The Siren Calls

The moon,

gorgeous gown’d

waxes at sea

on a bed of water.

Some say, she will swim,

then soar,

but I smell rain,

my feet rocked,

chanting wants,

honey music

of skin and sweat—

and you heed my moans–

the storm–

so, sleep

in the mists of time.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Félix Ziem, “The Call of the Sirens,” [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

 

A Saturday morning visit to the Magnetic Poetry Oracle. I’m not sure if I should feel empowered or forewarned.

 

 

Tithonus

“It is the burden of life to be many ages

without seeing the end of time.”

–Jim Harrison, From “Seven in the Woods,” in Dead Man’s Float

 

Dawn pursues him–

Play me a song on your lyre.

Look at me! Over here,

I’m a goddess,

be with me, my dear.

I’ll be your wife

and you’ll be granted eternal life.

It will be grand–

we’ll promenade upon the strands

of space and time–

always in our prime,

oh, it’s wonderful to be a god.

Oh, no.

Oops.

Sorry, my mistake.

I was so taken by your beauty–

(remember that time at the lake?)

I forgot to ask that you

be given eternal youth.

A sad truth, I’m afraid,

you’ll have to be brave

to see many ages

without seeing the end of time.

I’m not sure I can bear it—

but I’ll see that you have some care

when I have to lock you up away somewhere. . .

Ah, how we gods suffer

the curse of the divine.

 

A bit of fun this time for Jilly’s 28 Days of Unreason based on Jim Harrison’s poetry. Today is Day 5.

 

 

Narcissus, Magnetic Poetry, NaPoWriMo, Day 21

Wind whispers sweet-tongued symphony,

soars, and lighting forest

(so not his friend, the goddess)

driving from above, his life,

as if in a dream, at this lake

showing you there.

You worship you

are gorgeous,

cool–

and you delirious—

See this he? Please love me,

swim,

I ache–

But no, death rose,

too late—the lie—

it is me.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Caravaggio, “Narcissus,” [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We know how the Magnetic Poetry Oracle loves her myths, and she gave me a poem that fits (I added just a bit of editing) the NaPoWriMo prompt to write about Narcissus. 

We know the story could apply to many. 😉

Odysseus Under the Moon: Ghazal

This is my attempt at a Ghazal for dVerse. 

 

Over star-glimmered waves, we journeyed and sailed under the moon.

There we bemoaned our fate, still sailing—railed under the moon.

 

We see the fork-tongued serpent, slither-scaled under the moon,

she, no siren, silver-voiced with hair unveiled under the moon.

 

From the towering giant, one-eyed, we quailed under the moon,

but scurried we, when blinded he was thus curtailed under the moon.

 

On blood-wine seas, the winds caught and prevailed under the moon

And what of the gods, we flattered, yet failed, under the moon?

 

What lands should we conquer? If heroes, we’re hailed, under the moon.

And what tales of those places to you we’d regale under the moon.

 

Do we return to love, or to marriages failed, under the moon?

My own wife, unconsidered, what of her travails under the moon?

 

Too far, too soon, the poet sleeps unassailed under the moon

to the gentle rhythm of the waves, inhales, exhales, under the moon

 

1024px-Carl_Gustav_Carus_-_Mondnacht_bei_Rügen

Carl Gustav Carus [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Berenice’s Hair: Yeats Challenge, Days 23 and Day 24

This is for Jane’s Yeats Challenge, Day 23 and Day 24.

“…your hair was bound and wound

About the stars and moon and sun::—W.B. Yeats

 

“We know their dream; enough

To know they dreamed and are dead;” —W.B. Yeats 

 

He was away at war, another one

it seemed to happen again and again.

Was it glory, she wondered, or was it fun?

Would he return from battle, if so, when?

And what would happen when it was all done?

Though common worries, this time she’d had a dream

that he was wounded, or no, that he was killed

she woke with a scream, so true it seemed

for all their hopes dashed, left now unfulfilled.

She begged the goddess to spare his life,

and swore in return she’d cut her hair–

for her husband, as his wife,

she’d shear the strands that shone golden in the sunlit air

that flowed like waves of honeyed wheat

a glory recalled by all who saw it there

tumbling to her feet.

Then when her husband returned unharmed and well,

she kept her vow and left her hair at Aphrodite’s altar,

her husband pondered the story she had to tell

and that she never had faltered

and both were first bewildered, then enthralled

to find up in the sky

installed in a constellation

(though unsure why)

her hair swirled and flowed, unbound and wound

in glittering strands of riotous celebration

there far above the smiling moon, a shining crown

a tribute to her sacrifice, done without any hesitation–

though that was not the end of course

of war or force, nor of remorse

for pain and dying

yet still the stars keep flying,

and we, marvel at their beauty, keep sighing.

 

 

NGC_4565

By ESO [CC BY 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons. “The galaxy pictured here is NGC 4565, which for obvious reasons is also called the Needle Galaxy. First spotted in 1785 by Uranus’ discoverer, Sir William Herschel (1738-1822), this is one of the most famous example of an edge-on spiral galaxy and is located some 30 million light-years away in the constellation Coma Berenices (Berenice’s Hair). It displays a bright yellowish central bulge that juts out above most impressive dust lanes.”

 

 

The Lovers: Yeats Challenge, Day Fifteen

This poem is for Jane’s A Month with Yeats, Day Fifteen.

Today’s quotation:

“You, too, have come where the dim tides are hurled
Upon the wharves of sorrow, and heard ring
The bell that calls us on; the sweet far thing.” —W.B. Yeats

 

And so, he came to where the dim tides flow

here upon the wharves of sorrow, dared to go,

listened now for Charon’s boat, the slapping sound of weathered pole

the echoing cries of distant weary souls.

 

But entered he without a fear, played sweetly then upon his lyre

the music that filled the air was warm with sighs and filled with fire

because here within this shadowed world, his love did dwell

playing sweetly then, he cast a spell.

 

The underworld king, his captured queen looked from their gilded thrones,

agreeing that he should not be left bereft of love, nor kept lonely and alone

for such love and devotion, such tumult of emotion he had displayed

crossing over the ocean of darkness, from lighted world to constant shade.

 

They thus agreed, from the underworld she could go,

but promises he must willingly keep to make it happen so–

she would follow him from this hidden world, behind him there she’d be

not once though could he stop to look or see

 

Once round the cavernous steps went he

believing that there behind him, his love would be,

twice round and then up they went, closer to the world of light

when he, not believing she was there, turned to catch a sight

 

Instantly, from Hades he was then thrust out

for not trusting the gods, for having his doubts,

but Aphrodite prevailed to place the lovers’ souls amidst the stars,

traveling the sky as shimmering silvered cars

where like a bell their love now rings,

in music of the stars, the sweet far thing.

 

Jean-Baptiste-Camille_Corot_-_Orphée

Jean-Baptiste Camille Corot, “Orpheus Leading Eurydice from the Underworld,” [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Echo of Mothers’ Cries: #Haibun

 

Demeter_rejoiced,_for_her_daughter_was_by_her_side

Walter Crane [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons, from The Story of Greece Told to Boys and Girls by Mary MacGregor (1914)

 

I bid farewell to my husband and our cold, dark home. I walk uphill, placing six pomegranate seeds in my mouth. The burst of tartness on my tongue staves my hunger as I travel from the gloomy shadow world. I exit and taste the honeyed sweetness of the air. Freedom. Gazing at the horizon, I watch the Sun God’s golden steeds pull his chariot above the horizon, trailing coral flames. The day glows with promise.  A robin looks at me quizzically, then lets out a delighted trill.  I am no longer a matron; I am reborn, young, virginal. I answer the robin with a girlish giggle. As I laugh, the grass begins to grow, flowers bloom, and buds appear on the trees. I savor my brief time here. Mother, I am home.

 

Captured, bound, and wed

tethered by hunger and seeds,

Persephone’s fate

ancient Greece, Nigeria

mothers’ cries echo through time

 

My daughter is here. Alive! Her belly is swollen with the seed of her abductor. Her eyes haunted, she gives me a tremulous smile. I open my arms and embrace her–once again.

 

This Haibun is for Colleen Chesebro’s Weekly Poetry Challenge. The prompt words were light and dark.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Icarus: A Tanka

Rising, a man-bird

weightless, embracing the clouds,

heedless in his youth,

soaring with wax-crafted wings

he falls, forever at sea

 

cat665-cons

“The Fall of Icarus,” Copy after Peter Paul Rubens

John G. Johnson Collection, 1917, Philadelphia Museum of Art

 

This is for  Colleen Chesebro’s Weekly Tanka Challenge

The prompt words were “craft” and “rise.”

 

 

Moonstruck

 

samuel_palmer_-_kornfeld_im_mondenschein

Samuel Palmer, Kornfeld im Mondenschein,” [Public domain or Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

 

Before the dawn, I saw the moon,

her father nearby, he stood there forthright,

seeking her radiance, no, not immune

to her empyrean charm, her pale, silver light.

 

Her father nearby, he stood there forthright

with pride in the memory, he thought of her birth,

to her empyrean charm, her pale, silver light

flirting with shadows, brightening the earth.

 

With pride in the memory, he thought of her birth

as if in a trance, the twins, moon and sun

flirting with shadows, brightening the earth

timeless and time-bound, till time is done

 

I hear her humming, I hear the song,

seeking her radiance, no, not immune

to magic moonlight, in still-darkness of morn

before the dawn, I saw the moon.

 

A Pantoum for Secret Keeper’s Writing Challenge.

The prompt words were: Birth/Trance/Pride/Seek/Flirt

When I walked outside this morning to get the newspaper (support the press!), I was struck by the beauty of the bright sliver of moon with Jupiter by her side.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Penelope Waits: Magnetic Poetry

screen-shot-2016-10-22-at-6-48-01-pm

 

 

Hero fascinated by fighting,

she, sad quiet at home,

a heart full of love.

Goddess protect him—

light night-hours,

in morning,

a gentle promise,

she has hope.

 

The Oracle seems to be bringing me women in history. Last week was Joan of Arc; and this week, Penelope (the wife of Odysseus), though I would not imagine her so passive. I’ve added punctuation.

This is for Magnetic Poetry Saturday  at Mr. Elusive Trope’s Specks and Fragments.

 

Dante Gabriel Rossetti, “Penelope,” [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

dante_gabriel_rossetti_-_penelope

Dante Gabriel Rossetti, “Penelope,” [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons