illustration of breath captured in a jar

May 2022 MoonBite: Sharding

by Sujatha Menon

Sharding

Empoweress, empress, high priestess
of the seas, let me be
delicate.
I want to feel the wind, not fight it.

A trepid breath lies
pickled in a jar sealed
with no holes in the lid

No word, song, cry or curse
can escape
the turning, turning, turning
grind against glass
like fingers around the beads
of a restless prayer, or regrets
trapped beneath the tongue.

In the spaces between teeth,
a springtime zephyr is rising

while in the jar
a storm is gently breaking

I want to feel fragile,
become sharp
as I shatter.

About the Author:

Sujatha Menon is a British-Indian poet, musician, and artist based in England. Her poems have been commissioned by arts organisations as well as being published in print, broadcast on radio, and reimagined by artists in various mediums.
Her first poetry collection, The Glass Puddle, was published last year.
The written and spoken word has emerged from song-writing and performing with her band, Satsangi, for 20 years. The band has been broadcast many times on the BBC and MTV, featured in magazines such as Rolling Stone, and has traveled internationally to share their music. She also holds a 1st class honours degree and MA in the visual arts and continues to collaborate with artists on creative projects which integrate her poems in new and unusual ways. Currently, she is the poet in residence at Cromarty Arts Trust located on the east coast of Scotland.

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Visuals

All images were created using AI Art Studio by Latitude, a new AI experience where players can co-create visual art. The creator inputs the prompts and the AI produces artwork within minutes. The words you feed the AI have a profound impact on the final image.

For the images in this slide deck, we created prompts that included both phrases from the poem as well as descriptions of the images that the poem invoked.

Sujatha’s submission served as inspiration for the color palette.

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