Criss-Crossings in Deep Time

Odilon Redon, L’arbre

1.
Cross the forest threshold
covered in squirrel-scattered leaves.
Acorns, chestnuts, cones, and seeds
buried amidst ancient, tangled roots,
resurrected.

2.
Three cats—curled, colored knots
white, tortoiseshell, and grey-striped.
Descendants of tigers, purrs with sharp claws,
gone–save the shadow
pressed against my warmth.

3.

Driftwood, weathered and bleached white,
a venerable creature beached
waiting for the tide.
What stories could it tell of its journeys–
of time and beyond?

4.

Red flowers rise to a rosy sky
Hello, they cry, and wave.
From wooded umbra,
white striped tail rises, too, leaving his scent—
not a perfumed calling card, but a warning.

5.

The clouds grumble,
their secrets burst out and light the sky
Your arm across me in the night, I reach to catch
a glittering fragment before it vanishes—I laugh
and hear an echo from the in-between.

A cadralor for dVerse. I hope I’ve done this correctly. To me, the form seems like a dream, in which you understand it as it goes along, and when you wake you feel something’s been resolved, though you can’t explain how or why. You can read about the form here, but briefly from the journal Gleam:

“the cadralor consists of five short, unrelated, highly-visual stanzas. The fifth stanza acts as the crucible, illuminating the gleaming thread that runs through all the stanzas and bringing them together into a love poem. By “love poem,” we mean that the fifth stanzaic image answers the question: “For what do you yearn?” Please see sample poems and editor statements on the cadralor to get a feel for this new form.”

The Ancient Wanderer

In time’s shadow, I recall the languid summer–
light whispered of love, and if the wind called come,
the moon goddess hummed, why go?
Swim, she said, in these blue waters,
feel the blood-beat beneath your skin,
here far from the ship-crushing waves.
Wait—watch, savor
the sweet unknown.

But Death drooled, raining destruction, and
men with their blood-chants beckoned from afar.

Now in the bitter after of broken dreams, I sigh,
while the fiddler plays yet another tune–
still, the stars sing,
and dawn’s maidens toss gilded rose petals
as I wake,
remembering love’s aches, feeling my skin sun-warmed,
and tasting morning’s honeyed beauty on my tongue.

My poem from the Magnetic Poetry Oracle. It’s only fitting that a poem from her would have a mythic feel.

Ships of Dreams

River flows to the sea
with chants on feathered winds
that in repeated rhythms sing

of now, or when–and if
in breath–almost held–
you hear the beat of ancient things,

the whispered sighs, like fiddle strings
played softly in the night–ask,

but don’t expect an answer
from moon’s hum or the finned-filled tide,

except in dream-song laughter,
when silver light meets rosy dawn

in rainbow-clouded slide

and beauty
sails on echoes of the osprey’s cry–

a lullaby to earth from sky.

Today’s collaborative poem with the Magnetic Poetry Oracle. She obviously knows how the river and river birds inspire me, even if she doesn’t have all the words in her tiles.

Sun-Follower

Odilon Redon, “Béatrice”

Who wants to watch the time?
The sun whispers, her hot-petaled head
sweating light. Together we soar into the beyond.
And if I ask about purple storms and darkness,
she only sings of golden rays,
and if I ask about after, she murmurs of the dawn
in rose-colored poetry, trailing a feathered sigh.
She is an ancient wanderer. I follow her through shadows
not remembering
before, only this timeless circling.

The Magnetic Poetry Oracle gave me most of the words right away today. She may have been watching the eclipse this week.

Questioning the Moon

Odilon Redon, Beatrice

She asks if the Moon sleeps
to dream of diamond after-light sparkling
through the storm-swept cosmos?

And if she could stop Time,
would she?
To hold with aching heart
Sun-beauty, to taste the sweetness of summer
in rose-petaled glow, and watch purple seas pound the rocks
as shadows whisper, this is for the living.

But she sees it all,
the blood rust and blood lust,
honeyed radiance, and rain falling like laughter.
She hears the laughter, she hears the tears–
her face remains impassive, but she hums, sometimes gently
sometimes fiercely—
a thousand nights, a million,
they are all the same and each one different.

Today’s poem is a collaboration with the Magnetic Poetry Oracle.

The Seer Sees the Ancient Story: Quadrille

Seven times the wound I bound,
seven times I wound it round
with white-stitched cloth, now blood-red
drowned–
the legacy of war.

Now, here the hero lies near death—
seven times, I conjure fate
hesitate with breath abated—
for furies wrath, to even scores.

A quadrille for dVerse. Lillian has asked us to use the word wound.

A Vision

She asks if
you can see it–the cool blue of time–
sprays of rose-pink, leaf-green,
cerulean, indigo, and diamond-sprinkled light–
a storm-dance of life to
the secret songs of stars and
the harmony of moon-music—listen–
now, the whisper of blood-dreams,
and the language of wind and sky,
dark voices of decay join bright beams–
an exhale–
the brilliant breath of the universe,
an icy cloud of fever-flowers soars
into the after,
leaving a trail, ferocious, wild, aching—
almost there, dazzled,
you ask if
this is a beginning or an ending? But
she is gone.

The Magnetic Poetry Oracle gave me a oracle poem. She gave me “ask if” every time I tried it.

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.

The Birth of Venus

Odilon Redon, Birth of Venus

If, bare-breasted, moon-blooded,
I bloom
above the blue sea, in diamond-sprayed splendor,

then ask—why

I am woman-formed
of raw winds and whispered light,
green-gowned and peach-scented—
but as a day here and away–

I am time-stilled
beyond recalling fiddle beats
from the shadows,
where a thousand ruins stand,
sun-petal-swept and silent.

I am all—
most eternal, champagne cool,
velvet fire,
seeing, embracing secrets,
the delicious brilliance of star breath,
dancing in darkness.

My May Day poem from the Magnetic Poetry Oracle. As usual, even though I thought this poem would go one way, she sent me somewhere else.

Never, Always Ask

Ask if
the sea still glitters diamond-bright
in the sunshine,

and if
it recalls the whispers of
a thousand stars, the humming of the moon,

the voices of time, a champagne cloud of color
vanishing to form again

never, always

ask why
some don’t know the delicious dazzle
of light’s brilliant kiss,

and can’t feel the universe’s embrace, lingering
in an ocean breeze.

My poem from the Magnetic Poetry Oracle.