I Ask the Birds: Magnetic Poetry

Frants_Bøe_-_Birds_in_the_midnight_sun,_1857

Frants Diderik Bøe, “Birds in the Midnight Sun,” [Public domain]

When you soar—

up through purple mist

 

is there beauty there?

 

Blue shadows lick

the red rocks

 

a lazy sky-spray sings,

 

but rain recalls dreams–

the sweet smell of peaches–

 

and yet the wind cries why

as a symphony, a moan

 

an ache in me sleeps

 

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The Oracle sends me lyrical questions. I hit “Publish” too quickly! Re-publishing this with my screen shot.

 

Waves Again (and Again)–Redux

Ilya_Repin-What_freedom!

Ilya Repin, “What Freedom!” Wikipedia Commons

 

No flask, no wine, no book of verse, this night,

we reach for stars and moon, seek gleams of light,

hear the silver streams from the humming moon,

time moves in pulses, like a fairy sprite

 

seconds and memories, here and then gone

scented by sea-mists, turned rosy at dawn

or aglow under sweeping, sparkling stars

remember we say, remember hang on–

 

there on the sand, waves pitch and break and roar,

while spindrift flicks in salted breeze to shore,

and you with me, now standing hand in hand

watching the sea, waiting for dreams, we soar.

 

This is a Rubaiyat for dVerse, where Frank is hosting a month-long challenge. This one is reworked from a previous prompt that he did. I’ve added a quatrain, keeping in mind Jilly’s challenge to appeal to the senses. I’ve obviously played upon and given tribute to Edward Fitzgerald’s translation of Omar Khayyam’s famous verse. Comments welcome.

 

 

 

 

 

For My Older Daughter on Her Birthday

Ocean City, NJ

Little girl

gambols by the seaside

 

the saltwater flows,

and she grows

 

wondering who she is,

who she’ll be

 

as onward flows

the sea, she knows

 

kisses, and soaring free

to be

 

herself, and shows

a world images–she knows

 

what dreams can be

 

A quadrille for dVerse, where De is asking us to use the word kiss. Sorry for all the birthday poems, but I wrote a poem for younger daughter’s birthday, so I had to write one for older daughter’s birthday today. I’m struck by how many of her paintings are of soaring figures—both people and sea creatures. You can see some of them here.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Shadows, Wind, and Clay: Rubaiyat

Monday Morning Musings:

“God, how we get our fingers in each other’s clay. That’s friendship, each playing the potter to see what shapes we can make of each other.”

–Ray Bradbury, Something Wicked This Way Come

“And Guy felt it again—the sense of hostility in the clump of woods east of the house. . .

What chance combination of shadow and sound and his own thoughts had created it?”

Patricia Highsmith, Strangers on a Train

Tuesday

So now, my mother feels her age

and shadows walk on either side

both before and behind, this stage

of life, some accept, others rage.

 

My own walk, confident, with pride

stepping fast and firmly to ground

with thoughts in clouds and eyes now wide

to watch my mom and match her stride.

 

This fake spring day, a shy half-smile

timid, like a deer, before it flees

and can’t be seen, but for awhile

we’ll bask in light, as it beguiles

 

though my mom unaware, she sees

but doesn’t, knows winter is here

leaves dropped and then tossed in the breeze

is age a stage, or a disease?

Thursday

We go for drinks, daughter’s birthday,

we talk and laugh, I’ve baked a cake

we’ll sit awhile, no lengthy stay

work tomorrow, always the way

 

I value moments with my child

a beautiful woman, she’s become

with students now that she has styled

wisdom and laughter reconciled

Friday

We watch a film set in a war

where women have to hide their hair

and people flee to basements for

there is danger, bomb threats, and more.

 

Did djinn arrive somewhere upstairs

flying on missiles in the wind?

But look, what is real, what nightmares–

shapes in shadows, sounds on the stairs?

 

Saturday

A date day to play with some clay

cold outside, but it’s warm inside,

we turn the wheel, and learn the way

clay becomes bowl–or thrown away.

 

I say to him look at the moon

as we walk into the light of night,

city to train, and then home soon

for shadow-dreams to lunar tune.

 

Secret language, a potter’s wheel

spins, shaping it, and us anew

through heartache, and then all we feel

as spring to fall, to age we kneel.

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I’ve attempted something different for my Monday Morning Musings—a Rubaiyat. This is part of the poetry forms series on dVerse.  I’m not sure if this works.

 

We watched the movie, Under the Shadow, an Iranian movie set during the 1980s in Tehran. I liked it—it’s billed as a horror movie, but there’s a lot more to it than that. It’s on Netflix. Trailer here. We went to the Clay Studio in Philadelphia for a date day. There was wine, beer, food, and instruction. Each person gets to make two pieces (you can actually make more and keep your best two). I’ve never used a potter’s wheel before. We weren’t too good at it, but it was fun. On Tuesday, it was in the 60s F. Today, it’s snowing.

 

 

 

Dreams and Wishes

2048px-Pleiades_large

More than cake—

remember magic

lives long. Let

it always

surround you, a breathing cloud,

a dance in kisses

 

and so, this—ask if,

but explore the secret stars

in a universe

time ghost-laughs a fevered breeze

and a heart blushes, flowers

 

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The Oracle knows everything, so she knows it is birthday month at my house. Both daughters and my husband (and mother-in-law) have birthdays in February. When the girls were little, we often had a combined Valentine’s-birthday party. So here is birthday love and wishes in a shadorma tanka combo for Colleen’s Tanka Tuesday challenge.  But there will also be a lot of cake and celebrations this month.

For My Younger Daughter on Her Birthday

Twenty-eight years—

a lifetime—

or just a blink—

 

time passes that way

without regard for what

we think

 

of all the moments,

the tears, the joy,

together, we link

 

them, forming

the totality

I would not rethink

 

through whys

or ifs, to undo

 

that which is

so wondrous–you.

 

A quick birthday poem–posting on dVerse, where Grace is hosting Open Link Night.

 

 

 

 

 

Seen and Unseen

 

“What do we call visible light? We call it color. But the electromagnetic spectrum runs to zero in one direction and infinity in the other, so really, children, mathematically, all of light is invisible.”

–Anthony Doer, All the Light We Cannot See

IMG_1290

Philadelphia Mural Arts

 

Redshifting and blue,

all the colors, hues

we cannot see, and beyond

our comprehension, or will–

yet, don’t they exist still?

And the man, there on his rags,

sleeping on his clothes in bags–

if we walk by him unseeing

does it mean he’s not a being

worthy of a view, a thought

of what once was? Even if

only a trace of has been–wisps

that linger here–the invisible who

are all the colors, all the hues

and so,

as sunset slow shifts to indigo

and all the in-between,

there, find all the light that’s there

find it, unseen and seen.

 

This is for my prompt at dVerse, where we’re exploring the invisible. I was inspired by the quotation I used and also by the mural that I just happened to see on Sunday, after I had written and scheduled the prompt. Isn’t it weird how that works?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Postscript, in which I continue to procrastinate, avoiding the work I should be doing in order to comment on the mistakes with my previous post

So, first I published my musings without a title

then I forgot to erase my random thoughts–

the scribbles on the metaphorical napkin–

the unpremeditated words,

that come flying from my mind,

aimless, falling like autumn leaves. . .

and now you see that first process

before other ideas came to me—

while I brushed first my teeth

and then my cat’s

(because good dental hygiene is important

but doesn’t require much brain power).

So, I’ll just leave that post up as a monument

to first and second thoughts,

and perhaps a third,

even as I took a breath,

I somehow forgot to breathe.

In today’s Monday Morning Musings there is a gap between “the real post” and the first scribbled thoughts that I forgot to delete. Now you see how I work.  🙂 I did correct the title, but I didn’t scroll down far enough to notice that gibberish. And I also misspelled “breathe.” Also, the WP Gremlins seem to be active today, so who knows what may happen to this post. BEWARE!  NOW, I’m getting back to work. Really. In just a few minutes. . .

Most of Rina Bannerjee’s artwork has very long titles.

 

 

Universal Truths, Some Ice Doesn’t Melt

Monday Morning Musings:

“Poverty made a sound like a wet cough in the shadows of the room.”

–Ray Bradbury  (Referenced here.)

There’s ice on the river,
but it will melt,

Ice on the Delaware seen from Patco Train
not so some hearts

that stay ever frozen,

 

no warm current flows

there to thaw,

 

the cold. No way

to resuscitate the lifeless

 

zombies

feeding on the living.

 

Yet they proclaim

their love of life

 

when it’s cells

they pretend to care about–

 

but not the ones

into which people are thrown

 

not the children taken

and lost

 

and not their parents–

only the cells that might be,

 

not the violence

that affects them,

 

not the guns or poverty.

Power and money

 

their gods

though they pay lip-service

 

to a deity

twisted to defend

 

their beliefs.

It’s an age-old tale,

 

a universal truth that

the mighty can tumble,

 

but those just getting by

fall over the edge

and into a ravine

often unseen,

 

there to remain,

but it can happen

 

to almost anyone

without influence

 

or connections.

Perhaps—

 

connection

is the key,

 

if only to one

lock

 

of the many–

the librarian

 

who makes the homeless child

feel special,

 

the immigration officer,

who learns that

 

that law and morality

and not always the same thing.

 

We walk through city streets

where murals bring beauty–

 

and truth,

and a museum opens its doors

and galleries

to new works among the old–

social and economic inequality

consumption of people and goods

 

the movement of people and goods

across the globe–

 

a complex interaction

of thought, art, and words.

I amuse myself in imagining

my father and older daughter

 

walking though these rooms–

he, who wrote a dissertation

 

on Charles Willson Peale,

and she, an artist with a passion

 

for justice. What fun they would

have had here.What a discussion

they might have had—

perhaps in some alternative world,

 

but here, we are

and we go to a movie

 

immersed in a world that does exist–

It is fiction, but tells a truth

 

of poverty, chaos

that most of us cannot imagine.

 

Through it a young boy navigates

with defiance, bravery, spirit—and kindness

 

rising above it all

despite the example

 

of his parents, and many

around him blind to what is before them.

 

A story again of immigrants, too,

because this another universal truth

 

that people move and come legally and illegally

to Ethiopia, Lebanon, Iceland, the U.S.

 

to which my grandparents came.

And your ancestors were immigrants too

 

if you look back far enough.

And were they helped by someone?

 

Most likely.

 

We each walk our own paths

with tenuous connections

 

that sometimes mesh

or interact.

Late Afternoon, Washington Square, Philadelphia

 

The meteorologist says

there’s freezing fog today

IMG_1347

but the temperatures will rise,

and the ice will melt

 

But some hearts will stay cold

and some minds will remain frozen

 

screens where the cursor never moves

to write new thoughts.

 

We saw And Breath Normally. It’s on Netflix, trailer here.  It’s a quiet movie (no music, Dale!), but well done, about a immigration officer in Iceland and the African refugee who helps her. Though it’s set in Iceland, it could have taken place in many different nations. And we saw Capernaum (trailer here), which will just rip your insides outs. That little boy AND that toddler, and the horrible parents, and the surroundings. . .yeah, just see it.

We went to the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts where Rina Bannerjee’s work is on display until March  31. (Free on Sundays during the exhibition). You can see and read more about her work here.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My grandmothers, both immigrants

 

 

I amuse myself by imagining my father and my older daughter walking through the gallery discussing his view of the Peales and her views on art and feminism. They would have had so much fun.

Art

 

Resistence spices peel  never imagine without inheritance  I see revealed

Sun disguises well the feather we see while home

 

Stop these storms

 

She sings of summer

While the wind urges elaborate dreams

Heaving enormous fluff

 

When

Her heart healed

He looked long

Letting it be less

Herself

Him

The perfume of need and want

Melting

In embrace

Timeless as the ocean

Exploring the night

 

 

The Old Lovers: Magnetic Poetry

 

Robert_Vonnoh_-_Lingering_Rain,_Moon_and_Eventide

Robert Vonnoh, “Lingering Rain” Public Domain, Wikipedia Commons

Recall, she says,

we watched the moon

 

and time stopped

as shadow mist played

 

above the blue forest.

What was it you wanted?

 

Us?

The sea?

 

A dream of if—

lives on for us, my love,

 

like the smell of spring rain

as sun shines through it.

 

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From today’s visit to the Oracle.