Conquering the Night

Put all the pretty ponies in their stalls,
The moon has crept across the Milky Way.
Winged Pegasus will take us through the hinterland
where dreams command the night
‘til break of day.

Alight with me upon his stalwart back,
Feel the rush of air as wings unfurl,
Oh magic steed, you’ve freed us from the tug
of gravity as we soar the cosmos
and circle ‘round the world.

What star will we visit on this journey?
What galaxy exists unexplored?  Take us there,
great stallion, to the vault of heaven
where stars sparkle pathways with pure gold
and moonbeams whisper secrets bright and bold.

Come first hint of sun we will return
and daylight will find us nestled in our beds.
As day’s dancing rays tap on our windows
to get in, I wonder if they know
where we have been.

 

Her Mother’s Jewelry Box

The hinged lid, gilded with fluted edge,
a red velvet lining remembers traces
of its early flame. The mirror, aged
and wise still does not lie; her mother’s face
is reflected in her smile.

An amethyst, an opal, a few pieces of gold,
solid, old, enduring, a strand of pearls,
demure as if brand new, three baby bracelets,
the kind hospitals used to give, each with a name
embossed on beads of pink and white.

And so the ancient box reveals
the history of a wife who failed
and no matter all the good she’d done
he worked his farm
without a son.

Pedestrian Rush Hour

Bargains galore,
another mall
collapses into itself.
Everything that’s left
was unwanted at any price.
But now, marked up
they soar,
Helium balloons
headed for the stratosphere
then higher still
for the ‘out of business sale’.
An escalator discount,
the balloon
is losing air.
Crowds line up
to pick the bones
never realizing
they’re getting nothing
for something
and giving up
everything.

From the Book of Tears*

Prayers for our Australian friends:

Having swallowed
the drought-dried leaves,
the joeys and koalas,
the dingoes, bees
and honeyeaters,
the flames devour
all but memories,

Fury and form collide.
Even the stars
vacate the sky.

One hears
the evil roar,
hears sighs and moans
of an ecosystem dying.
Thick smoke claims both
sun and moon; the flames
outshone only by the light
of friends helping friends.

 

The title was inspired by Bush Poet Merv Webster’s
Book of Laughter and Tears.

Merv, we are praying that you and Chrissie and family
are safe from harm.

David Redpath has depicted the conflagration here:

The Heart of Fire

The Sun at a Steeper Slant

“To face the weather and be unable to tell
how much of it was light and how much thought”
quoted from.Wallace Stevens in Extracts from Addresses to the Academy of Fine Ideas

The thing about autumn
is when you take away the poetry,
pare it down to its bottom line,

you still have the colored leaves,
the ease of twilight’s peace, the bounty
of a harvest done.

When the air turns chill,
the warm hearth is even more
than crackling fire and cider’s kiln.

Come January,
when the mercury dips,
and bare limbs quiver in the wintry wind

a skyward look
reveals a slanting sun.
As the axis tilts, I feel  language

waxing poetic
as if atoning for the pallid star.
I see Jack Frost’s kiss turn to snow

and it occurs to me:
Autumn is truly lovely
but winter is reality.

_______________________________________________________________

“Extracts from Addresses to the Academy of Fine Ideas”
by Wallace Stevens