Vulture near the Delaware River


Now, the season of in-between
the summer heat dims, the vultures soar
wind-embraced through clouds to blue–
no evil or good in their birds’ eye view
above the trees, across the shore,
circling death, cleaning the scene.

For dVerse Open Link Night.
I was inspired by Sarah’s elegant response to Punam’s prompt. I decided to write a sestain, as well.
6 lines, ABCCBA

And I saw vultures today. 🙂

Enough and More

Odilon Redon, Flower Clouds

Enough and More

Here trees and birds brush-kiss the feathered sky
in blue-on-blue reflections, breathe a sigh.

No pause, no hesitation comes, so wise
trees are, roots down, boughs high, as birds they rise

bright-eyed, wings spread, and yes, I’d fly with you,
outstretched into the blue of sky and through.

And then, we’d float on mirrored sea, our boat
enwrapped in harmony, the world remote.

I’d watch the heron strut, fish-dive, and soar–
yes, this is enough, I’d need nothing more.

Some readers might be confused about the day from the image, but it fits so perfectly.
A poem in couplets, rhymed, iambic pentameter, for dVerse. I couldn’t quite manage to make all of the couplets closed. This is a revision of a poem that coincidentally, I wrote almost exactly two years ago for another dVerse prompt.


Challahs cooling on the counter


The sky is streaked with cinnamon,
there’s coriander in the clouds,
the saffron sun, not yet winter-faded,

glows on
the squirrels gathering walnuts,
from trees with nutmeg-sprinkled leaves.

My arms are still summer-browned,
the basil, a bit spindly, still green and fragrant,

but in my spice-scented kitchen, pumpkin simmers
in soup, apples bake in cake, vanilla floats in the air,

and round, golden challahs cool
on the counter

as the cockeyed world balances,
for a few moments

we’re caught in a honeyed glow,
the last bees of summer,
the waxing moon, waiting for fullness.

For my prompt on dVerse today. Next Sunday night is the start of Rosh Hashanah this year. I’m not religious, but I like the rituals, traditions, and having family get together. And the food! I like the symbolism of dipping apples in honey and eating a round challah for a sweet year. I will probably start my challah baking marathon tomorrow and do other cooking over the next few days. The autumnal equinox (vernal equinox in the southern hemisphere) is on Thursday.


Fragments by Lee Madgwick

Sarah’s ekphrastic prompt at dVerse featured the art of Lee Madgwick. The prompt closed before I got a chance to respond, but here is my poem inspired by this painting. I may write more inspired by the others.


Grey-furred clouds sit cat-like
ready to pounce

a breeze strokes the marsh grass—
sighs at the water-whispers,

secret murmurs heard by fish and birds
who swim and fly, here and gone because

time here is as fluid
as the endless river before me

going nowhere or everywhere,
ebbing and flowing concurrently

like conversations at a holiday dinner
where words from the past linger

and mingle with what is spoken
and what is left unsaid,

a barred door
or one open to possibility,

this world of dreams is one universe
of many where stars hum far in the distance.

Now an empty boat waits for me,
I will enter and exit many times

without remembering . . .
until I do.

In a Song Never His (Revised)

In a song never his

In the bird world,
in songs not his own,
in squirrel harmonies and
the deep-breathed rhythm of trees,
the long exhale of winter
in dusk’s violet

he thinks how love climbs like vines–
how easily they wither
but drop seeds to sleep under the rustle
of rust-rotted leaf blankets

as seasons pass beneath gnarled roots
fingers pointing down–

and now he above in aged-rasped voice cries,
our earth, our light, how blue!

Some of you will recognize that this is a revision of my poem from the Oracle, which you can read here. I revised it to make it more imagist for TopTweetTuesday and shared it there. I’m sharing it now with dVerse Open Link Night.

We’ll Make Our Garden Grow: Prosery

We’ll Make Our Garden Grow

“Marie? I thought you were dead. Is it really you?” I ask.

“It is. I was shot and left for dead. Some of the others rescued me, but I couldn’t trust anyone. I ran, changing my identity more often than my clothes.”

She glances at me. “You always did like to make an entrance,” she says, referring to my fall, “but people have noticed your questions. We’ll talk, but quickly. I’m afraid it’s not safe here now for either of us.”

The sweet scent of alyssum drifts through the open window. Marie’s vegetable garden helped all of us stay alive during the war. I remember her saying, “I’d like, too, to plant the sweet alyssum that smells like honey. And peace. I’d scatter peace seeds everywhere if I could.” With her green thumb, peace would have flourished.

Her comment suddenly registers, “Wait—what people?”

This post begins with the last line of my previous prosery post. the continuation of my rambling who-knows-where-it’s-going spy series for dVerse Prosery. The prompt line was:

“I’d like, too, to plant the sweet alyssum that smells like honey and peace.”
From Katherine Riegel, What I would like to Grow in My Garden

Leonard Bernstein conducts “Make Our Garden Grow” from his Candide.

September Rain

Heron at dawn. Delaware River at Red Bank Battlefield.

September Rain

Early morning is heron-still,
the grey wing-brushed sky waits
for feathered clouds to part,

or sprinkle diamond drops
around sunflowers’ throats,
who smile and tilt their heads,

offer tiny mirrors to bees,
to see a world worked in threads reflected blue,
invisible to us.

A quadrille for dVerse. We’re getting much-needed rain today.

Old Friends Meet for the First Time

Claudia, Ken, and I at Valley Green Inn

Old Friends Meet for the First Time

We’ve never met in person before. We’re friends of words and Internet connections. Yet here we are with our spouses—six of us in all—sitting at a table on the porch of Valley Green Inn. And talking like we’ve known each other for years—as I suppose we have.

I wish the weather was better, so that they could see the ducks and geese swimming on Wissahickon Creek, or that we might see horseback riders trotting down Forbidden Drive. We’ve not had rain in weeks, but today we have a downpour. Like a scene from a Fellini movie, a unicyclist pedals past us. We’re sheltered on the wide porch until the wind shifts, forcing us indoors. We drink coffee, our words and laughter rise with the steam, joining other long ago scents and sounds embedded in the old walls.

thunder claps,
flowers look up and laugh
drink in celebration

For dVerse, Haibun Monday. The theme is shelter. I was so excited to meet Ken and Claudia and their spouses last week. The get-together was Ken and his wife’s idea. I’m so grateful they reached out to us. I thought of Valley Green because we often took my mom there for an August birthday brunch.

Last week I baked a chocolate cake in her memory. Here you go, Claudia.

My favorite time of day

Dreamy sky, morning moon

My favorite time of day–

coffee-scented kitchen,
breakfast-fed cat licks his paws,

no human voices,
only star-songs’ glittering traces,
and moon-hums.

She dream-drifts
on cotton candy clouds–
gives a crescent grin,
and I grin back,
the dawn a bright-feathered promise—

crows wake with clatter-clamoring caws,
just so, they say.

A quadrille for dVerse.