Thursday, April 30, 2015

A Friend Of Order

A Friend of Order
(poem for the last day of April)

To raise the gentle dead
to tap home the lost in their blind night
of grey flowers, to wake and go walking

blown by the east invisible wind,
least to the hummingbird jar
wide to the mockingbird's wire

in the secret swing of the sickled moon;
this is the place I come to make love
where love makes me in a displaced whisper.

This shadow-speckled earth,
this creaking four-poster of the old gods' altar
stained sheets bloody-red from the sacrifice

but ruffled with stars, padded
with seeds, wrinkled with earthworms
who lie down smiling.

I sprout all my old visions under wet paper--
an order burned new by corpse-candle, an unplanned heist
from the resurrection-man's wagon--

to sing when there is no song,
pull close old lovers' bones
on these greensick hips, unstoned.

~April 2015

Poem 30 for April

posted for

Poetry Gone Wild

The  wise and resourceful mind of Magaly G. graciously gives us permission to write about anything we wish on this last day of a long, long month. I have tried to also incorporate an earlier challenge of hers, to write about three things we hoped to accomplish by writing thirty poems in April.

 Gratitude to Magritte for the art and title, and to all brave and dear readers and writers who have companioned me on this April journey, one that was harder and better than all the previous five. Many many serious thanks.


Greensickness:  a benign type of iron-deficiency anemia in adolescent girls, marked by a pale yellow-green complexion.

Images: A Friend of Order, 1964, by Rene Magritte
Memory, 1948, by Rene Magritte
Fair Use via

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Sevenling (Baba Yaga)

Sevenling (Baba Yaga)

Baba Yaga flies the living woods to pluck
silver tufts of wormwood, cobalt wolf'sbane,
red-cap toadstools for the little ones to suck.

Loneliness and these things made her luck:
resentment clutched and hope that's brought to naught;
and the beebalm, foxgloves, larkspur in her path

can not cure the sickness that she caught.

~April 2015

posted for    real toads

Challenge: Frog-cups in New York City
The lively and darkly enchanting genius of Magaly Guerrero has found a perfect topic for this penultimate day of April's long haul: write a new poem that will include a flower named after an animal or a bird named after a flower. She requested a shorter poem, and I'm sure we can all appreciate that at this point, so I chose the sevenling form, inspired by the work of Russian poet Anna Ahkmatova. I also chose a Russian folktale to go with it.

You can find out more about the Slavic witch Baba Yaga, the mortar and pestle she uses to fly, and her house on chicken legs  HERE. 

Images: Baba Yaga, by Viktor Vasnetsov, 1929  public domain via wikimedia commons
Illustration of Baba Yaga by Ivan Bilibin, 1900, from the fairy tale Vasilisa The Beautiful
Public domain via

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Pyrexia Eclipsed

Pyrexia Eclipsed

Clouds' fists clip the edge
of the china moon; or is it just
his tooth that's chipped, souvenir
of one too many starroom brawls?
Half-cracked, he leers wobbling
down, an over-wise drunk with a secret to tell
to a bored constellation of strangers;
the jukebox night's come unplugged,
and it's stifling as a cave where only
the cold susurrus of blood surfs the ear, or a dream
where the hiss of scratched vinyl
deliriously sputters on.

I sit on my tipped chair by the overturned sky,
in the kitchen of my long disease, kitten-weak, quite ready
to listen to the blasted moon, but even drunk and
crackled, he's not talking. We must have quarreled,
back when I had those spasms. The moon is not
the most patient nurse, especially when
he's had a few, and he knows how to hold
a meteoric grudge. I shouldn't have heaved
all that space debris,  peevish in
my convalescent's rage.

Tertian, quartan, nocturnal,
venal & venereal; they say I'm cured
of all my fevers but the quotidian;
It seems I must be well in this pocked penumbra,
a healthy husk, sucked dry of every juice,
nursing a hypocrite's disapproval
of the winking drunkard moon.

~April 2015

Poem 28 for April

Pyrexia: a technical name for fever

Images, both Untitled, by Zladislav Beksinski
Fair use via

Monday, April 27, 2015

Call Of The Crow

Call of the Crow

The crow called,
what world is coming?
A world with no ease in the seeing

where the last battle
finds no ending, a capture of dead without any king;
where no sending of ravens
can swallow the feast.

The crow called,
what world do I see
where summer kills flowers
where kine have no milk
and die eating dust,

where women
no longer know their worth,
where old men bring false judgment.
where each child
is a reaver, each soul
a betrayer of brothers,
a killer deceiver, blinding his own eyes;
where the sea can feed no one
not even herself,
where poison is flowing
deep in the well.

I see it all,
called the crow
nothing dear 
will be left to me.

~April 2015

Poem 27 for April--unlinked, and a total self-indulgence.

Process notes: This poem is drawn directly from a 9th century(?) prophecy(below) I happened on that reminded me very strongly of the description of the final days before the Ragnarök in Völuspá. Bleak as these prophecies are, I also see them as vital warnings, informing us so perhaps their dire ends can somehow be averted, foretelling as they do elements of a personal disintegration which leads to the more universal one.

This prophecy is Celtic, and spoken by the goddess Babd, the war goddess aspect of The Morrigan, who often takes the form of a crow:

I  shall not see a world that will be dear to me.
Summer without flowers,
Kine will be without milk,
Women without modesty,
Men without valour,
Captures without a king.

... ... ...

Woods without mast,
Sea without produce,

... ... ...

Wrong judgments of old men,
False precedents of brehons,
Every man a betrayer,
Every boy a reaver.
Son will enter his father's bed,
Father will enter his son's bed,
Everyone will be his brother's brother-in-law.

... ... ...

An evil time!
Son will deceive his father,

Daughter will deceive her mother.

prophecy of the goddess Badb,  from "The Second Battle of Mag Tuired"


Image: Crow in flight at Isfahan, Iran, 2012, shared under a creative commons license
via wikimedia commons     Manipulated.

Sunday, April 26, 2015



I'm not good enough at love to understand
this way you have of working undercover,
of fixing and of making things entire
without a self-congratulating mutter;
how all your walls are strong and mine are sand.

The love I understand is more a flyer,
spirit made of air with hollow bones
adept at breaking longer into shorter;
a wind that pulls down trees and tumbles stones
can't see walls or know what they require.

I'm not good enough at love to work with mortar,
make useful shapes from viscous mud and straw.
I only know I'm flightless in your hand,
leaning tired shoulders on the wall
that keeps me safe and caught within its border.

~April 2015

posted for       real toads

Margaret's Play it Again Challenge

I chose the envelope quintet described by Kerry O'Connor 

 Poem 26 for April.

Note: This poem was written this morning, and is offered without normal polishing and editing--apologies, but that's the way the poem goes in April. ;_)

Images: The Watercarrier, 1908, by Eugene de Blaas, Public domain via
Barn wall, copyright 2015 by joyannjones