The Question

Mortal, we
free-fall in life-aches’
whispered, whys.
Dark matter
attracted, but questioning
the spin, the drop–still

carbon-based,
not immortal, but
time-holding–
swallowed stars
coursing through our veins, scattered
light diffused, always

there waiting,
the flame, unknown or
forgotten,
a beacon
within brain, heart, skin–or soul-
dimmed till it’s released.

In a dream,
a blue river shines,
calling me,
and I wake
with the vision remaining.
I send it soaring.

And does it
live on in space-time?
Not human,
not mortal,
but eternally, star-sparked–
circling forever.

Cloud Reflections on the Delaware River at West Deptford, NJ ©️Merril D. Smith 2020

A shadorma sequence for Colleen’s Tanka Tuesday, where I chose the theme, “Immortality.” I’m also sharing this with dVerse for Open Link Night, which is live tonight! I really did wake from a dream of a blue river

Moon Song Blooms

Morning Moon with Gulls, Delaware River at Red Bank Battlefield ©️Merril D. Smith, 2021

Moon song drifts,
over pink-glowed sea.
Gulls gather
to hear the
tune and circle-dance, catching
currents, sing along

with dawn moon’s
farewell. Remember
me tonight-

her refrain
floats, feather-white, and fleeting,
falls to warming earth

is planted
as sparkling star-gulls
flock to light,
and geese pair,
delight to share longer days,
and moon-song blooms white.

For dVerse Open Link Night where Linda is hosting. This is a shadorma sequence that I’m also linking to Colleen’s Tanka Tuesday challenge. I said about the top photo that the gulls in the picture look liked stars, and Colleen called them “star-gulls.” Originally, I was going to share a diatelle I wrote about the Hindenburg, which Linda mentioned on the dVerse prompt. However, I can’t ignore it was a Nazi propaganda ship, and the poem got very dark, and I feel more like celebrating spring today. Our crocuses are starting to bloom!

The Dream

Christian Krohg, “Tired”

almost
familiar, this
place, my house, but not—see
the walls dissolve, and I
am someone else
watching

watching
myself, I am
within, without—I am
fixed and infinite, I
am everything
I know.

For Colleen’s Tanka Tuesday challenge. The theme is dreams, which I love, because I often remember my dreams, and I often lucid dream. This is a double Badger’s Hexastitch: a six-line poem 2/4/6/6/4/2 syllables, unrhymed. I think each poem can stand alone. I don’t know if I did these correctly. 😀

After the Longest Night

After the longest night–

float a barque
on moonbeam seas, sail
past stars, glean
ghost-light of
yesterday, interlace dreams
with glimmered visions–

prophetic
muse! Sing aloud the
birth of sun
from shadow-
world–light candles, flicker-flames
to recall your hopes

barque-breezing,
caught in spindrift. Soar
moon-bound, star
searching, un-
barred, braided with sparkling dreams
to glide heart-sworn home.

Tonight is the first night of Hanukkah, so this is a December-flavored shadorma sequence of light and hope for Colleen’s Tanka Tuesday challenge using synonyms for Kerfe Roig’s words, mingle and drift. I’m also linking this to dVerse Open Link Night, where Björn is hosting a live event.

A Laugh Wings

A laugh wings–
flies through memories and
dreams. Sings like a mockingbird, repeats
again, imprinted in our minds, within our genes–
well, who’s to say? We remember a
glance, words said—heart-haunted—
we grasp, hold.

For Colleen’s Tanka Tuesday, I’m trying a triquain, a form I found on Shadow Poetry. “The Triquain, created by Shelley A. Cephas, is a poem with several creative variences and can be a rhyming or non-rhyming verse. The simpliest form is a poem made up of 7 lines with 3, 6, 9, 12, 9, 6, and 3 syllables in this order.” [Misspellings in original.]

My Mom had the best laugh.

I’m also linking this to dVerse, Open Link Night, where Grace is hosting.

Flickering

Glow  (July 2020)

A field of grass by an ugly gravel parking lot, transformed by sunlight. ©️Merril D. Smith 2020

 

Light

comes, goes,

so it flows

to earth and sea,

flaming grassy meadows,

with photons streaming, gilds a tree.

Though shadows loom below, we let them be;

pretend we do not see the coming of the night,

but live, walk, talk—and love, the apogee

of our beings—humanity

with stardust traces glows

but faintly—see?

The flickers

dim. . .grow

bright.

 

This is a diatelle for Colleen’s Tanka Tuesday. This week she wrote:

“Let’s make this challenge truly a poet’s choice! Use any syllabic poetry form that you’d like. As long as there are syllables to count, you’re good to go! Be creative. If your form is something new, teach us how to write it. Have fun!”

I know she doesn’t normally do rhyming forms, but this is definitely syllabic, and I know Colleen likes shapes, so I hope this is OK. 😀 Mine can probably use some more work, but I’m posting it anyway.


I found the form, created by Bradley Vrooman, on Shadow Poetry.  

“The Diatelle is a fun, syllable counting form like the etheree with a twist. The syllable structure of the diatelle is as follows: 1/2/3/4/6/8/10/12/10/8/6/4/3/2/1, but unlike an ethere, has a set rhyme pattern of abbcbccaccbcbba. This poetry form may be written on any subject matter and looks best center aligned in a diamond shape.”

Maybe everyone does this, but if not, maybe it’s helpful to see. I made myself a template to keep track of syllable/lines and rhymes. I do this for many forms.

a1 Light

b2 comes, goes

b3 so it flows

c4 to earth and sea

b6 flaming grassy meadows–

c8 with photons streaming, gild a tree

c10 though shadows loom below, we let them be,

a12 pretend we do not see the coming of the night

c10 but live, walk, talk–and love, the apogee

c8 of our beings–humanity

b6 with stardust traces glows

c4 but faintly—see?

b3 The flickers

b2 dim, grow

a1 bright.

Up and Down

© 2020 Frank J. Tassone

 

We stand on a precipice, nation and world. Fissured by plague and threats to democracy, we are faltering, close to tumbling into an abyss. Is this the beginning of the end? Or merely a ripple in the waves of time? I leave the angry and weary voices to walk, looking for beauty in the bright colors around me. A chipmunk scurries by. Deer shyly graze, turkeys strut through the long grass, and blackbirds give a trilling chink as they fly overhead.

I watch the sun rising over the river, making it sparkle. It know it’s physics, but I can also see the magic. We need both.

 

bare branches turn green,

brown leaves fall into river–

past floats to future

 

F9A07115-F532-4266-AF85-B5C8005CA8AC

©️Merril D. Smith 2020

A Haibun for Colleen’s Tanka Tuesday Haibun prompt, using Frank Tassone’s photo at the top for inspiration, and my photo at the end.

 

 

 

Shifted Sands

IMG_1062

Ocean City, NJ June 2020

 

Great women

often forgotten,

and their marks

tide-shifted

till their footprints are erased–

still their ghosts whisper

 

murmuring

with knowledge we’ve lost,

unseen and

swept away,

their hidden figures buried

in the sands of time.

 

A double shadorma  for Colleen’s tanka Tuesday challenge. Pat R.’s theme asked us to consider Longfellow’s “Psalm of Life” poem and/or use it as a source of found poetry. Well, you can see what that poem does to me. 😏

At Midnight

Textiles_from_Tibet,_18th-century_art,_Silk_chuba_detail,_-_MET_TP534A_(cropped)

 

At Midnight

 

gather

moonbeams and weave

a tapestry of light

to hang upon the wall of night,

glowing,

 

wait for

dawn’s chariot

to drive across the sky.

Collect her rays in blankets for

cold hearts.

 

Listen

for crow’s wisdom,

squirrel’s scolding, and frog’s croak.

Hear the joy in a baby’s laugh,

find peace

 

and watch

for storms on seas

of tumbling, tossing waves,

leaving you adrift. Here you find

dragons–

 

fire

streams from their mouths–

yet you must stay calm, sing

the song of sun, moon, stars, sea–

exhale

 

glowing

dawn’s chariot,

squirrels scolding, and frog’s croak,

the song, of sun, moon, stars, sea—

behold.

 

Colleen sort of challenged me to write a garland cinquain, so here it is. For her Tanka Tuesday challenge. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Any War, Every War

512px-Comet-Hale-Bopp-29-03-1997_hires_adj

Comet Hale-Bopp Attribution: Philipp Salzgeber / CC BY-SA 2.0 AT (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/at/deed.en)

 

Any War, Every War

affects

the heart and mind–

bodies weak, spirits dark

waiting for illumination,

succor

 

within

the downtrodden,

aided by the helpers–

they fight their own weariness, yet

they smile,

 

offer

hope like beacons–

fog lights glowing through murk,

beams cutting through storms, resisting

always

 

with deeds

as well as words

carried in their hearts–peace,

justice, truth, freedom–and then, hope

rising

 

rising

sun, moon, and stars

shoot through the sky, falling

in brilliant clouds, surrounding us

with light

 

and so,

we look again,

up to the sky, seeking

beauty, if not hope, shooting light

at us.

 

 

For Colleen’s Tanka Tuesday using the theme I chose, this quotation from The Merchant of Venice:

“How far that little candle throws his beams! So shines a good deed in a weary world.”William Shakespeare, The Merchant of Venice

This is a cinquain sequence where each stanza can stand alone, but also connects to form one poem. I’ve used the syllable/line form of a Crapsey Cinquain, though I don’t think the meter is right.