If I need you, will you come, with love-put light to drive away the smell of man-sweat and boy-blood?
Here, the storms whip and the shadows moan black beneath the blue, but I ask for—not so much— roses under a peach sun, the lifeline of sea, its sparkle, and the whisper of wind in my hair, telling me you are coming home.
My poem from the Oracle. I thought at first she wanted me to write about Penelope, but she wanted the message to include women everywhere throughout time.
1. She rises for others, but never as for us– a long-bowed cello note sustained as she wakes, red-breasted, timpani beat the rhythm of the day, joined by bird-flutes and wind-harps while she dresses in gold, she spins light in contrapuntal streams with shadow rhythm. Our own star, crowned giver of life and death.
The moon sings with silvery voice, her soft hums become operatic arias. Though on her arid surface, men stood, and watched the Earth rise. Still, but not silent, no mere satellite, she demands the spotlight shine on her. Owl-hoots, wolf-howls, rustles of restless night creatures are percussion to her melody. But in the morning, she smiles as three crows call, the trees wave, and the birds sing her a lullaby.
And here- we rotate, revolve, reflect in repeated reverberations— Earth has its own music, sea-sighs and deep-belly rumbles, bird-tweets and dog barks, baby-giggles, and lovers’ moans. Bangs and bombs, birth cries and death-rattles. But listen as a rooftop fiddler plays all the color, all the light– the songs of earth, moon, sun, and stars.
For dVerse. Laura asked us to write poems with three separate stanzas using one of her word choices. Sun, Moon, Earth was the only one that really appealed to me.
early in February—this year the purple crocuses yawned and showed us golden teeth, this year, the daffodils joined them in unexpected yellow against the bluest sky, and ignored Winter’s frost-breath. A last gasp? Uncertain, we watch the feathered-clouds fly this year, any year.
In spring’s slant shadowed light, daffodils, like bright belles dance, unmeasured in their joy, guileless in their lemon-yellow gowns, they rise unabashed from winter beds, ready for change, awakened.
If only we could learn from them, from the budding trees, the crows, and geese—the unquestioning tenacity of life, to reset, to build, to amplify, to repeat– to believe it’s not a quixotic quest to acknowledge heartbreak, the systemic wrongs, resolved
in this: our bodies belong only to ourselves. Once daffodils, watch as we become roses with thorns, cactuses with spikes, flowering as we will. Ancient roots connect us, whispering of freedom– soon, hear us like the sea, like a tidal wave, roar.
I used a few of Kerfe’s Random Words. It is Women’s History Month. Over the weekend I heard or read these stories (among others):
This American Life: a doctor who is thinking of leaving the state of Idaho because of the draconian abortion law, which prevents doctors from treating patients, even preventing them from giving care in life-threatening situations.
Washington Post: Divorce and remarried women in Afghanistan forced into hiding because they’re considered adulterers for leaving abusive husbands.
NPR: The covert effort to get abortion pills into Ukraine.
The GOP is still pushing for voter suppression laws, and they have prevented the passage of new Voting Rights Acts, including the For the People Act and the John R. Lewis Act. And in Florida, the governor is moving on with his fascist agenda. I imagine there will soon be statues erected and parades in his honor. Right-wing extremists (and the GOP members who enable them) are happy to keep people ignorant and fixated on fake issues. They, like extremists always have, thrive on hierarchies and fear of the other. Now, LGBTQ+ people are the others. I don’t like the term “woke,” but I’ll own it. What is the opposite, sleeping? Shouldn’t everyone in a democracy be awake (and anti-fascist)?
We watched the movie She Said about the New York Times investigative journalists Megan Twohey and Jodie Kantor and their reporting on allegations made of sexual harassment and assault made against Harvey Weinstein. I read their work when I was working on my book on sexual harassment and also Ronan Farrow’s in the New Yorker.
However, the holiday of Purim begins tonight. It is a joyous holiday—you’re supposed to drink! But it is also a story of Queen Esther and freedom. We plan to open our favorite Syrah, Blue-Eyed Boy, and eat a lot of Hamantaschen.
Democracy seems to be dying. We’re destroying our planet. And yet, there are daffodils. Spring is coming.
follow the light within the feathered beats of moon song, a mockingbird sings of love and hope, between the full moon and the new, an eternity passes
At dVerse Open Link Night we are remembering Glenn Buttkus, who died last month. This is a poem I wrote just a few days after my mom died in 2020 in the first COVID wave. The human world was shuttered and silent, but spring just kept going on. Here, I’ve paired it with Kerfe’s exquisite Owl Moon. You can read the original post here.
“That though the heart is breaking, happiness can exist in a moment, also. And because the moment in which we live is all the time there really is, we can keep going.” ― Zora Neale Hurston. (2018). Barracoon: The Story of the Last “Black Cargo”.
Each winter she descends, her mouth red-stained, she rises in spring like sun and moon reborn
in ancient rhythms of ancient songs of stellar light unnoticed
in unwritten time, migrations of enlightenment– the sparkle of sun-silver on outstretched wings, flapped
the shadows shift. You see a peacock array. Does the clock ever end? Around and around, you look for a chivalrous nerve in space determined
to find connections in the liminal. Mother to child and on. Never forget you say. Not black-and-white. Prisms. The daffodils rise, again.
I used some of Kerfe’s Random Words. So. . .this was a strange week. On, Tuesday, we went to William Heritage Winery in Mullica Hill, NJ for a February/Valentine wine and chocolate pairing, and it was lovely. Despite the woman at a nearby table holding her companions–and us–captive with her non-stop monologues. We learned she had had COVID and worked in the poker room. There had been some rain (and a tornado hit north of us), but when we got there, the sun was shining. Then later in the week, I spent some time in the ER, entering Thursday morning and leaving Friday afternoon. It turned out to be a “better safe than sorry” situation with observation and tons of tests done “out of an abundance of caution.” I feel fine now, but you will understand why I’m behind on everything. I didn’t feel great when I got home on Friday because I hadn’t eaten since Wednesday at dinner. But I ate and rested, and we had a family Zoom shabbat, and it was wonderful to see my children. While in the ER, I finished the book club book I was reading, Lessons in Chemistry (though I missed the meeting), and then I re-read the entire book of Anne of Green Gables and started Anne of Avonlea. I remembered I had them on my Kindle.
On Saturday morning, I got a poetry acceptance. So, things seem to be looking up!
Saturday night we watched “Descendant,” an excellent documentary film on Netflix. It’s about the descendants of the people who were enslaved and brought to the US from Africa in 1860 aboard the ship Clotilda. The slave trade had been abolished in 1807, though slavery was not. I knew about the ship Clotilda, but not so much about the community of the descendants of the people captured and brought to Alabama. It’s a wonderful, moving documentary that also explores environmental and economic injustice, and includes audio of Zora Neale Hurston, excerpts of her book, Barracoon, and film footage that she shot from her interviews in the 1920s! I also started thinking about the word “descendant,” climbing down from an ancestor. Of course, if you go back far enough—despite what the White supremacists believe—we’re all related. See: this episode of Finding Your Roots or this interview with Henry Louis Gates
her sash, like lilac is an intimation of spring, just this. . .she’s awakened, see her hunger?
my sash like lilac is an intimation of spring, just this . . . I’m awakened, see my hunger?
For Colleen’s Tanka Tuesday Ekphrastic Prompt. This is sort of a poetic exercise in syllabic verse. I wrote the first cinquain, and then I re-wrote it in first person, which I think empowers her. I love the way Sargent captured the light on her gown. You can almost feel the fabric, but it was that sash that first caught my eye, and then her direct gaze.