WALPURGIS NACHT

WALPURGIS NACHT

Last hold of winter, grip of dark and cold,

our times of gathering close by the fire.

Tomorrow the maiden will strew flowers,

tomorrow the furrow, the scattered seed.

But tonight, once more belongs to the old

who know to sit quiet and count the stars.

Blessed sameness in the passing of years—

mountain snows flowing from river to sea,

trout lily leaves poking out from the mould,

rhythm of courting and birthing and tears.

Shall we gather tonight on the mountain?

Shall we sing together the last winter hymn?

Already the children dance by the fountain.

In the light of the sun, our fire grows dim. 

Winter Prompts #8: Bless what there is

BLESS WHAT THERE IS FOR BEING

      ~Rilke

Winter Prompt #8

Bless this runny nose.

I am alive.

Bless the ancient white cat

whose long hair covers my clothes.

Bless the darkness outside my window

and the brass lamp that shines

till the dark goes down

the west rim of the horizon.

Bless the notebook and pen,

the words on slips of paper,

the red book, the green-rimmed bowl.

Bless Debbee’s art, and the one bud

on the cactus that always blooms late.

Bless the crack beside my thumbnail

that reminds to to pray

for everyone in pain.

OMEGA

OMEGA

. . .that which is sought transcends all knowledge, 

being separated on all sides by incomprehensibility 

as by a kind of darkness

~Gregory of Nyssa

 

Light through the grisaille illuminates

Omega on the shabby wooden altar.

What we’ve called “God”

or something like, is disappearing

into a cloud of galaxies

and unanswered prayer, or devolving

into fire and air and trees.

 

Some of us are here, bound in ritual.

Who knows what we believe?

Some of us have been around outside

and turned, or turned back,

hearing the echo of a name.

We murmur the ancient creed.

The psalms are full of mercy and blood.

 

Angels have descended and grown small,

their voices turned to syrup, or tin.

Shall we yet fear not?

A dead Jesus hangs on his cross,

between the guttering candles.

The cup is emptied and filled.

We make our humble offerings to the dark.

April prompt #22

April prompt #22

Write about your blind spots

Janet’s #6

EXTENDING THE METAPHOR

Not so much a spot of blindness

but an absence of vision,

 

frosted gray circled

by lack of clarity, an odd distortion.

 

Not like the walls

that closed in, slowly

 

at first, then fast,

swallowing up all

 

but a thin vertical line,

and then the rest,

 

and opening again,

strangely, on a train

 

in the midwest.

Not total, like that.

 

There is light now,

and periphery, but

 

everything is too large.

Faces are elongated.

 

It is not possible

to make out any words.

 

At a certain distance,

everything has a shadow-

 

image, an echo below it,

tilting to the left.

 

At night, the usual clues

disappear, lights line up

 

in curious ways. It’s best not

to approach on my right side.

 

I’ve learned to close one eye.

I’ve learned to turn my head.

ADVENT

sunrise,Cape Royal

ADVENT

~for David Brynn 

 

Focus on our pockets, you said,

and you didn’t mean

trouser pockets stuffed

with wallets, plastic and loose change.

You meant the ones that hold other things:

pebbles and prayer beads,

acorns, pumpkin seeds,

a useful knife, a fountain pen.

Music and fires and feasts.

This coffee shop, that bookstore,

that slope of forest,

these people who remember

to light candles in the dark.

November Writing Challenge #3

The dumbest so far:

 

November Writing Challenge #3

Scene: If I knew how to do sets, I’d have some kind of backdrop that makes the pinhead (spotlight) look like it starts out the size of a real pinhead. But I have no idea how this could happen.

 

Cast:

two scholars, in doctoral robes

Angels—dancers—enough to fill a spotlight that covers the whole stage

Lighting guy—barely visible above the stage until the end, when he/she is spotlit him/herself

 

The scholars stand stage right.

Scholar One:  How many angels can dance on the head of a pin?

Scholar Two: I have no idea. Has anyone ever asked them?

Scholar One:  I don’t think so. Hm. Shall we try? pulls a pin from hat and holds it up

Both Scholars (shouting): How many of you can dance on this?

The shout echoes and echoes while the lights go out and the Scholars exit.  A small silver-white spotlight appears on the stage. Dim lighting elsewhere. The angels enter, stage right, in a line. One moves into the spotlight and dances. The light is just a little bit too big—clearly two angels could dance in it. The next angel in line is invited into the spot and the dance goes on—in a tight formation. This continues until the spot extends to the edge of the stage. The angels waiting in line should be like anybody waiting in line:  checking fingernails, stretching, texting, talking on phones, whatever. When the stage is full—and the angels are all fairly annoyed:

Voice of a Scholar, loud and echoing from the wings:  So, how many of you can dance on the head of a pin?

An angel:  (shouting toward the ceiling) How big is the damned pinhead?

Lighting guy: How big do you want it?

Curtain.

The Last Prompt of April

April Prompt the Last

Ray’s #5: a tour of the alchemist’s garden

 

A TOUR OF THE ALCHEMIST’S GARDEN

 

Immortality, they call it,

silver against green in spring,

again when the maples turn.

 

All gold is contained

here:  Mary’s gold.

So easy.

 

Do you understand

the bitter of parsley?

The twinge of sage?

 

These nettles

draw their power

from the bottom of the sea.

 

In the dark soil

beneath this tomato vine

the cave of a tiny dragon.

 

Feed stones to the roses.

Blood to the greens.

Shells and bones to everyone.

 

Each bean pod,

each pea pod–

a nest of homunculi.

 

Every spoonful of soil

a constellation

of worlds.

 

Carrots gather

underground. That’s where

the light congeals.