Songs of Spring: A Quadrille

Here is more spring-like quadrille for dVerse.

 

With delight, the robin sings

amidst his vernal wandering,

each treble note

seems to float

over newly surfaced yellow-green,

and we are keen

to feel the warmth, to taste the air,

to go about without a care

to listen to the songs of spring

Robin_on_bird_bath

By J. M. Pearson (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons

 

 

 

 

 

 

Light a Candle

“It happened, therefore it can happen again: this is the core of what we have to say. It can happen, and it can happen everywhere.”

–Primo Levi, The Drowned and the Saved

 

Light a candle

six million, if you can,

resplendent glow,

for those who say they didn’t know,

for those who didn’t, do not see

what once was, what could be,

who overlooked the ash-filled air,

who still ignore the pleading cries

and do not hear the ghostly sighs

that float over the walls of hate,

now, don’t hesitate–

light a candle

for those who suffered

and had no buffer

from the fear,

no one to wipe away a tear,

who died because you didn’t see.

 

holocaust_memorial_center_memorial_wall_of_victims_005-1

By Takkk (Own work), via Wikipedia, Holocaust Memorial Center, Memorial Wall of Victims – Budapest, Hungary

For International Holocaust Remembrance Day, 27 January 2017. The anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz by Soviet troops. The few survivors are now elderly. It is important that we do not forget.

 

 

 

 

Fa La La: A Birthday Carol

Monday Morning Musings:

“Looking back, seeing far, landing right where we are

And oh, you’re aging, oh and I am aging,

Oh, aren’t we aging well?”

–Dar Williams, “You’re Aging Well”

 

“I am the ghost of Christmas Present,” said the Spirit. “Look upon me.”

–Charles Dickens, A Christmas Carol

 

On my sixtieth birthday, I wake,

and I feel fine,

the same as did when I was fifty-nine.

I’m Merril the same as I have always been

with the calm certainty that I am me,

and this is forever who I will be.

 

Celebrations take place over several days,

(like a Jewish holiday, you know)

each one with food and wine,

and I feel fine.

 

First my husband and I go to Monk’s Café

we’re bundled against the cold night

but still I appreciate the Christmas lights

as we scurry from our car to there

breathing bursts of frosty air

till we’re seated at a window table where we watch people

rushing and bustling, walking dogs of every size

we’re in a bit of a hurry,

as we have tickets to a show,

so we forego their famous mussels, but not the fries,

I have a glass of wine, and I feel fine.

img_4868

Pommes frite at Monk’s Cafe

 

The show is called The Carols,

set in a VFW Hall in New Jersey,

it’s 1944, the men are gone because of the war,

heartfelt, if not brilliant,

but their voices beautiful

much more than suitable,

there are Yiddish phrases and 1940’s slang.

We laugh though the jokes are old,

it’s kind of sweet, and we are sold,

the retelling of A Christmas Carol

with a Christmas brisket is very funny,

(and well worth the money),

and the Christmas tale, the Yiddish shtick,

the sister love, the examples of

reminds me of my family, too,

and all the silly things we do,

the ghosts of Christmases, past, present, and future

combine in memory,

aged in my mind, and I feel fine.

 

 

The next night, my husband and I see La La Land

like an old-fashioned musical

the stars sing and dance amidst the stars,

there is jazz and heartbreak,

snappy rhythms, and we hear the beat,

not of Forty-Second Street,

but of Los Angeles,

City of Angels, City of Stars

shining just for them.

We discuss the movie over Indian food,

I am in complete movie musical mood,

So when my husband says, “It was a Merril movie,”

he is right, and I feel fine.

(And the onion bhajia are divine.)

 

Another celebration, another day,

with one daughter and sisters,

more food and wine,

img_4310

more talk and laughter,

and it could go on forever after.

One sister brings some funny headwear,

and we take photos in the restaurant,

when I try on a hat

another says,

“You look so cute. Like a pirate. A pirate baker.”

We laugh because it’s all so silly,

but in these uncertain times, we run willy-nilly

and seek shelter in our love and family jokes,

these are the people I love, my folks,

and they give me the gift of their time–

and cheese, and chocolate, and some wine,

and yes, indeed, I do feel fine.

img_4888

At Tria Cafe Rittenhouse for my 60th birthday celebration.

 

Afterwards, my daughter and I walk to the Christmas Village,

she’s not seen it, and she snaps a selfie

with us in our silly hats–

and I think we’re wealthy,

my daughter and I to share this love and bond

that goes so far, and much beyond,

and later I read the poem she has written me,

cry a bit, at the beauty

of feelings that she has, and lets me see.

 

 

My other daughter sends me a text

that the end of the Sound of Music seems too real,

and it makes me sad to hear such fear,

and though we must fight, and though we ache,

still, there’s much to celebrate,

to climb every mountain and ford every spring

to find our dreams,

yet I think we are right where we are

and we are aging well,

though only time will tell.

And so, with family and friends,

I’ll hold on to love,

I’ll fit it closely like a glove,

and stare defiantly at fate,

raise a glass of blood-red wine

and tell the world, that I feel fine.

img_4872

Birthday card

 

It is rumored that more celebrating is on the way, so stay tuned!

Here is Dar Williams singing  “You’re Aging Well.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Golden Ships of Dreams

bierstadt_albert_the_golden_gate

Albert Bierstadt, “The Golden Gate,” 1900 [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

 

On the strange river of my mind

float golden vessels, unguarded,

sailing to places uncharted,

they glimmer, shimmer,

carrying words and dreams that brighten

then grow dimmer,

as waiting to dock

in an unknown land

filled with wondrous creatures

and glowing sand,

I wake and try to understand.

 

This is for Secret Keeper’s Writing Challenge.

The prompt words were:  Guard/Strange/River/Land/Mind

Swamp Monsters Rising

 

mangrove_swamp_wikstrom_1902

Brors Anders Wikstrom (1854-1909), “Mangrove Swamp,” [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

“I suppose my critics will call that preaching, but I have got such a bully pulpit!”

–Theodore Roosevelt, President of the United States, 1901-1909

 

All the world’s his stage,

the phone, his bully pulpit,

emitting fear and rage,

small thumbs all atwitter

producing chirps, smirks,

false promises that glitter.

 

Perhaps this is a test—

but monsters crawl from the undrained swamp

fetid creatures that once were buried,

ravenous beasts, they stomp and chomp,

intent on destruction,

wise on obstruction,

We the People,

that earnest phrase

will it expire in a Twittery blaze?

No bonfire of the vanities

the burning of humanity’s

souls aflame with freedom lost,

fascist salutes and justice tossed.

 

Life is short, we live and die

and perhaps sometimes we wonder why

the good die young

and the evil ones fly

high in this post-truth world

we must expose the lies,

smile with heart and eyes,

keep kindness and hope,

atop this slippery slope,

support freedom of the press

to get rid of this mess,

take back the stage,

bring back love and fight the rage.

 

This poem is for Secret Keeper’s Weekly Writing Challenge.

The prompt words were: Stage/Short/Young/Test/Live

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hearing the Spirits Sing on a November Morning

 

In autumn’s quiet dawn,

shadows lurk, spirits between worlds,

they flit, dancing just out of sight

till light, when mortal forms wake,

and under an azure sky gaze in wonder

as glowing colors break.

The golden hues cannot be named,

nor explained,

but must be experienced and felt instead.

Nature is terrible and beautiful,

like the volcanic eruption,

with its fiery trails that end in destruction,

but the true miracle is the seed

once planted, sometimes with little more, proceeds–

growing, thriving, becoming food for body and soul,

still and all—

it’s up to you, to choose

to worship the volcano,

stand there as the hot lava flows

burying you, and us, and so it goes,

or plant the seed and watch it grow

and in the time before the dawn

and as the world turns in cycles and seasons

be glad for the choice, be happy for reason

as with the spirits dance in joy

though you may not see them anywhere

but know they sing in gentle breezes

and sun-kissed air that greatly pleases,

whispery sighs, floating cries,

“hope is better than despair.”

 

Oberon, Titania and Puck with Fairies Dancing circa 1786 by William Blake 1757-1827

William Blake, Oberon, “Titania and Puck with Fairies Dancing,” [Public Domain), via Wikimedia Commons

 

 

 

Dancing Wind

franz_marc-_die_kleinen_blauen_pferde

Franz Marc, “The Little Blue Horses,” 1911, Public Domain, via Wikimedia Commona

 

 

Lead me, dancing wind

on a journey of delight

tend my soul with pure sunlight.

 

Lead me, dancing wind

to find a shimmery shore,

a place of peace, without war.

 

Lead me, dancing wind

to where blue ponies play, stay,

bravely dance, in waves and spray.

 

Lead me, dancing wind

in sailing ship or small cart,

lead me now, to find my heart.

 

This is for Secret Keeper’s Weekly Writing Challenge.

Using these words: Brave/Tend/Pure/Lead/Dance

I feel the need for blue ponies.

 

***WP is telling me I should encourage US voters to vote by “adding a subtle prompt.” So here is link to register.  VOTE! Is that subtle enough?

Vote your conscience, but I’m With Her, and I’m voting #LoveTrumpsHate.

 

 

 

 

 

The Splendor of Light

the_story_of_the_sun_moon_and_stars_1898_14778865395By Internet Archive Book Images [No restrictions], via Wikimedia Commons

 

She laughs and flames shoot from her chariot

moving through the sky. She will carry it,

(the splendor of light), and with lariat

she’ll rein in her gilded steeds, ferry it,

the glow, from dawn to dusk with merry wit.

 

She brings joy, life, pulses to beautify.

Her companion stars though, she sees them cry,

their tears shoot out, then streak across the sky.

Still she laughs, shares her light, as she rides by.

Someday she’ll fade, turn black–and then she’ll sigh.

 

This is a response of sorts to Jane Dougherty’s non-challenge.

Jane found the rather strange image above. It’s supposed to be a sunspot, and it comes from an 1898 book called The Story of the Sun, the Moon, and the Stars. I started thinking about sunspots, and then this story that I read recently about an unusual star that pulses and behaves erratically. I started thinking about what could cause this, and naturally I concluded the star pulses when it laughed. In honor of Jane, the poem is two stanzas of her Fifty Poetry Form (Does that make it a one hundred?): five lines of ten syllables each, with the last word of each line rhyming.

 

 

Constellations

constellations1

By Chrisrobertsantieau (Own work), “Constellations,” [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

 

Shimmering, flickering, the stars appear,

glimmering patterns revealed. The Seer,

sees love flowing (in dark she is freer),

bewitched, enraptured by the twinkling spheres,

she casts her spells before they disappear.

 

This is for Jane Dougherty’s poetry challenge.  The fiftieth! Well done, Jane!

She writes, ““The rules are simple, a single stanza of five lines of ten syllables each. The five end of line words all rhyme.” The rules may be simple, but following them never is. 🙂