Cosmic after- glow, echoes of light, energy and matter through time, before time before our time–eons
of coursing color no one sees– from the sky to the sea repeating cycles, fractals and Fibonacci
on the beach, a nautilus shell— you hold it, marveling at its spiral curves, ancient sailor, now moored here
amidst stones and gull laughs, soaring as Gaia cups the world. This is how life unfolds, in circles and seasons
without hate. Too late for her, or him, or them— the Other— though filled with stardust, too. See how cycles repeat?
A shadorma sequence for Paul Brooke’s Ekphrastic Challenge, Day 15. We’re halfway through! You can read the other poems here. My work is inspired by all three works of art. I am behind on replying to comments and visiting other posts because I’ve had to finish paying work this week, but I will catch up in the next couple of days. This will be my NaPoWriMo poem for today because I know I won’t have time to get to the prompt.
Once the harbor was a bustling place of summer light, with salty tang– the sky a vivid blue, all day and night, we gathered and chattered–of clouds no trace. Once the harbor was a bustling place, full of hope and sweet mysteries–our love was new, but star-crossed by autumn storms–gone ship, captain, crew, you. Once–the harbor was a bustling place of summer light, with salty tang, the sky a vivid blue.
For Paul Brookes’ Ekphrastic Challenge, Day 13, I wrote a triolet based on all three works of art. You can read all the poems here. I haven’t written a triolet in ages, and I forgot how difficult it is to get so much in eight lines with the repeated lines and rhymes. But here it is. This will be my NaPoWriMo poem for the day, too.
“The dead don’t go anywhere. They’re all here. Each man is a cemetery. An actual cemetery, in which lie all our grandmothers and grandfathers, the father and mother, the wife, the child. Everyone is here all the time.” -Isaac Bashevis Singer (quoted in Shtisel), Season3)
In ancient times, we named the sky— saw Apollo in his flaming chariot fly as his sister Diana of the woods and moon bounded with deer and hound, and soon the stars were storied, and tunes gloried creation, emotion, and the cessation of wind and tides, the slide
of seasons from one to next, as the gods are first jolly, then are vexed. But Persephone comes and goes– snow falls, then flower flows, and we cry and sigh as people die– but the seeds remain, though not the same, each generation evolves, and solves
new problems, and old ones we revive. But if we could fly in hyperdrive to other worlds, or visit holodecks to greet and meet dear loved ones in an annex to another world, an alternate timeline, future, past, present combined—we’d drink wine with family and heroes, toast the divine
in fantasy. And yet—we recall, in memories of sight, scent, sound—however small– within us all the time, sharing space with those who came before—the interface of body and mind. Stardust to genes, renamed things in seasons reborn on hopeful wings Cycles, seasons, the stories again–real or imaginings?
Merril’s Movie/TV Club: We finished Season 3 (most likely the final season) of Shtisel (Netflix). I highly recommend it. My husband and I both got so caught up in this show. We had Chinese food over the weekend, and so watch two Chinese movies. Us and Them (Netflix)—a romance of a young man and woman meeting on a train and trying to become successful in Beijing. I liked it, but I’m not sure if I loved it. I think I would have enjoyed it more in the theater. We had some phone calls and other distractions. Better Days (Amazon Prime rental)—is Hong Kong’s entry for the Academy Awards. It’s about school bullying, and also the high stakes competition/pressure of getting into a good college in China. My husband and I both enjoyed this one more—despite the subject matter of school bullying. There is also a romance. The actress Dongyu Zhou is the female lead in both movies. Watch the end credits for both movies.
She sleeps in a thousand blues of forest-shadowed whispers, waiting for the world to wake, now in-between–
and in her dreams, she listens for sky voices, the laugh of stars and birds remembering the rhythm of days, tiny rose-tips, yet unseen
but when, not if, they come again dressed in honeyed gowns of golden light, lingering– she’ll wake to take her place, sweet May Queen–
with each embrace, she color-spaces a trace of perfume recalls her paces, and soft poetry where she has been, always and forever green.
I haven’t done too many NaPoWriMo prompts this month because I’m writing for an Ekphrastic Challenge, and there are only so many poems I can write each day! But, I always visit the the Magnetic Poetry Oracle on Saturdays, and today she gave me this sort of folk tale poem.
I want to say, Dear Mother, do not fret I am gone, and all is set, you think, I know, our Father’s will and rule– but, oh I wish I lived to see my babies go to school! And all the sisters out at play— instead of here. The way
(my body disappeared I seem to float without it.)
I remember now, how yellow turned my skin and eyes, and mournful were my sighs and cries from aching head– and then overspread the blackest bile from within my bowels over all the sheets and towels. . .
and yet you tended me till I ceased to be
I no longer feel the pain. But Mother, I wish I remained.
For the NaPoWriMo prompt today to “write your own poem in the form of a monologue delivered by someone who is dead” and for the dVerse prompt where Grace asks us to write about the body. I wasn’t going to do either prompt, but then this came to me. It’s based on letters I read that were written during the yellow fever epidemic in Philadelphia in 1793. Many fled the city, but over 5,000 people died. The disease is transmitted by mosquitoes, so the epidemic subsided once the weather cooled. I remember sitting in the Quaker Archives at Haverford College reading one letter and nearly bursting into tears.
Listen, as Crow caws your future— winter goes, spring appears, cycles repeat forever, light to dark to light
from before time, it resonates– the afterlight of star-birds flapping their bright-feathered wings, and traveling on.
Ghost glimmers spot the sky. Humming with the moon, the sea sighs, everything connected. Now, listen again. See?
A Shadorma chain for NaPoWriMo, Day 8 inspired by my walk this morning. The crows have been so active, and right now a mockingbird is putting on quite a concert from a nearby tree. It’s a good time of year to look around and listen. Since I’m writing a daily poem for the Ekphrastic challenge, and I’m behind on all my work, I’m mostly not writing for the prompts this year. But, I do love the shadorma form. 😏
She’s small, like a little mouse, curled into a recess empty-bellied, shivering, the newspaper not much insulation—old news–
homelessness. And if it’s new to her, the whys are not— her stepdad’s roving hands, no work, the cries within her head. . .
in a fitful sleep, she dreams of spring, filling her small rodent body with tender berries and leaves— all the people gone, their power plants silent, and she is at peace.
For Paul Brookes Ekphrastic Challenge. My poem is inspired by the two images above. You can see all of the art and poems on the Wombwell Rainbow site. All of these poems are first drafts, and I’ve revised this one since I sent it to Paul yesterday, so this version is different from the one on his site. This is also for NaPoWriMo.
to power pose with practiced smile, and walk her steps and run a mile, to dial back time, and stay a while her fear of dying.
But, turning, turning, turning the Moon still glows, the sun’s still burning, And see? The green man, he’s returning to bloom the ground with flowers ‘round
where once all seemed cold and dying, awakened seeds from dreams untying, raise their tendrils trying, trying– seeking warmth and air.
Now the robin sings it clear– another orbit, another year.
This is for Paul Brookes’ Ekphrastic Challenge. This one was a difficult one for me. The poem is based on the two pieces of art above. To see all the art and poems, visit Wombwell Rainbow. This is also my NaPoWriMo poem, since I know I will not have time to get to the prompt today. So many poems, so little time! 😀
Warp and weft, life weaves through tides, sun-sparkled, moon-bedewed, blue-waved and bleached white, patterns form again and go
in dream worlds, she sees. Star-gathered, the crows come, dark to light, now, never, always—this is what might be. Time is
an ocean layered with rippling currents, not constant, but ever-changing. Dark to light, warp and weft. Again.
A Shadorma chain for Paul Brookes’ Ekphrastic Challenge. You can see all the art and poems here. I don’t have time today to write a poem based on the photos in the site mentioned into today’s NaPoWriMo prompt, but–as in this poem–I often write about liminal spaces.