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

 

 

 

 

 

 

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A Love Story: A Month With Yeats, Day 12

This is for Jane Dougherty’s A Month With Yeats Challenge, Day 12.

Today’s quotation is:

“He made the world to be a grassy road

Before her wandering feet.”

–W.B. Yeats

 

There was a maiden with flowers in her hair

glorious she was, but with a tragic air.

Yet would the gods so decree

that beauty be the cause of tragedy?

Rather humans create such fights

with jealousy, hate, and righteous might.

 

“I would give you all I can,”

said the young, determined, love-struck man.

“But I would also let you go

if ever that is how you wished it so.”

With that she took him, wed him, then,

and their love was renewed again and again.

 

For he made the world a delightful place

and within it there, they had such space–

for her, he created grassy roads with scented flowers

and there she could wander in day or evening hours

She often said she was glad she’d wed him then

and their love was renewed again and again.

 

Though beauty may pass like a dream,

the rose is deeper than it seems.

Its beauty lies in not only in its shape and form,

but also in its scent that lingers and adorns.

And if wars are fought to capture bloom or bower

that is not the fault of the radiant flower.

Windswept_by_John_William_Waterhouse

John William Waterhouse, “Windswept” or “Wildflowers,” [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

 

 

 

 

 

Night-Tide: Yeats Challenge, Day 10

For Jane Dougherty’s A Month with Yeats Challenge, Day 10.

Today’s quotation:

“And he saw how the reeds grew dark
At the coming of night-tide,”

—  W.B. Yeats.

 

From the cottage window

he watches the winds blow,

scurrying and hurrying

for the day to be through

to turn evening’s dusky violet hue

into the starry indigo of night.

 

How she had loved that sight,

the clouds dancing in the air

the wispy bits of angel hair

white against the darkening sky.

And still he cried

remembering how she’d died

drifting away at the coming of night-tide.

 

He’d been there, sitting at her side.

Now weary, burdened with a heavy heart,

wondering what to do or what to start

Then softly he hears her gentle sigh,

and though it waits for no reply,

as the moon hums and the reeds grow dark

he knows she’s there somehow, a spark

in every fox’s bark and singing lark

her spirit roams by house and glen

somewhere, sometime, he’ll see her again.

 

'Starry_Night'_by_Edvard_Munch,_1893,_Getty_Center

Edvard Munch, “Starry Night,” [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

The Dancers: Quadrille

The house was softly lit

the couple danced and flit

in waltzing rhythm, with delight

till late at night

(as in the past)

up the creaking stairs, they went

content–

no matter that long ago, they’d died,

love is here, the house still sighed

480px-Phenakistoscope_3g07690d

 

This is a quadrille for dVerse. The prompt word was creak. I wrote this last night, but at 4 A.M. or so I was awakened by the house creaking from the wind storm we’re having now in anticipation of the rain that’s coming soon. It was creepy walking out in the dark this morning to get the newspaper. This creepy creaking might inspire a less gentle poem.

 

On Phoenix Wings

When we soared on Phoenix wings,

reborn from the ashes of the stars

flying in the slipstream of time,

then I knew I loved you–

this time getting it right–

creatures of the light

clothed in cloud filament,

dancing in rhythm

to the music of the universe

Sunrise, National Park, NJ

 

I loved the first line of Jane Dougherty’s poem, “Heaven’s High,” so much that I used it for the first line of mine. Thanks, Jane! J

 

Poetry in a Storm: Magnetic Poetry

 

 

Storm Clouds Rolling In, National Park, NJ

Above aches

a black storm,

a live delirious show,

the wind heaves sea spray,

and less frantic, sleeps

 

Screen Shot 2017-08-19 at 6.27.31 AM

 

Summer blossoms bright

after rain, vivid color

poetry grows wild

like love shining through the night,

rooted here, behold Eden

 

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Rainbow, National Park, NJ

Yesterday was such a weird day–work, political stuff,  and the world generally. Then late in the day, we watched the storm clouds roll in, followed by a weird golden sky–and a rainbow. I decided to consult the Oracle, who told it like it was, and even gave me a tanka.

 

© Merril D. Smith, 2017

Hidden in the Wind: Tanka

hidden in the wind

shimmering music, love

drifting from the stars

 

through time, hunting and haunting

lost and found over again

 

The_Future_Began_Here

By ESO/B. Tafreshi (http://www.eso.org/public/images/potw1637a/) [CC BY 4.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons

This if for Colleen’s Weekly Poetry Challenge. The prompt words were hunt and find.

 

 

 

 

Work, Wine, and Wonder

Monday Morning Musings:

“Seven to eleven is a huge chunk of life, full of dulling and forgetting. It is fabled that we slowly lose the gift of speech with animals, that birds no longer visit our windowsills to converse. As our eyes grow accustomed to sight they armor themselves against wonder.”

–Leonard Cohen, The Favorite Game (1963)

 

“Wine comes in at the mouth

And love comes in at the eye;

That’s all we shall know for truth

Before we grow old and die.

I lift the glass to my mouth

I look at you, and I sigh.”

William Butler Yeats, “A Drinking Song”

 

I spend days writing,

then sighting and fighting

others’ dreadful prose,

I dream then,

want again,

wonder and poetry–

a moonship sleeps through time

dreaming of a glowing goddess

cool, with diamond eyes,

from her starry throne,

she lets a storm moan

and I,

seeing lights from the sky.

watch as mist sprays

plays melodies on garden stones

dances in the light,

a thousand fairies

diamond-eyed.

 

I spend days writing,

then sighting and fighting

more dreadful prose,

I watch a morning sparkle and gleam

and dream of conversing with the birds,

how it would be to sing their songs,

flowing thoughts and soaring words?

I wonder of what my slumbering cats dream

(perhaps nothing is what it seems).

Do cats and dogs, do cows

as they graze under the boughs

understand the birds’ songs

moo in harmony, sing along?

 

FullSizeRender 132

I spend days writing,

then sighting and fighting–

again, that dreadful prose!

And I wonder

why is there such hate

that negates

joy, hope, and reason

that seasons

life with tears and fears?

Why men would rape out of boredom

(Boredom!)

and why a woman,

or a man,

need to be taught a lesson

stressing

what?

What lesson has been taught?

That someone has been caught or bought?

that life is fraught,

so do not dream of what you could be, or brought

about with books and words and second thoughts?

I wonder who could hurt a child,

can their minds ever be reconciled—

the dreadful deeds and daily doings,

the demons in their souls?

no controls, no goals

lives brutal and bleak

do, die, never speak.

Do they never dream of a goddess glowing

her tresses silver and flowing,

or wonder how to converse with a bird?

heard their songs in morning air

happy to be alive, aware?

Where does the wonder go?

Does anybody know?

 

I spend days writing,

then sighting and fighting–

yes, more of that dreadful prose,

correct the errors, insert a phrase

(my eyes glaze)

then I wonder—

isn’t it time for some wine?

so we go, sit near grapes in the sunshine,

enjoy the beauty of the day

stay

as chatter and music play

in waves around us.

We drink wine,

red and luscious

(no, don’t rush this)

loving it,

loving you

I lift the glass to my mouth

I look at you, and I sigh.

wonder how and why we found each other

created two astonishing daughters

enjoyed days of blues skies and laughing waters,

realize I have found the music and the poetry

in life, in you, in birds, and trees

And though I cannot sing with birds,

I can wonder, dream, and write these words.

 

 

Wake and Embrace, Happy Anniversary

Wake and embrace—

linger for a universe of morning

perfumed with coffee and color.

Picture this,

(my window, see?)

breathe the peace surrounding you and me,

flowering cool green

on velvet words almost to eternity

 

Screen Shot 2017-06-25 at 6.29.03 AM

 

Morning Sky after the Storm, West Deptford, NJ

 

Today is our 39th wedding anniversary! I’m glad the Oracle came through with something nice, even if she sometimes messes up the spelling.

Yesterday morning we had thunderstorms with tornado warnings, but then the sun came out. Sometimes nature gives you a metaphor. Some of you know I’m past deadline on a manuscript for an encyclopedia, and that I’m now researching and writing a second chapter because a contributor did not come through with something I could use. It’s been quite a storm, but I’m embracing blue skies and velvet words today.  🙂

Spots of Color Bloomed

Spots of color bloomed,

there in the mist,

pink and red, surrounded by green

with glistening sheen

life burgeoning, not yet entombed

but solidly rooted,

perfectly suited

(like us)

to withstand the rain–

again and again–

but then to greet the sun,

when at last, it comes

drifting down

crowning the day on floating rays

lighting the wings of birds in flight

whisking away the gloom

(the scent of petrichor lingers)

making color, life, and love bloom

 

IMG_6074

My husband planted these yesterday between rain showers. It made me happy when I looked out the window.

For those keeping track,  I needed to take a poetry break.  🙂