TIME IN THE MEASURE OF NINE

Photo of my cat from British Museum.

Photo of my Egyptian cat from British Museum.

“Time’s measured in a thin line on a cat’s back.”
“O sacred cat! Your mouth is the mouth of the god Atum” *
Nine lives, “tick //TocK//tick” clicks the art of

space and form moving first largo then allegro vivace.
The andante sonata of life becomes the sound of
the way Rome looks, stays as eternal as love.

Purple-ribboned skies extend the emperor’s roads.
Then shadows, dark as catacombs,
frighten the bravest of crows and chanticleers.

“Let no Chaldean clairvoyant compute your
time of existence” nor guess your chosen one.
Cats and men have died for love–

but for living we are born,
not to worship fresh fears
or build shrines to cool starlight.

Feline grace scrapes against walls of slavery,
the terrain tilts.  As the poles waver at twilight,
rain settles and sleep silences.

Drip-drops even-out the hours,
turn minutes into eons,
count the grains of star dust.

Pain arches, bell-curved like the cat’s back,
intensifies and diminishes, a life wave.
Corinthian columns march,

dreams creep onstage, move
to the center mark and wait
while the spotlight stops.

There “make-believe” enters stage right
waits on an iron balcony
by a wall of red bricks.

The masquerade proceeds.
Where birds perch,
day mews on the night.

1. Egyptian hymn from the 4th Century BC*
2. Horace *

From Claudia’s Poem: 2 lines: ” time’s measured in a thin line on a cat’s back” and
“tick //TocK//tick” to respond to the challenge prompt to use a line from Claudia or Brian’s challenge poems. Posted for d’Verse Poets Pub MTB challenge 2/26/15.

© Gay Reiser Cannon * All Rights Reserved * 2/25/2015

Odin’s Revelation – The Hanged Man

Odindiscoveringrunes

 

His Quest to master Ecstasy
and gain Valhalla’s apogee
drove Odin’s cryptic sacrifice
by hanging on the famed world tree.

He spent nine days near his demise
so he could glean the runes, grow wise.
The words revealed life’s paradox —
a man reborn can conquer vice.

Without an act, thought opens locks;
by changing view, new fortune knocks.
While being still, a path appears
and tosses loss upon the rocks.

His mind had shed his former fears
by seeing life in sets of tiers
to know all life is joined, adheres
to other life as earth to spheres.

© Gay Reiser Cannon * 02.11.15. All Rights Reserved

Free|Form

Argument for Free Verse                                                 Argument for Form

And then
you let it flow.
It’s easy-like, just think!
You write your gut, what aches down deep,
take off the chains of form, of rhyme, of beat–
write free! Get rid of rules that tell
you what to say in rhyme,
that orders feet.
Ascend!

Immerse
yourself in form;
let rhyme yield memories.
Compose set-time to bring to life
the musicality of images.
Experience the thrill of sounds
that rush the wind with fire
of metaphors
and verse.

Throw out
ideas of form,
the last resort of those
who have no passion of their own —
those youth who haven’t lived or aged shades
still hanging on to dreams of art.
It’s time to break the rules.
Authenticate
with clout!

So bored
with this drum roll!
These cries of lazy minds
that choose to vomit words, then serve
up prose disguised as ugly poetry,
refuse to learn their craft, refine
their lines,  deride the skilled
with angry, strong
discord.

To praise
ideals in form,
hide –bound to metered rhyme
obscures reality. The scars
of life, the wars of hurt, the private angst
that teaches strength, that burns the soul
inflames our minds — become
the howl, the source
of rage.

To smooth
the furrows out,
reduce to essences,
extract the purest feelings with 
the finest words that spring from ironies,
analogies in praise, despair
or passion’s depths. The goal’s
to sing  and plumb
for truth.

© Gay Reiser Cannon * 9.24.14 * All Rights Reserved
Both sides written in the © Quarrel Form (or Falling Diamonds) that I invented and am using as a challenge at dVerse Poets Pub for Meeting the Bar

The Symphony of Me

Chicago_Symphony_Orchestra_2005

It begins allegro vivace ending in a lonely oboe solo.
The stage is strewn with Marguerites.
The opening movement begins in sets of call-responses in G major.
In sonata form, it advances to a minor key played by strings,
rising to a frantic crescendo then culminating by the repeat of that plaintive oboe.

The second movement continues in lilting 6/8 waltz time,
a melody having a lazy dreaminess shifting in and out of keys in major and minor;
midway through, the tempo changes to a set of quick mood swings.
The latter part takes up themes from the first movement once again changing keys.
Built with clarity and steady rhythms the closing melody shines sublime.

The third section sings in andante cantabile, a fugato of four voices:
a constant swirling and weaving of themes, each voice expressing different things.
Each playing in counterpoint to the others but the whole accelerating to a Viennese.
The figures circle then return to andante, each song highlighted in razor
sharp relief before being united one last time as the woodwinds and brass rejoices.

The last section, a haunting largo piece, hearkens nature’s sounds.
Beginning with bassoons then clarinets to mimic mockingbirds and parakeets;
the melody returns to the initial plaintive tune as each motif is like a treasure.
The rise and falls are like sun and moon, the turns, rotations; the starts and endings–
lullabies dissolve into strains that arc to triple forte, a conclusion of leaps and bounds.

© Gay Reiser Cannon * 9.11.2014 * All Rights Reserved
Posted for d’Verse Poets hosted today by Karin Gustafson. The prompt is an extended metaphor.

The Hierophant (Tenzin Gyatso, 14th Dalai Lama)

Dalai Lama © Huffington Post

Dalai Lama © Huffington Post

Each act reveals life’s joy and peace.
His lotus smile can open hearts.
He walks among earth’s souls on streets
hard paved with strife, abuse, and loss.

His destiny displaced by greed;
his acts reveal life’s joy and peace.
He understands despair and grief;
his reassurance grants release.

Through dialogue and expertise
with metaphors, in saffron robes,
his acts reveal life’s joy and peace.
By simple words his truth unfolds:

With love, compassion, caring try
to find life’s commonalities.
By making friends and being kind,
each act reveals life’s joy and peace.

(paraphrase of the Dalai Lama’s words)
© Gay Reiser Cannon * 8.14.14 * All Rights Reserved

Countess of Strength

Vittorio Emanuele II Monument in Venice

for Sophia Michelle

Beside her phantom lion she surveys
her vast domain; its lurking dangers stilled.
She summons her abilities and waits.
A Countess whose reserves of strength and will
have earned respect from all whom she has met.
Her carriage and her mien disclose her aim
to care, protect and act, without regret,
against those foes who would attack her claim.
Her family prepared her for great tasks.
They nurtured confidence through each success.
She flourished as she grew; she never lacks
the grace to share her strength through skilled finesse.
A paragon of womanhood, she stands
a citadel of courage, heart and hands.

© Gay Reiser Cannon * 7.14.2014 * All Rights Reserved

Metamorphosis

Metamorphosis

For Tim

In my vision you emerge from a fire,
a forest incandescent around you.
The flames purify your truth to essence
revealing there your regeneration.

A forest incandescent around you
transforms to shaded havens for new thought,
revealing your new regeneration
with its shining cleansed spiritual youth.

You grant a shaded haven of new thought
that buoys the ones you need to love and teach.
They’re swayed by your cleansed spiritual youth
but you remain aloof, beyond their reach.

They wait, the ones you need to love and teach,
for you to inform and give them license.
They yearn to reunite with you now they’ve
seen flames purify your truth to essence.

The time has come to bestow your license,
allow truth to imbue their spirits too.
That which revealed your regeneration
now radiates through them in its brilliance.

© Gay Reiser Cannon * 6.19.2014* All Rights Reserved

Of Age and Spring

Thinning Live Oak Trees in my front yard. Photo by me taken 3.29.14

Thready, bare limbs, a few scant leaves hold fast.
Live Oaks, near stripped of leaves, their neighbors fill.
I pray that drought, neglect won’t spur demise.
Majestic guards who welcome guests with shade
throughout each year, repelling frost and sun.
To lose them now when they are needed most
would change my home, and wound my caring self.

We age like that– a halting step, dark spots
a brush that fills with hair, split nails.
We want the sun but fear a fall, a chill.
Then Spring comes in with fragrant flowered breath
And we arise to wave our arms and dance.
In rainbow shirts we frolic in the park
We braid our hair with daisies and we sing!

© Gay Reiser Cannon * 3.29.2014

A Skating Mother’s Journey to the Olympics

deathspiraldallasnations2003

Only a mother knows that dedication
Rising before four, often new rinks, new places;
things you need for the drive and the practice.
In those days, not one pair of skates but
two – start with figures (patch) skating turns with precision.

Your skater alert at last, changes boots, jackets, other things;
on to free style and then repeat, pay for ice,
drive back hoping that rush traffic doesn’t cut
you off; you glance over, see him as he traces
on his bookcover –brackets, threes on olympic rings.

Later on partners, new coaches – rush, delay
waiting on costumes, new blades, shaking but-
terflies before he skates then races
over to find out the results, meeting your eyes
with his looks of satisfaction or fierce dismay.

Decisions, money, time, travel, loss and gain
I know the competion rungs, the tarnish and the graces.
I’ve felt the courage, the joy, the hurt and anger disguised
with smiles, fists in gloves inside pockets – clenched shut.
Finally they open, ready to give him control over that joy and pain.

© Gay Reiser Cannon * 2014 * All Rights Reserved
This poem is a Karousel (so appropriate for a sport that goes round and round and round).
The form was invented by David James and his article can be found here.
I am posting for d’Versepoets today on OpenLinkNight

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.”