Poem a Day: 30

The prompts today were Praise and Fruit. I included some new words I have learned in the last couple of days, defined at the end of the poem. Today is the last day of Poem-a-Day. Now for editing, now for reading.

I Have Two Daughters: A Beltane Song
(with gratitude to Eavan Boland for the first line)
by Beth Weaver-Kreider

I have two daughters:
Their names are Memory and Loss.
Their names are Fearless and Anna.
Their names are Wisdom and Fate.

I have two daughters:
Their eyes are deep brown wells.
Their faces are carved from jade and quartz.
Their hands flutter like swallows when they dance.

Their names are Ylem and Horaios,
seed under soil and the moment of bloom,
potential and fruition, hope and beauty.

(My first living child arrived by the knife
a year to the day after I began to bleed
a lost land into nothingness.
We named him for his grandfathers.
The lost one lives in a garden with a name
too complicated for written word.)

Their names are Nile and Susquehanna.
Their eyes are the roots of continents.
Their faces are made of water and song.
Their hands sound like the wings of moths
whispering against the screen door.

The fruit carries within it the singing potential
of seed, of blossom, repetition of genes,
like we all carry within us the child we have been,
the daughters we are to ourselves, past and future.
The seed is the death of the flower,
and also the source of the tree.
That which was will be again.

I have two daughters:
Their names are Elizabeth and Praise.
Their eyes are mystery and vortex.
Their faces are the moon and Pleiades
Their hands are wings of mist and cobweb.

(ylem: the primordial matter, the essence of beginning
horaios: the beauty of rightness, the satisfying click
when everything falls into place)

Poem a Day: 29

The Prompts today just didn’t seem to be mashable. Here’s the one for the Poetic Asides blog. We were supposed to write a poem titled “Total _____” I guess I took that blank too literally.

Total Blank
by Beth Weaver-Kreider

I’ve drawn a total
loss of words a total
what’s the thing a total
you know I can’t a total
quite remember total
like in Scrabble
this brain fog
words just
and I’m
left with
a total

The other prompt, from my friend Linda, was Swallow:

by Beth Weaver-Kreider

We’re no Capistrano,
but every year, just the same,
some day in early May,
we wait to see them
winging low over the fields,
swooping so close
they could be trying
peer into our faces.
Every spring,
we watch,
hands shielding
our eyes,
for their return.

Poem a Day: 28

Today’s Prompts were Angel and Looking Forward/Looking Backward. All I could think of was Look Homeward Angel, which I haven’t read. I looked up some quotes and made a glosa.

Pillar of Salt
a glosa
by Beth Weaver-Kreider

“. . . a stone, a leaf, an unfound door; a stone, a leaf, a door. And of all the forgotten faces. . . . Remembering speechlessly we seek the great forgotten language,
the lost lane-end into heaven, a stone, a leaf, an unfound door. Where? When? . . .
O lost, and by the wind grieved, ghost, come back again.”
―Thomas Wolfe, Look Homeward, Angel

How can we help it, but to turn our faces homeward,
like the nameless wife who shifted her shoulders sidewards,
silent salty tears on her cheeks, for one last longing
homeward glance, one final chance to see—but salt
was all she saw, punished for wanting a parting glimpse
of all she was losing, all the remembered places
of childhood and family home. None of it her choosing, she
was swept along in the vortex of fearsome husband
and fiercer god, to completely lose her past, all traces:
a stone, a leaf, an unfound door. And of all the forgotten faces,

every stone upon the future path, each leaf, each door—
reminders of the life she’d lost. Perhaps better to be salt
than live a life of regret, pooling always in her eyes.
But we, who live onward into the stream of time,
how shall we turn our gazes forward while we carry
lost childhood on our backs like sacks, growing heavier with age?
If the angel is intended to look homeward, which direction shall we tell her?
Behind this salted pillar of me are childhood homes, and the home
of this moment, and ahead of me, home rests upon an unturned page.
Remembering speechlessly we seek the great forgotten language,

of loss, of memory, of the spiraling nature of time, where all
turns inward. Look inward, Angel. Look into the pools
where no-time swirls and tense no longer makes sense,
where past inhabits future, and now is all we can know,
Our gazes seeking lost whens turn our spines to spirals,
and salt explodes into flocks of singing birds, then
mirrors back onto itself, and the child running in the meadow
is suddenly an ancient tree silently observing time’s curl—
grief the cord that binds all times together, the weight of memory again,
the lost lane-end into heaven, a stone, a leaf, an unfound door. Where? When?

There, upon the windowsill, a small white stone,
a branch of dogwood, pink with bloom, your eye
caught by the yellow green of a single leaf. Beyond,
a green stone, an oak leaf burnished brown, then
a wide flat stone upon the crest of a hillside enwrapped
by vines, and triplet red leaves of ivy, one plane
of many layers, grief and rage and joy entwined.
One gaze encompassing all, the map home: a stone
of salt, leaves of cinder, ash scattered in the doorway, then:
O lost, and by the wind grieved, ghost, come back again.

Poem a Day: 27

Today’s prompts were massive and road. I was watching the clouds on the way to do one final clean-up task in my classroom at school, and this poem spilled out.

Thunder and Her Children
by Beth Weaver-Kreider

When Thunder’s Children
walked the cloud-road
over the rim of the world,
massive mountains
arched their backs
to touch the children’s feet.

When the children
raced each other
back up the ribbons of sky
into the arms of their mother,
the earth sighed into hollows
and water pooled in the valleys.

WhenThunder sang
her sleepy brood to sleep,
trees sprang from the hillsides,
raising their joyful branches,
shaking their leafy crowns
and humming with her song.

And while the children slept,
Thunder curled herself around them,
and dreamed meadows into being,
and birds flying, and small animals
burrowing into the earth,
and all that is Became
while Thunder rested.

Poem a Day: 26

Today’s prompts are Noodle, and Change. I couldn’t figure out how to add the noodle. Maybe the poem itself is something if a noodle. . . .

Change Surreal
by Beth Weaver-Kreider

Step by step, prepare.
Spare a stare, don’t glare
but glance, this instance,
an instrument of intent,
bent on being, on seeing,
seeming seamless,
streaming, steeling
steady, ready for
reasons, for seasons.
The horizon not so horrible,
not the terrible terminal,
only an internal intersection,
new direction derelict.
Any edict an educated
editorial, tutorial surreal.
Real deal delivered.

Poem a Day: 25

Today’s prompts were to write a poem that includes cloud words, and to do a re-mix of a poem from the month. I realized I have sort of been writing one long poem all month. Oy. I did a bit of a mash-up, and it holds together rather startlingly.

Re-Mix, With Clouds
by Beth Weaver-Kreider

It seems that
there is nothing now
that is not this:
the spiral unravels
the lions of jazz are dying
the World Snake sheds her skin
the tides turn
In the burning rooms of time,
we wait for the new world to appear.

Our feet take the rocky trail away from the village
to follow where blossoms may lead.
All we have seen before is somehow
new now, more verdant.
Fronds unfurl where dragonflies
hover above, large as dragons.
But I know of two who nearly lost the trail,
wandering far into the shadows.

Coyote is a fixture in the myth
of this lonely landscape. A howl
echoes within the embrace
of wildness and winsome, where we bump
against our own internal resolve

Plague Doctor! Plague Doctor!
Whither shall we wander?
Only to the garden gate—no further.
The egg and the seed are the medicine.
Grief is the egg of the moment,
just before you hear your name.

We’re trapped in the strata,
the cumulus, the haloed nimbus,
hallowed cumulostratus,
beneath the blue robes of the Beloved,
draped over us like a veil,
beneath Fortune’s shifting skirts:
like winter, she will come again,
trailing a net behind her
to rescue the words she has lost.
Could she have stayed within the boundaries?
She has folded her heart
into an origami bird, ready for flying.

We must relinquish our control.
This now is a narrowing funnel,
thinning the potent possibilities
to this stretched limbo of waiting.
I listen for your trilling whistle, clear and bright.

In the ending was Spider:
What has once been will be again.
Close the door on your way out.

Poem a Day: 24

I had to rush around today to do some sudden work that came up, so I rushed the poem. The prompts are Anchor and Nature.

by Beth Weaver-Kreider

feet bare on bare earth
breath in sync with breeze
heartbeat rhymes with
the beating heart of sycamore

on a breath send roots
down and down through
soil through loam around
stone around bone

anchor to the core
of the mother

Poem a Day: 23

Today’s Prompts were Social _____ and Touch:

Social Medium
by Beth Weaver-Kreider

Tendrils of thought whisper
through ether, through thin
air, through wires which fire
like synapses, brain waves.
The medium notices, raises
awareness, opens her notebook,
types in a rhythm, a patter
of notes, of letters on keyboards.
She knows the byways of
platforms and scaffolds in
digital apps and media, and
touches the stories of others
through digital narratives,
traces the pain she reads
back to its sources. She
wanders through doorways
of future possibilities, opens
new pathways for potential.
She sees you through the
mirror of your screen and
knows the appropriate
application to help you
find your direction.

Poem a Day: 22

The prompts today were Quirk and Earth–lovely little sound play there! This happened while I was out walking:

by Beth Weaver-Kreider

What is this being human,
but the quirk of birth
into this form of organism
here on Earth? Are you
more person than the plants
who daily give you grateful breath,
receiving yours in sacred
reciprocity? Am I more being
than the stones made
of the minerals that map
my own bones and blood?

What is sentience,
but knowing oneself
within one’s place? And
that flat rock up on the hillside
does it with much more grace
than either you or I.
Rocks and rivers, ibises
and spiders, fish and fox—
all inhabit their beingness
with as much instinct and
awareness as you or I
could hope to muster.

What is the human drive
to settle always at the top,
to strive for dominance,
defining us as something
always more complete,
more comprehensive,
more masterfully apt,
than ape or aster?

Hasn’t this been the root
of our disaster, the lines
we draw between ourselves
and the living, breathing
world around us? Thus
we place ourselves
outside of place, when we refuse
to acknowledge other knowing,
other forms of growing
into personhood and being.

Better we should recognize
the neighborhood of beings
who surround us, each
with their own song and story,
each with their own wisdom,
if we knew only how to notice.

Poem a Day: 21

Today’s prompts were Galaxy (or galaxy-type things) and love/anti-love:

by Beth Weaver-Kreider

Sometimes when I say
I am seeking the Beloved,
it is your wise eyes I see,
your expectant face, your
eloquent and tender hands.

Sometimes when I listen
for the humming of the stars,
it’s your voice my ears remember,
your quiet murmur, your
trilling whistle, clear and bright.

Sometimes when I pause
in the middle of the trail
and catch the aroma of lilac
or hyacinth sifting into the clearing,
it’s your scent I’m sensing,
and I am held in your arms
as surely as if you were here.

In honor of Earth Day tomorrow, I have recorded Jane Yolen’s “Earth Day.”