Half-Revealed and Half-Concealed

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A whole world in a puddle.

 

Monday Morning Musings:

“For words, like Nature, half reveal

And half conceal the Soul within.”

Alfred, Lord Tennyson, “In Memoriam A. H. H. OBIIT MDCCCXXXIII: 5”

 

“Now it was only the rivers

that spoke of the rivers,

and only the wind that spoke of its bees,

 

while the unpausing factual buds of the fruit trees

continued to move toward their fruit.”

–Jane Hirshfield, “On the Fifth Day” 

 

How will we remember these days

of grief and sorrow for our world–

the facts of buds on trees

and rivers that keep on flowing

concealing and revealing what lies beneath

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in the upside-down world

where we gaze at transitory beauty

and fall, topsy-turvy

into its depths

as spring dances, mercurial,

 

 

swiftly fleeting,

yet heralding—the facts—

yellow-green wisps turn darker

the world gets hotter,

and trees reach up

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to light,

and down to darkness

half-revealed,

half-concealed

thoughts glimmer

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like tears

until they drop

salty pearls

leaving an alluvial trail

fertile with memories

 

and I think of this–and time

as I listen to words,

singularity, time and space,

the black hole left

in an absence

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even as we remember

the time before we are born

when my mother meets my father

and holds my older brother on her lap.

And she is young, old, older, gone. . .

.

. . .and here.

 

On Friday night, we visited with our daughters via Zoom. This Friday Shabbat dinner has become a new ritual. We ate soup and rolls, the gift of friends, sustaining us from a distance. I baked the cookies we call Mommy Cookies because they are my favorite. My mom loved them, too, and I used to bring her some.

I watched most of “The Universe in Verse,” which was live-streamed on Saturday just before we had our own family Zoom memorial session for my mother. It was a somewhat surreal experience marked by technical problems, non-sequiturs, and some memories of my mom that we shared.

We weren’t the only ones with technical difficulties. I tried to watch the Sonheim’s 90th birthday celebration last night, but I gave up. Apparently, it did go on, over an hour later that the scheduled 8 PM start.

We finished watched Giri/Haji (Duty/Shame) on Netflix, which I highly recommend if you want something unique. I really liked it.  It’s a Japanese-British production that is difficult to describe. A Japanese detective is looking for his criminal brother in England. The detective’s daughter joins them. It is a crime show and a family drama. There is romance, and action scenes, and there are other characters who become important and endearing. I wasn’t sure about it after the first episode, but I really did get caught up in this show.

 

 

 

 

 

Captive

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Edward Reginald Frampton, “Elaine, the Lady of Shallot, [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

 

Captive, held in a cage of dreams

reflecting streams

in mirrored eyes,

she’s cursed, she sighs,

 

mirror-gazing, she sings a song,

wonders how long

she’ll sigh and sing,

while dreams take wing

 

she weaves a spell, and watch she keeps,

she scarcely sleeps,

sees plume and blooms,

she’s caught, she’s doomed.

 

This is a minute poem for Secret Keeper’s Writing Challenge.

The prompt words were: Cage/Sing/Dream/Watch/Spell

This is another poem based on the Lady of Shalott.  Here’s the link to the Tennyson poem. As the end of the year draws closer, I feel the need of romanticism. Here’s the link to my earlier poem.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Bower

(c) Falmouth Art Gallery; Supplied by The Public Catalogue Foundation

(c) Falmouth Art Gallery; Supplied by The Public Catalogue Foundation

 

Sing softly, from within the bower

Weave a tapestry of sparkling themes

See reflected the fabled tower

Sigh, for the loss of dreams

 

There is no life beyond this place

Sing softly, from within the bower

Time drifts in this ensorcelled space

Sing softly, now and for each hour

 

Inhale the scent of morning flower

Watch horsemen ride and lovers kiss

Sing softly, from within the bower

Weave the story, unknown bliss

 

She knows one day the curse will fall

When mirror shatters in a shower

Her soul will float beyond the wall

But now, sing softly in the bower

 

I’m still channeling Victorians. A not-quite quatern—the syllable counts vary.  For some reason, I was thinking about the “Lady of Shalott” at 3 A.M a few mornings ago. The words “tower” and “bower” were in my head. Here is Tennyson’s poem, if you don’t know it.

Here is Lorena McKennittt’s lovely sung version.