Mish at dVerse’s “Poetics” asks us to take on the persona of a color, “imagine what they see . . . . slip out of our human bodies and become nothing but a color.” So it is written, so it is done, but in the voice of one particular color, Vincent van Gogh’s yellow.
Van Gogh died in July 1890 from a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the chest.
When you turn to me away from Rachel For whom you sheared your face of an ear Isn’t the world brighter, like sunflowers? And the walls of your house in Arles Lavishly canvased, as the awnings As cafés, bedframes, straw hats, sunsets I am the light running before you Swirling you up to starry nights and moons Away from the blackness of eyes That never see you like I have seen you Radiant in the waving fields of wheat Until the day you clasp your hands Round the ochred skin of despair.
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!
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.
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 wildlydenounce 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 smokewhile 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.
Read the complete poem at poets.org. And hear the poet Dylan Thomas read it below.
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.
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! ❤️
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.
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!
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.