beneath shadows time plays with meaning

I got a message from the Oracle earlier this week when I opened my kitchen blind thinking “strange light this morning”.

The first thing she gave me today was the title, and the rest of the words fell quickly right into place.

The rainbow lasted about 10 minutes. Our local online newsletter was filled with photos that day.

Central Park Walk November 2022

1
It’s crisp but not yet glove weather.
Elongated shadows fall from the autumn sun.
Above the sky is so blue it looks unreal.

2
People are seated along the path, faces turned up toward the sun.
Construction workers eat their lunches together in Spanish.
Empty benches line the shaded side of the street.

3
Girls in short plaid school uniforms drift in bunches.
A couple walks slowly, holding hands.
A nanny sings softly to the child in her carriage.

4
Dogs wait patiently as their owners chat.
Squirrels chase each other, rustling leaves and bouncing branches.
Birds call in many languages; I only see sparrows and starlings.

5
The remains of the Marathon are piled up along Fifth Avenue.
Vestiges of Halloween decorations still linger on buildings.
Pine cones and needles mingle with oak leaves on the ground.

Brendan at earthweal discussed this week the intimacy of our landscapes. He suggested “a walk on the wild side”. This is not exactly a wild walk, but it’s my landscape, where I often go both to get from Point A to Point B here in the city, and to get outside of myself.

Also linking to dVerse OLN, hosted by Sanaa.

Thirteen Ways of Looking at Living  

I
He wanted mountains
as his final resting place:
climb and let me fly.

II
We climbed, ten,
The landscape open, no trees,
just empty and wide.

III
The black ashes fell up to the ground.
The sun remained in the sky.

IV
A camera captured
pieces.
All around earth rocks family
air.

V
Our conflicts dissolving
into suspended time,
breathing memories,
the connections blinding,
the future past.

VI
The shadow of inheritance.
The pull of familiarity.
Love crossed with contradiction,
no answers,
lost words,
absences
uncertain and unknown.

VII
O voice of silences
what would you say to us now?
Do you not seek the many questions
embedded in the reparations
we expect to find?

VIII
I know only murmurs
and the rhythm of searching.
But I know too
that death is involved
in what I know.

IX
When we came down from the mountain
our bodies flew,
scattered to many destinations.

X
At the sound of each day
and each day returning
we noted the discordant measure
of hours and years.

XI
He did not ask
for more time.
He did not seek miracles
or complain of cruelty.
He knew that all stories
have an end.

XII
Her mind departed
long before her heart failed.

XIII
We went back up the mountain.
It was different
and the same and the earth
the sky accepted anew
our darkest gift.

Joy has asked us this week at earthweal to talk about the first poems that helped you to find your own inner eye and voice, and write about it. I’m sure there were poems and poets that influenced me before Wallace Stevens, but none has been as central to me as his “Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird”. I’ve posted at least 4 variations of it, including one for earthweal.

But the poem above is the one that still cuts closest. The photos are cropped versions of panoramas composed by my older daughter from photos she took in the mountains of Arizona where my father requested that we spread his ashes. My mother did not make any request except to be cremated, but we managed to find the very same place to spread her ashes years later after her death. As I wrote in my original post:  I’ve been thinking about my parents.  My generation is becoming the elders now.  I do not think we are prepared for it.

destinations

step through, not around–
inside the moon, inside dark–
be a traveler

step through, not around–
body recedes, senses flow—
become the beyond

inside the moon, inside dark,
merge with currents, remnants hewn
before conscious thought

be a traveler–
look within through lunar eyes–
transorbital guide

Sarah at dVerse provides the irresistible prompt of moon-names for October’s full moon.

I’m still obsessed with the troiku form, and I revisited my moon postcards from POPO 2021 for further inspiration.

I ask the Oracle about dreams

I’ve been having vivid and strange dreams this week amidst restless sleep. The moon keeps me company.

sacred fools are neither
god nor angel
not secret not magic

open to joy

they remember the rhythms
of the vast universe–
how to dance like stars
flying wild inside the sky

if you listen to breath being born
you can awaken voices

air singing oceans through trees
healing the holes
in the broken heart of night

The Oracle knows all about the moon, fools, dreams, and night.

Fairy Tale World 2022

1
Once upon a time, wonder.  Inside narrative, it becomes lost, leaves only invisible tracks.  Who will see them, find them, save them?  Always a long journey to the center of the spiral.

where
is happily?
nowhere to be

seen–
and after?
suddenly it engulfs

2
Over rainbows, they said, somewhere, lies the road to NirvanaDon’t be fooled, they said, by the enticing Road to Ruin.  But where to begin?  Where, even, is the rainbow?  I appeal to the mystery hidden inside darkness.

track
my journey
by the moon

Two quadrilles for dVerse, where Merril provided the word track. I was inspired to write these by Lisa at Tao Talk, who used “once upon a time” as the beginning of one of her troikus for her poetry postcards this year. I’ve illustrated the quadrilles with some of my own poetry postcards from 2021, where I printed some of my moon photos and gave them words.

night whispers

My message this morning from the Oracle, with some moon photos. Taking a photo through a window often results in interesting reflections.

These two photos were taken a few minutes apart as the moon was setting in the very early morning. I have no idea what that blue light is.

beneath the language of the wind
sings the shadowed sky–
sea dreams in need of moonshine

show me the ship that lights
the way through this timestorm

she said

who will sit with me after
and recall how and why
we fiddled away our garden
with the honeyed music of lies?

the how of why

I expected something much darker from the Oracle this morning but she knows I’ve been watching the moon.

be full of this
always moon

never let dawn
fall through air unwalked

every path comes and leaves
between earthlight songs–
deep ancient nights rooted in following
the seasons of birdgrown afterdays

ask why and
if

Photos taken from midnight to this morning.

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.

animated

I fold my
questions into cranes
and send them
flying on
the wind—what hands will catch them,
pull them down, greet them,

unjumble
and complete their dreams?
wide, deep, clear,
cast to sky,
they celebrate–streams of stars
danced in waves of moon

A shadorma quadrille for Merril’s prompt of celebration at dVerse. I also used the words she generated from Oracle II. Above is the almost-full moon shining through my window last night.