Creation

“Listen,” by Catrin Welz-Stein

She is ever young and ancient, too,
mistress, mother, destroyer, divine,
she births the world, but burrows, then weeps
in cold blood darkness, and there she sleeps–

and when she dreams, the flowers bloom
on roots, warm-spun from her honeyed hair,
and ladybugs skitter, scatter, fly
beneath sun-kissed clouds and azure sky.

She is woman, goddess, earth’s true love,
diamond-eyed, rose and chocolate-scented
breast-achy, she nurses–but then sighs–
all that comes, goes, all that lives, yet dies.

An ekphrastic poem for dVerse, where Lillian is hosting and received permission from artist Catrin Welz-Stein to post four images of her work. We are permitted to choose only one of these four images to use as springboard for poetic fancy.

Flickering

Glow  (July 2020)

A field of grass by an ugly gravel parking lot, transformed by sunlight. ©️Merril D. Smith 2020

 

Light

comes, goes,

so it flows

to earth and sea,

flaming grassy meadows,

with photons streaming, gilds a tree.

Though shadows loom below, we let them be;

pretend we do not see the coming of the night,

but live, walk, talk—and love, the apogee

of our beings—humanity

with stardust traces glows

but faintly—see?

The flickers

dim. . .grow

bright.

 

This is a diatelle for Colleen’s Tanka Tuesday. This week she wrote:

“Let’s make this challenge truly a poet’s choice! Use any syllabic poetry form that you’d like. As long as there are syllables to count, you’re good to go! Be creative. If your form is something new, teach us how to write it. Have fun!”

I know she doesn’t normally do rhyming forms, but this is definitely syllabic, and I know Colleen likes shapes, so I hope this is OK. 😀 Mine can probably use some more work, but I’m posting it anyway.


I found the form, created by Bradley Vrooman, on Shadow Poetry.  

“The Diatelle is a fun, syllable counting form like the etheree with a twist. The syllable structure of the diatelle is as follows: 1/2/3/4/6/8/10/12/10/8/6/4/3/2/1, but unlike an ethere, has a set rhyme pattern of abbcbccaccbcbba. This poetry form may be written on any subject matter and looks best center aligned in a diamond shape.”

Maybe everyone does this, but if not, maybe it’s helpful to see. I made myself a template to keep track of syllable/lines and rhymes. I do this for many forms.

a1 Light

b2 comes, goes

b3 so it flows

c4 to earth and sea

b6 flaming grassy meadows–

c8 with photons streaming, gild a tree

c10 though shadows loom below, we let them be,

a12 pretend we do not see the coming of the night

c10 but live, walk, talk–and love, the apogee

c8 of our beings–humanity

b6 with stardust traces glows

c4 but faintly—see?

b3 The flickers

b2 dim, grow

a1 bright.

Wishes

512px-Winslow_Homer_-_Moonlight,_Wood_Island_Light

 

From the sea, she walks ashore, seal-skin slips

from her body–she stands now unadorned–

shimmering hair unbound and flowing,

dulse-laced and glowing, she whips

it ‘round like armor. Girded thus, the sea foresworn

yet she lingers, soul unsure, not quite captured

by the sunlight, body gleaming, hair sheened by salt-sea blowing,

directed then by lover’s shouts, she turns, enraptured.

 

But rapture does not last, not when the sea sighs and calls

in waves that beckon with infinite ebbs and flows

with subaqueous whispers from afar–

till finally, she must flee the confining walls,

let loose her hair and shed her clothes

to rush upon the sea-kissed sand,

fur-pelt in hand, she makes one wish upon a star,

and embraces the sea, abandons land.

 

For De’s prompt at dVerse on mermaids and selkies. I rewrote a poem I did a while ago for one of Jane’s prompts and added a second stanza. I kept the rhyme scheme, but didn’t quite follow the rest for a san san poem. So, here goes—no minimalism here, this one’s unabashedly romantic.

 

 

 

 

 

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.”

 

 

 

.

 

 

The Language of Flowers, NaPoWriMo2020, Day 11

512px-John_Singer_Sargent_-_Carnation,_Lily,_Lily,_Rose_-_Google_Art_Project (1)

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

 

6A6FDF06-866E-45E3-9B81-FB979130F771

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

1CE3B973-0C39-4D5E-A5D2-39CD1CFB8FED

 

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.