night, owl, moon

observe the owl,
illuminated with shivering shadows
cast between branches
by the moon—

is it a sign,
an initiation?
or simply a reflection
of the enormous mystery
of a journey
whose path can never be
foretold?

When I saw Jane’s Random Word Generator list this week, the first word that jumped out at me was owl, which of course reminded me of my moon and owl painting that seems to go so well with so many poems. I was thinking about it when David published the W3 prompt for this week, which invited us to respond to Denise DeVries’ poem “Generation Gap” using a computer aid, such as a Random Word Generator.

In Denise’s poem, she and her granddaughter look up in wonder at the night sky.

The words I used from Jane’s list were: observe, owl, illume (illuminated), shivering, cast, sign, initiate (initiation), reflect (reflection), enormous, foretell (foretold).

Denise wonders if using a Random Word Generator would be cheating. But words are just words, no matter the source–why would it be cheating to take any word from anywhere as inspiration for a poem? It’s the poet who must make them sing.

My Dream About Dogs

The dogs were here first.
You think you own them, but no–
they lead, you follow.

Other dogs, other
people, entangled within
a rocky landscape.

It’s always winter.
You must work hard, struggle
to get anywhere.

Where is it?  You no
longer even think you know–
the pull of the leash.

You’re cold and you need to feel–
breath shortens—leaves misty trail.

Ingrid at dVerse asked us to write a poem inspired by a dream, and Sarah’s W3 prompt asked for a poem of 14 lines or less about dreams.

I remembered these sketches I did of a dog–I think it was from a photo Nina sent me of one of her dogs, but I’m not totally certain–and found them in an old sketchbook from the early 1980s. The collage is from one of Jane’s prompts I did in 2016.

I often dream of dogs–I’ve lived with them, but never owned one. Clearly they have a secure place in my mind.

clarity

what I keep secret
is written on my body
underneath my skin–

what I choose to feel
shows up hidden, as tattoos
blood-inked inside veins

that hostage my heart,
a pounding prison of fear–
frozen, silent, still–

no magic portal
arrives to illuminate
who I am and why–

only the moon sees, the stars–
reflecting me back, alive

For W3 prompt #36, where Muri has asked for a 14 line poem on the subject of poverty.

December 8, 1980

the flames are warm–
we hold hands
against wrath

what is the context of
the naked soul?
is it pure love?

who invented hate?

Britta at W3 asked for a poem with a date for a title, responding to her poem “the theory of everything”. I composed a shovel poem from this line: warm hands, wrath of soul, love, hate,

My illustration is a Japanese Bunraku puppet representing a demon, but I was also inspired by another of Brendan’s Ekphrastic photos at earthweal, below.

Imagine if someone would just give us some truth…could we all shine on?

Forty-two years. Who do we think we are?

also linking to dVerse OLN hosted by Bjorn

No Harbor

impossible to recall
exactly how it began
within disconnected walls
of days too narrow, thin

exactly how it began–
no entrance, no way out
of days too narrow, thin–
like land-encrusted boats

no entrance, no way out–
unplaced and yet confined
like land-encrusted boats–
this fog inside my mind

unplaced and yet confined,
an echo on repeat–
like fog inside my mind,
these lines that never meet

an echo on repeat
within disconnected walls–
these lines that never meet–
impossible to recall

A pantoum, inspired by the paintings of Lee Madgwick, which were provided by Sarah at dVerse. The pantoum form is for the W3 prompt, where Aditi asks for something dreamlike.

A Turn in the Wheel, or:  Portaled

I collect myself and all my possessions, worn
and piled up beneath the light of the ragged
waning moon.  Too late says the night, it’s
too late.  Too many calamities to count.
  A
summoning will not suffice.
  Too few doors stretch
open.  Too many openings shrink closed. 
To
the weight of the world I say:
Give me hope for a reprieve.  Mercy.  I’m
in need of unburdening.  Forgiveness.  To be free.

A golden shovel poem for the W3 prompt, using this line from David’s prompt poem:
Worn ragged, it’s a stretch to say I’m free.

New York City, Summer 1975

We wanted to go to the beach–
it’s within reach–
New York coastline–
capacious, fine.

We were young; we stayed up all night–
before the light,
starting to drive–
happy, alive.

The sun rose, the ocean was near–
we parked the car–
the sky was blue,
the people few.

Undaunted by sunburn, we slept–
our bodies wet,
salty from waves–
those were the days.

The W3 prompt poem this week is Britta Benson’s “Longing for Water”. She asked that our response include the name of a city and asked us to use a form appropriate for that city. I wrote a Minute Poem, in reflection of “a New York minute”, which is a very brief span of time. Looking back at my 20s it truly was all over in a New York minute. Lacking technology, we never took photos or tried to document our lives then. We just lived them.

Although I always collected shells.

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.

letting go

why wait for now to pass?
always living in to be
tomorrow is not where we are, ever

each minute, hour, a chance
encounter we can’t foresee
full of spans impossible to measure

where am I?  here and now
and no place else—out or in,
over or under, it doesn’t matter

each fragment itself whole–
each moment contained within
the present completeness of forever

I haven’t written a kerf poem in awhile. The W3 prompt this week, a response to Burden of Time by A. J. Wilson, also has the restrictions of 12 lines or less, and the use of the word fragment. The kerf, a 12-line poem, was just right. You can read A. J. Wilson’s poem here.

Illustrations are two variations on the seed of life motif.