Owl Moon with Audio

Owl Moon by Kerfe Roig

Full and bright, the night alight
with skittering scatters and chitter-chat
of sated rat. The vixen barks to her mate,
and beneath the walls, creatures slither and crawl,
while mice and voles in the shadows hide
as feathered wings outstretched glide–and bide.

And shall I call it owl moon?
A moment in time, perhaps not real—
Imagined flights, unseen sights, but
the planets spin, the stars glow and go
about what they do, and the owl does, too,
with a hoot to the world, he dives,
survives—though it’s fate—not feud,
the hunters and the pursued.

All the questions, unanswered, still are asked—
the moments gone, past to future and to past–

but listen–
the fade of argent song, the hummed goodnight,
as trills and twitters awaken dawn’s light.

This was originally written for Paul Brookes’ Special January Ekphrastic Challenge. Kerfe Roig supplied the beautiful artwork. I’ve added this recording of the poem to go with it, and I’m linking it to dVerse Open Link Night.

Infused

Monday Morning Musings:

Infuse

a subtle taste, in this golden glow
find a centering, a time and place to recall
moments of friendship, laughter that falls
with ease, a seizing of the day–

but, oh the moon! She hums, not sweet,
but fiercely, in tune with the season
of upside down and in-between, dispersing
in her way

Moon setting in sunrise glow over the Delaware River at Red Bank Battlefield.

reflected light. The light!
through gold and green, the illumination of things
not always seen—the molecules that ignite in color
and flame

to arc across the sky. Hello and goodbye.
The magic vanishes too soon—sunrise to starry night—
I follow science, but understand delight
in looking up and all around

I’ve found the sound
of moon-sighs and dawn’s reprise,
the whispers of the river and trees,
the canopy above suffused with hues so bright—

My willow at Dock Creek, Old City Philadelphia

and if the shadows drop, lengthen, and call,
they can’t appear without a gleam–
a radiance diffused or luminosity suffused
from ancient boom and blast and whirls of gas–

our starry nights, our souls delight
we see, seek, carry this light.

Today–a hint of pink, curves and lines.

The sky has been fascinating and gorgeous this week. We got together with some friends this week, and my friend Pat was so excited about her new infusing pitcher.
We also attended our daughter’s talk about Bordeaux wines and Blue Cork Winery’s Bordeaux-style wines and cheese pairing.
We streamed the Lantern Theater’s production of The Plague, a play based on Albert Camus’ novel. It was a well-done and timely production.

We saw an immersive Van Gogh exhibition. I wasn’t certain what to expect because I’ve heard both good and not-so-good reviews. There seem to be several different companies that are touring around the globe with these exhibitions. This one, though originally advertised as being in a secret Philadelphia location, turned out to be in suburb outside the city, less convenient for us. We went on Sunday morning at 9 AM, assuming correctly that there would not be too much traffic on the street or people at the venue. (Proof of vaccination was required and masks had to be worn.) We both liked the show, but we didn’t think it was the most amazing thing ever. We learned some information in the gallery section, but I really was not a fan of the Van Gogh prints that were like backlit canvases. We can see real Van Gogh paintings in Philadelphia. And we’ve stepped inside his bedroom at Grounds for Sculpture. However, I really did like the immersive experience. I particularly loved the crows that seemed to fly through the room, the rain that looked like it was forming puddles at our feet, and the starry night with the boats sailing on the river.

After the exhibition, we drove to Philadelphia and walked for about three hours from Old City to Rittenhouse Square and back, and then over to Washington Square to Tria—where the sun came out, we sat outside, enjoying food, wine, beer, and each other’s company.

The Dreams, or What You See

Odilon Redon, Orpheus

Ask the moon what her whispers mean—
dreamtime longing, the after-ache of shadows

that slide or slink, glide, or make us think
of what was–the ghosts of yearning

seek the light. I watch, and if I can’t recall
each pink-petaled spring or purple rain,

I see them all—the symphony that glows and lingers,
or hides in rustling wind-whipped sighs

and suspiration of the sea. Here I hear,
and time fast-stops, while the fiddler plays

the song of life, death, and all that is,
and what is not

but was or maybe what will be.
Listen hard and long . . . now do you see?

The Oracle kept giving me a few words over and over again, like moon, light, after, ache, whispers, etc. and I could imagine her getting exasperated and saying use these already!

Caught by the Moon

Moon setting in sunrise glow over the Delaware River at Red Bank Battlefield.

Cloud-shrouded, yet still you are there,
melodies slide through air
in moonsong

loud and clear. Without a regret,
we live; never forget
we’re moonstruck

and love-mad, bewitched by the light
of centuries, the sight
of moonglow

river reflected, directed
at you—so, connected,
a moonsoul

dancing in wind’s susurration
without hesitation
in moonjoy.

For dVerse. Grace has asked us to write a Compound Word Verse:
“a poetry form invented by Margaret R. Smith that consists of five 3-line stanzas, for a total of 15 lines. The last line of each stanza ends in a compound word and these compound words share a common stem word which is taken from the title.”
How could I not write about the moon when I took this photo this morning? This is a first draft. 😀

From the Ashes–Quadrille

Blast and crash,
bright white bomb flash–
red-fire flowers and dragon’s hot breath
destruction, and the aftermath, of forever

~ashes~

from which you rise. Again. Remember.
Clay-cloaked secrets star-baked, retold in storied glory—
Golem or phoenix? Myth or fated?
Survivor embraced or avenger awaited?

For dVerse where Sarah is hosting Quadrille Monday. We’re to use the word ash. This is a puente.

Paper with phoenix pattern, Unidentified artist(s) , Chinese, early 20th century. Purchase, Bequest of Dorothy Graham Bennett, 1989, Metropolitan Museum of Art

Things That Are Lost

Monday Morning Musings:

Sunrise Reflections, Delaware River at Red Bank Battlefield

Things that are lost—

buttons, keys, a pearl earring
summer leaves, the morning light
that fades as the sun rises to its height.

Sunrise over the Delaware River at West Deptford, NJ

Shadows that follow
then disappear,
like warm-weather fruits—till next year.

A battle, a war,
a way of life from before
when then was now, the shore

of future lay ahead,
the dead were living,
at least in your head.

Autumn puddle and reflections

Memories, a laugh, a song ,
the things you wished once to do
with loved ones you once knew–

husband, father, child, wife,
a beloved pet, a favorite toy—
all the sorrow and the joy,

things that are lost –and sometimes found,

air, love, happiness, roots, connected deep underground.

Sunrise with tree silhouette

October seems a month of both beauty and melancholy. The sun rises later and set earlier, but in-between there’s a beautiful glow. We’ve had fog, rain, amazing sunrises, warm days, cold days, and more and more falling colored leaves.

This week we took a brief trip to Hammonton, NJ to pick up some olive oil and balsamic vinegar I like. I also bought cannoli for myself and our daughter (my husband didn’t want one).


We attended a memorial service for my husband’s uncle in Mt. Holly. We went to the service, talked a bit to family members, but then left without eating, as we were not comfortable sitting in the basement room with a bunch of strangers who may or may not be vaccinated. One of the hymns sung was “Amazing Grace.”

Merril’s Movie Club: We streamed three movies this week, all very different, but perhaps sharing a common theme of loss: life, dreams, love, memory. Fever Dream (Netflix) is difficult to describe, as is the novel it’s based on that I read last year. But the title is an indication. I think I liked it more than my husband did. It has a dreamy and slightly unsettling air, with much of it a voice-over between a woman and a boy who is not her son. To give a lot of detail would spoil the movie. There’s a mystery and supernatural elements, and a magical realism feel. We watched The One I Love, a 2014 movie about a couple played by Mark Duplass and Elisabeth Moss go for a weekend getaway at the suggestion of their therapist (Ted Danson). What looks like a rom com movie slips into the surreal. Again, I won’t give any spoilers, but it was fun, unusual, and gives you something to talk about. Finally, we watched The Black Box, a scifi/horror movie from last year on Amazon. It’s about a father who has lost his memory after an accident. When he undergoes a new treatment, strange things happen. It’s a solid B movie—entertaining and enjoyable.

Poems in Sledgehammer and Dead Skunk

I’ve had a couple of good poetry days, which I really needed. I am so pleased to have another poem in Sledgehammer. My thanks to EIC J. Archer Avary, who accepted this poem when I was feeling down. You can read my poem, “Theme and Variations” here.

I also have a poem in the very first issue of Dead Skunk. It definitely does not stink! My thanks to editors Suzanne Samples & E. Samples. You can read my poem “This is Not–and Is” here.

I made “non-sausage” rolls for dinner on Friday. The name came about because a friend used to make sausage rolls with Italian sausage. I adapted her recipe over the years, and now make a meatless and utterly delicious version.

Non- sausage Roll

When, Then, Now

Sunrise over the Delaware River at West Deptford, NJ

When water watches the pink sky,
and time plays with rust and diamonds–
in that moment the honeyed light sings
with gathered breath of stars and beats
an ancient and eternal rhythm.

Ask then—
if dreams drift from above,
to catch in moonglade,
or sparkle like spoondrift–

and you beneath,
embracing the blue ghosts that linger
in the slow smile of dawn.

My poem from the Oracle. She always knows. This is a strange time of year–beautiful and melancholy. We’ve had some spectacular sunrises lately–this one is from today– but we’re supposed to get thunderstorms later today. Last night my sleep was disrupted by some sort of police activity going on–very unusual. We live in a quiet neighborhood. We have a memorial service to attend, as well.

I guess WP is changing things again–the preview button has options now.

Wastelands: Prosery

“Tapestry of Picasso’s Guernica, by Jacqueline de la Baume Dürrbach. . . It is significant for the political and cultural stance of the Whitechapel Gallery, which exhibited the painting in 1939. The original work is now too fragile to leave Madrid. . .”

I still have nightmares. Not of hiding for days in a fetid crawlspace. I don’t dream of my terror then. I am Every Woman, dreaming of war’s terrors. I am Cassandra with visions of what might be. End times.

I’m in a desolate waste land. What are the roots that clutch? What branches grow out of this stony rubbish? The roots are arms with hands outstretched and reaching; the branches are watered with blood.

The dream doesn’t come every night, but when it does, I wake up screaming and bathed in sweat. Will finding Paul make me feel better or worse? I don’t know, but I must have some answers. Because if he’s a traitor and still alive, he may be helping to destroy all that I hold dear while turning our world into a waste land. And I will have to stop him.

(144 words)

This is for Mish’s Prosery Prompt using the lines:

“What are the roots that clutch, what branches grow
Out of this stony rubbish?”
–from T.S. Eliot, “The Waste Land”

My last prosery piece ended with the first sentence used in this one.

***Upcoming Event: Thursday, OCT. 14, Lillian will host OPEN LINK NIGHT LIVE. OLN will appear here at the usual time and you can link up ONE poem. If you’d like to participate live to read your poem in person, there will be a Google link for you to join in the event! (You can also join us without reading.)

Not After, but In-Between

Monday Morning Musings:

Not after, but in-between–
the seasons fold gold into green,
the sun emerges, or stays unseen
between, behind, beyond, but true.

Can we linger here awhile?
Jackets on and off, a smile
at pumpkins and the deer—miles
to go, and much to fear

from demagogues and misinformation—
the destruction of our world and nation.
Yet, we don our masks and leave the station—
a celebration, we’re still here.

We plant flowers and bulbs—is it a trope
to say we’re planting hope?
That we’ll not slide from the slippery slope
because this is not after, but in-between—

still, even after winters of despair,
spring comes, with petrichor in the air
and robins’ song, searching and aware
of being between—here and there.

And we on our pale blue dot
look for light, our shot, our spot, our ifs–or not.

A Cloudy Sunrise

I feel like we really are in this in-between place. The pandemic is not over, and fanatics are still going strong. I’m beginning to feel like we’re in the late 1850s in the US or the 1930s in Germany—but with better technology.

Still–we went to the theater for the first time since the pandemic began. We saw Minor Character: Six Translations of Uncle Vanya at the Same Time, which was truly as the Wilma Theater blurb says: “a joyful and music-filled comedic kaleidoscope. A band of actors come together to perform a warm-hearted yet bittersweet look at love, longing, and the limitations of language.” The Wilma Theater required proof of vaccination, IDs, and masks. We had assigned seats with empty seats left around us, and the theater kept at half capacity. They also updated their HVAC system. So, we felt safe—at least as much as we can in these times. We also took Patco for the first time since the pandemic. It was OK, though some people did not wear masks despite the notices and announcements. Also this weekend, we pretended to be Derrick and Jackie Knight and visited a nursery to buy some plants.