Thursday, December 22, 2016

Untitled (Heaven's Gate)

"Untitled" (North) 1993 Felix Gonzalez-Torres

Untitled (Heaven's Gate)

Michigan's elusive Northern Lights
dance and dazzle night's star-studded sky;
a phenomenon I've witnessed a few times
and felt as if Heaven's gate was opening.

Mountain mornings are much quieter, more calming.
Through a veil of mist I see a cascading waterfall freeze
posing statuesque upon the steep rock face
outside my kitchen window and black capped chickadees
my feeder's sole visitors snipping and sniping at one another
even though there is plentiful seed for all.  The window
bars all sound, makes it appear as if they are performing
an intricate ballet just for me - their backdrop
a sloping forest of rhododendrons, leaves curled
and hunched retreating into their secret world

as have I; winter seems to do that.
Neighbors hunker into jackets, hurry by with their dogs
or leave altogether for warmer parts.
I guess I'm some sort of Snowbird as well;
still consider myself a Northerner; scoff when others
think its cold; tell them tales of real snow, wind, ice,
but hold my tongue when at night, alone or with my love
high atop a blue ridge mountain gazing at the stars,
feel as if once again, I'm standing before Heaven's gate
and realize life's journey will end one day,
will greet us all no matter where we are and, I hope,
look something like this.

by Margaret Bednar, December 22, 2016

This is linked with "Imaginary Garden with Real Toads - A Skyflower Friday - Felix Gonzalez-Torres  "- take his method of title and take a cue from 'issues of identity, desire, originality, loss, or the metaphor of journey'

13 comments:

Kerry O'Connor said...

leaves curled
and hunched retreating into their secret world

as have I

I like the way you phrased these lines and allowed the idea to flow to the next stanza. You recreate a sense of place so very well in your description. The reader feels a part of the scene.

Sherry Blue Sky said...

Margaret, this is a beautiful read. You immersed me in night sky, stars, and that image of heaven's gate, which I believe must be ablaze with stars. Wonderful to read this!

Rommy said...

This is a magical description of a winter's night. I really enjoyed it.

brudberg said...

I can only imagine how wonderful it is to be captured in such beauty... the connection between the coldness and death makes the end seems attractive.

Martin Kloess said...

Who wouldn't want to greet the wonderful picture you painted.
Thank you

Sanaa Rizvi said...

This is such a beautiful, tender and mesmerizing write, Margaret❤️

Kim Russell said...

You've transported me all the way from the North Norfolk coast to your home in Michigan, Margaret, with your closely observed descriptions. I love the way you move from the expanse of the opening lines to the more intimate, familiar, everyday (though not for me!) landscape:

'Mountain mornings are much quieter, more calming.
Through a veil of mist I see a cascading waterfall freeze
posing statuesque upon the steep rock face
outside my kitchen window and black capped chickadees
my feeder's sole visitors snipping and sniping at one another
even though there is plentiful seed for all...

and the presence of neighbours who 'hunker into jackets, hurry by with their dogs' bring the scene even closer to me.

Gillena Cox said...

A star-studded Heavens Gate, pretty inviting

much love...

angieinspired said...

definitely not a minimalist form here Margaret. Death is nothing new, but it is for each of us.

howanxious said...

Despite of the cold or may be because of it, there's beauty and warmth in the picture that you paint through your words. From the freezing waterfall to the ballet of the birds and the background of rhododendrons, it's alive and picturesque. The progression of the poem towards the journey of life is beautifully wrought. A refreshing read. :-)
-HA

kaykuala said...

atop a blue ridge mountain gazing at the stars,
feel as if once again,
I'm standing before Heaven's gate

So much to look forward to and so much to be part of that it helps forget the inevitable! Wonderful take Marge!

Hank

Debi Swim said...

I'd love to see the northern lights in person. Beautiful poem.

Jennifer Wagner said...

This is sigh-worthy. Wonderful poem.