Why were the children in this dream?
There is a wilderness to the domestic silence.
The last thing we drew was a dragon with no eyes.
Your ship finally came in. You were still poor.
Little boys like to color boats dark blue
in generic coloring books.
Our fingers were heavy with red crayon. Yours
were the same as mine—little red finger points.
Next time, let’s trade, I said.
But your crayon-blue eyes were refusing.
Little girls are very particular about which colors
they want to use.
The dragon stared toward us in the mirror.
Let us love dragons forever, you said.
We drew pity for a flag.
We painted it bright red. Ships sink every day.
Little toy sailboats
wobble safely in gentle ponds and streams.
Some days the dragon dreams back to our ruined page.
We draw it again, this time with eyes.
(prev. pub. in Medusa’s Kitchen, 9/22/15)
The wings of light
linger on the dark branch silhouette
to be seen in contrast.
For lack of pigment, the white wings rest
on the edge of the
blue weed-flower—the color of the sky.
At mid-day, the sheer wings
seek the road-way poppies to reflect against,
as if they yearn to be golden.
The frayed wings learn to become gray
when twilight softens
their wounds with camouflage.
At night, the black wings
will touch at anything for substance—feeling
for their opposite dimension.
(prev. pub. in Medusa’s Kitchen, 4/8/14)
Two horizons emerge from the blurriness,
become an apparition of fear and wonder
if not the old blindness of the unresolved—
truth or question—when all is not stable,
uncertain of the wonderment,
how else explain the duplicated vision
that appears to the truthful imagination
of the mind—the self-deceiving
mind—that relies on the rationale of
complex desire : two skies that waver
apart like double exposure—having
to choose the real or unreal to exist in.
(prev. pub. in Medusa’s Kitchen, 4/6/21)
Here comes the beast.
One foot down in the dust.
One hand upon the door.
Slow enough for dread.
A figment realized.
Conjured or born
It is said . . .
flow upward into
a dream. Panels of walls
and knobs of windows try to
hinder me. I float through, glance
past intercepting shapes. I am their
goodbye and am not noticed by the
sleepers who do not dream like this.
Brazenly based on Hedgehog in the Fog
—Short Film by Yuri Norstein, 1975
When I was out walking in the fog one day, I met a
materializing old horse with sad brown eyes. He
was an old dim photograph of a horse. We surprised
each other, each having no destination—he cau-
(prev. pub. in Medusa’s Kitchen, 12/20/18)
I MUST UNDERSTAND THE WORD
Though I know the word
and I cannot reach the word
and I must undertake the word
to know beyond
the normal knowing
and my dismay
that I go fancy
when I try to stutter my way
through talk to say whatever
is the pure say instead of some un-
comprehensible reach through language,
that tool of words to define my
question or the simplest thing I try
to say when all my meaning goes awry.
After Dragon Amulet by Antonzis Kalaktzis
I had an amulet I used to wear, a fetish
to my half-believing spells against
the harms and dangers to be feared.
It had a leather thong that knotted
at the neck where hung
a tiny key-hole made of brass
that fit an actual key,
although I had no key for that.
The key was clue and risk,
a double play against permission
and reluctance to let in.
For years I wore it—lightly joked—
how it protected me from
something that I could not know
but might be true.
I let myself believe
what I could use to let imagination
have its errant way of wit.
My talisman finally disappeared
and I was left to my own rule.
There’s no comparison for this—
but I wonder what was really lost.
It’s not like it was
a gold or silver cross
on a furtive chain.
Perhaps it found and followed some old
key that fit—that it was lonely for.
I guess one does outgrow
such habit-need—and besides,
I think I do as well with worry stones.
(prev. pub. in Medusa’s Kitchen, 10/16/15)
DEATH’S LAST WORD
And now I face an ending not my own :
Today I saw a brown field full of crows
And yesterday the sky was full of gulls
I feel a contradictive undertone.
How can I be the one slow death abhors ;
The crows were stark as sadness, huddled there
The gulls just bright opinions of the air
As life is full of never-ending doors.
I turn away from all but death’s own room
You turn to say the crows are just a curse—
The gulls for all their whiteness are much worse
—that all will end that ever was begun.
(prev. pub. in Medusa’s Kitchen, 11/29/11)
NOW THAT THE CAT
Now that the cat
has come to
live with us
in our tame house,
from my red rug
all such things
and the red
from the catnip
(prev. pub. in Medusa’s Kitchen, 9/22/15)
No fog around here yet, but the image of a hedgehog in the fog is appealing. For more about this short, animated Russian film, see en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hedgehog_in_the_Fog/. To watch the 9-minute film itself, go to www.bing.com/videos/search?q=hedgehog+in+the+fog+by+yuri+norstein&qpvt=hedgehog+in+the+fog+by+yuri+norstein&view=detail&mid=D8F69D7A2D2E7122EC75D8F69D7A2D2E7122EC75&&FORM=VRDGAR/.
Hedgehogs aside, Joyce Odam has faced the dragon this week in our Seed of the Week (Here Be Dragons) with her usual aplomb and poetic skill, and we thank her for that and for her fine photos.
Our new Seed of the Week is “Confusion”. Send your poems, photos & artwork about this (or any other) subject to email@example.com. No deadline on SOWs, though, and for a peek at our past ones, click on “Calliope’s Closet”, the link at the top of this column, for plenty of others to choose from. And see every Form Fiddlers’ Friday for poetry form challenges, including those of the Ekphrastic type.
For upcoming poetry happenings in
Northern California and otherwheres,
UPCOMING NORCAL EVENTS
in the links at the top of this page.
Photos in this column can be enlarged by
clicking on them once, then clicking on the x
in the top right corner to come back to Medusa.