In the play—that scene—
falling rain, a soft drumming on the stage,
two women in white nightgowns, dance and kiss
glorious, not indecent—
later, in the Lodz ghetto,
they perform again–
the drumming of jackboots looms–
the play’s not indecent, their reality is.
Paula Vogel’s play, Indecent, is a play about a play Sholem Asch’s 1903 drama God of Vengeance, which was performed in Yiddish in Europe, then in Yiddish theaters in the U.S. When it was translated into English and performed on Broadway it triggered an obscenity trial in 1923. The play was performed in the Lodz ghetto with a diminishing cast and audience. This sounds very depressing, but I love this play, and there is humor and joy in it, too. And that rain dance scene. (If you’re a PBS member and have Passport you may be able to see the play on Great Performances online.)
This is a quadrille for Mish’s dVerse prompt using the word, “drum,” and it also addresses Anmol’s Pride Month prompt
Bosch, The Garden of Earthly Delights
I paint what I see—
the tree-man’s visions,
pictures of what was,
of what might be,
wondering if once opened,
my mind-doors can be closed–
I have no answers,
this may be a chimera, after all–
but do take a strawberry,
they’re delicious, yes?
Day 6 of NaPoWriMois an ekphrastic prompt:
a poem from the point of view of one person/animal/thing from Hieronymous Bosch’s famous (and famously bizarre) triptych The Garden of Earthly Delights. Whether you take the position of a twelve-legged clam, a narwhal with a cocktail olive speared on its horn, a man using an owl as a pool toy, or a backgammon board being carried through a crowd by a fish wearing a tambourine on its head, I hope that you find the experience deliriously amusing. And if the thought of speaking in the voice of a porcupine-as-painted-by-a-man-who-never-saw-one leaves you cold, perhaps you might write from the viewpoint of Bosch himself? Very little is known about him, so there’s plenty of room for invention, embroidery, and imagination.
I’ve combined this prompt with the dVerse prompt, where De has asked us to write a quadrille(a poem of 44 words) using the word “close,” or some form of the word.
I know the science of sun and rain
that wakes the world to spring–
brings a languorous glow,
that rings the day
till the moon
hums it away.
But I believe in magic–
and birds winging, singing
through morning dew.
A quadrille for dVerse, where Linda has asked us to use the word “magic.”
(A quadrille, besides being a dance, is a dVerse form. It’s a poem of 44 words—any type.)
Photo of the Earth taken from Apollo 8, called Earthrise (1968).
I see the morning moon
dream-full of spring songs—
of sap, worms, crows
(a murder gathers, cawing)
Now she hums fiercely through the clouds,
stirring my senses—
my mother’s alive, the call a mistake,
but my tire’s flat
on an earth that tilts, revolving.
This a quadrille for dVerse. De has asked us to use some form of the word “stir.” Yesterday, my sister got a call that my mom was “unresponsive.” It turns out the facility called the wrong person, and my mother was fine. However, I pulled out of my driveway and discovered my tire was flat. Fortunately, that didn’t happen when we were driving on the expressway.
Vincent Van Gogh, Starry Night
The stars fill the sky
even when we can’t see them
they shine and sing—
a glowing, tumbling wing
of feathered sounds that swing
across their incandescent surfaces–
this sound, a lover’s soft sigh,
a parent’s croon,
a celestial lullaby
of wonder and why.
This is for dVerse,where De asked us to use the word fill in a quadrille, a poem of exactly 44 words. My first lines came from Jane wondering a few days ago what it would be like to see the stars during the day. I suspect Vincent could hear their songs.
Wild the owl that hoots at night,
wild the fawn that gambols from my sight,
wild the wind that blows from other lands,
and wild the waves that lap the sand,
wild the lightning in the sky—
and wild the thunder echoes. . . asking why?
A rhyming quadrille for dVerse, where Kim has asked us to use the word, “wild.”
The roaring wind
blows my love
away from me he goes
far off on the sea
to war, to adventure,
to find a better life
he leaves family,
his love, his wife,
a centuries-old tale.
Will he return? When?
The wind only roars again.
I felt the need for a bit of poetry before I start work today, so this late response to Monday’s dVerse prompt. De asked us to use the word roar in a quadrille—a poem of exactly 44 words. We’re expecting roaring winds here today, but for some reason I thought of the move Atlantics, which we saw on Netflix not too long ago (mentioned in one of my Musings.) It was made and set in Senegal, and it won a prize at Cannes.
Moonglow and star shimmer
light the travelers on their way.
Candlelight in windows flicker
a signal, a sign—
here we hold darkness at bay
for minutes, hours, days
as lovers embrace and sway,
finding freedom–a miracle
some might say
light comes to stay.
I’m so totally procrastinating today, so why not write another poem? Here’s a quadrille for dVerse,where Lillian is hosting. She asks us to use the word glow.
North wind blows
come the spirits
past and future here
carrying scents of cinnamon,
and good cheer, meeting, greeting
they swirl, cross-sweeping
without hurry, but you scurry
because the world seems blurry
till you wake–settled–somehow—
allow the now.
A bit of fun for dVerse, where De has asked us to write a quadrille using the word spirit.
Source: The Youth’s Book on Natural Theology, 1840
First a rumble
grumbling in the night,
then a crack, the light
jagged and brightly-white
zig-zagging, where the kite
with hemp strands and key
a sight to see,
but from afar—
(check the jar)
this experiment of wonder,
science, lighting, and thunder.
A quadrille (a poem of 44 words) for dVerse where De asked us to use the word “crack.” If you don’t know anything about Benjamin Franklin’s experiment, here are the details from the Franklin Institute—it includes a passage from his article in the Pennsylvania Gazette. He actually electrified the hemp from the charged air, not directly from the lightning, but poetic license. 😉