Formless Rings

note: I am including the bare, formless text of these poems here partly for myself. As my vision declines it becomes increasingly difficult to read visual poems/poems in unconventional forms.

Text for Delighted

Poem 1 (Entire Grid)

I find it one day. Standing in front of a white wall staring straight ahead a thick dark circle with a small light center appears. My blind spot. But not yet a spot. Now only a ring of smudged gray surrounding white. Sumdged gray the central vision I’ve lost and white what remains. Every year this ring will thicken spread until absorbing the shrinking center. I stare at it until my head aches my eyes twitch. I observe how it moves slightly when I shift my gaze. How it grows bigger when I cover my left eye smaller when I cover my right. How it begins to throb then fade then flare. A dark fiery hoop with silvery flecks burning through my thinning retina.

Poem 2 (Inner circle/central vision that’s left)

remains.
ring will thicken
orbing the shrink
stare at it

Poem 3 (Blind Ring)

To witness this site of my unseeing usually hidden behind softened forms filled-in gaps astonishes. What magic lets me see through this ring obscuring my view? How satisfying now to know this show is more real than the illusions my brain offers as sight.

Text for Bewildered

Poem 1 (Entire Grid)

Slowly I get better at not knowing what I am doing. At not knowing where I am. At not knowing if that person in front of me is coming or going. I get better at not recognizing my husband in a store my kids at the playground. Better at not sensing the distance from my elbow to a tree my hip to the edge of the wall. At not seeing signs when I enter unfamiliar buildings. I find ways to live beside the constant not-quite-knowing. To not be paralyzed by fear. I practice in the summer while I swim across the lake. When I cannot sight any of the orange buoys that direct me to the opposite shore I do not stop. I keep swimming straight into the blue void.

Poem 2 (Inner circle/central vision that’s left)

bow to
the edge
o
enter unfamialiar

Poem 3 (Blind Ring)

Lately less fear more wonder. Everything soft. Few clear edges. Fuzzy. The world, italicized. Life, undetermined. A sign might be a person. A wave, a particle. Unmoored I flow freely become unlocatable elude certainty invite mystery and possibility.