Listen

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Hubble Space Telescope-Image of Supernova 1994D (SN1994D) in galaxy NGC 4526 (SN 1994D is the bright spot on the lower left). NASA/ESA, The Hubble Key Project Team and The High-Z Supernova Search Team

 

Twinkle, bang—a star explodes, sending its dust into space. We’re made of that dust, ephemeral and eternal. Everything connected, nothing ever truly extinct. Listen—

stars shimmer and sing

treble and bass symphony,

bestowing beauty

in bright notes of stellar light

tumbling into space

 

At dVerse, Linda has asked us to use the word “extinction” (or some form of the word) in a quadrille, a poem of 44 words. The extra challenge is not to discuss climate change.

This is a haibun tanka quadrille. Maybe a haibun tanka is not a thing, but oh well. I’ve also used synonyms for fall and give for Colleen’s Tanka Tuesday challenge. I was joking with someone about stars “singing,” but here’s an article about the sounds they make.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Rising Storm

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Sea screams a storm

of purple winds blowing wild

cool salty spray

 

rising

 

as we rose up together–

and after, in luscious light

the moon whispers, “if” . . .

 

. . .and we dream

 

I got a bit over 1,500 words written for my book, so I’m taking a quick poetry break before I get back to work. (Slow going when you’re researching at the same time.)  The Oracle knows what’s going on.

Once There Was a Time

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Vincent Van Gogh, “The Sower,” Wikipedia Commons

 

Once there was a time to sow

to scatter seeds upon the ground

to water well and watch them grow

a time when hope was found

 

to scatter seeds upon the ground

to grow stalks of hate that bled

a time when hope was found

and lost among the dead

 

to grow stalks of hate that bled

that banished love and kindness

and lost among the dead

the acts of willful blindness

 

that banished love and kindness?

That can’t be how the story goes.

The acts of willful blindness?

Now’s the time to speak, oppose.

 

That can’t be how the story goes.

Plants seeds, a peaceful dream.

Now’s the time. To speak, oppose

is fine. See how wishes gleam?

 

Plant seeds, a peaceful dream,

to water well and watch them grow

is fine. See how wishes gleam–

once there was a time to sow?

 

We’re writing pantoums this month at dVerse, so here’s another one from me. There’s still time to join us.

Lillian has asked us to use some part of the verse from Ecclesiastes, which is also used in the song, “Turn, Turn, Turn” as a prompt.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pause and Dream

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Claude Monet, “Waterloo Bridge, Effect of Fog,” [Public Domain], Wikipedia Commons

Pause

and dream

of what could

be. Wonder then,

if happiness comes

will you recognize it?

Or will it vanish, in mist,

the fog streaming from the cold sea

hiding the world from you, shrouding all?

Know that the sun is just beyond the clouds–

beyond the clouds, knowledge waits to be found–

assume this, and then go from there–

where else would you be? What matters

more than this? Contentment, then,

if not bliss. Maybe peace.

But there is more

in lucid dreams

of love and

laughter–

hope.

 

A double Etheree for the prompt Colleen’s left during her break—synonyms for belief and joy.

The World Is and Was and Could Be

and a girl said

through a shadow,

a mist of raw blood,

drunk friends,

his sweaty smell

fingers at breasts.  . .

No!

Stop!

She is thousands.

The storm still ripping,

showing what we are

and what could be.

The moon whispers,

asks us to soar.

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Morning Moon

 

say we dream—

watch the light

spray like water,

sweet music of

wind, rock, and forest.

Sit with me there

in our away and after,

seeing ifs

 

Two poems from the Oracle. She is following the news.

 

 

Sweet Inventions from Chaos Comes

Monday Morning Musings:

“Invention, it must be humbly admitted, does not consist in creating out of void, but out of chaos,”

–Mary Shelley, introduction to Frankenstein (1831)

“We should not be held back from pursuing our full talents, from contributing what we could contribute to the society, because we fit into a certain mold ― because we belong to a group that historically has been the object of discrimination.”

–Ruth Bader Ginsburg, from an interview with journalist Lynn Sherr

 

It is the night before Rosh Hashanah, but even so, we gather together at the table, old and young, to celebrate the holiday. We miss sisters and others who are not with us, but we also enjoy the extra room to spread out. And isn’t that the way life goes—filled with small moments of joy and sadness? We toast L’Chaim! We wish for a sweet year,and hope for the best, as we eat slices of the round challah and dip apples into amber pools of local honey.

Golden honey streams,

sweetness graces our table–

a wish for the year

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I’ve made enough food for the neighborhood (because what if there isn’t enough?). We have pumpkin soup, salad, brisket, turkey, and noodle kugel. Yes. more wine, please. My great niece and nephew tell us about the start of their school year. Our younger daughter talks about her new students. We discuss truckers, nursing (my son-in-law’s future career), long hours, unions, and pay. My husband and I have recently watched the documentary about Ruth Bader Ginsburg, and we all share our admiration for her, Notorious RBG. We all wish her a long, healthy life and sweet year. Please stay on the court. We pass plates around, then clear the table. I pack up food for everyone to take home. (Yes, I have more challah in the freezer. I baked six loaves.)  It is time for dessert!

 

Another year comes

harvest moon follows bright sun

green leaves change overnight

 

We walk through wet city streets. Rain and more rain. But still, I find rainbows.

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Thirteenth and Locust, Philadelphia

 

We see a play. Four black men in—where? An afterlife of some sort. The bardo, perhaps. The set is a white space with an incline. There’s a trap door from which they emerge. They need to remember. They need to help one another. They need to make this place a home, a safe space. The playwright says his “guiding principles as a writer” are to “be wild and precise.” The play is both. It is full of physical movement—demanding of the actors who run, tumble, and even dance. There is humor and despair, but this play could only be about black men. “I was eight, when I learned I was scary,” says one. “I can’t breathe,” says another. There’s a toy gun. Games reflect the truth. We watch, as though behind a police interrogation mirror. They see us, but we only watch, never do anything.

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rhythmic breaths, out, in,

times’ losses and gains balanced–

some truths heal, or not

 

It is still raining. We walk and talk. A mural depicts people of many races gathered together–eating and drinking.

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Philadephia Murals, Spruce Street

 

It is hopeful. We go inside, sip wine and beer. Discuss the play.

Our Italian cheese arrives with local honey. Somehow, that seems a fortuitous sign. There is sweetness in the world; there is sweetness sitting here. The sun will come out again. There is no void. The building blocks are all around us. We harbor stardust in our DNA. We can invent new lives and new worlds in our imaginations. We can create beauty and truth from chaos. Behind the clouds, the moon still hums. I fall asleep to the sound of soft cat snores beside me–and we both dream. Past and future merge.

L’shana tova,

a wish extended to all

more laughter than tears

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I’m linking this week’s musing to Frank Tassone’s Haikai Challenge, since he asked us to write about autumn wind, spring wind, or Rosh Hashanah.

If you like Haiku competitions, there is still time to post your haiku and comment on others on this Vita Brevis post.

Pure Haiku is also looking for submissions by September 21. More info here.

We saw Kill Move Paradise by James Ijames at the Wilma Theater.

 

Shadows Cast

Monday Morning Musings:

“Everything that we see is a shadow cast by that which we do not see.”

–Fortune Cookie Wisdom

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Moon music whispers

a lust for life—and light

in the darkness.

Ask—does the sky ache above

seeing death below?

There, like the shadow

that lies black beneath the rose.

***

The power of her voice in song–

now only her shadow sings–

caught on video and audio, sing along–

to “A Natural Woman,” it brings—

memories of a president’s tears,

as now a nation fears

the future filled with tweeting jeers.

 

He and they try to destroy the press

but those of us who cherish thought

protest. We need the freedom to express

ourselves without duress.

Though the shadow ones know—some are bought—

some are complacent, some complicit–

elicit the illicit.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We sit outside, it’s still summer hot

though autumn hovers in the shadows

and we begin to think ahead, no, perhaps not—

there’s still time to sip wine, dip our toes

into pools or walk a sandy beach

and reach. . .

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

for love. Seek time with friends

fight the shadows, that lurk around us

and yes, we can’t know how it ends

hate is around, and it’s been ever thus.

It’s a fine line we walk

but we must talk

 

about the hate we see, it’s been freed

no longer do they lurk in the dark

the white-robed shadows proclaim their creed

of white supremacy–they bark

and parade in the open to dog whistles from above

and we must spark the light, the dove–

 

she flies somewhere high, beyond this rainy sky

where we walk through puddles on cobblestones

the air scented with summer flowers, and all the whys

float through the air, and do we care about the bones

that lie beneath us

the souls that flit above us

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

in the shadowed world, we cannot see

we shine a light, where is the door,

where is the key?

In the before,

we look for the after

and the in-between

is still to be seen.

 

There is no moral, this is no fable

but disaster can come suddenly, coffee spilled

across the table.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A recap of my week. Aretha Franklin died, the nation’s press fought back against 45’s attacks, we drank wine, and we saw the movie BlackkKlansman. Trailer here.

The Box of Wishes: Quadrille

I put my wishes in a box of sparkling air

send them off so you can share–

send them—there!–

to fly through star-filled skies,

scatter, fall, like meteor showers

land, bloom as luminescent flowers

of hope and joy,

on worlds restored, not destroyed.

 

I just put up a post about my new books, so now for something completely different–a quadrille for dVerse. De Jackson, aka Whimsy Gizmo, has asked us to use the word “box.”  This is my anti-darkness quadrille.  🙂

 

 

Stormy Weather–Tanka

Charcoal clouds gather

together they roil, blow

with stormy fervor

the winds of change, so ruthless

I fear, yet watch for rainbows

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A tanka for Colleen’s Tanka Tuesday, using synonyms for passion and congregate.

This seems appropriate for today. It’s the one-year anniversary of the white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, and we are expecting thunderstorms here in New Jersey.