Red Teeth of Death

“Her nights are full of the red teeth of death”

–Jim Harrison, “Life,” Dead Men’s Float

 

Blue is the color of sky and sea,

green are the blades of grass in spring

when the world is born again, and new

shoots raise their heads to the golden sun

whose chariot flies till day is done.

But no less vital is the color red

that drips at birth and stops when we’re dead.

The color that men fear to see

afraid of its power—or destiny.

For though Death may arrive gentle and pale,

her teeth are like spikes, or the sharpest nails.

When she comes for you in the dark of night

she’ll smile–as if to say it’s all right,

but her teeth are scarlet within her grin,

and life is soon gone—after she slowly leans in.

 

 

Apparently, Death is a vampire. Who knew? Mysterious messages and some truths come from Jilly’s 28 Days of Unreason, based on the poetry of Jim Harrison. This is Day 6.

It is also the anniversary of D Day, June 6, 1944, and the 50th anniversary of the assassination of Robert F. Kennedy on June 6, 1968. I suppose blood and death is on my mind.

 

 

Coloring Spring, Haibun, NaPoWriMo, Day 19

Today’s [optional prompt] for NaPoWriMo, Day 19: “to write a paragraph that briefly recounts a story, describes the scene outside your window, or even gives directions from your house to the grocery store. Now try erasing words from this paragraph to create a poem or, alternatively, use the words of your paragraph to build a new poem.”

Process:

So, early this morning, I wrote the paragraph below, which described what I saw while sitting in my usual kitchen spot. I didn’t change it, except to add the last line—because the sun did come out—briefly. This became the paragraph part of the haibun. Then I used Colleen’s Tanka Tuesday prompt words for the haiku. I used “accruing” for gather and “feathery” for soft. This was to give me new words, so I was not simply revising.

Finally, I took words from both parts of the haibun to create a new poem. Works in progress!

Poems:

Outside the world is grey with mist, and yet the green of evergreens and new spring growth provides color in the gloom. A red-breasted finch sits in the bird feeder at the window. The cats take their morning naps, one on my lap, the other in the basket in front of the window. Soon, children will walk out their doors to go to school. But now, I see the sun breaking from the clouds.

pale sun shines through

turning feathery clouds gold

accruing spring light

 

Grey and green

the world from my window,

feathery, the mist, drifting between trees.

But what colors does the red-breasted finch see?

Greyer greys and emerald greens,

vivid hues–

to me unseen?

I hear him sing—

such heartfelt joy–

as the pale sun caresses,

draping his shadowed shape with light,

turning his chest to fire,

to ring in the colors of spring

 

Isn’t this document box with finch exquisite?

Document Box, Philadelphia Museum of Art

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And I’m going to link this to dVerse Open link night, too, where Grace is poet bar tending. Because, why not?  🙂

 

 

Winter Solstice Dreams: Haibun

Here’s another winter solstice poem. This Haibun is for Colleen’s Tanka Tuesday. She asked us to use synonyms for the words cover and precipitation.

 

I’m tucked under the blankets. My big-eyed, grey-striped cat is cuddled against me. Our white cat has closed both his blue eye and his yellow eye on the pillow beside me. My husband, wrapped in a green-bordered patchwork quilt, has fallen asleep downstairs in his recliner. We all dream. Our dreams are shape-shifting creatures that fly high to dance together amongst the stars. I dream of winter snow melting in spring sunshine.  In my dream, there are green fields and blue horses in a silver mist. There is a building, where inside a dark room a woman slowly chews and swallows some strips of paper. She smiles because now she holds all the secrets–buried inside her like a seed. But someday they will sprout in light, blooming flowers of truth and beauty.

 

Dreams reign solstice night

soothed by moon’s lullabies,

slowly, the sun wakes

 

1024px-Marc_-_Der_Traum_1912

Franz Marc, “The Dream,” [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons