Saturday, December 21, 2013

A Dream of Home

A Dream of Home

In a dream I was standing on the moon
Watching the earth rise on a field of stars.
It felt completely natural, like home,
Though there was no one else, I was alone.
There was an atmosphere, the wind was warm
And I did not have to wear a space suit;

I wore shoes, pants, a shirt; which seemed to suit
The situation.  It seemed that the moon
Was like the Arizona desert; warm,
Stark, silent, with a nightscape thick with stars.
In such a place you aren’t really alone,
There’s the feeling that the cosmos is your home.

The moonscape felt familiar, like home,
Or the strange way Dad’s hand-me down suit
Fits just right.  Sometimes, when I am alone,
I will look up at the face of the moon,
Or, if the moon is new, at the bright stars,
And feel within a touch that’s kind and warm.

The first spring wind is singularly warm,
And there are places you’ll always call home,
Distant galaxies give birth to new stars,
While these cleaning rags were once a new suit
That I wore while dancing under the moon,
A memory that says I’m not alone.

Solitude does not mean being alone,
That’s why my lunar solitude was warm,
That’s why the rocks and dust upon the moon
Looked like the furnishings one finds at home,
Or clothes hung in a closet, shirts and suits,
Or the sparkling light of the summer stars.

Some seasons are known only by the stars,
Though distances are great stars aren’t alone.
Yesterday a friend bought me a new suit.
At the memorial it felt warm,
The service took place in her old wood home;
After, people lingered until the moon,

The summer moon, and the numberless stars,
Like a perfect suit for a night that’s warm,
Touched us with a type of grace that’s felt at home when we’re alone.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Even in Winter

Frost on the ground
A cloudless sunrise
The sound of the furnace
There are tasks I have to do
Projects that I need to finish,
Reluctantly I relinquish
The pause that I place after prayer,
Yet a certain stillness stays with me
As I walk past a familiar oak tree

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Syllabic Sonnet Day for 2013

Syllabic Sonnet Day for 2013


Today is Syllabic Sonnet Day; a day put aside to celebrate English language sonnets that are syllabically constructed and shaped.  The shift from a metrical to a syllabic sonnet is a subtle one.  When reading a syllabic sonnet it might not feel all that different from reading a metrical sonnet.  This is because, I think, the two different approaches can produce overlapping results.  I mean by this that a sonnet which the poet constructed syllabically might also be metrically consistent.  By that I mean a line of ten syllables can also be a line of iambic pentameter.

The shift has more to do with the focus of the poet when shaping the sonnet.  For the syllabic sonneteer it is the syllable count of the line which is the primary factor shaping the poem; plus other factors such a rhyme scheme and grammatical structure.  For the metrical sonneteer it is the steady rhythm of the iambs that is the primary focus. 

An interesting consequence of this shift of focus is that the tendency for the syllabic sonneteer will be to have a line count that is determined by the syllables and will rarely deviate from that ten syllable count.  There will, naturally, be exceptions, but the weight will be on the ten count.  The syllabic sonneteer has the option, through using various types of feet substituting for the iambs, to vary the line length in terms of the syllable count as long as the metrical count remains the same.  Again, this is a subtle difference, one that might not be apparent at first.

Personally, I have found a syllabic approach to the sonnet to be rewarding.  It creates a flow that is more conversational.  When this is combined with a traditional rhyme scheme the effect is, to my ear, musical in the way a recitative is musical. 

So let’s take a moment to honor the Queen of English language poetry forms; the sonnet in all its permutations.