Ghost Hearts

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Monday Morning Musings:

“My heart is a shadow,

a light and a guide.

Closed or open…

I get to decide.”

From Corinna Luyker, My Heart

“The people you love become ghosts inside of you, and like this you keep them alive.”

–Robert Montgomery   See a photo of his text installation here. 

 

Yet who whispers

in the summer-sweet night,

where the smell of storms lurk?

There beneath the diamond sky

shadows dance

to the music of life

and death

pants just beyond the light

in the wind-spray of time.

***

I walk by the river park

baby geese and vultures

side-by-side, stark

 

reminders of life and death

cycles like after harsh

winter, spring’s soft breath

caresses mind and soul

and somehow—

we want it all,

 

all the magic of water and air

the delight of light—

time to spare

 

to savor the young

remember the laughter

and all the songs sung

 

and the ones unsung

if we could go back—

trip words from tongue,

 

forgiveness, remembrance

lost gestures and moments

rearranged in order, some semblance

 

of what could be

if or when

or what will it be, see

 

how life circles, the mom me

and she the one needing help

and she doesn’t see

 

well at all,

her vision diminished

unsteady, the mighty fall.

 

Once my daughter said to me

“remember when I hiccupped

inside your belly and you laughed?” See—

 

how do you explain these things?

Circles of life and death

and all it brings.

 

We try to stop time for a bit

eat pizza, drink wine

time to talk—and just sit

 

(doing nothing)

We watch a movie of ghosts and art,

a vulnerable woman

she opens her soul, her heart

 

is shadow-filled, she grieves

sees ghosts,

though she’s not sure she believes

 

but to create

one has to be open–

the muse, a mysterious state

 

of being,

perhaps there are spirits

or some other way of seeing

 

(of being)

 

There is a place in my heart

where my father lives

and all my ancestors, too, a part

 

of my what? My essence, my soul,

the me-ness of me

the all-ness of all?

 

My mother grows old,

but somewhere in time

she is young, in a fold,

 

a pleat, a wrinkled web

where time-space

flows and ebbs,

 

and perhaps ghosts call,

walk in shadowed paths

through my heart, they rise and fall–

 

hear them sigh

as up to the stars

they carry you, me—we fly.

Morning Moon Does Her High Wire Act

Morning Moon Does Her High Wire Aerial Routine

 

We watched the movie, Personal Shopper on Netflix. Kristen Stewart is a personal shopper/medium grieving her dead twin brother–there are ghosts and references to the artist Hilma af Klint. I liked it. Watch it with someone because you will want to discuss it. I may have to watch it again. . .

And here is a bonus, if you haven’t heard this version of Paul McCartney’s “Blackbird” translated and sung in Mik Maq. I thought of this last night when I was thinking of birds and ghosts (and not quite dead languages).

 

 

 

 

The Constant Lullaby

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She hums a tune of dreams and sighs

set in the wind, and full of whys,

of what could be, if only, when

we saw, we knew the truths of skies

 

the beauty there, the now, the then,

the things that come and come again–

the oceans’ roar, the lovers’ cries

that rise and fall, the song of wren

 

that sings of spring and summer blooms

as laughter flies from them to rooms

inside, entwined with windswept song–

those lullabies on silvered plumes

 

Another Rubaiyat for dVerse, where Lillian is hosting Open Link Night. The first line came to me, so I just continued the meter and form.

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.

 

 

Time and Timeless

Monday Morning Musings:

“There is a certain part of all of us that lives outside of time. Perhaps we become aware of our age only at exceptional moments and most of the time we are ageless.”

–Milan Kundera

Art and music travel through our genes, stopping at some destinations longer than at others, like the train our older daughter takes from Washington, D.C. after visiting archives at the Smithsonian. She takes hundreds of photos of sketch books, correspondence, diaries, and newspaper clippings of our artist ancestor, Abraham Hankins. She shows me newspaper articles—how his mapmaking skills saved his life in France during WWI because he was left behind to draw maps when the rest of his unit was sent into battle and killed. He also trained as a singer, until gassed during the war, and apparently, he wrote some poetry, too. But my daughter becomes even more fascinated by his French wife Estelle, called Esther by my family. After Abe’s death, Estelle makes it her mission to get her late husband’s work into major museums. There is still much to learn, and most of the people who lived then are gone. It is my mom’s ninety-sixth birthday.

 

skipping stones hit pond

concentric circles ripple

spring turns to summer

Abraham P. Hankins,
Pocket Full of Dreams,
Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, Bequest of Mrs. Abraham Peter Hankins

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We celebrate my mom’s birthday in sunshine with shades

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

munch on snacks, laughter cascades

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

as we discuss pets and art and politics

with eyes rolling—intermixed–

as my niece describes her “other family,” with their alternate truth—

if only we could blame it on the folly of youth—

but salacious tales about the Clinton’s gleaned from right-wing memes,

treasure troves of garbage carried by the false fact streams

they insist it’s true,

what does one do?

We move on to sandwiches and cake

blow out the candles, make

each moment count, and we laugh, dance, and sing—

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

it’s in our genes, so let’s bring

it on in celebration of familial love

rock the ghosts from rafters above

and around, perhaps they watch from some place–

that shadow there, across your face.

 

The weekend is full with movies, puppies, and wine

we dance, laugh, eat, drink—feeling fine

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My mom tells us that Abe asked her mother to sing with him at a family gathering. She says her mother had a beautiful voice, but that my uncle, my mom’s baby brother, cried when their mother sang, so she stopped singing. I had forgotten, she says, but now I remember some of those songs she taught me. Songs of the shtetl that crossed the ocean. We, the grandchildren never learned the songs. I like to think though that no song is ever lost. Each note rises. Birds carry some, and others float high into the sky filling the clouds. I think that is why I hear music in the rain, and why rainbows sing, and the moon hums. We are filled with star music, and it returns again and again to us. Music flits like spindrift from the waves of time.

 

Stars sail ink-black seas,

cat against me softly snores,

dreams dance to moon song

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Crickets: Darkness and Light: Haibun

The hot weather breaks for a bit. I open a window and hear the crickets chirping, searching for love in the darkness. Do they sense the future? Do they know that the nights will soon grow longer and colder? Autumn with its lengthening shadows always makes me feel wistful and a touch melancholy.

Darkness seems to be growing like a massive thundercloud shadowing the earth, and the shadow creatures are climbing from their murky lairs. Yet after every storm, I search for a rainbow. The light is always there, but we don’t always see it. The crickets chirp, even if we’re not listening. The poet pens a verse, even if no one reads it.

 

opaque skies glower

Harvest moon, hidden, still hums–

vixen cocks her head

 

I saw this story about a rainbow.

This Haibun is for dVerse, where Victoria asked to use cricket (in Japanese Koorogi) as a prompt.

I’m also linking this to Colleen’s Tanka Tuesday, using synonyms for sad and write.

Dream Puzzles: Haibun Quadrille

I dream of huge white blossoms flaming and shooting off petals into the sky, turning it dark with flowery ash. Wondrous and a bit terrifying, this puzzle of my mind.

 

Moon silvers the trees,

green leaves pale in midnight glow—

dreams waiting to bloom

 

Anonymous, Südländische Ideallandschaft bei Mondschein, [Public Domain] via Wikipedia Commons

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Haibun quadrille for dVerse. Mish has asked us to use the word “puzzle,” or some form of it, in a quadrille, a poem of 44 words.

 

 

 

 

 

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.