Full and bright, the night alight with skittering scatters and chitter-chat of sated rat. The vixen barks to her mate, and beneath the walls, creatures slither and crawl, while mice and voles in the shadows hide as feathered wings outstretched glide–and bide.
And shall I call it owl moon? A moment in time, perhaps not real— Imagined flights, unseen sights, but the planets spin, the stars glow and go about what they do, and the owl does, too, with a hoot to the world, he dives, survives—though it’s fate—not feud, the hunters and the pursued.
All the questions, unanswered, still are asked— the moments gone, past to future and to past–
but listen– the fade of argent song, the hummed goodnight, as trills and twitters awaken dawn’s light.
This was originally written for Paul Brookes’ Special January Ekphrastic Challenge. Kerfe Roig supplied the beautiful artwork. I’ve added this recording of the poem to go with it, and I’m linking it to dVerse Open Link Night.
1. Cross the forest threshold covered in squirrel-scattered leaves. Acorns, chestnuts, cones, and seeds buried amidst ancient, tangled roots, resurrected.
2. Three cats—curled, colored knots white, tortoiseshell, and grey-striped. Descendants of tigers, purrs with sharp claws, gone–save the shadow pressed against my warmth.
Driftwood, weathered and bleached white, a venerable creature beached waiting for the tide. What stories could it tell of its journeys– of time and beyond?
Red flowers rise to a rosy sky Hello, they cry, and wave. From wooded umbra, white striped tail rises, too, leaving his scent— not a perfumed calling card, but a warning.
The clouds grumble, their secrets burst out and light the sky Your arm across me in the night, I reach to catch a glittering fragment before it vanishes—I laugh and hear an echo from the in-between.
A cadralor for dVerse. I hope I’ve done this correctly. To me, the form seems like a dream, in which you understand it as it goes along, and when you wake you feel something’s been resolved, though you can’t explain how or why. You can read about the form here, but briefly from the journal Gleam:
“the cadralor consists of five short, unrelated, highly-visual stanzas. The fifth stanza acts as the crucible, illuminating the gleaming thread that runs through all the stanzas and bringing them together into a love poem. By “love poem,” we mean that the fifth stanzaic image answers the question: “For what do you yearn?” Please see sample poems and editor statements on the cadralor to get a feel for this new form.”
Ask if the moon sleeps as the sky turns rosy, and with languid tongue, licks black to blue– does she recall the after-ache of crashing birth, and dream the songs of a thousand stars?
Now, watch the cool cat breath rise with arched back over the river, curling into the morning air—
is this what you seek? Recall the beauty of this day— clothed in peach, pink, and blue– the chirp of sparrows, the rush of heron’s wing.
When I opened our back door this morning, there was the moon right in front of me. Then when I walked to the river, it was just so beautiful with the sun rising over the water. The world is full of terrible things and horrible people, but there is also such beauty in it. The Oracle knows and reminds me.
“You are here, at the start of a moment, On the edge of the world. Where the river meets the sea.” —“Welcome to the Rock,” from Come From Away
I am here, by the river the sky is blue—or grey— cloudy or clear, I am here at the start of the day
watching the birds, remembering the shadows need the light, and thoughts need words, to tell how time goes
slow, then faster, people gone before you know to say good-bye. All the stories left untold, and new ones born, the river sighs.
There a hawk cries, There the sun rises, anew— There a cat finds the light There you find again the blue
that comes after storms and grey. We celebrate the holidays— you are there, and we are here but we find some ways
to connect and remember. We toast L’chaim, to life, with wine and food we commemorate, and for now, we’re fine
at the start of this moment— and we soar into the next and the next
without a clue–what’s beyond the blue.
This week started with Labor Day and Rosh Hashanah—it already seems so far away. We celebrated with our daughter and son-in-law. The next night, we had a Zoom dinner with both children and their spouses. Saturday was September 11. The sky that day was so blue, just as it was twenty years ago. In the afternoon, we went to Blue Cork Winery (where daughter now works) in Williamstown, NJ. It was a gorgeous day to sit outside. We’re going back to summer heat and humidity today.
Last night we watched Come From Away (Apple TV+). I have a couple months of Apple TV free, but Apple does not make it easy to watch on a not-smart TV. This is a filmed version of a live stage production of the musical—filmed recently in a newly opened theater before a masked audience. Although I did not feel it quite so much as when we saw it live in a theater, it is still a wonderful play based on the true events of 9/11—when 38 planes were diverted to the Newfoundland town of Gander. It is heartwarming without being treacly, and it shows people at their best. The play was also performed live on Saturday at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C.
If you’ve seen the show, I just found this article, and it made me happy.
Far away, storms eat winds and send them swirling– but here, now, the sky is gowned in midnight blue and a peach moon shines over sleeping gardens. The fiddler plays a soft lullaby recalling dreams of aching beauty– and if I don’t understand them all, I recognize the song of whisperings seas, and the beat of heron wings, the language of seasons, of hope and despair, and I smile at the dawning light.
The Magnetic Poetry Oracle gave me a poem today that I think goes with Ingrid Wilson’s publication, The Anthropocene Hymnal. It’s available now. Read her post here for information. All money earned from it goes to the World Wildlife Fund. I have one poem in the volume, and the beautiful cover is by Kerfe Roig.
The July full moon is called the Buck Moon, but I think it should be a peach moon. I was hoping to see it early this morning, but it was already too low in the sky. I did see Jupiter though–and I saw this heron today and wondered if it was “my” heron from last summer.
Coy Clio, with half-smile and backward glance, her stance unsecured– she balances time and chance. Reflected in the glass, her image wavers, not quite straight, always moving, she knocks down Fate. She leaves her scent in dusty tombs, and book-filled rooms, and there within a musty cell, a faded ledger in a bin. There are cries from eras long forgotten, she sighs through silk and ships of cotton, whispers through graveyards and dockets, ill-gotten gains and weathered remains of centuries, unexplained. Ask her for enlightenment, not for glory, still she replies there are many untold stories– look at the monuments, partly erased, salted and wind-kissed, the lines spaced unevenly in past’s embrace. And here, a doll, a letter, a locket that falls from a red-splattered pocket— love and connections, a mystery, blood-drenched fields, the history.
This is in response to Ingrid’s dVerse prompt this week to write a poem invoking a muse. Some of you know I have a history book chapter that I need to finish writing (like now), so perhaps a poem about Clio, the muse of history will help. I’m posting this for today’s dVerse Live Open Link Night.
Juke-joint jive— blues rite in purpled night as bodies sway, in freedom from the toil of day—
listen to the guitar play the riff, a midnight train’s goodbye sigh away the years of strife– hard-fought life, forgotten
as moon shines from a mason jar.
We are celebrating dVerse’s Tenth Anniversary. Our special guest host, Brian Miller, has asked us to write a quadrille using the word juke, a word I’m sure I’ve never used in a poem before. I found this mural on Wikimedia Commons. You’re welcome, Resa. 😏