After, Now, and After

JMW Turner, Seascape with Storm Coming

After the storm–
ask if the sea recalls
how death-winds whipped the waves–
or if now, in moonwake, there is only light

and you

watch as the luscious peach-pink glow
of tomorrow shines, yet hear the heartbeats
of time’s whispers, aching music,
the cries of love and loss

over and again

the stars sing, and wing their colored gleaming
streams, simple truths, obscured in dreams,
what was is here,
heart-held and blood-carried, ever-lasting, within.

My poem in collaboration with the Magnetic Poetry Oracle. Jane Dougherty used a Turner image the other day, and he also appeared in a novel I was reading. I wrote the poem first, but I’m pretty sure the Oracle was nudging me to include a Turner painting with it.

Always the Clouds

JMW Turner, “Norham Castle Sunrise

 

 

Always the clouds come, drifting

colored in the hazy shades of ever-after,

yet distant stars glimmer through, sifting

light diffused from ancient gas and matter,

 

colored in the hazy shades of ever-after

time travels on, translucent or opaque

light diffused from ancient gas and matter,

and so, we ache

 

as time travels on. Translucent or opaque,

our thoughts grow dimmer to dark,

and so, we ache—

forgetting glory, gone our spark.

 

Our thoughts grow dimmer to dark

muttering and sputtering of past wrongs,

forgetting glory. Gone the spark

of former days and daisy chains and songs.

 

Muttering and sputtering of past wrongs,

we dream in owl-feathered night

of former days and daisy chains and songs–

then wait for lark-trilled light.

 

We dream in owl-feathered night,

as distant stars glimmer through, sifting

(our thoughts) as we wait for lark-trilled light,

but always the clouds come, drifting.

 

 

This is for Peter’s prompt on dVerse. He’s asked us to think about sound. Kerfe had me thinking of pantoums, and so I revised one that I wrote in April.

The Clouds Come Drifting, NaPoWriMo2020, Day 5

800px-joseph_mallord_william_turner_-_norham_castle_sunrise_-_wga23182

JMW Turner, “Norham Castle Sunrise

 

“A few stars glimmered through the morn,

And down the thorn the dews were streaming.”

–Francis Ledwidge, “The Dead Kings”

 

Always the clouds come, drifting

colored in the hazy shades of after

though stars glimmer through, sifting

light diffused from ancient gas and matter,

 

colored in the hazy shades of after

time moves on, translucent or opaque—

light diffused from ancient gas and matter,

and so, we ache.

 

Time moves on. Translucent or opaque,

our thoughts grow dim and dark

and so, we ache—

forgetting glory, gone the spark,

 

our thoughts grow dim and dark

with spite, thinking of past wrongs,

forgetting glory. Gone the spark

of dead kings and their songs.

 

With spite, thinking of past wrongs,

we dream in owl-feathered night

of dead kings and their songs,

and wait for lark-trilled light.

 

We dream in owl-feathered night,

though stars glimmer through, sifting–

and wait for lark-trilled light,

but always the clouds come, drifting.

 

The prompt for Day 5 of NaPoWriMo was way too busy and complicated for me, as it involved “twenty different projects” to include in one poem. Instead, I went to the Oracle again for a start, then wrote a pantoum for Jane Dougherty’s Pictures and Poetry challenge based on the lines from Francis Ledwidge’s “The Dead Kings” and the Turner painting above.