Sky Show: Tanka

Starlight_sower_(1)_by_artist_HAI_KNAFO_2011_inspired_by_Or_Zaruaa

watch sky-show above

sing light language symphony

together through storms

 

we ache elaborately

gown’d by life and could have–but

 

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The Oracle gave me a Tanka for Colleen’s Weekly Poetry Challenge. The prompt words were watch and voice. I substituted sing for voice–because you don’t argue with the Oracle. 😉

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Liminal Skies: Haibun

The days grow shorter, and I wake in the dark. The mockingbird no longer sings through the night on a branch outside my window. It made me happy to hear him, comforting somehow, familiar like the tree itself. Has he gone, or merely changed his timing and repertoire as early summer moves inescapably towards fall? Yet through open windows, I hear other acquaintances, robins and cardinals, still warbling and chirping. A few leaves have changed from green to gold. The bright blue skies of September soon will yield to violet, then grey. The air is fresh, the days warm and the nights cool. The vibrant corn moon blazes in the morning sky. She hums a song, autumn is coming.

 

liminal skies sigh

chasing shadows round the sun

leaves whisper and fall

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This is for dVerse Haibun Monday. Yeah, I’m a bit late.

Toni asked us to write about the in-between seasons. She wrote, “I was thinking intensely of the Japanese word, komorebi (koe moe ray bee) which means specifically light that is filtered between leaves and usually occurring in spring and fall…but in that in-between-season.”

It occurs to me, too, that many people right now (my family and friends among them) are in an in-between state waiting for Hurricane Irma to arrive. My thoughts are with you. This seems to be a time of catastrophe and upheaval everywhere.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Feathers: A Fairy Tale

Once upon a time. . .

a girl left her home as the morning moon shone through the tree branches and hummed a farewell song.

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Before she began her daily chores, she wanted to enjoy the peace of the forest, to hear the birds sing, and to see the sun rise and gild the treetops in golden light. These moments of beauty both stirred and quieted her soul. Her village was expanding, but somehow the lives of all who lived there were shrinking. They parroted the words of the king and expected riches to follow, but life had not improved. Her parents had seen no reason for her to continue with her schooling. Other villagers felt the same way, and so the school closed. It stood empty on a hill, a silent beacon.

The girl walked, enjoying the feel of the cool morning air against her face. From above, the dawn star winked, startling her and causing her to stumble and fall on a small pile of feathers. They sparkled, iridescent, blue, silver, and red. She wondered what sort of bird could have dropped the brilliant plumes. As she stroked the silky quills, a door appeared in the forest. It shimmered in the air, and opened just a bit in silent invitation. The girl opened the door wider and walked through.

Inside was a land filled with light and color. Wisdom dripped from the trees, and animals licked it up. A deer came up to her, and shyly nuzzled her hand before sprinting off. Her hand tingled, and she was filled with joy. She learned the feathers came from the bird of knowledge, which was perpetually in motion. Its size and color constantly changed, and it looked different each time she caught a glimpse of it. Over time, the girl learned many things in this world from the trees and the animals, but eventually she wanted to go home.

She found the door and opened it–for it was never locked–and she stepped back into her forest. It looked sadder, smaller. Her parents were happy to see her, but they too, looked sadder and smaller. The villagers were disillusioned. The village had not prospered, and though many still dutifully echoed the king’s words, others were seeking something more. The girl joined these seekers, as they reestablished the school, and she shared an important message:

Ignorance brings fear; knowledge leads to hope.

The girl became a woman, and she remembered the lessons she had absorbed. She made time for books and nature, and when she had children, she read to them every night. She told them the story of the bird of knowledge, and showed them one brilliant blue, silver, and red feather that she had kept. Sometimes the dawn star looked down at them and winked.

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William Llewellyn, “Girl with Pigtails,” [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

This is for a writing challenge that Jane Dougherty and Jeren of itsallaboutnothing concocted. You can read about it here.

Well, I suppose this is too long for flash fiction, and it doesn’t involved insects, and I guess it’s fairy tale, not a folk tale, but other than that it fits the challenge perfectly!

Dreams Beyond the Moon

In the darkness and the gloom,

spirits loom,

speaking, seeking

those with natures bright

who dance and sing,

embrace the light

and watch the birds in morning flight

I watch them, too–

wings soaring, sweeping through the blue

beyond the clouds like sailing ships

until they vanish from my view

in flowing streams

on trips of dreams,

far beyond the moon

 

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Jan Brueghel the Elder, “Air,” [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

I’m feeling the need for a bit of magic.

 

Assume the Joy

Assume the world’s full of joy,

not hate,

stare at birds,

wonder at our fate

and if we’ll mind what happens after–

“the late”

they’ll call us,

if not the great–

but we’ll be gone,

beings that are not immortal

(unless time folds–perhaps a portal?)

and so, we shouldn’t hesitate

just assume the joy

of stars and earth

of moons that hum with charming mirth

then laugh, my dear–

no, stop, wait

—listen

there–the robin on the garden gate

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I needed a poetry break this afternoon!

This is for Secret Keeper’s Challenge.

The prompt words were: Assume/Mind/Late/Being/Stare

 

 

June Magic

daybreak comes early

yet still the moon shines

waning from its strawberry fullness,

(smiling, humming)

greeting me as I pick up the newspaper from the sidewalk,

the heat is already simmering there

but not yet at full boil–

June, almost summer–

a spider has spun a web

sparkling in the streaming sunlight,

birds sing from their green-leafed perches

the cats watch from windows,

then turn to say hello to me

before going back to guard duty,

(we all have our jobs)

even as summer sighs,

slow down

and so, I do,

and watch the birds, too.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Selkie’s Lament: Haibun

In the wild water I thrive. I remember this. When I rise from the cold deep, the waves rock and cradle me. At dawn, the grey northern sea turns to fire. When darkness comes, the moon silvers the water, and I watch the stars twinkle and drift across the sky. I didn’t know how happy I was then, watching the days pass in light and shadow across the ocean. My brothers, sisters, and I danced our sleek bodies amidst the waves, laughing and singing our ancient songs. But I had glimpsed you from afar, and I was curious. When the summer sun lingered long and languid, I swam to the shallows, then walked ashore, my human form dripping dulse and smelling of brine. Love, I thought, but possession I became. And now— my true skin gone–I am marooned here, grounded, the sea forsworn forever more. And yet still it calls to me—come! Oh, my brothers and sisters–do you know my sadness? Do you hear my cries?

 

Tears under moon-glow

fall, drift, mingle with the sea

carried with the tides

 

Guillermo_Gómez_Gil_-_Salida_de_la_luna (1)

Guillermo Gómez Gil, “Moonrise,” [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

This is a haibun for Colleen Chesebro’s  Weekly Poetry Challenge. The prompt words were happy and sad. Sometimes my inner romantic pours out in a brain-tide. 😉

 

 

Survivor: Sun and Moon

I was a carefree child who played in the warmth of the sun. But her glow and mine have dimmed. At night, after he has finished with me, the moon sends her light to comfort me. Cold comfort. Still, she guides me now, lighting a pearlescent path for me, tangled and silver like the scars that trace my body, but leading me to freedom. I’ve killed him, and though he took my innocence, he can no longer hurt me. My past, present, and future merge—who I was and who I will become. I am broken, but not destroyed. One day, I may glow again, like the sun.

 

The moon saw sorrow

her tears, silver waves of hope

to light the darkness

 

"Rising Moon," John Constable, c. 1810

Credit Line: John G. Johnson Collection, 1917 Philadelphia Museum of Art

This haibun is a late entry for Colleen Chesebro’s weekly poetry challenge. The prompt words were past and future. Some of you know I’m working on two reference books on rape. So, this. Now back to work for me!

According to the UN Women web site,  worldwide, 1 in 3 women experience physical or sexual violence, most often from an intimate partner.

 

Diana Glows

 

In lustrous beams that glow and flow

I bear the light to brighten night

with streaming rays

(so unlike my brother’s sun displays)

that silvers tracks in woodland parks

where fairies dance and foxes bark

to echoes of my glistening songs

that travel here and float along–

Listen, do you hear me sing?

Watch for me, as my stag I’ll bring

and hope to women in childbirth scared

look there—

now my radiance aired, my light is shared

 

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“Diana,” Augustus Saint-Gaudens, 1892-1893,  Philadelphia Museum of Art

 

I love this statue that stands at the top of the Great Stair Hall at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. The statue once stood on the tower of Madison Square Garden (installed in 1893). It has been at the museum since 1932. In 2013-2-14, museum conservators repaired and restored her original gold leaf finish.

This poem is for Secret Keeper’s Weekly Writing Prompt

The words were:  Song/Rays/Lead/Track/Scare

 

 

 

Star and Moon Sky: NaPoWriMo

 

 

 

Do you remember? We watched the clouds fly across that June sky,

wondering about our lives, watching that black-blue sky.

 

It was long ago, we were full of life, in blazing afternoon sky,

and two hearts keeping time, beating under the moon, June sky.

 

We pledged our love before our family and friends, a noon, June sky,

Settling-in to life together, playful, joyous, a spoon and swoon sky.

 

We grew older, not necessarily wiser, encountering an out-of-tune sky,

yet I’d not change it, not at all, not even for a jewel-strewn sky

 

The jewels are here and there, you see, felt and heard in the moon-croon sky,

the moments, still, we gaze and share. (Do you remember? )There, that star and moon sky.

 

This is a ghazal for today’s (Day 13) NaPoWriMo.   I can’t get the formatting right, but they are couplets with some long lines. 🙂