Night Flight among the Pleiades

Antigone’s Vow – (c) Terry S. Amstutz

Sheet sails for rusted dreams:
Known dead walk among
cars submerged in muddy streams.
We’re lost in an unknown town;

sign clocks stopped on the banks
where old checks lie uncashed.
Vizored skulls rest in cages;
lead lined safes, their locks bashed,

stand open, boxes now empty.
Courthouse, its Greek pillars
overgrown with grey ivy–
gavels dropped, silent forever,

rooted lost causes remain.
Full moving truck sways,
cardboard boxes pave
long abandoned roadways.

Purses in the gutters
lipsticks clatter on tin cans
characters chucked in clutter;
pickups drip tears in oil pans.

Steam trains whistle fears
that haunt traveling children
bound for a land of no years,
a place called Apollonian.

As they careen the rails
they hear outlandish tales
of an outrageous place where
bears and dogs wear no fur,

cats go about on stilts.
All the window panes are cracked;
fences sunk in sand drifts
obscure any trace of tracks.

Then the earth seems draped
in tinted pastel clouds,
obscuring all hard shapes.
As faces emerge from fog,

familiar masks rearranged,
now answer to older names.
Whispers blown on an empty range
ask if things will ever be the same.

The answer’s sung in chorus
as the children harmonize:
“we’re changing places
in fearful changing times”.

I arrive in now and you’re
distant, vague, a memory.
That place, I’m almost sure
resides a blinking star away.

Title from this quote by the Greek poet Hesiod:

“And if longing seizes you for sailing the stormy seas,
when the Pleiades flee mighty Orion
and plunge into the misty deep

and all the gusty winds are raging,
then do not keep your ship on the wine-dark sea.”

© Gay Reiser Cannon * November 26, 2012* All Rights Reserved
Meant to have been written for Claudia’s Poetics on 11/17/2012
Posted for #openlinknight on 11/27/2012 “better late, etc.”


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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