What Swimming Together Can Do

Symbiosis

What’s neither dry nor frozen hard
Makes circles red with bliss
And green takes form to guide and guard
Metamorphosis.

Who’s never foe with smiling face
But guards the heart with love
And love from other takes with grace:
Symbiosis

This is my attempt at completing Frank’s first challenge for Jilly’s August Casting Bricks Challenge.  To participate, find the link on the right-hand side of Jilly’s home page and read the directions.  All are welcome!

Before the Wind — a Pantoum

Privateer

Pinterest

 

We were borne before the wind
as our fine canvas sprung taut.
‘Tis true our mates freely sinned;
our leaving left damsels distraught.

As our fine canvas sprung taut,
we sailed ‘neath a privateer’s flag.
To earn a fortune from ships we caught,
keeping finest silk down to ratty rag.

We sailed ‘neath a privateer’s flag,
something of which I be not proud;
though of our ‘ventures I willingly brag.
My mates were boisterous, uncouth and loud.

Something of which I be not proud;
‘tis true our mates often sinned.
Aye, my mates were boisterous… and loud.
But we were borne, lads and lassies, before the wind!

 

Mish is hosting Poetics tonight at dVerse Poets Pub, and she’s given us a dose of the musical muse.

This actually played into my own d’uthers, because I’ve been looking for an excuse to write a poem based on a line from Van Morrison’s Into the Mystic.  However, for your listening pleasure, let me offer…

Forgotten Better Days (a [Re]Bop)

This is my attempt at completing a challenge Jilly
presented for her Casting Bricks August Challenge.

 

Smoke gathers round the rim of my coffee cup
remnants of the skirmish in my untouched bowl of cereal
your suitcase sits by the door, the new leather one
not the weary worn green canvas with tags from our trip
to Paris last summer
leaving me with a million

forgotten better days and a badly written play

 

Blurred words seep through the wall
you on the phone with some unknown
My absent mind sips backstory
the covert calls we shared – you and I becoming –
“chance meetings” for lunch lasting
well into afternoons bending together….
Now lifting the blinds on

forgotten better days and a badly written play

Wraiths converge
ghosts of “us” meeting at the door
offering you a final drink… myself
leather suitcase bars remediation
clasped hands, clasped handle, unclasped heart
turning away, turning the knob…. (exeunt to – )

forgotten better days and a badly written play

 

 

 

 

Postlude

jim-harrison

Jim Harrison and unknown associate

So… a little over a year ago, Jilly2016 and I began a challenge called, “28 Days of Unreason.”  It was based on quotes Jilly culled from Jim Harrison’s book of poems, Songs of Unreason.  This year we revisited it, simply calling it, “Days of Unreason.”  What a blast!  I’ll grant that Harrison’s poems aren’t everyone’s cup of pudding, but the quotes served as wonderful springboards into a pool of mind-stretching poetry.  I enjoyed the challenge last year, and enjoyed it even more this year!  Poetry gets tired, insipid without an occasional kick in the pants — whether from artwork, music, other people’s poetry, or an accidental bump on the head.

This is the final day of Days of Unreason, 2017:

“Why does the mind compose this music well
before the words occur?” – Jim Harrison

 

While the flute, the zither,
and the bowed saw still filled
the concert hall of his mind, Jim avowed,
“Unlike a lot of writers, I don’t have any craving
to be understood.”

Jim, the mind composes
to keep us writing;
thinking.

As long as the notes climb,
fall, slur, bend, blend
and create dissonance –

we are still breathing.

Let the eulogist pretend
she knows

the words.

 

 

Loss and the Forgetful Sun

Eclipse555

secretsinplainsight.com

(My attempt at finishing Imelda’s challenge
for Jillys August Casting Bricks challenge.)

Moon, lost in orbit
looking for its sun, I am
a gaping silence
devouring your memory
an altar of your absence

Sun, lost in myself
thinking all space orbits me
see your fleeting glance
as you slip behind the earth
now I’ve made you my center

Imelda began this challenge by writing the first part of a Somonka.   A somonka is a type of Japanese poetry framed in two tankas. It has love as the central theme and is a sort of a short love-letter exchanged by the persons involved.  The mechanics are as follows:

“The Somonka is:
• a poem in 10 lines, made up of 2 tankas.
• syllabic, 5-7-5-7-7 5-7-5-7-7 syllables per line.
• composed in the form of statement-response,
• often written by 2 poets, one writing the statement the other the response but a single poet can write both parts.
• titled.
• unrhymed.
• built around the theme of love.” (The information is from poetscollective.org, please click the somonka link to go to the site)

 

Pull

IMG_2621

photo by Charley

This is day 27 of Days of Unreason:

“It is life’s work to recognize the mystery of the obvious.” – Jim Harrison

 

The moon hangs –
has hung for eons –
over us, plainly…
obviously…
a metaphor, a simile, a symbol, an icon…
a cliché.

And yet songs are written,
poems are bled,
story lines are strung
from the everyday, run of the mill
moon.

We strive and struggle
to understand its sway.

 

The sun rises and hangs –

 

A little over a year ago, I joined Jillys2016 in a challenge called “28 Days of Unreason.”  She culled quotes from the poems of Jim Harrison in a book called Songs of Unreason.  We used the quotes as prompts; diving boards suspended over the abyss of poetry.  Jill is revisiting unreason, and I am skipping gleefully along.  Come and join the fun!

 

Haibun: Night Sky Traffic

road-stars-676x450

source

This is day 26 of Days of Unreason:

“On some clear nights in the country the stars can exhaust us.” – Jim Harrison

 

On clear nights in the winter we go out on an upper deck on the back of our house and gaze at the night sky.  It’s a spectacle, albeit a dim one compared to what we might have if modern mankind weren’t so damned afraid of the dark.  We go out with beverages and, on cooler nights, blankets.  We kick back in resin Adirondack chairs and soak it in.  As the night sky slowly, ever so slowly, drifts by, the stars appear static.  It belies the fact that what we are watching is freeway traffic at ultra-light speed.  When we go in at the end of the night, we turn on as few lights as possible… sometimes none at all, and we head to a sound, sound sleep.  I’ve never been certain if we are lulled by the peacefulness of the night sky, or exhausted by the marauding stars.

winter starlight watch
tiny lights road warriors
exhaust us tonight

 

A little over a year ago, I joined Jillys2016 in a challenge called “28 Days of Unreason.”  She culled quotes from the poems of Jim Harrison in a book called Songs of Unreason.  We used the quotes as prompts; diving boards suspended over the abyss of poetry.  Jill is revisiting unreason, and I am skipping gleefully along.  Come and join the fun!

 

Imago Mortis

IMG_2606

photo by Charley

 

Two years I served
as Death’s shadow, visiting
the homes of the newly deceased.
Three steps behind the Reaper;
Four steps ahead of the Mortician.

Over some of the houses winged
cauldrons of black birds, heavy-hearted
creatures spreading night’s drear scent.
Three steps behind the Reaper;
Four steps ahead of the Mortician.

Over other homes I watched
as white doves descended clutching
olive branches in rose beaks, cooing
the smoky spirit skyward.
Three steps behind the Reaper;
Four steps ahead of the Mortician.

Several times I arrived
as the scythe and hourglass
brought the rattle, the final exhale, the end.

Oh, I was there!

For the one who, much too young,
too ill-omened – who had overcome
her bad choices and addiction.

She was infected by the violence
of her pusher, her former pimp;
infected irrevocably….

She ascended in a chariot,
lifted from suffering by seraphim.

I was there before Death.

I watched him shed tears,
turn away as he harvested.

 

Step-by-step I was with Death.

 

It’s Open Link Night at dVerse Poets Pub.  Come join in.  Remember, it’s one to a customer!

 

Locked and Damned

This is day 25 of Days of Unreason:

“The river can’t heal everything.” – Jim Harrison

 

By the river.

Go down
to the river.

Step into
the water.

Drop your line,
fish the river.

Float the remains
down the river.

Dump sewage
into the river.

Cast your cares
along the river.

Lose your sins…

Sorry.

 

A little over a year ago, I joined Jillys2016 in a challenge called “28 Days of Unreason.”  She culled quotes from the poems of Jim Harrison in a book called Songs of Unreason.  We used the quotes as prompts; diving boards suspended over the abyss of poetry.  Jill is revisiting unreason, and I am skipping gleefully along.  Come and join the fun!

 

 

Stepping Through

This day 24 of Days of Unreason:

“Nature has portals rather than doors.” – Jim Harrison

 

Nature hates
civilization’s locks.

For a summer I led
teen-aged boys into the wilderness
of the Boundary Waters Canoe Area
and Quetico Provincial Park.

What bothered
the boys was nothing locked –
no privacy.

What I enjoy about nature
is that everywhere you turn
is a grand entryway.

The key to nature;
be there.

A little over a year ago, I joined Jillys2016 in a challenge called “28 Days of Unreason.”  She culled quotes from the poems of Jim Harrison in a book called Songs of Unreason.  We used the quotes as prompts; diving boards suspended over the abyss of poetry.  Jill is revisiting unreason, and I am skipping gleefully along.  Come and join the fun!