Connected

Buds and blooms, Colonial Garden on a foggy morning

Connected

In a dream, you were asked to follow,
to behold the soft things in the air
and beneath the earth, the seeds, roots—
the ifs of gardens, forests, meadows,
the cycles of darkness and light calling
the ancient songs of stars
echoed by birds, whispered by bees.
You listen, hold the secret close,
this deep-time ache carried in blood and bones,
every speck connected, and you smile.

My poem from the Oracle with special ifs for Derrick. She knew it was foggy this morning, and it seemed the world was full of dreams and secret things. I took this photo today at the park. This is the garden at the entrance to the eighteenth-century Whithall House. It would have been the back of the house then, as the front faced the river.

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.

If I Could

If I Could

If I could, I’d play for you a moon-hummed lullaby,
the sound of rivers and moss green springing,
the tune of bee waltzes on white-bloomed clouds,

and you would hear the poetry of stars,
like flowers drifting from the sky–

not red-raged bursts,
or dolorous willow whispers, the anguished cries
of mourners left behind, and mother’s tears–instead

the wind would carry rose petals, petrichor,
and daffodil laughter, echoing as

each dawn awakened rosy-cheeked
with blue-eyed innocence
and birdsong would soar, never bullets.

I didn’t get a chance to post my poem from the Oracle yesterday, but I’ve revised it, and perhaps it’s more appropriate today on the first day of spring.

What do Flowers Know?

Monday Morning Afternoon Musings:

Conscience or conscious—
both require awareness—
to be alive is not enough,
do flowers know their own beauty?

Soon nested geese pairs
will egg-sit, they’ll
hiss at those who pass too close,
and honk and fight
to protect their young–

a simple idea—protection of children,
loved ones, the world. We may insist
we’re innocent, but still-tongued too often
as the bullies come
and why soars like an eagle, dropping feathers
of doubt, but not conviction–a
frozen thought awaiting sun-warmth
to emerge and bloom

a consciousness of each new dawn,
a rebirth—

blue hope swallowing grey despair,

as daffodils poke through the snow,
beautiful and toxic, anything to survive,
but there is more than one way,

sunflowers smile and follow the sun,
trampled, they drop their seeds to feed others,
then rise again, with a nod and a wink.

Sunset taken from upstairs window
Looks like spring on this block in Philadelphia

This has been a strange weather week, in an ever-stranger world. On Friday, it was beautiful, on Saturday, we had rain, then snow, then wind with more snow. This week will be spring-like and warm.

We saw a production of the play A Man for All Seasons by the Lantern Theater Company at the Plays and Players Theater in Philadelphia. It was great to see a live production, and I feel safer that they still require vaccination proof and masks. I don’t think it was a perfect production, but the acting was excellent. Though I don’t believe Thomas More is a saint or agree with all his beliefs or decisions, he certainly stood by his convictions. We also saw a French movie called Oxygen. It’s been in my Netflix queue for a while. We both liked it a lot. It’s about a woman who wakes up in a cryogenic chamber. She doesn’t know who she is or how she got there—and she’s running out of oxygen. It’s best not to know more. The movie and show made me think about conscience and consciousness.

As do the people who shout about their freedom being denied because they have to wear a mask or get a vaccine–which is protecting other people, as well as themselves–but who are perfectly willing to take away rights from others. See Texas, Florida, various other states with GOP majorities, Russia. . .war in Ukraine. . .


We’re also watching a Turkish series on Netflix called The Club. It’s set in Istanbul in the 1950s, and deals with family, love, trauma, and relations between Sephardic Jews and Muslims, and some of the political events going on at the time.
I’m nearly finished with a novel by Chris Bohjalian called Hour of the Witch. It’s about a 17th century Puritan woman who tries to divorce her abusive husband and then is accused of witchcraft. (FYI: there was divorce in Puritan New England, as marriage was a civil contract. There was also a belief in witches and devils.) I love historical novels, but I’m also very picky about them. This one is well-researched and well-written.

Say How Spring Soars

Marc Chagall, La Guerre

Say how spring soars pink-winged
after the storm,
and moonlight whispers dreams
of if
we could or never did,
we urged the sky, believed the lies

of roses. The forest screams
under clouds of rust,

and we must boil water
again
there are no more gardens or birds–
here the red-breasted man flies
and then is still

beneath the blue, endless as time
recalling the diamond sparkle above
is long dead, yet seen and heard,
like the fiddle’s aching notes, a reminder
of sorrow and beauty,
when spring sang in pastel notes of joy
and raised green tendrils to embrace the world.

My poem from the magnetic poetry Oracle. Yesterday we had a beautiful spring day. Now it’s raining, and we’re expecting some snow and strong wind gusts. Right now a mockingbird is singing outside my window. And the war in Ukraine continues.🌻 There are many organizations trying to get assistance to Ukraine. Please help, if you can. Here is one list. Here is a link to a book of poetry put together by Annick Yerem available for a donation.

Once in Spring: March Wind Ekphrastic

Once in Spring

the ground blazed with wild, mustard flowers,
sharp, clean, an announcement of the season.
Wind-whipped feather-clouds swept across
the forget-me-not sky.
The breeze was spring’s laughter,
and she laughed back, her skirts swirling
like white gulls in the breeze.

She smiled at our son,
both haloed in the spring light
amidst the scent of wild mustard, the golden glow,
the reaching shadows went unnoticed.

A poem for my dVerse Ekphrastic prompt. This is one of the images I selected for the prompt. Feel free to join us!

February–With Spring in the Air

The after-sky dreams red
a thousand times,
sings fiddle-sweet as bitter black is cast away

again

light me with color-song–
a thousand blues together,
the river murmurs
over and over
and honey-tongued earth breathes green.

And if ghosts come
with their fevered night secrets,
they vanish in caramel clouds
and champagne breezes laugh
to scatter pink-petaled magic
like smiles in morning light.

Last night it got very windy, but this morning is warm for February–about 50F when I got up. But, we’re supposed to have rain turning to snow after midnight tonight. Sigh. The Oracle knows all this, of course. The world is very strange right now, but even crazy truckers and conspiracy spreaders can’t stop spring from coming eventually.

Ask

John William Waterhouse, The Sorceress

Know if lives in nature’s song—
thick on spring’s rustle

between every breath that comes
verdant and sublime, there was
an almost,
never rooted,
a moon-rose, eggshell fragile—

but ask, ask, ask, she says–
for dreams,
a dance on a long bee-path,
soft blooms of dusk,
a shadow-fiddle
like a lullaby as night’s blanket rests.

Watch, as frost-lichens bloom,
and then color, stone to berry-warm

reflections in ancient rivers–
a murmur, a laugh,
the embrace of sky,

rippling secrets, there and gone.

The Oracle really wanted me to ask today. Every set I looked at gave me that word. Then these lines came, and the poem fell into place.

Lodestar

Odilon Redon, Flower-Clouds

In blue-shadowed light
no men wake this tree, here haunted
with ghost-eyed decay, the ice holds all prisoners

as we wait for the dazzle, fever-fire
and green give eternity, and magic sails
from stars

a vast universe of flower-fish,
a velvet-voiced sea,
if becomes now, as yesterday becomes tomorrow

and after. . .ancient incandescent light,
time’s smoky smile, a laugh that echoes

through black holes
to fly on gulls’ wings
to float on robin song,
an embrace, a lodestar.

I’m watching the snow fall, but the Oracle gave me flower-fish and fever-fire (amongst other words), and I thought of this painting. She understands time and space, and she knows everything is connected. We’re singular and part of something larger. Meanwhile, the snow will melt, the daffodils will bloom, the daisies will giggle as bees brush their petals, and sunflowers will smile, even as leaves begin to turn red, again.

Listen, Recall

Odilon Redon, Orpheus

In early morning hush,
the moon sings farewell,
gelid murmured notes
through white cat-paw clouds

if you listen, recall
light recalls time recalls light,
the ancient ships of night seas
ask when
ask what
you want
from the whispers and pulses
of mother music from earth and sky,

the fiddle, flute, and drums of
wind-beats and tree rustle,
the cardinal chirps and crow caws,
black on red on blue and green, every color
a promise, a warning
of what is and what was.

My poem from the Magnetic Poetry Oracle.

Ingrid at Experiments in Fiction is hosting a Global Assembly on Climate Change. Read more about it here.