How honeyed is the light
in this garden of life
no fingers crush the fragile buds
no blood drips from feather to petal.
The sea is a ripple of stalks
waving in unseen currents
where swallow-ships skim
on narrow wings.
This day was sung by the moon
coaxed by the sun
and cradled in the arms
and the pulse of the earth.
Could you take all these tears away,
take them to the sea and drown them,
stop their mouths with sunshine and improbable gifts?
I dreamt that death came by the light of the moon,
and the forest sang in the tongue of running water
the words that turned her away.
Sometimes there is truth in dreams
if we want to find it.
If we want, we can take all the bitterness
that flourishes in the pure blue of day
and lay gentle shadows on the place.
Let the vixen lick the raw wounds
as she does her cubs,
watch the moon rise,
and listen to her humming,
Chagall is of course a painter the Oracle admires.
Photo © Sharon Mollerus
the wind blows music through my hair
and the river runs to the sea.
with the voices of seals
the wild tongue of the waves
while the fiddler plays red and blue
colours of a summer storm
that breaks no louder
than the soft sigh
of a petal falling
from a rose.
Do or die
or simply dance away the day.
the light lingers,
though morning never grew to swell with sun.
Oceans of wild, wet and windy
fill the window,
streaked and streaming,
running to rejoin the rivers.
the stove glows,
a captive star,
its voice the growl
of earth’s deep fiery regions
of flaming flowers
and the great molten brassage
of cast-off ideas,
and lost dreams.
Painting by Franz Marc.
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
they have heard it all before.
I went back to the Oracle, chose another word set, hoping for something more hopeful.
even eternity will be haunted
by the ghosts of men
with their sharpened steel,
their sacred causes,
ideas carved in the stone of their hearts.
What does it take
to wake the sleeping voices,
unlock the secrets that all other things know?
Words the wild knows without speaking?
The air is blue, they say,
the sky, the planet,
but all I see is red,
and we walk in the footprints
of the god of war.
The Oracle is in apocalyptic mode today, reflecting current events perhaps, or simply what my writer’s mind is churning over.
and blood cries back from the purple shadows
in the universal tongue of grieving mothers
tears ripped untimely—
listen to the storm coming
on whose watch will it strike?
We have driven the blue away
poured the honey into the dust
and the only light is red.
When this sun sets will the ache
in the marrow of women’s bones
turn to blows?
Love life less
and the rain that falls will be the deluge
the wild wind that unfurls the ocean
the serpent that laps the moon’s milk
and spits out poison.
There will be no thousand ships for us
outnumbering the stars.
The sky is singing,
cloud chords plucked by languid wind-fingers,
life and death songs of sun on sea,
where the wind blows waves
to break in foam feathers.
The sky sings salt
and night scents of invisible blooms,
enfolding silver-sheathed meadow grass
in the cool silence of fox and badger moon,
the cropping of monochrome deer,
and I listen to the bell flowers
chiming in the hedge,
the water ripple of birdsong,
running into summer,
give thanks to the rooted force,
rising and falling in beauty,
that makes all these tides
ebb and flow endlessly.
One day, I hoped,
flowers would bloom through the frost,
the ice crack with joy on the frozen pond,
the salt-sad ocean fill with joy,
and on that day,
when it came, I filled
from toe to top
full of the light that pours
from the boundless fiery dark
of forever and ever.
I hear your voice,
your familiar tread,
see the light lent by the stars
in your eyes,
and suddenly that day,
that began so long ago,
begins all over again.
Not the poem I was expecting from the Oracle, but she knows what she knows.
This is almost all there is,
the day ending, cupped into open yellow bowls,
colour bleeding from the sky
and ghost clouds streaming,
sails on an endless sea.
I remember your voice, your laughter;
life was good then,
and there was magic wherever we looked,
in the morning bustle,
the night soft with stars.
I wish you were here now, to wake,
look from this window, as you did
when you were a child, and see
the same stories in the vast velvet above,
dream the same dreams.
We all grow, desires change,
yet there is always blue light in the sky,
and the laughter remains.