Whispers and Wishes (Part 3)

Edvard Munch, Forest in Snow

Whispers and Wishes (Part 3)

And so, we rested, away from the snow,
inside that hut by the fire’s glow,
but stories cannot be chewed with teeth
though they help assuage our terror and grief.

Where is Momma, I whimper, and wipe my eyes,
She’s looking for us, but my sister cries
though she hides her face, I see a tear
and realize she must also fear—

What do we do? Where do we go?
Back to the cold, leave our tracks in the snow?
It’s dark, Little One, let us sleep,
there’s a blizzard out there, the snow’s too deep,

for us to go or soldiers to come.
We’ll melt some ice and savor the crumbs–
wish and pretend we have a feast!
We’ll hear no shots from west or east.

And so, we wished, and then we dozed,
fire banked, door bolted, the windows closed–
but when we woke, there was more fresh bread,
a pitcher of milk, and another rose of red. . .

a golden feather glimmered on the floor.

I was looking at old posts this afternoon, and I discovered I had shared parts 1 and 2 of this poem with dVerse, so I decided to write a part 3 for Open Link Night. Scared children are on my mind, and I suppose I wish for them a happily ever after.

Mysteries

Crow— nest building

Mysteries

The robins have been singing for hours
when the crows awaken with raucous chatter
shattering the morning peace with treetop banter
leaves shake, and branches quake, a squirrel squawks back,

but the crows continue to squabble–about mundane chores,
the everyday–yet keeping watch for hawks and eagles,
daring to yell at them, too. They strut across the grass, kings
and queens, then launch with elongated wings outspread,

to look for food or treasures. Finding some or finding none,
never mind, not nevermore, they cry with knowledge of the past,
millions of years of wisdom.
Listen.

Listen to the crows. Black feathers shake as they exhort,
not a murder, but a plan. Fate, justice, the circle of time?
They know what is known. And the mysteries beyond
what we can see—what could, what might be.

For dVerse, where Ingrid has asked us to write about corvids. Most of you probably know I love crows. I was watching a crow couple at the park this morning. They were arguing in a tree, and they seemed like an old married couple. This is a first draft, written quickly.😏

Careening: Quadrille

“This image shows what astronomers think is one of the coldest brown dwarfs discovered so far (red dot in middle of frame). The object, called SDWFS J143524.44+335334.6, is one of 14 such brown dwarfs found by NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope using infrared light.” Wikimedia Commons

It careens through space—
failed star, the astronomers say,
ancient and cold, they name it, The Accident

because they don’t understand
how compelled, it searches for the light it knows is there

invisible and beyond our perception, like dreams,
constant, like time, endless, eternal.

A quadrille for dVerse using the prompt word careen. I wondered what careened through space and found this article about “The Accident.”

The Shadow People: Ekphrastic Challenge, Day14

It began—after The Before. You remember?
When the world was colored with optimism,
primary colors and pastels, sun-spackled roofs, rose gardens,
blue skies? Even the winter ice sparkled with trapped starlight.
We went to work and school and shows,
traveling on buses and trains through the city.

I used to make up stories about the people we saw in the windows—
the little girl with the dandelion, the woman
who danced in a red dress? All those windows dark now.
Please say you remember.

Then cough by cough, the world turned greyer.
The flowers lost their brilliant hues, fragrances disappeared.
And the shadow people came.

They walked out of my dreams
to gather around the TV set–strangely drawn to it.
They follow me now, almost eagerly, like ghost puppies.

They have no faces, but they look like me. Haunted.

For Paul Brookes’ Ekphrastic Challenge, Day 14, I was inspired by all three works of art. You can read all the poems here.

Day Nine: Ekphrastic Challenge

For Paul Brookes’ Special January Ekphrastic Challenge, Day 9, I’m responding to “Ennui with eye “(KR) and “Ignore the real world forever” (MH).

I’m weary of the grey January sky–
the pewter-plated clouds simmer in gloom
but never warm, despite their chafing, and
their mumbling conversations drone on endlessly,
causing the wind to bite in reply. And I–

I want to ignore the real—this forever-frost that beckons
with a glistening smile, and then attacks with fierce lion claws,
pinking my skin, but

I want color,
bright red blooms and blue horses,
grazing on emerald grass. I want to wake
from a summer dream,
to a robin gathering golden rays into song.

Day 7: Special January Ekphrastic Challenge

For Day, I’ve written two poems for Paul Brookes’ Special January Ekphrastic Challenge.

I liked all three pieces of art, but I responding to Kerfe Roig’s “Clarity” and Christine O’Connor’s (CO13).

Clarity

Coming home from the ER, I felt
a sense of clarity amidst the exhaustion,
and in the over-awakened midnight hour, an owl hooted
over and over again

calling for love, not warning,
I decided. And for love, we returned to the hospital
as the sun rose over the bridge to light the shadowed city streets.

Unfinished

There are ghosts in the secret garden
drifting through the flowers’ birdwing-flutters,
she senses them, but they are masked, invisible
against the bright blooms, unfinished with this world,
outside of time, inside the walls, they wait.

Ineffable

Monday Morning Musings:

Ineffable,
the word lingers from my dream
almost visible–

how to describe
the dream state,
a word floats in the air—

almost visible,
liminal,
the world of in-between.

Ineffable,
the world today,
inconceivable

that we let it happen—
the naked emperor rules,
the fools see what they want to see

despite fire, plague
the flaming hate
and the ceaseless lies

rekindling the blood libel,
as the full moon hums fiercely
in warning, in horror

we look on,
but also,
ineffable

the beauty
of lunar shimmer
and morning glow

of herons
and deer
and the serenity of the river flowing on

carrying ghosts and memories,
in its currents
time bends, reflecting and refracting

the past merges with the future,
till it, too, is ineffable.

I did wake up today with the work ineffable floating in my head. We didn’t go anywhere this week, but historian Heather Cox Richardson’s Letters from an American email today reminded me of all the events that have happened within the past week—”It was only last Sunday– seven days ago– that the New York Times released information about Trump’s taxes. Since then, we’ve lived through Tuesday’s debate and the wildfire spread of coronavirus through the inner circle of the White House, along with other stories that would have crippled any other administration but that now pass by with hardly a ripple.” My morning walks and talking to loved ones is keeping me sane.

We ordered Chinese food this weekend and watched two Merril movies: I’m Thinking of Ending Things (on Netflix) and A White White Day, an Icelandic movie available to rent on Amazon Prime and other platforms. I liked both of them more than my husband did, but they are both movies I’m still thinking about. The actor who plays the main character in A White White Day is so compelling, and his granddaughter is very cute. I’m Thinking of Ending Things, is a Charlie Kaufman film, so if you’ve seen his other movies, you know this will not be straightforward. There’s also a connection to Fargo, the TV show, not the movie. Jessie Buckley who plays the young woman in the movie, is in the new season, and her co-star, Jesse Plemons, was in an earlier season, as was David Thewlis, who plays his father. We’ve watched the first two episodes of the new season of Fargo, which is set in 1960 Kansas City, and we both like it so far.

I’m hosting dVerse today, so I’ll be back later. 😏

Here’s a another blue river shot for Liz.

Boat Slip, Delaware River, West Deptford, NJ ©️Merril D. Smith 2020

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,

12A5F6BC-B216-4F20-8C2A-D4E88F11FF18

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.