In a Dream I Found you

Odilon_Redon_-_Béatrice

Odilon Redon, “Béatrice”

“All that we see or seem

Is but a dream within a dream.”

–Edgar Allan Poe, “A Dream Within a Dream”

 

In a dream, I found you

there, not as I knew you,

but aglow,

 

your spirit gilding your face,

and through the mist,

you reached, took my hand,

 

and gazed at me with sea-green eyes

and led me to a sailing raft

and there reclined with me.

 

Then, under blossoming clouds–

scarlet, gold, and sapphire–

we sailed into the infinite,

 

a thousand tomorrows waited.

But I awoke,

my face salty only with tears

 

and longed to sleep

and dream again and again

and forever of you.

 

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Odilon Redon, “Flower Clouds”

 

Lillian has asked us to write a poem about dreams at dVerse today.  I think I probably write about dreams often, but these two paintings popped into my head. Can you have an ekphrastic poem based on two sources?

 

 

Remembering

Monday Morning Musings:

“He supposed it was always that way with the dead; they slid away before we knew enough to ask them the right questions. All we could do was remember them, as much as we could remember of them, whether it was accurate or not. Walk the same streets that they’d walked; take our turn.”

Emma Donoghue, Akin

Sunrise on Delaware River

Delaware River at Red Bank Battlefield, January.

 

January mornings are slow to wake–

the sun lifts his sleepy head

so slowly from his bed

extending his rays over river and sea

while gulls gather on the shore

 

and I watch sun and gulls

while walking into the day,

the clouds lifting, rolling tides

that flow into tomorrow

carrying echoes of yesterday

***

 

I remember yesterday and look to tomorrow

(the present never is, can never be)

no predictions, we don’t know what comes,

only what was and what might be

as the world circles

 

some remember yesterdays of horror

survivors, tattooed numbers on their arms,

scarred bodies and souls–

they ask us to never forget–

the tides ebb and flow, days turn to night

 

carrying secrets

within families

within neighborhoods and nations

the pretense– we didn’t know what was happening,

the fear and shame of discovery.

 

But I have been privileged—

my ghosts mostly benign,

though I hear the ghosts of six million call,

“Remember,”

and I wonder how we can ever forget

 

a world of hate

that hasn’t vanished

where people were—are–

trafficked, enslaved, murdered

simply because they exist.

 

Is there another timeline

where we are not destroying our planet,

where we don’t say a leader is crass,

but I like what he’s doing–

where facts still matter, where the secrets are exposed?

 

I watch the river

carrying ghosts and memories

out to sea, out of sight

and the birds hover and land

and fly away again

like thoughts

that flitter through my mind,

the trivial and mundane,

the weighty and bizarre,

mixing like water and dust

 

raining through my brain.

What will evaporate?

What will stay to form a river

that streams

words onto a page?

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Reflections on Delaware River at sunrise. Red Bank Battlefield. 2020

 

My daughter and I watch the movie

(laughing and wiping tears from our eyes)

and I think of all the movies we’ve watched

sometimes over and over again–

it seems so long ago now

 

this past

where she played Little Women with her Barbies

giving Amy, the youngest, like her,

superpowers—and a car—

that she teaches Jo to drive

 

and in the past

both daughters saw the real Amy’s drawings

still on the walls over a hundred years and many wars later

this past, what I remember, my daughters

existing with the past of the old house—both moving on

 

as we do.

We drink wine

talk of books, travel, life

time slows for awhile,

we laugh enjoying ourselves and each other–

 

the crescent moon smiles

her secret smile

as we drive home

into our future

remembering the past.

 

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My musings are a bit late today because my editor had a few final queries about my book, and naturally I had to answer them right away. Last week, Adobe Acrobat ate the page proofs I had worked on, and I had to re-do everything.

Merril’s Movie Club: My younger daughter and I finally saw the latest movie version of Little Women. We both loved it, though we wished older daughter was there, too. The casting is perfect, and we both liked the way the story went back and forth in time.  We visited Orchard House when our girls were little.

My husband and I finished the Icelandic drama series, Trapped, which we enjoyed very much. There were many secrets and memories in this series, which also touches on political and social issues.

I finished reading Emma Donoghue’s novel, Akin over the weekend. It’s about a man about to turn eighty who suddenly finds himself caring for his grandnephew and taking him to Nice—where he uncovers family secrets from WWII.

We visited Almathea Cellars.

Today is Holocaust Remembrance Day—the 75th Anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz.

 

 

Wandering

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In this sanctuary here

I wander, take quiet breaths

as squirrels rustle

in harmony with wind and water,

and if I feel the storm coming—

 

~there’s a soft shine in the distance~

 

as we stroll, night lights

in a world of when, its own poetry

where spirits watch over us

in the cold night

and if they feel the storm coming—

 

still, there the light shines soft in the distance.

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I collaborated with the Oracle for this variation on a Puente. (Yes, that’s what I’m going to call it.)  I was thinking of taking a walk in the park this moring, but the rain is pounding on my windows right now.

 

 

 

The Sky Held a Secret

 

'Moon_Path,_Freighter_in_Distance'_by_Lionel_Walden

Moon Path, Freighter in Distance by Lionel Walden, oil on canvas

 

The sky held a secret,

and also, the land–

they told it to the birds,

who scattered it on the sand,

 

the waves swept it seaward,

and dolphins carried it away,

but they sang about it in their songs

until the sun heard them one day.

 

He sang it to his sister moon

(while on his lyre a-strumming)

and you might learn the secret, too . . .

just listen to the moon’s fierce humming.

 

I’m having one of those days, and so, I decided I needed whimsy. This is for my secrets prompt on dVerse.

 

 

Snowflakes and Time

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“Every snowflake has an infinite beauty which is enhanced by knowledge that the investigator will, in all probability, never find another exactly like it.”

Wilson Bentley

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Beneath a frantic cry

a need for love

is carried on the wind

over a thousand summers

through winter storms of snow and ice,

the moon hums

***

There is no present the man says,

only past and future,

no division between beach and sea,

only water and sand

both existing together.

 

“In physics there’s no arrow of time.”

In a place beyond our beyond

the past might be the future,

perhaps time existed

before our universe.

 

My toddler daughter once asked

“Do you remember when I was in your belly

and I hiccupped and that made you laugh?”

A conversation that she no longer remembers,

but that I still do—

 

that moment in time

frozen—no–

like a movie in my mind—

the improbable (could she have remembered?),

the reality

 

of mothers and daughters

over and over through time

we’ve moved my mother to a new facility–

she is exhausted,

she is exhausting.

It is an exhausting week.

Time seems to work differently,

dragging, then suddenly gone.

The world is wind and clouds

I am housebound–

by work

not trapped–

but constrained by deadlines

and circumstances

and January grey.

 

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The snowstorm-that-isn’t comes

and goes–

nevertheless, I cook and bake–

comfort food, candles, and wine

while we watch the trapped Icelandic town

caught by weather and geography,

old grievances and new politics.

The world is weary everywhere

trapped by hate,

mired in ignorance.

 

My daughter says there’s a good musician here,

if you’re not doing anything today?

We’re not

and we go

listen to music, drink some wine–

 

It’s an afternoon out

but inside—away from the wind—

a moment in time, different,

as each snowflake, and ephemeral

but carrying its unique beauty in our memories

 

through time

(whatever that may be).

 

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It’s been a strange week with moving mom and cleaning out her old apartment. While driving, we listened to an episode of the Ted Radio Hour, Episode “Shifting Time,” first broadcast in 2015.

We’re watching an Icelandic mystery series called Trapped. We’re almost finished with the first season, and we’re enjoying it.

Almost an Afterthought

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Almost an afterthought—

the breeze dances,

leaving a perfume of if

and airborne secrets

sailing into the night

 

~as the fire-sky lingers~

 

you listen for ghosts’ laughter

as they fly through broken coffee clouds–

their voices in the flowers and trees–

and with fevered embrace

they (and you) remember the rhythm of time

 

 

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I collaborated with the Oracle to create this puente. I remembered to include a screenshot this time, in case anyone wants to see the tiles. 😉

All the Women Left Behind

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The roaring wind

blows my love

 

away from me he goes

far off on the sea

 

to war, to adventure,

to find a better life

 

he leaves family,

his love, his wife,

 

a centuries-old tale.

 

Will he return? When?

The wind only roars again.

 

I felt the need for a bit of poetry before I start work today, so this late response to Monday’s dVerse prompt. De asked us to use the word roar in a quadrille—a poem of exactly 44 words. We’re expecting roaring winds here today, but for some reason I thought of the move Atlantics, which we saw on Netflix not too long ago (mentioned in one of my Musings.) It was made and set in Senegal, and it won a prize at Cannes.