Friday, April 25, 2014

The Shape-Shifter

Marie-France's beautiful pastel, ( Tana ou La Nuit) evoking  tones of fantastical beauty,
has inspired this month's poem called, "The Shape-Shifter". Like the title suggests, the character is surreal and has the ability to transform herself from female to bird. In the moonlight, she appears wading/dancing in shallow water, a young woman who has migrated here from the desert. She has disrobed herself of traditional garb and a cultural identity. Having lived her life as a Bedouin,  veiled in the darkness of her clothing and a tent sheltering against the fierce heat and wind, she felt confined, uncomfortable. Something strange and wild within  kept beckoning. Some calling from a land of trees, water, and wings. Some place that was indicative of her natural roots. Using the power of her will, prayer and  need for change, she transported to this climate by the  craft of imagination. In the morning, she has metamorphosed  into a white flamingo; her beautiful reflection rippling in the sunlit water. Like in other tales of  folkloric  shape-shifting , the figure is not fully defined and remains mysterious. Logic is not part of the storyline's equation, but rather the loveliness of speculating on the scene and circumstances from an individual point of view.

The moon unravels in sheer mist
enshrouding the lake and woods. A girl
wades in the shallow water
pale as a white flamingo.
Her arms stretch in the wind
as if she were pulling her shadow
from beyond the mangrove trees, the story
of her migration from the east
where rain is rare. Where her breath
could not dissolve in the blue
sky because of dust and skillet heat.
She has wandered here, desert bride
who shed robes and veil
to wash her soul in the wetlands,
to re-inhabit her roots.
Tomorrow, there will be no trace
of  the girl's dance. Only a bird
seeking to catch  fish and a glimpse
of herself transformed
in the rippling light.
The beautiful pastel fantasy by French artist, Marie-France is called, "Tana ou  La Nuit" ( Tana or The Night ) based on the surreal character created by author, Claude Le Prestra. More of Marie-France's lovely work can be found here on her blogsite --

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