Away we are bound to go;
life stream pulls like moon tides and the storm that blusters in the wind.
Above, the leaves stream,
beaten and lost. Trees wave them goodbye; the rest will not be far behind.
A hare raced across the sunny bank,
chased by the clouds, and the bright glitter of last night’s raindrops fled.
Into my listening ears,
the rain whispers a story of oceans and rivers, the journeys some will make,
but the songs that pour
from unseen bird-throats never falter;
they have heard it all before.
I watched two harts lock horns today,
The dance was wild with russet light, Their graceful fight seemed more like play. I watched two harts lock horns today; The sun shone gold beneath the may, Until the dusk dipped into night. I watched two harts lock horns; today The dance was wild with russet light.
A short message from the Oracle this morning. She saw what she saw.
Blood drowns the beauty
of this bird-singing morning. Engine throb, rifle report, all they hear, the spillers of rain, all they see, the cross that marks the life spot.
There is too much cold in the drop of the light,
the pit of the stomach, the corner of the eye.
Time pours, gushes over the edge,
and the tremulous gold of the dandelions, a finch’s wings, cannot hold it back.
Wind blows and its tongue is bitter.
From all four corners the message is the same, from all colours and all walks of life.
(Don’t let them blind you with pseudo-science).
While there are men who say death is the answer
to any question, I will watch the light drop, hands crossed upon my breast and whisper,
give the world back to the mothers and those who say, let all their children live.
dverse prompt. Painting by Franz Marc. Taking the quote à contre pied.
“As if we could hear music inside the words” Gail Newman from the poem Trust.
Wordless the songs
the fluted whistle swooping swift as light flash-on-the-pane
branch trembles and gone.
I strain in vain to hear the words
in the different strands of sound, staves staked in morning grass dew-heavy, booming with the memories the shadows make of night just past,
a harp chord echoing on the hills
where cocks crow unmusically bullroarer and trumpet-voiced.
Wordless the songs to human ears
but what music, beak-tongued,
eloquent as stream babble,
hooved feet tapping careful cadenzas, squirrelled grace notes tripping from tree to tree, and the light pat-pat punctuation of fox paws through drifts of muddy leaves.
Out of the depths she has cried, the vixen,
and runs now by rushing waters; no lying down in the deep dark or bright day, running, outrunning. The earth, her earth not ours, fills with hounds’ teeth and the shining teeth of the trap.
From morning watch even until night
she runs, red running, finding solace in the companion, the faithful shadow, watchful, padding print for print with her between the winter trees.
She dreams of a day of rest,
eyelids flicker, paws twitch in fitful sleep, and the perpetual light shines— torchlight— on white and shining teeth, again and again she runs, perpetual motion.
From the rolling red deeps
of fierce Dies irae, purple splendour of Lacrimosa, running light and sharp as hoarfrost along the branch, the threaded pearls of the Queen of the Night, I leave behind the booming oceans to walk beneath the bending boughs of oboes and the clarinet pipings of the thrush, gathering the careless scattered notes, red and gold, of finches a final bird salvo, before the day fades into the blue misted violins of the setting sun.
The painting prompt for the Ekphrastic Review challenge was a blue horse painting by Franz Marc. Anyone who knows my admiration for Marc won’t be surprised that I was duly prompted. Lorette asked for short fiction, which is what I wrote. You can read
Horse Dreams here as well as all the other entries.
Mist and night-cold cling and cloud,
Dripping grasses damp the ground, And in the morning silence loud, The crack of shot and bay of hound.
I wonder at the dark of mind
That finds its pleasure in the death Of bird and hare and timid hind, That steals wild beauty’s final breath,
If in the dark where hunters stalk,
Does shame, compassion ever break Upon the bloody path they walk? Is mine the only heart to ache?
and cocks crowing,
in the hornbeam a pigeon coos,
and all is still;
not a breath of wind stirs the cool morning air.
A profound melancholy clings,
and I miss the dry heat rising
from crisp-baked grasses that says,
summer still holds the reins
of this wild horse.