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.

Blue Dreams

Monday Morning Musings:

A luscious dream shines blue
sun-diamonds of if

Blue is the sea, river, and sky
that flows beyond what we can see
but never ending, flowing, going
round again,

Finally a sunny day! Delaware River at Red Bank Battlefield ©️Merril D. Smith 2020

the light bends, refracting and reflecting
shapes, colors, moods—blue hues—
clear and bright, or misty-infused
with pink and grey, a foggy day

Light across the Delaware River on a foggy morning at Red Bank Battlefield. ©️Merril D. Smith, 2020

or mind, we say. Sometimes reality blurs,
dims with age, or fever-dreamed perceptions
and neurons misdirecting proprioception,
the mind filled with misconception,

flies. And yet, when we dream,
fantasy and reality blur, the dead come alive,
the alive are dead–
I see blue, but dream red

A photo from last year, Day of the Dead display in Philadelphia. ©️Merril D. Smith 2019

when my grandfather visits me
from some other realm, sitting at a table
well, he was a man who loved to eat—
but now, we’re waiting for a play

My grandfather, my father’s father

but I say, I can’t stay
and race off in a panic, and up, across the stage
almost colliding with a male actor, to whom I apologize,
waking soon after, without words, wise, or otherwise

from my grandfather. I wonder still after weeks,
why was he in my dream? His family had to flee, asylum seekers
from a repressive regime. He knew about hate, but also love,
eloping when he was young, seeing ninety plus winters and sun,

announcing his presence with the scent of a cigar—
I haven’t thought of him in a long time, why did he come
to me that night? Against the vivid red of anxiety curtains,
he was calm, unperturbed, in a grey suit,

slipping a message into my dream chute
that this is just a moment, not final–
the vivid reds and gold, turn brown,
but the moon hums a song of cycling hues

with beauty all around. Blue moon tonight,
then her circle grows smaller—
but still there, just beyond our view
directing tides through monthly cycles.

Black waters of night
turn grey, then blue in morning light
and though we know they’re there,
the ghosts shimmer in the air—just out of view.

Heron in flight. ©️Merril D. Smith, 2020

Over the past few days, every time I visit the Oracle, she gives me dreams and blue. The message above was from today. So, I went with it. We’ve had days and days of clouds and rain. The sun finally came out on Saturday, but then we had pouring rain yesterday. It’s sunny today, but it’s cold with gusty winds.
We managed to find a time to get together with daughter and son-in-law—sitting well apart outside on their deck. We ate Thai food–and got some puppy time (and then it rained again).

Merril’s Movie Club: On Halloween night, we ate pizza with my homemade pumpkin pie for dessert and watched His House (Netflix), a thoughtful horror movie about South Sudanese refugees in London, who are (literally) haunted by ghosts of their past as they try to adjust to living in a new place and culture. There were several scenes that made me jump, but it’s the kind of horror movie that I like because it makes you think–and of course, it’s timely.

A Dream of Ancient Light

512px-Franz_Marc_-_Der_Traum_-_Google_Art_Project

Franz Marc, The Dream

 

Born of ferocious fire clouds—

angel or ghost?

An almost there, like

a trace of perfume lingering

in the indigo night

from bright blooms blanketing fields

in colored harmony

 

~vivid and haunting~

 

somehow like a dream–

of verdant paths with deer and ponies,

where we bird-fly over the bluest river

into the secret of when

and what was, and here—

we follow tendrils of sun-songs

to the ancient light of then and if. . . forever.

 

The Oracle made me work for this puente today.  The humidity has lifted, and a mockingbird is putting on a concert in my backyard.

 

 

.

 

 

 

The Clouds Come Drifting, NaPoWriMo2020, Day 5

800px-joseph_mallord_william_turner_-_norham_castle_sunrise_-_wga23182

JMW Turner, “Norham Castle Sunrise

 

“A few stars glimmered through the morn,

And down the thorn the dews were streaming.”

–Francis Ledwidge, “The Dead Kings”

 

Always the clouds come, drifting

colored in the hazy shades of after

though stars glimmer through, sifting

light diffused from ancient gas and matter,

 

colored in the hazy shades of after

time moves on, translucent or opaque—

light diffused from ancient gas and matter,

and so, we ache.

 

Time moves on. Translucent or opaque,

our thoughts grow dim and dark

and so, we ache—

forgetting glory, gone the spark,

 

our thoughts grow dim and dark

with spite, thinking of past wrongs,

forgetting glory. Gone the spark

of dead kings and their songs.

 

With spite, thinking of past wrongs,

we dream in owl-feathered night

of dead kings and their songs,

and wait for lark-trilled light.

 

We dream in owl-feathered night,

though stars glimmer through, sifting–

and wait for lark-trilled light,

but always the clouds come, drifting.

 

The prompt for Day 5 of NaPoWriMo was way too busy and complicated for me, as it involved “twenty different projects” to include in one poem. Instead, I went to the Oracle again for a start, then wrote a pantoum for Jane Dougherty’s Pictures and Poetry challenge based on the lines from Francis Ledwidge’s “The Dead Kings” and the Turner painting above.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sleepwalking: NaPoWriMo, Day 4

 

Le_somnambule”_(_Лунатик_)_Марка_Шагала_1

Marc Chagall, Le Somnambule

 

 

Wake to the sky-blush

a brilliant fevered-red

 

breathing spring,

listen—

 

as you recall the dream (was it a dream?)

of moon music

 

floating through the window,

of languorous light

 

dripping puppy-tongued

over the forest,

 

and diamond ships

sailing across the midnight-blue sea.

 

Then ask–

what of the fiddler?

 

whose song whispers of longing,

of belonging, of why,

 

but embracing if

in a kiss

 

of honeyed notes,

almost velvet

 

a symphony of smoke and angels

time and life.

 

The prompt for Day 4 of NaPoWriMo asked us to consider dream images.  Of course, I consulted the Poetry Oracle. Chagall also created paintings of a fiddler on a roof.

 

Golden Apples

Hesperides,_Dance_around_the_Golden_Tree_by_Edward_Calvert

Hesperides Dance Around the Golden Tree

 

I dreamt of golden apples

that fell fragrant from the sun

to land on earth shadow-dappled–

beyond, I heard a river run

and wandered to its grassy bank

where songbirds flocked and flew

to swoop at shining, rainbow fish. I drank

the pure, clear water—well, wouldn’t you?

For this was a calm and peaceful place–

where bees droned and danced a pirouette

in rhythmic waves, almost embraced–

I wondered if they loved or faced regret

at the days that pass all too soon,

when love and loved ones disappear–

yet silver apples of the moon

shine on, in dreams, golden apples appear.

 

This is for dVerse Open Link Night, where Grace is hosting, and also for the Tuesday dVerse Poetics prompt, where Anmol asked us to write about apples. Jane, I managed to get the silver apples in, too. 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

At Dawn, I Heard the Mockingbird Sing

IMG_5898

 

At dawn, I heard the mockingbird sing

his songs and those of his brothers,

I watched the flash of white on wing

as he flew away from others.

 

His songs (and those of his brothers)

combined and sounded from another tree–

as he flew away from others,

one song became more than two or three.

 

Combined and sounded from another tree,

notes trilled and warbled now under the moon,

one song became more than two or three

and in my dreams, I heard his tune,

 

these notes trilled and warbled now under the moon.

I watched the flash of white on wing

in my dreams. But still I heard his tune

at dawn. Still, I heard the mockingbird sing.

 

I haven’t written a pantoum in a while, so I just decided to write one. It seemed like a good way to procrastinate. 😉  This is for Open Link Night tonight at dVerse, where Grace is hosting.

 

 

 

A Dream Rose from Time

 

A_Star-Formation_Laboratory_(5715938723)

NASA Goddard Space Flight Center from Greenbelt, MD, USA [Public domain]

 

A dream rose from time

and above the moon,

purple-misted shadows

whispering if in honeyed tones

and recalling the diamond light

of a thousand blue stars

 

~sleeping now~

 

she is still,

but soars as a bird

in her slumber

singing of love,

while the music of water and wind

sighs a chant of life and after

 

Screen Shot 2019-09-07 at 8.26.27 AM

The Oracle really made me work this morning for this puente. I’m taking my friend Jane’s advice to make this a collaborative effort, filling in a few spaces when necessary.

Moon Dreams

Guillermo_Gómez_Gil_-_Salida_de_la_luna

 

Moon rose

whispering if over stormy sea

and diamond-lighting rocks

 

~through a blue-shadowed sky~

 

I dream of a honeyed-tongued goddess

singing the music of a thousand springs

and time stops there, recalling when

 

~and after~

 

we watch

as mist blows away,

soaring pink

 

Screen Shot 2019-08-24 at 8.18.22 AM

The Oracle made me work for this double puente, which probably isn’t a form, but oh well, more rule-breaking. I think she has more to say, but I’ll let this stand for now.