Vultures

Vulture near the Delaware River

Vultures

Now, the season of in-between
the summer heat dims, the vultures soar
wind-embraced through clouds to blue–
no evil or good in their birds’ eye view
above the trees, across the shore,
circling death, cleaning the scene.

For dVerse Open Link Night.
I was inspired by Sarah’s elegant response to Punam’s prompt. I decided to write a sestain, as well.
6 lines, ABCCBA

And I saw vultures today. 🙂

The Constancy of Autumn

Monday Morning Musings:

The Constancy of Autumn

“Where are the songs of spring? Ay, Where are they?
Think not of them, thou hast thy music too,—
While barred clouds bloom the soft-dying day,
And touch the stubble-plains with rosy hue;”
–from John Keats, “To Autumn”

Sunrise
Sunrise, Delaware River, September

Now the dragons come, sending their fiery breath
Into the cerulean sky, last gasps,
a vibrant show before their long, winter sleep.

Now squirrels skip and scurry
to find and bury their treasure,
eagles soar from shore to shore,

white-feathered heads glowing above the river blue,
where herons and egrets in shallow water wade
still in shadow, then with broad wings wide, glide

to other shoals. While blue jays gather
in raucous meetings throughout the day—
yelling at hawks, asking summer to stay—but

Blue Jay with shade of green

Apples and Honey, both local and delicious

now the apples come—red or golden-green,
the colors of both fall and spring, tart and sweet
as life, well-balanced, though seldom neat.

Now t-shirts are covered by sweaters,
above, azure turns grey, but bright a spray of yellow
in bee-swallowed goldenrod, and violet aster.

Golden rod and aster at dawn.

Now we are in transition, in-between,
summer has ended, winter not yet come
but we remember what has been

the roses of summer and the fruit,
their essence captured in honey and wine–
with time,

the memories and promises,
like late spring’s bird-dawn chatter—
everything connected, everything matters,

the constant of love’s endurance
glowing brilliant as the light
of ancient long-dead stars, so bright,
still guiding us from afar.

Where the light comes through—early morning, Delaware River.

We celebrated the first night of Rosh Hashanah last night. It makes so much more sense to celebrate the new year in early autumn as summer fades into fall than tacked on to the end of winter holidays on the first of January. Of course, no one has asked me. It was wonderful to celebrate with family, and while we missed not having everyone there, the smaller group meant we could all sit at one table and converse together. We toasted the memory of my aunt Sima, whose recipe for challah cannot be surpassed. It’s the one I always use.

Some photos from last night

Apples: Random Word Poetry

Apples

Consider the elegance of apples on plate,
observe the curve and glow,
an evanescent moment, await
honey-sweet and tart on tongue, the flow
of pleasure

we choose and accept
a willing temptation, rewind and see,
apples in the broad sweep of history,
splendid or lamentable
events that may be

ordinary, secretive, or blessed—
ponder the rest.

This poem is inspired from the random words Jane generated today. The poem I came up with made me think of this song from the musical Ordinary Things.

Questions of Shadow and Light

Questions of Shadow and Light

Sun above and below, reflections and shadows on the Delaware River

In this time of shadow and light
crow flies from trees with raucous caw–
there are things I think I saw–

when the world is washed fresh and bright
the grass is showered with sparkling drops,
a rainbow orb shimmers and hops

and robins sing to dawn’s delight,
the stars are gone, the moon will set,
but now she hums, and lingers yet

the truth of sun, moon, stars invite
the ifs and whys of death and life
hereafter lived in peace or strife,

questions of time—the infinite
echoes on stardust in our blood
and bones dissolved in ancient mud.

In this time of shadow and light,
when the world is washed fresh and bright
and robins sing to dawn’s delight,
the truth of sun, moon, stars invite
questions of time—the infinite.

A Constanza for dVerse. The first line of each 3-line stanza forms a poem, which is the final stanza. You can read more about the form here.

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.

As Cruel as April

As Cruel as April

Grey Winter growls, Spring dreams of green
when flowers grow, and love birds preen.
Soon rabbits wake, the vixen prowls
then runs and hides, afraid she’s seen
the fearful beast, who’d foul with howls
spring dreams of green–grey Winter growls.

Now what comes next, before green spring
when sparrows fly, and robins sing?
Do wolves bare fangs? Do bears get vexed
by hopes or dreams, by what spring brings,
and seek with blood, destroy, annex
before green spring? Now what comes next?

Before spring comes, the bullets fly.
The people grieve, the winds just sigh
as they drift by soldiers and drums.
Power? Money? Who knows why
the bloodlust soars. The moon just hums–
the bullets fly, before spring comes.

For dVerse, a made-up form called the Sparrowlet. You can read about it here. The name of the form made me think of spring, and I wrote the first stanza yesterday. Then when I heard the news today, I wrote the last stanza. So then, I wrote the middle stanza to connect them. We are living in a very scary time, and so much disinformation is being spread constantly.


When Shadows Scream

Peder Severin Krøyer [Public domain] “Summer Evening at Skagen beach, the artist and his wife”

If beneath the blue and honeyed light,
we dream of love, and watch
milk-lather waves in tumbling play,

then we can recall those dreams
when shadows scream
and mind-aches sway

our thoughts—
there’s evil about
and cold winds blow, my love,

but there! They sweep the sky
of storms, and blanketed against the air,
we wait for sun-dazzled caramel rays

to cast aside the haunted winter-breath
and with summer-warmth overlay.

The Oracle kept giving me “shadow,” today, and it made me think of the Lady of Shallott,
“I am half sick of shadows,” said
The Lady of Shalott.”
And aren’t we all?

“I am half sick of shadows,” said
The Lady of Shalott.” John William Waterhouse

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.

Of Clouds and Sun

Monday Morning Musings:

Sunrise, Delaware River at West Deptford ©️Merril D. Smith, 2021
Reflecting on the River after the storm, Delaware River at Red Bank Battlefield ©️Merril D. Smith

Let me tell you about the clouds, the sun,
the flowers, tall and smiling, the tons
of debris left, the work that must be done.

Reaching ©️Merril D. Smith, 2021

Now the hawk screeches and broad-wing flies
in concentric circles, as the wind sighs
at summer leaving, but with the prize of bluest skies

Red-Tailed Hawk

September comes, and we are in-between
the muggy green and russet- gold; not yet seen
the frosted crunch, yet geese convene

debating if–or when–to leave.
But I don’t grieve summer’s end, perhaps naïve
I must believe

that it will come again.

And so, I dip my apples, and ponder time,
drink my wine, as the sun sets and moon climbs.
Another year passes, she chimes,

while the stars in constellated chorus sing,
and light scatters from white egret’s wing
in the universe’s laughter, from winter to spring.

Most of you know we had storms, tornados, and flooding in my part of the world last week. Then we got beautiful September weather. We went to Dalton Farms, where they have a sunflower festival going on. Yesterday we went to William Heritage Winery. It was rainy, but we were fine under an umbrella. Part of their weekend sales were going to help Mullica Hill homes and farms damaged in the tornados last week.

Today is Labor Day, and tonight is Rosh Hashanah. I’ve baked some challahs, and we’ll be dipping apples in honey and drinking wine tonight.

Rosh Hashanah Challahs

The Wind Whispers Storms

Clouds over the Delaware River

The wind whispers, storms
over river dreams, the river seems
awake and wild, shimmering—riled
by ancient breath or humming moon.

The wind whispers, storms
too soon the blue, the hue
of water-sky. So high the ospreys fly
through shifting clouds, the rustling loud

as the wind whispers, storms,
through trees, bent but proud.
The squirrels chitter, the deer skitter,
while blue becomes slate grey–

they hide or stay.
The wind whispers storms,
but the sun, bright-rayed
comes out to play.

And the wind whispers,
the storms have gone away.

Ingrid is doing a dVerse prompt on oral poetry. I’m not sure that I did it exactly. I often read my poetry out loud and adjust it. This is not the best recording, but here it is. 😀 I finally figured out how to post it here.