Circles, Cycles, and Loops: Monday Morning Musings

Monday Morning Musings:

In the movie

the men go back

to where they were boys

 

in a cult, a camp

where birds fly strangely

as they tramp

 

through the woods

and things are the same,

or perhaps they’re not,

 

fraught with pain

answers to questions

gained, or unknowable–

 

lives lived in loops,

moving in phases like

the moon—

FullSizeRender 415

Morning Moon

or moons–

one, two, three–

watch and see.

 

Circles and cycles

nature, each life,

day following night

 

light of summer

dimming in fall

all the seasons

 

and the years

painted over,

scraped away

 

traces left, secrets

uncovered in time,

pentimento of Earth.

 

Once giant creatures

roamed here

a shallow sea

Delaware River from Red Bank Battlefield

leaving traces in the sand

a mosasaur

and ancient clams,

 

but now the geese fly

from humming moon

to dawn’s fog-scumbled river

the little deer grows older,

has children of her own

the cycle continues–

 

and we cycle through the city

once a place of forests and rivers

where indigenous people hunted,

 

fished, and gathered,

following the seasons

migrating with the wildlife

 

until newcomers came

with diseases, death to old

and a new nation created

 

And now—

another cycle,

we wait to see if all

 

will fall,

calendars and lies

those willing to abide

 

with corruption

and destruction of truth

when all could gain.

 

And so, we pedal

endlessly in a loop

looking for a break

 

finding joy

with loved ones

food and drink

hoping we haven’t

reached the brink

 

But that we can circle

back,

begin again–

 

this time

better.

 

As summer blossoms fade

and autumn’s golden leaves fall,

we’ll soon brace for winter’s chill

IMG_0116

Part of the scarecrow display outside of the West Deptford Public Library

and wait

for the promise of spring

awakening again.

Dock Creek, Philadelphia Merril D. Smith 2018

Dock Creek with Carpenter’s Hall in the background.

 

We watch the movie The Endless on Netflix. Trailer here.  It’s a quirky, indie film. We liked it–lots to talk about afterwards.

And we went on a Big Red Pedal Tour in Philadelphia.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If a Deer Runs in a Forest

It’s just past sunrise when I see him. I wonder why he’s there alone, the little deer. I wonder if he’s one of the twins, I saw lying in the grass a day or two before. His light brown coat blends into the woods so well that I almost missed him. We both stopped walking. His ears twitch, and I see him sniffing the air. I take one step, and he takes one step. Finally—though I want to stay– I walk on, as quietly as I can. I feel like I’m disturbing his peace, though the sight of him has made my day. Later, when I see a group of deer resting together, I wonder if he’s there amongst them, with his family and friends. I wonder if they missed him when he was off on his own, and if they are all happy to be together again.

 

fawn loses his spots,

russet leaves fall to the ground–

time passes unheard

IMG_0029

 

This is for dVerse’s Haibun Monday, where qbit/Randall is the guest pub tender. He asks us to write about one member or element of a group. So, I guess that little deer made a big impression on me. I’m also linking to Colleen’s Tanka Tuesday, where it’s open prompt words or “poet’s choice.”

Breath of Dawn

Silence—as the curtain falls

weighted with emotion just before applause.

Silence—just before the thunder booms,

as though the sky must first absorb the sound

before it’s released. . .breathe in, breathe out. . .

Silence—seconds before the sun awakens,

the cat stretches and yawns,

you turn over as twitters and chirps begin to fill the air,

where traces of dreams still linger—whispered sighs—

they float away, up into the rose-swept sky.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Another Silence poem for Dwight’s Sounds of Silence dVerse prompt, and it’s punctuation -filled for Björn’s dVerse prompt. 

Silence Comes on Morning Fog

Silence comes on morning fog

shrouding life in grey and white

drifting in, an epilogue

to what has come before, at night,

the starry skies and canorous moon

hidden behind the shadowy clouds–

but listen–silence sings a tune

sometimes soft, sometimes loud,

in the susurration of wind and rain,

in the scurrying from dusk till dawn,

in hearts that beat again and again

there’s never silence till we’re gone.

Caspar David Friedrich, “Sea Beach in the Fog, [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dwight, guesting hosting the dVerse poet’s bar, has asked us to write about silence.

 

 

That House on Oxford: Haibun

Not a ghost, but the emanation of some past emotion. That’s what I feel in that house in Havertown—the one my mother rented after my parents divorced. Have you noticed that some houses have their own emotional atmosphere? Well, that’s my theory, and if you’ve never felt a house reeking of love, terror, or despair, then it must sound weird to you. But this whole house makes me feel welcomed; my bedroom in particular—it’s as if someone has felt joy there in the past, and the feeling now lingers. . .forever. This room, painted a golden yellow, seems to glow all the time. Every molecule in its walls, floors—even the air—releases joy and serenity—at least for me. Here I also experience first love. I wonder if my feelings will join the room’s aura, biding there for future inhabitants.

thrush sings amid buds,

trees flower, and then leaves fall—

echoes hang in air

Dock Street Creek once flowed here.

 

 

This Haibun is for dVerse, where Lillian has asked us to write a traditional Haibun—that is, a tight paragraph or two, which is a true account, not fiction, followed by a traditional haiku. The haiku should be nature-based but allude to the prose. It should have a seasonal word, and “a haiku must have two parts including a shift, an added insight. Japanese poets include a KIREJI (cutting word). BUT there’s no linguistic equivalent in the English language therefore punctuation creates the cut: a dash, comma, an ellipsis, an exclamation point. Sometimes it’s simply felt in the pacing or reading.”

Lillian has asked us to write about one of the first houses we lived in. This was not the first, but it was the first one we lived in after we moved from Dallas to Havertown, PA, when I was in 7th Grade.

 

This is also for Colleen’s Tuesday Tanka, using synonyms for the words beliefs and strange. I’ve used theory and weird in my prose. Colleen notes that a Haibun should be written as though it is happening now.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Secret Joys: NaPoWriMo, Day 1

The beauty of the daffodil

after winter’s snow,

the sound of robin’s morning trill

at dawn’s rosy glow–

effable delights, I hold tight

to fight vague evils of the night,

secrets for my heart–

from this truth comes art.

 

FullSizeRender 379

This is day 1 of NaPoWriMo. The Prompt: “Today, we challenge you to write a poem that is based on a secret shame, or a secret pleasure.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hope: Quadrille

Is it hopeless to feel hope

in the light of dawn,

or when the moon hums

her gentle song?

In the ash-filled skies

do hopeful spirits fly,

or earth-bound are they buried

in sorrow unvariegated?

Tomorrow will hope soar–

that thing with feathers, evermore?

 

Hellbrunn_Schloss_-_Festsaal_Fresken_Decke_3b

 

This quadrille is for dVerse. The prompt was any form of the word, “hope.”

 

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.

IMG_6565

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.

Girl_with_Pigtails_-_Samuel_Henry_William_Llewellyn

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!

August: Songs in my Heart

You would have been ninety-eight today. I mark the date as the day awakens—crickets chirping, and birds beginning their morning chorus, a little later now in August than June. I imagine you as you were before you got sick—larger than life, or so it seemed. Until you shrank, encased inside a body that had become frail, and then your life shrank, too. In your last apartment, filled with bric-a-brac (a word that always sounded like a magical game to me), the Chinese vases and statues, the antiques that shared space with other collections–books and papers, drawings and old art projects we had made—later, after you were gone, and the space echoed with silence, we found the old school lunch boxes and report cards in your closet.

 

Your grandchildren, my daughters, played on your balcony. I remember red geraniums there, but perhaps I’ve added them in my mind, as I’ve added them to my kitchen window box. I think about my daughters playing and singing, wonder if their love of music came from you. I wish you could have seen the women they’ve become. You would be so proud of them. (I hate that you are gone.) I suspect you, and not my mom, bought the Broadway soundtrack recordings that my sister and I listened to so often when we were little, making up plays in our Dallas bedroom. I remember you singing. Did you have a soundtrack running in your head, as I do?

When I was a teen, you drove me crazy singing “Raindrops Keep Falling on My Head” over and over again. I hated that song (I hate that you are gone); I’d love to hear you sing it again. With age, I’ve realized the universe is filled with music, though we don’t always hear it. Some songs drift through your brain, others you hear in your heart.

 

Heart-songs float through time

stars, the proud troubadours, sing,

tones linger like dreams

 

IMG_3933

 

My dad’s birthday was yesterday, August 9. This Haibun is for Colleen’s Weekly Poetry Challenge. The prompt words were hate and pride. I had another idea that used the words much more definitively, but this happened instead.