Odilon Redon, Ophelia Among the Flowers


The garden was her sanctuary,
but nights were lonely,
and winters wild with longing
of seeds holding secrets tight
beneath frosted stone.

She asked if the magic
had slipped from her life,
she asked if she had let it,
unnoticed the warm embrace
of sun on rock surface,

the dazzle-light on river and
poetry flowing to eternity.
Less black, she says,
paints caramel, green, blue,
onto her heart’s haunted canvas,

adds clouds that dance and play
with the ghosts, sending them
out of range, a blur on the horizon.

It’s Saturday! My poem from the Oracle.

A November Morning

John Atkinson Grimshaw, A November Morning

A November Morning

The sky is first lemon, then orange,
the air whispers with dry citrus humor
as we crunch through the russet leaves
of last year’s promise,
heels shuffle-tapping on cobblestones
that cover the detritus of centuries.

A single leaf falls, silently like the “e”
on hope. Or love. The sunrise is a question
echoed by birds in short chirps and longer trills.

You take my hand. I let you. We walk on.

A poem for my ekphrastic prompt on dVerse today. This painting makes me think of paths in Old City Philadelphia.

Brilliant Things

Monday Morning Musings:

Brilliant Things

Path by Dock Creek and Carpenter’s Hall

“One day is there of the series
Termed “Thanksgiving Day”
Celebrated part at table
Part in memory –“
Emily Dickinson

A whimsical stream
reflecting autumn leaves
and wild turkeys clucking,
cooing, preening their feathers
in early morning light.

The sky is still adjusting,
it suggests peace, then trouble,
ever adaptable, vultures understand
its challenge, a caressing cover
that evaporates over time.

Autumn’s stained-glass light
and long shadows overtake
summer’s dawn choir and rabbits,
the graceful melancholy beauty, an expression
of loss and remembrance.

By the river’s edge
a coyote dashes
on powerful legs, she doesn’t
glance at the irate honking geese–
I’m encircled by tangible wonders.

A Thanksgiving table
our family gathered
with food and wine, telling stories, laughing,
and around us our ghosts smile,
yes, they are with us still.

I used some of Jane’s Random words for this almost Cadralor.
Last week was strange and stressful. It was good to see family at Thanksgiving. Who was able to come kept changing throughout the day.

We saw Every Brilliant Thing at the Arden Theatre in Philadelphia on Saturday. It deals with the painful topics of depression and suicide, but it is not a depressing play. There is humor and joy, and ultimately it asks us to consider the brilliant things of every day. Audience members who agree are given cards with words to call out when during the play, the actor calls out the number. Other audience members were given roles in the play. This is the fourth time the Arden Theatre has presented this play with actor Scott Greer. It’s the first time we’ve seen it, but my husband and I both agreed we’d see it again.


Starlight Sower by Hai Knafo


In the light of the waxing moon,
a fiddler plays

a song of aching beauty
his notes fall like stars, drenching everything
in their afterglow, an evanescent flash,

each phrase asking if, each refrain a soaring why
in counterpoint to moon rhythm

each a part of the symphony,
of always–

of star-blossoms blooming time and again
like love.

It’s been a crazy week and a crazy weekend with some computer issues. Hopefully everything is resolved. This is my message from the Oracle that I started early yesterday morning. I’m sorry I’m so behind in commenting!

When Opening the Bottle

Edvard Munch, The Day After

My first try at a Trinitas, a three-in-one poetry form invented by Samantha Terrell. For dVerse, where Punam asked us to write about wine. I’m tired, so I hope this makes sense. I apologize for being behind on reading and commenting. There have been some family issues, and I’m also getting ready for Thanksgiving tomorrow.

Five Facets of Flight

Monday Morning Musings:

“Sparkle Birds”

Five Facets of Flight

“When you breathe in you’ll lift like a balloon
and your heart is light too & huge,
beating with pure joy, pure helium.
The sun’s white winds blow through you,
there’s nothing above you,
you see the earth now as an oval jewel,
radiant & seablue with love.
It’s only in dreams you can do this.”
–from Margaret Atwood, “Flying Inside Your Own Body”

Dawning with Morning Moon


The light’s in flight,
dreary November has come,
soon the rain will become sleet,
rattle-tap on windows, icing their glow.



Geese in the night—
honks of navigation and determination,
taking turns leading and following,
the V breaks, re-forms, circles
over my roof, farewell, they cry.


Wren! Oh wren, how you sing
to your love, high-hidden
your voice flies, resolved, repeat, repeat,
repeat each summer-breath into the cold November sky.


Now you calculate the physics of flight–
hope plus dreams, minus rules,
but there are divisions, a point reconsidered,
and the sides of the equation are never equal.


Open the book to flight,
there it is—the act of living–
there are no rules, only gravity,
but look how our ancestors defied it–
they flapped their wings, we rise.

“Flight,” by Tatyana Fazlalizadeh Philadelphia, Mural, Philadelphia
“Flight,” by Tatyana Fazlalizadeh Mural, Philadelphia

I used some of Jane’s random words.
Wasn’t it just recently that we were sitting outside sipping wine? Hah, said Mother Nature, you’re getting much too comfortable, and she has sent cold, blustery winds here. Though, I’m thankful we’re not getting the over 6 ft of snow that the Buffalo, NY area has. This will be a busy week dealing with family stuff, work, and Thanksgiving prep—leading up to Thanksgiving on Thursday.
On Saturday, we were able to get a walk in before seeing a play, School Pictures, at the Wilma Theater.

We both liked this play—a one-person show in which the actor, who worked as a tutor for many years, sings about students they taught. The actor plays a variety of school room/toy instruments pulling them from lockers and behind screens. There are revelations about the NYC public school system and its inequities—relevant, but gently done. It’s a quirky show that lulls you in. It is now available to be streamed for a brief time, Nov.21-Dec.4, with a pay what you wish option. The mural, “Flight,” is new. I looked up, saw it, and was stunned.

We also watched the movie, Emily the Criminal. We both like Aubrey Plaza, and this was a different role than other movies and shows we’ve seen her in. We both liked it, and I think there’s a shared theme between it and School Pictures—opportunity, connections, chance. She plays a woman who is saddled with student debt but cannot get a job that pays more than minimum wage because of her past criminal record. (It’s never fully explained, but we sense she had a troubled homelife and then an abusive relationship.) Here’s the trailer, but I’m glad I didn’t watch it first.

Random Cat Photo


The Girl by the Sea Hanno Karlhuber, CC BY-SA 4.0 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0, via Wikimedia Commons


In autumn
music swirls violet in the gloaming,
the sound of leaf-rustle and shadowed things,
a fretting moon, rising between bare boughs
watching, lonely,
waiting for the sky-blossom of stars
to murmur
we are here

and I wonder if
on other planets, other worlds
tiny beings, like us dream

or could love our blue and green,
the stained-glass glow of light through trees,
the pull of tides, or feel
the slowing spinning of days and
the rush of years,
the joy in seeing the first daffodil.

My poem from the Oracle. She also got me confused with Jane and gave me “eat sausage with,” which I ignored.

The Book

The Book

“To Mark Let the poetic sound of moons and stars invade your night thoughts to give you sweet dreams always for in your dreams lies the happiness you truly want. hope you enjoy the book Michelle”
–Message written on the flyleaf of a book

I saw the book–
its dustcover the azure
of the Mediterranean—
beckoning as the clear water did us,
and amid packing—
books, your books, your things–
I opened it, and remembered
how we were, lithe in the limpid blue,
then later reading this book, a gift,
you as bright as Keats’ star,
aware your blaze would soon be extinguished.

I rose with creaking knees
from the sea of boxes,
set the tear-dampened book
aside to keep, sensing your presence
like a nightlight in the next room
leaving a glow under the door,
and I thought I heard you say,
sweet dreams always, my love, goodbye.

For dVerse, Laura has chosen five inscriptions from the Book of Inscription Project. She’s asked us to write a poem based on one of them.