Death & Dying, Life & Living, Memories, Poetry

torn corners & confetti (viii)

As I mentioned at the outset, eight is an extraordinarily powerful number; it figures prominently amongst many world religions and cultures.


The 8 is the great Karmic equalizer, a force that just as easily creates as it destroys. It balances the material and immaterial worlds.

The spiritual side of the 8 is practical, realistic and intelligent. On the material plane, it is focused on results, often in the form of money, yet does not care much about money for its own sake. It is not greedy, it sees money as a means not an end.

The number 8 in the Bible represents a new beginning, meaning a new order or creation, and man’s true ‘born again’ event when he is resurrected from the dead into eternal life.

Here’s a quick reference to the meaning of eight in the Western Tarot: cycles, infinity, fluidity, balance, success, intention, inspiration, revolution, opportunity, expansion, repetition, expression, perception, sustainability, and transcendence.

The number eight has played a significant role in my life for the last ten years.

Finally, here is stanza (viii): Continue reading “torn corners & confetti (viii)”

Life & Living, Memories, Poetry

torn corners & confetti (vii)

I thought myself clever to have come up with eight torn corners that resembled giant pieces of confetti – particularly as I’d composed the poem’s title long before the idea for the images jumped into my consciousness via Six Feet Under. Perhaps I am clever. Or maybe the creativity godesses guided the process. Maybe both or neither.

I scrunched the eight pieces into little balls like one might crumple scrap paper before tossing it in the garbage, and then unfolded them leaving the creases and texture from the crushing mostly intact. I photographed them separately, and paired them without logic–or at least none of which I’m aware–with the word blocks.

While the individual images have nothing to do with the content of the stanzas with which they are partnered, as reassembled puzzle pieces they have everything to do with the poem in its entirety. I like the paradox of that.

Here’s stanza (vii): Continue reading “torn corners & confetti (vii)”

Life & Living, Memories, Poetry

torn corners & confetti (vi)

I chose two old photos featuring my mother from the collection on my desk. In one, she’s surrounded by her family of origin: her younger brother and sister, her older sister, her mother and father. She’s about 12.

The other is of her in her early thirties with my younger brother and I sitting on her lap; he’s sandwiched between the two of us and looks uncomfortable. I’m about three; he’s two years younger.

I photographed the old pics with my iPhone, imported them onto my laptop, inserted them into PowerPoint, treated them with a black-and-white effect, printed them on plain white paper, and then tore them carefully apart. The result was eight pieces of “confetti” all of which were corners.

Here’s stanza (vi): Continue reading “torn corners & confetti (vi)”

Life & Living, Memories, Poetry

torn corners & confetti (v)

I was surprised to find the answer to my images question in Six Feet Under; but there it was in a random scene:

The daughter, Claire, an aspiring photographer, and her boyfriend are fooling around with some portrait images she has taken. They rip the eyes out of one of the photographs and Claire, who is lying on the floor, places the torn out images on top of her own eyes. She asks her boyfriend to take a picture of her with the torn-out eyes resting on own.

The effect was arresting and a little disturbing. The scene sparked my creativity.

Here’s stanza (v): Continue reading “torn corners & confetti (v)”

Life & Living, Memories, Poetry

torn corners & confetti (iv)

torn corners & confetti comprises eight stanzas of eight lines each.

As I worked on the words, the idea of accompanying them with images percolated in the background. I wondered how I might do that. In the meantime, I decided to release the poem in eight posts over eight days in keeping with the theme, title and form, as well as the way dementia chops memory into bits. The gradual release is also akin to the disease’s progressive nature. Ironically, the solution to the images problem came one night as I watched an episode of the HBO series Six Feet Under. Stay tuned.

Here’s stanza (iv): Continue reading “torn corners & confetti (iv)”

Life & Living, Memories, Poetry

torn corners & confetti (iii)

Our imaginative writing group facilitator Carolyn Rowell used A Room in Antwerp as a prompt on the final half-day session of our group’s spring “term.”

I wrote the skeleton of torn corners & confetti using snippets from Laure-Anne Bosselaar’s beautiful piece. In the same session, somebody talked about “carving” poems into “parts” using numbers. I mentally filed that information for future reference. A few weeks later, I revisited my as yet untitled draft. It expanded and contracted, changed and evolved over another week or so until I had eight stanzas of eight lines each.

Eight is an extraordinarily powerful number. More on that later.

Here’s stanza (iii): Continue reading “torn corners & confetti (iii)”