Indomitable

Indomitable

1.
Show me what you mean,
not that mad glitter that deflects the questions.
Can’t you see? I keep it all
and wear it, diamonds, in my hair.

2.
The morning is full of sun
and the songs of careless birds,
but my skin is the colour of wax
and there are shadows beneath the bed.

3.
Do not ask the man in the grey suit,
what is life, nor who and how.
He knows only how to count his profits
reads only share prices and the holy book.

4.
Stop, you say, as if my will is malleable,
and if I run, it will never be away.
Have you never watched reeds in the wind?
They bend, but they never break.

5.
Time on this bare hill is red,
geranium petals soaked in water.
I paint my face and sing,
because this is my dream, and it is blue.

Looking backwards forwards

This cadralor was inspired by the randon words Merril posted yesterday here. If you feel inspired, please use them and send her a link to the poem.

Looking backwards forwards

1.
The seed fell in the night
and was enfolded by the earth,
reaching down tentative roots,
stretching up to the dawn ,
its glorious tree-destiny.

2.
I sat before the painting
that most passed by,
intrigued by something
no one else could see,
a memory of a long-ago home.

3.
Night falls fast now,
and the river’s voice is loud,
forcing its violence
into the peaceful feathered thoughts
of summer flown.

4.
Through the window, the sky is square,
the clouds untidy blotches
on washed-out blue,
a painting full of clichés.
I walk out to take the correct measure of things.

5.
My mother knew more than she ever said,
for fear of appearing stupid, out of turn.
I remember her especially in the kitchen,
the love in every gesture,
in every cubed vegetable in my soup.

Fierce and tender

The Oracle’s poem more than a message. A cadralor.

1.
Sky is blue as a bird’s egg
but the lake is black.
Time blows across its surface
filling its depths with wreckage.

2.
The garden wears a smock
of stalks and last years leaves
keeping the green growth bright
cradling the budding flowers.

3.
These roads and city streets teem
clashing rocks and whirlpools of brash clamour.
My eyes and ears full of purple sunset
blackbirds singing.

4.
Temple-churches full of blood
and the worship of death
suffocating with cut lilies
and the sound of weeping.

5.
Wind-whispers weave stories
from storms and a transfigured sky
red and purple seep earthwards
the scent of roses.

Silver linings

Finally getting round to posting Saturday’s message from the Oracle which turned out to be a proper Cadralor.
The painting is by Marc Chagall.

Silver linings

1.
It’s live, she said,
I know I’ll speak too fast,
my tongue stumble on the words.

But the cat in her lap
stole the show.

2.
They lean together like reeds
at the water’s edge, to chant,
worship, but the wind blows away
the quavering song,
leaving the dead in peace.

3.
The wedding party was a mingling
of joy and grief, men and women
with their separate ideas.
Only the red-haired fiddler
was lost in the tune.

4.
Will this rain never stop? you cry.
The sea tosses spray in your face,
the wind tosses petals
torn from early roses,
and suddenly, you laugh.

5.
In this cool spring light,
a storm is a thing of beauty,
steel shafts of rain echo the tall sedge stalks.
I watch summer budding
in lightning flashes.

Things that might have been

Things that might have been

1.
I take a handful of random words,
rearrange them to make some kind of beauty:
twilight purple and pink on a lonely lake.

2.
I watch the morning sing and the jays raise
the sun above the trees on their joyous wings,
the chick dead in the night forgotten.

3.
I said some harsh things in the heat
of the moment, the heat of the night,
and the harsh light of day has set them hard.

4.
I wish these flying, soaring things that toss
storm waves from their backs and surf the wind
could speak the gentle tongue of dogs.

5.
Knit up the ravelled sleeve, gather pebbles
shiny with dew, catch the last sunset rays,
before wish becomes regret, and the night falls.

The red rose beneath the skin

The red rose beneath the skin

I.
Beneath the skin, blood beats,
sometimes bitter, sometimes black.
Let it lie. The red always returns,
like the rose after the rain.

2.
There’s a picture in the sky, ship in a storm,
white sails torn to shreds
by this brisk wind from the sea.
Cloud wisps scatter like petals.

3.
Soon there’ll be nests in the hedge,
and among the honeysuckle flowers
the blue of a robin’s eggs. Spring marches,
an unstoppable force.

4.
As are all, the goddess says
in her antique voice running with honey.
As are all mists and men, ephemeral
as sleep, as the song of the first thrush.

5.
They say it comes from the north pole,
this cold full of gnashing wolf-teeth,
nights black as the pits of hell, but I know,
it is only the shadow of the rising sun.

The calm over the water

The calm over the water

1.
The black egg hatches shadows
beneath the winter trees,
but here on the hill,
where the wings of the sun beat,
there will be a rose.

2.
A girl with black hair sits in the garden,
dreaming of what comes next,
that place beyond the familiar,
over the line of purple hills—
will it be honey and perhaps fire?

3.
Then all of a sudden it was over,
the ship spinning rudderless,
and the island in the stream
was a black-toothed rock
beneath an indifferent sky.

4.
Watching the sky fill the blue lake,
I wish for the pink solace of sunsets,
the black tumult of storm winds,
anything to stop the water-whispers
of reproach.

5.
We can ask and ache, or take
all that comes in the blood
and with the earth-roots,
accept sadness as the mirror of happiness.
Perhaps that is the calm over the water.

Winter runes

From the Oracle, illustrated by Franz Marc

Winter runes

1.
The music of the North Pole plays
frost vibrato of grass stalks beneath an unseen sky,
diamond ripple of running water notes,
while the black ship, ice-bound, awaits
the finale, the report of floes cracking.

2.
From my bed I can see
the blue tits around the window shutters,
industrious tapping, pecking and prising
insects hidden in the wood, the hinges cold with night,
their hollow bird bones stronger than mine.

3.
You glower and complain at the rain,
the running rivulets down the window panes,
the dullness of the light, irritation sparking
in every brusque movement.
What will you say when the storm breaks?

4.
She’s there, the lake goddess
where the rocks of a single island
break the silken skin of the water.
I hear her song, honey-coloured in the evening light,
and wonder do I dare take that cold path.

5.
Reading the motifs in the carpet,
the bird, the eye, the star,
beneath my feet, the sky’s reflection,
woven by hands far away, years ago;
the colours sing the answer, clear as well water.

So much we can never know

So much we can never know

1.
Wind in the dark barks winter,
oak leaves still falling, and the stream runs
with its endless babble between deep banks.
So many voices that need candlelight
to find their way home.

2.
In her eyes I see nothing of me,
round and blue as oceans, and the lashes up-curled,
yet sometimes she smiles
as if on the point of explaining
where she came from.

3.
We had a cat once, a beauty,
a cat who walked in one day and then walked out again.
We probably expected gratitude,
but that elegant whisk of the tail
ought to have been enough.

4.
Christmas always gets me like this,
wearies me before any guests arrive,
before the tree and presents.
I watch the flashing Xmas lights on the neighbour’s porch
and wonder why.

5.
Here now and forever,
we are, stand, hold, clasp, watch
sunset and moonrise and listen to the stars.
Everything is a mystery, a box without a key,
and that is the beauty of it.

The beauty beyond

The beauty beyond

1.
Diamonds don’t cry,
not even when they are cut, shaved smooth
to suit our facets.

2.
The dream came from the east.
I know, because it had pink sunlight
draped over its shoulders.

3.
She left music in her footprints and spring flowers,
made cooking pots and medicines,
so they erased her.

4.
Sun, egg-yellow blob in the sky,
skin-tingling, and the earth rustles with gratitude.
I wait for the first roses.

5.
There will be blue again,
lake water reflecting nothing more sinister
than spring clouds, scudding.