The Swans: Yeats Challenge, Day 22

I’ve been busy getting ready for Thanksgiving. Wishing all of those who celebrate the holiday a very Happy Thanksgiving. 

This is for Jane’s A Month with Yeats Challenge. Today’s quotation:

 “I wander by the edge
Of this desolate lake
Where wind cries in the sedge:” —W.B. Yeats

 

I wandered by the shadowed lake,

desolate it seemed at first,

till a swan glided there and took

a sip to slake his thirst.

Soon after that, his mate sailed to him,

the two swam side-by-side

a lover’s dance, in evening dim

across the lakeside wide,

but with moonlight the sky turned brighter

together then, they spread their wings and gracefully took flight.

Their feathered bodies seemed larger and whiter

against the blanket of indigo night,

and though I’ve traveled, often far,

this is the memory that comforts me

when hope seems lost to faultless stars

I think of the swans on that moonlit night–and I feel free.

Schwaene_im_Schilf_(C_D_Friedrich)

Caspar David Friedrich, “Swans in the Reeds,” [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Caspar David Friedrich, “Swans in the Reeds,” [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

 

 

Advertisements

The Deer: Yeats Challenge Shadorma, Day 21

A Shadorma for Eliot’s November Shadorma Challenge and Jane’s A Month with Yeats Challenge. 

Today’s quotation:

“..by water among the trees
The delicate-stepping stag and his lady sigh” —W.B. Yeats

 

stag and doe

over golden leaves

side by side

they travel

at dusk, searching, wandering–

sighing, find a home

 

 

Marc_-_Hirsche

Franz Marc [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

 

 

 

 

 

A Day in the Forest: Yeats Challenge

I didn’t get my Yeats Challenge post up yesterday, so here’s Day Sixteen. I’m also linking it to Dverse’s Open Link Night.  

Jane chose this quotation for Day Sixteen:

“Do you not hear me calling, white deer with no horns?”—W.B. Yeats

 

At dawn the robin sings to greet the coming of the day,

the sun rises then in golden glow to brightly light the way,

across the sky, excited geese soar high in V formation

honking directions and chattering in winged conversations.

 

Young lovers meander in noontime explorations,

declaring their love in breathless exclamations,

taking breaks from work or school for this, a secret tryst,

holding hands, then coming closer, sharing their first kiss.

 

Later, the young white deer gambols in the gloaming

still young without his horns, carefree in his roaming,

but never too far does he wander from his mother’s side

bleating to her when he is scared, listening for her replies.

 

The owl spreads her wings, takes flight in the blackness of the night

she hoots from a branch to tell her mate that everything is right,

nocturnal creatures flit and scurry under the humming moon,

and in an upstairs room, we sleep, dreaming to the tune.

 

Franz_Marc_-_Deer_in_the_Forest_I_-_Google_Art_Project

Franz Marc, “Deer in the Forest,” [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

All We Need to Know

 If not truth or beauty

then what is the sound of the robin at dawn

as the sun rises in a swirl of pink and gold

and summer fragrance rises from the rose?

Listen to the trilling song,

the greeting of the day

proclaiming existence

and in this moment,

relish the thought of being here, too,

constant in a moment

yet mortal, mutable

in this truth, find the beauty,

this—all we need to know

 

IMG_5935

Happy Birthday to John Keats (October 31, 1795—February 23, 1821).

Wind Sighs of Dreams: Haibun

I woke to hear the wind sighing and moaning, the lonely sound of a train whistle at midnight. The house creaked, like a person turning over in bed, trying to get comfortable. The branches of the maple tree tap against the window. I try not to think of Wuthering Heights. I fall back asleep, my bed creaking like the house, as I toss through strange dreams: a woman with a mission, possibly dangerous. She may have been someone I know, in a costume, in disguise. Then there was poetry, lyrical snippets, now forgotten. Perhaps it was all an eerie visit from my muse.

 

Red gold trees ablaze

light flows through sun and shadow

dark-clothed ghosts hover

IMG_7239

This Haibun is for Colleen Chesebro’s Poetry Tuesday. The prompt words were eerie and costume.

 

 

 

Something in the Light

Monday Morning Musings:

“I want to move on

I want to explore the light

I want to know how to get through,

Through to something new,

Something of my own—

Move on. . .

Something in the light,

Something in the sky,

In the grass,

Up behind the trees. . .

Things I hadn’t looked at

Till now. . .”

–From Stephen Sondheim, “Move On,” Sunday in the Park with George

 

There’s something in the light of autumn

the way the sunlight streams low between the changing leaves

leaving summer behind, but somehow looking forward, too,

in a last burst of flame-charged energy till they, their quietus make

and something in the light changes again

producing grey and violet skies

till the earth wakens again in the spring,

moving on.

 

***

A vineyard hayride

to a field of pumpkins and apple trees

I listen to snippets of conversation

The mother talking about the Noah’s Ark movie

“It shows you what it was really like back then.”

So much crazy wrong there, but I restrain myself,

move on to explore the light

look up at the trees

and there below

things I hadn’t looked at till now

things I hadn’t seen before–

the way the sun makes the apples glow

FullSizeRender 233

and the shadows dancing in the breeze

and the music of the yellow jackets buzzing around the fallen fruit.

.

We drink our wine

darker than the apples

or garnets glowing in the light

tasting of sun and earth and promises,

we listen to a musician play classic rock and blues

watch the children and the dogs enjoying the warmth

on this summer-like day in October

but there’s something in the light,

different now in the fall from our summertime visits

we move on through the seasons

and I make applesauce when we get home.

On Sunday, we travel to my sister’s house,

stopping first to pick up my mom

who was confused about the day

and was not ready for us

her vision nearly gone,

her world is shrinking

the light in her eyes dimmer

as she moves on, five years short of a century

I think of all she’s seen–

the memories of people and places that play in her mind

now a bit confused–

I wonder if how we see the world changes it?

Did the Island of La Grande Jatte change because of Seurat

and how he saw the light?

If we could see more colors, more light

would it change anything?

How does one move on after seeing Monet’s water lilies or Van Gogh’s starry night?

Do we ever see these things the same way again?

Painting by Sylvia Schreiber

Enter a caption

 

We meet my sister and her wife’s new dog

my mom says she’s glad they’re keeping this one

they keep  returning them, she says

not true, of course,

but she sees things differently now sometimes,

and I look up to see something in the trees

something in the sky

the light—

IMG_7224

We eat and then take her shopping

the shoe department, a mix of Kafka and Catch 22,

(something in the department store light?)

somehow, we maneuver and decode

before we explode

purchase two pairs of shoes

black and navy

(slightly different in the light)

and move on to bras.

IMG_7226

Imagine now,

five women in a dressing room,

two manipulating my mother,

making jokes as they handle her breasts

inserting them into cups

all of us finally laughing–

and then a fart,

producing bent-over-as-tears-stream-from-your-eyes-laughter

finally, we stop, breathe–

there’s work to be done,

and a timetable–

we get my mother her bras

then back to the house for dessert,

Mandelbrot and brownies,

IMG_7218

because why bother with anything that’s not chocolate?

We sit outside in my sister’s garden

enjoying the sun, enjoying the light

until it’s time to move on.

IMG_7223

From the stars

and to the dawn

in light that reaches us

from billions of years away

we see something there

and something here,

something in the light

moving on

Queen of the Sea

1024px-Ilya_Repin-What_freedom!

Ilya Repin, “What Freedom!” [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Pretend I’m the Queen of the Sea–

in my long reign

we will dance upon the waves,

careless of the sparkling spindrift

delighting

water-spriting

unrestrained,

without reins

we’ll ride our horses of ocean blue

under the singing stars,

and only a gentle rain will fall,

soft drumming to the humming moon

Franz_Marc_005

Franz Marc, “Large Blue Horses,” [Public domain or Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

This poem is for dVerse. Lillian has asked us to use the words rain, rein, and/or reign, and to write something upbeat.

I’ve used this painting by Ilya Repin before, but I love it. The Blue Horses and spindrift are for Jane.      🙂

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

An Autumn Haiku

diffused gold light wait

shadows on fall’s azure skies

birds in chevrons soar

 

Embed from Getty Images

 

This haiku is for Colleen Chesebro’s Weekly poetry challenge. The prompt words were soar and wait.

 

 

Liminal Skies: Haibun

The days grow shorter, and I wake in the dark. The mockingbird no longer sings through the night on a branch outside my window. It made me happy to hear him, comforting somehow, familiar like the tree itself. Has he gone, or merely changed his timing and repertoire as early summer moves inescapably towards fall? Yet through open windows, I hear other acquaintances, robins and cardinals, still warbling and chirping. A few leaves have changed from green to gold. The bright blue skies of September soon will yield to violet, then grey. The air is fresh, the days warm and the nights cool. The vibrant corn moon blazes in the morning sky. She hums a song, autumn is coming.

 

liminal skies sigh

chasing shadows round the sun

leaves whisper and fall

IMG_6565

This is for dVerse Haibun Monday. Yeah, I’m a bit late.

Toni asked us to write about the in-between seasons. She wrote, “I was thinking intensely of the Japanese word, komorebi (koe moe ray bee) which means specifically light that is filtered between leaves and usually occurring in spring and fall…but in that in-between-season.”

It occurs to me, too, that many people right now (my family and friends among them) are in an in-between state waiting for Hurricane Irma to arrive. My thoughts are with you. This seems to be a time of catastrophe and upheaval everywhere.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In Turbulent Times, Look for Magic

Storms rage,

we vanish from the stage,

fires flash and burn

destruction comes at every turn

(Is it ever thus–

what, oh what, is wrong with us?)

in wind and water rising

in troubles of our own devising,

storms rage

 

But which is more powerful,

love or hate?

Do we build to then negate?

“Beauty is truth, truth beauty”

Does the urn remain

when all is lost to rains

or flames?

When we’re destroyed by fear and greed

and people lost we cannot feed

beauty vanishes from past ages,

and still the storm rages

and rages

 

We hope then,

we long to see

what is and what might be

that magic gently comes

without fanfare, fifes, and drums

in soaring rainbows

in poetry and prose

in all that beguiles

in smiles

or baby’s laughter

(and how we laugh after)

ephemeral and fleeting

but etched upon our hearts,

(still beating)

the humming moon, the singing stars–

forget the wars

remember love,

and cooing of the peaceful dove,

or build the walls

and watch them fall

while the storm rages

and rages–

turn now the pages–

look for the helpers in turbulent times,

search for truth and beauty, magic and rhymes

Rainbow, National Park, NJ

 

A late entry for Tuesday’s dVerse hosted by Paul. He’s asked us to write about magic.