Venus on the Rocks

La Naissance de Vénus ( The Birth of Venus ), pastel painting by Odilon Redon ( c. 1912 )

Venus on the Rocks

Ask about the drunk goddess–
hair and gown of lathered mist,
no lie—she rose from water
a shimmering, thorned flower, almost eternal.

As the sky sleeps,
the woman wants you
to recall sprays of purple and bitter rust
but the wind moans, I am your mother. Listen.

The sea urged her on,
that is what her friends said,
caught between red-petaled love and shadows below,
she dove. Submerged in a forgotten dream.

The raw rocks have hard milky faces—
but watch—they tell time
in whispered pink, sweet always or never,
siren songs for sailors, symphony in a storm.

Beneath the fiddler’s notes,
you wonder if you understand–
this is moon-language falling like rain,
blood-beauty swimming from the blue, unattainable, but known.

My message from the Oracle. Maybe a cadralor?

Sparkling Imperfection

Odilon Redon, Head of a Woman

Sparkling Imperfection

I make no resolutions—
for now, my house is cluttered,
my clothes are folded,
or sometimes not.

Yes, ought to, thought to–but
no resolution need be made
to love my children as they are,
without conditions or strings,

they fly on their own capable wings.
while I go on, flawed but mostly happy,
plan what could be,
and strive to enjoy what is

the fizz, the pop,
the joy in every day, marked
with mental asterisks, neuron pin-points,
that twinkle–

sprinkled stars
on life’s textured patches,
pieces in a collage,
messy, but glowing,

growing, then slowing
a full-color work-in-progress. A life.

For Punam’s dVerse prompt on resolutions, she asks us to write a poem inspired by 5 pieces of advice. I found it difficult. I don’t make resolutions, so I hope this satisfies the prompt.

Tree of Dreams

Odilon Redong, Woman Sleeping Under a Tree

Tree of Dreams

There is an ancient tree
in a secret garden,
white blossoms like pearls adorn
her arms as she reaches to touch
sun and moon.

Here bangs and booms become bird-trills,
each day beats with a new rhythm
green tendrils climb in harmony
and the air is scented with promise.

Ask if I am here,
and I may answer,
this is a place of dreams
caught between bee-breaths
and the falling of a rose petal,
the last echo of violin, a tremolo
in the night. The place where time
is both a wing-flap and endless flight.

The Oracle made me work for this one. I used tiles from two sets, merged, revised, revised again. . .But I guess she approves—because I found the Redon painting above to go with my poem.

I’m sharing this with dVerse Open Link Night.

Between Beats

Between Beats

Time’s ship sails—
a gorgeous lie

of shifting light and horizons,
but you might ask the wind how it blows

or why? Does the moon stop the storm
when it appears? Behold

the circling of seconds, the remembering
of before becomes after,

in the fast cry of spring—
if could be

the music that soars

us. Life-murmuring
in the dark beneath.

My early-morning poem from the Oracle. I used the “new” tiles, which are now located below the original tiles. I guess I haven’t use them for a while. The words seemed somewhat different, and she gave me some interesting phrases, but as usual, this is a collaboration between us. I’m stating that because I saw a post that seemed to equate using words generated online with AI generated-poems. I take some of the words and phrases and write my own poem–the same as using any other word prompt! And even if I took every word from the tiles, I’d still be arranging them into my own poem.

Dream Ocean

Odilon Redon, Ophelia Among the Flowers

Dream Ocean

Time is an ocean, and we
small fish or sailing ships,
a gull in flight from waves to quay,

in dreams, I am all three.

Through walls I coast
where my dead parents–
look remarkably well, almost

as they were, not ghosts,
but shimmering,

and there my children, both young and older,
and dead pets now alive and by my side–
I am every version of myself—sometimes bolder–

in the multiverse of my mind, I find
sea glass treasures, polished by time
returned to me by dream-sea, ephemeral, sublime.

For dVerse, where Ingrid has asked us to write about dreams or visions.

From the Shadows

Odilon Redon, Béatrice, c. 1905


What was and is

When what we were
was dreams

black all around, no shadows
till the wind blew blue, purple, and pink

in storm sprays, pin pricks of
elaborate dazzle, like love—

scarlet dawns, cocoa clouds, and diamond stars–

but love like lies lathers,
leaving traces of different,
lingering perfumes.

Some would heal with poison,
others with smiles,

but see how the sun devours
the clouds? Timeless stories retold.

Woman With Will

if I live less like one asleep,
stop, hear sea’s music that
we together sing

then that which we are,
and that which we were,
is part of after and always–
moon mist and flowers.

The Oracle kept giving me phrases, including the title of the second poem, so I decided there were two poems here. Perhaps they go together or a part of something larger.

At the Year’s End

Odilon Redon, The Boat

At the year’s end

spray smooth the sky–
erase the stormy purple-black,
prepare a palette of silvered moonbeams,

add cobweb white to pewter streaks,
lighten it

so that some see through it
and others
see only shadows and reflections
cast by time.

I am what I am,
finding poetry in the river’s wandering answers
to questions not yet asked,
and hearing the descant of if and always
in each dawn’s song.

Watch now as honey pours golden
through the gloom, and

listen, my love–Earth’s blue breaths
rise and fall, rise and fall.

The Oracle’s final message of the year. Happy New Year, All!

Sunrise, Christmas Eve Morning

Sunrise, Christmas Eve Morning

This is a secret season—
the squirrels sense it, souls stirred
by leaf-rustle and bare-branched sighs,

the clouds are pewter cups
spinning without saucers
till they rest on a blue expanse,

as if waiting
for the party to begin,

and so, there is light,
ancient and always
there, our own bright star, rising

a reveille
the frosted ground echoes
with a thousand small, sparkling stars.

The Oracle gave me this message quickly today. She knows it’s a busy day and season (and I will catch up with reading when I can.) The sun is just up, but not doing too much here, as it is 7 F, as I’m writing this. Wishing all of you a happy holiday season–and some sparkles–whatever you celebrate and wherever.


Odilon Redon, Flower Clouds


the air was chocolate scented,
almost delicious, like eating a cloud,

and red-rose petals in murmurations
swept across the sky in winged formations
like questions waiting for answers,

would we wake to the dazzle-light,
the blush-breezes–or never notice

how time in wave-tumbles
fails to reveal its secrets,
even while voicing our dreams.

And if we recalled those dreams
when tiny, raw, and egg-fragile,

would they sail like stars,
twinkling ships in the night?

It’s a busy day, I finally had a chance to put this up–my collaboration with the Oracle. I had a difficult time getting any resolution. She just kept giving me if.