Teeth

To Kim Mosley's “Teeth” 

Lively, happy, the Earth. 

But, no, a screaming face 
a furry man with an extra arm sending out waves of energy
a gaping whale and a gaping ghost.

Near them, coming up and out, a camel 
a man-phoenix 
a slug, a horn, the numerals 2 2 7.

Reality in all its ways—real and unreal,
spinning into numbers and dunes
breakfast and the phantasmagoria of the mind.

Out of the movement of water 
a whole that lasts a moment or a day.

Passage

            “who will weave a nest for all the birds of passage?”
                        Dilruba Amedq, “Bring Now the Angels”
 
Vultures, blackly elegant, glide across the lake,
making their way home along alleys of cloud.
We swivel below, craning to see their loose ranks pass over.
So many!
Where have they come from
in the far trees, the dark beyond the water?
where are they headed?
 
And do they leave us soon?
Is that why they have gathered in their great flock
finding each other for comfort in a long journey?
 
We see the birds above us, starting
south or deep, or simply fading,
the air holding their imprint for a while.
A day or so ago we watched a skein of white
a V that unraveled and re-formed
against the pale, blue-white of sky,
the rubbed stain of cloud.
We stilled to watch them as they passed.
 
Leaving, so many are leaving,
the warmth and movement of their mutual bodies
holding them aloft, giving them strength:
pines drying on mountain slopes, long
ranks turning red and then gray,
teeming water turned turbid and still
and schools of silver fled out in currents
that lead them who knows where.
It is said the skies of the continent
filled and darkened with the passage of birds,
the ground shook with running hooves.
Where are they going, our great ones,
our innocents?
 
A bird hops over the flagstones outside my screen door,
his tail perked high.
Will you go too, little one?
And can you ever return? 

The Dream

                           
We tuck our dreams into broken
walls. Each seeds a prayer, sprouts like
a moonbeam, vining toward outposts
for the living.
 
Bring the healer, the howler, the
listening ear, to break the spell
keeping us here, wreckage on
the path to hell.
 
Weave a nest spinning gold
for all the birds of passage.
The shuttle waits to bear us away from
the pain of disdain, and sword-eaters
who swallow fire, show us a new flame.
 
We test our pulse as we sleep.
Dreams bring divine messengers
who summon the grace needed to
transform those buried, burnt,
tied to stones, to be bound
hence forth by love alone.
 
No longer slaves, we embark
beyond this grave where hatred,
fear & lies held sway.
We rise, rise & sing, joyously sing,
wisely, remembering everything.

—Martha Koock Ward

Angels Among Us

Angels on this earth
   We wish to see.
Angels all, we yearn to be.
And when we look
  Both near and far,
We find that some
  Already are.

—Paul Casey

Did the Angels Ever Come?

When all is said and done
   Who will be left standing?
When the sun sets for the last time on humanity,
   Who will grieve for our loss?
Who will be left to tell our story?
   And will the angels remember what we've done?

—Paul Casey

My Butterfly Song

My world began inside an egg.
I was growing and changing.
Sometimes I had to struggle to adapt
to my changing size and shape, my wants and needs.
The changes seemed natural.
Some happened outside of my control.
Limitations of money, of location, of mobility, of age,
could all be overcome or shape my adaptations.
I slumbered, nourished and protected.

When I entered the world of the caterpillar everything changed.
I had changed.
Now danger and death had become part of my world.
There was no way to go back to sleep again
and expect to wake up where I was before.
There was no “do over.”
My responsibilities were to survive and manage
the changing challenges of each new day.
To meet each new revelation:
inequality, systemic racism, selfishness, corruption.
I have no map or time table for my journey.
My brain and my body must find my path;
I am in survival mode.

Who could have imagined this new life?
Who could have prepared us?
We need a whole new set of skills as we adapt.
Reading and listening,
Now must include finding and evaluating the sources of information.
Mathematics
Now must include evaluating how the numbers are being manipulated
to spin the conclusions.
History
Now must include recognizing “the facts” which are included and excluded...
Social Studies
Now must include an understanding of the assumptions
about people, justice, freedom and happiness
on which they are based.
The Arts
Now must have a valued role in everyday life.
I approach this new feast as a guest.
I will be moderate and grateful
as I visit each flower
trying out my new wings.

—Laura A. Smith

Dancer

Kim Mosley

Pulse 

The pulsing sounds of color
reverberate 
in kaleidoscopic bits 
that scatter in 
pieces of beat, 
strands of band, 
shards of bard, 
high vibes, 
low tones, 
that burst onto 
the scene in shouting 
shades of boom, 
a syncopated wheel 
of reeling shapes, 
radiant madcap whirls— 
a world unto itself, 
a sounding board 
for a vibrant 
dervish 
that dances 
and dreams
in living color. 

—Marilyn Duncan 
ODD Monday Prompt Poem 
9-7-20

+++++

I kicked up a storm of leaves
indigo, black, orange—green.
The wind whirled and swirled
clothing me in their disarray, until
I was literally swept away on
a gust and a Go! that gustled me
here in to this rather cramped
glass globe.

It can’t be a snowball, the colors
aren’t right. I pray no more shake
ups—until I can get my head on
tight. How will I appease the god
of leaves, gain freedom, or is this
just a real wacky dream? Images
of me lined on black flying squares.
Jeez, I’m neither here nor all there.

I am down in the dumps these Covid
nights, I toss and turn, as REMs
flicker faster, and give me a fright.
Perhaps it’s that egg salad I ate or was
it potato, tossing my tummy at my mind’s
gate? What’s to become of all these pieces
of me? O, sweet Morning, break open
this dream! Release me to whatever
the “real world” seems. 

—Martha Ward
Kim’s ODD Prompt 9.7.20

+++++

Dancer

At the center a figure 
dances. Around him the 
bubble of the world spins.

Fragments float and fall,
reflections and objects:
gate, lightbulb, plant and bird.

A foot raises, a mouth gapes.
Cornets and lines of crops
moon launches and petroglyphs.

Dancing the world into being, dancing 
the end.  Continuous beginning 
out of continuous decay.

Exhausting, exhilarating, 
exhausting, creating order
out of a chaos of sticks and gravel.

Juggler, the man keeps the world 
in the air, will not let it crash
will not let it sling into chaos.

The mind tires, the body falters.
Who can keep a world alive,
keep a world from breaking?

What man can do it?
Dancers stumble and lose hold.
Their mouths go slack.

Turn then to the one inside the man 
who speaks from the dancer
through a hidden ordering

who shapes his dance

—Sarah Webb, 9/7/20

+++++

The boy faces west. Or south.

Or left. Kicking about in his

unconscious orb. His friends

cavort around him while

leaf fragments of September

source sun prisms, jewel

pigments for a bluegreenred

home. Music is in him. Dance

surrounds him. Sound escapes

into the ether. Now the boy

gallops through his egg-shaped

world. Do his friends run with

him? Are they imaginary mates

or figments of his own story, his

own magical mind? Here…a

toast, Skole, Cin-Cin, Bottoms

Up….to all the dancing boys.

May they never grow into the

men who lose their song, their

dance and their vibrant, 

secret sphere.

—Beverly Voss
09-07-20
Moth poems