The Dreams, or What You See

Odilon Redon, Orpheus

Ask the moon what her whispers mean—
dreamtime longing, the after-ache of shadows

that slide or slink, glide, or make us think
of what was–the ghosts of yearning

seek the light. I watch, and if I can’t recall
each pink-petaled spring or purple rain,

I see them all—the symphony that glows and lingers,
or hides in rustling wind-whipped sighs

and suspiration of the sea. Here I hear,
and time fast-stops, while the fiddler plays

the song of life, death, and all that is,
and what is not

but was or maybe what will be.
Listen hard and long . . . now do you see?

The Oracle kept giving me a few words over and over again, like moon, light, after, ache, whispers, etc. and I could imagine her getting exasperated and saying use these already!

When, Then, Now

Sunrise over the Delaware River at West Deptford, NJ

When water watches the pink sky,
and time plays with rust and diamonds–
in that moment the honeyed light sings
with gathered breath of stars and beats
an ancient and eternal rhythm.

Ask then—
if dreams drift from above,
to catch in moonglade,
or sparkle like spoondrift–

and you beneath,
embracing the blue ghosts that linger
in the slow smile of dawn.

My poem from the Oracle. She always knows. This is a strange time of year–beautiful and melancholy. We’ve had some spectacular sunrises lately–this one is from today– but we’re supposed to get thunderstorms later today. Last night my sleep was disrupted by some sort of police activity going on–very unusual. We live in a quiet neighborhood. We have a memorial service to attend, as well.

I guess WP is changing things again–the preview button has options now.

Moon Secrets

The sea whispers ,not of a thousand deaths
but dreams it aches to recall,
time and star-shine–

covered by a cloud-blanket, it murmurs
again and again,
as fleets of diamond ships
sail across and into tomorrow.

And if I sleep,
perhaps I feel a petal-spray
of moon-breathed secrets
before dawn comes, berry-bright,
to banish them–

yet seeded within, they might yet bloom.

I was disconcerted by the change in the Magnetic Poetry Oracle’s site. There are different categories now for the tiles, and the format has also changed. Nevertheless, she came through (of course). I’ve been having vivid lucid dreams recently. It seems like they are trying to tell me important things that I can’t quite recall when I wake, but I think the ideas are there, just below the surface.

Looking for Clues: Ekphrastic Challenge, Day 11

One step forward, round and round,
the labyrinth circles—go or stay?
In the in-between, are answers found?
Past finds future. What is the way?

The labyrinth circles—go or stay?
She’s a shadow figure lost in blues,
Past finds future. What is the way?
Where are the clues?

She’s a shadow figure lost in blues
in her mind-forests, she searches dreams–
where are the clues?
Nothing here is as it seems,

in the in-between. Are answers found
in her mind-forests? She searches dreams–
but nothing here is as it seems–
just one step forward, round and round.

For Paul Brookes’ Ekphrastic Challenge. I decided to change it up a bit, so I wrote a pantoum this time to reflect the circles of Kerfe’s work. I revised it a bit from the one posted on Paul’s site–but these are all rough drafts. I couldn’t quite work in John Law’s work for this one. You can see all the art and read all the poems here.

Would You?

Chagall, The Blue Fiddler

How is your life a language
of whispered dreams? Aches and honey
beneath the tiny thousand lights, crushed diamonds
shining to recall the delirious dazzle of before

~and if~

you could ask the fiddler
to play pink-petaled spring, would you?
And hold the sky still, timeless
for a moment, black blown away, birdsong rippling blue.

Another puente from the Magnetic Poetry Oracle. She knows spring is coming, and she was crying out for a blue painting. I almost went with Franz Marc, but this Chagall fits so perfectly.

Before the Before, and After

Before the before
of star-danced light
and rippling time, before
there was what is now,
what was

wonder

in the after, in the bang and crash
of stellar flare and dust, there was
a time of infinite possibilities–

chance,

our meeting, or fate? All that was before,
leading to it. In the crash and bang of bodies,
we’re born

and give birth to others. And in the after,
the wonder of infinite possibilities,

chances we take, paths to follow, as the light
of the past twinkles on future dreams.

For dVerse, where Peter asks us to think about turns in poetry.

Ekphrastic Challenge: Day Twenty

For Day Twenty of Paul Brookes’ Special January Ekphrastic Challenge, my poem responds to the two images below.

The Dream

In a dream of monochrome,
of blue-grey tints, and white,
I pound against the wired glass,
and look for colored light.

In my dream of ghosts, I’m you–
reflections in a world of shadows,
there we both just stand and wait
and like a door, my opened eyes now close–

but still, I see within the dream I dream, outside,
there are mountains and green meadows,
ships that sail upon an azure sea,
that flows and flows and flows

unending. Upending, life grows,
with texture, shape, and color.

My dream hands fast upon the glass again, tap,
I wake to blue-cast shimmer-throwing,
but open up the window blinds—
outside the sun is glowing.

Day Fourteen: Special January Ekphrastic Challenge

For Day Fourteen of Paul Brookes’ Ekphrastic Challenge, I’ve responded to these two works of art.

The Confessor

With unruly hair, capped-tamed,
she stood before the white-wigged judges
to confess the sins of her wandering mind.

On and on her words poured out
to dance around the room—
the dreams she’d seen, the visions hued
in blue and gold and silver-

streamed they rushed from head and heart,
of a specter at a portal, a future seen
of cities now invisible, but that would someday gleam–
tall towers reflecting the sun, rising high

and bridges spanning rivers, and ships that sailed the sky.
No witch, am I. Only a dreamer.

The watchers sighed. The dazed and dazzled judges called for order,
and she was punished, a time in the stocks and weary-work
to check her mind’s meanderings.

But even a small spark can flare a blazing fire. She still dreamed—
and now, so did the others.

Day Six: Special January Ekphrastic Challenge

It’s Day 6 of Paul Brookes’ Special January Ekphrastic Challenge. My poem today responds to all three works of art. If you click the link, you’ll see the poems by other poets. Some have written poems for each work of art.

Does What Happened by the Lake Stay There?

There we gathered
wishing for fish,
fishing for wishes
this is—

a dream, I say.

Here by this winter lake,
three versions all of me–

each facing in a different direction,
future, past, and present

in the distance, cradling,
hills indistinct, the haze surround us,

Am I awake or asleep? I see a huge blue tail.

How can this be? A whale.

Is this omen or vision, for the sinner that is me?

I feel sharp wolf claws upon my back,
and when I wake, I see their tracks.

Wild Magic

Sunrise pink clouds reflected on the Delaware River. ©️Merril D. Smith, November2020

I watch purple shadows dance, lingering
with cool kisses in the air
as the sun shines pink-petaled on blue–
listen, sky and water say,
and the music is in my head
as if honeyed light is fiddle and voice,
recalling dreams, and the way the moon sings
through a storm. Remember this, blushing clouds,
the soft secret smiles of the universe, sailing into
after. The wild magic surrounds you. Embrace it.

Today’s message from the Magnetic Poetry Oracle–she, of course, sees me walking by the river.