I was never there, or perhaps I was, then gone–not lost, but traveling at a fluctuating tempo, now presto, now adagio, a star on the edge of the universe–
you will see my light, past, present, and future serial flares that pivot, turn before to after and back. Follow, and I will take you across bumpy, rumble strips to ethereal flights. It is the legacy of speed– and radiance–stardust coursing through your heart.
For my dVerse prompt. I started writing, knowing that I wanted to begin with that first line, but I had no idea what my poem would be about until I was partway through it. Such a strange feeling.
“To Mark Let the poetic sound of moons and stars invade your night thoughts to give you sweet dreams always for in your dreams lies the happiness you truly want. hope you enjoy the book Michelle” –Message written on the flyleaf of a book
I saw the book– its dustcover the azure of the Mediterranean— beckoning as the clear water did us, and amid packing— books, your books, your things– I opened it, and remembered how we were, lithe in the limpid blue, then later reading this book, a gift, you as bright as Keats’ star, aware your blaze would soon be extinguished.
I rose with creaking knees from the sea of boxes, set the tear-dampened book aside to keep, sensing your presence like a nightlight in the next room leaving a glow under the door, and I thought I heard you say, sweet dreams always, my love, goodbye.
For dVerse, Laura has chosen five inscriptions from the Book of Inscription Project. She’s asked us to write a poem based on one of them.
drifts through the Tower walls, and roams headless at Hampton Court, at Hever, she walks beside a tree where she and Henry courted.
Or here, she comes bejeweled, the “B” about her neck, her dark eyes without their brilliant flash– trapped in-between, seeking peace, searching for release–
another victim of lust, a cast-off plaything, a pawn in men’s power games. Does it matter if she was willing if bound she must be to satisfy ambitious– the second sister offered, the first to become queen.
Was this always her fate– haunted and haunting– another spirit lost in time, another woman in white, red, or grey.
For Paul Brookes’ month-long Foltober Challenge. I hadn’t thought of Anne Boleyn as a ghost, but apparently people have claimed they’ve seen her ghost in many different places. A ghost that travels? You can see all the images and the responses here.
In Memoriam: for the Unknown Soldiers at Red Bank Battlefield
August, is a broad river expanse where time ripples and bends under a laden, leaded sky
the morning moon, her song a sigh floats on heron’s wings to flutter by the gulls and geese, who wonder what and why.
Now coal-black crows with peacock flair and gangster elan strut across the grass, summer is almost past they call– but not quite yet whispers the butterfly,
the rabbits hop and turkeys trot and deer with smooth grace retrace past seasons. The river flows on, an unanswered question, a memory, a lullaby
for unsettled spirits amidst brittle relics where they once cried and died,
under an autumn sky, they drift above ground settling bone-full and dry.
I took a poem I had written last August and started revising it. It then demanded that I turn it into a poem to honor the remains of the Hessian soldiers found this summer at Red Bank Battlefield where I walk almost every day. The official announcement was made this past Tuesday.
I like that in the various reports I’ve read that historian Jennifer Janofsky and archeologist Wade Catts have emphasized not only that this is an exciting and unexpected discovery, but that it also emphasizes the brutality of war. They hope to be able to identify some of the soldiers from their remains, and they will be reburied. So, I have more River Ghosts.
“The world was filling with ghosts. We were a haunted country in a haunted world.” –Louise Erdrich, The Sentence
“Tomorrow, and tomorrow, and tomorrow, Creeps in this petty pace from day to day, To the last syllable of recorded time; And all our yesterdays have lighted fools The way to dusty death. Out, out, brief candle! Life’s but a walking shadow, a poor player, That struts and frets his hour upon the stage, And then is heard no more. It is a tale Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, Signifying nothing.” –William Shakespeare, from Macbeth (spoken by Macbeth after Lady Macbeth’s death)
Apparitions slip between worlds, linger like words– the spoken and unsaid–each waiting to be seen, heard, read and remembered, infinite
combinations, in every language, past, future meld in the timeless sea where yesterday’s twinkling light haunts and comforts. Does tomorrow
on the horizon give a straight-lined smile? Or false the glimmer of hope? Sound and fury—nothing or all? Candles burn bright, yet mimic stars.
The light comes again reverberations, colored by space-time meandering carrying messages in microscopic dust missives.
Now, winter’s blanket lays etched with sharp lettering– yet beneath, cursive tendrils wait to write new stories spirits and words hover, beckon
with endless stories, whole books, unfinished chapters brief verses, epic sagas, chronicles and reports. The universe shouts and whispers.
I decided to try a wayra again. It forces me to think and choose words in a different way.
We’re bouncing from very cold to warm for January to cold. We had snow last night, but it’s been washed away by the rain, and there’s a wind advisory for later in the day into tomorrow.
It’s soup and blanket weather. I made clam chowder (without bacon) last night, and vegetarian onion soup earlier in the week, served with oven french fries.
Merril’s Movie, Books, TV. . .
I couldn’t quite stay up to finish Louise Erdrich’s new novel, The Sentence, last night, but it’s wonderful—words and books, tribal lore, ghosts, and social commentary.
We watched A Perfect Ending (Amazon Prime), a psychological thriller with Polish actor Tomasz Kot as an architect delayed by a young woman in an airport. It definitely kept me interested till the end. And since I forgot to cancel Apple TV, we also watched The Tragedy of Macbeth, a new adaptation by Joel Coen. Purists may not like the streamlined version, but it’s excellent, filmed in a stark black and white where shadows loom and the Weird Women become birds. The supernatural elements of the play really come through in this version. Denzel Washington plays Macbeth and Frances McDormand is Lady Macbeth. She’s so good.
The book and movies share connections of ghosts, regrets, deaths/murders, and memory.
We’ll be watching the finale of Yellow Jackets tonight, a show that I’ve really enjoyed. (I wasn’t sure I would from the opening scenes.) And I suppose there’s a connection here, too.
She stands at the precipice ++++++++ wondering where time and space meet ++++++++ where and why he’ll appear at that moment, and ++++++++++++++ again– it seems less a question of physics– ++his blurred shape– than an opportunity ++++++++++++++ gathering strength in the vast eternal void +++++++++++ from unbidden hope to find a crack, a sliver of light +++++ shining in incandescent splendor
Jane Dougherty and David (ben Alexander) got me thinking about writing a cleave poem again. I haven’t written one in a while, and WP certainly does not make them easy to format. We’re getting ready for houseguests and Thanksgiving–something we haven’t done since the pandemic began–so I may not be around too much in the next week.
If through the storms you dream, over and over of blood and ghosts that laugh from their own universe to yours— then watch for shadows, but wait for light shining in morning’s pink-tinged song, a symphony of color, of life.
It’s been an odd morning after a stormy night, but the Oracle knew what she wanted to say. This poem practically wrote itself.
Listen to heart-songs– the breath of eternity, as ocean-kissed air dances with brilliant sparkle-light, and white-cat clouds pounce with joy at the blue-blanketed sky, wondering
ghosts hide in the shadows, perhaps they linger to tell their secrets– imprisoned between before and after, they wind-whisper in the fever-blush of morning sky, and silent-laugh in the night— at your smile from the window.
A late message from the Oracle today. We’ve had blue sky and sparkling water the last couple of days. As I was getting ready to post this, I looked up and saw this painting of my mom’s. It doesn’t have a title or date that I know of, but it seemed to fit.