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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.

 

Haibun for the talking baby

For the dverse prompt.

Babies learn so quickly, growing from unformed blob of glup to something that walks, talks and has its own opinions.

So few weeks ago
it was spring and these birds
were still eggs.

Between September visits, our small grandbaby has changed from being dog spectator, watchful and amused, to dog commander, dishing out treats from her plate, and expecting to be obeyed in all things. She follows them about, calling, but of course, they don’t understand their new baby names, and of course, baby gets furious when she has to shout twice, or ten times.

Scattering leaves
with a swirl of red skirts
summer leaves the stage.

By the end of the autumn, who knows how her wings will have grown. Perhaps Bee and Emon will have learned a new language too.

In the porch
dog watches leaves bowling
remembers the sun.

Bee (more commonly known as Bix) stealing the talking baby’s lunch.

Emon (Redmond) and Bee (Bix) early morning June, hence the green.

Deer

Colleen reminded me of the Essence poetry form.

Deer

There were deer on the hill,
fled in fear, never still,

on the hill, till they heard,
not the rill, not a bird,

but the crack of a gun.
Looking back, through the sun,

saw a man, metal bright,
and they ran, feather-light,

in the green, left a glow
where they’d been, so I’d know.

The one on his own at the bar

Last week’s prompt from Paul Brookes was the acrostic form. I’d never written an acrostic poem before so gave it a try. This is what I came up with. I assumed that any subject was acceptable.

The one on his own at the bar

Gabble drips from your loose lips,
Offering opinions no one wants to hear.
Behind your effusions and hearty back-slaps,
Silence, as women roll eyes and sip their drinks.
Hands you try to shake, raise to catch the barman’s attention
Instead, backs turn, hoping you’ll go away.
There is a world of misogyny and arrogance in your
Eyes, that fondle what you will never have.

Random word generator

Today’s words.

I have been writing Badgers, to get iambic pentameter out of my head. The Oracle gave me some relevant ones with this word selection. Reminder, for those who would like to try some, a Badger’s hexastitch is a six line, syllable-based poem, following a 2/4/6/6/4/2 pattern.

Badgers without badgers

I see
cats stalk the field,
conspicuous, white-furred,
yet their prey see only
a deeper shade,
death-winged.

Outside
supermarket
doors, the homeless with their
dogs sit, the begging cup
obstinately
empty.

They have
so much, the rich,
they walk in glitter-clouds,
not urbane or humane,
the word is crass,
vulgar.

The child
with the snotty
nose and dirt-patined skin
cries, but feet hurry past,
eyes always look
away.

Brothers
watch the field’s edge,
dogs, intrigued but wary,
unsure if a wild pig
is friendly prey
or foe.

Watching

The Oracle reminded me of an incident on a walk a week or so ago. She never forgets.

Painting by Willard Metcalf

Watching

I watch
but not her
not the woman with the tiny dog
yapping in her arms

fussing because leaves
damp dirt other dogs

I watch the beauty
fall slow from the trees
listen as the leaves whisper forgiveness
to the summer
for the relentless heat

I taste the tang of rain
in their soft browning
foetal shapes

while Dog sniffs the change
revels in its richness.

Autumn comes

Yesterday was hot. The yellow was golden, we kept in the shade and strolled home listening to the crackle of dried leaves.
The sunflower field looks desolate now, and the trees in front of the house along the stream look pale and thin.

The corn is in too, but the boar still come out to rummage.

Then today, the clouds came, the light was dull, and the yellow seemed more pronounced and drab. Like the box elder

the parched meadows

and the ‘garden’ reduced to yellow dust. The plants have died back or withered, the vine is wilted, the leaves curled and brown, and all we see on the roses are thorns.

At the end of this afternoon it rained. The start of the equinoctial change. High winds, unseasonably cool temperatures and rain are on the menu for the next fortnight. The mellow fruitfulness isn’t going to happen this year, I fear.

The turning of the year

Another poem in straight forward rhyming couplets, iambic pentameter.

The turning of the year

Today we start the slow slide into night,
the balance shifts to dark from summer light,

and how are we to know to find our way,
once winter winds send all green paths astray?

When songbirds flock and flit among the trees
about the house, leaves thinning in the breeze,

with gentle chatter, reassuring words,
that mean, perhaps, there’ll still be seeds for birds,

when silver frosts the nodding stalks, their gold,
once honey-sweet’s a memory grown old.

The yellowing of the year

A poem in couplets of iambic pentameter with end and internal rhymes. I think it ought really to have five stanzas, but it’s late.

Painting Ruszczyc, autumn landscape

The yellowing of the year

The yellowing of the year has now begun,
In woods where timid deer and fox would run.

Rain falls in leaves from cloudless skies, gold drifts
Beneath the trees where summer lies her gifts,

Heaped red and orange fire-flamed, they were,
But equinoctial winds, untamed bestir,

In tourbillons of Dervish dance, their rest,
And I in silence watch entranced, the jest.