Poetry: Sonnet – To Magic

My inspiration was from Edgar Allen Poe’s Sonnet — to Science (click to read it). Reading Poe’s poem gave me chills of guilt. While not anti-magic, I’m pro-science. Knowledge makes the universe more interesting. We will never know or understand everything. Magic and scientific exploration will go on. Yet, I do share Poe’s lament.

 

 

Sonnet – To Magic

Magic! True father of science thou art!
…Who brightens all things with thy happy cries.
Why say thou to poetic scientific hearts,
…A scolder, who brightens our dullest eyes?
How should we love thee? Or how deem thee wise,
…Who of magic wouldst leave him to his thing?
To see for answers in the quelled skies,
…Albeit he soared with daunted left wing?
Did thou set Diana into her car,
…And give Hamadryad her tree of wood
And seek shelter on some happier star?
…Hast magic not set the Naiad to flood,
The Elfin to green grass, given to me
…Summer dreams beneath the tamarind tree?

(Bill Reynolds © 9 May 2018)

With magic and science, look both ways and be mindful of many gaps.

 

Love is the biggest magic of all.

**Note: I am not a fan of analyzing poetry, but my editor questioned some lines. This explanation relates back to Poe’s sonnet. “Line nine, Hast thou not dragged Diana from her car? refers to the Roman goddess of hunting and virginity, who rides the moon across the sky at night. With science, people saw that the moon, instead of being a carriage for a goddess, was actually a lifeless rock, so science metaphorically dragged her off the moon. The next two lines talk about the Hamadryad, which is a nymph from Greek and Roman mythology that lives in a tree and dies when the tree dies. Science, however, believes the tree lives without such creatures, and so the idea of the Hamadryad has been driven away.”

 

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Poetry — NaPoWriMo: Cactus Flower of Spring

The 29th (of 30) NaPo prompt challenged me to write a poem based on the Plath Poetry Project’s calendar. I was to pick a poem from the calendar, and then write my own verse that relates to it.

If you don’t know anything about Sylvia Plath, you should. Click on her name to link up. I selected her poem Poppies in July (click for link to analysis) because the city I live in is having a Poppy Festival today. Also, reading the poem and learning about Sylvia’s life was deeply moving.

Poppies In July (by Sylvia Plath)

Little poppies, little hell flames,
Do you do no harm?

You flicker.  I cannot touch you.
I put my hands among the flames.  Nothing burns

And it exhausts me to watch you
Flickering like that, wrinkly and clear red, like the skin of a mouth.

A mouth just bloodied.
Little bloody skirts!

There are fumes I cannot touch.
Where are your opiates, your nauseous capsules?

If I could bleed, or sleep! –
If my mouth could marry a hurt like that!

Or your liquors seep to me, in this glass capsule,
Dulling and stilling.

But colorless.  Colorless.

© by owner. provided at no charge for educational purposes.

Taken on this morning’s walk as I pondered Sylvia and her poem.

Cactus Flower of Spring

Little Cactus Flower of much despair,
Your short life, a sad bad mad dream.

Your song of pity plays on. Oh lord, I want to touch you.
Deeply reaching your inferior, I want to know your pain.

Misery and pain surround you,
dear yellow flower of agony and sorrow.

Surrounded by cacti, as you are,
I cannot save you in life or death.

I can only see your pain today,
Through words you left of such sorrow.

May your pain be gone, your love remains,
O’ Little Flower of despair.

Yellow, green, red and blue,
I see them now, and I think of you.

(Bill Reynolds, 4/29/2018)

 

 

Live and learn and lean both ways, looking for our Cactus Flower.
Mind the thorns and shun the needles, the gaps are there for all to feel.

 

Click link to National Poetry Writing Month

Poetry – NaPoWriMo: Euphonious Rain

The day 23 NaPoWriMo prompt encourages me to write a poem based in sound. The poem could incorporate a song lyric in some way. Euphonious means pleasing to the ear.

 

 

Euphonious Rain

Listen…I Listen with my whole body.
I feel the sounds before I hear them.
They enter my complete being,
I’m mesmerized, tranquilized by sound.
Sounds go deep into my muscles and bones, I feel
enticing beats dive into my groin and pound my chest,
I inhale the rhythm, the beats and the measures.

I feel the music deep within me. As I hear it – I become it.
Listen to the rhythm of the falling rain
as it taps above me. Hear the distant drum of thunder.
I am the rain, the tin roof, I release all thought.
My mindless feeling becomes alluring calm.
Feel the rumble and hear the night dance,
calling me into a sound-filled trance.

Into such a compelling sedative of sound
I let it enter, to hear the rain kiss me and touch me
deep within my being, it becomes my feeling,
my loving soul hears sounds of being alive.
To feel. To love. To be soothed. To hear and
Feel the rhythm of the falling rain calling to me.
Who’ll never stop the wondrous falling rain?

(Bill Reynolds 4/23/2018)

Look both ways on rainy days and mind the gaps and puddles.

Click link to National Poetry Writing Month

Poetry — NaPoWriMo: What is Love?

The day 21 poem prompt of the 2018 NaPoWriMo challenges me to write a poem based on the myth of Narcissus. After reading the it, I was to write a poem that plays with the myth in some way.

My poem looks at love from Narcissus’ point of view. Was his beauty a curse? Was his rejection of the love of suitors, male and female, a problem? Should he have loved them all? One of them killed himself and asked the goddess Nemesis to punish or curse the object of his affection. That curse caused Narcissus to love his reflection. That’s what happened, and it is not vanity. How many spurned lovers have placed curses like that?

 

 

What is Love?

Bukowski was right
Love is a dog from hell
The passion
The pain
The inevitable pain
Did Shelly love?
Did Browning love?
Who did Dickenson love?
Did Poe, Wilde, Lord B?

Love is a dog from hell
Look at me
Look at you
We echo no love
For the other
cursed self-love
the prayer of A him
the curse of a Nem.
Bukowski was right.

No god can make me
Love you any less
I must die into hell
To love as I must
Be cursed forever
To be loved
By so many
No love to give
In return, forever
To be known as
The beautiful fool
who loved himself.

(Bill Reynolds, 4/21/2018)

Look both way to see love as it is.
Mind relationship gaps.

Click link to National Poetry Writing Month

A2Z Challanege: P is for Pooka

Pooka (or púca, phouka, phooka, phooca, puca, púka, or some other variant), while mostly a creation of Celtic folklore, is a ubiquitous goblin around the world. These little dudes are bringers both of good and bad fortune.

Pooka have dark or white fur that is more like hair. They are not very large. One can take on a variety of different looks, therefore, each may look different that others.

Pooka have similar equivalents throughout Europe. For instance, in Welsh mythology it is named the pwca and in Cornish the Bucca. In the Channel Islands, the pouque were said to be fairies who lived near ancient stones; in Channel Island French the pouquelée, pouquelay, poulpiquet, or polpegan may be them.

The pooka can be either menacing or beneficial. There are plenty of stories where they are wicked assholes, and others where pooka save the day and are heroic. Some stories have them as blood-thirsty, vampire-like creatures who are man-eating beings that hunt down, kill, and eat their victims.

According to legend, a pooka can assume a variety of terrifying or pleasing forms. This can be confusing, but they may be human, animal, or some hybrid creature. As an animal, they’re usually a horse, cat, rabbit, raven, fox, wolf, goat, goblin, or dog. So, we have lots of bases to cover since almost anything can be a pooka.

In most cases, if we humans are enticed onto a pooka’s back, it will be a wild ride. However, unlike a kelpie, which will take its rider and dive into the nearest stream or lake to drown them, the pooka does the rider no permanent harm. I know, “but you just said.” For a second there, I was pooka-possessed and wrote conflicting the things. It’s fantasy, but I suggest passing on the pooka ride.

Although pooka enjoy confusing or terrifying humans, they are generally benevolent.

If you carefully look both ways, you may see a pooka.
Keep away, be nice, and mind the gaps.

Click the P for link to A2Z site

 

A2Z Challenge: O is for Orcs and Ogres

The traditional mythological creature is the ogre. Orcs are more contemporary and were used by Tolkien in literature (Lord of the Rings), and have since found their way into RP games such as D&D. But ogres and orcs have much in common.

Ogre

Both are brutish, aggressive, repulsive, malevolent, and nasty creatures. Both characterize evil and represent deadly harm to humans in some way. Both are generally presented as creatures that eat people. Orcs are cannibalistic. In most cases, both are presented as somewhat stupid creatures. There is one clever orc in Tolkien’s stories, but he was still evil.

In the case of Orcs, they often end up as fodder or pawns in battles or doing the bidding of another more intelligent character. They can also be cowardly.

Orc

Orc

Generally, Ogres, while rightly and properly representing evil, are used or fooled by others and are often tricked into things leading to their own demise, precipitated by their own greed and nastiness. But these creatures are more classic and date back farther in history than orcs.

Scary cartoon character?

A note about cartoons and nice little very un-Brothers-Grimmly characters such as Shrek. When these characters are depicted as sweet and not-so-ugly, misunderstood, and mistreated heroes; it is playing with folklore and a silly cartoon. Ogres are bad news, period. No exceptions. A character is an ogre based on behavior and outlook, not skin color, size, or birthright. I like Shrek, but he is no ogre, regardless of what the Hollywood script says.

 

You say I’m not an ogre?

To further jump the fence to human mischaracterization, peeps are often metaphorically referred to as ogres. This is not because they look like ogres (some may). It’s because they are considered by someone as bad people based upon their behavior. There are no good orcs or ogres. If they are good, behave well, and hold some moral high ground, then they are something other then an orc or ogre. Evil is what they do, and that defines what they are.

Remember: Scorpions sting frogs. Frogs that can be persuaded otherwise drown. If you don’t know that story, click here.

 

Look both ways for any harm coming your way.
Avoid doers of evil and mind your own gaps.

 

Poem — NaPoWriMo: Grendel’s Reflection

The day 15 poem prompt of the 2018 National Poetry Writing Month challenges me to write a poem in which a villain faces an unfortunate situation and is revealed to be human but still evil.

This reminds me of a discussion I had with other writers regarding antagonists who are both good and bad.

Anyway, I decided to write a poem on one of the villains from Beowulf, Grendel. You can read my April 7th post on Grendel here.

 

Grendel’s Reflection

Humans.
How nice and kind and all
When they kill,
it’s for the glory
of some crazy god.
Stand and fight,
it is our right,
that is their battle call
They kill each other,
then blame me,
I find it rather odd.

They say old brother Cain
rests within my heart
Not clearly seeing
the happy demon
who owns their very spirit
As they rip and tear
their kind apart.
Why such hate
within them grows,
their god only knows.

In the king’s hall,
it’s all hell they raise
It wakes me from my slumber
Yet when I grant them peace,
‘tis me they blame
for the midnight slaughter.

Little do they know,
that I am not so bad
If they were better neighbors,
it wouldn’t be so sad.
I am, after all,
just being me,
as like them as I can be.
Be your brother’s keeper,
unless he looks like me.

(Bill Reynolds, 4/15/2018)

Look both ways at right and wrong but judge your own-self first.
Tread softly with others being mindful of the gaps.

Click link to National Poetry Writing Month