and the League of Canadian Poets’ Spoken Word Artist, 2015. Multimedia works are up on https://riverrevery.ca. Her 2018 poetry books are Local Heroes (Insomniac Press) and Fox Haunts(Aeolus). www.pennkemp.weebly.com.

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