I decided to try something somewhere in between the mandala method I have been doing recently which are intuitive and unplanned and the ones I was doing earlier which were fairly structured. The idea (we’ll see if it continues) is to meditate on a word and then see how it impacts what I do. In this case, the imagine sprang into my mind pretty much as drawn so I sketched it out to make sure the celtic knots would work and then inked it. The butterfly was a late addition to the party but I think he belongs.
Tom’s poetic meditation on gratitude:
Complex weaving of our lives
into beauty unexpected
lifting us to build and thrive
keeping true and undeflected
by the buffeting of days
that would push us from our ways
running side-by-side through time
steady on along the line
that arcs from start to end, a bow
of light refracted in the dew
between we happy, lucky two
to fly together, high and low.
Whatever else tomorrow brings
Two voices each to each we sing.
This one was really asking for vibrancy …and it ended up quite a riot of colour hence the name! Although this mandala is definitely summer themed, since the coming weekend is Easter, if you want, you could imagine those are Easter eggs hidden in there. 😄
Tom seems to have noticed this one was particularly colourful as well!
When too much colour fills the world
it spills into the summer flowers
brightly etched and roughly knurled
raising up their fecund powers
to create new generations
with pollenistic exhalations
spreading life beneath the sun
as the summer’s long days run
from dawn to dusk and back again
the fields of fragrant flowers wave
while dragonflies find what they crave
beneath the summer sun’s long reign.
The world is painted bright and wild
Each colour on the others piled.
Pink flowers, green leaves, a tawny cat …and a lacy white tracery.
Here is Tom’s lovely poem.
Lacy network, leafy ruff
worn about my lady’s throat
made from all the finest stuff
like her veil and petticoat.
Through her veil the garden’s wild
panoply of flowers beguiled
as away her time she whiled
by the pool whose bottom’s tiled
with stones and fragments of her soul.
Deep she leans across the pond
reflecting on a memory fond,
before time took it’s mortal toll.
Somewhere children laugh behind
Bringing hope and joy to mind.
Sometimes it is hard to know where to start with these mandalas. Continuing once a beginning has been made is usually easier. This time I started with a sleeping cat in the middle thinking I wonder what will follow from that?
Apparently, lots of details, flowers and lace. Maybe it’s a kitty’s dream landscape. It’s really up to you. 😉
Thankfully, Tom has wonderful words for this world!
As the eye returns and turns again
through lazy ambulations at the edge
drawn to filigrees and flowers when
it peers through open spaces in the hedge
that bounds the hidden maze of complex paths
where lovers drift in circles round the ponds
lingering to hear each other’s laughs
watching breezes blowing through the fronds
of grasses growing from the simple centre
stretching out to kiss the summer sun
through lacy veils that let the breezes enter
in to the place where the cat has run.
Deep within the the garden she is curled
Deep asleep without care in the world.
I wanted the colours for this one to be very rich with mostly purples, reds and oranges. This is a “mini-mandala” so about 6″ in diameter but there is a lot packed in so here is a detail.
As usual, Tom saw even more curious things than I did. This new poem encapsulates a whole story!
The lamps are lit, the wheels must turn
let the toothy gears engage
opening the secret urn
decoding all the truths the Sage
encrypted on four secret scrolls
each entire and carefully rolled
hidden well ’til they were stoled
then to a Magus quickly sold!
Now in London they do lie
waiting for the seance start
where the Sage’s beating heart
will for justice–vengeance–cry
within the rich embroidered room
where four men go to meet their doom!
Well this one went off in a completely different direction! it started by looking like cushions and then …well I guess it’s whatever you want to see. 😁 Tom brought an interesting vision as usual!
The chairs are set around the seance table
Four places ready for the mythic riders
Charging out of history in to fable
Ready now to act as sole deciders
Of the future hidden in the scrolls
Unread, unknown, alive and dead at once
Carpet waiting for the spectral footsteps
In this moment absent for the nonce.
The servants have withdrawn and all is still
They do not wish to meet their absent masters
Who bend the Fates to merely human will
And choose between each triumph and disaster.
The room is ready, let the curtain rise
To reveal the Future in surprise!
What can I say? A playful drawing begged for playful colours! And now the tiny cats are easy to see. UPDATE: See below to really see those kitties!
As usual, Tom saw all kinds of things to inspire his whimsical poetry.
Cotton candy clouds of wine
fill so full the valley cups
to the hill’s soft plimsol line
where the downs go to meet up
with the mysteries of the night
which rise while lovers dance in flight
toward completion, whole and right,
on to dawn’s emergence bright
from behind the hollow hills
where white cats lie nestled deep
practicing their purring skills
until they’re perfect, then they sleep
amidst the sun and shade of trees
while lowing herds cross o’re the leas.
The colours of a summer afternoon! It was pleasant to put myself in that zone on a grey autumn day. (This was mini-mandala 3 now water-coloured.)
And here is Tom’s seductive poem continuing the medieval theme!
Through skies of softest Tyrian blue
joyous swallows flit and fly
delighting in the evening hues
of the dusky darkling sky
while beneath a silken cover
knight and lady, lord and lover,
whisper secrets to each other
softly sliding truth discovered
somewhere in the space between
each breath, each word, each kiss, each touch
as swallows dance above the green
until enough is more and much
is carried on throughout the night
until the dawn brings love to light.
Well, after struggling the previous day with the mid section of the mandala this final third felt like a gift. As I was meditating, the image arose in my mind of lotus leaves forming a canopy over this world. I love the whimsical, surreal sense it gives the whole. Hope you do too!
Here is Tom’s response as the final third of this mandala series narrative experiment. Love this!
Rising high above the mountains
lotus blossoms spread their leaves
catching water from the fountains
of the scudding Hyades
as from rain-wracked winter skies
cataracts fall on the wise
who avert all-seeing eyes
from an army on the rise
until the warriors of home
meet in battle cruel invaders
as the king upon his throne
commits his great dissuader:
Art unfolding on the plain
sends attackers home again.
But wait! there’s more!! Tom so enjoyed the final image that he wanted to write a separate poem for the image as stand alone. This poem is less action packed and more meditative. There is one more version of this mandala planned …what will Tom’s poetic response be after it’s painted?!
curving round horizon near
a world within a pond
ancient garden, absent fear
embracing lotus fronds
little mountains rising small
weighty, deep, and dense
dragons hide in clouds too tall
beyond the garden fence
here within this perfect world
wisdom sits and waits
in the sky the curlews skirl
above the open gates
though none may leave and none may enter
all are drawn into the centre
Well, I have to admit I got a bit “in my head” with this one – not as meditative as an approach as I try to bring to mandala drawing. But after reading Tom’s poem for the first part, this is how I continued the mandala. The scene unfolds with bridges, people and stylized Chinese clouds with dragons lurking …and Tom followed with the next poem for the series.
All across the Middle Kingdom
gossips gather in the streets
“Will the Emperor’s dominion
yield to rude invader’s feet?”
“Of course the Throne is will never fall
to the horsemen of the steppes!
Our warriors will give their all
to keep the raiders from our steps!”
On the walls the mages conjure
summoning the dragon-clouds
to ward the kingdom from its danger:
up they rise so fierce and proud!
While the sentinels beyond
huddle ‘neath the lotus fronds.