Moods

August Sky over the Delaware River at Red Bank Battlefield

 

Glowering

clouds reflect my mood,

shadows cast

on river

rolling to the sea, endless

cycles streaming throughout time

 

creating

stormy skies and light

untamed and

magical

the appearance of a deer

like a gift to me,

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like nature

answering a call,

now a need,

now the light.

I walk on, heart more joyful,

the river flows on.

 

A shadorma sequence for Colleen’s Tanka Tuesday, using synonyms for character and wild. This was inspired by a walk I took yesterday.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Two Poems Up in Black Bough Poetry

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The morning moon hummed fiercely today in the heat. I will be staying inside and taking work breaks to read Issue 2 of Black Bough Poetry, “Lux Aeterna” –Eternal Light. It is filled with tributes to Apollo 11–breathtaking poems and wonderful artwork. Please do take a look.

I am thrilled to have two poems in this issue, “Moon Landing” and “Dark Matter.” Thank you to editor Matthew M C Smith (no relation, though my husband has some Welsh ancestry. . .) for selecting my poems and for editorial suggestions on “Dark Matter.”

These are the grown puppies mentioned in “Moon Landing”–a bit blurred, like a memory.

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Make Way for Goslings

Golden goslings scuttle in a line

mother’s wings point, they align,

hustling to the river.

 

Father hisses at the stranger

–any possible source of danger—

parents are the givers

 

protecting their young

with honks, squawks, or tongue,

till from the river

 

fledglings fly away—

in time, somewhere, someday

 

Lillian is hosting Open Link Night at dVerse. This is a quickly written poem inspired by a walk I took this afternoon at the park by the river. I hope it’s not too treacly, but the baby geese were so cute, and I was fascinated by the family drama. I watched the goose I’m calling the mother shoo the babies towards the river. The father then hissed at one who was off exploring on the sidewalk to get with the others (you can see there are three on the grass, but four in line). The father then hissed at the other goose standing on the sidewalk, as the little ones went under the fence, and their mother then limboed under it, too. The father stood guard until they were all in the water.

 

Flowers and Bombs, NaPoWriMo

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Monday Morning Musings:

“Forever—is composed of Nows—”

–Emily Dickinson,  Full Poem here. 

“N. A. Sumanapala, a shopkeeper near St. Anthony’s Shrine who said he had run inside to help, said: “It was a river of blood. Ash was falling like snow.” New York Times, April 21, 2019.

A week of explosions

flowers, storms, shots, and lies

bombs belie the façade

of Easter calm and Passover why

(is this night different from all other nights?)

 

Rivers of blood

with no miracle to part

falling of ash

unresurrected, fighting stops, starts–

A plague upon both your houses

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Of indecision and more lies

as the First Citizen cries

in confusion,

“No collusion!”

 

His followers cheer

not caring, or unclear

that he would destroy

all that they hold dear,

so they support and worship

their false idol. Rejoice

in the new normal, hate

the latest whipping boy.

 

I cook, wrapping myself

in almonds, dates, and honey.

The house is sunny,

scented with cinnamon

like the cat, who slumbers sun-sided

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Passover Almond Cake

The pink moon rises

we drink the first glass of wine, recline.

We are free, but refugees detained

chained, their children abused–

and we all lose–

Let all who are hungry come

 

We watch movies of

women hiding secrets

sometimes in plain sight

in poetry and stories,

sometimes driving in the night

to obligations, demands

and longing

for uncharted territories.

 

Certain women

holding together

waiting, still in a man’s world.

often unrecognized–

we place

an orange on the Seder plate,

to recognize, no longer erased.

 

We talk,

walk through city streets,

footsteps, heartbeats,

statues and stories,

petrichor replaced

with the scent of blooms

filling the air with their perfume, a trace

lingers in my mind.

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A week of explosions

flowers, storms, shots, and lies—

all the endless ifs and whys–

and yet, my heart thrills

at the sight of the spring tide

with waves of flowers,

creating bowers

while the robin’s trills—

and we remember

forever is composed of nows.

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Red Bank Battlefield Park, April 2019

 

Day 22, NaPoWriMo  challenges us “to write a poem that engages with another art form.” My Monday musings always engage with the world around me through photos, and often movies or shows we’ve seen–so to an extent–I’ve met the challenge.

We watched the movie Certain Women on Netflix. We watched Becoming Astrid (about Swedish author Astrid Lindgren, the author of Pippi Longstocking and other books) on Amazon Prime, once I figured out how to turn on the subtitles. We saw the new movie, Wild Nights with Emily about Emily Dickinson in the theater. I liked all three movies.

 

 

 

 

Two Poems in Wellington Street Review

I’m so thrilled to have two poems up in the first issue of Wellington Street Review. It is “a new quarterly journal specialising in creative responses to the past. ” This entire issue looks fabulous.  I appreciate the editorial kindness and dedication of those involved with this publication–so wonderful to work with them–and I thank them for publishing my poems The Pogrom and In Memoriam: Their Names .

Surrealistic Spring

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Yesterday morning, the almost full moon set in a glowing, misty haze. Birds chattered and scolded me just before dawn, the day of the vernal equinox. Today, I bring some of the Purim Hamantaschen I baked to my mom. Philadelphia is a smeary charcoal drawing—damp and dreary. The day seems surreal. My mom is seeing birdcages. As we leave, a sad clown, tall and silent, walks out of the lobby of her building. We listen to news of mourning in New Zealand on the car radio. But when we get home, I see the first daffodils blooming, bright beacons in the gloom.

 

shimmery moon hums

songs float between here and there,

mockingbird echoes

 

I wanted to post a poem yesterday for World Poetry Day, but it was just one of those days where I was running around, and then dealing with family issues. . . This haibun is for Frank’s Haikai Challenge, March Equinox.

AND Colleen’s Weekly Tanka Tuesday Challenge using synonyms for Spring and Sing.

AND for dVerse, where Kim is hosting Open Link Night (which was last night).

 

 

 

 

Horizon–Pantoum

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John Frederick Kensett, Sunset on the Sea,” Wikipedia Commons

 

At the horizon, known and unknown meet,

this liminal space between sky and sea

when the sun dips down, and night not complete

where dreams are unleashed and left to dance free–

 

this liminal space between sky and sea,

in this place, past and future meld and dwell,

where dreams are unleashed and left to dance free

we hover here, and fall under its spell.

 

In this place, past and future meld and dwell,

dreams sigh spindrift over the sand. Enthralled,

we hover here, and fall under its spell

as tall ships vanish, beyond shouts and call.

 

What might fate foretell here–our joys and fears

when the sun dips down, and night not complete?

Do we seek, question, wait for what appears

at the horizon? Known and unknown meet.

 

 

Gina is hosting the next dVerse form, the Pantoum.  Her post explains the history and mechanics of the form.

This a re-working of one I wrote about a year ago. This poem was inspired by a post by Frank of A Frank Angle. I borrowed my first line from him. Thanks, Frank!  🙂

 

 

 

 

 

I Ask the Birds: Magnetic Poetry

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Frants Diderik Bøe, “Birds in the Midnight Sun,” [Public domain]

When you soar—

up through purple mist

 

is there beauty there?

 

Blue shadows lick

the red rocks

 

a lazy sky-spray sings,

 

but rain recalls dreams–

the sweet smell of peaches–

 

and yet the wind cries why

as a symphony, a moan

 

an ache in me sleeps

 

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The Oracle sends me lyrical questions. I hit “Publish” too quickly! Re-publishing this with my screen shot.

 

Dreams and Wishes

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More than cake—

remember magic

lives long. Let

it always

surround you, a breathing cloud,

a dance in kisses

 

and so, this—ask if,

but explore the secret stars

in a universe

time ghost-laughs a fevered breeze

and a heart blushes, flowers

 

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The Oracle knows everything, so she knows it is birthday month at my house. Both daughters and my husband (and mother-in-law) have birthdays in February. When the girls were little, we often had a combined Valentine’s-birthday party. So here is birthday love and wishes in a shadorma tanka combo for Colleen’s Tanka Tuesday challenge.  But there will also be a lot of cake and celebrations this month.

Walls, Again and Again

Monday Morning Musings:

From a window I watch the birds flocked together to find food, to feed, fueling before the chilly winter rain begins again, following each other ground to sky and back again. I watch a couple of black birds—starlings perhaps–pecking at an old light fixture hanging below the eaves of my house. We think they don’t think or love or dream. Perhaps they think the same of us?

Species to species,

is there communication?

Walls between us all

 

I watch my cat dreaming and wonder what he sees. I wake from my own dream. It fades to mist. I remember only my sister. Her hair is styled in coils on each side of head—a 1940s hairstyle. She slowly morphs into my grandmother, my mother’s mother–

dream walls dissolving

past, present, future merging

an uncertain message

 

On a chilly day, we see a production of Romeo and Juliet. The cast wears modern street clothes, Mercutio raps. There is a band and a “Greek chorus” of local college students. There are curtains of shimmering golden strands; the actors part and walk through them. They also wheel these golden strand curtains into place to form walls on the otherwise mostly bare stage. There is another wall at the end of the play, where the singer and band sing about love being “a waste” if it is only “a wall to keep the truth away.” Some of the beauty of Shakespeare’s play has been lost, yet we enjoy this imaginative production. We talk as we walk through city streets. Then within walls, where it is warm and dry, we sip some wine, and eat some cheese.

enemies fated,

or find love notwithstanding—

what is in a name?

 

We walk past garden gates and walls to see another play. Ripped from too many headlines—the far too common killings of black people by white law enforcement officers—the play is set in the jury room where the jury is deadlocked. They decide to try to react the circumstances of the case giving all those involved a backstory, which leads to the final, surprising, and powerful conclusion. The play is not perfect and some it is a bit contrived, but it seems designed to help tear down some walls. Every performance has a talk back session. Some people say they like how the characters are made human. No one here is evil, even if we do not agree with their opinions. There are walls of human misunderstanding and conflict in both plays.

conversations help

break down walls of distrust

challenge our notions

And yet—we finish watching the third season of The Man in the High Castle. I am chilled by the vision of smiling youths tearing down monuments and burning the New York Public Library. This is a fictional world, but lately there are too many similarities to the real world. The petulant baby foments hate. We should all be behind a slogan to Make America Better, not to the one he champions that looks back to world where racism, sexism, and homophobia flourished. I see too many posts railing against “illegals,” the ignorance astounds me. And on Holocaust Remembrance Day, commemorating when Auschwitz was liberated, too many do not believe it happened, while there are some who would like it to happen again. I watch Rent, and I think of the Parkland students singing “Seasons of Love” at the Tony Awards last year.

“It’s time now to sing out,

though the story never ends”

still walls of hate here

Every family has its secrets, its walls. Every family has its tragedies and comedies, a play in several acts. We live out our stories within the walls of homes, schools, workplaces, or in confinement somewhere. My mom rarely ventures outside the walls of her building now because she can’t go out by herself. We drive her to our daughter’s house for brunch. We talk, eat, and watch the dogs play. We laugh. We love. Sometimes that is enough.

Walls can shelter us

from bad weather, and from life

but love helps us grow

The moon hums a lullaby for birds, cats, and me. Walls dissolve, and we share a dream.

 

I guess this is more prose and verse rather than a series of haibun. And also, sorry, WP won’t let me delete the video below.