Dream Sea, NaPoWriMo

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Odilon Redon, “Flower Clouds,” [Public Domain],Wikipedia

The sky whispers a flowered song

scented with tangerines, honey,

and blue berried-visions.

 

(I feel the taste

of the shimmering mirage,

briny-cool and warm summer peach .)

 

Our mast shivers from

the vibrations, the language

of strutting peacock clouds.

 

The eyes watch

and guide us

in the golden light—

 

as we sail–

timeless and tide-whorled–

on a sea of dreams.

 

Day 21 of NaPoWriMo challenges us to “try to play around with writing that doesn’t make formal sense, but which engages all the senses and involves dream-logic.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

Until, NaPoWriMo

Odilon_Redon_-_Béatrice

Odilon Redon, “Béatrice,” [Public domain] Wikipedia

She said, “never me,”

a woman who played in purple seas

her hot-honeyed-head

sun-shot, smelling of the wind.

 

She said, “never me,”

as rain recalled

sky-shine on water

and the moon sang a symphony.

 

She whispers, “never me,”

for a thousand springs

of diamond-pink-petaled gardens—

 

and then in shadow light,

crushing the bitter mean-blooded,

she cries, “Why not me?”

 

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Day 20 of NaPoWriMo challenges us to use ordinary speech in a poem. I’ve done that in other poems, so I didn’t feel compelled to follow the prompt. However, the Oracle came through (of course) with a spoken phrase, which I repeated.

The In-Between, NaPoWriMo

Whitall House, Red Bank Battlefield, National Park, NJ  Merril D. Smith 2019

I’ve wandered here

two hundred years, or more?

Long ago I lay wounded—

becalmed for seconds?

Hours? Days?

Other men, babble-tongued

around me,

the same red blood

flowing from us all.

 

I thought—

what did I think?

An adventure? A duty?

I’d return to marry my sweetheart.

I had one once.

 

The living don’t see me

as I drift past–

though once a child stared

bowl-eyed in my direction.

The vixen cocks her ears

and shields her pups

when I pass,

while the crow calls a greeting.

 

There are others here,

more ancient that I,

they seem a part of earth

and trees–

but I cry silent tears

as the owl hoots,

rising moon-driven.

 

Day 17, NaPoWriMo asks us “to write a poem that similarly presents a scene from an unusual point of view.”  The park in my town was the location of the Battle of Red Bank on October 22, 1777. I’m not certain I believe in ghosts, but I also don’t not believe. If anyplace is haunted, it would be a battlefield, I think. If you want more info, I found this article by the historian who now oversees the house and park.

 

 

Love Lives

Federico_Beltran_Masses_-_Under_the_Stars (2)

Federico Beltran Masses, “Under the Stars,” Wikipedia Commons

 

After time’s wind

aches from life going here

 

and there

you play in purple-shadowed seas.

 

But when you dream together

as summer-shine shows sweet in cool mist,

 

it beats away the blood-tongued things

 

and love lives whispering through

a thousand storms

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I did a very quick consult with the Oracle again, and she gave me a sort of alternate version of my Nightmare poem with some of the same words.

Nightmare, NaPoWriMo

Edvard_Munch_-_The_Scream_-_Google_Art_Project

The Scream,” by Edvard Munch. [Public Domain] “This version, executed in 1910 in tempera on cardboard, was stolen from the Munch Museum in 2004, and recovered in 2006.” Wikipedia.

Blood, here sprayed

like a scream.

 

And whispers,

frantic tongues

 

beneath the whys

of language.

 

Scrabbling, urging tongues

you recall, feverish,

 

you want–

some other time—

 

a when

before this dream—

 

you can almost see

the blush of the before,

 

and you open your mouth

but there’s no sound

 

(scream, no scream)

 

only the cackling around you

and you wonder

 

(What if the nightmare

never ends?)

 

 

Today’s prompt for Day 13 of NaPoWriMo is to write a poem about something spooky. I briefly consulted the Oracle early this morning, and she gave me some words and tips for this poem. But I know this isn’t my real message. I’ll consult her again later.

 

 

 

 

 

And You Ask Why: NaPoWriMo

Monet_-_Frühling_in_Giverny

Claude Monet, “Spring in Giverny,” [Public Domain via Wikipedia Commons]

I am moon-drunk

 

and watch to see her

whisper diamond-cool beauty

over here, there. . .

 

and now spring’s honeyed daylight shines

playing in time with the sweet blue sky,

 

aching of if

and the smell of dreams—

 

and you ask why–

though the wind chants

when, never, and after

 

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Day 6! I smiled when I read today’s prompt for NaPoWriMo: “Today, write a poem that emphasizes the power of “if,” of the woulds and coulds and shoulds of the world.” My poems are full of ifs, and the Magnetic Poetry Oracle often plays along.

 

 

 

To Fly above the Moon: NaPoWriMo, Day 3

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In ancient times, I wandered,

following the moon

by intuition

hearing her song.

 

Here, she shines,

there, she sighed

in a feathered plume

of silvered light.

 

Her cycles called to me,

and I bled

into the earth

where flowers rose

 

growing in sunlight

glowing in moonlight

sighing and singing,

 

catching souls

and setting them free

 

to fly above the moon

 

The prompt for NaPoWriMo today is “write something that involves a story or action that unfolds over an appreciable length of time.”  That sounds like the Monday Morning Musings I write every week. So, I just took a few words from the Oracle and did a total free write. This is what came of it.

 

 

 

How to Step into Spring: NaPoWriMo

Monday Morning Musings:

“Let the rain kiss you.

Let the rain beat upon your head with silver liquid drops.

Let the rain sing you a lullaby.”

–from Langston Hughes, “April Rain Song”

 

Ah, happy, happy boughs! that cannot shed

Your leaves, nor ever bid the Spring adieu;

—John Keats, Ode on a Grecian Urn

 

She sings from an ache,

raw winds blow, shake

the bare-branched trees,

and the seas weep

till they are silenced by ice–

but on her daughter’s return

the snow melts,

and the sun burns

brightly, birds flitter and coo

and flowers wake with smiles

–and you?

You, smile, too–because

too soon we bid Spring adieu.

***

In the last days of March,

we walk through woods

find shadows and light

breathe air fresh and bright,

with a hint of chill–still

then comes the rain–again

In the last days of March

birds twitter and tweet

at the mornings sweet

with promise of days fair

then the air turns again

and we learn that spring

is here. . . then there

 

In the last days of March,

we walk down city streets

see a show

and have our treats

of wine, beer, cheese

(yes, a bit more please)

and come home at night

to find daffodils have bloomed

shining golden beacons of light

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In the last days of March,

we make candles

sitting in a room full of scent

invent clever names–

imagine a small burning flame

bringing light,

a small delight,

and we drink wine and talk

then walk

and talk some more

 

of stories and poetry

Langston Hughes, Keats,

Shelley, and Persephone, too.

We talk of teachers we knew

of stories completed in dreams

of how the world seems

sometimes horrid, and

sometimes reborn,

fresh and new.

On the last day of March

it rains—

again—

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we gather to eat—

bagels and cream cheese

my mother is pleased

to be out and about in another place,

but it’s a dog who steals the show—

of course, you know

how it is, and so,

we talk about this and that

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then we go home to feed our cats. . .

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and wake upon a cold April first

(isn’t that the worst?)

Well, I suppose it could be snow,

and so. . .we go forward to the spring

(let the rain kiss you)

and that’s how it’s done, we bring

our past to the future

spring forward, looking back,

we stop, step lightly—

breathe

here, this moment of

yellow flowers, pink blooms

and birdsong–

now, spring looms

and I pause

to listen

to its tune.

 

Today is the first day of April, and the first day of National/Global Poetry Writing Month! Today’s prompt is “how to do something.” I’ve played on it a bit for today’s Monday Morning Musings.

My younger daughter and I went to Wax and Wine in Philadelphia. (It was her belated birthday present.)  And because we’re both nerds, we were actually discussing writing and poetry while drinking wine and eating gorgonzola-fig bruschetta at Vintage Wine Bar.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

NaPoWriMo

 

 

 

 

Two Poems in Wellington Street Review

I’m so thrilled to have two poems up in the first issue of Wellington Street Review. It is “a new quarterly journal specialising in creative responses to the past. ” This entire issue looks fabulous.  I appreciate the editorial kindness and dedication of those involved with this publication–so wonderful to work with them–and I thank them for publishing my poems The Pogrom and In Memoriam: Their Names .

And We Ask

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After the storm,

light sings

 

in a language of if,

 

and dreams shine

like the sun through shadows–

 

gardens must sleep

but time urges us to run

 

(from, over, to)

 

and the wind whispers

a thousand whys

 

(here, there)

 

rocks chant when,

as the moon watches in beauty

 

spraying cool diamond music–

a symphony of I am–

 

and we ask—

who, how, and what is?

 

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The Oracle made me work this morning. She’s being enigmatic again–sending me out to question the universe–but I suppose that is what poets do.