Whispers and Wishes (Part 3)

Edvard Munch, Forest in Snow

Whispers and Wishes (Part 3)

And so, we rested, away from the snow,
inside that hut by the fire’s glow,
but stories cannot be chewed with teeth
though they help assuage our terror and grief.

Where is Momma, I whimper, and wipe my eyes,
She’s looking for us, but my sister cries
though she hides her face, I see a tear
and realize she must also fear—

What do we do? Where do we go?
Back to the cold, leave our tracks in the snow?
It’s dark, Little One, let us sleep,
there’s a blizzard out there, the snow’s too deep,

for us to go or soldiers to come.
We’ll melt some ice and savor the crumbs–
wish and pretend we have a feast!
We’ll hear no shots from west or east.

And so, we wished, and then we dozed,
fire banked, door bolted, the windows closed–
but when we woke, there was more fresh bread,
a pitcher of milk, and another rose of red. . .

a golden feather glimmered on the floor.

I was looking at old posts this afternoon, and I discovered I had shared parts 1 and 2 of this poem with dVerse, so I decided to write a part 3 for Open Link Night. Scared children are on my mind, and I suppose I wish for them a happily ever after.

A Breath

Winslow Homer, Moonlight, Wood Island

A Breath

Listen—
moon-wreathed
the sky balanced between
night-hymn and dawn chorus, a breath
exhaled

a breath
and then one more
as wine-dark sea froths pale
and gull-laughter sounds from the shore
again

now watch
and see the world
around you breathe and stop
when baby chick is eagle-plucked
and gone

choices
are made–eagle,
chick, child, a soldier’s gun
loaded, aimed, then stopped with a cry,
a sigh

a breath,
a pause in time,
the world re-balances–
land, sea, sun, moon, stars join in song—
listen.

A cinq cinquain–five verses of five for the fifth day of the fifth month-for Laura’s prompt at dVerse. But I’ve also repeated the first line as the last, as in a crown cinquain.

The Weight of Silence

All has become quiet in Moscow.”
–Count L N Tolstoy, The Cossacks, Sampson Low, Morton, Searle & Rivington, 1878

The air is heavy with silence,
the quiet is a roar of denial–
there is no war

there are no reports
of fallen soldiers and grieving mothers,
only the special operation to protect and save—

do not say otherwise, wiser to say nothing at all.
The air is heavy with silence. That silence is heavy with fear.

For dVerse, where Linda has asked us to write a poem inspired by one of the opening sentences she has supplied. Foreign journalists in Moscow have been forced to leave. Within Russia news is restricted. No talk of war or invasion is allowed. The Russian invasion of Ukraine is called a “special operation.”

When or Ever

John Constable, Stormy Sea, Brighton

When or Ever

My dreams were moon-whispered songs–
if rain came, it touched with gentle fingers
and breathed honey-sweet breath on roses,
their luscious scent awakened with the sun.

But now–
storm winds beat with nightmare wings, and the seas
send lathered purple tongues to lick the rocks,
leaving bitterness to cling to them
like an ache

we feel
death come, an ever-expandable ship
sailing to the after–

and thousands of mothers cry why—
for what, and when
can never ever give you what you want?

My poem from the Oracle. As always, she knows what’s going on.

Say How Spring Soars

Marc Chagall, La Guerre

Say how spring soars pink-winged
after the storm,
and moonlight whispers dreams
of if
we could or never did,
we urged the sky, believed the lies

of roses. The forest screams
under clouds of rust,

and we must boil water
again
there are no more gardens or birds–
here the red-breasted man flies
and then is still

beneath the blue, endless as time
recalling the diamond sparkle above
is long dead, yet seen and heard,
like the fiddle’s aching notes, a reminder
of sorrow and beauty,
when spring sang in pastel notes of joy
and raised green tendrils to embrace the world.

My poem from the magnetic poetry Oracle. Yesterday we had a beautiful spring day. Now it’s raining, and we’re expecting some snow and strong wind gusts. Right now a mockingbird is singing outside my window. And the war in Ukraine continues.🌻 There are many organizations trying to get assistance to Ukraine. Please help, if you can. Here is one list. Here is a link to a book of poetry put together by Annick Yerem available for a donation.

Eye of the Storm

Eye of the Storm

In the center, it’s still,
the roar unheard, the rage unseen,
not illusion– suspension—
cock-eyed sanctuary
within the whirling-armed beast, mercurial and wild—
storms like gods, unpredictable

as wars.
Now radiance of the Sun, Cyclops throws his
thunderbolts

becoming Death, justice-blind, sworn to Fate.

A quadrille for dVerse. Eye is the prompt word.

When Spring Comes

Odilon Redon, The Muse on Pegasus

When spring comes

it rustles with wind-sighs
raking debris, lifting blood-red leaves,
sifting sand for life
beneath trees,
between stones,
yellow flowers bloom

following the sun, as we do, in expectation
of magic, a breath from the sky
to banish air thick with grey, to return
blue-winged, pink-tipped,
shedding golden feathers–

in that light almost-love
as it kisses the lingering ice, transforming it—
and if the steel and concrete world devours,
still the birds sing in echoes of the stars,
recalling the once bright, now fallen,

while peace, a wandering vine, twines,
unnoticed but anticipated, like a secret
waiting to be revealed in the blush of chagrined dawn
after the charcoal clouds clear,
swept by cerulean
again.

My poem from the Magnetic Poetry Oracle. As always, she knows what’s going on.

Flowers and Secrets

Monday Morning Musings:

“To be a Flower, is profound
Responsibility —”
–Emily Dickinson, Bloom

Crocuses

Northwest wind whisks away
the heron-grey, spins thread from cast-off eggshells
the blue of hope, the color of tranquility
blankets the sky, reflected in rivers and sea,

Feathery Clouds Swept Away by the Wind

while frosted leaves formed in midnight chill
by feathered flap of snow goose flight
melt in the rising glow of honeyed light
pouring from above–

Reflections

now mothers seek their daughters,
mourn their fathers and their sons
as bulbs like hidden secrets wake
to bloom in yellow, purple, and white, a robin sings

Sunrise

to make Ceres smile from a transitory space–
mutability is a constant, death follows life–
a brave woman curses soldiers with seeds,*
sunflowers will grow on your graves,

and blood-moon nourished,
mothers and daughters with wombs both planted and fallow
carry on, waiting for a sprout of yellow green
to waken in the sun.

Dalton Farm sunflowers (Summer 2021)

*”A Ukrainian woman offers seeds to Russian soldiers so ‘sunflowers grow when they die.'” Sunflowers are the symbol of Ukraine.

The weather has been so changeable—freezing cold winds, then warmer days. The crocuses are sprouting. It’s been difficult though to think of anything except the Russian invasion of Ukraine. I’ve been having lots of dreams about mothers and daughters, some anxious, some funny, some filled with love and tenderness.

We watched the new movie Parallel Mothers (rental from Amazon—it may be coming to Netflix at some point). It is director Pedro Almodóvar’s most recent film, starring Penelope Cruz, who frequently stars in his films. It’s about two single mothers, one near 40, the other much younger, who meet in a hospital while they’re both in labor. They bond and later meet again. Cruz’s character is seeking help from a forensic anthropologist to uncover the mass grave where her great-grandfather and other men in her town were killed by fascist soldiers early in Franco’s rule. As well as mothers (a frequent Almodóvar theme), It seems to me that one theme of the movie is secrets, and how too many are willing to ignore and sweep the ugliness and tragedies away. It seems very pertinent right now.

We also watched a horror show on Netflix, Archive 81, that we both liked very much. It’s about a film restorer who is hired to take care of some old films that a grad student made about residents in a NYC apartment building. He uncovers—hmmm—more secrets! It’s very well done, and it definitely kept our interest! Tonight, we’re going to catch up on Mrs. Maizel—a Monday Maizel. I made knishes!

Knishes

A Time for Everything

Franz Marc, “Large Landscape”

A Time for Everything

There’s a time for wind and storms
that blow and beat and will not stop

for ships at sea
and stars above—or me—

but spring whispers
to get the garden dressed,

cast off the dun, and wreath
the ground in yellow green

as honeyed shine make petals pop
and robins hop to sing

in answer to the murmur from beneath.

Now, even as the black-clouds scream,
the fiddle sounds from rooftop wings

the argent light of midnight moon
to hum in sync until pink-petaled bright

the dawn comes slight–yet still
we ask if peace will wake

and the wind answers,
almost always, in the after.

My poem from the Magnetic Poetry Oracle. The poem was not inspired by the song Turn, Turn, Turn, but it went through my head after I wrote it and was reading it over. Of course, the Oracle knows everything.

As Cruel as April

As Cruel as April

Grey Winter growls, Spring dreams of green
when flowers grow, and love birds preen.
Soon rabbits wake, the vixen prowls
then runs and hides, afraid she’s seen
the fearful beast, who’d foul with howls
spring dreams of green–grey Winter growls.

Now what comes next, before green spring
when sparrows fly, and robins sing?
Do wolves bare fangs? Do bears get vexed
by hopes or dreams, by what spring brings,
and seek with blood, destroy, annex
before green spring? Now what comes next?

Before spring comes, the bullets fly.
The people grieve, the winds just sigh
as they drift by soldiers and drums.
Power? Money? Who knows why
the bloodlust soars. The moon just hums–
the bullets fly, before spring comes.

For dVerse, a made-up form called the Sparrowlet. You can read about it here. The name of the form made me think of spring, and I wrote the first stanza yesterday. Then when I heard the news today, I wrote the last stanza. So then, I wrote the middle stanza to connect them. We are living in a very scary time, and so much disinformation is being spread constantly.