Spinning

Jeremy Harbeck, North Star Bay, Greenland, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

Inconstant,
the magnetic north roams

to Siberia
under rocky plates it riffs, shifts, reverses course

in search of answers
we all seek–

but encompass me in moonlight,
(not) polar opposites,

we spin, sing, bodies electric,
attracted, charged,

surging, urging—so, star-dusted cling–
luminosity bring.

A quadrille for dVerse, where De asks us to use some form of the word magnet.

Field, Memory, Magic: The Traitors’ Gate

Traitors’ Gate, Andrew Wood, Wikipedia Commons



They sail, a slow journey from glory to despair,
above them, vacant-eyed heads grin
in recognition of what was and what shall be–memories

carried as if by magic through the green English fields
where the ghosts wander,

waiting for history to be rewritten in each new reign–
queen to traitor, rebel to hero, recusant to saint.

This is a poem for Sarah’s dVerse prompt. She asks us to choose a set of three words from a list that she has posted. The words correspond to a site in London. I chose “field memory magic,” which if I understand correctly corresponds to the Traitors’ Gate at the Tower of London. The three words are part of larger project, which you can read about on the dVerse page.

The Lovers

T.C. Hart, “Storm at Sea”

Her love had sailed to far away
on a merchant ship of middling size,
she watched from shore through ocean spray
and the day turned gloomy with greying skies.

She heard the wind sigh, “beware, beware,”
the sun glowed weakly on the rocks,
the strands of seaweed looked like hair,
and no ships sailed up to the docks.

The news came later of storm and wreck,
of her love and others thrown in the waves,
though the captain shouted from the deck
the sea often gives, but seldom saves

a ransom to the gods below.
She wept and cried, “instead take me,”
piteously, she was lost to woe,
she swore bride she’d be under the sea.

No grave, no grave to put her in
for she’s gone to join him, all agree.
No mourners there, or other kin
but come midnight, there the lovers be.

They walk upon the rocky sand
as the stars sparkle like wedding gems,
and you might see them hand in hand
but the moonlight shines right through them.

An old-style ghostly ballad for Lucy, who is guest-hosting at dVerse. We recently watched a live-streamed Richard Thompson concert, where he did a lot of the old Fairport Convention songs. I borrowed, the repeated word grave (though with opposite meaning) from “Matty Groves.”

Ask Why

Foggy Morning, Delaware River at Red Bank Battlefield

The goddess urges—
dream of luscious ifs,

in storms and shadow-seas
see the mist rise to honeyed sun
singing of time—
recall summer petals as floating light.

A thousand sleeps were–
in bitter after-aches,
cry at the blood moon,
ask why

it shines
while the wind whispers
heart breaths–
love, there, here, always.

It’s Open Link Night at dVerse, where Mish is hosting. I never got to Tuesday’s prompt on the vatic voice, but I consulted the Oracle today, and this is where she led me.

Harvest Moon

No moonglow last night, though she was there behind the charcoal clouds. They swooped in, covering first the sun, and then the stars. Later, it rained—again—and the scent of petrichor drifted through our open windows. Summer’s last hurrah. The moon knows, and soon she will hum the song of autumn and harvests, of bread, honey, and wine.

golden moon glow
over fields of grapes and grain—
russet leaves fall

For dVerse, where Frank has asked us to write a haibun alluding to the moon. On Thursday night, we will hopefully see the Harvest Moon.

Creation

“Listen,” by Catrin Welz-Stein

She is ever young and ancient, too,
mistress, mother, destroyer, divine,
she births the world, but burrows, then weeps
in cold blood darkness, and there she sleeps–

and when she dreams, the flowers bloom
on roots, warm-spun from her honeyed hair,
and ladybugs skitter, scatter, fly
beneath sun-kissed clouds and azure sky.

She is woman, goddess, earth’s true love,
diamond-eyed, rose and chocolate-scented
breast-achy, she nurses–but then sighs–
all that comes, goes, all that lives, yet dies.

An ekphrastic poem for dVerse, where Lillian is hosting and received permission from artist Catrin Welz-Stein to post four images of her work. We are permitted to choose only one of these four images to use as springboard for poetic fancy.

This is Enough

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

Trees and birds kiss the sky
in blue-on-blue reflection

and today, I’ll sky the world with you
without pause or hesitation.

In mirrored lands we’ll float
on dreams, the clouds our boat

watching the heron squawk, soar–
this is enough, I need nothing more.

Heron flying over the Delaware River at Red Bank Battlefield

A quadrille for dVerse, where De has asked us to use the word, sky. I think the rhythm of this one is more soothing than my previous post this morning. I don’t know why I’m stuck on couplets and rhyme though today.

Loneliness of the Night Hawk

512px-Nighthawks_by_Edward_Hopper_1942

Edward Hopper, Nighthawks, 1942

 

Tomorrow, after parachuting into France, we may never see each other again. My nights will carry a new loneliness, of being someone else, Night Hawk. Already, I look different. My mouth is unfamiliar with my American dental work removed. I own only carefully mended French-made clothing and shoes. We risk our lives to save others–and we carry suicide pills to take if we’re caught. I must learn to dream in French.

Last night, we finally gave in to desire. Swooping in like raptors, we grabbed and held each other. Last night our kisses and caresses expressed what there are no words for—that when it is over, said and done, it was a time. And there was never enough of it. Someday, perhaps. For now, our memories, like this letter, must be tucked away in a locked drawer, and kept for the future.

 

I’m continuing with my spy and Edward Hopper collaboration for the dVerse Prosery Prompt that I’m hosting.We’re using the line I have italicized from Allison Adelle Hedge Coke’s, “A Time.”  Come join us, if you’re so inclined, for a bit of flash fiction, no longer than 144 words.

 

 

Flowers Again and Again

In guarded gardens, flowers grow

ordered, only the fittest fit–

 

tethered and trellis-trained

conserved, cared for, chromatic beauties

 

we pay to see

this oasis between highway deserts.

 

Yet, the unguarded blooms, guileless,

persistent, propagating

 

through buzzed bees and birds’ peck,

specks drop, imbed, again.

 

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Wildflowers and plants, West Deptford, NJ

For dVerse,where Victoria asks us to write about gardens in a quadrille. Top photos are of a trip to Longwood Gardens one February about 10 years ago on my husband’s birthday. We had a freak warm spell with temperatures in the 70s F by the afternoon. It snowed the next day.

I’ve been doing lots of walking, and I often take pictures of the wildflowers growing all around my part of the world.