The Power: NaPoWriMo, Day 3

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Flowers have a power–

in their beauty they fascinate,

falling in April showers,

almost without weight,

 

ethereal in form,

adrift to winds of fate–

do they weather the storm,

acclimate, accommodate

 

to changing times?

The sun’s rising position

also creates shadowed lines.

The flowers, without ambition,

 

hold some power nonetheless,

ensorcelling spirits lure squirrels and birds,

send ramblers on quixotic quests

with cockeyed verbs and lovesick words.

 

But now, robin and mockingbird know,

from the bowers, small throats mightily sing–

so, away the cold and the snow

and come the irresistible songs of spring.

 

Thus, the power of flowers

though it seems the most fleeting of things

fuels hope and love through hours

to soar high on feathered wings.

 

The prompt for Day 3 of NaPoWriMo asked us to create word banks and to use rhymes and repeat words. I took some words from the Magnetic Poetry Oracle and then went from there.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Connected: NaPoWriMo, Day 2

 

Painting by Sylvia L. Schreiber

 

Clouds, charcoal and white,

are fringed with a golden glow,

tumbling like puppies at play, fake-ferocious,

and without stop

until they drop,

exhausted, to lull with doggy grins

 

over gray-green Atlantic waves

that echo their play—

here the whole world sways–

and the gulls cry in syncopated beats

completing the symphony of breeze and sea–

 

steady breaths,

in and out

 

as the amber beach grass dances

and the wind brushes my cheek

in a salty kiss, a tingle, a promise

in this mystique

of what is, was, and might be—

 

everything luminous, electric,

connected,

alive.

 

For Day 2 of NaPoWriMo. The prompt was: to “write a poem about a specific place —  a particular house or store or school or office. Try to incorporate concrete details, like street names, distances (“three and a half blocks from the post office”), the types of trees or flowers, the color of the shirts on the people you remember there.”

I chose to write a poem based on a place in a painting that my mother painted. I have no idea if it is an actual place she visited, or when she painted it. The figure is kind of odd, but I’m captivated by the movement of clouds, waves, and grass, and well, this probably isn’t a finished poem either.

I’m also linking this to dVerse’s Open Link Night, where Grace is hosting.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Braided: NaPoWriMo, Day 1

My hair–

in shoulder-length braid,

multi-colored strands

woven over and under,

the grey with brown overlaid,

gilded in gold—past, present, future

twined together

sharing the same roots.

Back it all goes,

away from my face.

(Don’t touch.)

 

I look in the mirror,

wonder if wisps of spring bloom

still in autumn frost.

What does it matter? Lines traced

forwards and back. Lifelines.

I turn away,

wash my hands. . .again.

 

Today is the first day of poetry month.  NaPoWriMo posts a prompt for each day of the month. I’ve taken part for the past two or three years. I may not post every day. We’ll see.  Today’s prompt was: “write a self-portrait poem in which you make a specific action a metaphor for your life – one that typically isn’t done all that often, or only in specific circumstances.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

Looking Out the Window

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Frederic Edwin Church, “Beacon off Mount Desert Island”

 

Looking Out the Window

 

Red sky

dawns blush-tipped,

a warning to sailors–

yet I delight in night’s demise,

day breaks.

 

I’m combining prompts: a Crapsey Cinquain for Colleen’s Tanka Tuesday prompt

and a seeing red poem for Sarah’s dVerse prompt.

It’s also the start of NaPoWriMo, but I’ll see if I can do something else for that.

The Light Rekindled

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The Upside-Down World: An overflow drainage pond is beautiful reflected. Merril D. Smith, March 2020

Monday Morning Musings:

“I borrowed his brightness and used it to see my way, and then gradually, from the habit of looking at the world as he illuminated it, the light in my own mind rekindled.”

–Geraldine Brooks, Year of Wonders

 

I walk, alone

no human voices, only birdsong.

Vultures soar above me,

social, silent creatures

gracefully catching the currents

 

 

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sniffing the air

for death on the ground,

unnoticed by us–

like those who scavenge and clean

under-appreciated, like those who serve.

 

Life blooms all around me

yellow, pink, white

petals bright against the sky

where a mockingbird perches

to sing for hours in looping trills

 

a song of love, longing, and hope

of attracting his mate,

or fending off others.

Whatever the intent,

his message makes me smile.

 

We celebrate Shabbat,

a virtual dinner with our daughters.

We light the candles, sip our wine,

cut the challah

share our lives and love through a screen,

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Virtual Shabbat Dinner

 

agreeing that we should do this again

agreeing that we are all connecting

in new ways—

I tell them I called a friend,

I remind myself to call others.

 

The sun shines

through the raindrops

a brief reminder

it is there, like a memory

it is always there

 

in a puddle

reflected

or in the sky

hidden by clouds

or by a turn of the axis–

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Sun shower–Upside-down World in a puddle Merril D. Smith, March 2020

 

even in the upside-down world

light is a constant,

if unseen

like light within a black hole

trapped

 

like a thought in a confused mind–

my mom says she’s honeymooning

with my dead father,

remembering not the anger, but love rekindled—

a bit of light in the darkness.

 

The week began with sunshine

ends with clouds and rain–

spring is a tease of

warm days and cool breeze,

but the light lingers longer

 

even while the shadows play.

 

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No movies this week, but we finished Season 3 of Babylon Berlin. It’s so good. Now we have to wait for Season 4.  I’m seeing new things in my neighborhood as I walk through it.

And we celebrated #openlocalwine night on Saturday. Doing our small part. 😀

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Measure of Tears

 

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“Moscow Metro” by Michael E. Arth (via Wikipedia Commons)

 

Her stoic mother kissed her,

the day the man took her away,

Smolensk to Moscow, a measure of tears

 

that never flowed for the Motherland–

there is duty, and there is love–she remembered

her stoic mother kissed her–

 

not the first time, but definitely the last,

while the embarrassed sun sulked behind the clouds

the day the man took her away

 

to that gated place. She learned to dissemble–and excelled–

yet inside a child remained, hurting–

Smolensk to Moscow, a measure of tears.

 

A wisp of a story in a cascade poem for Jane Dougherty’s prompt, using the above image, Moscow Metro by Michael E. Arth, as inspiration. I picked Smolensk because that’s where the character Elizabeth Jennings came from on the show, The Americans.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

But At Last We Ask: Covid Poetry

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But at last we ask

in dreams,

as days fast-wane–

 

we ask

what we must recall

of sun on rocks,

 

and sprays of petals pink

against an impossible blue–

we ache–asking

 

does the moon hum

of if

or never?

 

We ask without language

for more words;

we ask to start over.

 

The Oracle knows what is going on around us. I decided to also incorporate the “More Words” “Start Over” message at the bottom of the magnetic poetry screen. The photo was taken last April.

While Walking in the Time of Plague and Panic

 

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Beneath the blue

the branches swayed

as soft the breezes blew,

squirrels skittered in the shade,

cardinals twittered,

blue jays scolded,

and robins from treetops tittered–

affably, the day unfolded

in blooming pink and white.

Violet fairy bells danced on the ground

under the golden shimmering light–

all undisturbed by human sound.

And the sun shone if on everything

with the all the hopes of spring.

 

For Frank’s prompt on dVerse—a final couplet. I went for a walk today. It was beautiful, and bit eerie with no one else about. I also consulted the Oracle for some tips on how to get started on this non-sonnet

 

 

 

Magic

 

I know the science of sun and rain

that wakes the world to spring–

 

brings a languorous glow,

that rings the day

 

and stays,

till the moon

 

hums it away.

 

But I believe in magic–

overnight blooms

 

and birds winging, singing

through morning dew.

 

 

A quadrille for dVerse, where Linda has asked us to use the word “magic.”

(A quadrille, besides being a dance, is a dVerse form. It’s a poem of 44 words—any type.)

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Heart’s Reflections, Weighed

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Geese practicing social distancing on the Delaware River.

 

Monday Morning Musings:

“Neither the spider has planned for the leaf nor the leaf for the spider — and yet there they are, an accidental pendulum propelled by the same forces that cradle the moons of Jupiter in orbit, animated into this ephemeral early-morning splendor by eternal cosmic laws impervious to beauty and indifferent to meaning, yet replete with both to the bewildered human consciousness beholding it.”

–From Maria Popova, Figuring, quoted in Brainpickings

 

“The heart’s reasons

seen clearly,

even the hardest

will carry

its whip-marks and sadness

and must be forgiven.”

–Jane Hirshfield, “The Weighing”

 

 

I dream of the oak tree

its roots tunneling

expanding through darkness

linking to other roots

in connections we never see

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even as I do see—

do you?–

the branches saluting the sun,

the buds opening, sleepy-eyed

to greet the sun

 

and do you gaze, dazzled

to see how bushes, flowers, trees

literally bloom overnight—

do you hear the robin’s scolding–

“Look around you!”

One crow flies,

then another

calling, gathering in a tree,

“Now” they say.

“Now.”

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And I do look–

to the sky

and the ground below.

Which is the reflection, I wonder,

perhaps reality is the upside-down world,

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The World in a Puddle. Photo of a puddle in the parking lot at Red Bank Battlefield, National Park, NJ. March 2020.  Merril D. Smith

 

perhaps this is the dream?

Shadow-me drifts

moving with the river currents

fading with sun

and tides

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the ebb and flow

of life–

sun and moon,

stars,

the planets

 

move through our skies.

Once they were gods

now only so in name,

but is their power and beauty decreased,

or only different?

 

[See this photo of Jupiter.]

 

News of my mom comes–

she is isolated,

as if in space–

my dead father comforts her,

and I see the heart weighs,

 

reflects

the upside-down

and the shadows,

feels the ebb and flow

and forgives.

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Another puddle reflection, March 2020 Merril D. Smith

 

Like the rest of the world, we’re at home. We’re on Season 3 now of Babylon Berlin. We had a homemade pizza and movie night. We watched a new movie on Amazon Prime, Blow the Man Down. There’s a definite Coen Brothers vibe, complete with a Greek chorus of sea shanty-singing fishermen.

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