Dream Waves

Lisa at dVerse asks us to write a quadrille (poem of 44 words) using the word “way.” Here’s my drowsy offering as midnight creeps closer. Click on Mr. Linky to join in!


Photo by Steve Johnson from Pexels

When sleep comes my way
darkness warm like mother’s milk
lulls my hungry wakeful eyes,
I sink at last in ocean light
to caverns deep where you await
a Prospero’s Ariel caught betwixt
reflections of the world above
and the mirrors of my mind.


 

A Common-Place Jotting: “A low dishonest decade”

Auden in 1939

Common-Place or “Locus Communis” — a place to remember

Anglo-American poet W. H. Auden wrote “September 1, 1939” at the outbreak of World War II in Europe. It’s a poem that’s often quoted during times of crises such as ours, and only seems to highlight the recurring cycles of political dissimulation and media exacerbated fury that escalates into tragedy. While battling a virus, we’ve “cancelled” each other and branded each other racists and bigots. We’ve listened to politicians and oligopolies wildly denounce opponents of their agendas as terrorists. We’ve been witness to unchecked brutality this past year as our cities burned with mob violence during which thirty people were murdered, and neighborhoods and livelihoods went up in smoke while governors and mayors watched.

Auden began the poem with these words:

I sit in one of the dives
On Fifty-second Street
Uncertain and afraid
As the clever hopes expire
Of a low dishonest decade:
Waves of anger and fear
Circulate over the bright
And darkened lands of the earth,
Obsessing our private lives;
The unmentionable odour of death
Offends the September night.

In the penultimate stanza he cautions: “We must love one another or die.” The same holds true today.

All I have is a voice
To undo the folded lie,
The romantic lie in the brain
Of the sensual man-in-the-street
And the lie of Authority
Whose buildings grope the sky:
There is no such thing as the State
And no one exists alone;
Hunger allows no choice
To the citizen or the police;
We must love one another or die.

Defenceless under the night
Our world in stupor lies;
Yet, dotted everywhere,
Ironic points of light
Flash out wherever the Just
Exchange their messages:
May I, composed like them
Of Eros and of dust,
Beleaguered by the same
Negation and despair,
Show an affirming flame.

excerpt from W. H. Auden’s September 1, 1939

Read the complete poem at poets.org. And hear the poet Dylan Thomas read it below.

Reverie

Seated Woman, 1915 by Rik Wouters (1882-1916)

Time rebounds in dabs of paint
Watery sun soaks through space
Sensations blur
Colors seep
Diminishing lines
Reflections slur
Your hands, your face
Gaze untendered
Unbristled, still
A warm attention
Encompassing all
Formidable will
Probing memory
Dark sublime
Time rebounds in dabs of paint.


Written for D'verse, WhimsyGizmo's Quadrille (44 words)
Click on Mr. Linky & join in!

A Light(hearted) Perspective

It’s the weekend, right? Let’s relax and party, maybe do a little rap for Michelle’s #JanuaryWritingPrompts (“space juice”), Sammi’s #WWP (100 words, “crucible”), and Linda’s #JusJoJan & #SOC (“limitless”). Hope you enjoy it! ❤️

Photo by Anjana C from Pexels

I know what you’re thinking
You say I’m just dreaming
Maybe drinking space juice
Telling me
you’re cool
too loose
so intellectual
not buying puffy clouds
of television charlatans
but you’re at Oprah’s book club
sold on a Joseph Campbell
mythic spiel of deity.

Listen, I’m not crazy
look at what’s been given me
my faith, a light leading me
through this dark crucible called life
I can see glory
where you deny the invisible
chasing material illusions
hanging on to your blinders
chained down, walled up
by circumstance
when you could be glorying
in the limitless grandeur¹
of God.


¹Ecclesiastes 3:11
Also, he has put eternity into man’s heart, yet so that he cannot find out what God has done from the beginning to the end.

Summer Dreamin’

Today, Michelle’s writing prompt (“pregnant guppies”) had me flummoxed. Seemed impossible to fit it in with summertime and roses for Cee’s FOTD challenge. Tried anyway. 😉

Here I am in winter mourning
Yearning for summer’s golden rays
When fertile gardens bloom blushing roses
And pregnant guppies swim moonlit pools.

Spatial Encounter

Hubble Telescope Image

I am not averse to reimaginations
Given you walked out of my conversation
As a noetic effect of its distillation

I am not chained to inharmonious juxtapositions
When salubrious angels gather in celebration
Of a desire prayed and given manifestation

I am simply thankful for your gravitation
Towards me, bindingly, irradiate sub-atomic fusion
Where once I envisioned only solitary annihilation

Yet this I wonder, and this in never-ending fascination
How in moments your eyes gray meet my brown it’s recreation
Of a space-time-matter continuum of conflagration

For dVerse's "Poetics:Look into my Eyes"
Click on Mr. Linky and join in!


Hollow Hauntings

Black Hole, 2016 by Ian Cumberland (b. 1983)

I am the hollow woman. I swallow holes. I can see the gaps in your cabinet of selves better than you can, selecting your latest reinvention or falling back on an old. As you reach, I look at you and your emptiness becomes mine. For a split second you pause, as if aware of me.

I hold my breath in case you hear me.

I hear you.

You say, “There is nothing behind the wall except a space where the wind whistles.”

Then you glance in the mirror and see me, and are shocked. Why? We swallow being into nothingness. (Or are we swallowed?) We make perfect the meaninglessness of it all, call it life, and make it compost, a place for new beginnings and endings. A cycle. Endless. Bare. Signifying nothing.

I am the hollow woman. And I am not alone. Am I?


Written for dVerse’s “Prosery” which asks that we confine our prose to 144 words or less and use the following line from a Lisel Mueller poem: “there is nothing behind the wall/except a space where the wind whistles.” Click on Mr. Linky to join in!

Seasonal Ghosts

Fallen leaves, sudden colors surround our steps
this season of the encroaching frost, where breath
shivers surfeit with ghosts, phantasms of shade and shape
lingering on the outskirts of our gaze, entrapped
to swirl in gossamer guise of follies unguessed
flesh and blood whose course ran verdure green
but now, as the dry veined leaves, pose beleaguered
papery skinned revenants awaiting All Hallows’ Eve
as if deserving no more than our own fading grins.


note: Charles Baudelaire’s famous poem “The Revenant” should haunt every evocation of revenants. Check out this translation of the poem at Sublime Terror.

Lisa hosts Dverse's "Poetics 427: Mussenden’s Temple"
Write a poem (in any form) using the word "folly."
Check out all the responses at Mr. Linky.

A Perfect Romance

Art by Zurab Martiashvili

“Am I loved?” she asked wonderingly,
throwing back hair, sultry under silken shawl
scrutinizing her groomed shimmering form.
He walked glancingly past a mirror
then stopped to take a more admiring look.
“Darling?” Reluctantly she turned from
her reflection against the dark sky;
he tore himself from his dashing figure.
“How asinine, dear heart,” he ejaculated.
“To love oneself is most divine!”
Embracing by mirror and window
they stood, idols with eyes of glass.

Jude's The Saturday Symphony #14: "Romance" 
Sammi's Weekend Writing Prompt: use "Asinine" in prose or poem with exactly 74 words
Cyranny's Word of the Day Challenge: "sultry"