The Last Prompt of April

April Prompt the Last

Ray’s #5: a tour of the alchemist’s garden

 

A TOUR OF THE ALCHEMIST’S GARDEN

 

Immortality, they call it,

silver against green in spring,

again when the maples turn.

 

All gold is contained

here:  Mary’s gold.

So easy.

 

Do you understand

the bitter of parsley?

The twinge of sage?

 

These nettles

draw their power

from the bottom of the sea.

 

In the dark soil

beneath this tomato vine

the cave of a tiny dragon.

 

Feed stones to the roses.

Blood to the greens.

Shells and bones to everyone.

 

Each bean pod,

each pea pod–

a nest of homunculi.

 

Every spoonful of soil

a constellation

of worlds.

 

Carrots gather

underground. That’s where

the light congeals.

The Penultimate April Prompt

April Prompt #29

Janice’s #4: Black sheep of the family

 

I HAVE WOOL

 

Leftovers from mittenwork:

red, purple, orange, green.

Brown tweed, midnight blue,

pale blue, marled blue ends

of sweaterings for son, daughter-in-law,

and the small dog.

Soft green slub for the baby.

 

Two full skeins of self-striping.

Five skeins of fine sock yarn

colored like semi-precious stones:

aquamarine, amethyst, lapis lazuli.

Strange yarns for bead crochet:

metallic silver, twisted yellow,

variegated miseries.

 

Two skeins of homespun:

one that mother spun from the wool

of the sheep that she and dad

kept awhile, one coarse and thick

that I spun from a greasy fleece

and the hair of a dog I loved

back when I thought I could do anything.

April Prompts: Number 28

April Prompts #28

Kari’s #1:  A gastronomic delight

WHAT THEY EAT

~for Mouawia

The blessed souls in Paradise–

that garden where one can eat

of the fruit of any tree but one–

eat figs.

Picked ripe,

dried soft and seedful,

sliced wide to hold rich

walnut halves,

toothsome, gold. On each

a dribble of

tahini,

richer, barely bitter.

The blessed souls partake

with crunch and glide,

immortal tongues

and throats full satisfied.

The blessed lick

their fingers clean, and sigh.

April Prompts #27

Twenty seven down, three to go.

 

April Prompts #27

Janice’s #2:  I am a musical instrument

RIDDLE

 

I am old. Christ, I’m old. No one knows my home.

I’ve sung in cloisters and begged on the streets.

I’ve sung with the blind and danced with the poor.

At Compostela they carved me in stone.

I’ve been played by angels and skeletons.

Bosch set me down in his horrible garden,

vision of vice and lust and damnation.

I followed the peasants to town, helped them drown

their longings in wine. Churned by girls I sold

flywhisks and brooms. Tangents and tuners, bridges

and pegs, little chien in his shaky home.

My voice is harsh and sweet. I squeal and moan.

 

My wheel, like the wheel of the world, turns round

while my keys clack down and my strings resound.

April Prompt #26

April Prompts #26

Mary’s # 2: Eulogy for an imaginary pet

 

EULOGY FOR ANGELICA

 

She loved everyone she met,

and me the most of all.

 

When I sat writing,

she perched on my shoulder.

 

When I stood singing,

she hummed in harmony.

 

In the forest or along the shore

she danced around my feet.

 

The light made rainbows

on her back; rain

 

ran golden above her head.

Her purple eyes were wise.

 

Never have I touched fur so soft,

or heard a song so sweet.

 

Now her shadow must follow me,

her music must lead me on.

April Prompts #25

April Prompts #25

Kari’s #3:  people with animal or insect characteristics

 

HOARDINGS

 

Under the eaves,

in an abandoned robin’s nest,

a flying squirrel stashes mushrooms.

 

Chipmunks carry acorns,

sunflower seeds, kernels of corn

to hoard in their holes under the garage.

 

Cherry pits

in the mitten basket,

behind the cookbooks.

 

Between the rafters

dog kibble

piled in fiberglass nests.

 

In the freezer,

blueberries and broccoli,

applesauce and greens.

 

On the shelves,

jars of pickles, pails of honey,

bottles of water, cans of beans.

April Prompts: Number 24

April Prompts #24

David’s #3:  Explain how you got here

 

HOW WE GOT HERE

 

Some of us came from the Red Sea

and some from the steppes.

We lighted fires wherever we went.

I remember the Zagros Mountains,

the shores of the Black Sea,

the dark caves in the high hills.

 

Sometimes we walked by walls of ice,

sometimes we slept in trees.

We were hungry,  and hunted.

We were frightened at night.

We were frightened of anything

we did not comprehend.

 

We made patterns on the ground.

We made pictures in the stars.

We made pictures on the stones.

We told stories to make us brave.

We sang to make us braver.

Our children are full of our songs.