Berenice’s Hair: Yeats Challenge, Days 23 and Day 24

This is for Jane’s Yeats Challenge, Day 23 and Day 24.

“…your hair was bound and wound

About the stars and moon and sun::—W.B. Yeats

 

“We know their dream; enough

To know they dreamed and are dead;” —W.B. Yeats 

 

He was away at war, another one

it seemed to happen again and again.

Was it glory, she wondered, or was it fun?

Would he return from battle, if so, when?

And what would happen when it was all done?

Though common worries, this time she’d had a dream

that he was wounded, or no, that he was killed

she woke with a scream, so true it seemed

for all their hopes dashed, left now unfulfilled.

She begged the goddess to spare his life,

and swore in return she’d cut her hair–

for her husband, as his wife,

she’d shear the strands that shone golden in the sunlit air

that flowed like waves of honeyed wheat

a glory recalled by all who saw it there

tumbling to her feet.

Then when her husband returned unharmed and well,

she kept her vow and left her hair at Aphrodite’s altar,

her husband pondered the story she had to tell

and that she never had faltered

and both were first bewildered, then enthralled

to find up in the sky

installed in a constellation

(though unsure why)

her hair swirled and flowed, unbound and wound

in glittering strands of riotous celebration

there far above the smiling moon, a shining crown

a tribute to her sacrifice, done without any hesitation–

though that was not the end of course

of war or force, nor of remorse

for pain and dying

yet still the stars keep flying,

and we, marvel at their beauty, keep sighing.

 

 

NGC_4565

By ESO [CC BY 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons. “The galaxy pictured here is NGC 4565, which for obvious reasons is also called the Needle Galaxy. First spotted in 1785 by Uranus’ discoverer, Sir William Herschel (1738-1822), this is one of the most famous example of an edge-on spiral galaxy and is located some 30 million light-years away in the constellation Coma Berenices (Berenice’s Hair). It displays a bright yellowish central bulge that juts out above most impressive dust lanes.”

 

 

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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

The Lovers: Yeats Challenge, Day Fifteen

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

Today’s quotation:

“You, too, have come where the dim tides are hurled
Upon the wharves of sorrow, and heard ring
The bell that calls us on; the sweet far thing.” —W.B. Yeats

 

And so, he came to where the dim tides flow

here upon the wharves of sorrow, dared to go,

listened now for Charon’s boat, the slapping sound of weathered pole

the echoing cries of distant weary souls.

 

But entered he without a fear, played sweetly then upon his lyre

the music that filled the air was warm with sighs and filled with fire

because here within this shadowed world, his love did dwell

playing sweetly then, he cast a spell.

 

The underworld king, his captured queen looked from their gilded thrones,

agreeing that he should not be left bereft of love, nor kept lonely and alone

for such love and devotion, such tumult of emotion he had displayed

crossing over the ocean of darkness, from lighted world to constant shade.

 

They thus agreed, from the underworld she could go,

but promises he must willingly keep to make it happen so–

she would follow him from this hidden world, behind him there she’d be

not once though could he stop to look or see

 

Once round the cavernous steps went he

believing that there behind him, his love would be,

twice round and then up they went, closer to the world of light

when he, not believing she was there, turned to catch a sight

 

Instantly, from Hades he was then thrust out

for not trusting the gods, for having his doubts,

but Aphrodite prevailed to place the lovers’ souls amidst the stars,

traveling the sky as shimmering silvered cars

where like a bell their love now rings,

in music of the stars, the sweet far thing.

 

Jean-Baptiste-Camille_Corot_-_Orphée

Jean-Baptiste Camille Corot, “Orpheus Leading Eurydice from the Underworld,” [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

 

 

 

 

 

 

Different Definitions of Great: Shadorma

This is a shadorma for Eliot of Along the Interstice’s November Shadorma Challenge, using Secret Keeper’s Writing Prompt words:

Star/Deal/Peace/Food/Word

 

Different Definitions of Great

Morning star

sings a song of peace,

the words drift

unheard as

swamp-dwellers make greedy deals,

children go hungry

 

 

 

 

Night-Tide: Yeats Challenge, Day 10

For Jane Dougherty’s A Month with Yeats Challenge, Day 10.

Today’s quotation:

“And he saw how the reeds grew dark
At the coming of night-tide,”

—  W.B. Yeats.

 

From the cottage window

he watches the winds blow,

scurrying and hurrying

for the day to be through

to turn evening’s dusky violet hue

into the starry indigo of night.

 

How she had loved that sight,

the clouds dancing in the air

the wispy bits of angel hair

white against the darkening sky.

And still he cried

remembering how she’d died

drifting away at the coming of night-tide.

 

He’d been there, sitting at her side.

Now weary, burdened with a heavy heart,

wondering what to do or what to start

Then softly he hears her gentle sigh,

and though it waits for no reply,

as the moon hums and the reeds grow dark

he knows she’s there somehow, a spark

in every fox’s bark and singing lark

her spirit roams by house and glen

somewhere, sometime, he’ll see her again.

 

'Starry_Night'_by_Edvard_Munch,_1893,_Getty_Center

Edvard Munch, “Starry Night,” [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Star Lullabies: Shadorma

The stars sing

shimmery sun songs.

Glimmering,

they gambol,

sending their music to us–

magic from the sky.

 

It tumbles,

spindrift of night seas,

as stars dance

and wander.

Bewitching time lullabies,

lulling us to sleep.

 

Credit: ESA/Hubble; NASA, ESA and the Hubble Heritage (STScI/AURA)-ESA/Hubble Collaboration

Last week was shadows, and this week seems to be stars. Yesterday a quadrille, today a shadorma for Eliot of Along the Instertice’s November Shadorma Challenge, Day 8.

This is also for dVerse, where Lillian has asked us to write a poem with inspiration from a Hubble Telescope photo. (She supplied four.)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Silvered Dust of Time and Space: Quadrille and Yeats Challenge, Day 7

I’ve combined a quadrille for dVerse (using some form of the word kick), and a poem for Jane Dougherty’s A Month with Yeats Challenge, Day 7. Today’s quotation:

 ‘…stars, grown old

In dancing silver-sandalled on the sea,

Sing in their high and lonely melody.’

 

In the nighttime sea,

the stars sing–

ringing bells in the sky,

they fly,

ensorcelling with their melodies.

Kicking and dancing in twinkling splendor,

they blaze, then die.

Yet their light,

not erased

shimmers faintly in the night,

silvered dust of time and space.

Józef_Chełmoński_-_Noc_gwiaździsta

Józef Marian Chełmoński [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

 

 

Swan Prince: Yeats Challenge, Day 4

This is for Jane’s A Month with Yeats Challenge—Day 4

Today’s quotation:

“…till the morning break
And the white hush end all but the loud beat
Of their long wings, the flash of their white feet.” W.B. Yeats

 

Under the bright moon’s glimmering gleam

she went to meet her love.

The world was hushed, so much unseen,

yet the moon hummed above.

 

She hurried forth in shadowed light,

the journey was so far

and then she saw a wondrous sight

under the shining stars.

 

She saw a swan of snowy white

beside a silvered spring.

Somehow, she knew it was all right

to rest there in his wings.

 

His long wings flashed and loudly beat,

her arms around him tight.

It was her love she did here meet

under the moon’s sweet light

 

He took her far till morning broke

in rosy pink and red

though he’d been silent, now he spoke

I feared that you were dead.

 

For it was you, the king desired

so tried to murder me

but before I thus expired

to a swan, she turned me

 

The goddess of love, for to our plight

wept and took pity so

and now, look here in morning light–

my form returns, a human knight,

and we to a new kingdom go.

 

IMG_6565

 

 

 

Star Goddess: Shadorma

She reaches

deep inside her heart

tosses sparks–

the full moon

hums to make them dance and play

lovers gaze, embrace

 

Federico_Beltran_Masses_-_Under_the_Stars

This shadorma is for Secret Keeper’s Weekly Writing Challenge. The prompt words were

REACH | DEEP | SQUARE | FULL| PLAY

I haven’t written a shadorma in forever. I wanted to see if I could write one. Eliot is hosting a November Shadorma challenge that you can read about here.

 

 

 

 

 

Tanka Tuesday–Quiet and Space

unquiet, space sings

music in silvered slipstreams

songs cast from the stars

 

if unheard, they still exist

drifting from eternity

 

Embed from Getty Images

 

 

This Tanka is for Colleen Chesebro’s Poetry Tuesday. The prompt words were quiet and space. The words seemed timely to me, with the recent news about gravitational waves and colliding neutron stars.