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Thoughts perhaps

For the last ten days or so I’ve been struggling to find a reason to keep on writing. It’s the time of year when death is uppermost in my mind, my mother’s birthday, the anniversary of her death, the festival of the dead and the start of the dark half of the year. Thanks to a friend insisting (nagging) that I don’t give up, I went back to the Oracle. I think the message is that some things don’t need a reason.

Forgive me if I don’t feel like ‘joining’ though, and have bowed out of the interactive scene. Hanging around on the margins is enough.

What follows starts with the eight square poem I wrote yesterday, leading into the Oracle’s response this morning. I have ended it with a coda of my own.

 

There is no more in these hands to

shape and form into butterflies,

no more music in the flute of

the wind. There was little of worth

and nothing to match the ripple

of stream or birdsong. Now I watch

the rain, the mist rising, sunlight

falling, and that must be enough.

 

Listen to the words in the wind that pours,

see how the ice grows red as fire in the sky,

fly in the face of the poison men spread,

and perfume the night with the scent of roses.

I will sail into this sky wet with stars (or is it rain?),

where the broken and the brilliant fish

their slow desires in the well of eternity,

where the morning wakes like thunder,

and your soft ghost of a smile

dances blue as the overwhelming salt ocean.

 

Wind blows sea whispers (from rock and wave)

across the skin of the sky,

rain sings in water shadows, purple and

black as a night far from the land.

I wonder if the moon is less than the sun

when she swims with dolphins through spray

petal light and creamed with foam,

and why I can no longer hold the elusive blue

and gold of twilights in my hands.

Is red the only colour of time?

 

These are questions few can answer,

perhaps the black pearls sleeping in deep waters,

perhaps pearls of moondrops falling in deep waters

or rain in puddles beneath a November sky.

Perhaps there are no answers,

perhaps they are the wrong questions,

but I will paint my thoughts in the sky

at the back of my head behind my eyes,

full of this sunset obscured by rain.

 

May journal 25

I had been going to rant about the massacre of nineteen small children in Texas, but what’s the point? It happens regularly and nothing ever changes, no massive organised protests, strikes, blockades. They’ll get in their convoys to protest about having to wear a paper face mask but not to save children from having their bodies ripped to pieces. It’s a society that places the right of moral cretins to pose with big guns above the right of children to live. Twisted, inhuman.

Wind swirls east then west
sun flickers and goes out
but the blackbirds sing regardless.

So quiet here without the girls, gone home, back to the city, and husband away for the day. Only Trixie sits in front of the computer, playing with the mouse. I hope it will live. Dogs snooze, contented to have full bellies and a bit of fussing. I wonder about the fate of the killer whale in difficulty in the Seine, how you live with the pieces of a child, where human selfishness will lead.

There is a hole somewhere
a sheer cliff
a well with no bottom
a mouth full of teeth.
We will all meet there someday.

Behaviours

I saw the dverse prompt last night, to write a poem about one of the corvid family. Then this morning, I heard the news of yet another avoidable, senseless massacre in the US and I have no words for the moral bankrupcy of the/a people who call the murder of small children freedom.

Behaviours

Crows jays jackdaws
steal unattended eggs chicks
mob predators
soar glide chatter
protect entertain
plant oak trees
decorate cornfields.

Crows etc do only what needs doing
live their lives peaceably
clean up carrion
spread woodland

yet we call them pests
begrudge them a handful of grain
a few acorns
hate the way they warn others
that hunters are around
and we shoot them.

But then we shoot our own children too.

May journal 24

Our visitors left today and the world slowly settled back into its usual quiet, a little dusty, a little faded, but peaceful.
We’re working on freeing up another section of vines, white grapes this time, from the hedge of bramble, dogwood, blackthorn and plum that has swallowed them up.

Sky would be bright
but muddled with undecided clouds
the wind troubles the sunlight.

The light is pure and pale silver-green, the golden heat in abeyance for a few days. Raindrops fall in scatters, not showers, not even cloudbursts, moistening the earth, and every stalk, leaf, budding berry fruit bears a crystal drop.

Summer wind

Posted to @TopTweetTuesday.

Summer wind

The wind has risen stealthily
beneath the song of the blackbirds
swelling now to a tide of whispering

and I listen to a distant sea
lapping forgotten shores
pebbled and pitted with pain

while two dogs race careless
the green meadows of soothing sleep
dreaming of quiet abundance.

May journal 23

How can I wander lonely,
not see what lies beneath the stalk tangle,
not hear the piping in the trees,
when I have companions
who understand it all?

We walked through meadows criss-crossed with animal trails, burrows and scrapes, where the orchids are drying, browning after the last days’ heat, and in the fields at either hand of the track, wheat, flax-coloured, not quite gold was ruffled, like watered silk, by the wind bringing the change.
The storm passed us by in the night, its progress along the river threshing our trees with its rags. We listen and wait for rain, still hoping.

In the wind,
the house whistles, groans,
and doors rattle,
the restless air turns about itself
like an uneasy dog
nosing a strangeness.

We wait for more visitors to arrive, peaceful and settled in the shelter of four walls that have become familiar to us all. More children to fill the spare room for a night and share a few meals, walks, and all the news.

Woodpecker
pied and red-capped
squeaks without pause in the lime tree
ordering the beetles to arise.

Wind songs

Wind songs

Nothing is more eloquent than the wind,
though our ignorant ears rarely understand the words.

It murmurs different words to different trees,
sings different songs with their leaves,

water-ripples through the long grasses,
teasing whispers from waving seed heads,

and the birds weave their counterpoint,
sweet and soothing, even to its anger.

May journal 22

The air was heavy with storm, dense with water. Hot and windy, but the washing took all day to dry. Walked (trotted) the dogs around the land, feeling like Ben Hur with his chariot horses, starting pheasants in the hedge, sending the marsh beaver family flopping into the stream, then galloping on the trail of the boar that had been by in the night, digging their great holes everywhere.

A family outing
of diggers and delvers
of wallowers in the mud
enjoyed the moonlight
while we slept.

A dead crayfish, unearthed by a pig from the mud in the ditch made Bix leap in terror. Redmond flinches in doorways. So many things to learn in this world shaped for humans.

Wind flailing the poplars
whipping leaves to a cream
of sea spray
the storm reaches red
over the western horizon
wailing its fierce songs
like the ancient sea wolves.

Random word poetry

Just an idea, to see how similar the poems are that are inspired by this random selection of words. I’ve written a short poem, and I’ll add it to this post later.

Sea-storm

Spray flies,
canvas cracks in the wind,
rotten stays snap,
this ship a meal for angry waves.

Moon’s bland light
dances on wave tips
with all the weight of indifference,
the slow hiss of dislocation.

May journal 21

A beautiful day with our favourite grandchild come to meet her new friends. It was a whirlwind of movement, hard to keep up, and even Trixie, after being chased enjoyed licking out a pot of cream while the two in the dog house watched.

The Oracle gave me a sort of cadralor with some of the day’s events in there. She is always watching.

A day in the country

1.
Sun bakes the meadow,
shrinks the pink of orchid flowers,
cool shadow beneath the trees
out of reach,
we stick to the track,
poppy-fringed.

2.
She is growing, gabbling,
unsteady on her feet,
so she dances sitting down,
plays dog-catch and pine cone games,
sticky as honey,
a flower grass-petaled.

3.
The garden is a ship,
an ark, sweating gently in the heat,
brim-full of rescued things,
fauna and flora
and we gardeners,
cooks and carers.

4.
Play for some,
a mad race for another,
no blood, but a fright,
and the game stops in harsh words,
hung canine heads
and a cat in a tree.

5.
No tears, no sadness,
but a day of laughter,
panting like puppies,
rolling in green,
smelling the wind for new things,
on the brink of new lives.