with a pantoum....
A Gray Stillness Founda spell of gray morningwarmer after the cold frontdesires stirred by a silent callingwaiting for springwarmer after the cold fronta day of passage I findwaiting for springa dream longing for the suna day of passage I findthe journey of shadowsa dream longing for the sunmelting into heartfelt desiresthe journey of shadowsalong the road where I live and diemelting into heartfelt desiresas this winter unwindsalong the road where I live and diesilent conversations with untold spiritsas this winter unwindsa calling of timesilent conversations with untold spiritsthe silent songa calling of timein a moment, an eternity of desires
The next poem is not a pantoum. Instead, it evokes winter in a Midwestern park.
A Winter Day at the Prairie Preserve
Golden prairie grasses standing still
surround a frozen pond at the edge of town.
Misty skies of a winter day cast a spell
cutting through my thin gloves,
and I feel a chill run through me.
I feel the weight of a change of weather
after a brief thaw in January.
Stillness in the air speaks of life and death
on an ageless land where I hold my sign.
Distant headlights cut through the haze
as omens when I look down the road.
People in passing cars wave
as if long-lost friends,
the women and children
the golden retriever sticking his head
out an open window,
and I feel a sense of longing
for a life I once had.
In solitude I hold secret conversations
with spirits in the air.
Gaggles of squawking geese
hold conversations echoing around me.
Entwined formations swirl
creating a cloud in the sky
until they land on the frozen pond and stay.
A woman with a red coat in the haze
walks alone on a path next to the pond
and over a patch of ice,
arms slightly outstretched to her side
like wings of a bird.
Mike Bayles, a lifelong Midwest resident, writes poetry about human connections with nature and rural settings, and connections with each other. He is the author of three books of poetry: The Harbor I Seek, The Rabbit House and Threshold. Threshold won the 2013 Book of the Year Award from Rockford Writers' Guild. WVIK, Augustana Public Radio, has featured his writing.
Thank you, Mary Jo, for introducing Mike to me, and thank you, Angelee, for letting us know about the poetry challenge where we met.
Let's finish with a little music.
We'll start with the Mulgrew Miller Trio's version of "Skylark," performed at the Kennedy Center: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IduqNOye7x4
Here they play "What a Difference a Day Makes." It's not necessarily a song about the transition from winter to spring, but it will do!
I'm switching gears a little bit, but I read about harpist Brandee Younger the other day, and I wanted to post some of her music.
Here she and her trio play "Games," a song that Dorothy Ashby included in her remarkable album Soul Harping: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-_ZgcfZC5y0
Younger also composes her own work. Here is her "Respected Destroyer": https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DuBYVDtVfOU