Mockingbird, NaPoWriMo 2020, Day 30

512px-Mocking_Bird_(Audubon)

 

Every year–

I wait for spring

to hear again

the mockingbird sing–

the effort he exerts—

that brings to me such pleasure.

 

Now hear the sound of robins, cardinals, jays,

all of their phrases within his song

so long, and repeated with such power,

calling from above the flowers

as he perches in a tree.

 

See—he struts,

with wings outstretched

he flaunts his stuff—

 

but it’s his voice that floats

above the pink-petaled rain,

he’s sustained

by hope–or desperation–

the sound

goes ‘round and round

through the midnight hours

 

singing with so much might

he summons dawn’s light—

 

and still he sings

into the after.

 

So. . .many of you know I’ve had a rough couple of weeks, and I stopped participating in this year’s NaPoWriMo and other prompts. But, here’s one on-prompt for the last day of NaPoWriMo to write a poem about something that returns. I felt like doing a bit of rhyme.

I’m also linking it to Open Link Night at dVerse, where Kim is hosting and notes “we are listening.”

 

 

 

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The Language of Flowers, NaPoWriMo2020, Day 11

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John Singer Sargent, “Carnation, Lily, Lily, Rose”

 

Dance

with flowers in your hair,

carnation, lily, lily, rose,

hear their secret voices

rising in the air—

carnation, lily, lily, rose.

 

Breathe

perfume on a summer breeze,

carnation, lily, lily, rose

listen to the song of sky and trees,

carnation, lily, lily, rose.

 

And if your heart is seeking why or after—

remember here, the children’s laughter

a sudden memory that dazzling blows–

of carnation, lily, lily, rose.

 

This language of flowers, your soul comprehends–

the joy, the ghosts, the beginnings, the ends.

 

Today’s prompt for Day 11 of NaPoWriMo asks us to consider the language of flowers, which led me to Sargent’s painting. I also consulted the Magnetic Poetry Oracle  becuase I knew she would have something to say about this subject. The form of this poem seems sort of nineteenth-century Romantic.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

April Wind: NaPoWriMo2020, Day 10

 

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Blowin’ in the Wind

 

The wind moans, a dissonant ghost

Ooooo it sighs, as it drifts through trees

and shifts down streets, then with a boast–

I travel wide, cross land and seas

in gusty gales and gentle breeze–

let birds soar high and then take wing,

flying on currents, singing of spring.

 

It’s cold and windy here today. We even had some snow flurries. Yesterday and the day before we had thunderstorms.

I’m off prompt for Day 10 of NaPoWriMo,but on prompt for Frank’s 7-line poem prompt at dVerse. I’ve done the rhyme scheme for a Chaucerian stanza, but I’m not sure that I got the meter right.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Gleam in the Gloom: NaPoWriMo2020, Day 7

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I walk down streets marked No Outlet

wondering if I could find a way, to flit

or flee, like Alice underground

 

but I’m afraid of falling, rolling

into a hungry black hole,

consumer of light—and all–

 

though light beams through night

and clouds and cracks, the sight

we see glimmers from the past–

 

no less wondrous if unseen–

the black hole, or a tree, I mean

here, the flowers bloom,

 

and birds sing

in their secret language of spring,

of greening feathered flight,

 

and the sun flirts with treetops,

but no one kisses on Main Street, that’s stopped,

and there’s no rock and rolling,

 

as masked like bandit queens and kings

in solitary kingdoms, with empty swings–

the children inside–

 

we walk steadfast apart

with trembling hearts

still able to feel

 

steel yourself, no stumbling into a hole,

so, we comfort and console

as the birds sing and flowers bloom

 

and we sit in our rooms

connected with Zoom—

finding there’s an outlet after all,

 

a gleam through the gloom.

 

I’ve combined two prompts. The NaPoWriMo Day 7 prompt asked us to write a poem based on a news story. I wrote about “the hungry black hole.” At dVerse, Björn asked us “to take inspiration from the words like plague, pestilence, and pandemic, and write a poem to console us in this time of the Corona.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mockingbird Sings

512px-Mocking_Bird_(Audubon)

 

Mockingbird sings,

brings sunshine

in his song,

all his longing

brightly calling

 

swinging my heart along,

 

and through his trills,

he fills the night

with vibrant light–

stilling the storm–

to wing it

softly out of sight.

 

This is for dVerse Open Link Night, where Mish is hosting. For the last two days, we’ve had severe thunderstorm alerts and tornado warnings. Fortunately, we did not get anything too awful here, but it makes me anxious. Last night, after the storms had cleared-out, I opened the bedroom window a bit and heard a mockingbird singing. It made me happy–then I heard it again today. There are things on my mind, and we’re under a severe thunderstorm warning again, but right now, the birds are singing.

 

Riches

Rembrandt_-_Parable_of_the_Rich_Man_(detail)_-_WGA19248

I don’t need a yacht or rings–

or bling—

 

only enough wealth

to pay bills, to manage health,

 

the everyday decisions,

not star-struck visions

 

(think of

Richard Cory, richer than a king. . .)

 

but listen to the mockingbird sing—

riches the world brings

 

This is a quadrille for dVerse, where Kim has asked us to use the word “rich.” For some reason, the poem, “Richard Cory” popped into my mind. You can read it here.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bodies and Souls, Part 2

blue and silver stetoscope

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

 

And so, we ponder the mysteries

of body and soul, the medical arts,

blood pressure, pulse, the body parts

and histories

 

(labeled with another’s name)

 

We wonder, who is she

who intrudes on the charts

who lubs dubs with my mother’s heart–

the mysterious Susan C.

 

We speculate—

the student who once threw a roll,

or was it she on the grassy knoll?

What is or was her fate?

 

(Did they need to operate?)

 

Let’s Google her, we say.

Is it her, or her, or her?

Which woman there would we prefer?

It doesn’t matter, either way.

 

Why won’t her name disappear?

Is she a Russian spy?

Why? Why? Why

is her name so clear, so near

 

to erasing it—persevere, we will.

There! All set.

No. Sigh. Not yet.

 

(Do you think she’ll pay the bill.)

 

I don’t want to go into details or give the woman’s full name, but there was another woman’s name associated with some of my mom’s medical records, and we could not get rid of it. But we got a little silly with wondering who she was. If interested, you can read my more serious post here.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Make Way for Goslings

Golden goslings scuttle in a line

mother’s wings point, they align,

hustling to the river.

 

Father hisses at the stranger

–any possible source of danger—

parents are the givers

 

protecting their young

with honks, squawks, or tongue,

till from the river

 

fledglings fly away—

in time, somewhere, someday

 

Lillian is hosting Open Link Night at dVerse. This is a quickly written poem inspired by a walk I took this afternoon at the park by the river. I hope it’s not too treacly, but the baby geese were so cute, and I was fascinated by the family drama. I watched the goose I’m calling the mother shoo the babies towards the river. The father then hissed at one who was off exploring on the sidewalk to get with the others (you can see there are three on the grass, but four in line). The father then hissed at the other goose standing on the sidewalk, as the little ones went under the fence, and their mother then limboed under it, too. The father stood guard until they were all in the water.

 

Remembering the Days, NaPoWriMo

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Monday Morning Musings:

“Remember you are all people and all people

are you.

Remember you are this universe and this

universe is you.”

From Joy Harjo, “Remember”

 

I remember the week,

the was, the hoped for

the what that came before

 

the sun and storms

the way a cloud forms

and blows across the sky

 

while I wonder how and why

it happens again and again

sun rising, moon sets,

 

dreams floating, drifting,

joy, regrets

shifting, sifting

 

through existence

we’re existing,

sometimes resisting. . .

****

Another shooting on the day

we celebrate Passover,

the end

 

(Hate fills a space

what should be sacred,

this place.)

but we toast to new beginnings,

jobs and a new house,

we douse

 

the hate with love

and wine,

and we dine.

It would have been enough

“Dayenu,”

life is rough and tough

 

but we find the light

in candles on the table.

On this special night

 

we sing and laugh

act out our play

imprint photographs

 

and memories of then

and now,

beginnings and when

 

did that happen?

The sister stories

strains, pains

 

(Laughter)

vomiting in cars,

on planes

 

and on my doll

(she says)

we remember it all–

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ancestors, crash, fall

hide from Cossacks

when very small,

 

and there is more,

Dessert!

Not quite gone, no snores

 

though it’s late,

I remember,

bed awaits.

 

The next day

sky sunny, then grey

we walk through

city and cemetery

sun peeks out

we see a play,

IMG_2415

Oedipus, well,

the shepherds

who raise him, yell

 

and drink

they don’t so much

think,

 

or they do,

too late,

the cow moos

 

and there is

inappropriate sex

a family this

 

dysfunctional,

a tragedy with laughs,

desperate, they fall

 

drink too much

evil and nice

the device

 

of plotting might

not quite work,

but it’s interesting,

 

the play,

and we discuss it

before we flit

 

to other topics

as we sit here

eat mussels, drink beer,

and journey home

watch Voyager, where

Capt. Janeway, onscreen, there

 

wants to save her family

a group united not by blood

but fate, and we await

 

ours,

not family, but fate

sometimes wondering, too late–

 

yet always there are cats

and moon,

a daughter’s visit,

gone, too soon,

but I remember–

we are the stars

 

and all our ancestors

through time and space,

traced

 

filled with sorrow

and grace

I remember today

 

and yesterday,

dream of tomorrow.

 

Today is Day 29, the penultimate day of NaPoWriMo. The challenge is “to blend these concepts into your own work, by producing a poem that meditates, from a position of tranquility, on an emotion you have felt powerfully.” I don’t know if I’ve done that here, but I like this prompt, and I’ll probably return to it.

We celebrated Passover at the end because that’s when most of us could get together. Daughter and Daughter-in-law went with us to see Dionysus Was Such a Nice Man,” a world-premiere play at the Wilma Theater in Philadelphia. And then we ate mussels at Monk’s Cafe.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Ballad of Orpheus and Eurydice, NaPoWriMo

Odilon_Redon_-_Orpheus

Odilon Redon, “Orpheus,”

 

“It has been said that the myth is a public dream, dreams are private myths.”

–Mary Zimmermann, Metamorphoses

 

Busking, I play my guitar

mostly by day,

sometimes under the stars

(their music lovelier than ours).

My songs are stunning, striking riffs,

god-blessed, my parents’ gift

to shift a mood–

when I sing my songs

the birds and trees dance along,

while men and women weep

and want to sweep

away the night,

keeping love alight.

 

And so, on this I survived

till my own love came to me.

In my joy, my music soared

as if on Pegasus-winged chords–

and I dreamt all manner of lovely things.

We married, and then one day

she journeyed far by urban subway,

vanishing deep underground

where she would not be found.

 

I wandered for days and night

in corridors

far below the banks and stores,

strumming the strings while I walked

until a fellow said, “Come, we’ll talk.”

He said a bloke as talented as me

shouldn’t be without his love, his muse–

but, well, let’s see what she’ll choose.

 

On the appointed day,

I stood beneath the street

(where she had agreed to meet).

She told me that with me

she had been in love,

but she was tired—sick of

living on song and air,

really it wasn’t fair,

it was no life–

she was dying as my wife.

So, she went down the stairs–

found work with City Transportation–

for her, a cause for celebration.

 

“Now, I’ve made my declaration. Go,” she said.

“Don’t look back, pretend I’m dead.”

 

You, of course, know the tale

I looked, I failed my darling wife

who’s disappeared behind a veil

of mystery and confusing trails.

I still hope that she’ll return.

Till then, I yearn,

I ride the subway cars,

looking for her, undeterred,

I find her face among the stars,

go out to sing about our story,

(now the most popular

in my repertory).

Then people sigh and cry

while I strum and sing,

and wonder why.

 

The prompt for Day 24 of NaPoWriMo is write a poem inspired by a reference book. The Encyclopaedia Britannica says Orpheus had “superhuman musical skills.” He was said to be the son of the Muse Calliope (poetry) and Apollo, who also had musical skills, and who gave him his first lyre. His “singing and playing were so beautiful that animals and even trees and rocks moved about him in dance.”

On dVerse, Anmol has asked us to reimagine a myth. I really wanted to use this painting that I saw on Jane Dougherty’s post the other day.