Scattered

Low Tide at Pourville, by Claude Monet

Scattered

never-static particles stream
in space-time light to earth-sea,
crushed shells rise as limestone cliffs,
crumbling

like bones–
dinosaur, fish, and we
fertilize the flowers–
with blood and ash,
the red and white,

of chalk dust
in the sunlight,
sparkling like tiny stars
flying home.

For today’s dVerse, I combined quadrille prompts. Today’s word is “static,” and the previous quadrille that I missed was, “chalk.” A quadrille is a dVerse term for a poem of exactly 44 words.

Once in Spring: March Wind Ekphrastic

Once in Spring

the ground blazed with wild, mustard flowers,
sharp, clean, an announcement of the season.
Wind-whipped feather-clouds swept across
the forget-me-not sky.
The breeze was spring’s laughter,
and she laughed back, her skirts swirling
like white gulls in the breeze.

She smiled at our son,
both haloed in the spring light
amidst the scent of wild mustard, the golden glow,
the reaching shadows went unnoticed.

A poem for my dVerse Ekphrastic prompt. This is one of the images I selected for the prompt. Feel free to join us!

Morning Dreams

Claude_Monet_-_White_Frost,_Sunrise

Almost a blush,

and day dances in

 

kissing eternity

to haunt you—

 

the dazzling secrets

in the morning air

 

colored as poetry,

 

there a ghost

smiling if,

 

embracing never—

and may.

 

Listen! It lingers,

a cloud,

 

but you remember

only this peace

 

Screen Shot 2019-05-04 at 7.10.22 AM

I did an early morning consult with the Oracle this morning. It looks like a promising day. 😉

Is it, Was it, Ever Thus?

Show me the beauty

beneath mist a thousand pictures,

in shadow whispers

time’s music urges, please

recall when,

and if—

was it so

or no?

 

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512px-Monet,_Claude_-_Waterloo_Bridge._Effect_of_Fog

Claude Monet, “Waterloo Bridge, Effect of Fog,” [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

 

The Oracle was being coy today. It took me a few attempts to coax anything from her, and then apparently she looked outside my window to see the misty day.

The Footbridge: Tanka

glimmer-green dancers

flow in Sarabande rhythm

beneath the footbridge

music travels through space, time

captured by the artist’s brush

 

1963-116-11-pma

Claude Monet, The Japanese Footbridge and the Water Lily Pool, Giverny, 1899
The Mr. and Mrs. Carroll S. Tyson, Jr., Collection, 1963
Philadelphia Museum of Art

 

 

Claude Debussy, Sarabande pour le Piano, L95 

This is a tanka for Colleen Chesebro’s Weekly Poetry Challenge.

The prompt words were music and art.

 

Shadows and Sight

Shadows in the late afternoon.

Shadows in the late afternoon. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

“…there are shadows because there are hills.”

E.M. Forster, A Room with a View
When our older daughter was a little over a year old, she was afraid to go into the enclosed porch of house at night. “Shadows hurting you,” she would say, meaning herself. Looming from the old glider sofa and other odd pieces of furniture, the shadows were indeed a bit frightening, especially, I imagine to one so tiny.

It is strange how our brains translate what our eyes see. I remember once waking in the middle of night, my husband sleeping beside me, and being totally convinced that a robe hanging on the door was really a person. Why did I think a person would stand in the door without moving for a long time, and why didn’t I do or say anything? I don’t know. I was too afraid to move. Things don’t make a whole lot of sense at 3 AM.

I look out my kitchen window, and I think a creature, a deer perhaps, is lying by my neighbor’s fence. It is a tree stump, but it surprises me every single day—sometimes several times each day. I know it’s not an animal, and yet every time I go to wash a dish or get a drink of water and casually glance out that window, I think an animal is there. (In my defense, I have seen real deer there in the yard and by that fence.)

How many times—especially while driving at night—do you think you see something in the shadows?

            Shadows are an important element in paintings and photographs. They provide contrast and definition. But how an artist actually sees and then interprets the world is also important. Physical handicaps can lead to new styles and new interpretations, but often artists’ memories and how they translate these visual memories into artistic creations remains intact. For example, Claude Monet’s style changed as his eyesight worsened because of cataracts. He told an interviewer that he was painting from memory and “trusting solely to the labels on the tubes of paint and to the force of habit.” (Quoted from the New York Times article about artists and sight here.)

We all see and remember things differently. Four different people are likely to give four different interpretations—Rashomon-style–of any event they all have witnessed. Sometimes I wonder how imagination and perception has changed history. All interpretation of the past is subject to the biases and perceptions of the writer. For how long was the history of women, ordinary people, and minorities ignored because those writing history simply did not see them? It is said that the victors write history, but perhaps more accurately it is those in power who transmit or censor history. And sometimes it is sheer chance that affects what is preserved. For example, a city buried under volcanic dust and debris. What if all we knew of ancient Roman civilization was what was rediscovered in Pompeii or Herculaneum?

But imagination also affects the future. How many among the uneducated, downtrodden, and abused throughout the ages have not been able to envision a world beyond the limited one that surrounds them? How many never have the time, energy, or education to dream or create? How many have had to hide their real lives and dreams in the shadows because society would not accept whom they love or who they are—the wrong sex, the wrong color, the wrong class?

“We kiss in a shadow,
We hide from the moon,
Our meetings are few,
And over too soon.”
–Rodgers and Hammerstein, The King and I (1951)

 Sometimes shadows prevent us from venturing into new worlds or seeking new ideas.  We are held back by the shadows of those we have lost. We stand in the shadows of goals unachieved, or the memories of unrequited love. We hide in the shadow of those who have attained fame, afraid to venture out on our own. Sometimes we fear the shadows will hurt us and we become paralyzed. But contrast is important. We need to see—and feel–degrees of darkness and light. As Peter Pan reminds us, shadows can be lost, but they can be re-attached. Sometimes shadows inspire us to see the world in a new way.