Short poems about war and the weather

As part of my spiritual practice, I write a daily poem about things that I’m mulling over, or which have touched me. They are always nine lines — except for the occasional longer poems, when I have the inspiration — with each line typically comprised of nine syllables. (This, too, can vary but typically doesn’t.)

Here’s a selection of my musings over the past week.

North and South

We should have left one another then.

You wanted to own people, although

you cannot admit that now and turn

 

your eyes away with a hot curse when

I bring it up. I was fine with

dirt and factories and spinning mills

 

and all matter of bullshit as long

as we weren’t putting people in chains.

Long years and still the argument persists.

 

After the coup

In the days after the coup, the sky

shone its usual hue of eggshell blue,

above streets with unaccustomed silence.

 

We smile thinly and make our purchases,

wondering beneath our masks: Was it you?

The banners supporting the insurgent

 

no longer flutter, and the powerful

seal their lips shut when we point to their theft.

And everyone wonders: Was it you, friend?

 

Pogrom

Maybe we will sleep again without

half an ear awake for the sound of boots,

the knock – curt, professional – on the door.

 

We cannot trust our eyes to close and then

the world assemble itself into its

usual shapes when they drift open.

 

The neighbor that held the door wields a knife.

Their compliments on your casserole sift –

writing on the sand, washed away by hate

 

Birds’ nests

When the wind and cold steal the rags

from the trees, their branches shiver

to hide their nakedness, their long limbs –

 

and revealed are the nests, twig-twined orbs

in every crotch and crevasse, great

and small with the remnants of eggshells

 

and shed feathers an shit. Winter

reveals the armature of spring,

chaos and death the seed of the song.

 

Notes during wartime

First remember who you were. Remember

all the things you said you wouldn’t do.

Remember who you were before you did them.

 

Remember the things you said when speech

winged as free and far as chimney swifts.

Remember all the facts you learned from books

 

and stern teachers, the ones who challenged you.

But first, remember who you were – and are.

This is of the utmost importance.

 

Before the storm

The skies are bluest before the storm

the day most beautiful before the turn

to darkness and winter and freezing cold.

 

Like a Victorian maiden with her eyes

luminous, her complexion rosy

as consumption settles wanly in –

 

Red skies at morning, sailor take warning:

How magnificent the cresting swell,

the glass cave as it envelopes you!

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About whitecatgrove

The musings of a Druid priestess, singer, poet and musician in Upstate New York.
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