Flying and Falling

Three distinct rings–                          love, hope, faith

we watch, suspend our fears               in the future

as clowns cavort and lions roar.         will it be enough

Some walk a tightrope                        as the world tilts and whirls

waiting for applause,                           we want joy and laughter

but some hang in mid-air                    hoping there’s a safety net

still waiting to be caught                     knowing we may plummet

 

1024px-Edgar_Degas,_Miss_La_La_at_the_Cirque_Fernando,_1879

Edgar Degas, “Miss La La at the Cirque Fernando,” [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Sarah is hosting dVerse tonight, and she has asked us to write a poem about the circus. I am not really a circus fan, but to make up for that, I wrote this cleave poem, which is three poems in one. And then I found this Degas painting.

 

 

 

 

 

 

What Was Once

“His mind’s all black thickets and blood”   from Songs of Unreason

 

The oak was ancient                            And he stood there nearby, his mind

once sturdy, but now                          all black thickets and blood

sapped of strength                               clogged

bent by the elements                            frail

but still remembering spring              he smiled for what once was

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This is a cleave poem for Day 23 of Jilly’s 28 Days of Unreason, inspired by the work of Jim Harrison.

 

 

 

Avalanche

“The mountains are so dominant
that some days the people refuse
to look at them as children
turn away from the fathers who beat them”

~ Jim Harrison  from Songs of Unreason

 

Ancient mountains                              within a blink

stare granite-faced                               when disaster looms (unseen)

rising through tenebrous skies            before the before

in stillness stand                                  when time slows and stops

until the rumbling rocks fall,              and then, you move to avoid the sudden slap

a tumbling torrent,                              of striking blows–too late to turn away–

forever changing what was                 you’re buried in the detritus of dreams

 

 

For Jilly’s Day 12 of 28 Days of Unreason, poetry inspired by the poetry of Jim Harrison. This is another cleave/contrapuntal poem or cleaveapuntal or contracleave. . .

Whatever—it’s a bargain, three poems in one. 😉

 

 

 

 

 

 

Almost Summer When the Mockingbird Sang

I’m not quite sure of the difference between a cleave poem and a contrapuntal poem, but this is one or the other. It’s for Jilly’s Days of Unreason, Day 1 based on this quote from Jim Harrison.

“Spring day, too loud for talk
when bones tire of their flesh”

 

Spring day, almost summer               when the mockingbird sang

when the air was heavy                       warning of threats—or promise

too tired to sigh                                   seeking an answer

in fragrant breezes                               in curtained windows

but letting go finally                            as the rain fell

whispering, then shouting                   beating a tattoo

calling children to skip and jump       into rainbow puddles

 

 

 

Women: Past, Present, Future

 

He never saw her / A hidden figure

though there she was / in plain sight

his property, to do his bidding /  a body, with a brain though

she smiled meekly, got his coffee before he asked / she could outthink him any day

he glared when she dared to speak or dream / she wanted to learn all she could

he told her to sit down and be quiet /  so she persisted

he put his hands up her skirt and laughed /  and she tried to resist

he beat her / she fought back when she could

he told her he was in charge / she tried to change the system

men were always at the top / she educated her daughters and her sons

the world depended on it /  they had to be bold for change

iwd2012

 

A cleave poem for International Women’s Day 2017. The theme for 2017 is “be bold for change.” A cleave poem is three poems in one–left side, right side, and the full lines.

Today’s Google Doodle was a slide show featuring women of diverse backgrounds.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Those Left Behind

viktar_smatau%cc%86_1994_farewell

Viktar Smataŭ , “Farewell,” [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html) or CC BY-SA 4.0-3.0-2.5-2.0-1.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0-3.0-2.5-2.0-1.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons

 

He was gone /  She watched his ship vanish, incandescent

No trace left/ gone, an unmarked path to undiscovered territory

A journey of miles / a journey of years

Across indigo seas, uncharted  / amidst radiant spheres, unknown

Would she ever see his smile? / would she hear his voice again?

She felt no sense of wonder for his voyage/  she felt only fear and regret

As she bid him farewell / as she watched the trail of light in the sky disappear

 

This is a cleave poem (the left side is one poem, the right side is another, and both parts form a third poem. This is for Secret Keeper’s Weekly Writing Challenge. The prompt words were:

Gone/Sense/Trace/Voice/Path

atlantis_taking_off_on_sts-27

By NASA, Space Shuttle Atlantis [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

 

 

 

 

 

If Not Happily Ever After

 

 

The soothsayer paused, not wanting to say / I was a princess,

watching, and on edge because / once upon a time

people demanded proof / there was magic

no more razzle dazzle now / now I live

like Sleeping Beauty       / on the streets

awakened with a kiss      / and hoping to score

a bit of bliss, if not happily ever after / just one good dream, till tomorrow

 

This poem is in response to Secret Keeper’s Writing Challenge.  The prompt words were

Watch/Edge/Proof/Pause/Sooth

I wrote a cleave poem. The left side is one poem, the right side is another poem, and both sides read together form a third poem.

 

 

Flickering Star

Embed from Getty Images

 

Treasures locked away/ the vastness of space

deep inside her brain/ is a tempting mystery

little understood/ how to solve the puzzles

past, present, and future mingle/ and how do we know what tense to use

as the bright star flickers and becomes a black hole / we see the light only after it’s gone

 

This is a cleave poem in response to Secret Keeper’s Weekly Writing Prompt.

 

This week’s words are: Tempt/Treasure/Tense/Vast/ Lock

A cleave poem is three poems. Each side is a separate poem, but together they form another poem. I can’t seem to format this correctly, so the last two lines on the right carry over to the next line.

 

 

 

 

Falling Rocks

PIA17089-MarsMoons-PhobosPassesDeimos

Phobos passing in front of Deimos, By NASA/JPL-Caltech/Malin Space Science Systems/Texas A&M Univ. [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Universal truths in space, / on earth

matter collides/ fear and terror

create new worlds/  bodies lost, crashing

of giant rocks/ bombed to submission

slowly falling/ shattered bones

hit the ground/ held there for a moment

drift, buried/ look, see this, a testament

absorbed/ blink and they are gone forever

 

When I was listening to the radio this morning I heard about the horrible car bombing in Baghdad and also a story about the two moons of Mars. It struck me how violent the universe is, and we humans make it worse.

The two moons of Mars are Phobos (panic/fear) and Deimos (terror/dread). They were named after the sons of Ares, Greek god of war. His Roman name was Mars.

You can read about the moons of Mars here. 

 

 

 

 

 

The Gift

She was gifted / like a piece of clothing

a favor /  worn and tossed

a debt paid / mended

by caregivers without love / raised and lowered

to fulfill an obligation/ a hemline, inconsequential,

no more dreaming / she existed and cried for her childhood gone

life without meaning/ her tears fell to the ground

smothered joy /  and vanished

 

This is a cleave poem in response to the Secret Keeper’s Weekly Writing Prompt #42,

using these words: Meaning/Raise/Cry/Dream/Ground

I was inspired , if that is the word, by this recent story. And by all of the women and children throughout time who have been kidnapped, enslaved, trafficked, considered spoils of war, or “gifted” to others.