for my solitary vision

bird-singing1

 

Here is a poem by Marvin Bell

 

 

Questions to Answers

 

 

For my unique voice,

for my solitary vision,

I was given the song of a bird

outside my window

and all the of the songs that answered to it.

For my way with words,

for my unusual behavior, listen,

I was given an essence of chocolate

which only made me desire

all other chocolates.

For my individual grief,

for my perfect isolation,

I was given maps to mass graves

on every continent

and still for my feet I was given shoes

and for my hands gloves in winter

and now if I ask

whose shoes otherwise and whose

gloves if not mine

I offend those who liked my poems

for a while.

And this is why I have come to believe

That there are, to my questions,

Answers

After all.

 

 

 

 

 

 

<a href=”https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/solitary/”>Solitary</a&gt;

Tree Swallows, Cape May

kenschneidertsflock3 tree swallows

Here’s a poem i wrote about thirty years ago:

 

Tree Swallows, Cape May

 

At the meadows

in mid-September, a million silver

tree swallows

wallow and swoop in the air,

taking great swallows of air,

folding up on the tall stalks

of marsh weeds

like shining Christmas ornaments.

As one,

they flash like a flag

of silver and slate blue

against the turbulent blue sky,

unfurling south.

 

 

( published in  Life List   Finishing Line Press, 2016)

 

Tree_Swallow_KK_APA_2012_25125_194733_BobFeldman

Photo by Bob Feldman

 

 

 

 

<a href=”https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/unfurl/”>Unfurl</a&gt;

Diamonds for the cancer crown

plump-plum rhia hills

painting:  Plump Plum    by Ria Hills

 

I am a nine year survivor of advanced cervical cancer.  I wrote a number of “cancer poems” during 2008-2009, when I was undergoing radiation.  This is one of them.

It’s written in the form  “Diamonte” which means it’s diamond-shaped.  You’ll see the pattern.   This is not a particularly pretty poem!

 

Diamonds for the Cancer Crown

Odor

Rank, fulsome

Clutches, rasps, repels

Garbage, offal, bakery, garden

Lures, flows, delights

Heady, spicy

Fragrance

 

Whine

Gooey, oozing

Drones, buzzes, insinuates

Sermon, complaint, rhapsody, praise

Burbles, canonizes, compliments

Delirious, delighted

Endure

 

Defect

Flaw, fault

Encroaches, impairs, devours

Tumor, lesion, scalpel, graft

Stitches, smoothes, heals, thickens

Souvenir, badge,

Scar

 

 

Plum

Treatable, gullible

Palpates, softens, plies

Fruit, flower, sprout, shoot

Crunches, breaks, cooks

Curable, shrinkable

Raisin

 

mary schuler ruptured radiation

painting:  Ruptured Radiation  by Mary Schuler

 

 

 

<a href=”https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/spicy/”>Spicy</a&gt;

Carousel of Time

captive-on-the-carousel-of-time-belinda-greb

Here are the lyrics to a song by Joni Mitchell:

The Circle Game

Yesterday a child came out to wonder
Caught a dragonfly inside a jar
Fearful when the sky was full of thunder
And tearful at the falling of a star

Then the child moved ten times round the seasons
Skated over ten clear frozen streams
Words like when you’re older must appease him
And promises of someday make his dreams

And the seasons they go round and round
And the painted ponies go up and down
We’re captive on the carousel of time
We can’t return we can only look
Behind from where we came
And go round and round and round
In the circle game *

Sixteen springs and sixteen summers gone now
Cartwheels turn to car wheels thru the town
And they tell him take your time it won’t be long now
Till you drag your feet to slow the circles down

And the seasons they go round and round
And the painted ponies go up and down
We’re captive on the carousel of time
We can’t return we can only look
Behind from where we came
And go round and round and round
In the circle game

So the years spin by and now the boy is twenty
Though his dreams have lost some grandeur coming true
There’ll be new dreams maybe better dreams and plenty
Before the last revolving year is through

And the seasons they go round and round
And the painted ponies go up and down
We’re captive on the carousel of time
We can’t return we can only look
Behind from where we came
And go round and round and round
In the circle game.

carousel of time

 

<a href=”https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/carousel/”>Carousel</a&gt;

the ambling pony

CRN_2168_beeny_cliff_cornwall_coast

Here’s a poem by Thomas Hardy:

 

Beeny Cliff

 

O the opal and the sapphire of that wandering western sea,

And the woman riding high above with bright hair flapping free –

The woman whom I loved so, and who loyally loved me.

 

The pale mews plained below us, and the waves seemed far away

In a nether sky, engrossed in saying their ceaseless babbling say,

As we laughed light-heartedly aloft on that clear-sunned March day.

 

A little cloud then cloaked us, and there flew an irised rain,

And the Atlantic dyed its levels with a dull misfeatured stain,

And then the sun burst out again, and purples prinked the main.

 

– Still in all its chasmal beauty bulks old Beeny to the sky,

And shall she and I not go there once again now March is nigh,

And the sweet things said in that March say anew there by and by?

 

What if still in chasmal beauty looms that wild weird western shore,

The woman now is – elsewhere – whom the ambling pony bore,

And nor knows nor cares for Beeny, and will laugh there nevermore.

beeny-cliff_c4bf029960a4cbcf6ef65c717700ada0

 

<a href=”https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/amble/”>Amble</a&gt;

that shimmers on the brink of absence

camels of the desert

Here is a poem by Richard Wilbur,  an American poet, and a favorite of mine:

 

A World Without Objects is a Sensible Emptiness     by Richard Wilbur

 

The tall camels of the spirit

Steer for their deserts, passing the last groves loud

With the sawmill shrill of the locust, to the whole honey of the

arid

Sun. They are slow, proud,

 

And move with a stilted stride

To the land of sheer horizon, hunting Traherne’s

Sensible emptiness, there where the brain’s lantern-slide

Revels in vast returns.
 

O connoisseurs of thirst,

Beasts of my soul who long to learn to drink

Of pure mirage, those prosperous islands are accurst

That shimmer on the brink

 

Of absence; auras, lustres,

And all shinings need to be shaped and borne.
Think of those painted saints, capped by the early masters

With bright, jauntily-worn

 

Aureate plates, or even

Merry-go-round rings. Turn, O turn

From the fine sleights of the sand, from the long empty oven

Where flames in flamings burn

 

Back to the trees arrayed

In bursts of glare, to the halo-dialing run

Of the country creeks, and the hills’ bracken tiaras made

Gold in the sunken sun,

 

Wisely watch for the sight

Of the supernova burgeoning over the barn,

Lampshine blurred in the steam of beasts, the spirit’s right

Oasis, light incarnate.

8199c19e6d0b360fc102e8246414d9aa--italian-renaissance-renaissance-art

1459_saint_nicholas_of_tolentino_2k

Four_Male_Saints_paintings_by_Fra_Diamante_c__1470_Honolulu_Academy_of_Arts

 

 

<a href=”https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/shimmer/”>Shimmer</a&gt;

Foggy morning at the Masonic Home

Masonic Home gardens 1

Here are the final three stanzas of a longer poem I wrote about twenty years ago called “Were You There?”

I remember

before I went to school,

when I was three,

visiting my mother’s ancient aunt

in the Masonic home, in Elizabethtown Pa.

My father and I walked the foggy misty gardens.

Many steps, smell of boxwood.

How does boxwood smell?

Sharp as goldfinch comments,

intimate as bodies close up,

crunchy and green, dark green,

that’s how boxwoods smell.

And we heard the sad murmur of the mourning doves,

flutelike and saying

everyone dies, everyone gets old,

most of us get blind.

In the dark hemlock of age,

arbor vitae of love,

blue spruce of winter,

boxwood of borders,

a name that means twin.

 

I don’t want to put my fingers

into the holes in your hands,

and even less do I want to put my hand

into the wound in your side

that speaks death to me

like a misplaced mouth.

I will be glad to say that I believe you are back

from the dark,

and I will be glad to say I believe them

when they tell me they have seen you.

 

<a href=”https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/foggy/”>Foggy</a&gt;postcard of masonic home