Through the water symphony
a blue ache
of shadow and moans,
a language recalling
all time’s frantic urges
of why, never, and when.
Words from my Saturday visit to the poetry Oracle.
“The world that used to nurse us
now keeps shouting insane instructions.
That’s why I ran to the woods.”
~ Jim Harrison from Songs of Unreason
You wonder why I fled?
Well, what was left?
I ran to the woods,
thinking I could be Thoreau
Escape the insanity,
the inanity of the world
where insults are hurled
at the weak
and those who can’t speak
when life is bleak.
Then I dreamt I had a dream–
well, it seemed
to make sense at the time,
full of poetry and rhymes
I don’t remember,
but wish I could.
So, I decided to leave the woods.
I hiked a new trail out of there—
ignoring the signs that warned, “Beware!”
Why did I flee?
I suppose I just needed to see
what is and was and what could be.
This is for Day 22 of Jilly’s 28 Days of Unreason, poetry based on the poetry and work of Jim Harrison.
Weekend consultation with the Oracle.
A thousand storms fly
through time and sky,
sing the music of mist
and purple light,
and pounding beauty
over rocks—asking not to please–
it is and was
life whispering in soaring delirious language
of death and spring
Ivan Aivazovsky [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
Ghost–a breeze dances,
always born away,
like ocean rhythm
haunted, I listen,
she said, “Give joy—laugh,”
and her smile lingers. . .
there, broken window sash flies in, out,
it is but life, some magic velvet thing.
Some words from the Poetry Oracle for Day 7. I revised just a tiny bit, so I hope she doesn’t get upset, but she clearly understands portals.
“We do on stage things that supposed to happen off. Which is a kind of integrity, if you look on every exit as being an entrance somewhere else.”
–Tom Stoppard, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead
has many Doors.”
Full poem here.
“our home has been nothing but a playroom. I have been your doll-wife, just as at home I was father’s doll-child; and her the children have been my dolls.”
–Henrik Ibsen, A Doll’s House
The heart I’m told has four chambers,
but every chamber must have a door
love comes, it goes,
the doors of the heart beat open, then close. . .
We go to the theater,
drink coffee before closed doors–
they soon open,
taking us to a nineteenth-century
that seems contemporary–
how shocking the play must have been then,
it’s hints of sexuality, as well as the dissolution of a marriage.
We are caught up in others’ lives,
the doorbell rings,
people enter and exit,
the audience gasps at Torvald’s remarks,
feels Nora’s awakening
pauses, then exhales
with “the door slam heard round the world.”
We applaud, then exit, too,
down the stairs
and out into the cold.
Winter folds its icy heart around the city.
We walk and talk
past the ghosts of Christ Church
through another door
to drink more coffee.
I think of doll houses and dolls. . .
Our daughters used to play with dolls and doll houses,
tip-tapping the small figures round tiny chairs and tables
and in and out of rooms
without real doors to open or shut–
but who’s to say it wasn’t real,
a man-doll named John,
a piece of a wooden chair named Pumpernickel,
(we never knew why)
the mini American Girl dolls
they were all real,
weren’t they? At least for a time?
A door opened, unfastened hearts and minds,
as I remember . . .
a doll has no heart,
except for that which is given by love,
or perhaps they create their own hearts
and perhaps they make ours grow
as they enter our lives and exit,
leaving the door ajar for others find their way in.
We open doors,
we close doors
sometimes we perch upon them
never noticing how precarious it can be,
life, opening and closing–
sometimes we carry our hearts right through a doorway,
and keep on going.
I’m told that people can die from broken hearts,
like Debbie Reynolds after Carrie Fisher died,
the heart no longer beats,
the four chambers, silent.
The doors of the heart open and close—
until they open and close no more—
Exits and entrances.
There was also this.
For those outside of the U.S., yesterday was Super Bowl Sunday. My local team, the Philadelphia Eagles won. It was a big deal, and even family members and friends who are not particular sports fans were excited. I made my husband goodies to eat, and sat with him for about half an hour, but I then went upstairs to watch other shows and read.
This 44-word Haibun is for Colleen’s Tanka Tuesday Poetry Challenge, where the challenge was to use synonyms for ambition and change, and it is also a quadrille for dVerse, where Grace asked us to use the word leap.
In the past, I leaped into the new year with aspirations. Now I glide on the slipstream of ghosts. Past, future merge in star songs. I wonder if doorways are opening or closing?
old year leaps into the new
embraced by moonlight
Embed from Getty Images
This is for Jane’s A Month with Yeats Challenge. Sorry for so many posts today. I’m doing them while I get a chance before I’m back to projects and before Thanksgiving.
This quote is from “The Old Age of Queen Maeve.”
“out of the dark air over her head there came
A murmur of soft words and meeting lips.”—W.B. Yeats
Once she was young and fair of face,
she lived life as if it were a race
where she was the brightest and fastest, and before it stopped
she would need to make it to the top.
But now she was confined to a castle tower
so far in time from her bridal bower
and instead of those who loved her well,
it was to her a sort of hell
with only servants and guards who gaped and glowered.
And so, she sat, and sometimes she’d spin,
sometimes ponder, or wonder about her sins
(of which she thought there were many
but as with her life, far from ordinary.)
Of late she had begun to tire,
become very cold, even before the fire,
she thought sometimes her husband, her lover,
was there in the night, his spirit would hover
as if to say, soon, though not today
once again, you’ll dance and sway
in my arms—we’ll be together,
it will be like yesterday
when you were young and fair of face,
but you’ll no longer be running in the race,
a few nights later he came for her,
took her hand and opened a door
the glowering servants saw a faint glimmer
that grew bright, then dimmer in the night
and she was gone, to dance in the starlight.
“This morning I saw the countryside from my window a long time before sunrise, with nothing but the morning star, which looked very big,”
–Vincent van Gogh to Theo, Saint-Rémy, France, 1889
“For myself, I declare I don’t know anything about it. But the sight of the stars always makes me dream.”
–Vincent van Gogh, letter to his broth Theo, July 1888
It was midday, but we saw stars,
and colored bars
65,000 hand-painted frames
aiming to depict the art and life
the vision, the strife
artistry in different forms–the imagination
to take his art, recreate, use animation
and we flowed with the waves of light
through bright days and starry nights.
his brother, Theo.
every day penning his thoughts
on art, love, and life
The movie involved a bit of mystery
born not just from art, but from Vincent’s history
of writing these letters to brother Theo
Postman Joseph Roulin
Sends his son to deliver one
found after Vincent’s death
Armand travels, meets the people with whom Vincent interacted
Learns what they felt, and how they reacted
to his art and eccentricities,
some charged, by his electricity,
the story told almost Rashomen-style
different versions of the artist and the man
and we’re left to understand him, as best we can.
An artist for a few years only,
failing at other careers,
art dealer, missionary,
he was a visionary
though his stern parents thought he was a failure,
he painted over 800 paintings in his short career
and it is clear
that he suffered for his art
and gave from his heart
his mother disposed of his work in a crate
finding out–only too late
though she thought he was dim and full of whims
others a genius thought him
We walk out into the warm November day
And look at the colors play
Through city streets and historic sites
And think about Vincent’s short life
A few days later
We’re immersed again in art
Using a gift from friends–
sisters of my heart–
we ponder, peruse,
perhaps a snooze,
or eat and chat
perhaps a scream
I think of light
of sun and clouds
and starry nights
And so, to bed
pillows piled high
from a cat, a gentle sigh
the night here cloudy
perhaps we’ll sleep soundly.
but in our dreams
nothing is as it seems
in our dreams
we fly, starry skies
swirl and flow
on light beams
we ride, silver stardust flows
magic of the night
Immersed in art
through starry nights and clouded days
seeing magic, creativity,
imagination, a constant, that stays
We saw the movie Loving Vincent. Trailer here.
We visited Ground for Sculpture. I have many more photos that may appear at some point.
I missed a couple days of Eliot of Along the Interstice’s November Shadorma Challenge,
so I’ve put a couple into this week’s musings.
A thought, and my brain takes off on a journey. Turns me around, mind-wandering through worlds we cannot see, time, and space, a trace of Chaos theory, the hard problem, history and mythology. I seek connections, new directions. I wonder about ghosts, hosts, and cat dreams. Streams of thought, or so it seems. In the end, I hope (familiar trope), looking for the good, the light. I wake up happy to see the sleep-bound moon and the growing dawn. Nothing is foregone. My heart sings and wings with the birds.
birdsong as night falls
cardinals’ red echoes leaves
summer sighs farewell
This Haibun is for Haibun Monday at dVerse. We’re asked to write “a haibun about why you write the style of poetry you write. Not why you write poetry, but the why of your style.” This is to be followed by a classic Haiku, which must include a season word. We were also asked (an option) to post a photo.