Night Magic

If I could see horizon’s light at first dawn,
Venus would greet me shining up the rising
sun.  But I live in darkness, almost-full moon
suffused with secrets, luminous, surprising
me–reflecting through my window, later, soon–
casting shadowed leaves that shift, mesmerizing,
absorbed in Van Morrison’s musical dance–
hazy as to borderlines, transformed, entranced.
Perhaps Diana orbits inside my dreams–
I almost catch her in the wavering beams–
and following the fragments, drift—caught between.

An eleventh power poem for the prompt offered by Grace for the dVerse 11th anniversary celebration, also in answer to this week’s W3 challenge, a response to Steven S. Wallace and his poem “Oh Luna” that contains three proper nouns.

It’s not October, but we can still dance.

consecration

a feather,
a rose, an apple–
small pleasures,
blessings of
continuity, gifts of
joint inheritance,

of stillness–
a hallowing that
exists if
we choose to
walk with the land—unhurried,
emptied, listening

I’ve used words from Jane’s random word list this week from the Oracle II, to answer Brendan’s call at earthweal to the wild stillness

this land (the other)

but there is always another side–
the one that is in our face seems real
because we see it—the details,
the form of its existence–
but what of the side we do not see,
what of the one that looks
in a different direction?  the one not
evident, not the same?  the one
we must be careful not to leave behind?

As usual, Brendan at earthweal gave me a lot to think about in this week’s challenge post. His question–What does it meant to be open, unbounded, united and free in an enclosed world?–made me immediately think of this verse Woody Guthrie wrote in “This Land is Your Land”.

As I went walking I saw a sign there
And on the sign it said “No Trespassing”
But on the other side it didn’t say nothing
That side was made for you and me

which was the inspiration for my poem.

The late great Sharon Jones sings it like it is.

Also linking to dVerse OLN, hosted by Ingrid.

Being

Before me the world is clarified
by a luminosity that consolidates
all presence into chords of stillness.  What
song would this landscape sing?

Just a little green–
color disappears into the air, glimmers in
still lines across the meadow.

Like the color when the spring is born
the quiet is dizzying, embracing.  All is solitary,
complete.  Waiting.  For what?

The nights when the Northern lights perform
the hour is transfixed inside a secret whisper of
pulsing breath.  An alternate world,
muted, mysterious, not quite real.

And sometimes there’ll be sorrow—shrouded
in uncertainty, time has lost its focus.  The land is
primordial, inscribed with a narrative
that has no translation into any language
we are capable of understanding.

Just a little green—a vessel
immersed in air, from the bottom up

earthwalkers–
exchanging wonder
there will be

italicized lines are from Joni Mitchell’s song Little Green

Carl Zimmermann, Deer in a Summer Meadow

Merril supplied five paintings as ekphrastic summer inspiration at dVerse this week. I chose Carl Zimmerman’s painting, above. Since I’m late, I’m posting on OLN, hosted by Bjorn.

Also linking to earthweal, where Sherry supplied the prompt of dreaming in green. A good color to dream in.

into the deluge

thrown into or carefully placed
to sink or swim you can’t
figure out whether to wade
or walk upon these waves
of mystery and missed fortune—
who can tell what flies
out the window and into
your brainwaves?  how do you
carry all this drowning in destiny?
you try wrapping it up
but it only brings you down

the monsters seem familiar
but where have you seen
those faces before and why
are there so many of you?  each
with its own refusal its own cuts
and rearrangements of the narrative
you have lost in the multitude
of channels and static that keeps
trying to tell you what
you don’t want to hear—all this
motion drains your energy

you wish you could become
the water instead
of being layered flat
over its rocking curves–
nearby you think  you can
see the desert, thirsty,
a voracious patch of fire
and land but you know
it will not welcome you it
will not open for a solid
form even an imagined one

again and again you look
for the part of you that will
hold all those hands, that will
gather the waiting cries into one
sound riding the waves until
they tire of the fruitless weight–
all these journeys into the continuous
restructuring of what is unknown–
turn around a voice repeats
inside each of your weary minds—
the corner is just around the bend

At earthweal this week Brendan has asked us to consider “our wild dark brains”.

Darkness Darkness

The Fashion Institute of Technology had only one dorm, reserved for out-of-town students, so I felt lucky to have been granted a room, even if I knew it was only for the first year of my two-year program.  My roommate had sisters in the city, but had grown up upstate, in a Catholic group home, really an orphanage with all its attendant horrors.  Nothing has changed about that since the time of Dickens.

Her mother died when she was very young.  A family friend wanted to adopt her, but the Catholic Church refused to separated her from her two older sisters—the friend could not manage three more children.  Her sisters married as soon as they aged out of the system, and now lived again in the city where they had been born.  My roommate was a talented artist, and her high school art teacher encouraged her to prepare a portfolio and apply to FIT.  She wanted to be a textile designer.

Her father had abandoned the family when her mother became pregnant with a fourth child.  Unable to imagine being able to support three children, let alone four, on her own, the mother sought an abortion.  It killed her.

Her daughters had no choice but to accept the fact that both parents were permanently lost to them.  But there was a simmering anger in my roommate, a wound of loss and grief, that remained. 

I lost touch with her—we both moved around a lot after getting our associate degrees, and the internet was not even a blip on our consciousness in 1973—but I thought of her again when the decision overturning Roe v Wade was leaked to the press.

Now, as then in the 1950s, our government blames the poor for their poverty, penalizing most of all the living mothers and their living children, abandoned by fathers, or forced to flee abusive husbands and partners, condemning them to hunger and homelessness as a punishment for not being born lucky, for not having friends and family who have enough wealth and stability to pick up the pieces when they need a helping hand.

another grey sky–
spring comes late this year—crow calls
inside the graveyard

For dVerse, where Lisa asks us to consider the topic of grief.

How can we learn to sing when we have no voice?

The shifting mirrors contain contradictory and ethereal messages, as if hidden in the center of a missing source of light.  Where are the currents located?  The rays seems to come from an absolute stillness embedded in the fraying edges of circles that no longer move.

Once we were seekers, following the contours of the channels that held rivers and oceans, sailing the shorelines, harvesting in abundance the rewards of departure followed by return.

Now we have only illusions sinking into the periphery of fading dreams, scattered like the ancient remnants of empyrean spirals, the movements of mythical stars, the mysteries of a consciousness that once made its home inside a biological form.

bare silence–
human remains lost,
fossilized

Off prompt for NaPoWriMo Day 29. I wanted to do something for this Redon collage.

The world remains heavy.

Yea, we all could use a little mercy now
I know we don’t deserve it
But we need it anyhow
We hang in the balance
Dangle ‘tween hell and hallowed ground
Every single one of us could use some mercy now
–Mary Gauthier

Also linking to dVerse OLN, hosted by Grace.

Gone Straight

The day feels as limber as a body carved in stone, and yet time remains elastic.  A Möbius strip to which I cling, never certain if I’m inside or outside or whether, in fact, I’m located anywhere upon the twist of fate at all. 

Dylan sang it simple, but simplicity in his mind means traveling on a roller coaster through an arcade of hallucinatory smoke and funhouse mirrors blindfolded and bound by myriad inexpressible desires.  “A little confused”? That statement is not only under, but buried so deep beneath layers of denial that the concept of clarity no longer exists.

We are all born too late, really, searching over and over for the lost eternal beginning, the still center, not the unmappable edge we cleave to, against all reason, with the desperation of an addict looking for a permanent fix.

So which way does this finite world turn?  Does the Universe have its own compass, or is it, too, like humanity, lost in space?

plus, minus—neither
more nor less than tomorrow,
yesterday, today

The NaPoWriMo prompt for today is to write a poem in which you describe something with a hard-boiled simile. I’ve also used Muri’s Scavenger Hunt words, limber and elastic.

in tandem 1 and 2 (Earth Day 2022)

when you leave yourself behind,
where do you go?–
clouds a shimmering path

blue like a robin’s egg–
this liquid sky, darkening into shadow–
when you leave yourself behind

does the mirror look back
like a lake regarding the sky?
where do you go?

do fish see themselves in the stars?
do birds ride feathered waves?–
clouds a shimmering path

The prompt for NaPoWriMo today was to write a poem that uses repetition. That prompt was made for me. I had been working on and off all week for a poem for Sherry’s prompt at earthweal, to write from that place of holding onto wildness of soul. I thought that today, Earth Day, would be the time to post it.

So I took my ideas and made a cascade, but there were ideas left over, so I did a pantoum too. You can never have too much repetition in my poetry world.

when you leave yourself behind
(clouds a shimmering path)
where do you go?–
windsong the surface

clouds a shimmering path,
the lake regarding the sky–
windsong the surface
displaced by light

the lake regarding the sky–
as it hues the reflection
displaced by light,
does the mirror look back?

as the earth hues reflection,
do fish see themselves in the stars?
does the mirror look back
when birds ride feathered waves?

do fish see themselves in the stars
on the remnants of moontides?
when birds ride feathered waves,
do they flow into calligraphy?

on the remnants of moontides,
where do you go?
will you flow like calligraphy,
leave yourself behind?

As I’ve noted before, I attended the first Earth Day celebration in 1970 in Washington DC. Not too much has changed since then. We can do better.

Tears of

My life–
How much more of it remains?
The night is brief.

–Masaoka Shiki

My hand traces invisible lines through each day.
Life has its endings, but I wonder again why and
how do we create so many boundaries?  How
much do we know of what we call ourselves? And what
more is left, at this late date, to be discovered there?
Of what am I really thinking when, with sudden fear,
it seems that everything is impossible, that nothing
remains?  Have I used it all up–the synapses firing,
the cells’ ability to regenerate rather than destroy?  The
night and the day and the sky and the land?  Why
is it so difficult to relocate the silence, that interlude of
brief completion when everything is being born again?

The NaPoWriMo prompt today is a reverse Golden Shovel poem–instead of placing the words from the selected poem at the end of each line and writing around it, the words are placed at the beginning. Either way, it’s a good way to approach writing when you’re stuck. I’ve chosen a haiku from Masaoka Shiki for my poem, but I’m adding a little afterward from Joan and Bob.

Tears of rage, tears of grief
Why must I always be the thief?
Come to me now, you know we’re so alone
And life is brief

–Dylan

Also for Muri’s prompt of a Golden Shovel poem with the theme of change.