Sunday, March 6, 2016

Mike Bayles Finishes Up the Fall/Winter Contests....

with a pantoum....

A Gray Stillness Found

a spell of gray morning
warmer after the cold front
desires stirred by a silent calling
waiting for spring

warmer after the cold front
a day of passage I find
waiting for spring
a dream longing for the sun

a day of passage I find
the journey of shadows
a dream longing for the sun
melting into heartfelt desires

the journey of shadows
along the road where I live and die
melting into heartfelt desires
as this winter unwinds

along the road where I live and die
silent conversations with untold spirits
as this winter unwinds
a calling of time

silent conversations with untold spirits
the silent song
a calling of time
in 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:

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:

Younger also composes her own work.  Here is her "Respected Destroyer":

1 comment:

  1. Mike,
    How terrific to see your work up here. I really enjoyed reading the poems all over again.

    Thank you Marianne and Mike.