Ask

The Oracle gave me a cadralor that I condensed into a different type of rhythmed poem.

Ask the wind where the light has gone
the green of spring.
I see it only in prismed hues
of rain-shot arcs,

in purple cloud of sunsets, gold
that briefly breaks
through storm-dark then is swallowed up,
so none remains.

The rocks that dream in red and black
could ask the sea,
the waves that washed away the rose,
pale petals lost.

But ask her, in the pearling mist,
she’ll tell you why
blue is grey and only lake birds call—
cold winter’s here.

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Random word poetry

Just the way things are

1
Weep is what the clouds do,
what marble angels do,
what women do so often,
more often, it seems, than the clouds.

2
The wren in the honeysuckle tree
shouts at the robin, dip-diving,
deep into the tangle, bird spats,
even among the gentle folk.

3
Tree rings speak of things
we could never understand,
though we poke at them
like the entrails of sacrificial birds.

4
Listen to the silver-tongued water
sing the enduring story
that flows and flows,
ripening as it reaches the sea.

5
Sometimes we tell ourselves just living
is heroic. We wrap ourselves in togas,
wear laurel in our hair, when we
could reach out a hand instead.

Hopes and fears

The Oracle gave me a cadralor this morning.

Hopes and fears

1
Language is pictures,
like rose petals colour of blood,
worshippers bowed to the black doghead,
the inextricable tangle
of bramble and dog rose.

2
Cormorant on the reef
holds out her wings,
a dripping veil of feathers,
singing silently, to hatch
a black chick from a black egg.

3
No day is ever ugly,
clouds that smear the pristine blue
with mud and the green of algae,
glow with inner sunfire,
reflected in still lakewater.

4
The woman who is a mother
dreams of other springs,
when shoots and children
grow tall and healthy,
and the sleek missile falls elsewhere.

5
They are not thousands but millions,
all with a diamond in their hearts,
a common spark—turn them away
and we lose our own. Open arms
carry no weapons, only friendship.

For you

144 words of non-poetry for dverse.

For you

In the street of the sky, night walks, scattering poems. In the lanes of the farmland, day stalks, tossing anathemas. In the alleys of the sea, twilight sinks, drowning litanies. And in the ways of my heart, I dance, singing songs my voice could never find. Because I am not a singer, any more than night is a poet, day a fanatic, the sea despairing. But we can paint whatever pictures we like with our fingers, build a ship of dreams, fill it with jewel-words.

Perhaps tonight I will grow wings and fly, catch one of night’s discarded poems. Or I could wait for morning and pick one from among the roses. Whatever. I will hold it up to the light until the words drop into my hand, and I will paint you a better one, in all the colours the night never dreams

A pause in the tempest

The Oracle trying to keep things in perspective. And pushing that sausage.

I’ve just seen the photos for Paul Brookes’ cloud challenge, and this poem seems to fit. You can see the images here.

A pause in the tempest

Blue immensity,
this wind-driven change,
this turning into the cold,

we must pass through,
almost a dream, sea-deep,
not death not sleep.

We follow in the seals’ wake,
their rolling, tunnelling
passage, to the place

where the whispering of the sun
is the language of the moon,
the tongue of the planet.

Be true

A rapid, unedited message from the Oracle, one she obviously thinks we are not hearing.

Be true

Be life
ripe and round and unstoppable as the dawn.
Point your finger into the shadows
and say, be still.
Let your feet crush the aching sorrows,
the pain and suffering,
your tongue still the worship of idle gods.
Wax and wane on the moon’s ocean,
not on the prodding of the crowd.
Be a rock in this world of fluctuating tides.

A resumé

The Oracle gave me cadralor after cadralor with her words this morning. This is a condensation of all of them.

A resumé

Mists, torpedo-fish, the slow drip
of honey and the dropping of rose petals,
fox barking around the leaky house
and the hoarse cry of herons.

A drunken ship rocks on pavement seas
through purple dusk and the glitter
of fallen stars, you call, I answer as
dreams fade, desire blazes again. Restless.

I see these things through the window,
or hear them in the echo of a distant voice,
a word-painter, showing the world as it is.

Green change

Cadralor inspired by today’s random word generator.

Green change

1.
We wed the green and growing
to the grim grind of fabricated things,
tossing our debts to tree and planet
in the poisoned river.

2.
Glaciers melt unremarked,
mountains slide to the sea,
but we kneel to old gods
and to cast out old demons.

3.
Should we ever look beyond the cliff’s edge
to see the dark sail approaching,
would we jump?
Would we know that this means the end?

4.
The questions chalked
on a childhood blackboard have changed,
our language adjusted to accommodate
new lies, new illusions, to deny the quicksand.

5.
Yet if we peer through the mists,
the copper and bronze glitter
of ancient times still linger, the hope
that we might be better than we are.

Obstinate clouds

The Oracle is always spot-on with her message, but I do wonder about the sausage. It’s a clue to something, like the key to translating a dead language.

Obstinate clouds

She says we need the rain,
but the waning moon shepherds the cloud
back into the sea, and the earth bleats
like thirsty kids, trying to lap the sky.

Smooth as eggs, the pebbles rise
to the surface, dust-dry and parched,
sediment of times past when rivers flowed,
and sedge rattled in the wind.

So many storms have broken
on this house, we listen to its timbers
creak in the black wind, blink
in the electric flashing of whitewashed walls.

Spring will carve new courses
through this broken earth,
fill it with water-laughter, and perhaps
the birds will bring their music back.

She gives me blue honey in the dream,
luscious as silvery mackerel.
Even in sleep, we hope in renewal,
that these marks on the skin were not set by death.

I had a dream

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.