I ... entered the poem of life, whose purpose is ... simply to witness the beauties of the world,
to discover the many forms that love can take. (Barabara Blackman in 'Glass After Glass')

Some of these poems are autobiographical, some are entirely fictional, and some are a mixture of both. The intention is art rather than self-expression. I don't allow factual details to get in the way of poetry! (I do seek emotional truth.) They are works in progress, and may be subject to revision without notice. Completed versions appear in my books. Nevertheless copyright applies to all texts found here. Copyright also applies to almost all photos posted here, most of which are my own, though a few are licensed under Creative Commons.
Thank you for your comments. I read and appreciate them all, and reply here to specific points that seem to need it — or as I have the leisure. Otherwise I reciprocate by reading and commenting on your posts as much as possible.

19 July 2014

Tribal Recollections — a Series

I've begun a new series of poems inspired by Rachel Pollack's "Shining Tribe" Tarot deck. (Mine is so old it has the original name, Shining Woman, but she has renamed it since.) This happened yesterday, when I stood in as facilitator of a writers' group, and thought I should devise something a bit different as a writing exercise. I chose this deck because the images are unusual, interesting and evocative.

I passed the cards around and told each person to choose one and write whatever occurred to them on looking at the image. They loved it, and demanded that we keep choosing new cards and doing this exercise for the rest of the session.

I also loved the results I got, just letting my mind explore the image and wander wherever it led.

As a professional Tarot reader, I can say these thoughts had no direct relation to the Tarot meanings of the cards. As I entered into the images, I felt as if I were remembering things I had experienced. Past life recall? Genetic memory? Universal consciousness? Or just imagination, and free association?

I don't know, and I even don't really care. I like these strange poems for what they are. I use the word "recollections" in the series name rather than "memories" because, while I do want to suggest they might be that, I also want to suggest making a collection, and putting fragments together.

The poems will appear in the three following posts, and then from time to time as I am moved to write more. They will be accessible as a group via the Tribal Recollections tag (see bottom of page).


  1. I like the results as well, may try the same with one of my decks. My poetry has been drying up recently. It needs a fresh source,

    1. I'm quite excited about it! I hope you find similar inspiration. What works for me is choosing a deck with images that are quite unusual, that don't immediately lead my mind to Tarot meanings.

  2. The process is interesting, Rosemary ~ I hope to catch you when you post them ~ Thanks ~

  3. Replies
    1. Rob, I think it would be easier if you were to go to Aeclectic Tarot http://www.aeclectic.net/tarot/cards/ and select a card to use.