A Voice from Ukraine

I promise you, there is beauty somewhere.
Stand quietly outside to hear birdsong.
See stars shine in the ebony of night.
Hear the innocence of a small child’s prayer.
Marvel at harmony in evensong.
Your freedom as a right, shines ever bright.

In our war, even as lives are taken
there is pride, resolve, purpose in the fight.
One newborn who survives shines hope ‘ere long.
The world’s sense of justice shall awaken.

Help us.

First and foremost, the illustration is titled Freedom and is painted by Ukranian artist, Vika Muse. This past Tuesday, she gave permission for dVerse Poets to feature her artwork and write poems inspired by them.

Vika Muse wrote about another of her paintings, The Air of Freedom, “I wish I could have manta rays in the sky…instead of Russian bombs and military airplanes. I’ve noticed that my disturbing paintings didn’t make me happier. They cause even deeper depression. So I’ve tried to draw my future. It is bright and sunny. There are no bombs and war…Only beautiful landscapes and dreamlike sky. I hope I’ll meet such a future some day.”

Vika Muse says this about Freedom, the painting that inspired my poem today: “This artwork was made due to the hope, that we have the light at the end and the name of this light – is the Victory. That we will survive and rebuild our country.”

You can find artwork by Vika Muse at @get.muse and http://www.inprnt.com

And a thank-you to Mish at dVerse for discovering this artist so we can all see and marvel at her wonderful work.

Today’s post was specifically written for NAPOWRIMO, Day 16. We are asked to write a Curtal Sonnet, a poetry form invented by Gerard Manley Hopkins.

A Curtal Sonnet is 11 lines (actually 10.5) which is precisely 3/4 of the structure of a Petrachan sonnet which is 14 lines in length. That is, it is shrunk proportionally. The rhyme scheme is abcabc dcbdc The final line is a tail or half line. Another, what I call, sudoku prompt!
I’ve taken poetic license because of the intensity of the poem, to ignore the final line’s “c” rhyme requirement, but it is the requisite 2 syllables. The other lines are all the requisite 10 syllables.

Point by Point

Easel, palette, brushes,
good light, steady arm
and patience.

Brush dabbed in paint,
he taps dots one by one
as blank canvas slowly disappears.

Dots of different hues.
Some just slightly darker
than the twenty-three before.

Some paler
than the two after those.
Dot after dot after dot.

Millions of dots.
Each insignificant by itself
until parasols start to appear.

And finally,
two years after that first tap
he taps the last.

Standing back, he wipes his brow,
sees years of work represented there
in just one Sunday afternoon.

Written for NAPOWRIMO, Day 12 where today we’re to write about something tiny.

I’ve always been enthralled by the Pointillism Movement in art. George Seurat began A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grand Jatte during the summer of 1884. “The tiny juxtaposed dots of multi-colored paint allow the viewer’s eye to blend colors optically, rather than having the colors physically blended on the canvas.” The 10 feet wide masterpiece is in the permanent collection of The Art Institute of Chicago. (quotation and image from rawpixel.com)

Provincetown Aubade

I stand at water’s edge
on the precipice of new day
as darkness surrounds me.
Cold damp salted air clings
and coats my upper lip.

Cinnamon colored strips
jut their way through ebony sky.
Monotone scrim begins to fluctuate
as dark clouds differentiate themselves,
shades of grey against paling black.

There, there in front of me
hints of red-orange light.
Shards of yellow tinted crimson
elongate, stretch, and slowly shift
until my chill is forgotten.

Glorious golden orb begins to rise.
Sole cormorant on jetty stone
shadowed now in rising dawn,
my only company as I smile.
Today is indeed, a new day.


Written for dVerse, the virtual pub for poets and for NAPOWRIMO, Day 8.

Laura is hosting dVerse and shares with us the background and meaning of aubade. It is a serenade to dawn. She asks us to write a melodious poem evoking day break and using either the word “morning” or “aubade” in our title.

Photo is from one of our annual two-week stays in Provincetown, at the very tip of Cape Cod, where dawn never ceases to amaze.

This I Promise

nocturnal goddess I am
not of human form
shaped like sliver moon
my candle burns at both ends

headdress gleaned from stars
burning blazing they produce light
beauty etched in darkened scrim
it will not last the night

wars desecrate my vision
some of you defile my spirit
create hell in falling sky
but ah, my foes, and oh, my friends

acts of kindness, innocence of babes
good will shall overcome cruelty
and like the warmth of rising sun
it gives a lovely light

Image from Pixabay.com

Written for NAPOWRIMO Day 3 where the prompt is to write a Spanish form of poertry called a glosa – a form new to me. “Take a quatrain from a poem that you like, and then write a four-stanza poem that explains or responds to each line of the quatrain, with each of the quatrain’s four lines in turn forming the last line of each stanza.”

My glosa references Edna St. Vincent Millay’s poem, which is one quatrain in length, First Fig:
My candle burns at both ends;
it will not last the night;
but ah, my foes, and oh, my friends –
it gives a lovely light!

…in the darkness ye shall find…

Namrah, my mythical creature.
Born of another time, not of humans.
Birthed from energy of Sun and Lightning’s bolt,
dust of Canyon swirled in Wind’s strong breath.
Eyes that see all, informed by Truth.
Wings that enfold to protect, and when unfurled
span the land of many, emboldened to soar.
Gentle in touch and love,
strong in girth and resolve.

Oh Namrah, through darkest nights of fear
I close my eyes to find your soul.
Seek comfort within your folds,
climb to rest upon your back,
face nuzzled in the curve of your spine.
Take me above this temporal place
where words can be bereft of hope.
Let me feel your simple grace and flow
as we seek new heights and soar above this earth.
I shall feel your strength and gain your confidence.
I shall be enabled
and I shall live.

IMG_0191

Shared with dVerse for Open Link Night. Somehow, Namrah has become a fixture in my mind. I first wrote of him some time ago for Friday Fictioneers. Is this the equivalent of a young child’s imaginary friend — a shape-shifter that has become more real in old age? It remains a mystery to me…but the name Namrah has become a mystical presence. Photo from Mount Rainer National Park.

And What Shall Ye Say?

Yes, and how many times can a man turn his head
And pretend that he just doesn’t see?
The answer, my friend, is blowin’ in the wind
The answer is blowin’ in the wind.
Words from Bob Dylan’s iconic song, Blowin’ in the Wind

The airways reverberate
vitriolic hatred, spewed humiliation
despicable, visceral crudity.
Not crudité as in aperitif.
Main entré of spoils.

The wildfire is aflame
catching drafts of ignorance.
No longer can we pretend.
These are not embers
quietly waning in desert sand.

We must be the douser,
each by declaring no.
It must not be this way.
It cannot be this way.
It is not this way.

The answer is not blowin’ in the wind.
The answer is us.

Written for dVerse, the virtual pub for poets, where Bjorn is hosting and celebrating announcement of the Nobel Prize for Literature to Bob Dylan. Whether you agree with the selection or not, there is no denying the power his words had for so many during difficult times in America’s history. It seems to me, we are in the midst of trying, frightening times again. This poem is dedicated to Bob Dylan’s genius talent, and to Michelle Obama for having the courage yesterday, to stand up and speak out.