Saturday, January 22, 2011

Greybeard








Greybeard


The wind is from the west and blows the storm.
You’re grey in my thoughts,
blown across sky, my very grey matter,
puffed far like a cloud from a smoldering pipe,
blown quick as the cunning flight of grey doves
who understand the shadow of the hawk,
cloud pale with the cottony softness of mare’s tails
flying above waves to veil the sun’s glare
when the sea is finished with drama, content to be softened,
washing living and dead in its slow endless pulse.

You’ve lost all the red
angry words, the ice white silences
long ago and your soft words stir oatmeal smooth and
rumble, plump cats by the hearth fire, dozing near the embers.
Your voice is a lullabye, secret
and tender as a ruffled wren with a ruby glass heart,
clear as the night sky swinging her moonshot skirts,
pink mother of pearl, with the round white moon daughter
on her opalescent cushions gently
turning the bowl of sky to prism the earth with silver light.

You and I danced for for so long
circling our lives, wrapping the bands around the maypole,
weaving the yarns of years to make the tale
we now tell together, of   two journeys
that became one traveling, filled with the scarlet clamor of blood
and the black and purple bruises of grief,
across a mad planet to a place of moss and stone
where the dancers can rest, and the journey can end
with  the grey hairs of wisewomen and white
beards of wizards nodding together.


January 2010





Image : Old Man With Flowing Beard Looking Down Left
Rembrandt Van Rijn, courtesy, rembrandt online

20 comments:

  1. the grey hairs of wisewomen and white
    beards of wizards nodding together.


    I can feel such times getting closer and closer! LOL!

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  2. Joy,

    This is f****** good! (Were there enough asterisks? Too many?)

    I can't point to too many lines that have 'just right' placement and sound. I.E. "my grey matter . . . hawk" OR "pink mother of pearl . . . silver light" OR the last two 'finish' lines.

    Really good stuff.

    TFool
    (Oh. And I also use the 'e' when spelling 'grey'!)

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  3. This poem just reads better and better, line after line until, in the final stanza, you achieve Poetic Magnificence! Absolutely glorious writing!

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  4. Thanks, all.

    @TF : You have two asterisks left in your quota; use them wisely. Yes, grey with an 'e' just looks greyer somehow.
    (Or maybe its from reading all those old English authors as a child. I still write 'colours' occasionally, too. ;-) )
    Glad you liked it.

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  5. Stunning! Just stunning. Each and every line packed with better and better images. You've really captured "grey" and aging here in a way I wouldn't have thought possible. Really great work.

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  6. That brings us to a great concluding verse. Very very well done.

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  7. This is SO good, my Witchy friend. Have you got gray on the brain lately, with your gray geese and now this? If so, it's all been to your readers' benefit.

    There a so very many just spifftastic lines in this.

    "cloud pale with the cottony softness of mare’s tails
    flying above waves to veil the sun’s glare
    when the sea is finished with drama, content to be softened,
    washing living and dead in its slow endless pulse."

    "You’ve lost all the red
    angry words, the ice white silences
    long ago and your soft words stir oatmeal smooth and
    rumble, plump cats by the hearth fire, dozing near the embers.
    Your voice is a lullabye, secret
    and tender as a ruffled wren with a ruby glass heart,"

    And the bands around the maypole.

    You just might be good, Witch darlin. You just might be very very good indeed. I think you have a singular gift, but when I say "gift", I understand that it took all the years behind you to create. Lucky us, to get to read it now.

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  8. You made this come alive...even as life is winding down. It became a magical journey.

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  9. This is fantastic - love it!!!!!

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  10. As always, you deliver something that will stick in my head for quite a while. Bountiful language in the poem, it has an alluring quality to it. Very much enjoyed reading it through a couple of times to draw out the themes & admire the style. Take it easy,

    crb.

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  11. I love the last verse. Very romantic and wistful. A delightful read!


    http://jessicasjapes.wordpress.com/2011/01/24/dark-teen/

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  12. A dramatic painting rich with colour and energy! Somehow it reminds me of a William Turner painting churning with texture and depth ...especially his sea paintings.

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  13. What you so with images takes my breath away!

    http://liv2write2day.wordpress.com/2011/01/24/boundaries-jingles-poetry-potluck/

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  14. Interetsting, the depictions came alive, niceeee!
    happy potluck!
    http://lynnaima.wordpress.com/

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  15. love it! here's my potluck for this week: http://fiveloaf.wordpress.com/2010/08/04/here-for-you/

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  16. Joy Ann, this is so good and the last stanza ties
    everything together.
    Pamela

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  17. This is so beautiful. Just lovely.

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  18. Just beautiful how you've connected everything..as it really is..wonderful poem!

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  19. This is delightful! Full of interesting, compelling imagery. Nice Potluck dish!

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  20. I love the imagery in this. You definitely have a gift for painting with words, and I can tell that you have lived the Old World dreams, many, many times. :) So many fail to see the beauty in grey (love that you spelled it with an "e" too!) but you have brought out the best of the color and mood in this piece.

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'Poetry is an echo asking a shadow to dance' ~Carl Sandburg