The High Priestess

                     John Thomson’s Street Life in London, 1876 (common domain)

She knows the spies and where they hide,
climbs hills away from town; she walks
the unworn paths where she can watch
the ones who watch, she learns their finds.

She slips through alleys and dark streets.
Her hooded cloak of worsted thread
disguises her in spheres of dread;
her art demands that she’s discreet.

She’s seen it many times before —
deceits and lies inscribed in code,
from parchment to encryted mode,
from ages past to this encore.

When power seeks again to crush;
demolishing new growth, they smash
white bones on stones. When zealots trash
snug homes, cold fears shake every bush.

She knows a magic eons old
before the dragons shed their scales;
sent from the stars with glowing tails
their crystals tied in pocket folds.

One tops her aspen walking stick,
a subtle guide that frees her sight
for things unknown. It tracks the plight
and needs of those both frail and sick;

its light unravels skeins of doubts.
Her eyes perceive the dark designs;
details may change somewhat each time
but evil goals remain throughout.

She wends her way by waning moon
to read her texts for new insights.
Then sets the plan to make things right,
she must work fast; make changes soon.

Within herself she summons spells.
The traits she wishes to disperse.
By sublimation she’ll reverse
or try– to quell the fears and ills.

Transformed to primal particles,
she fortifies the frightened folk
with courage, reason, and kind words
to hinder the intolerable.

She’s given all to aid their cause.
The denouement depends on them.
She needs some rest to reconvene.
She hopes and prays against their loss.

© Gay Reiser Cannon * July 23, 2012 * All Rights Reserved

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The Empress (of Peace)

Cries in the spray; howls of wind
echoing growls of thunder, louder
as rain spits mud at the dozing herd,
the trough is empty and they now gaunt.
Knowing only the fiery heat of
a persistent sun, swatting flies
settling on flank and lash,
the mud-drops cool, provide relief.

Diseased thought born in thick blood
driven mad with heat and passion
flares in earth’s souls. It perpetuates
the sear and carnage wrought by
violence, revenge, more violence–
eternal wars of the tribes who want;
fired by the fires of never enough.

The slip stream slides, clouds rolling,
building higher, white dreams
whipped stiff with hope, hinting change.
There benefactions dimly dreamed lie
beyond the murky cast of smoke and ash.

Out of Empyrean, a dream perhaps,
where an ethereal beauty shines like a
monstrance, a sceptre. Her heart
like a cut and polished jewel,
a beacon for calm that bestows cure.
She waits shimmering at the edge
of the earth’s meniscus extending
an offer to end the wasting drought.

She holds out her miraged boughs
heavy in summer heat. Sticky-ripe. the
pomegranates fall spilling seeds on
the desolate land. At once, a new
tree sprouts, a bird sings, a pool shines.

The promise of water and wheat abundant
gleams in her distant eyes.
At last the lost sense and cease their cries;
sheathe their weapons.
Take up words in a body determined,
a tribe unified to one purpose.
Her promise discerned–
not misery, but peace that yields bounty.

© Gay Reiser Cannon * 6.25.12 * All Rights Reserved

Hosting the event this week is Brian Miller
Join us there by linking your poem and reading your fellow poets!

 


High Plains

My photo somewhere east of Amarillo

a yellowed parchment stretches
endless, seamless, vast — covering all
until it meets the soft blue-white batiste sky

that lies beyond it, trembling at its edge
distance without depth
arcing over, filling spaces

upon it chords of history written–
a kind of hieroglyphics, not of papyrus
less socialized, more tribal

a series of bumps and lines, geometries
that sing of falling stones, eroding mountains
of time and and endless passage

bison cows horses cowboys he(a)rd there
carved in cactus shapes, shimmering mirages
crusted for centuries; time-foot-hoof-pounded flat

sculpted fata morgana motifs of destiny
inscrutable from such distances
people of the land, one with it, crushed

to this quivering yellowness, this opus
of fullness and emptiness in horizontals
the air resonates and the pulse beats

percussive anthems against me
I am lifted on a singing thermal
and a great dusty symphony plays

© Gay Reiser Cannon 6.11.2012 * All Rights Reserved
Posted for OpenLinkNight @dVersePoets Pub
6/12/2012 where today’s landlady is the Hedgewitch herself!

Luminous Cows

The Cow With Parasol by Marc Chagall

You could see cows then in Montmartre
when lights called the world to Paris.
Young hearts came, consumed with their art,
their sight defined Her as heiress.

When lights called the world to Paris,
they found their ideas in cafés;
their sight defined Her as heiress
through canvas, brush, paints and wordplay.

They found their ideas in cafés
in Her energy and freedom.
Through canvas, brush, paints and wordplay
inspiring artistic outcome.

In Her energy and freedom
musicians and artists said they
created inventive outcome
whether written, sculpted or played.

Musicians and artists said they
must make the unseen become known,
whether written, sculpted or played
by weaving their souls in art’s bones.

Must make the unseen become known,
must live and die imbued by art.
By weaving their souls in art’s bones,
they transformed the cows of Montmartre.

Picasso to Chagall, Apollinaire to Hemingway they put the cow and the bull in their art; and Gertrude Stein made “cow” a whole new symbol!

© Gay Reiser Cannon * 1/2012 * All Rights Reserved