Once Upon a Time

Edvard Munch, The Storm

Once Upon a Time

Shadows crept,
then grew bolder
dreams were born,
then grew older,

blood boiled,
passion ebbed
now spiders dangle
from silvered webs

in dusty corners
where mice skitter
through this-and-that—
history’s litter.

Those were the days,
they once said,
the toasts of ghosts,
our dead.

A quadrille for dVerse. The prompt word is bold.

When Opening the Bottle

Edvard Munch, The Day After

My first try at a Trinitas, a three-in-one poetry form invented by Samantha Terrell. For dVerse, where Punam asked us to write about wine. I’m tired, so I hope this makes sense. I apologize for being behind on reading and commenting. There have been some family issues, and I’m also getting ready for Thanksgiving tomorrow.

An Ordinary Day

Edvard Munch, “Moonlight”

An Ordinary Day

An ordinary day—
no sign of the night’s storm.
The sun’s shining through the trees,
casting shadows on the mounded earth
where new flowers spread their roots.
They sway in the May breeze, cheerful.

Inside the breakfast dishes are washed,
the rooms tidied, all the clutter swept away,
the bags disposed of.
The postman will come at the usual time,
delivering the usual collection of bills
and advertisements.
In the evening, the man of the house
will fix himrself a cocktail
and sit alone with the TV on.

An ordinary day, except there is one
where once there were two.

I know who killed me.
I have no body or voice. But–
you will know I still live here.

For Lillian’s dVerse prompt using titles of bad movies (the Razzie winners).

Something about the Moon

Edvard Munch, “Moonlight”

Something about the Moon

Sometimes good glows like a beacon, even in the evilest times. It’s the lopsided grin of the moon beaming through treetops. That moon and I became old friends. It made me feel the world would go on, even if I didn’t survive. But there were good people, too. One of them was Marie. I’m headed to her old farm now, hoping to find some clues.

As I turn from the dirt road, I see the old house is still standing. I walk around to the back door, stumble, and . . .

am lost in swirling images and memories. Through the deep caves of thought I hear a voice that sings a children’s song. Marie drove us crazy singing Au Clair de la Lune over and over.

I open my eyes. Look at the woman standing beside me, “Marie? I thought you were dead.”

For dVerse prosery, continuing my spy series. Using the line, “Through the deep caves of thought I hear a voice that sings:—” from Oliver Wendell Holmes. I made up Marie singing, and then discovered there’s a real song that fits.

Now Here We Are

Edvard Munch, Anxiety

Now Here We Are

“A world without the option of abating an ill-conceived life before it has begun is a world that dooms millions to Victor Frankenstein’s fate. What a pause-giving thought: that a girl not yet nineteen, who lived two centuries ago, has a finer moral compass than the Supreme Court of the world’s largest twenty-first-century democracy.”
Maria Popova, The Maginalian

Now here we are
in the disturbed direction of the present
where untruthful tongues sway
and inculcate to overtake

in slippery steps of hateful rhetoric
organized to remake, remove,
and subjugate.

We are amuck in muck–
and we have not reached the end.
Grandmothers who fought fascists,
with silver-haired grief vow to fight again

because–not to be overly dramatic—
but many will die. Their greed’s insatiable,
their pockets are deep,
even if their logic is faulty and incomplete.

(Please may I have a pardon?)

And will our democratic paper
prove strong enough
to cover and crumble their despotic rocks?

Jane’s generated Random Words (another Oracle) once again forced me to write about current events. The January 6 Committee hearings will resume sometime in July. Meanwhile, the reactionary majority of our Supreme Court is sending us backwards in time. If only we had the votes to impeach this unqualified, lying, possibly criminal group who have made the Court a joke.

Whispers and Wishes (Part 3)

Edvard Munch, Forest in Snow

Whispers and Wishes (Part 3)

And so, we rested, away from the snow,
inside that hut by the fire’s glow,
but stories cannot be chewed with teeth
though they help assuage our terror and grief.

Where is Momma, I whimper, and wipe my eyes,
She’s looking for us, but my sister cries
though she hides her face, I see a tear
and realize she must also fear—

What do we do? Where do we go?
Back to the cold, leave our tracks in the snow?
It’s dark, Little One, let us sleep,
there’s a blizzard out there, the snow’s too deep,

for us to go or soldiers to come.
We’ll melt some ice and savor the crumbs–
wish and pretend we have a feast!
We’ll hear no shots from west or east.

And so, we wished, and then we dozed,
fire banked, door bolted, the windows closed–
but when we woke, there was more fresh bread,
a pitcher of milk, and another rose of red. . .

a golden feather glimmered on the floor.

I was looking at old posts this afternoon, and I discovered I had shared parts 1 and 2 of this poem with dVerse, so I decided to write a part 3 for Open Link Night. Scared children are on my mind, and I suppose I wish for them a happily ever after.

Only Mouths: Prosery

In her memory of that time—the war, the occupation–every day was bleak and dismal, as if filmed through a grey filter. Most everyone looked pale and gaunt. She dressed in layers of threadbare clothing—and ate what scraps she could obtain. Her thin face seemed all eyes, but she thought, “only mouths are we.”

Who sings? The distant heart, which safely exists in the center of all things? Perhaps, but the mouths she knew then were hungry and crying for food, not singing. It wasn’t only the winter gloom; it was also a darkness of the soul. She kept her mouth closed, so that she wouldn’t reveal any secrets–and so that she wouldn’t scream.

But what about Paul? Had his mouth also stayed closed? She needed to know her sacrifices—and love– had meant something. She needed to find him now. (144 Words)

Another installment in my occasional and non-linear spy series for today’s dVerse Prosery prompt. Sanaa has chosen quite a difficult couple of lines for her Prosery prompt!

“Only mouths are we. Who sings the distant heart
which safely exists in the center of all things?” from Rainer Maria Rilke, “Heartbeat.”

The Visitor

When misted twilight shifts to midnight black,

then I drift, but hear her mournful sighing

outside the window, crying, “bring me back”–-

whispers first, but then intensifying.

Why does she with grief-filled moans so haunt me?

What soul-stricken sprite struggles at moon nights,

flickering at a flame–moth-winged banshee–

fleeing at dawn, in sunshine’s gilding light?

And yet–-her shadowed-face, ghostly image

appears each night, (bewitching) she calls me–

I rise, unsure, do I smile or grimace?

Two here on different planes, one not yet free.

So, I know now when next she comes again

the light will fade for me–not why, but when.

This is for dVerse, where Sanaa is asking us to write Gothic-themed poems.  It’s my birthday, so this will be fun reading. 😀 I’ve re-worked this sonnet that I wrote for another dVerse prompt about a year ago.

Nightmare, NaPoWriMo


The Scream,” by Edvard Munch. [Public Domain] “This version, executed in 1910 in tempera on cardboard, was stolen from the Munch Museum in 2004, and recovered in 2006.” Wikipedia.

Blood, here sprayed

like a scream.


And whispers,

frantic tongues


beneath the whys

of language.


Scrabbling, urging tongues

you recall, feverish,


you want–

some other time—


a when

before this dream—


you can almost see

the blush of the before,


and you open your mouth

but there’s no sound


(scream, no scream)


only the cackling around you

and you wonder


(What if the nightmare

never ends?)



Today’s prompt for Day 13 of NaPoWriMo is to write a poem about something spooky. I briefly consulted the Oracle early this morning, and she gave me some words and tips for this poem. But I know this isn’t my real message. I’ll consult her again later.






Night-Tide: Yeats Challenge, Day 10

For Jane Dougherty’s A Month with Yeats Challenge, Day 10.

Today’s quotation:

“And he saw how the reeds grew dark
At the coming of night-tide,”

—  W.B. Yeats.


From the cottage window

he watches the winds blow,

scurrying and hurrying

for the day to be through

to turn evening’s dusky violet hue

into the starry indigo of night.


How she had loved that sight,

the clouds dancing in the air

the wispy bits of angel hair

white against the darkening sky.

And still he cried

remembering how she’d died

drifting away at the coming of night-tide.


He’d been there, sitting at her side.

Now weary, burdened with a heavy heart,

wondering what to do or what to start

Then softly he hears her gentle sigh,

and though it waits for no reply,

as the moon hums and the reeds grow dark

he knows she’s there somehow, a spark

in every fox’s bark and singing lark

her spirit roams by house and glen

somewhere, sometime, he’ll see her again.



Edvard Munch, “Starry Night,” [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons