Poem up at The Ekphrastic Review

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My poem “Hallowed Be” is among the responses to Goya’s “El Conjuro” posted today at The Ekphrastic Review.

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As it’s Draw a Bird Day, I’ve enlisted the newly returned birdlings for my collage response (along with some actual birds and the moon).

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You can see Goya’s painting and read my poem, and all the other responses, here.  My thanks to editor Lorette Luzajic for once again including my work in this bi-weekly challenge


reconciliation s

I am
always only
partway there–

I know what to avoid
but not how
to release what has departed.

I used to chase the seasons–
now I wait for what is given–
intangible substances–

the perimeter expands,
the sky is higher,
placed carefully in the interval.

The predictable
always takes you by surprise–
you can still retreat

but you can’t follow any forecast–
the combinations are secret
and without form.

What remains is reflection–
the transient continually rearranged
into something resembling a life.

For Sue Vincent’s photo prompt, above.  Magpies seem to be one of those places where opposites meet.  What we take away from them depends on what we bring.

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opening the sky

steal away comp 2

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The Oracle gave me birds today.  I’ve resurrected the birdlings to accompany the words.  I don’t know where the real birdlings are in my disorganized office, but I have photos of their past adventures.  I used this for one of Jane Daugherty’s Yeats prompts a couple years ago.

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The blue jays have been drowning everyone out all summer on my street, but recently a crow has been trading barbs with them.

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crow and blue jay
ferociously awake morning–
linger like steel dazzled glass
devouring air

 remember who you are–
a fool for wild voices,
born naked
sailing a secret ocean
of star fever dancing

Keeping the Secret Keeper, whose words I used for Jane’s prompt, in my thoughts too.

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Milky Way

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a river of light
captured by the air, turning,
spinning outside in—

uncontained by outlines–this
arc of souls with wings sailing

A tanka for Frank Tassone’s Milky Way Haikai Challenge.

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The Milky Way is, mythologically speaking, a roadway built by the gods linking heaven and earth–souls and birds use it for traveling between the two worlds.

Just so.

Linked also to Open Link Night at dVerse.


Migratory Birds/Transference

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Through night and moisture  I listen for an answer–
wild geese go south 
but my heart remains unmoved,
crying in painful glory 
falling through a vast unknown

I feel like writing  and singing
a dark story: 
a blues deeper than the midnight echoes of birds–
Them carrying away  all the heaviness that binds me
on their two white wings 
entangled with the wind–
I don’t know where 
I will send these flying shadows
I don’t know what 
to call the hidden lights
of my soul’s dearest things 
that have retreated into silence 

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A cleave poem for dVerse.  Laura gave us 3 poems in translation, and asked us to use one as inspiration for our own verse.  I chose “Migratory Birds” by Desanka Maksimovi  which is the left hand half, above.  The right hand is my poem, and together they make a third poem.  You can read about cleave poems here.


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The movements of the starlings murmur on the screen, casting a continuous kaleidoscope of black and dusky blue, merging and reconfiguring with the fading of the sun.

I wonder: where do the city birds that populate the frozen sidewalks of my street gather to choreograph their roost?

Wings trace the twilight–
branches shiver with the wind,
glowing in the dark

Merril at dVerse asks us to conjure nature’s magic–one of the suggested “lost words” is starling.  A friend just sent me the video of murmuration below–definitely magic.

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