Soul Dance

My soul aches and almost breaks

the news of guns, the murderous fun–

what does it take

to awaken them

the ones who kill

the ones who rape?

 

In dreams at night, my soul flies light

across the seas, across the sky–

What does it take

to keep awake

for hopes to soar

for dreams to roar?

 

A flower blooms, the morning sky,

my soul enchanted, I might cry–

there is love and beauty—and so why?

what does it take

for them to awake

before we’re gone, before too late?

 

So, dance me Soul

from here to there

from sun to moon

to stellar tunes–

and as I prance,

maybe they’ll dance

and then—perhaps–we’ll have a chance.

 

National Park, NJ
March 21, 2018

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This is for dVerse. Paul asked us to write “a soulful poem, a soul gazing haibun, a soul-filled sonnet. . .”

It is also World Poetry Day.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Catch a Star

This was inspired by a poem Jane posted and our comments.

 

In the darkness, catch the stars

keep them, hold them, in a jar

with memories of long ago. . .

then on the nights when thoughts are bleakest,

let one go and watch it seek its

dream-mist companions of the light–

watch them floating, soaring high—

to the rhythm of your heartbeats, fly

on intangible wings to empyrean heights

follow fly, and do not stop or wonder why,

but in the darkness, grasp the jar

catch, hold fast, a glimmering star.

 

Anything But Black

ESO’s various observatory sites in Chile — Paranal, La Silla, Chajnantor — boast enviably low levels of light pollution. However, the skies overhead are rarely pitch-black! As shown in this image of Paranal Observatory, the skies regularly display a myriad of colours and astronomical sights, from the plane of the Milky Way shining brightly overhead to the orange-hued speck of Mars (left), the starry constellations of Scorpius and Orion, and the magenta splash of the Carina Nebula (upper middle). Despite the remote location there are also occasional signs of human activity, for example the sequence of lamps seen in the centre of the frame. These faint lights illuminate the route from the Very Large Telescope (VLT) to the Visible and Infrared Survey Telescope for Astronomy (VISTA) where this image was taken. Due to the highly sensitive camera this photograph also showcases a mysterious phenomenon called airglow. The night sky is ablaze with deep red and eerie green hues, caused by the faint glow of Earth’s atmosphere. Because of airglow, no observatory site on Earth could ever be absolutely, completely dark — although ESO’s do come pretty close. This image was taken by talented astronomer and photographer Yuri Beletsky, a member of the 2016 ESO Fulldome Expedition team. This team visited Chile to gather spectacular images for use in the ESO Supernova Planetarium & Visitor Centre.

 

 

Grace in the Moon

This is for the dVerse prompt, “Grace.” Things were off for my New Year’s Eve and New Year’s, but I was struck by the brilliant moon. I felt there was a message there, if only I could hear it.

 

The moon hums with a fierce light

glowing

throwing

pale white heat

we do not hear or feel it,

the insistent beat

on rural roads or city streets,

though she hums aloud

we’re lost in darkness

lost, frozen, under this

tenebrous cloud

 

but if we stop,

listen for a space

(pause)

here in this unknown place

look upon a well-loved face

find here, see, a bit of grace

in love constant, shining like the moon

like her humming tune,

hear the whisper in the wind,

hope is coming, listen, soon

 

 

Distant Diamonds

Diamonds rain on distant worlds

through far-flung light, they’re hurled

as if in a dream, or time-stopped scheme

she sees this sight, this bright delight

sparkling glimmers in the night,

amongst them beings with feathered, icy arms

who dazzle with their unearthly charms

murmuring as they her enwound

twirling her so up is down, and all around

the sound surrounds–

the voices of the planets and stars,

and quasars hum and pulse in song,

and she wants to sing along

bewitched by time and space

but then it’s gone, this now elusive place–

yet when she hears the rain at night

she remembers the bewitching sounds, the transcendent light,

the sight of diamonds sparkling from the sky

and remembers that once she reached and she could fly

 

PIA21891_SaturnRings

“This image of Saturn’s rings was taken by NASA’s Cassini spacecraft on Sept. 13, 2017. It is among the last images Cassini sent back to Earth.”

 

I’m linking this to dVerse’s Open Link. Björn invites us with the holiday spirit in mind and the winter solstice soon to come. I brought sparkly space diamonds to the party. dVerse is taking a two-week holiday break.

Yesterday was my birthday. It snowed and things didn’t quite go right, but I read that it might rain diamonds on planets such as Saturn, Jupiter, and  Neptune, and I thought how beautiful that must be.

 

 

 

 

Lost at Sea: Yeats Challenge, Day 28

 

For Day 28 of Jane’s A Month with Yeats Poetry Challenge.  Today’s quotation:

“I would that the Boar without bristles had come from the West

And had rooted the sun and moon and stars out of the sky”—W.B. Yeats

 

 On storm-tossed seas with blackened skies

he traveled lost, and so afraid

longing for the siren’s call

to forget he was now ostracized.

Once at the top, a renegade

who chose to obliterate with his cabal,

brought war, destruction, the children’s cries

and wakened monsters from the shade,

all vaporized, and so, the ashes fall

on ruined lands, on Earth’s demise

Ayvazovskiy_-_A_storm_begins_to_whip_up_in_the_Black_Sea_(heliography)

Ivan Aivazovsky [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

 

 

 

 

 

The Stranger’s Tale: Yeats Challenge, Day 25

 This is for Jane’s  A Month with Yeats, Day Twenty-Five.

Today’s quotation is from the “Song of Wandering Aengus.”  Judy Collins sings a lovely version of this poem.

 “And when white moths were on the wing,

And moth-like stars were flickering out,

I dropped the berry in a stream

And caught a little silver trout.”—W.B. Yeats

 

I met a man who told me tales

of wand’ring long on lonesome trails

through silvered groves of hazel wood

and seeing trout from where he stood

on the banks of a laughing stream

and how he fell into a dream.

He was old when he told me this,

of how he dreamt he had been kissed,

of how he’d never settled down

from fighting battles for the crown

of how he missed his darling’s lips

as he was gone upon his ships,

and how she chose another man

changing the life he thought he planned.

Now I am old, remember this,

the stranger’s tale of his lost kiss,

but when I dream, I dream of you

of wishes cast on waters blue

spindrift in the prismed light

flying high in the starlit night

I think of the man, his lesson taught–

thankful my wishes granted in love long sought

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Race: Yeats Challenge

This is for Jane’s A Month with Yeats Challenge.  Sorry for so many posts today. I’m doing them while I get a chance before I’m back to projects and before Thanksgiving.

This quote is from “The Old Age of Queen Maeve.”

“out of the dark air over her head there came
A murmur of soft words and meeting lips.”—W.B. Yeats

 

Once she was young and fair of face,

she lived life as if it were a race

where she was the brightest and fastest, and before it stopped

she would need to make it to the top.

But now she was confined to a castle tower

so far in time from her bridal bower

and instead of those who loved her well,

it was to her a sort of hell

with only servants and guards who gaped and glowered.

And so, she sat, and sometimes she’d spin,

sometimes ponder, or wonder about her sins

(of which she thought there were many

but as with her life, far from ordinary.)

Of late she had begun to tire,

become very cold, even before the fire,

she thought sometimes her husband, her lover,

was there in the night, his spirit would hover

as if to say, soon, though not today

once again, you’ll dance and sway

in my arms—we’ll be together,

it will be like yesterday

when you were young and fair of face,

but you’ll no longer be running in the race,

a few nights later he came for her,

took her hand and opened a door

the glowering servants saw a faint glimmer

that grew bright, then dimmer in the night

and she was gone, to dance in the starlight.

 

Ford_Madox_Brown_-_Convalescent_-_Portrait_of_Emma_Madox_Brown

Ford Madox Brown, “Convalescent: Portrait of Emma Madox Brown,” [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Vision in the Night: Yeats Challenge, Day Nineteen

This is for Jane’s A Month with Yeats Poetry Challenge, Day Nineteen.

Today’s quotation:

“We who still labour by the cromlech on the shore,

The grey cairn on the hill, when day sinks drowned in dew,

Being weary of the world’s empires, bow down to you,

Master of the still stars and of the flaming door.”—W.B. Yeats

 

This was going to be a triolet, but it isn’t.  🙂

 

A Vision in the Night

She had a vision in the night

saw by the cairns there was such peace

in utter darkness, shone a light,

stars sang there, they scarcely ceased,

though by the cairns there was such peace

and shadows lingered out of sight

 

Looking up at fiery stars

from high above the shore she stared

wondered if a door opened there

where people dared and peace was shared

from high above the shore she stared,

thought peace lived there beyond the stars

Józef_Chełmoński_-_Noc_gwiaździsta (1)

Józef Marian Chełmoński [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Dream Time, Past and Future: Yeats Challenge, Day 17

This is for Jane’s A Month with Yeats, Day Seventeen. 

Today’s quotation:

“The blue and the dim and the dark cloths
Of night and light and the half-light,” —W.B. Yeats

 

They sailed on a journey of three years times three

through a cloth of darkness in a starless night sea.

They moved through fog, as if in a dream

and later couldn’t remember what they had seen.

Time passed quickly or slow, they weren’t sure or didn’t know

how to measure it here, nor where they’d go

when they would get there, or where that would be

or if stars would appear in the starless night sea

were they the first people or were they the last,

they existed in a dream time, future and past.

 

The_Future_Began_Here

A Day in the Forest: Yeats Challenge

I didn’t get my Yeats Challenge post up yesterday, so here’s Day Sixteen. I’m also linking it to Dverse’s Open Link Night.  

Jane chose this quotation for Day Sixteen:

“Do you not hear me calling, white deer with no horns?”—W.B. Yeats

 

At dawn the robin sings to greet the coming of the day,

the sun rises then in golden glow to brightly light the way,

across the sky, excited geese soar high in V formation

honking directions and chattering in winged conversations.

 

Young lovers meander in noontime explorations,

declaring their love in breathless exclamations,

taking breaks from work or school for this, a secret tryst,

holding hands, then coming closer, sharing their first kiss.

 

Later, the young white deer gambols in the gloaming

still young without his horns, carefree in his roaming,

but never too far does he wander from his mother’s side

bleating to her when he is scared, listening for her replies.

 

The owl spreads her wings, takes flight in the blackness of the night

she hoots from a branch to tell her mate that everything is right,

nocturnal creatures flit and scurry under the humming moon,

and in an upstairs room, we sleep, dreaming to the tune.

 

Franz_Marc_-_Deer_in_the_Forest_I_-_Google_Art_Project

Franz Marc, “Deer in the Forest,” [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons