River Poet, Behold Dawn

Sunrise Clouds over the Delaware River

River Poet, Behold Dawn

after the storms,
moon-shadows danced to fiddle tunes
and dreams swirled in the air,
dressing the forests in purple light,
the gowns made of love, lust, hope, and fear.

These, the pictures that dangle beyond reach
in an endless gallery–
though I will recall some, if I can,
before they vanish in the apricot sky,
in the susurration of the river,
and the cries of ospreys carrying them far into the clouds.

This seems like something I’d share in my Monday Morning Musings, but one doesn’t argue with the Oracle.

After the horrible heat and humidity, we finally got some rain—not enough—but we had a beautiful day yesterday and beautiful weather that will last through the weekend. And there was a full moon. Last night, I had some interesting dreams. The Oracle knows everything.

What about Dreams?

Monday Morning Musings:

Sunrise Clouds–a new day

What About Dreams?

I’ve written of the river ghosts,
but what about the dreams

that drift, twinkling like stars
beyond reach—as far as

the eagle that soars so high,
blink, and she’s gone–yet seen–

Bald Eagle flying over the river

or the shy deer with quivering ears
who disappears—

but some dreams are like herons
still and waiting to pounce,

A heron at Red Bank Battlefield, and two heron photos by Doug at Pittman Golf Club.

remembered with a sigh, a shudder,
or a smile,

some–you want them to stay awhile.

History slogs, then leaps,
slings arrows of love and hate.

Light and Shadow at Red Bank Battlefield

We are cool—then hot,
here, then not. But

in a world where bees may think and feel,
and trees whisper deep underground,

why is it strange to believe that stars sing,
or that dreams might come true?

It’s been very hot and humid. We didn’t go anywhere this week, but we did celebrate Shabbos virtually with our children and their spouses.

Shabbat Shalom!

I had access from Focus Features for a free streaming of Mrs. Harris Goes to Paris. It’s what I think of as a “comfy” film. You know that there will be some upsets, but somehow it will all work out in the end. It’s sort of a fairy tale. The acting is excellent and the film looks beautiful. The Dior gowns, of course, are gorgeous. I thought later that though the dream to go to Paris to buy a Dior gown is not something I can relate to, most people have dreamt of doing something, so in that way, her seeking the gown is a sort of symbol and the movie a quest. It’s not deep, but it’s charming. A definite feel-good movie.

We also went to our video backlog and watched another play. This one was Pipeline on Live from Lincoln Center. It was excellent—both the play itself and the performance. The poem “We Real Cool” by Gwendolyn Brooks is referenced several times in the play. I found this wonderful video about Brooks and the poem by Manual Cinema on the Poetry Foundation site. We’ve seen Manual Cinema performances live twice, and their shows are wonderful.

And if you missed it, there was an amazing discovery at Red Bank Battlefield, the park where I walk nearly every day, that I wrote about here.

For My Parents

Odilon Redon, Orpheus

For My Parents

Light,
red, hot pink, and cool blue
reflected, refracted
from then to beyond

where casting shadows
like parents on children, larger than life
neither existing without the other,

at least not as they were.

I think if
my father
if my mother—

all the questions I never asked.

If they are light–never gone,
the breath of stars, infinitesimal and infinite
a never-ending melody of dream colors, heard
and almost remembered.

Both of my parents were born in August. I’ve been thinking about them, and of course, the Oracle knows. And extra ifs for Derrick.

I’m sharing this with dVerse, Open Link Night.

Word Craft Poetry Syllabic Poetry Contest–I’m a winner

I’m very pleased to announce that I received Third Place in the Word Craft Poetry Syllabic Poetry Contest. The theme was Dreams, and the required form was tanka prose. I think tanka are very difficult to write, so I was especially pleased to be a winner. Congratulations to the winners of the First Place, Second Place, and honorable slots: D. Wallace Peach, Ken Gierke, and Jude Itakali. You can read all of the poems here.

Dream Words

Monday Morning Musings:

Dream Words

“In the land
of words,
I stand as still
as a tree,
and let the words
rain down on me.”

–Eloise Greenfield, “In the Land of Words”

“I believe a leaf of grass is no less than the journey work of the stars,”
Walt Whitman from #31 From “Song of Myself”

Early Morning Moon

My dream poem begins
Between a sonnet and an ode,
I can’t remember the rest,
it’s vanished in the universe of my mind,
a star to black hole or a comet to return with a blazing tail—
but me without the telescope to see within

this galaxy of thoughts,
my past, the fragments hurled through time,
and filtered through the space debris of memory.

I’m left trying to determine what I meant,
a borderland of form and matter,
formal structure and rhymed connections,
an abab skip to u–
the meter set by moon rise
and the rhythm by dawn choir.

I could sing the praises
of a leaf of grass, the beauty of the vulture’s glide,

the river tides, or
the scent of spring rain rising

Cloudy morning at low tide, Delaware River at Red Bank Battlefield

the volta of each season, expressed
in a grand reveal, or a subtle exposition

Peonies in bloom, Whitall House

unexpected,
yet familiar, everything

may change in a flash
light to darkness to light—
while we dream,
whether we remember . . . or not.

Sometimes I watch him dream

Movies, Books, This and That:

Good morning! A couple of nights ago, I dreamt an entire poem, and “Between a sonnet and an ode” was really the beginning.

April was quite a month of poetry, wasn’t it? Even though we still seem to alternate warm and cold days, the flowers say it’s now May, as do the goslings, and rabbits.

We fortified ourselves with bruschetta and roasted asparagus from a local farm stand to begin watching the final episodes of Ozark (Season 4, part 2). We watched two episodes—it’s intense, but no spoilers!

We had Chinese food and watched a Chinese movie (of course). 😏 Here is one that most likely few of my readers have seen, Gone with the Light. You’re welcome. The plot will sound familiar—there’s a flash of light and some people all over the world vanish. Trust me, that the movie becomes something quite different, a meditation on love. I enjoyed it very much.

I’m reading A Woman of Intelligence by Karin Tanabe.
I just couldn’t quite finish it last night, but I’m really enjoying this novel of a woman who feels trapped in her life as a housewife in 1950s NYC after working as a translator at the newly created UN. One day she agrees to become an FBI informant, also becoming involved in Cold War spying—and feeling more alive than she’s felt in a long time.

The Language of Dreams

In the space between
the dark leaf-fall of night
and frosted dawn,

an ancient bird flies
a path between flower-clouds
and thick-breathed river,

whose milk-chocolate beach listens
to the fiddle-wind whispers
of the coming storm.

Here, we wait
for honeyed shots of light
and perfumed peace,

and if we can recall
how seasons cycle
blood red sinking into cool blue

diamond prisms and shadows play–
then we know the language of dreams —
where an ancient bird flies

beneath twinkling glow
skimming the surface
between yesterday and tomorrow.

The Oracle made me work for this one. Perhaps she senses how everything seems unsettled.

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.