I’ll Make Borscht Today: A Quadrille

I’ll make borscht today,

let it simmer in the pot

comforting and hot,

red like blood,

or flowers that might bloom

if ever spring returns,

ice now covers branches, leaves, and souls

twisted with cold,

memories of warmth faded

till ladled in a bowl

 

IMG_5620

 

This is a quadrille for dVerse. The prompt word was spring.

We got some snow yesterday, but then we got rain and sleet. Everything is coated in ice.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Advertisements

The Angel’s Voice

 

Embed from Getty Images

 

 

In the dark of winter night

speaks the angel, fierce but sweetly,

singing in a voice commanding,

crying in a voice demanding,

with caramel breath and radiant light,

shimmering and glimmering like the star

shining, pulsing, glowing bright

twinkling, twinkling from afar,

resplendent, lustrous, but not so cheery,

brilliant, dazzling, then her query–

Why do you fight and foster hate?

Why do you listen to lies, then wait

for signs and words and soothing vows?

Don’t you sense that something’s wrong,

that freedom and choice will soon be gone?

The sun will rise on empty space

where earth once was, but now no trace,

so, light the candles and ring the bells

wreathe the doors with evergreen boughs,

but call for love and fight for right,

prevent the waning of the light.

Then she vanishes, darkness returns,

we search for angels, and the candle burns.

 

This is for Secret Keeper’s Writing Challenge.

 

The prompt words were:

Sense/Fight/Free/Voice/Choose

Happy Holidays!  Wishing all of you light in the darkness and peace, and joy in the new year.

 

 

 

The Cold, Grey Days of Winter

IMG_3388

Now the cold, grey days of winter,

Splinter

Sunshine through the clouds.

Shrouds

Of snow cover green fir and pine.

Pine

For warmth, for shoots of green

Seen

And birds heard as they return to sing.

Sing!

Loudly their joy at the return of Spring

Bring

Hope that the end of frost is near

Here

We wait under a thick cover

Recover

With soup, bread, and wine

Dine

And watch for dawn’s break, for midnight’s end

Suspend

The cold, bring forth the light,

Bright

Sight

No more the cold, grey days of winter.

Splinter.

 

This is an echo poem in response to Jane Doughterty’s Poetry Challenge

 

 

See the Geese in Chevron Flight–I Wonder What They’re Saying

“See the geese in chevron flight flapping and racing on before the snow
They’ve got the urge for going, they’ve got the wings to go.”

–Joni Mitchell, “Urge for Going”

Early fall is generally beautiful here in southern New Jersey. The days are still warm, the nights cool, and the sky is a clear, vivid blue. Gradually over the next few weeks, as the daylight hours grow shorter, the sky develops a violet cast. Even days that are freakishly warm are somehow melancholy—the angle of the sun is wrong, the light is dimmer, and despite the temperature, nature whispers, “Winter is coming.”

A few days ago, just before Thanksgiving, I was awakened by the honking of geese as they flew over my house. It was probably about four o’clock in the morning. I dozed off again, and then as I awoke at my usual 5:15 AM time, they came back, honking so loudly that even the cat by my side was startled.

I wondered then—why are they so noisy? And why are they flying in the dark? And why do they like my house? Of course, I looked it up later (not the part about my house), and found mostly that scientists do not know a whole lot about the subject. I did discover that most birds call out as they migrate. Often we don’t hear them because they fly at night. Well, so much for the early bird. Or maybe the early bird gets the worm, but the late night bird gets the prime location? (Great view! Only a few predators!) I know that birds often call as they fly over our house and yard and around the bird feeder, but that’s just one isolated call—“great eats here!” Or “watch out for that hawk.” It’s not a group that’s migrating. But then I started wondering about words for collections of animals—you know, flock of geese, murder of crows. I remembered this video about a murmuration of starlings. If you’ve never seen it, it’s beautiful. It actually has nothing to do with birdcalls, but murmuration is a great word. So just go with it.

Now that you’ve been amazed, back to the geese. I found some information that suggested the V formation used by geese and some other birds is helpful both in orienting the birds and also in helping them to communicate. Apparently, too, the leader of the V changes, according to some unknown bird hierarchy or schedule. Personally, I think they draw up a daily or weekly chores list, a rota of routing, you might say (but probably wouldn’t).

But what do those honks mean? I do wonder what geese talk about as they fly. Those honks can’t just be random. (What me anthropomorphize? My cats do talk, don’t yours?) I imagine conversations like these:

“I’m the leader. I say we turn right at the red house to get to the lake.”

“Gabe, you’re wrong! Why won’t you listen to me?! Boy, I can’t wait till it’s my turn to be leader.”

“Well, it’s my turn now, so shut up, already.”

“Mommmmmm! I’ve got to go!”

“Just hold it a bit longer, Sally. We’re coming up to a good windshield. Wait for it. . .one, two, three, go!”

“That’s my girl. Your aim is getting much better! A double shot–windshield and car roof!”

“Oh, Sylvia. Did you notice how Frank can’t keep his eyes off of you? Didn’t you hear him honking at you?”

“I’m ignoring him; I’m not interested. His feathers are always dirty.”

“Gabe, I told you this was the wrong way. Now, we’re gonna have to turn around.”

“Shut up, Joe! I’m the leader for two more days!”

“Hey, Joe! Hey Gabe! Did you notice Sylvia looking at me?”

“Shut up, Frank. We’re busy looking for the lake. Sylvia’s not interested in you. Ewww– Don’t you ever clean your feathers? “
“Mom! Mom! MOMMMMMMMMMMMMM!”

“Sally, what’s the matter?”

“Are we there yet?”

I know nothing about birds—obviously–but how do you know they’re not having conversations like this? Listen closely the next time they come flying and honking over your house. You just might hear them in a whole different way.

****

Joni Mitchell’s “Urge for Going” is one of my favorite fall songs. Here’s a young Joni Mitchell performing the song.  Enjoy.