The Heaviness of Secrets

Edward Hopper, Monhegan House, Maine

I’m weary, and sometimes the great bones of my life feel so heavy. The secrets that fill them are an extra weight I carry with me always. In the terror of those times, they were a fuel I swallowed eagerly, and they kept me alive then. How could I know that they would stay within, bricks cemented to my core?

We all had secrets. We were chameleons. Pierre/Paul/Hans—he had so many names. Were any of them real? Where are you? I’ve wondered for over a decade now. Oh, there have been rumors—he was sighted in Moscow, in Buenos Aires, in Singapore—but none of them have checked-out.

Yet, I can’t rest. I comfortable here in Maine, living on the pension from the job I’m not allowed to talk about. But I’m going back to France. I have one final lead to follow.

I’ve returned to my spies and Hopper for Linda’s prosery prompt at dVerse. She asks us to use the line:
“Sometimes the great bones of my life feel so heavy,” from Mary Oliver’s “Spring Azures.”

Dabs of Color and Light

A frosty January morning.

The January sun is slow to rise
she shakes her flaxen head,
then dabs a bit of light—

there some color, bright
against grey, wheat, white,

the silvered-lawn sparkles–behold!

What’s to come? Black crow calls—more cold–
before summer blooms in colors bold.

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

Planting and Blooming: Haibun

The sun rises every day, but each dawn is unique, a doorway to a new room waiting to be furnished, or a tilled field ready for planting.

When I became a mother for the first time, it was all new to me—the birth, bringing our daughter home on a cold February day to our recently purchased house, and then learning to take care of an infant. Breastfeeding was easy; trying to figure out how to unfold the heavy baby carriage and get it and her out the door and down the steps was not. But—the second time I became a mother, it was new again. There were similarities–it was another cold February day, but the labor was different, and I was different. Caring for a toddler and a baby at the same time was also a new experience. Like each day, each birth is both similar and singular, as is every child.

Frost-laced ground
incubates hopes and dreams–
daffodils rise

This is a haibun for dVerse, where Lillian has asked us to write about a something we’ve experienced that’s new. We first planted daffodils when I was pregnant with our older daughter, and this year, we planted more because it seemed like something hopeful for the spring. (By we, I mean I ordered them, and my husband planted them. Teamwork. 😏 )

The Visitor

When misted twilight shifts to midnight black,

then I drift, but hear her mournful sighing

outside the window, crying, “bring me back”–-

whispers first, but then intensifying.

Why does she with grief-filled moans so haunt me?

What soul-stricken sprite struggles at moon nights,

flickering at a flame–moth-winged banshee–

fleeing at dawn, in sunshine’s gilding light?

And yet–-her shadowed-face, ghostly image

appears each night, (bewitching) she calls me–

I rise, unsure, do I smile or grimace?

Two here on different planes, one not yet free.

So, I know now when next she comes again

the light will fade for me–not why, but when.

This is for dVerse, where Sanaa is asking us to write Gothic-themed poems.  It’s my birthday, so this will be fun reading. 😀 I’ve re-worked this sonnet that I wrote for another dVerse prompt about a year ago.

After the Longest Night

After the longest night–

float a barque
on moonbeam seas, sail
past stars, glean
ghost-light of
yesterday, interlace dreams
with glimmered visions–

prophetic
muse! Sing aloud the
birth of sun
from shadow-
world–light candles, flicker-flames
to recall your hopes

barque-breezing,
caught in spindrift. Soar
moon-bound, star
searching, un-
barred, braided with sparkling dreams
to glide heart-sworn home.

Tonight is the first night of Hanukkah, so this is a December-flavored shadorma sequence of light and hope for Colleen’s Tanka Tuesday challenge using synonyms for Kerfe Roig’s words, mingle and drift. I’m also linking this to dVerse Open Link Night, where Björn is hosting a live event.

Such Stuff

Odilon Redon, “Flower Clouds”

“We are such stuff as dreams are made on”
William Shakespeare, The Tempest.

We soar past sleep,
stop to eat

the stars—swallow as they glide,
we abide

outside and within–
of such stuff, our dreams begin

to flutter-float, winging high
to fly upon some glittery boat

then with a quivery sigh,
they drift away, whispering goodbye.

A quadrille for dVerse. Lisa is hosting and asks us to use the word, “abide.”

Sisters

Straying, never staying still,
shimmering beacons, they will
sway away eternity,
shine for sailors, as they flee—
steadfast light in vast night sea
streaming from Orion—gone–
seven sisters, sail to dawn.

Pleiades, NASA, via Wikipedia Commons

For dVerse, Open Link Night, where Sanaa is hosting. I’ve missed the live meeting, but I got to talk to my sisters (and brother) via Zoom for Thanksgiving. Happy Thanksgiving to all who are celebrating! This poem responds to Laura’s dVerse prompt on Tuesday:
“Write a poem using the PLEIADES FORM. . .Pick a ONE-WORD TITLE then write a SEVEN-LINE poem of SEVEN SYLLABLES whereby each line begins with the FIRST LETTER of your title.”

November Clouds

Nearly every day I find something in the natural world that astounds me with its beauty– a single wildflower, a shy, graceful deer, or a stunning cloudscape over the Delaware River. When I walk, usually early in the morning, I’m often filled with wonder—a sensation of body and mind. This morning, I almost didn’t walk because of the rain and thunder, but it stopped, and I went out to see the most incredible sky.

golden leaves glow
against charcoal clouds they dance,
fall in nature’s rhythm

Delaware River at Red Bank Battlefield. November Sky. ©️Merril D. Smith, 2020

This is for Kim’s prompt at dVerse, to write a haibun “about a time when you last watched stars, a storm, the sea, an animal, or something else in nature that left you with a sense of wonder or awe.”

Space Dancers

“However, what it is really exciting about NGC 1097 is that it is not wandering alone through space. It has two small galaxy companions, which dance “the dance of stars and the dance of space” like the gracious dancer of the famous poem The Dancer by Khalil Gibran.” 
Credit: ESA/Hubble & NASA. Acknowledgement: E. Sturdivant

Somewhere in space, impossibly it seems,
the stars always sing. They bring to rings of light,
celestial rhythm, a chance to dance, a sort of space romance,
a stellar pas de deux.

In whirling-waltz, they swirl possibly unaware,
of sparks flame-shot in incandescent flares.

A quadrille for dVerse, where De has asked us to use some form of the word possible.