Now, the season of in-between the summer heat dims, the vultures soar wind-embraced through clouds to blue– no evil or good in their birds’ eye view above the trees, across the shore, circling death, cleaning the scene.
“Where are the songs of spring? Ay, Where are they? Think not of them, thou hast thy music too,— While barred clouds bloom the soft-dying day, And touch the stubble-plains with rosy hue;” –from John Keats, “To Autumn”
Now the dragons come, sending their fiery breath Into the cerulean sky, last gasps, a vibrant show before their long, winter sleep.
Now squirrels skip and scurry to find and bury their treasure, eagles soar from shore to shore,
white-feathered heads glowing above the river blue, where herons and egrets in shallow water wade still in shadow, then with broad wings wide, glide
to other shoals. While blue jays gather in raucous meetings throughout the day— yelling at hawks, asking summer to stay—but
now the apples come—red or golden-green, the colors of both fall and spring, tart and sweet as life, well-balanced, though seldom neat.
Now t-shirts are covered by sweaters, above, azure turns grey, but bright a spray of yellow in bee-swallowed goldenrod, and violet aster.
Now we are in transition, in-between, summer has ended, winter not yet come but we remember what has been
the roses of summer and the fruit, their essence captured in honey and wine– with time,
the memories and promises, like late spring’s bird-dawn chatter— everything connected, everything matters,
the constant of love’s endurance glowing brilliant as the light of ancient long-dead stars, so bright, still guiding us from afar.
We celebrated the first night of Rosh Hashanah last night. It makes so much more sense to celebrate the new year in early autumn as summer fades into fall than tacked on to the end of winter holidays on the first of January. Of course, no one has asked me. It was wonderful to celebrate with family, and while we missed not having everyone there, the smaller group meant we could all sit at one table and converse together. We toasted the memory of my aunt Sima, whose recipe for challah cannot be surpassed. It’s the one I always use.
Here trees and birds brush-kiss the feathered sky in blue-on-blue reflections, breathe a sigh.
No pause, no hesitation comes, so wise trees are, roots down, boughs high, as birds they rise
bright-eyed, wings spread, and yes, I’d fly with you, outstretched into the blue of sky and through.
And then, we’d float on mirrored sea, our boat enwrapped in harmony, the world remote.
I’d watch the heron strut, fish-dive, and soar– yes, this is enough, I’d need nothing more.
Some readers might be confused about the day from the image, but it fits so perfectly. A poem in couplets, rhymed, iambic pentameter, for dVerse. I couldn’t quite manage to make all of the couplets closed. This is a revision of a poem that coincidentally, I wrote almost exactly two years ago for another dVerse prompt.
Incandescent miniature– the sun caught in a wave bobs up and down, drowning, reborn, a small god
ignored by garrulous geese and laughing gulls who punctuate the sky with white-feather questions–
but the spotted deer, stoops his head at the shore, glows as he sips the splendor.
I saw “incandescent miniature” in Jane’s Random Words, and this image popped into my head. I’ll have to use more words in another poem. I shared this poem with Top Tweet Tuesday. I’m hosting dVerse Poetics today, so I’ll be back later!
We did a lot this weekend and enjoyed the beautiful weather. Friday night out to dinner (outside) with daughter and son-in-law. That was after an amazing launch for Afterfeather also attended by Ricky. I have a poem in this anthology, which is published by Black Bough poetry from poems curated by Briony Collins from Top Tweet Tuesday.
A winery on Saturday late afternoon/evening. And a bridal shower luncheon on Sunday.
it follows, but perhaps it leads— a season beneath a season,
the after-summer and before fall tumbles into darkness.
Now shadows dance in spotlights, and green branches are tipped with gold,
gardens are filled with flowers that know the secrets of bees–
wisely they shake heads dyed indigo, gold, and scarlet—it is a bird Eden, a squirrel pantry–
and if the river asks, you breath in its blue mystery,
taste its layers, as it unfolds time like a peony, seed to dust again and again.
My poem from the Oracle, who knows everything. She knows how beautiful September is right now in my part of the world. She also must know that yesterday I heard from my cousins that their mother, my aunt (my mother’s sister-in-law) had died the night before. It made me think about how my mom had died in April when the sky was also bright blue, and the spring flowers were blooming. So, this is not exactly a tribute to my aunt—but in her memory, a reflection of sorts on life and death and beauty.
In the bird world, in songs not his own, in squirrel harmonies and the deep-breathed rhythm of trees, the long exhale of winter in dusk’s violet
he thinks how love climbs like vines– how easily they wither but drop seeds to sleep under the rustle of rust-rotted leaf blankets
as seasons pass beneath gnarled roots fingers pointing down–
and now he above in aged-rasped voice cries, our earth, our light, how blue!
Some of you will recognize that this is a revision of my poem from the Oracle, which you can read here. I revised it to make it more imagist for TopTweetTuesday and shared it there. I’m sharing it now with dVerse Open Link Night.
“For they are not the thing itself; they are only the scent of a flower we have not found, the echo of a tune we have not heard, news from a country we have never visited.” –C.S. Lewis, from The Weight of Glory
“If there is any point in using language at all it is that a word is taken to stand for a particular fact or idea and not for other facts or ideas.” Tom Stoppard, Travesties, Act I (p. 22), Grove Press, Inc. 1975
What language, what words can express the golden glow diffused through trees, the way it swells between valleys, over hills
the pensive blue, the egret white a reversed silhouette in sapphire light, the shimmering silver rills on river beach, colors almost named; flavors almost tasted.
Now the crystal sky is smudged with grey, red flowers bloom and grass grows greener, drinking deep, as rain seeps to nourish roots below— last call, last dance, before they sleep—
the squirrels scurry in the shortening days, and majesty with wide wings spread soar in azure above our heads, like thoughts here, gone, left unexpressed, but
spinning–as our Earth– water-tilted, wobbles, remaining true to blue– but what are the words for this time of seeking beauty in strife and destruction
there’s no deconstruction of this theme, no truth that dadaism could bring– but in the apricot dawn and violet dusk shadows sing
with words we almost know and sounds we strive to hear.
Happy Monday! I feel like everything is unsettled right now. It was a strange week, and I’m behind on everything. We had some beautiful, almost fall-like days, and now we’re getting much needed rain—though it’s so sticky and icky feeling that we turned the a/c back on last night.
There was a recent dVerse post that I missed on unusual words, but then I went down a Marginalian rabbit hole and discovered the word “saudade: the vague, constant longing for something or someone beyond the horizon of reality.”
Yesterday, we took a rainy walk in Philadelphia and then saw the Lantern Theater Company’s production of the Tom Stoppard play, Travesties. As with all his plays, it’s a brilliant whirlwind of words, ideas, and styles, including a defense of art. All the actors were excellent—there’s so much fast dialogue, and it’s a long play. I also liked the set and lighting (something I don’t usually notice).
Zürich, 1917. In Tom Stoppard’s Tony Award-winning comic masterpiece, obscure British diplomat Henry Carr and Dadaist Tristan Tzara are in love with Cecily and Gwendolen, who are both in love with someone named Jack. Carr stages a production of The Importance of Being Earnest with James Joyce, and the action gets heated when Vladimir Lenin bursts onto the scene. Soon everyone in neutral Switzerland is at war over the question, “What does it mean to be an artist and a revolutionary?”
Also, dealing with language, but of a different type, I’m reading the novel True Biz. It’s a coming-of-age novel set mainly in a fictional school for the deaf in Ohio. It’s truly illuminating. It’s making me see things about a culture I didn’t even really know existed. (More so, than I felt in the movie, CODA.)
We finished season 3 of For All Mankind on Apple TV+. Highly recommend it.