Eidolon

Old Pine Street Church Graveyard, Philadelphia

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

There

she is,

haunting me

wearing her face

stepping silently

over the cobblestones,

to fill a void in the air

with an electrical charge—a

gleam, a shiver, that slight susurrus

of swirling air–sojourning spirit, stay

 

that I may look upon her face once more,

see her clothed in her favorite gown,

pretend that what is lost, was not.

But she moves into the mist,

dissolves and fades away.

My dreams vanish, too,

forevermore

light is dimmed,

she is

gone.

 

 

I’ve channeled my inner nineteenth-century Gothic writer for this double etheree for Colleen’s Tanka Tuesday! We were to use synonyms for ghost and hollow.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Horror, Storms, Pass the Wine, and Look for Grace—Monday Morning Musings

Monday Morning Musings:

“No live organism can continue for long to exist sanely under conditions of absolute reality; even larks and katydids are supposed, by some, to dream. Hill House, not sane, stood by itself against its hills, holding darkness within; it had stood so for eighty years and might stand for eighty more. Within, walls continued upright, bricks met neatly, floors were firm, and doors were sensibly shut; silence lay steadily against the wood and stone of Hill House, and whatever walked there, walked alone.”

–Shirley Jackson, The Haunting of Hill House

“(“Do not equate nationalism with patriotism,” Perry warned Juliet. “Nationalism is the first step on the road to Fascism.”)”

–Kate Atkinson, Transcription

A storm comes and roars,

in waves upon the shores

and tears through towns

with rains and winds—the sounds

of climate wars

where there were homes

there’s now a void–

so much destroyed.

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Here we have only some rain and wind

nothing unmoored, nothing unpinned

from where it should be

the only horror we see

comes on TV,

where things go bumping in the night–

though not as scary as reality

yet we wish and keep hope afloat

that we’ll live to see things be all right.

 

Once we had a president who sang “Amazing Grace,”*

now we have one without a trace

of empathy or wisdom,

separating families,

putting them in prisons

behind barbed wire—

and who does he admire?

Dictators!

(and those who feed his ego—

please all of you, just go!)

 

So, as the days get dreary

I try to be cheery,

find color in pumpkins and leaves

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that fall on ground and eaves.

I cook and bake

hope to shake—

if not the world—

then wake a few,

hope and wish,

the good and true

will outlast, outshine

redefine the new.

 

On a chilly day,

we brighten our spirits

with family, a dog, and wine

spend time conversing

about this and that

we chat about birth

(with a bit of mirth)

as my son-in-law is studying

to be a nurse–

(quite a path he’s traversed

to get there)

and we sit as children ask

to pet their cute pup—

until at last the time is up

and we must go

our separate ways—

well, it’s getting too chilly to stay.

 

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Clouds over William Heritage Winery

I wake to morning mist–and sigh

think, today, I’ll take my apples

and bake a pie.

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We’ll eat it as evening

darkens the room

perhaps to brighten

fall’s impending gloom.

The cats will sleep on cushions nearby,

and we will bid the day goodbye.

 

 

*I was reminded of this when I heard Joan Baez on the New Yorker Radio Hour. Here the song is illustrated in a lovely, moving short animated film.

We watched the first episode of Netflix’s sort of adaptation of the Haunting of Hill House.  The original movie terrified me. I thought the first episode of this version (if you can get over that it’s not actually an adaptation of the story) was OK, but not great. But we will watch the next episode.

But we also watched the movie Eighth Grade–which really was wonderful–even though we all know that age has its own horrors.

I’m reading Transcription by Kate Atkinson. It’s wonderful.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Salem, 1692

Salem_witch2

By Baker, Joseph E., ca. 1837-1914, artist. “The Witch, No.1” Lithograph, [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Salem, 1692

I

wait, crushed

by despair,

disturbances

in the air. Demons,

or human frailty, now

exposed? Light and darkness bound

together we must fight evil–

the duty of magistrates is clear

and so, we sentence the witches to death

 

the affliction has spread through the region,

so many blackened with devils’ marks

though they bleed red as anyone

(their master teaches them tricks).

They will suffer justice

crushed by rocks and rope–

but at night I

wonder, what

if we’re

wrong?

 

A double Etheree (syllable count: 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10 and then 10,9,8,7,6,5,4,3,2,1) for Colleen’s Tanka Tuesday. I think she was looking for Halloween themed, but I went to history.  We were asked to use synonyms for color and creepy.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Circles, Cycles, and Loops: Monday Morning Musings

Monday Morning Musings:

In the movie

the men go back

to where they were boys

 

in a cult, a camp

where birds fly strangely

as they tramp

 

through the woods

and things are the same,

or perhaps they’re not,

 

fraught with pain

answers to questions

gained, or unknowable–

 

lives lived in loops,

moving in phases like

the moon—

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Morning Moon

or moons–

one, two, three–

watch and see.

 

Circles and cycles

nature, each life,

day following night

 

light of summer

dimming in fall

all the seasons

 

and the years

painted over,

scraped away

 

traces left, secrets

uncovered in time,

pentimento of Earth.

 

Once giant creatures

roamed here

a shallow sea

Delaware River from Red Bank Battlefield

leaving traces in the sand

a mosasaur

and ancient clams,

 

but now the geese fly

from humming moon

to dawn’s fog-scumbled river

the little deer grows older,

has children of her own

the cycle continues–

 

and we cycle through the city

once a place of forests and rivers

where indigenous people hunted,

 

fished, and gathered,

following the seasons

migrating with the wildlife

 

until newcomers came

with diseases, death to old

and a new nation created

 

And now—

another cycle,

we wait to see if all

 

will fall,

calendars and lies

those willing to abide

 

with corruption

and destruction of truth

when all could gain.

 

And so, we pedal

endlessly in a loop

looking for a break

 

finding joy

with loved ones

food and drink

hoping we haven’t

reached the brink

 

But that we can circle

back,

begin again–

 

this time

better.

 

As summer blossoms fade

and autumn’s golden leaves fall,

we’ll soon brace for winter’s chill

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Part of the scarecrow display outside of the West Deptford Public Library

and wait

for the promise of spring

awakening again.

Dock Creek, Philadelphia Merril D. Smith 2018

Dock Creek with Carpenter’s Hall in the background.

 

We watch the movie The Endless on Netflix. Trailer here.  It’s a quirky, indie film. We liked it–lots to talk about afterwards.

And we went on a Big Red Pedal Tour in Philadelphia.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The World Is and Was and Could Be

and a girl said

through a shadow,

a mist of raw blood,

drunk friends,

his sweaty smell

fingers at breasts.  . .

No!

Stop!

She is thousands.

The storm still ripping,

showing what we are

and what could be.

The moon whispers,

asks us to soar.

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Morning Moon

 

say we dream—

watch the light

spray like water,

sweet music of

wind, rock, and forest.

Sit with me there

in our away and after,

seeing ifs

 

Two poems from the Oracle. She is following the news.

 

 

If a Deer Runs in a Forest

It’s just past sunrise when I see him. I wonder why he’s there alone, the little deer. I wonder if he’s one of the twins, I saw lying in the grass a day or two before. His light brown coat blends into the woods so well that I almost missed him. We both stopped walking. His ears twitch, and I see him sniffing the air. I take one step, and he takes one step. Finally—though I want to stay– I walk on, as quietly as I can. I feel like I’m disturbing his peace, though the sight of him has made my day. Later, when I see a group of deer resting together, I wonder if he’s there amongst them, with his family and friends. I wonder if they missed him when he was off on his own, and if they are all happy to be together again.

 

fawn loses his spots,

russet leaves fall to the ground–

time passes unheard

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This is for dVerse’s Haibun Monday, where qbit/Randall is the guest pub tender. He asks us to write about one member or element of a group. So, I guess that little deer made a big impression on me. I’m also linking to Colleen’s Tanka Tuesday, where it’s open prompt words or “poet’s choice.”

Once

Monday Morning Musings:

“Falling slowly, sing your melody

I’ll sing it loud”

From “Falling Slowly,” Once,

Music and lyrics by Glen Hansard and Markéta Irglová

Once. . . I woke in darkness. Then the sun rose golden through rose-tinged clouds. The air was cool but clear. The world shifted and tilted. Dreams rose from the misted woods.

morning moon whispered

softly, praise touched red-gold leaves

geese honked overhead

Morning Moon

If you look carefully, there’s the morning moon.

chevron rises up

earth cycles, river to land,

the tide ebbs and flows

Geese at Red Bank Battlefield Park, NJ

We take a train into the city. We walk over sun-bright cobblestones, passing tourists who stroll and chat in a variety of languages. We wait on corners as wide city buses try to turn onto narrow streets. We enter a theater. Seats surround a center stage area covered with Oriental rugs. Musicians are playing Irish songs of the past and present. I bop in my seat to “Brown Eyed Girl” and tap my feet to a jig. Last call for the bar. The lights go down, and magic begins.

man meets a woman

music flows, drifts from their souls,

they’re falling slowly

 

together in tune

Dublin days strummed in rhythm–

piano echoes

 

musicians rebound

music from aisles and walkways

crowd smiles and applauds

We walk and talk. Watch the lowering sun shine through cloud-dappled sky. Red bricks glow. In Washington Square, a young girl whispers her secrets to a tree. Does it answer?

music of nature

city sounds form the chorus

we dine al fresco

Again. . .

We dine al fresco

wine and pizza in sunshine

a dog rests in joy

Nightfall comes too soon,

moon rises to hum goodnight—

cats slumber and dream

 

Sleeping Cat

Once. . .September was full of rain. The world was full of anger and sorrow and lies. But once, September ended in a perfect weekend of sunny days and cooler nights–falling slowly into October.

 

We saw the  musical Once at the Arden Theatre Company in Philadelphia. It was a performance full of warmth and spirit, wonderfully staged. Here they are rehearsing “Falling Slowly.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Coffee and Stars

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Ask about coffee,

but explore champagne.

Linger at cool marble angels—

live time,

but breath the secrets of ghosts.

Wake and be dazzled.

Look! The stars smile.

 

 

Embed from Getty Images

 

 

Once again, the Oracle knows.

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