The Sound, the Sight, the Magic, the Light

7ADB9414-F34D-4091-8ED5-535D39BBA888

Monday Morning Musings:

“Can you fly

I heard you can! Can you fly

Like an eagle doin’ your hunting from the sky”

–Joni Mitchell, “That Song about the Midway” Listen Here.

 

“No wonder the moon in the window seems to have drifted

out of a love poem that you used to know by heart.”

–Billy Collins, “Forgetfulness” 

 

In these days of gloom

dimmed dreary days

of November blues

while in the news, the hints of doom

constant, unrelenting–

 

but then comes the sound

and sight

hundreds of birds, in flight

this murmuration, a delight,

their orienting

 

so breathtaking

shaking me, awaking

all the wonder,

this magic, a gift

drifting from the sky

E6BBB316-D98C-432E-B82B-2153CA985D91

flying low and high,

they call in their ancient tongue

(we the earthbound

can’t understand)

and then they go–

but birds seem everywhere,

even in the show we watch–

where the crows are what?

Harbingers of fortune or fate?

Or perhaps they come too late

 

for our planet,

pale dot of blue,

so, I delight

in nature’s gifts

and sights

 

the morning sun,

the moon of silver-white

smiling in benediction

even when we forget

it’s there.

IMG_5169

I cook and bake,

as the days in constant gloaming

take their toll, I want to snuggle

not go roaming

through rain-filled streets

 

1ACEE0F1-469F-4AF5-93FE-AB55D8626533

Puddle Reflections on a Rainy November Day , Philadelphia Parkway

IMG_5186

Crossing the Ben Franklin Bridge into Philadelphia, from Patco Train

74B35496-2DBF-472E-8E3F-EB678E29E484

Rainy Day Reflections, Philadelphia

yet, we do what we must

and so, I write poems with my mother

who only thinks of summer coming

her thoughts drifting through time—

like birds in murmuration flight–

IMG_5191

Writing poems with my mother

and her eyesight

diminished, like the day’s light

her memories uncertain

confused, a twilight zone

of fact and fiction

 

but still we make her laugh

and try to remember what was—

hold mental photographs

of before, then walk through the door

to our other life,

 

husband and wife

we drink some wine

and I remember what I can

hold everything that’s fine

within my mind

 

and see the magic of moon and birds

and the old oak tree

glowing in the autumn gloom

remember how

it holds hundreds of memories

 

listen–

hear it murmur, murmur, murmur

as the acorns fall

in the rustling leaves of brown

covering cold ground

 

where secrets lie

waiting, waiting

for the warming sky–

and I dream

(I heard you can)

we fly.

IMG_5144

 

 

 

 

 

 

Story up in Ekphrastic Review Challenge

s

Fin de la Jornada, by Emilio Boggio (Venezuela) 1912.

My flash fiction piece, “Chromatic Scales” was one of those selected by guest editor Janette Schafer for the challenge based on this painting by Emilio Boggio. (I’m not sure if the word for mine is flash fiction, microfiction, or some cross between either of those and a prose poem.)  I’m pleased that Kerfe Roig’s  poem was also selected. You can read both of ours–and all the other wonderful poems and stories here.

With a Bang Comes Possibility

landscape-4518195_640

Image by enriquelopezgarre from Pixabay

with a bang

comes the birth of worlds

and star songs

drift, falling

to papaya glow, rising

over barren rocks

 

then soaring

above burnished crags

the black-winged

dreamers fly,

carrying all the befores

and all the afters

 

landing here

where light and shadows

together

dance, holding

possibility aloft

for millennia.

 

A shadorma sequence for Colleen’s Tanka Tuesday. The poem is inspired by the image  above chosen by Linda Lee Lyberg.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

B. Franklin and the Kite

512px-Dr._Franklin’s_Kite

Source: The Youth’s Book on Natural Theology, 1840 

 

First a rumble

grumbling in the night,

then a crack, the light

jagged and brightly-white

zig-zagging, where the kite

with hemp strands and key

conducts electricity–

a sight to see,

but from afar—

 

(check the jar)

 

this experiment of wonder,

science, lighting, and thunder.

 

A  quadrille (a poem of 44 words) for dVerse where De asked us to use the word “crack.” If you don’t know anything about Benjamin Franklin’s experiment, here are the details from the Franklin Institute—it includes a passage from his article in the Pennsylvania Gazette.  He actually electrified the hemp from the charged air, not directly from the lightning, but poetic license. 😉

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Beautiful Things, Tiny and Huge

IMG_5098

Monday Morning Musings:

“And the dreamt-of is someone who did

Something we can’t quite put

Our finger on,

But which involved a life

We are always, we feel,

About to discover.”

–from Mark Strand, “Dreams”

“One hot afternoon during the era in which you’ve gotten yourself ridiculously tangled up with heroin, you will be riding the bus and thinking what a worthless piece of crap you are when a little girl will get on the bus holding the strings of two purple balloons. She’ll offer you one of the balloons, but you won’t take it because you believe you no longer have a right to such tiny beautiful things. You’re wrong. You do.”

― Cheryl Strayed, Tiny Beautiful Things: Advice on Love and Life from Dear Sugar

 

November comes

with days dimmed and dreary,

the time between bright azure skies

and crisp-apple air

and the frosted evergreens of December.

 

I search now for the golden glow–

and color where I can find it–

the tiny beautiful things

in the world around us,

and the tiny beautiful things

F3BB605B-072D-455B-AF67-2205689F99C2

 

I hold within my heart,

memories,

the touch of lover,

the soothing weight of sleeping infant soothed,

milk-breathed, dreaming–

 

my own dreams

range, joyous,

or disturbing,

a discovery, if only I don’t. . .

wake

 

to find it gone.

What was that thought,

that brilliant verse I dreamed?

That something,

that tiny beautiful thing?

 

Gone,

popped, a balloon-thought

a bubble floating off into space,

yet, a place within me

that I may find it again,

someday,

 

some nights

in November,

we eat comfort food,

cocooned in blankets

and we watch Netflix–and cats–

 

find the tiny beautiful things

that make our lives less tiny

more beautiful,

we hug our loved ones tightly

trying to protect them

 

(another shooting,

another one, we say

and shrug, tsk, another day

of more hate and evil rising–

into space–)

 

so, I long for a Star Trek world

where brave captains with moral compasses

that never flicker from True North

guide us with bravery and compassion,

never forgetting

 

who they are

and what must be done

to find the light

to sail us through the stars–

those tiny, huge, beautiful things–

 

to bring us home.

 

IMG_5090

Our shadows travel the ages–Dock Creek, Old City, Philadelphia

IMG_5085

I saw this rainbow sky over Philadelphia when we were returning home from my mom’s.

 

We saw Tiny Beautiful Things, a play based on Cheryl Strayed’s book, and adapted for stage by Nia Vardalos.  Our older daughter and her wife were in Philadelphia for a wedding, and they spent yesterday and last night with us. We watched an episode of Star Trek Voyager, and I said that I wished Captain Janeway was Earth’s leader right now.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Sleep Shadows Said

C5042A07-6D23-4DAE-95F5-ACE6071EB456

Moonrise over a South Jersey field, November.

 

The sleep shadows said

live life as a moon rising through the mist

with dreams raining from her

in honeyed-diamond language

shining with ifs.

 

~So, you recall the sweet luscious beat~

 

as we love and ache

and watch men lie and shoot.

Yet still the sky sings in light-music of purple-pink,

and it floats on our tongues

as the wind whispers why?

 

Another puente from the Oracle. It seems she knows the world is an especially confusing place these days. (And also that I had some very strange dreams just before waking today.) I didn’t take a screen shot because I planned to come back to the tiles. I thought I emailed the poem to myself, but it vanished. Mysterious world. Here’s the link to the Magnetic Poetry Oracle. 

I’m linking this to dVerse’s Open Link Night, which Lillian is hosting, and I’m getting in just before it closes.

 

Lovely Bright, The Sight

01CC2FF0-0C65-4313-B799-E819A84EC0EA

Monday Morning Musings:

“How clear, how lovely bright,

How beautiful to sight

Those beams of morning play. . .

 

Ensanquining the skies

How heavily it dies. . .

How hopeless under ground

Falls the remorseful day.”

–from A.E. Houseman, “How Clear, How Lovely Bright”

 

 

The line, the flow

the glow

of life, scattering

 

leaves, the gathering of nuts and seeds

(the sky bleeds)

reflecting the spattering

IMG_5011

of wounds, the broken glass

before the gas

and rustlings

 

of war and wind

the leaves are thinned,

but hear them crunch and crackle

IMG_5051

as squirrels scamper and play

in the fading light of autumn day

and the birds fly—geese and grackle—

and hawks and vultures soar

before the train comes, roars

down the tracks

IMG_5027

taking me somewhere—

up and down, stairs

we go, into the wind,

 

the boat sails

and what tales

might it have, of rivers or sea?

Delaware River from Patco train heading to Philadelphia

Delaware River from Patco train heading to Philadelphia

And is there a lighthouse, with ghostly

glowing and horn blowing, or mostly

sunny skies?

 

Time must sail, too

and we a sometime crew

walk through history

7D881329-DEAE-47AA-9C2A-C15FFC2A6E11

18th Century garden on site of Benjamin Rush’s House, Philadelphia

how can it be otherwise,

the lows and highs

of our own lives, the mystery

 

of others–we see a groom and bride

and I hope they lovingly glide

into a life of love and joy

IMG_5046

A wedding party taking photos at “my willow” at Dock Creek, Old City, Philadelphia

(Pause, we drink coffee and wine

stop for a time—

but time is coy)

and autumn comes cold and dark

but there is beauty, even if it’s stark—

see the moon rise over fields stripped of grain

C5042A07-6D23-4DAE-95F5-ACE6071EB456

Moonrise over a South Jersey field, November.

glowing, humming—this autumn sky

and the clouds and time

the time before the rain, snow, the train

 

of time. The movie train that circles

through the frozen world, almost eternal

but the cost

 

a cautionary tale

of where we might sail

and is our world already lost?

 

Crow calls

the remorseful day falls

setting underground

 

in fiery ball, unheeding

the world goes on, speeding

and we spellbound.

 

But I don’t celebrate bleeding—

or ferocious gods, the leaders leading

into destruction–

 

let poetry fly

through vast haunted eternity, die

the war-fever. Find a new function

 

for our minds and hearts

in words of love, kindness, and arts

that soar with feathered wings–

5D9BE830-BD64-4323-86CF-15028BA2C0F1

how clear, how lovely bright

the sight

of what could be, of hope that sings

 

as the walls tumble down.

IMG_5012

 

This was a week of elections, cat dental surgery, the anniversary of Kristallnaught (November 9, 1938), and the tearing down of the Berlin Wall. In the U.S. today is Veteran’s Day. It was formerly Armistice Day, but of course, war has not ended. I respect all who have served and honor all those who have given their lives in serving their country. While someone like Hitler had to be stopped, it would be better if people did not let such people gain power.

 

For Merril’s Movie Club: We watched Snowpiercer, a 2014 movie we had never seen, but since we recently saw Parasite, and it is an earlier movie by the same director, Bong Joon-ho, we decided to watch it. It’s on Netflix. This one’s in English, and it’s much more of an action movie than I would normally see. Like Parasite, the movie covers the issues of class and climate,and there was definitely much to think about. Overall, we both liked it. There is also fighting and bloody scenes though, so be forewarned. We saw Lighthouse in the theater. It’s also in English. I know, strange, right?  (Don’t worry, we’re still watching Black Spot, so reading subtitles there.).  Great acting, beautiful black and white cinematography. Very strange, surrealistic movie of two lighthouse keepers on an isolated island. Some of the dialogue is taken from Melville and lighthouse keepers’ diaries. It’s somewhat similar in style to his previous movie, The Witch.

 

 

 

Star Travelers

 

Galactic Cherry Blossom

The galaxy NGC 1156 resembles a delicate cherry blossom tree flowering in springtime in this Hubble image. The many bright “blooms” within the galaxy are in fact stellar nurseries — regions where new stars are springing to life. Text credit: ESA (European Space Agency) Image credit: ESA/Hubble, NASA, R. Jansen

 

The universe wakes

in a brilliant blush of color

flowering dazzle clouds that sail on ifs

in magic rhythm from was to is

 

~for eternity or not~

 

do we embrace

with fired hearts,

desiring stars,

remembering home

 

A puente from the Oracle.

Screen Shot 2019-11-09 at 8.10.50 AM