November Yeats 18

 

‘The dews drop slowly and dreams gather;’ —W.B. Yeats

 

I walked at dawn with a silver cup

and hoped that I might see my love

in the crystal dew

 

I gathered dreams in a dark bouquet,

to weave a net to make him stay,

and love me too

 

I dream I hold him in my arms

with his wild blue eyes and all his charms

When I am sleeping,

 

But my love has spilt the crystal dew

And torn all of my dreams in two

and left me weeping

 

I’ve missed a couple of days BUT IT DOESN’T MATTER – because this is just a lovely way of spending time in November. Pure pleasure, no pressure. Thank you, Jane, for another lovely prompt. 

 

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November with Yeats #15

‘You, too, have come where the dim tides are hurled
Upon the wharves of sorrow, and heard ring
The bell that calls us on; the sweet far thing.’ —W.B. Yeats

Must we define ourselves by war?
The space between us always battle ground?
There is no glory in a merchant’s booth, you say,
And though I try to hold your hand
You stride down, through the fields,
golden with harvest, and the orchards,
heavy with fruit, not seeing them,
to where the dark sea laps the shore
and the boat waits.

I watch your face and know that you believe
that you have won this little battle,
but my merchant heart sought only
bargaining, haggling, an exchange of goods,
my golden kindness for your fierce desire,
my burning lips for your soft gaze.
We are both poorer now.

Half way! Jane continues her Yeats fest with this quote, that took me off in an interesting direction. 

Up and away – dVerse

Up and away
I want to fly away with you
Up and away
This world is dull, and tired, and grey
But with a bunch of bright balloons
We can take a rainbow honeymoon
Up and away

A rondelet. I don’t know what’s come over me. The image was found by Lillian over at dVerse. She found it on Pixabay, and is pondering graffiti art, as she plans what sounds like an amazing trip. It’s cold and dark and damp here, and I’m feeling a little bit jealous, so I’ve gone for something light and bright and fluffy to cheer myself up. My explanation is now far longer than my poem, so perhaps I should shut up!

Yeats #14

‘That you, in the dim coming times,
May know how my heart went with them
After the red-rose-bordered hem.’ —W.B. Yeats

And afterwards, all he could say

was that her hem swirled as she walked

and that swirl swept his heart away,

and he shrugged as he talked,

helplessly in the grip of something

he couldn’t account for, except

that his heart was set dancing

by the swirl of her skirt as she left,

and his dancing heart had to follow

the path that she took, even though

she led him by hill and by hollow,

and where wild streams flow,

and she led him by day and by night,

where the birds fly high,

and she led him in the moonlight

to where the rivers die

in the great white roaring ocean,

and the  fierce gulls whirl and scream,

and she left him alone on the naked strand,

a man who had followed a dream.

 

Another day, another Yeats quote from Jane Dougherty. 

Owl – haibun for dVerse

Some nights the stars feel very close. Tonight they are impossibly distant, hung high in the dark sky. The moon is a silver sickle, and there is frost coming. The call of the owl makes me pause, and cock my head to listen again. She is part of this chill night – the soundtrack to winter.

We don’t see her often, though we hear her. Sometimes she swoops ahead of us down the lane, massive and silent. Once we found the imprint where her wings had kissed the snow as she plunged her sharp talons into some small mammal. The spring this year was mild and dry, so our owl will eat well this winter.

Flower faced sister
Swooping silent bringing death
Calling frost and stars

 

 

Victoria is playing host at dVerse this chilly winter night – here in the North, anyway. She’s asked us to consider the owl, very much part of my winter nights here in the back end of beyond. If you’re wondering why the owl has a flower face, look here. 

November Yeats #13

‘Away, come away:
Empty your heart of its mortal dream.’ 
‘The Hosting of the Sidhe’ by W.B. Yeats.

Leave aside your mortal dreams
And step into their world of night,
Nothing is quite as it seems

On the terrace, peacocks scream
And show themselves for your delight,
Leave aside your mortal dreams,

In the hall, they primp and preen,
Display their beauties to your sight,
Nothing is quite as it seems.

Dance with shadow kings and queens,
Draped in dark robes of midnight,
Leave aside your mortal dreams.

Gorge yourself on chocolate creams,
Whipped from kisses and moonlight –
Nothing is quite as it seems –

But beware their tangled schemes,
And their smiles – a touch too bright? –
Leave aside your mortal dreams:
Nothing is quite as it seems.

A Villanelle today, inspired by Jane, and her good friend W B Yeats. The Sidhe are tricky folk, full of glamour and illusion. Best not to trust them. 

November with Yeats #12

He made the world to be a grassy road
Before her wandering feet.’

Gifts

He brought her primroses in spring,
And wild, white roses in the summer,
The first ripe blackberries he found for her
And in the winter searched for mistletoe
And scarlet holly berries,
But still she never smiled at him.

He brought her emeralds, on golden chains,
Great looping strings of pearls,
Handfuls of rubies, garnets, topazes,
Massed, glittering heaps of living stones,
Buts still she never met his eyes.

He brought her feathers – white
And soft, from the swan’s broad breast,
Black from the crow’s wing, and
All the colours of the woods and fields,
And the grey sky above,
But she just let them fly.

He brought her silks and satins,
Glorious gowns in rainbow hues,
Or glowing like the sea at sunset,
Velvets as dark as midnight,
Lace like spiders’ webs,
But still she turned her face from him.

He brought her sea-glass,
Smoothed and clouded, and
A whispering heap of seashells,
Pink and white as sunrise, and
The scent of salt, and one
Grey sealskin. And she smiled,
And gazed at him. Kissed him
Just once – as light as sea-foam –
And then slipped away.

Another one for Jane Dougherty’s November with Yeats exploration. 

A poem about remembrance

Victims

“All men in war are victims”,
A wise man once said,
He neglected to add that surviving
Can be worse than being dead.

“Run! Run!” yells a man,
Diving, darting, plunging towards death,
Blood spills, men scream,
Last words flutter with a last breath.

“Shells! Shells!” yells a man,
They fall, hooting eerily.
Sinew splatters, men weep,
But we plunge on wearily.

“All men in war are victims”
No truer words could be said.
I’m alone with my thoughts and my memories,
And I’m envious of the dead.

F. Connor 2017.

I like to post a poem for Armistice Day. I usually go to the War Poets, but this is by my 13 year old, who has been doing Power and Conflict at school.

It’s never – for Jilly’s jade challenge

It’s never about birds in poetry;
it is about our inadequate,
marrow-filled bones that
weigh us down
reminding us of the immediacy
of the dust.

It’s never about stars in poetry;
it’s about the darkness
that sits in our bellies
waiting to swallow
everything.

It’s never about sunsets in poetry;
it’s about the endings
we fear, cold and alone,
inglorious.

It’s never about oceans in poetry;
it’s about finding somewhere
firm to stand,
immutable.

This is a completion of Jilly’s poem, for her November casting bricks challenge. Her words are in italics, and mine follow.