“Many hands make light work.” “Too many cooks spoil the broth.” –Common Proverbs
In those years of privation, seeking salvation in sparks of hope and glory— quiet desperation, ceaseless threats, a story overtold but left bereft, unlearned through epochs here or anywhere– in bombs’ red glare and burning air– I dreamt of cake,
and of Mother and aunts—too many hands at mixing stands, beating butter and eggs, then sifted flour, timing minutes turned to hours— and there I sat, a bud within the warmth of light-filled bower.
Now, when cake comes at any time– with coffee, or perhaps some wine, without the help of the long-lost many, the cake’s too sweet—I’m spoiled by plenty.
This poem is not autobiographical. It’s for my dVerse prompt today. Come join us as we write poems influenced by proverbs.
The moon hums and the sun sings, and feathered things with outstretched wings soar into the light
dazzling white, the egrets’ flight, the eagles’ glide, a majestic sight above my head
and down below, the scent of dead attract the vulture’s blooded head— but even they fly
with graceful beauty in the sky circling round—hello, goodbye— life comes and goes
the questions everybody knows, and none can answer, I suppose there’s beauty in that, too–
science can tell us why the sky is blue, yet perceiving it, is that new? Do we name things so that we see–
or does sight come, and we feel free– And still, we disagree about the color of the sea,
fields of grain, and climbing vines lost to asphalt, modern signs of progress made,
decisions that now cascade, a waterfall, decisions weighed spinning in retrograde, still we shine
in setting sun, sipping wine, fruits of field and vine, talking as time slow-walks–
a paradox—the universe’s sleight– time, truth, the beauty of the feathered light.
We went to Blue Cork Winery in Williamstown, NJ this past week, where our daughter gave a talk—a brief history of sangria–and then guided us through making our own using a white and red base they supplied, along with fruit and juices. It was a fun event, and of course we bought a bottle of wine to take home, too. I’m still finishing that chapter, so I apologize for my slow response time here. Also, I’m hosting dVerse Poetics tomorrow.
Far away, storms eat winds and send them swirling– but here, now, the sky is gowned in midnight blue and a peach moon shines over sleeping gardens. The fiddler plays a soft lullaby recalling dreams of aching beauty– and if I don’t understand them all, I recognize the song of whisperings seas, and the beat of heron wings, the language of seasons, of hope and despair, and I smile at the dawning light.
The Magnetic Poetry Oracle gave me a poem today that I think goes with Ingrid Wilson’s publication, The Anthropocene Hymnal. It’s available now. Read her post here for information. All money earned from it goes to the World Wildlife Fund. I have one poem in the volume, and the beautiful cover is by Kerfe Roig.
The July full moon is called the Buck Moon, but I think it should be a peach moon. I was hoping to see it early this morning, but it was already too low in the sky. I did see Jupiter though–and I saw this heron today and wondered if it was “my” heron from last summer.
Coy Clio, with half-smile and backward glance, her stance unsecured– she balances time and chance. Reflected in the glass, her image wavers, not quite straight, always moving, she knocks down Fate. She leaves her scent in dusty tombs, and book-filled rooms, and there within a musty cell, a faded ledger in a bin. There are cries from eras long forgotten, she sighs through silk and ships of cotton, whispers through graveyards and dockets, ill-gotten gains and weathered remains of centuries, unexplained. Ask her for enlightenment, not for glory, still she replies there are many untold stories– look at the monuments, partly erased, salted and wind-kissed, the lines spaced unevenly in past’s embrace. And here, a doll, a letter, a locket that falls from a red-splattered pocket— love and connections, a mystery, blood-drenched fields, the history.
This is in response to Ingrid’s dVerse prompt this week to write a poem invoking a muse. Some of you know I have a history book chapter that I need to finish writing (like now), so perhaps a poem about Clio, the muse of history will help. I’m posting this for today’s dVerse Live Open Link Night.
So, she’s become Night Hawk again. It’s scary how easily she’s slipped back into the role, an act of survival once. But she’d not been acting with Paul.
Yet, despite her skilled spy-craft, every trace of him seemed to have vanished like raindrops in arid ground. And what would she do if she discovered he had betrayed her? What would she do if she found anyone who had?
She considered Rachel, a survivor she’d met in Maine after the war. They’d become good friends, and though Rachel seemed content in the small fishing village, Julia knew she was tormented by night-terrors. She remembered when Rachel said: “No, I do not weep at the world – I am too busy sharpening my oyster knife. . .for when I meet one of those bastards again.”
But what would Night Hawk do? Julia’s not certain at all.
Continuing with my spy saga for dVerse and Lisa’s Prosery Prompt using this line by Zora Neale Hurston: “No, I do not weep at the world – I am too busy sharpening my oyster knife.” from “How Does it Feel to be Colored Me” in World Tomorrow (1928)
My dreams–a language-storm of do, or not, I try to recall
and wonder who are you— and which is me— all is enigma and mystery,
like a portrait-sitter lost in time sublime or shaded, half-smile, three-quarter face a hint of her wishes, or the artist’s embrace
of unconscious desire, inspiration in symbols of her worth, still in last laugh– she gazes into the future,
can she imagine how she’ll be carted through wars, another spoil, a wall-hung prize, monster-cherished–
the attraction of beauty to the beast— opposites, and circles of the sun and moon–
with light comes shadow, honeyed joy and bitter sorrow alternate—the universe’s tessellated patterns
as time moves on. . .
Now, little bird silent-sitter, waiting to strike– living dinosaur, a portrait, too.
We finally have a beautiful day after days of oppressive heat, humid, and storms.
I just finished The Night Portrait, a novel by Laura Morelli. I enjoyed both the writing and the story. It takes place in the fifteenth century as Leonardo da Vinci is painting Cecilia Gallerani, then the young mistress of Ludovico Sforza, and during WWII as the Nazis and confiscated art, and the Monuments Men are trying to find the stolen art.
We watched an Icelandic series on Netflix called Katla. If you like dark brooding Scandi-noir mixed with a bit of the supernatural, you’ll like it. It reminded me a little bit of the German series Dark. It’s about a town, now nearly deserted because an underwater volcano has started erupting, and mysterious things begin happening. . .We were really intrigued by it and finished the series in a few nights.
We also watched the first episode of season 4 of Unforgotten (PBS). I’m excited that it’s back on.
The sea whispers ,not of a thousand deaths but dreams it aches to recall, time and star-shine–
covered by a cloud-blanket, it murmurs again and again, as fleets of diamond ships sail across and into tomorrow.
And if I sleep, perhaps I feel a petal-spray of moon-breathed secrets before dawn comes, berry-bright, to banish them–
yet seeded within, they might yet bloom.
I was disconcerted by the change in the Magnetic Poetry Oracle’s site. There are different categories now for the tiles, and the format has also changed. Nevertheless, she came through (of course). I’ve been having vivid lucid dreams recently. It seems like they are trying to tell me important things that I can’t quite recall when I wake, but I think the ideas are there, just below the surface.
Juke-joint jive— blues rite in purpled night as bodies sway, in freedom from the toil of day—
listen to the guitar play the riff, a midnight train’s goodbye sigh away the years of strife– hard-fought life, forgotten
as moon shines from a mason jar.
We are celebrating dVerse’s Tenth Anniversary. Our special guest host, Brian Miller, has asked us to write a quadrille using the word juke, a word I’m sure I’ve never used in a poem before. I found this mural on Wikimedia Commons. You’re welcome, Resa. 😏
“Sueñito, it means ‘little dream.’” –In the Heights
Three crows sit on an uprooted tree, gods, fate, or destiny? Day to night, birth to death, changes come— love and regrets,
of words unspoken, of dreams unachieved,
but in the balance of all things–
seeds are planted, and eggs hatched, in fertile soil, with care and light, life blooms, the cycle resumes,
seasons spun in revolutions of the earth, and thoughts that spark like stars, the universe of the mind, our Milky Way inside
in glittering array. Sometimes enlightenment comes our way,
dream-born, though dreams evolve with the dancing of your heart and the echoes of the stars,
the fire in your eyes and reflections from the sky, the whys and when return again revolving into something new—
the evolution of dreams come true.
We are dust from the stars, and rise from the sea, we wing and dive–fate or fait accompli? Ever-soaring dreams blowing through earth, sky, and blue-water flowing.
It is definitely summer in southern NJ! Heat, humidity, storms—and then an occasional beautiful day. We went out once this week for a trivia night at a winery. We were not allowed to have our phones out during the rounds, so I only got this one photo.
Merril’s Movie Club—We watched two movies this week, and I would watch both of them again. One you’ve probably heard of, and one you probably have not heard about. Our friends invited us to a movie night at their house, so we could watch In the Heights. (We don’t have HBO, and they do. It’s also playing in theaters.) You may or may not know that I love musicals, and this one combines Lin Manual Miranda’s songs with old-fashioned movie musical choreography and vision. Dreams (and immigrants and DREAMers) is a recurring theme in the movie. All the actors are wonderful. My friend, Pat (the one in charge of rainbows) had a bounty of farm-fresh summer vegetables and made a grilled a vegetable lasagna. I made brownies because. . .well, chocolate.
My husband and I also saw Undine, the most recent movie by German director Christian Petzold. (Rental through Amazon.) It stars the two leads from his previous movie, Transit, which my husband and I both really enjoyed. We also both liked this one, though maybe not quite as much. The movie is a sort of modern re-telling of the ancient myth of the water nymph, Undine. My husband, who had never heard of the legend of Undine, saw the movie as a metaphor of Berlin. So, it’s clearly not a movie for people who like straight-forward stories. It’s dreamy and has a beautiful score (mainly the adagio from Bach’s Concerto in D Minor, BWV 974), but also “Stayin Alive), and we had a great discussion about it afterwards.
We had some wine and cheese to nibble on while we watched the movie.