Take Care

Take Care

Witch: “Careful the tale you tell.
That is the spell.
Children will listen.”
Finale, Into the Woods, Stephen Sondheim

Like beanstalks, lies sprout overnight
rising high enough to support giants, as the world withers
below

a field of moon-daisies grows,
with seeds cast like spells
to reflect light,

the glimmer-truth of stars,
birdsong carried and bee-buzzed

child-seen before
they learn. Careful,
they listen.

A quadrille for dVerse. The prompt word is spell. My head is full of lies and stories. Some of the same . . . I watched the January 6 Committee hearings today—more revelations about the former president’s lies.
We saw Into the Woods at the Arden Theatre in Philadelphia on Saturday. Coincidentally. Bernadette Peters sang “Children Will Listen” last night at the Tony Awards in a segment honoring the late Stephen Sondheim.

Their Stories

Their Stories

Vincent van Gogh, Olive Grove

“(There are) many stories which are not on paper, they are written in the bodies and minds of women.”
— Amrita Pritam

Browse the archives, finger-brush ancient tablets
looking for their names—

you may find a few,
the chattel and relicts of men,

repositories of seeds, like the Earth,
their roots in deep-time connection,

they whisper stories–
conquest, war-spoils, love, and loss,
their children, don’t forget.

A double dVerse challenge:
a poem inspired by a line from the work of Punjabi poet Amrita Pritam, and a quadrille (44-word poem ) containing the word “browse.”

Some of you know I’m a historian. I’ve spent a lot of time in archives trying to uncover women’s stories.

Re-Set

Busy Bees

Re-set

This toddler-tantrum world
needs a nap—

as under a snowy coverlet
bulbs sleep until spring comes

to bloom without fuss or fight–unfathomable,
the beauty that makes us—and bees—swoon

gold-dusted, what are their dreams?
A collective vision, pollen-scented harmony in ultraviolet color?

This is a quadrille for dVerse. The prompt word is sleep.

Scattered

Low Tide at Pourville, by Claude Monet

Scattered

never-static particles stream
in space-time light to earth-sea,
crushed shells rise as limestone cliffs,
crumbling

like bones–
dinosaur, fish, and we
fertilize the flowers–
with blood and ash,
the red and white,

of chalk dust
in the sunlight,
sparkling like tiny stars
flying home.

For today’s dVerse, I combined quadrille prompts. Today’s word is “static,” and the previous quadrille that I missed was, “chalk.” A quadrille is a dVerse term for a poem of exactly 44 words.

Written on the Sand

John Reinhard Weguelin, The Yellow Sands

Written on the Sand

She wrote a letter
on paper made of sand,
erased by surf and weather
origami-folded by tides, her hand

the instrument,
the embodiment of collaged hope,
she was a vision, dream,
perhaps, a trope–

still, you glimpsed her sea-blown hair
saw peace beach-written there.

A quadrille for dVerse (44-word poem). The prompt word is paper.

Currents

Ocean City, NJ

Waves rock-crash, cast up the salted-air, sparkling
colored ribbons for the nereids’ hair.

The sea god’s breath flows in and out
the fish-scale clouds scatter about

our dreams
rising on gulls’ wings, our hopes dolphin-leap
under the heron-blue sky,
and dance to ocean’s susurration.

A quadrille for dVerse. The prompt word is salt

Pulling

Morning Moon over the Delaware River

Sky-nibbled moon caught
between white cat-paw clouds,

descends, returns,
constant in her inconstancy, she rotates
keeping a side to herself, but always pulling–

follower or lover, which is she? Forces
in symbiosis–
the ebb-flow of oceans and blood,
the gravity of love and science.

Another poem about the moon. It’s an obsession! A quadrille for dVerse. The prompt word is nibble.

From the Stars

NASA Goddard Space Flight Center from Greenbelt, MD, USA [Public domain]

After the bang, burning
sound and light from indefinite drift
expanding red and blueshifts

now blanketed, we sit
I shiver
at your touch, burning

heat and cold, turning
sound and light

the stardust trapped within
our cells, a microcosm—

Yes! I see it now.

A quadrille for my dVerse prompt today. The prompt word is shiver. Join us!

Crowned

Odilon Redon, “Béatrice”

she’s crownedxxxxxxxxxresplendent
in golden light, xxxxxxxxthe sun is gowned,
halo-headed xxxxxxxxxxand the warmth of her smile
shimmering, xxxxxxxxxxthaws heart-frost–and ground,
she is the bright future xwhere a seed planted now sprouts–
and there is hopexxxxxx knowledge will grow, star-dusted
again xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxand glowing

A cleave quadrille for dVerse. De has asked us to use the word crown. A quadrille is a dVerse poetry form. It’s a poem of 44 words.

At the Fair

Frost Fair on the Thames, Anonymous, c.1685

He bought ribbons for my hair,
then kissed me sweet
warm lips on mine in frosted air–

impossible the tasks he set,
so, fare-thee-well to he
I’ll find another yet

next market-day,
ribbon-adorned my hair,
for desires such weighed
in love, all is fair.

A quadrille for dVerse. The prompt word is fair, and I went to ballads and history: the London frost fairs and Scarborough Fair.