Shadows Amidst the Spring Light

Shadows wind through the spring green,
recalling winter, they carry the scent of blood
and despair driven by lies, the play of elaborate schemes,
and delirious dreams and desire blown into the after time,

and I ache,
wishing, wondering if I see light,
honeyed rays through verdant trees,
the pink-petaled spray of hope—

full of ever and always,
somewhere my mother is in a garden
or gazing at an azure sea,

she takes her brush,
erases the storms, the grey-clouded earth,
paints bright color on her canvas,

and I wake to birdsong and feathered-wishes
diamond bright in the still dark sky.

The Magnetic Poetry Oracle knows everything. The political situation here in the U.S. is quite troubling; Mother’s Day is tomorrow, and it’s spring. We collaborated on this poem.

Poem Up in Anti-Heroin Chic

My poem, “Small Bites,” is up in the most recent issue of Anti-Heroin Chic. My thanks to EIC James Diaz for accepting this poem, and for his consistently beautiful journal. The first anniversary of my mom’s death is in a little over a week. She died from Covid. Please get vaccinated when you can and continue to wear a mask.

You can read my poem here.

My Mom’s Last Birthday Party Remember when blowing out candles on a cake was something we did?

I’m linking this to dVerse, Open Link Night.

Listen to Heart-songs

–Sylvia Schreiber

Listen to heart-songs–
the breath of eternity,
as ocean-kissed air dances
with brilliant sparkle-light,
and white-cat clouds pounce
with joy
at the blue-blanketed sky, wondering

~if~

ghosts hide in the shadows,
perhaps they linger to tell their secrets–
imprisoned between before and after,
they wind-whisper
in the fever-blush of morning sky,
and silent-laugh in the night—
at your smile from the window.

A late message from the Oracle today. We’ve had blue sky and sparkling water the last couple of days. As I was getting ready to post this, I looked up and saw this painting of my mom’s. It doesn’t have a title or date that I know of, but it seemed to fit.

Remembering

Monday Morning Musings:

My mom and me. I’m about 3 years old.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“History says don’t hope

On this side of the grave.

But then, once in a lifetime

The longed for tidal wave

Of justice can rise up

And hope and history rhyme.”

–Seamus Heaney, “Doubletake”, The Cure of Troy

Lines quoted by Joe Biden at DNC 2020

 

My Mom’s Last Birthday Party
Remember when blowing out candles on a cake was something we did?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My mother would be ninety-eight today–

we’d hug and kiss, and smile in the way

 

you do with people you love–when we could and did,

we never thought it all would end, we’d bid

 

farewell to normal hopes, and sail into tomorrow

on boats barely afloat, fueled by sorrow

 

and a bit of hate. Yes, for the dissembler and enablers

who’ve made the situation worse. The world’s more unstable,

 

increasing so every day. And yet they play with clichéd lines–

heavy-handed, rabble-rousing—creating conspiracies, signs

 

of the time and getting worse. The storms come, the fires burn

still the seasons, turn, turn, turn—

 

I walk and think of flowers, our year of sitting amidst blooms,

the garden a refuge of sort from boredom, doom, the rooms

We spent a lot of time in this garden.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

that confined you—and us–as we kept you company,

week after week, watching for changes, hungrily

 

asking you to remember the past, but wanting you to see

what you could of now, of me,

 

and we ached, all of us,

and we’d discuss

 

each change, each day, the words you’d say

of imaginary pets and our dead father, weigh

 

hope, laughter, grief in equal measure

and still remember and treasure—

 

a gift you’ve given me, to lift my face to the sun

to see that there are many, not just one

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

way to see color, beauty, light

the way it changes on the water and fades slowly into night

 

Delaware River at Red Bank Battlefield

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

where perhaps I’ll hear a mockingbird sing farewell–

a lullaby rather than a knell–

 

a song of love, of peace, of rising up–it’s time,

it’s time, that hope and history rhyme.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

As some of you know, my mother died in April from Covid-related complications. Today she’d be ninety-eight. We couldn’t be with her when she died, and we haven’t really had a memorial. Tonight my husband, daughters, their spouses, and I will have a virtual dinner get together. I baked my and her favorite cookies over the weekend, and I’m baking a cake today.

Madelbrat (aka, Mommy Cookies

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

On Thursday, my husband and I had a date night at a winery. We bought tickets a month before, but we were fortunate that the humidity was gone that day, and it was beautiful.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Not Never, Always

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My mother sings in dreams,

not of death, but light

holding promises of if–

soar, she cries,

why whisper what you want

when your words can fly,

 

~reaching~

 

for you, I wake,

as the robins rouse the sun

to blossom in apricot splendor.

Their voices carry on the wind–

a song that makes the flowers dance,

and I watch, at peace

 

~in this moment~

 

the world searches

for hope,

sending out wishes on stars

with a laugh,

time sings through a thousand rivers,

not of never, but of always.

 

I tried several sets of tiles, and the Oracle kept giving me the same words. I hope I interpreted her message correctly. A Puente is technically two stanzas connected by a bridge stanza, but the Oracle had more to say, so this is a double Puente.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Half-Revealed and Half-Concealed

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A whole world in a puddle.

 

Monday Morning Musings:

“For words, like Nature, half reveal

And half conceal the Soul within.”

Alfred, Lord Tennyson, “In Memoriam A. H. H. OBIIT MDCCCXXXIII: 5”

 

“Now it was only the rivers

that spoke of the rivers,

and only the wind that spoke of its bees,

 

while the unpausing factual buds of the fruit trees

continued to move toward their fruit.”

–Jane Hirshfield, “On the Fifth Day” 

 

How will we remember these days

of grief and sorrow for our world–

the facts of buds on trees

and rivers that keep on flowing

concealing and revealing what lies beneath

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in the upside-down world

where we gaze at transitory beauty

and fall, topsy-turvy

into its depths

as spring dances, mercurial,

 

 

swiftly fleeting,

yet heralding—the facts—

yellow-green wisps turn darker

the world gets hotter,

and trees reach up

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to light,

and down to darkness

half-revealed,

half-concealed

thoughts glimmer

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like tears

until they drop

salty pearls

leaving an alluvial trail

fertile with memories

 

and I think of this–and time

as I listen to words,

singularity, time and space,

the black hole left

in an absence

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even as we remember

the time before we are born

when my mother meets my father

and holds my older brother on her lap.

And she is young, old, older, gone. . .

.

. . .and here.

 

On Friday night, we visited with our daughters via Zoom. This Friday Shabbat dinner has become a new ritual. We ate soup and rolls, the gift of friends, sustaining us from a distance. I baked the cookies we call Mommy Cookies because they are my favorite. My mom loved them, too, and I used to bring her some.

I watched most of “The Universe in Verse,” which was live-streamed on Saturday just before we had our own family Zoom memorial session for my mother. It was a somewhat surreal experience marked by technical problems, non-sequiturs, and some memories of my mom that we shared.

We weren’t the only ones with technical difficulties. I tried to watch the Sonheim’s 90th birthday celebration last night, but I gave up. Apparently, it did go on, over an hour later that the scheduled 8 PM start.

We finished watched Giri/Haji (Duty/Shame) on Netflix, which I highly recommend if you want something unique. I really liked it.  It’s a Japanese-British production that is difficult to describe. A Japanese detective is looking for his criminal brother in England. The detective’s daughter joins them. It is a crime show and a family drama. There is romance, and action scenes, and there are other characters who become important and endearing. I wasn’t sure about it after the first episode, but I really did get caught up in this show.