Waves Again (and Again)–Redux

Ilya_Repin-What_freedom!

Ilya Repin, “What Freedom!” Wikipedia Commons

 

No flask, no wine, no book of verse, this night,

we reach for stars and moon, seek gleams of light,

hear the silver streams from the humming moon,

time moves in pulses, like a fairy sprite

 

seconds and memories, here and then gone

scented by sea-mists, turned rosy at dawn

or aglow under sweeping, sparkling stars

remember we say, remember hang on–

 

there on the sand, waves pitch and break and roar,

while spindrift flicks in salted breeze to shore,

and you with me, now standing hand in hand

watching the sea, waiting for dreams, we soar.

 

This is a Rubaiyat for dVerse, where Frank is hosting a month-long challenge. This one is reworked from a previous prompt that he did. I’ve added a quatrain, keeping in mind Jilly’s challenge to appeal to the senses. I’ve obviously played upon and given tribute to Edward Fitzgerald’s translation of Omar Khayyam’s famous verse. Comments welcome.

 

 

 

 

 

For My Older Daughter on Her Birthday

Ocean City, NJ

Little girl

gambols by the seaside

 

the saltwater flows,

and she grows

 

wondering who she is,

who she’ll be

 

as onward flows

the sea, she knows

 

kisses, and soaring free

to be

 

herself, and shows

a world images–she knows

 

what dreams can be

 

A quadrille for dVerse, where De is asking us to use the word kiss. Sorry for all the birthday poems, but I wrote a poem for younger daughter’s birthday, so I had to write one for older daughter’s birthday today. I’m struck by how many of her paintings are of soaring figures—both people and sea creatures. You can see some of them here.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Shadows, Wind, and Clay: Rubaiyat

Monday Morning Musings:

“God, how we get our fingers in each other’s clay. That’s friendship, each playing the potter to see what shapes we can make of each other.”

–Ray Bradbury, Something Wicked This Way Come

“And Guy felt it again—the sense of hostility in the clump of woods east of the house. . .

What chance combination of shadow and sound and his own thoughts had created it?”

Patricia Highsmith, Strangers on a Train

Tuesday

So now, my mother feels her age

and shadows walk on either side

both before and behind, this stage

of life, some accept, others rage.

 

My own walk, confident, with pride

stepping fast and firmly to ground

with thoughts in clouds and eyes now wide

to watch my mom and match her stride.

 

This fake spring day, a shy half-smile

timid, like a deer, before it flees

and can’t be seen, but for awhile

we’ll bask in light, as it beguiles

 

though my mom unaware, she sees

but doesn’t, knows winter is here

leaves dropped and then tossed in the breeze

is age a stage, or a disease?

Thursday

We go for drinks, daughter’s birthday,

we talk and laugh, I’ve baked a cake

we’ll sit awhile, no lengthy stay

work tomorrow, always the way

 

I value moments with my child

a beautiful woman, she’s become

with students now that she has styled

wisdom and laughter reconciled

Friday

We watch a film set in a war

where women have to hide their hair

and people flee to basements for

there is danger, bomb threats, and more.

 

Did djinn arrive somewhere upstairs

flying on missiles in the wind?

But look, what is real, what nightmares–

shapes in shadows, sounds on the stairs?

 

Saturday

A date day to play with some clay

cold outside, but it’s warm inside,

we turn the wheel, and learn the way

clay becomes bowl–or thrown away.

 

I say to him look at the moon

as we walk into the light of night,

city to train, and then home soon

for shadow-dreams to lunar tune.

 

Secret language, a potter’s wheel

spins, shaping it, and us anew

through heartache, and then all we feel

as spring to fall, to age we kneel.

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I’ve attempted something different for my Monday Morning Musings—a Rubaiyat. This is part of the poetry forms series on dVerse.  I’m not sure if this works.

 

We watched the movie, Under the Shadow, an Iranian movie set during the 1980s in Tehran. I liked it—it’s billed as a horror movie, but there’s a lot more to it than that. It’s on Netflix. Trailer here. We went to the Clay Studio in Philadelphia for a date day. There was wine, beer, food, and instruction. Each person gets to make two pieces (you can actually make more and keep your best two). I’ve never used a potter’s wheel before. We weren’t too good at it, but it was fun. On Tuesday, it was in the 60s F. Today, it’s snowing.

 

 

 

Seen and Unseen

 

“What do we call visible light? We call it color. But the electromagnetic spectrum runs to zero in one direction and infinity in the other, so really, children, mathematically, all of light is invisible.”

–Anthony Doer, All the Light We Cannot See

IMG_1290

Philadelphia Mural Arts

 

Redshifting and blue,

all the colors, hues

we cannot see, and beyond

our comprehension, or will–

yet, don’t they exist still?

And the man, there on his rags,

sleeping on his clothes in bags–

if we walk by him unseeing

does it mean he’s not a being

worthy of a view, a thought

of what once was? Even if

only a trace of has been–wisps

that linger here–the invisible who

are all the colors, all the hues

and so,

as sunset slow shifts to indigo

and all the in-between,

there, find all the light that’s there

find it, unseen and seen.

 

This is for my prompt at dVerse, where we’re exploring the invisible. I was inspired by the quotation I used and also by the mural that I just happened to see on Sunday, after I had written and scheduled the prompt. Isn’t it weird how that works?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Harbinger

 

The rose once technicolor bright

now sepia-toned, left, an oversight

to blend into the background.

 

And she, nearly devoid of color

doesn’t see it, everything now duller,

except when in her dreams.

 

Her frail body, a slight bump beneath

the blankets, but her mind unleashed

flits between sleep and waking–

 

she sees a vision of their summer home

the cottage colored sand and sea foam

and brightened by its rose garden,

 

and always scented by the sea.

But here and now, she

hears the ocean, waves lapping,

 

slapping the rhythm of the tide,

calling her—to slide

into her memories–

 

or no, a harbinger it seems

of what is next, not dreams.

Her sun is setting,

 

and now the room glows

a well-loved voice she knew and knows

says, “Come, Love. I’ve been waiting.

 

Sarah at dVerse has been pondering the word “harbinger,” and asks us to do the same in a poem. Lately my poems want to be stories, and my stories want to be poems. Perhaps this is a harbinger of something yet unknown (to me).  🙂

 

 

 

By the Riverside–Quadrille for dVerse

I walk by the riverside—

only the steps are steep–

few creatures stir,

do they hide–

perhaps they’re fast asleep.

I wonder what it’d be like

to soar, slither, or leap,

but my shadow and I walk

side by side–

good company, we keep.

img_1243

Red Bank Battlefield, National Park, NJ

 

Enough dark and dismal today–keeping it light for quadrille day at dVerse. Mish has asked us to use the word “steep” in some form in our 44-word poems. I wrote most of this in my head while I was walking.

 

A Dream, A Kiss: The Stranger’s Tale

I met a man who told me tales of wand’ring

long on lonesome trails of silvered hazel wood,

where by a stream he dreamed, and his pond’ring

 

the ships he sailed, and battles fought as he could.

Then how his dream seemed more real than all of this—

of his darling’s kiss, how missed, and what he should

 

have done. Now old, I think of his dreamed kiss,

his plans altered and rued. I instead stayed,

cast wishes on waters true, finding bliss

 

with you, I thank that man, his lesson taught,

grateful my hopes granted in love long sought.

 

Another sonnet for dVerse, this time in Terza Rima, with thoughts, too, of enjambment, per Jilly’s post. I’m still reading the sonnets, and I’m so impressed with the philosophical questioning. I seem only to be able to write these narrative type sonnets. This started out as a poem based on a Yeats challenge, Jane Dougherty did a while ago. If you want to read that version, it’s here. So indirectly, this is inspired by Yeats. Feel free to comment.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Spy

dò_-_susana_y_los_viejos_20180922

“Luis Fernández García, “Susanna and the Elders,” [CC BY-SA 4.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)%5D, from Wikimedia Commons

 

She shed her old life the day the soldiers came,

sloughed like a snakeskin. Perhaps

traces remain to be found someday

in a dusty archive, a notation in a book,

but she has grown, now

metamorphosed,

each day she wears a new persona—

school girl, maid, shy lover—

they think she’s eager to accept

their upright soldiers, ramparts breached

they thrust to claim her,

but she’s eager only for information–

spilled words that she can pass along, not their seeds

she does not want planted.

So, she listens, and they disregard her—

seeing only body, not mind.

She shed her old life when the soldiers came—

she lives in shadows,

hoping for a new life, a new skin

that need not be shredded and shed.

 

 

This is for Lillian’s “shed” prompt on dVerse,

 

Whispered Chants and Purple Seas

gudmund_stenersen_-_fra_svolvær

Whispered chants, when

must it all go?

 

So, with a moan,

she soars through shadows

 

as the moon sings of time

in blooded beats

 

and

if

 

she asks—aching—

is it never yet?

 

A thousand whys—

but still she dreams

 

of wind-sprayed skin

and purple seas

 

screen shot 2019-01-11 at 7.14.44 am

This is for Open Link Night at dVerse, where Grace is hosting. I don’t usually consult The Magnetic Poetry Oracle until Saturday, but it’s been a strange week anyway, and then I saw the report about the oceans are warming up faster than has been anticipated.  Well, the Oracle knows everything.  A bit of surrealism here perhaps—it seems fitting.

 

 

Grey January Blues

January—the new year begins with day after day of grey skies and rain. I sit in a medical center. The light here is muted, the voices are hushed, except for those on the TV set, which no one is watching. I wait for a fax to arrive so that I can have a test done. Like Godot, the fax never appears. After three hours of waiting, I reschedule the test for another day. I walk outside to find it’s now sleeting. I travel home, only a few miles, but it’s another world, one of warmth and light. The cats greet me. My husband naps in front of the TV.  I defrost some homemade soup for dinner for us and drink a glass of wine. It is dark now, but somehow the world seems brighter.

unrelenting clouds,

sun and moon sheathed in cold grey–

wind sighs lonesome blues

Onion Soup

Warmth for body and soul

This Haibun is for Haibun Monday at dVerse, where Kim asks us to write about January. This was my afternoon yesterday. Thank goodness I had a good book to read. In case anyone was worried, I was simply getting a routine test to check my bone density.