response in reverse to Auden’s “A Walk After Dark”

we find our minds turned
to minor categorizing, as of birds
or stars, planets, plants—
though we still would count ourselves young
we discover how set in our ways
and full enough of age

overfull of death and decay
(the broken always with us)
as another crisis enwraps the world—
we want to feel and do more
with no guilt about it
or being called hypocrite by the young

or worse, a Victorian, having passed
beyond the ability to impress them
with our decent, ordered lives—
so I find at dinner nothing
but exhausted, plummeting defeat
more clouds in the forecast

Playing with today’s prompt from NaPoWriMo.net. I used only the first three stanzas of Auden’s poem.

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pneuma

what is the spirit? how you felt
exhilarated in the rain and wind
that one time, you were ten
and traveling, you knew
actual magic
*
you must bring it
the yoga teacher says
no one else can
find those places
of either hurt or release
*
in ancient Greek, I’m told
pneuma, verily only
the stuff of life
which blows
over all our heads
*
true dark skies last summer
Milky Way and eclipsed sun

beyond earth’s wind
beyond need for meaning

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in a dark place

you make the god you want, not of gold
or even paper, but green-warm earth—hail
it as something gifted from the blue.

what is your church? but this slate blue
mountain, bare slopes, trees brushed soft gold,
solitude, song; or fall’s sharp wind, rain, hail,

snow silence. eyes closed, face lifted to hail
pilgrim thought. no room for guilt in sky’s blue:
if the soul lights, burns ember-gold—

I am. (gold-hail prayer in this blue)

Thanks to Christine for the three tritina words.

on the end of poetry

(lakeside)

and it turns out water
is only water. it may slosh
and splash, undulate, crash
and okay, sparkle, shimmer
gleam gold. or gray
in shadow, green in light
right down to the rocks
it caresses, rounding
here, near the shore—
or out there, sucking sand.
see, the dog will flail and swim
kicking up white froth, biting hard
at each wave (they never cease)
long tongue licking water
long-legged deliberate splash.
(no creature more prosaic
than a dog) so here I sit, done
with words. why bother noting
it dazzles? the boats drone on
and past, in deeper blue
seagulls scatter