Linger–Quadrille

Almost autumn with an Egret. the Delaware River at Red Bank Battlefield

Linger here—wait, hereafter–
listen to the gulls call in laughter.
Rest awhile in this in-between
the sky so blue, the trees still green—

soon, the russet-leaves will fall,
and we’ll recall–

memories dim–rose-scent and sun-kissed skin
as icy fingers stroke your chin.

A quadrille for dVerse. Linda has asked us to use the word linger. We’re just about at the autumnal equinox, and the weather seems perfectly balanced. I wish it would linger like this for awhile.

Feeling Groovy

Not old enough to drink or drive—

feeling tongue-and-groovy, we think

we know romance.

Remember your purple-striped bell-bottom pants,

that vest with fringe, you’d wear at school?

My hair was long, we were lean.

I embroidered a peace sign on my jeans.

So cool.

For dVerse Quadrille where De has asked us to use the word groove. Our older child found these grainy yearbook photos of us. I’ll have to look for some better photos.

Hearts at the River’s Edge

Driftwood, Sunrise on the Delaware River

The earth murmurs ancient heart-songs.
Hear them in root-rush and rock-rhythms
tapped by sea-spray rainbows.
The eagle’s whistle slices the peached-tipped clouds–
life and death balanced. Hand-in-hand, we watch the light glide through
love-grief fault lines, as the ghosts dance at the river’s edge.

A quadrille (a poem of exactly 44 words) for dVerse where De asks us to use the word heart. I could have gone in so many directions!

Withstanding

Great Blue Heron, Delaware River at Red Bank Battlefield

Tsunami waves of misunderstanding
surge from sea and overland,
destruction in their flow,
flotsam when they go.

But beneath blue sky,
the heron stands in pensive pose—
His thoughts? Who knows?
Warm-blooded, hollow-boned, his lungs
an ancient dinosaurs’ shifted gift, far-flung-DNA
stays. Life everlasting.

It’s quadrille Monday at dVerse. Lisa has asked us to use the word stand.

Juke Joint Quadrille

Mural on the wall of the Victory Grill, a longtime “juke joint” on 11th Street in East Austin, a neighborhood of Austin, Texas. The Lyda Hill Texas Collection of Photographs in Carol M. Highsmith’s America Project, Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division.


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. 😏

Rusted Traces

Photo by Glenn A. Buttkus, South Sound Minimalist Photos

Smudge the lines, then leave no trace
of words–erase the page,

till only thoughts remain
etched within the heart and mind

the rusted memories of
long-ago places, long-ago times–

you travel toward them, dreaming
of endless roads

of what might have been—

if

I apologize for being so behind on reading and commenting. I wasn’t going to participate at all this week because I have an academic history book chapter due, as well as other projects– but the poetry muse kept whispering. . . so, this is for two dVerse prompts. It’s a quadrille for Mish’s prompt using the word “smudge,” and it’s influenced by the photo above from Glenn A. Buttkus’s site “South Sound Minimalist Photos,” for Sanaa’s poetics prompt.

The Seer Sees the Ancient Story: Quadrille

Seven times the wound I bound,
seven times I wound it round
with white-stitched cloth, now blood-red
drowned–
the legacy of war.

Now, here the hero lies near death—
seven times, I conjure fate
hesitate with breath abated—
for furies wrath, to even scores.

A quadrille for dVerse. Lillian has asked us to use the word wound.

All the Dreams Seed-Sprung

Small seeds, scattered, sown
in sun-tilled ground, to sprout and grow

visions, love—what might be
ideas, art, poetry–

so–watered and tended, to propagate,
expanding

hopes, desires,
questions asked and answered—yes–
marriage, a family, paintings, books—or

starry-fields of flowered-dreams, seed-sprung,
everlasting.

I’m hosting Quadrille Monday today at dVerse. The prompt word is seed. Come join us!

Wine and Stories

Monday Morning Afternoon Musings:

Passover a few years ago. Lots of wine–and sparkling wine?

With stories,
we entertain, ascertain, explain the past,
another glass of wine drained, slow or fast–

is it enough? We remember
to forget

how seasons turn, grey to green,
but loved ones gone, remain unseen

like ghosts
white blossoms drift
leaving trails . . .we follow.

It’s poetry month, and I’m having a hard time getting anything else done between all the poetry writing and reading. So, I’m making my usual Monday Morning Musings very short and combining it with the dVerse quadrille prompt, where Linda asks us to write about wine.

Passover ended yesterday. I celebrated with pasta, garlic bread, and wine. During a traditional Passover Seder (Seder means order), we tell the story of the Exodus and during the course of the night drink four glasses of wine. My family, when we’re together, does a very untraditional Seder, and we drink maybe one, two. . . maybe more. I’m looking forward to seeing them someday soon.

Merril’s Movie Club: We watched Quo Vadis, Aida? It’s Bosnia and Herzegovina’s Oscar entry, and it’s a harrowing and heartbreaking, but also an excellent and nuanced movie. It chronicles the failure of the UN peacekeeping forces and the mass genocide by Serbian army in Srebrenica, as seen through the eyes of UN interpreter. The director said she had been waiting for someone to tell this difficult story, but she finally did so herself, and she does so without relying on showing tons of blood and gore. It’s available to rent on Amazon. We also watched Mank (Netflix). We both enjoyed it. It tells a fictional story of 1930s-1940s Hollywood, and the making of Citizen Kane, centered on Herman J. Mankiewicz, the writer, played by Gary Oldman. I thought Amanda Seyfried as Marion Davies was particularly good.

Dreams Unknotted

“For my part I know nothing with any certainty, but the sight of the stars makes me dream.”
–Vincent van Gogh to his brother Theo, 1888

In wavy lines and shimmering spots,
his knotted thoughts, unspooled

the counted crows, a postman, impasto
flowers’ golden glow–

but most of all the stars, not stilled,
the night a colored motion sea–

ripples of what he saw–and dreams of what might be

A quadrille for dVerse, where Mish asked us to use the word “knot.” I read this article today about how after van Gogh’s death, the sale of his paintings—then valuable—paid for his sister Willemien’s care in a mental asylum. I suppose it helped her, but I also felt it was so tragic that she spent decades—almost forty years–there.