I thought the Oracle was going to give me a cadralor. What I have isn’t quite a cadralor, more a string of bright images to remember this summer by.
End of summer painting
If only I could make music, make the note-words that would drive away the sadness, pigeons against a blue sky. But water runs, the moon rises, and still all I hear is silence.
How do you get under the skin of a rock? The red of sunset clings like a stain, though the sea washes over and over. The colour fades in the moonlight and sunlight, but the smell lingers beneath the salt crust.
Summer through, birds tongue symphonies. I let my feet wander where they will among the dry stuff and seeds of spring flowering, listening to the wind rattling leaves instead of rain.
Mist in the city is never this diaphanous thing that veils green and softens spikes and thorns, coalesces into droplets that contain worlds. It is creeping damp, greasy shoddy stretched thin.
Beauty swims in this ocean of tepid air, drifts on feathered wings, golden chaff. Sunset tastes of honey and the purple bells of heather. It rings like the stars and the soft breathing of sleeping companions.
The Oracle gave me a cadralor this morning, but I’m posting this short poem instead, a sort of condensation, to use the dreaded ‘s’ word she always shoves at me, although it’s a pretty elliptical allusion.
There are buds on the roses still to open and birds still singing songs to hopeful nests. The year squirms like a fat worm among the leaf litter, and a million hearts still beat high as summer.
An odd coincidence, yesterday a friend and I were exchanging linguistic references, words to describe places and features derived from Old Norse. Ings is one of them, meaning a damp marshy place or low-lying field. The suffix ‘ing’ appeared twice on the first line of words today. Just for the record, ‘sausage’ was on the third page. I suspect the Oracle is just winding me up.
Remembering the wild
1. The ings were marshy once, water meadows and full of life, mist, blue and green and singing. I’ve watched them dry, drained and paved. Cars park there now in their cold, dead space.
2. From my bed, I can watch the moon, listen to her night music, swooping low over silvered fields. Moonlight like sunlight has its own smell, the waxing and waning of the year.
3. More rain drills the dust and plucks petals from the tired roses. This dog end of summer hangs its head accepting the beating of the wind, lying down beneath the deluge.
4. When you were small, we walked in the forest beneath trees taller than you had ever seen. You clung to my hand, listening to the wild rustlings, staring into shadows where primal fears lurked.
5. Gulls scream, feet raking the foam, raucous, rowdy, relishing the sinking pinks and reds of the day. I spread my arms, the last sun gilds skin unfledged in the feather-wind; all birds in this dusk light.
Because my first Oracle-inspired poem was such an odd one, and because Kerfe’s poem was also a strange one in the same way, I went back, using the new word set this time. She gave me a cadralor, less enigmatic, and one of her favourite paintings (by Odilon Redon) to illustrate it.
I had a dream
1. I had a dream blue lake violin music drifting like mist and in a pool your face smiling.
2. Salt clings to the skin a memory of childhood oceans sea caves echo with a fading song.
3. Death waits beneath every stone in the road each step takes us closer. Owls croon uncaring.
4. Spring shadows were cool as moon eggs summer hedges are red with the flutter of departing chicks.
5. If I had a thousand lives I would keep from each one a single petal and make one glorious flower.
The wind and the rain murmur a refrain to the song of the earth, that death will follow birth, as a tree fledges leaves, so every mother grieves for the loss of a dream, the drying of a stream, when the year turns to the dark, the song will lose its lark.
Yet, listen, says the crow, you can hear the next spring grow in the cradle of the mother, ours, there is no other, where she breathes green shoots will follow, every summer have its swallow, from each egg, unfolding petal, every creature show its metal, with the turning of the sun, until this world is done.