Still running

The Oracle always has words of wisdom, not false hope of insincere comfort. The truth should be enough.

Still running

Run through all the days,
the nights with stars above and mist below,
fly the ocean-earth with the owls.

The pain is raw,
and spring will be bitter without the roses.
Their petals fell and none will ever smell the same.

The sun was soft and sweet,
the stone warm enough for lizards,
butterflies fluttered among the falling leaves,

but the ache is for the beauty lost,
the beauty still,
and perhaps the beauty yet to come.

Night falls on the countryside

Painting by Franz Marc.
This poem came from the first selection of words. The Oracle didn’t need any more than that to show her disgust for certain ‘traditional’ leisure activities.

Night falls on the countryside

The grotesquerie of this tapestry,
moon-silvered and sordid with blood
and flesh, torn to rotting meat.

She spreads her soft silver and rain-weeps,
but such a blanket cannot warm dead bones,
and the smell lingers beneath leaf mould.

Forest heaves in sorrow beneath the moon;
even her spangled gown is shot full of holes,
bleeding starlight.

Before you go

The Oracle knows.

Before you go

I watch the wind with its petals blowing,
across this heart with an ache ever-growing;
be still my friend, I’ll not be going.

The wind that blows cannot chase the light
in the rushing clouds, they shine too bright,
your trusting eyes, in the dark of night.

Mother and friend, captain of this ship,
I am always here though the last light dip
and dim in the waves, I’ll not let you slip.

A thousand things still you have to know,
and a forest of roses I’ve still to show,
a sky full of music, before you go.

The star in the sky, the pear in the tree,
I’ll be lavender, thyme for the honey bee,
and I’ll guide you home, where you want to be.

Coins and other sides

Coins and other sides

There are stories too sad to be told
to be sung by violins
shouted blue as a painted sky
and though we stir the bitter dregs
we find no sweetness.

Shadow is the other side of light
the dark juice that runs through the green trees
that outlines the softness of feathers
the silence behind the whispers
the sharp retorts.

Wind draws mist veils across the sun
and whips the storm clouds
driving ship-death upon the rocks
stripping golden leaves
and scattering the year across the mud

but there is always beauty
in water diamonds
bird music
the eternal light show of the universe.
Even when there is too much sadness to bear.

Listening for the echoes

Not a cadralor from the Oracle today. A short, sweet and to the point message.

Listening for the echoes

To stop this frantic race and soar
with the unthinking grace of a hawk,
to run where the stream runs, unquestioning of the end,
to board the ship, knowing there may be no return voyage,

is a wish that pulses in the too-human blood,
that surged with our first infant cry,
that falls in wind-whispers from every broad-leafed tree,
tongued in imperatives by the turning-season storms.

I would paint my path in bright colours and follow it,
had I the talent, but being no artist, I send my heart
in the wake of kingfisher and the white scut of deer,
and with my silence, listen for its distant echoes.

October thoughts from the Oracle

Must we whisper? Has sleep grown hostile?
The roses were plucked by the storm in the night,
their petals are sinking in the mud,
a rank smell hangs in the damp air.

The dream memory aches, you and I together,
in our place, wrapped in ourness,
lying on sweet meadow stalks beneath a blue sky.

To shine with the sleek shimmer of feathers,
the unconscious beauty of the smallest bird,
to sing with such a voice—we try,
leaving symphonies in our wake.

We watch helplessly as the sun sinks
and search for the pigments to retain its splendour,
wear diamonds because we cannot reproduce a dewy field.

I would live honey-drunk, full as a spring lake,
sail petals like boats on its unruffled surface,
and have you always, a presence,
warmer, larger than life itself, within reach of my hand.

Things we see or don’t

Running late. The medication is starting to work and I can see a bit clearer now. The Oracle gave me a cadralor. Nothing to do with anything.

Things we see, or don’t

1.
In my forest there are roses,
the sun slips
between bird-strung boughs
and the rain in silver patters,
language of dreams.

2.
He brought me flowers,
gave me slabs of meat to cook,
his friends to tolerate,
loud and boorish. No one noticed
when I slept in the garden.

3.
I remember a pair of shoes, blue.
She never wore them, like the red dress,
not me, she said with a smile.
it stormed when she died.
She’d have liked that.

4.
There’s a picture of the north pole,
how it was, with the ice
and the long black shadow of a white bear.
All gone, but we prefer palm trees
and sun anyway, so no loss.

5.
A celebrity’s plastic face, souped-up sunsets,
Ferraris and Porsches, a selfie
taken with the moon in a space station,
none more beautiful than the daisy,
crushed beneath your tread, rising again, slowly.

To be, and not to be

I was finishing writing a cadralor poem this morning and it struck me that it’s the perfect form for the Oracle. Each stanza takes the words/theme from a different page of words and the Oracle slips in the message in the closing stanza. It’s a hypothesis anyway. This is what she just gave me.

To be, and not to be

1.
Rust, such a pretty colour.
Though it comes from ruin and decay,
creeps in the sordid places, acid-damp,
it runs the woods with the deer.

2.
You always said I was blue,
hair the colour of bilberry juice, honey-skinned.
I was a peach by any other name.
I never told you what that was.

3.
Day screams before it soars
into the world the moon has left bereft,
the raw cries of owls,
drunk with sunlight, fading.

4.
Crush these dried lavender flowers;
the smell will linger for centuries in the fabric
of gowns packed in a cedar chest,
as long as it is never opened.

5.
We wish for the rain to stop,
like we wish the bitter words could be unsaid,
the war never started, but the sea is still the sea,
and salt water will never run in this stream.

The urging of the storm

I opened the new Oracle and the first and only words to leap out at me were ‘storm’ and ‘urge’.

Day breaks in gold
a mist of silver-green
and pale eggshell blue.

It breaks in cockcrow
the barking of a distant dog
woodpigeons.

Light spreads swells
sweeps the shadows beneath the trees
into the hedges

washes this world with colour
flower heads heavy with dew
the fresh scent of moonlight

but the dove-throat peace is fragile
a thread
gossamer drifting

to be caught and broken
by the storm struggling to be born
beneath each treed horizon.

The Gulf Streams away

The story gets more depressing every day and the Oracle doesn’t pull her punches. I’m posting this one to Earthweal where it might feel at home.

The Gulf Streams away

Sun trudges with heavy feet behind whitecap clouds
no fish swim on airy wings through this rain
that draggles feathers and spirits.

The girdle of the oceans will wrap us
in a cold embrace blowing bitter winter
to shrivel warm beating hearts unopened buds.

We say we worship beauty the face of nature
press hands together before the setting sun
a flock of silver birds and say this is the creator’s work.

Our song is raw and bloody the wounds weep
red-running the earth an open sewer
entrails ripped and steaming

but we pluck a flower coo at kittens
eat steak not someone’s baby
and consider ourselves compassionate.

We reward our affluence with an idyll
tropical island deserted beaches trek across
a country teeming with poverty

but we take home
such memories, such beautiful pictures.
We love our god-created planet.

Empty words
when the earth is screaming
and we are all dying.