For Vincent van Gogh

van_gogh_self-portrait_with_straw_hat_1887-metropolitan

Life is suffering,
Every day a struggle,
Tormented from within and without
Compulsed to share visions
No one else can see,
To paint portraits of a turbulent world
Through the lens of a turbulent mind
On a luminescent night in Provence
Shimmering Venus and Ares framed
By the Asylum window,
An ecstatic celebration of life,
Ever moving; never resting,
Using pigments of agony, anguish and madness,
Transmuting lead into gold,
Depression into sunflowers,
Tragedy into beauty,
Brief breath of life into immortality.

3/30/17 (Vincent’s 164th Birthday)

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Pictures

  • Self-Portrait with Straw Hat (Paris, Winter 1887/88) by Vincent van Gogh
  • The Starry Night (Saint-Rémy-de-Provence, 1889) by Vincent van Gogh
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The Promise of the Runes

 

sleipnir

Looking at reflections in jagged shards
of a shattered mirror,
The fall of twilight’s shadow
grows ever nearer,
But when you see the reaping angel
There’s no real reason to fear her.
Remember the words and visions
of the blind Nordic seer
The promises made of runes
sworn on the life of Sleipnir:
Bridges will burn, stars will fall,
Witness it with your own eyes.
Life wanes, blood flows,
Darkness alone fills the skies.
Smoke will settle, the fires cool,
And the Sun will once again rise.

3/29/17

Note: Sleipnir is pronounced “Slayp-near”

Image:  Sleipnir, Odin’s eight-legged horse by Mike Craghead

Reflected Light

Sunlight reflects off the Moon,
Making her glow in the dark of the night.
Moonlight sparkles diamonds on the water,
Flickering lights in her eyes,
Walking romantic on the beach.

3/28/17

Sunlight (Haiku)

Sunlight creates life
Life starts and ends in darkness
Everything born dies

3/27/17

This Haiku is in response to Colleen’s Weekly #Poetry Challenge # 27 – “Light & Dark”

This may actually be considered more of a Senryu than a Haiku, but I’m calling it a Haiku for now.

Casting Shadows (Tanka)

Light banishes dark
Casting shadows on the floor
Creating darkness
The light dims, the shadows grow
Darkness banishes the light.

3-27-17

This Tanka is in response to Colleen’s Weekly #Poetry Challenge # 27 – “Light & Dark”

Inhabitants of Níu Heimar: Alternate Versions (Haiku)

You might consider these “outtakes” or alternate versions of yesterday’s haiku, Inhabitants of Níu Heimar. I’m honestly not sure which of the three I like best.

Alternate Version #1

Æsir, Vanir; Men
Ælfar, Dvergar; Jötnar
Nifl, Muspel; Hel

Alternate Version #2

Æsir, Vanir; Men
Ælfar, Dvergar; Jötnar
Mist, Fire, and Hel

Pronunciations:
Níu Heimar = Nyew Haym-ar (The Nine Worlds)
Æsir = Eye-seer
Vanir = Va-neer
Ælfar = Ale-far (aka Elves)
Dvergar = De-ver-gar (aka Dwarves)
Jötnar = Yote-nar (aka Giants)
Nifl = Nif-uhl (Mist/Fog)
Muspel = Mus-pel (Original meaning unknown. See more here and here).

Inhabitants of Níu Heimar (Haiku)

Æsir, Vanir; Men
Ælfar, Svartælfar; Jötnar
Fog, Fire, and Hel

2-22-17

Note: There are two alternate versions of this Haiku.

Pronunciation Key:
Níu Heimar = Nyew Haym-ar (The Nine Worlds)
Æsir = Eye-seer
Vanir = Va-neer
Ælfar = Ale-far (aka Elves)
Svartælfar = svart-ale-far (aka Dvergar/Dwarves)
Jötnar = Yote-nar (aka Giants)

Týr

tyr_and_fenrir-john_bauer

Tīwaz Tīw Týr
One handed war god,
Guardian of Justice and Law,
Gave the Wolf his right hand
As compensation for damages
When he was, by the gods, with Gleipnir bound.

Deywoz Tīwaz Tīw
Dīu Dyeus Zeus

Sky-father reigning before the Alföðr
As Tuesday precedes Wednesday,
A shining sky given over to
The one-eyed warrior poet
And the working-class thunder-clap.

Tīwaz Tvaṣṭṛ Tiwisko
Tius Tio Tuisto
Son of Earth and Sky,
Father of man,
Grandfather of Germans, Goths and Norse,
Angles, Saxons and Jutes,
Danes, Norwegians and Swedes.

And when twilight time falls,
Gleipnir broken; Wōđanaz swallowed whole,
Wolf-children murder the Sun and Moon,
While the one-handed warrior’s laid low
By Hel’s hound, Garmr.

2/23/17

Pronunciation key:
Tīwaz = Two-az
Tīw = Two
Týr = Tear
Gleipnir = Glayp-near

926px-tiwaz_rune-svgDeywoz = Day-woz
Dīu = Dee-you
Dyeus = Day-yoose
Zeus = Zoose
Alföðr = All-father
Tvaṣṭṛ = T-vast-ar
Tiwisko = Two-iss-ko
Tius = Tee-us
Tio = Tee-o
Tuisto = Two-iss-to
Wōđanaz = Woe-than-az (th as in “this”)
Garmr = gar-mur

Image: ‘Tyr and Fenrir’ (1911) by John Bauer (1882–1918). Found on WikiMedia Commons.

Its All Poetry to Me

Rhymed or un-rhymed
Formal or informal
Metered or free.
Long or short
Macro or micro
Its all still poetry to me

Personal and Confessional
Made up and Mythological
Literal or metaphorically.
Verse or Prose
Sung or spoken
Its all still poetry to me

Haiku or sonnet
Tanka or villanelle
Romance or philosophy.
Epic or mundane
Serious or not
Its all still poetry to me.

3/22/17

Where did it go?

Where did it all go,
Day by day in steady flow,
Swept away by the river’s currents
Lifeguard warnings are poor deterrents,
Yesterday a baby on my knee
Content, ignorant of your destiny.
If you’d known, could you’ve changed it?
If able, would you’ve exchanged it?

Did you know it would end this way,
Dread the coming of this wicked day,
When your mother Frigg’s tears wept,
As your body the undertaker prepped?

3/20/17