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

IMG_2319

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.

 

 

 

 

Moon Spirits, NaPoWriMo

Johann_Georg_Haeselich_-_Holsteinischer_See,_Mondschein_(1847)

Johann Georg Haeselich (1806-1894)
Holstein Sea – Moonlight

 

In the dawning of owl-light

when the bell-voiced flowers

croon goodnight,

and the tide-looped river

mirror-shines still-bright—

the spirits gather, awakened

by the silver feathered light.

 

Moon-blown they dance

tickled by her rays (the sight!)

to make a vagary,

and convened in delight,

to ring with dark-vowelled voices

singing peace upon the night.

 

Day 16 of NaPoWriMo is to write a list poem. It seems like I’ve done a few lists already, so I’m following the dVerse prompt today instead. Laura asks us to write a poem “using at least FOUR of the hyphenated compound words” from the list of words taken from the works of Dylan Thomas. I’ve done this and added some of my own.

Additionally, in a tweet, Dale Rogerson (who blogs at A Dalectable Life) challenged me to use the word “vagaries.” I used the singular form, vagary, discovering that an old meaning of “to make a vagary,” was to make a wandering journey.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hear Me, I’m Here, NaPoWriMo

 

Here! He cries,

Here I am, me.

Hear me, he sings

then Cardinal takes wing.

 

See me, in wind she winds

and calls. Caw! Caw!

See me, in wind she whirls,

glides in a sea-misted twirl.

 

They’re there, then go,

their feathers glistening–

while I stand here, then there,

watching and listening.

 

For Day 14, NaPoWriMo. I’ve incorporated some homonyms. I’m tired today, but I was determined to write something.

 

 

 

In the Dream Time: NaPoWriMo

The_Future_Began_Here

“The Future Began Here,” ESO/B. Tafreshi [CC BY 4.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0)] via Wikipedia Commons: “This week’s picture was taken by ESO Photo Ambassador Babak Tafreshi at ESO’s La Silla Observatory. The bright lane of the Milky Way can be seen streaking across the skies above the Chilean Atacama Desert, beneath which sits the New Technology Telescope (NTT), one of the ten active telescopes located at the observatory. La Silla is the oldest observation site used by ESO. . .”

The moon hums, and the stars sing

and the souls go a-wandering,

to dance in a shimmering ring.

 

There is no past, no care what future brings

as they float and whirl and swing–

while the moon hums, and the stars sing,

 

the owls hoot along, then they take wing,

and the trees remember—everything–

as the souls go a-wandering.

 

Perhaps I dream? Time circles, springs

when souls fly high in gossamer strings,

to dance in shimmering rings.

 

Off prompt today for NaPoWriMo. I just couldn’t face sad, and the first two lines came to me at the gym. (Don’t ignore the muse!) This is a cascade poem. I wrote of a cascade, but I didn’t actually write a cascade poem for Amaya’s prompt the other day on dVerse, so I’m doing this one for Open Link night. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In Transit

Monday Morning Musings:

IMG_1891

“Ports are places where stories are told.”

Transit (2019)

“Time is being and being
time, it is all one thing,
the shining, the seeing,
the dark abounding.”

–Ursula K. Le Guin, “Hymn to Time.” Full poem and more here.

 

We travel here to there

and back again

full moon shimmers

then grey clouds reign

 

The movie set in a sort of purgatory–

or is it hell?

Well, there they dwell

 

in a timeless space,

1942, or perhaps today,

first Paris, then Marseilles

 

where the man

and all the refugees

flee and plea

 

and then they wait

for updates—human freight

telling their stories—annotate

 

in endless exposition

tales of existential despair

they share, aware

 

 

of soldiers raiding houses

and the whispers of cleansing and camps–

there mark with the official stamps

 

the necessary papers

but another visa always needed

and time passes on, unheeded

 

are the pleas

there’s no direct here to there

false names and identities, stare

 

now at your betrayer

and then betray–

go again, or stay

 

it’s all the same, it seems

the stuff of nightmares and false dreams

of hope

 

of getting out.

And is the story even reliable,

truth seems rather pliable

 

on “The Road to Nowhere”

echoes sigh and ghosts flitter

and titter, while fear litters

 

the air—here

now in this my port city

ghosts also walk, in close proximity

to us, all around,

people who came to escape, in fear,

in tears and sometimes a cheer

 

for whiskey and beer

refugees arriving each year

surviving or dying—the crying

 

of those left behind

and so here my ancestors also arrived

and mostly thrived,

 

but what of the untold tales

and the stories that are told,

of the days of old,

 

perhaps embroidered details

come to sit atop the truth

but lost, the tales of grandparents’ youth

 

I learn, when vision fails,

the brain fills the void with what has been

projecting patterns on the unseen screen

 

My mom says, I see it there

like a bird cage

it covers your face, your hair–

 

a cage without

birds, visions in transit sprout

high–set free to fly

 

So, we eat hamantaschen

and we drink some wine, it’s fine

because tomorrow we may be

IMG_1886

between sun and moon

halfway from here to there–

in transit.

 

In another movie

a woman time-travels

trying to unravel

Homemade pizza and Netflix

timelines to save a boy

and her daughter—her joy

lost if time’s not changed again

 

between storms, or mirage,

stories hidden between and around

suddenly lost, suddenly found

 

like spring when trees and flowers smile

and dance the secret of all breathing

and times stops, but just for a while

a short embrace

of light–a kissing space

to gather pace

IMG_1907

ourselves, geese in V flight

we set off, for the light

or like mockingbirds all night–sing

Geese at Red Bank Battlefield

our stories

in transit,

transitory always,

like shadows and spring

 

Last week was strange and surrealistic, as I’ve noted elsewhere. We saw the movie Transit. Trailer here.  [Dale see] this new movie by Christian Petzold is bold, intriguing, and haunting. I keep thinking about it. One review said something like it’s Casablanca as written by Kafka. So, you know, my kind of movie.  I really liked his previous movies Barbara and Phoenix, too, and the director has said he sees them as a sort of trilogy. I didn’t know until afterward that the movie was based on a novel written in 1944 and set in 1942, but there are no direct references to that time in the movie.

We also saw Mirage, a Spanish movie on Netflix. Trailer here. It was good, with echoes of a Twilight Zone episode in the use of TVs–but you probably shouldn’t watch it during a storm.