Coffee and Stars

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Ask about coffee,

but explore champagne.

Linger at cool marble angels—

live time,

but breath the secrets of ghosts.

Wake and be dazzled.

Look! The stars smile.

 

 

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Once again, the Oracle knows.

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When the Stars were Bright

When the Stars were Bright

He wooed her when the stars were bright,

she liked the way he smiled at her.

He kissed her first one moonlit night–

she thought, “he is my future.”

 

She liked the way he smiled at her,

not knowing then his smiles would fade.

She thought, “he is my future,”

forgetting daylight darkens to evening shade.

 

Not knowing then his smiles would fade

when hardship came in winter cold,

forgetting daylight darkens to evening shade

and so, her youthful dreams remained untold.

 

When hardship came in winter cold,

he packed a bag and sailed away,

and so, her youthful dreams remained untold

to him, but she was glad he had not stayed.

 

He packed a bag and sailed away.

She remembered the things she had not said

to him, but she was glad he had not stayed,

caressing her belly as she lay on their bed.

 

He kissed her first one moonlit night

(she remembered it so well.)

He wooed her when the stars were bright–

to their babe, that’s all the story she’d tell.

 

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Joseph Noel Paton, “Hesperus, the Evening Star, Sacred to Lovers,” 1857 [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

This is for dVerse. Björn asked us to write a poetic narrative. Jane and Kerfe have me thinking of pantoums.

I wrote this while listening to the Kavanaugh hearings. . .it started out much darker. . .

 

 

 

 

 

Before and Now

Monday Morning Musings:

“It may be the luckiest and purest thing of all to see time sharpen to a single point. To feel the world rise up and shake you hard, insisting that you rise up, too somehow. Some way.”

–Paula McClain, Love and Ruin

“We can never go back to before”

Lynn Ahrens and Steve Flaherty, “Back to Before,” Ragtime

 Once we had two maple trees in front of our house. They provided shade for our house and shelter for wildlife. But they were diseased and had to be cut down. The birds and squirrels have moved on. We will plant daffodils around the stumps, and life will continue, though we can never go back to before.

green leaves turn golden,

sun sings grey skies blue again,

flowers smile hello

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Once people saw tyranny and began to rebel with acts of resistance against their government and king. Time sharpened to a single point for some then. They felt the need to rise up. They launched a revolution that was bloody and horrible, as all wars are, that divided families and friends.

sweethearts say goodbye

leaves sigh and fall from the trees–

red blood on white snow

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Old Pine Street Church Graveyard, Philadelphia

 

But it was also a revolution of words and actions that created a new nation, the first written constitutions, and gave some hope for freedom and equality to all—though that did not come about till after another war and new laws. We harken back to before, but we can never go back.

And why would we want to?

demagogue appeals

blames “The Other” for problems–

false hopes and false words

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Wishing on the wood of the last Liberty Tree.  Museum of the American Revolution, Philadelphia

Azure skies send us

outdoors to eat–a plus

seated where we gaze

at history and listen

to the foreign phrase

of people who pass by

and wonder why

they’re here, but know

they come and go–

in this city of hope and despair

filled with travelers

and immigrants,

rising like the nation and the sun

on the famous chair.

 

 

We watch a movie,

the wife behind the great man,

though she’s really greater than

he is,

she says she is “a kingmaker,”

but more than that—

this is

a nuanced performance

that show the complexity

of relationships—

which is

the basis of government, too,

and I think of the before

when we had a king

and bid him adieu

and now the one

who longs to be king

daily sings

(so unbirdlike he tweets

never soft and never sweet)

Will we let the kingmakers

let it happen?

Well, as the foot-tapping

musical notes, “history has its

eyes on you.”

It is complex,

and perhaps what we need

is a nuanced performance.

Though the choice seems simple—

do what you need to do.

Do not believe the lies.

Do not support the liars.

Let’s not go back to before

when I did not have a voice,

when women did not have a choice,

when people I love could not love,

when people I admire could not vote—

keep this sinking ship afloat.

I feel time sharpening and shadows gather.

 

 

But ask the star

how it dazzles and

kisses air with joy—

We are prisoners of time,

embrace its rhythm

and smile.

 

Once there were two maple trees, but now they are gone. . .

yet life goes on.

 

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We visited the Museum of the American Revolution. Saw the movie, The Wife. Trailer here.

Here is Marin Mazzie, who died last week, singing, “Back to Before.”

 

Open the Star: Magnetic Poetry

Open the Star

 

A child, a girl, explores,

lingering with the red star.

(Open it.)

It will fool the dark cloud

and no one need live a life

bleeding, dirty, and sad.

But this then—

you must listen to

voices throb in ocean rhythms,

secrets of time and universe make magic.

Go and wake.

Let your heart breeze

with peace.

 

 

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A bit of surrealism? A myth from the Oracle?

Dreams of Flying

“Just beyond the bruised lips of consciousness.”

–Jim Harrison, “Birds Again”

 

I linger

for moment

just on the edge of consciousness–

why can’t we remember that moment

when we free fall

into another orbit–

that split second

we escape the mundane

to fly–

in dreams,

a secret world revealed,

opened,

I taste the stars on my lips

and wake to find the world glittering.

 

This is for Day 10 of Jilly’s 28 Days of Unreason—poems inspired by Jim Harrison’s Poetry.

 

 

Hear the Light: Ghazal

“What beauty in this the darkest music
over which you can hear the lightest music of human
behavior, the tender connection between men and galaxies.”

–Jim Harrison from “Warbler,” in Dead Man’s Float

 

When all is dark and without cheer, can you hear the stars sing the light?

In music that glistens–shhh—stop and listen—you’ll hear the stars sing the light.

 

The baby at breast, suckling at rest, gurgles to hear the stars sing the light.

The mother, fraught, pauses in thought, smiles as she hears the stars sing the light.

 

When war brings the music of anger and tears, can you hear the stars sing the light?

When you march to the pipes for conflicts and strife—do you fear to hear the stars sing the light?

 

Tell children separated and lives negated—look up–hear the stars sing the light.

Though your life is horrid and rough, and it’s not enough–yet hear the stars sing the light.

 

From the cracks in the darkness, beyond the hard-hearted, do you hear the stars sing the light?

In delicate streams, when all is as seems, do you dream to hear the stars sing the light?

 

In tender connection, we strive for direction, seeking to hear the stars sing the light.

Thus, Merril-y I strive and away my fears drive–to hear the stars sing the light.

 

 

Yesterday was darkness, so today is light. This ghazal is for Day 7 of Jilly’s 28 Days of Unreason–poems influenced by Jim Harrison’s poetry. Anyone can join in the fun!

 

 

 

 

Stepping Stones

Cobble me

lights, shiny bright

stepping stones–

a path to roam

up in the night,

past the moon

and her humming tune,

lightly skip

through Pleiades–

those starry seas–

make this road

wide enough for two,

and when through,

we’ll turn around

homeward bound.

 

 

 

This is for dVerse, where De Jackson (aka Whimsy Gizmo) has asked us to write a quadrille, a poem of 44 words, using the word cobble.

 

The Cost of Flight

“The cost of flight is landing

 

The cost of flight

is landing

heavy and earthbound

after soaring

weightless in a fantasy–

of scintillation

carried by solar winds

into a starry sea.

But then

at night,

we hear—again–

the whispers of dreams

sighing, straying souls.

We remember,

gathering their fraying tatters

making them whole,

and once more—

glide high and far,

and free.

 

This is for Day 2 of Jilly’s 28 Days of Unreason using quotations from the poetry of Jim Harrison.