A Dream, A Kiss: The Stranger’s Tale

I met a man who told me tales of wand’ring

long on lonesome trails of silvered hazel wood,

where by a stream he dreamed, and his pond’ring

 

the ships he sailed, and battles fought as he could.

Then how his dream seemed more real than all of this—

of his darling’s kiss, how missed, and what he should

 

have done. Now old, I think of his dreamed kiss,

his plans altered and rued. I instead stayed,

cast wishes on waters true, finding bliss

 

with you, I thank that man, his lesson taught,

grateful my hopes granted in love long sought.

 

Another sonnet for dVerse, this time in Terza Rima, with thoughts, too, of enjambment, per Jilly’s post. I’m still reading the sonnets, and I’m so impressed with the philosophical questioning. I seem only to be able to write these narrative type sonnets. This started out as a poem based on a Yeats challenge, Jane Dougherty did a while ago. If you want to read that version, it’s here. So indirectly, this is inspired by Yeats. Feel free to comment.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Spy

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“Luis Fernández García, “Susanna and the Elders,” [CC BY-SA 4.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)%5D, from Wikimedia Commons

 

She shed her old life the day the soldiers came,

sloughed like a snakeskin. Perhaps

traces remain to be found someday

in a dusty archive, a notation in a book,

but she has grown, now

metamorphosed,

each day she wears a new persona—

school girl, maid, shy lover—

they think she’s eager to accept

their upright soldiers, ramparts breached

they thrust to claim her,

but she’s eager only for information–

spilled words that she can pass along, not their seeds

she does not want planted.

So, she listens, and they disregard her—

seeing only body, not mind.

She shed her old life when the soldiers came—

she lives in shadows,

hoping for a new life, a new skin

that need not be shredded and shed.

 

 

This is for Lillian’s “shed” prompt on dVerse,

 

The Books

Cécile_Anker_1886

 

Why

she asks

is the sky

blue and grass green?

What does it matter,

he replies, do your chores.

Eyes downcast, she complies–but

determined to find answers—there

in those books she’s forbidden to touch–

 

only boys can learn to read, and then

only those with the right skin tones

or money or connections.

Still books call—enticing!

Secretly she learns–

quietly she

plots–and then

she runs

free.

For all who have marched, protested, and struggled for freedom–a double nonet for Colleen’s Tanka Tuesday

Pause and Dream

512px-Monet,_Claude_-_Waterloo_Bridge._Effect_of_Fog

Claude Monet, “Waterloo Bridge, Effect of Fog,” [Public Domain], Wikipedia Commons

Pause

and dream

of what could

be. Wonder then,

if happiness comes

will you recognize it?

Or will it vanish, in mist,

the fog streaming from the cold sea

hiding the world from you, shrouding all?

Know that the sun is just beyond the clouds–

beyond the clouds, knowledge waits to be found–

assume this, and then go from there–

where else would you be? What matters

more than this? Contentment, then,

if not bliss. Maybe peace.

But there is more

in lucid dreams

of love and

laughter–

hope.

 

A double Etheree for the prompt Colleen’s left during her break—synonyms for belief and joy.

Magic is Coming

Monday Morning Musings:

The week has been busy with chores and long with anticipation. The solstice has come and gone. Full moon and winter sun are concealed behind the clouds—but they are there.

winter moon hidden,

she hums of spring a-coming

dreams bloom like flowers

Almost Full, Almost Solstice

A tsunami crashes upon a beach. Seething like volcanoes, protestors erupt, striking and burning. Children starve. Our government shuts down. Our leader is not one, and he grows increasingly erratic. When will his enablers realize he is a wannabe emperor? When will they finally realize he has no clothes? I look for the helpers. I need to be a helper. I look for the light.

long winter darkness

broken by dawn’s blushing sighs

dormant dreams awake

Solstice--Merril D. Smith, 2018

Our older daughter and her wife arrive from Boston. Our other daughter comes over to eat Wawa hoagies with us and to decorate cookies. We drink warm spiced wine, and they watch a bad movie they asked me to record. I go upstairs to watch the “In Excelsis Deo” episode of The West Wing, my own holiday tradition. I wrap presents and sing along to “Little Drummer Boy.”  My cat lifts his head, then snoozes.

caroling voices

sing in joyful harmony,

Pa rum pum pum pum

IMG_0823

I think about the ghosts of Christmas past–our young girls whispering on Christmas morning waiting for 6 A.M. when they can finally get up. We lie in bed, then hear them sing, “Christmas Time is Here.”  Happy memories. Over the next few days we’ll be seeing family—laughing at jokes and eating and drinking too much. I’ll be enjoying the magic that is now different–but still here.

lights and music now

break December’s silent night–

dreams of magic come

 

Wishing all of you a most wondrous holiday season! I’m linking this to Frank’s Haikai Challenge with the prompt Christmas.

IMG_0819

Santa riding through town in a fire engine.

 

Solstice Dreams

 

On this longest night

no trilling riffs of birdsong,

only dreams take flight,

gathering round the cold full moon

dancing home through sodden clouds

 

IMG_0799

Enter a caption

 

Happy Solstice—Winter or Summer! It is rainy, dark, and dreary here in NJ. This is a print I own, but it was a gift, and I don’t know the artist. It’s the wrong season, but I can dream. 🙂

I’m linking this to Colleen’s Tanka Tuesday Challenge. She’s on break, but so thoughtfully left prompt words! This week, synonyms for fly and sing.

 

 

 

River Walk

I walk the water path

then climb the concrete stairs

 

to stroll past statues and monuments,

where apple trees once grew,

 

the sturdy plantation house stands on the bluff,

but it’s the river that calls

 

the battle-dead whisper

unseen, but fitful, sighing,

 

the flying hawk shadows me

while geese bask

 

at high-tide

the waves crash

 

and they fly

circling the water,

 

the river,

home.

IMG_0659

Delaware River, Red Bank Battlefield

For dVerse, Amaya has asked us to include a secret ingredient. I’m not sure if this works for the prompt, but this is what the muse gave me in between dreams last night, so I’m going with it.

 

 

 

Wishes and Dreams

 

I scan the sky for morning light.

 

gaze out to see a falling star

blazing brightly

 

there between the dawn

and indigo night.

I make a wish.

 

 

November sunlight

peeking through the falling leaves—

lights an open book

 

I was inspired by Janice to write a cherita haibun. I’m not quite sure if this works. This is for Colleen’s Tanka Tuesday challenge using synonyms for pleasant and read.