Bells of Light: #Tanka

This is a tanka for Colleen’s Tanka Tuesday.

This week, Colleen has asked us to use synonyms for bells and past.

 

In time of darkness

the tintinnabulation

tolls for all of us,

displays of holiday cheer,

reminders of our light-search

 

Anything But Black

ESO’s various observatory sites in Chile — Paranal, La Silla, Chajnantor — boast enviably low levels of light pollution. However, the skies overhead are rarely pitch-black! As shown in this image of Paranal Observatory, the skies regularly display a myriad of colours and astronomical sights, from the plane of the Milky Way shining brightly overhead to the orange-hued speck of Mars (left), the starry constellations of Scorpius and Orion, and the magenta splash of the Carina Nebula (upper middle). Despite the remote location there are also occasional signs of human activity, for example the sequence of lamps seen in the centre of the frame. These faint lights illuminate the route from the Very Large Telescope (VLT) to the Visible and Infrared Survey Telescope for Astronomy (VISTA) where this image was taken. Due to the highly sensitive camera this photograph also showcases a mysterious phenomenon called airglow. The night sky is ablaze with deep red and eerie green hues, caused by the faint glow of Earth’s atmosphere. Because of airglow, no observatory site on Earth could ever be absolutely, completely dark — although ESO’s do come pretty close. This image was taken by talented astronomer and photographer Yuri Beletsky, a member of the 2016 ESO Fulldome Expedition team. This team visited Chile to gather spectacular images for use in the ESO Supernova Planetarium & Visitor Centre.

Tonight is the first night of Hanukkah. Wishing all of you light in the darkness and miracles.

 

 

 

 

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Skeleton Trees: Tanka Tuesday

This is for Colleen’s Tanka Tuesday Poetry Challenge. We were supposed to use synonyms for stark and trap. We’ve had several unseasonable warm days, but now it’s getting colder, and the wind is howling.

 

Skeleton trees loom

against skies of violet

owl whistles secrets

caught in winter’s gloomy night

I will seek them in spring’s blooms

 

Georges_Daubner-Paysage_d'hiver_(1921)

Georges Daubner, “Paysage d’hiver,”  via Wikimedia Commons

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hope Soars and Sings: Yeats Challenge, Day 30

This is for the final day of Jane’s wonderful A Month with Yeats Poetry Challenge. It has been glorious. Thank you, Jane! I wanted to end the month on a hopeful note–a bit different from my last couple.

I’m also linking this to the dVerse Open Link Night. 

 Today’s quotation from Yeats:

 “And I shall have some peace there, for peace comes dropping slow,” —W.B. Yeats

 

In my dream, I soar with the gulls

adding my laughter to their own,

as I fly higher and higher away from home,

riding the waves of the infinite sea

floating weightless, drifting far, content to be

just there, a speck, a spot within the shimmer

lightly gliding amongst stellar glimmer

as the stars sing their songs and the moon hums along.

Then dropping slow, I wake at peace upon my bed,

(bits of stardust still glint softly on my head),

at home with you, now earthbound me,

and I rejoice to hear a sound, the robin’s voice

greeting the rosy sun, the light of day now just begun

hope sings and floats with feathered wings

and rises strong at dawn from the maple tree.

 

 

 

 

Through the Ages, She is Blamed: Yeats Challenge, Day 29

This is for Jane’s Month with Yeats Poetry Challenge.

 “Why, what could she have done, being what she is?

Was there another Troy for her to burn?”—W.B. Yeats

 

Through the Ages, She Is Blamed

They laid the conflicts at her door–

her hair unbound, or what she wore—

they blamed their deeds on her physique

oh, they have brawn, but they are weak,

when they confine her to a guarded room,

do they fear her fruitful womb,

and do they grope her milk-filled breasts

and say it is their god’s request?

and they blame her body for tempting them,

as they rip her dress from neck to hem,

they will not let her flee–nor be–

scared if she gains knowledge, scared if she is free,

those named and nameless who do not see

it is they, not she, who commit the atrocities.

 

“I am woman hear me roar.”  I hope I can end the challenge tomorrow on a more pleasant note, but considering all that’s going on in the world and the fact that I’m working my way through my copyedited Encyclopedia of Rape and Sexual Violence. . .well, we will see. 🙂

 

 

 

Lost at Sea: Yeats Challenge, Day 28

 

For Day 28 of Jane’s A Month with Yeats Poetry Challenge.  Today’s quotation:

“I would that the Boar without bristles had come from the West

And had rooted the sun and moon and stars out of the sky”—W.B. Yeats

 

 On storm-tossed seas with blackened skies

he traveled lost, and so afraid

longing for the siren’s call

to forget he was now ostracized.

Once at the top, a renegade

who chose to obliterate with his cabal,

brought war, destruction, the children’s cries

and wakened monsters from the shade,

all vaporized, and so, the ashes fall

on ruined lands, on Earth’s demise

Ayvazovskiy_-_A_storm_begins_to_whip_up_in_the_Black_Sea_(heliography)

Ivan Aivazovsky [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

 

 

 

 

 

For My Daughters: Shadorma, Yeats Challenge, Day 27

I’ve combined prompts again–a Shadorma for Eliot’s November Shadorma Challenge and Jane’s A Month with Yeats Poetry Challenge, Day Twenty-Seven for both.

Today’s quotation:

“Once more the storm is howling, and half hid

Under this cradle-hood and coverlid

My child sleeps on.”—W.B. Yeats

 

 

I watch her

sleep, tiny body

breathes softly

in and out,

time focused

only on the here and now,

her dreams without words

 

 

did her soul

travel from the stars

I wonder,

discover

love grows exponentially

in lullabies sung

  

 

 

 

 

Sea Freedom: Shadorma and Yeats Challenge, Day 26

I’m combining prompts again for Eliot’s November Shadorma Challenge and Jane’s Month with Yeats. Here is today’s quotation:

“I would that we were, my beloved, white birds on the foam of the sea!”–W.B. Yeats

 

In a dream–

we flew like birds,

laughing gulls

soaring high,

or stood amidst the sea foam,

time and physics paused

 

1024px-Ilya_Repin-What_freedom!

Ilya Repin. “What Freedom!” [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

 

 

The Stranger’s Tale: Yeats Challenge, Day 25

 This is for Jane’s  A Month with Yeats, Day Twenty-Five.

Today’s quotation is from the “Song of Wandering Aengus.”  Judy Collins sings a lovely version of this poem.

 “And when white moths were on the wing,

And moth-like stars were flickering out,

I dropped the berry in a stream

And caught a little silver trout.”—W.B. Yeats

 

I met a man who told me tales

of wand’ring long on lonesome trails

through silvered groves of hazel wood

and seeing trout from where he stood

on the banks of a laughing stream

and how he fell into a dream.

He was old when he told me this,

of how he dreamt he had been kissed,

of how he’d never settled down

from fighting battles for the crown

of how he missed his darling’s lips

as he was gone upon his ships,

and how she chose another man

changing the life he thought he planned.

Now I am old, remember this,

the stranger’s tale of his lost kiss,

but when I dream, I dream of you

of wishes cast on waters blue

spindrift in the prismed light

flying high in the starlit night

I think of the man, his lesson taught–

thankful my wishes granted in love long sought

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Swans: Yeats Challenge, Day 22

I’ve been busy getting ready for Thanksgiving. Wishing all of those who celebrate the holiday a very Happy Thanksgiving. 

This is for Jane’s A Month with Yeats Challenge. Today’s quotation:

 “I wander by the edge
Of this desolate lake
Where wind cries in the sedge:” —W.B. Yeats

 

I wandered by the shadowed lake,

desolate it seemed at first,

till a swan glided there and took

a sip to slake his thirst.

Soon after that, his mate sailed to him,

the two swam side-by-side

a lover’s dance, in evening dim

across the lakeside wide,

but with moonlight the sky turned brighter

together then, they spread their wings and gracefully took flight.

Their feathered bodies seemed larger and whiter

against the blanket of indigo night,

and though I’ve traveled, often far,

this is the memory that comforts me

when hope seems lost to faultless stars

I think of the swans on that moonlit night–and I feel free.

Schwaene_im_Schilf_(C_D_Friedrich)

Caspar David Friedrich, “Swans in the Reeds,” [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Caspar David Friedrich, “Swans in the Reeds,” [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

 

 

The Deer: Yeats Challenge Shadorma, Day 21

A Shadorma for Eliot’s November Shadorma Challenge and Jane’s A Month with Yeats Challenge. 

Today’s quotation:

“..by water among the trees
The delicate-stepping stag and his lady sigh” —W.B. Yeats

 

stag and doe

over golden leaves

side by side

they travel

at dusk, searching, wandering–

sighing, find a home

 

 

Marc_-_Hirsche

Franz Marc [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons