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A Transcendental Whirl

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Each vignette begins with a phrase culled from “Threnody” by the 19th-century Transcendentalist, Ralph Waldo Emerson.
 


 
~~ 1 ~~
 
nest of bending reeds
near the shore a secret place—
great blue herons hide
 
~~ 2 ~~
 
grass and scented weeds
cradling the children’s laughter
autumn afternoons
 
~~ 3 ~~
 
blade of autumn grain
stranger to distressing drought
welcoming the scythe
 
~~ 4 ~~
 
the wintry garden
holding carrots prisoner
till spring thaws should come
 
~~ 5 ~~
 
every pulsing sound
every thing that does not shine
pointing out the way
 
~~ 6 ~~
 
The stream runs on, but
one diamond is left behind—
rearguard for the light.
 
~~ 7 ~~
 
in books of solace
seeking her long-lost childhood
rhyme by tinkling rhyme
 
~~ 8 ~~
 
see my empty house
the shutters’ crazy angles
all the doors ajar
 
~~ 9 ~~
 
star by star his world
resolving into shadow
as each star blinks out
 
~~ 10 ~~
 
to make this wisdom
demands a seer acquainted
with the ways of stones
 
~~ 11 ~~
 
They cannot bind him,
though their bands be made of steel,
forged by elven hands.
 
~~ 12 ~~
 
spirit strikes the hour
martyr chained by faith and doubt
crackles in the flames

 
© 2014 by Magical Mystical Teacher
 
 
More Poetry Pantry #223
 
More The Sunday Whirl, Wordle 183

Whirling with Abraham

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This week’s words: barrier, detail, diamond, pleat, power, strap, swing, suspend, tough, unit, waterfall, zip

 
The first line of each 5-7-5 snippet is taken from various poems in Robert Bly‘s The Night Abraham Called to the Stars.


 
~~ 1 ~~
 
thrown into the fire
an old leather strap curling
then crumbling to ash
 
~~ 2 ~~
 
By the widow’s door
a tough old crow is lurking—
dare she let him in?
 
~~ 3 ~~
 
crack in the ceiling
loose thread in the plaid skirt’s pleat
things falling apart
 
~~ 4 ~~
 
So many forces
try to zip us in their bags
and whisk us away.
 
~~ 5 ~~
 
a strawberry patch
planted by the waterfall—
feast for the ravens
 
~~ 6 ~~
 
Eight thousand tulips
power the old Dutch windmill
with their heady scent.
 
~~ 7 ~~
 
around the orchard
erecting a barrier
against blossom thieves
 
~~ 8 ~~
 
The knees of the wind
swing this way and that, knocking
down bush and blossom.
 
~~ 9 ~~
 
some fiddle music
to suspend between two stars
while the fiddler rests
 
~~ 10 ~~
 
The house of sorrow
has not a single diamond,
only lumps of coal.
 
~~ 11 ~~
 
a single black hair
perfect in every detail
in the dead man’s nose
 
~~ 12 ~~
 
It’s too late to move
to Unit Number Seven—
someone stole the door.

 
© 2014 by Magical Mystical Teacher
 
More Poetry Pantry #196
 
More The Sunday Whirl, Wordle 155