This light, this life

 

This light that shines is not for me to keep,

Nor is the rain that falls, the running stream,

I hear imprisoned voices in the night.

 

No bird is mine to pluck down from its flight,

I have no right to bend life to my scheme,

This light that shines is not for me to keep.

 

The wind that blows in from the ocean deep,

Blows free and wild not chained in fetters bright,

Nor is the rain that falls, the running stream.

 

All this I know, yet often in my sleep,

The wind, the stream, weave through my restless dream,

I hear imprisoned voices in the night.

I watch the storm begin again

Photo ©cjohnson7

800px-Storm_clouds

 

 

I watch the storm begin again,

Rolling from the west where the ocean lies,

Cloud-black the arms that twist the treetops,

Falling rain is in the blackbird’s song.

 

Grass stalks, green-tangle, beaten lies

The rain-drenched meadow, where dog rose

Petals fly, their sweet scent scattered,

I watch the storm begin again.

 

Through laden branches leafed and fruited

Gale roars with the voice of shipwrecks,

Rocked and racked with splitting timbers,

Rolling from the west where the ocean lies.

 

Behind the window glass, the darkness

Sops the dripping light, smears ink stains

Across the hushed and breathless sky,

Cloud-black the arms that twist the treetops.

 

Though no one stirs and no one ventures

Through the swaying, windy meadow,

Wild things have no fear of thunder,

Falling rain is the blackbird’s song.

Timeless

The chosen poems for the Ekphrastic Review challenge are published today. You can read them here, There are some very good ones among them.

The painting is by Marianne von Werefkin, and I think it’s tremendous. Neither of the poems I submitted was selected but I enjoyed writing to this prompt so here’s one of them anyway.

marianne-von-werefkin-schwarze-frauen-1910-1_orig

 

Timeless

 

Timeless the scene, the bowed, hunched backs,

All dressed in black the women walk,

Silent as night without moon or stars.

 

With their worldly goods, the light of the world

On their shoulders bent, the women walk;

Timeless the scene, the bowed, hunched backs.

 

Invisible, ghosts, mere holes in the day,

In the shadow of walls dressed proud by men,

All dressed in black the women walk.

 

Bundled in white is the light on their backs,

Though weary they walk dressed in black, unheard,

Silent as night without moon or stars.

 

Ageless

A second cascade poem inspired by this image by Paul Militaru ©

Screen Shot 2019-04-02 at 21.40.33

 

Water pours and shakes its shaggy mane,

Green-tawny, streaming snowy foam,

Licking mossy rock and mossy root.

 

Water roars and snatches broken branch

To whip the rain to curds. Broken

Water pours and shakes its shaggy mane.

 

Wild cascade serpent-slides and falls

Over gemstone pebbles, cool black loam,

Green-tawny, streaming snowy foam.

 

Saliant, langued and armed of vert,

Ageless river beast devours,

Licks clean mossy rock and mossy root.

Sometimes at noon

A cascade poem about cascades for the dverse ‘cascade’ prompt.

 

Sometimes at noon the day is dark,

The pearly sun behind the clouds

Cascades in muted shafts of light.

 

Each leaf edge, grass blade etched so stark,

Its shadow, tiny work of art

Sometimes at noon if day is dark.

 

The air becomes the blackbird’s song,

A river rippling lento in

The pearly sun behind the clouds

 

That pearls to moon when dusk grows dim,

And owls pick up the song, its flute

Cascades in muted shafts of light.

A candle shines out bold

A cascade poem for the dverse Halloween monster prompt.

Animation_candle_flame

A candle shines out bold into the dark,

The sign that beckons, leading dear ones home,

For some were never dear that still are dead,

Not all the dead who walk this night find rest.

 

I shuffle down the lonely lane this night,

The night the veil drops between life and death,

I search for warmth to chase the dark earth’s chill,

A candle shines out bold into the dark.

 

I feel them flutter past to sit once more,

Among their loved ones, drawn like moths to flame,

I follow, shambling in their phantom steps,

The sign that beckons, leading dear ones home.

 

I howl with pain that no one thinks of me,

With anger that all doors are bolted, barred,

Against the likes of me, shunned from the feast,

For some were never dear that still are dead.

 

I paw the door and beat the window pane,

Cajole and whine, the dogs bark, none will come,

Take care to leave no casement wide for me,

Not all the dead that walk this night want rest.

Dig the field to plant the seed

For cascade poem for the Secret Keeper’s writing prompt. And we have hands again!

DRAGON | PROVIDE | HEART | FIELD | HAND

996px-František_Kaván_-_The_Air_of_Home

Dig the field to plant the seed,

Keep the black wolf from the door,

Make a home with sturdy walls.

 

Hands to hold and hands to build,

A symphony of field and sky,

Dig the field to plant the seed.

 

Let the hare run on the hill,

And small, fat life that teems will

Keep the black wolf from the door.

 

Take two hearts that beat in tune,

Breathing fire in the dark, we

Make a home with sturdy walls.

 

There is no easy path

This cascade poem is for the Secret Keeper’s weekly writing prompt. Sorry it’s a miserable one.

EASY | FLOOD | THOUGHT | FEAR | HUGE

 csontvary_kosztka_tivadar_-_hidon_atvnulo_tarsasag_1901_korul

There is no easy path through this cold world,

No stream that never floods or bursts its banks,

The fear of what’s behind us drives us on.

 

I used to think that, at the tunnel’s end,

Everything would bask in golden light,

There is no easy path through this cold world.

 

No life that will not end in lonely death,

For us, no vast sky ever calm and blue,

No stream that never floods or bursts its banks.

 

That light receding faster than dawn grows,

Draws shadows round, and only looking back,

The fear of what’s behind us drives us on.

Sun-charred laughter

Photo©Arun Kulshreshtha.

1024px-The_Sun

Sunlight roars with a fiery voice,

Beneath its claws red stone flakes fall,

Your laughter breaks like charred black twigs.

 

As summer crawls from beneath the shade

Of spreading trees, silent and grave,

Sunlight roars with a fiery voice.

 

Harsh, it tears the walls, the heat

That pours from roof tiles, dripping gold—

Beneath its claws red stone flakes fall.

 

Limp the poplars, their voices hushed,

Where birds in thoughtful silence perch,

Your laughter breaks like charred black twigs.

Moving on

A nostalgic cascade poem, poem on the cusp, for the dverse open link night.

807px-William_Orpen_-_Rocky_Coast_Scene_at_Howth

Our journey moves on, no deep roots have grown,

The earth that clings is not the soil of home,

Broad leaves that shade will fall with winter frost,

We follow tides, besprayed with ocean foam.

 

For generations feet have trod the paths

Of many lands and found some brief respite,

In restless shadow of familiar hills,

Our journey moves on, no deep roots have grown.

 

The houses borrowed cheek by jowl with kin,

Do little more than gather ghosts and tears,

A hollow shell that echoes with old songs,

The earth that clings is not the earth of home.

 

The pang of memories will linger long,

In heartache when the summer roses bloom,

The trees that blossom, black and bare will be,

And leaves that shade will fall with winter frost.

 

Bright sunlight slanting though the rowan trees,

The scent of gorse that’s carried on the breeze—

To find that peace and hold it in the heart,

We follow tides, besprayed with ocean foam.