Fragments

Fragments by Lee Madgwick

Sarah’s ekphrastic prompt at dVerse featured the art of Lee Madgwick. The prompt closed before I got a chance to respond, but here is my poem inspired by this painting. I may write more inspired by the others.

Fragments

Grey-furred clouds sit cat-like
ready to pounce

a breeze strokes the marsh grass—
sighs at the water-whispers,

secret murmurs heard by fish and birds
who swim and fly, here and gone because

time here is as fluid
as the endless river before me

going nowhere or everywhere,
ebbing and flowing concurrently

like conversations at a holiday dinner
where words from the past linger

and mingle with what is spoken
and what is left unsaid,

a barred door
or one open to possibility,

this world of dreams is one universe
of many where stars hum far in the distance.

Now an empty boat waits for me,
I will enter and exit many times

without remembering . . .
until I do.

Vanishing Point

Peder Severin Krøyer, Summer Evening at Skagen. The Artist’s Wife and Dog by the Shore

Vanishing Point

In summer’s late twilight,
violet waves tumble with mystery,
the clouds are shapeshifters,
now ships, now galloping horses
dipping their heads to graze.

This is the place where wishes dangle
and we are hooked–
lungs for gills, legs for voice–
no way to go back,
promises polished like sea glass
shatter on the rocks.

Five years. We still gaze at the horizon,
still listen for his voice, don’t we, Boy?
A tail wag of hope before we turn, leaving
our footprints. Blink, and they’re gone, too.

A poem for my summer ekphrastic prompt on dVerse. I’ve posted several works of art to choose from. Join us!

The Recollection of Dreams

Odilon Redon, Orpheus

The Recollection of Dreams

In the picture,
when the music dream-splashes color
and light,
like sea waves against rocks—
we hear storms and whispers
in the red and blue,
feel heartache and love–

and if you must see the sorrow,
also recall the luscious scent of rose gardens
the taste of honey on your lips, a kiss.

My poem from the Oracle. The tile said fiddle, but the image of this Redon painting was in my head, not Chagall.

Day 30, Ekphrastic Challenge, My poem, Rainbow Dreams

Day 30 inspired by all three works. This is the final day of the month-long challenge. This is a san san.

Rainbow Dreams

A rainbow in my dreams–
cantaloupe sky, pink quartz beach, and light-drenched trees
dripping green, gold, blue. Here birds stop to perch
on chromatic rocks. Yet nothing remains as it seems–
shadows come, even within dreams, my mind sees
but also alters. Gulls become robins whose birdsong brings
dawn-light to forest—now, color-spray the birch
with rainbow stripes and feathers. In dreams, my heart sings.

Thank you to Paul Brookes for hosting this April Ekphrastic Challenge. It has been a wonderful experience. You can see the art and read the other responses by going to Paul’s site here.

The artists are Gaynor Kane, John Phandal Law, and Anjum Wasim Dar. Thank you for your wonderful  and inspiring art! I’m giving them a round of applause–and also one for the other poets! 👏

Day 29, Ekphrastic Challenge, My Poem, Oxygen

For the penultimate day of the challenge:

Inspired by AWD, “Oxygen”

Oxygen

From the dark, soupy universe
light emerged, the afterglow of explosion
blue-shifted here

to our primeval oceans
where microbes gobbled oxygen
and cyanobacteria sent some into the air
through photosynthesis,
generating life.

And from there, flowers bloomed,
and then came fruit,
and us, and love, and art—

microscopic particles recycled, torn apart
in the process of (re)creating space and hearts.

I am once again participating in Paul Brookes’ April Ekphrastic Challenge. Each day, I will post my poem(s) here. You can see the art and read the other responses by going to Paul’s site here.

The artists are Gaynor Kane, John Phandal Law, and Anjum Wasim Dar. Thank you for your wonderful  and inspiring art!

Falling Stars

Falling Stars

The child presses her face against the window glass,
watches as the sun sinks into the sea
and the first stars appear in the sky.
She makes a wish as one streaks, burns, and falls
vanishing like her neighbors.
(“Poor things,” her mother had said
when she saw their yellow stars.)
She wonders if they will send her a postcard
from wherever they are,
and if she can change her wish–
to see them again,
the doctor with the kind eyes
and his playful daughters with their flowing-wheat hair.

The child, older now,
presses her face against a now-cracked window,
watches the stars in a clear sky,
the bombs silenced,
she hears wind-murmurs
of hope returned and dreams remembered
bittersweet, like chocolate she ate—before.
She sees in streams of starlight
a vision sowed in sparkling silver waves,
and hopes her long-ago wish
will take root and grow.

Starlight Sower by Hai Knafo

I was writing something else, and the memory of painting above just popped into my head. One doesn’t ignore those things. I went looking for it in my posts and found a poem I had written several years ago. I’ve revised it slightly. Today is Yom HaShoah (Holocaust Remembrance Day), sundown 27 April to sundown 28 April. The current war in Ukraine and the rise of authoritarian governments everywhere, makes this seem particularly timely. In one of the horrible ironies of this time, Jews, including Holocaust survivors, have fled Ukraine to seek refuge in Berlin.
Sharing this with Open Link Night on dVerse.

Day 28, Ekphrastic Challenge, My Poem, The Result

Inspired by AWD, “Politics”

The Result

With alligator smiles
they dazzled, dangling

the promise of freedom
on the tips of their sharp teeth

but the monstrous jaws snapped,
cities, trees, people fell

fertilizing the ground with blood–

no flowers bloomed,
no bird sang at dawn,
only death awakened this spring,

I am once again participating in Paul Brookes’ April Ekphrastic Challenge. Each day, I will post my poem(s) here. You can see the art and read the other responses by going to Paul’s site here.

The artists are Gaynor Kane, John Phandal Law, and Anjum Wasim Dar. Thank you for your wonderful  and inspiring art!

Day 27, Ekphrastic Challenge, My Poem: Turnings

Day 27, inspired by all three images

Turnings

The poet in the attic room,
frayed cuffs rolled, sits at the desk
by the open window–
aware of the cliché—
the garret room, drafty in winter
yet not without charm now
as the scent of sweet pea
from the garden drifts and wanders–
a memory circling
like the Ferris wheel at the fair,
straining to reach the top.

I am once again participating in Paul Brookes’ April Ekphrastic Challenge. Each day, I will post my poem(s) here. You can see the art and read the other responses by going to Paul’s site here.

The artists are Gaynor Kane, John Phandal Law, and Anjum Wasim Dar. Thank you for your wonderful  and inspiring art!

Day 26, Ekphrastic Challenge, My Poem, Catch It

Inspired by all three images for today.

Catch It

The beauty of a summer rose
is obvious,
less so, the stark winter landscape
of skeleton trees and washed-out sky–
but there–if you look closely–

my cat is beautiful to me,
your pet pig to you–

love doesn’t make us blind,
it makes us see

the lines on a face are roads
on a map
a life-journey—

traveled through places real and imagined,
in monochrome minutes or bright-hued hours,

like a pink bow bobbing in a sea of grey,
a life-preserver tossed to you—catch it.

I am once again participating in Paul Brookes’ April Ekphrastic Challenge. Each day, I will post my poem(s) here. You can see the art and read the other responses by going to Paul’s site here.

The artists are Gaynor Kane, John Phandal Law, and Anjum Wasim Dar. Thank you for your wonderful  and inspiring art!

Day 25, Ekphrastic Challenge, My Poems, Rooted and The Journey

Inspired by GK25 Wolf and Witness Tree

Rooted

Sometimes you can feel the air–
a wolf growl, a howl at the moon—
faint, like a pencil sketch,
but there

it takes hold
rooted, like a tree bearing witness
to your soul.

Inspired by all three images for today.

The Journey

You sail the endless grey ocean,
a monochrome vista, the sea of despair
surrounds you

the color of the grey wolf
that sheltered under the ancient tree
while you sat above, a young boy
hugged by its strong branches
and rocked gently by the wind
until awakened by dawn’s pulsating light

as now—
your ship illuminated in the canary yellow glow
flies into the peacock blue sky.

I am once again participating in Paul Brookes’ April Ekphrastic Challenge. Each day, I will post my poem(s) here. You can see the art and read the other responses by going to Paul’s site here.

The artists are Gaynor Kane, John Phandal Law, and Anjum Wasim Dar. Thank you for your wonderful  and inspiring art!