Dream Goddess–Yeats Challenge, Day 18

This is for Jane’s A Month of Yeats Poetry Challenge, Day Eighteen. 

Today’s quotation: 

“The dews drop slowly and dreams gather;” —W.B. Yeats

 

She gathered dreams like berries in a basket,

grasped them, sorted them, sweet and tart,

an art,

matching dreams to dreamers,

sending them to lovers and schemers

some fragrant and ripe, like the fruit

but that wouldn’t suit,

not everyone.

Some dreams were like the fruit for jam or pies

mixed together, cooked, filled with hints of other things, or lies,

or perhaps words for the wise—

sometimes she even prophesized.

She went about her task with thoroughness,

not obsessed or oppressed,

it simply was her endeavor

she existed always and forever.

 

Luis_López_Y_Piquer_-_The_Goddess_Juno_in_the_House_of_Dreams_-_WGA13453

 

 

 

 

 

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Resting Before Flight: Shadorma Challenge

This is for  the November Shadorma Challenge that Eliot of Along the Interstice is doing. This is Day 18. I am participating sporadically.

 

Birds on a wire

like clouds gathering

for a storm,

or perhaps

like thoughts coming together

resting before flight

 

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I missed the murmuration, but got this quick shot while stopped at a traffic light the other day.

 

Every time I see a bird on a wire, I think of Leonard Cohen’s song. Here’s a live version.

Dream Time, Past and Future: Yeats Challenge, Day 17

This is for Jane’s A Month with Yeats, Day Seventeen. 

Today’s quotation:

“The blue and the dim and the dark cloths
Of night and light and the half-light,” —W.B. Yeats

 

They sailed on a journey of three years times three

through a cloth of darkness in a starless night sea.

They moved through fog, as if in a dream

and later couldn’t remember what they had seen.

Time passed quickly or slow, they weren’t sure or didn’t know

how to measure it here, nor where they’d go

when they would get there, or where that would be

or if stars would appear in the starless night sea

were they the first people or were they the last,

they existed in a dream time, future and past.

 

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A Day in the Forest: Yeats Challenge

I didn’t get my Yeats Challenge post up yesterday, so here’s Day Sixteen. I’m also linking it to Dverse’s Open Link Night.  

Jane chose this quotation for Day Sixteen:

“Do you not hear me calling, white deer with no horns?”—W.B. Yeats

 

At dawn the robin sings to greet the coming of the day,

the sun rises then in golden glow to brightly light the way,

across the sky, excited geese soar high in V formation

honking directions and chattering in winged conversations.

 

Young lovers meander in noontime explorations,

declaring their love in breathless exclamations,

taking breaks from work or school for this, a secret tryst,

holding hands, then coming closer, sharing their first kiss.

 

Later, the young white deer gambols in the gloaming

still young without his horns, carefree in his roaming,

but never too far does he wander from his mother’s side

bleating to her when he is scared, listening for her replies.

 

The owl spreads her wings, takes flight in the blackness of the night

she hoots from a branch to tell her mate that everything is right,

nocturnal creatures flit and scurry under the humming moon,

and in an upstairs room, we sleep, dreaming to the tune.

 

Franz_Marc_-_Deer_in_the_Forest_I_-_Google_Art_Project

Franz Marc, “Deer in the Forest,” [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

The Lovers: Yeats Challenge, Day Fifteen

This poem is for Jane’s A Month with Yeats, Day Fifteen.

Today’s quotation:

“You, too, have come where the dim tides are hurled
Upon the wharves of sorrow, and heard ring
The bell that calls us on; the sweet far thing.” —W.B. Yeats

 

And so, he came to where the dim tides flow

here upon the wharves of sorrow, dared to go,

listened now for Charon’s boat, the slapping sound of weathered pole

the echoing cries of distant weary souls.

 

But entered he without a fear, played sweetly then upon his lyre

the music that filled the air was warm with sighs and filled with fire

because here within this shadowed world, his love did dwell

playing sweetly then, he cast a spell.

 

The underworld king, his captured queen looked from their gilded thrones,

agreeing that he should not be left bereft of love, nor kept lonely and alone

for such love and devotion, such tumult of emotion he had displayed

crossing over the ocean of darkness, from lighted world to constant shade.

 

They thus agreed, from the underworld she could go,

but promises he must willingly keep to make it happen so–

she would follow him from this hidden world, behind him there she’d be

not once though could he stop to look or see

 

Once round the cavernous steps went he

believing that there behind him, his love would be,

twice round and then up they went, closer to the world of light

when he, not believing she was there, turned to catch a sight

 

Instantly, from Hades he was then thrust out

for not trusting the gods, for having his doubts,

but Aphrodite prevailed to place the lovers’ souls amidst the stars,

traveling the sky as shimmering silvered cars

where like a bell their love now rings,

in music of the stars, the sweet far thing.

 

Jean-Baptiste-Camille_Corot_-_Orphée

Jean-Baptiste Camille Corot, “Orpheus Leading Eurydice from the Underworld,” [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Owl: Haibun

It is my birthday. Now in the middle of December, it is cold outside, and darkness descends earlier each day. But the house is filled with light, warm and scented with the aroma of holiday baking. My husband, our two young daughters, and I are to meet my father at a restaurant north of us, in the Philadelphia suburbs to celebrate. It will be a highway trip through rush hour traffic, but the reward will be an excellent meal and the company of my family. I turn to a living room window to pull down the shade—and stop. A white owl with black and brown markings sits in the tree directly in front of me. I stare at her, and she stares at me, both unblinking. I am transfixed, knowing that this is a special moment, not knowing I will remember it in twenty years, still uncertain about its meaning.

 

The Owl dispenses

winter wisdom from oak trees–

time paused in passing

 

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Caspar David Friedrich, Owl on a Tree,” [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

This is a Haibun for dVerse, where we asked to write about owls. I’ve combined it with this week’s prompt from Colleen Chesebro , using synonyms for the words, smell and cozy.

 

 

 

Love and Glory: Yeats Challenge, Day Fourteen

This is for Jane’s A Month with Yeats Challenge. Today’s quotation is:

“That you, in the dim coming times,
May know how my heart went with them
After the red-rose-bordered hem.” —W.B. Yeats

 

As a boy he saw them there,

she in white, with flowers in her hair,

he a soldier, a handsome young man,

he saw them thus, and so it began.

 

He held this image through his life,

he’d go to war, and have a wife,

who’d say farewell in sunlight gold

and they’d continue, till they were old.

 

He never saw the bloodstained shirt,

the man lying wounded in the dirt,

the woman who traded her white for black,

on lifelong dreams she turned her back.

 

The boy envisioned a life of glory,

King and country, the same old story,

but finally there with gun in hand,

at last he came to understand.

 

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Camille Clère (1825-1918) (Düsseldorfer Auktionshaus) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

 

 

Different Definitions of Great: Shadorma

This is a shadorma for Eliot of Along the Interstice’s November Shadorma Challenge, using Secret Keeper’s Writing Prompt words:

Star/Deal/Peace/Food/Word

 

Different Definitions of Great

Morning star

sings a song of peace,

the words drift

unheard as

swamp-dwellers make greedy deals,

children go hungry

 

 

 

 

When in Doubt, Sing or Shout: Yeats Challenge, Day Thirteen

So, this poem was going to be something else, but it decided to be this. A bit of fun then, and perhaps a hint of Into the Woods for Jane’s A Month with Yeats Poetry Challenge, Day Thirteen. Here’s today’s quotation:

“Away, come away:

Empty your heart of its mortal dream.”

–W. B. Yeats

 

She ran for hours–or a day

ran off the path to far away

ran from the wrath of the angry queen

ran to the canopy of forest green.

 

Who knows why the queen was in a choler

but angry she was, and heard to holler

for the girl to be whipped, or maybe dead

and so, the girl had run, had turned and fled

 

Finally, when she could run no more

she stopped there, where she’d never been before

and wandered then from the wooded lane

why—she never quite could explain.

 

As though through a door, she walked inside

the air shimmered here, yet she unterrified

of colors brighter, and nothing as it seemed,

a voice said, “empty your heart of its mortal dream.”

 

Before her stood a fairy prince,

or so she thought from her very quick glimpse,

to him she said, “really sir, if it’s all the same

I rather return from whence I came.”

 

Then not really certain of how a fairy to fight,

she sang quite loudly with all her might

and with her song he was beguiled

and surprising her, he stood and smiled.

 

“I’d not keep you here against your will

Why look at you, a child you’re still,

Though because your voice is sweet and pure

I’ll escort you out from our magic door.”

 

And so, the girl went back out into the wood

gathered her wits, as best she could,

ran far away back to the queen,

whose anger had passed, now nowhere to be seen.

 

Be careful then if from the woods you wander,

be careful first, and stop to ponder

if you have the wherewithal to sing or scream

if ever asked by fairy prince to give up your mortal dreams.

 

 

Cover_image_from_from_The_Princess_and_the_Goblins_-_by_George_MacDonald,_illustrated_by_Jessie_Willcox_Smith,_1920

 

 

 

 

Secrets and Shadows: Musings and Shadorma

Monday Morning Musings:

“Secrets, silent, stony sit in the dark palaces of both our hearts: secrets weary of their tyranny: tyrants willing to be dethroned.”

James Joyce, Ulysses

“It’s a triumph of art and friendship over time. And it’s also very important, I think, to hang on to the things that mean something to you. And they transcend time.”

–Judy Collins, “Love, Friendship and Music: Stephen Stills and Judy Collins Collaborate on New Album,” All Things Considered with Michele Martin, November 11, 2017

“There is regret, almost remorse,
For Time long past.
‘Tis like a child’s belovèd corse
A father watches, till at last
Beauty is like remembrance, cast
From Time long past.”

–Percy Bysshe Shelley, “Time Long Past”

 

Secret lives

buried deep in walls

or within

chambered hearts,

echoing the beats, flowing,

waiting for release

 

The garage

old, unstable, and so

down it comes

over the years

it’s housed tools and junk,

a chipmunk or two, amidst the rakes

perhaps a snake.

We were told the wall at the back

was bumped out a bit to fit

a Model T–

But honestly, I don’t know,

and it’s all so long ago.

The roof was shingled many times

and covered with leaves, pollen, and snow

beside it children have played,

and a wandering doe has grazed.

The yard is littered

adorned with its pieces–

fragments of a secret life

forlorn in autumn’s fading light,

a building built to last,

but now

shadows cast, from time long past.

 

The weather now has turned much colder

as the year journeys to its end,

no more harkening back, it seems to say

though time winds round again

through falling leaves and winter snow

to springtime bud and summer flowers,

and in the buildings here on city streets

there’s blending of the old and new

where cobblestones meet asphalt streets

and on concrete pavements,

shadows cast, from time long past

We see a musical about phone sex and love

set in the 1990s,

just before

(it opens a door)

the Internet really became a thing

and here a young man and woman

don golden chastity rings,

and vow to remain chaste till wed.

But now with their upcoming marriage,

they realize they do not really know each other.

They learn in song

(Well, it’s a musical, so we go along.)

we all have secrets lives and secret selves–

shadows cast, from time long past

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It’s a funny, enjoyable show

a quirky romantic comedy

if not profound

it covers some familiar ground,

but still we talk of how it’s set

in a changing time.

a time now past

when our children were young.

And as day becomes night,

in autumn’s fading light

We see a bride and groom

and should we assume

they have lives kept private and

shadows cast, from time long past?

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In the car, we listen to NPR

hear an interview with Judy Collins and Stephen Stills,

old lovers, now still friends,

hanging on to important things

and illustrated with their songs

throughout time

things that last,

shadows cast, from time long past.

 

I think of my mom and dad

meeting in time long before technology

of cell phones and Internet

and they connected,

once they were young and in love

then they weren’t either

keeping secrets from each other

yet still, I think the love was always there

and she to him said a final goodbye

the night before he died

shadows cast over time, long past

 

We take my mom to a winery–

“Cross a wine tasting off your bucket list,”

I say.

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Here we can sit at a table

order our selections

of white and red

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served with cheese and bread

and the atmosphere is convivial,

the conversation, mostly trivial,

but as we move to pizza and more wine,

we’re feeling pretty fine,

we talk of Thanksgiving

and of ancestry

I tell her about my poetry,

she tells me things she remembers–

sitting in her grandfather’s lap

though she doesn’t remember much about him,

and after that he died,

from an injury to his skull,

difficult times from them all

immigrants from another land

speaking a language I don’t understand,

I learned there was a baby brother born

after her mother and her aunts

he died young, seldom spoken of.

In the conversation here

ghosts of ancestors now appear–

shadow cast, of time long past

 

Then to home

the weekend ended,

secrets shared

journeys taken,

sunshine and shadows, blended,

cast in a circle

 

through time and

space our souls wander

sharing love

fearing death

casting shadows of time past

long ago and now

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We saw TouchTones at the Arden Theatre. We went to Auburn Road Vineyard.

I’ve begun and ended my musing with Shadorma for my somewhat sporadic participation in Eliot of Along the Interstice’s November Shadorma Challenge.