Wednesday, January 26, 2022

Shadow Dancing

Between the shadows and the light

sunless days and sleepless nights

experience has taught me well;

but in the chill of the unknown

it’s difficult to walk alone,

I’ve clawed my way through certain hell.

Life’s thrown us both a punch or two

and made us leery in our quest;

it’s difficult at any age

to stare upon an empty page,

not quite knowing what comes next.

Illuminate me with your words,

let their light pour down on me

unfettered and undeterred,

I revel in their honesty.

We each come from a storied past

and both of us have tales to tell,

they’ve shaped us into who we are

much more than just some empty shell

Back and forth with words we volley,

the ball is firmly in your court—

perhaps it’s more than some fool’s folly

though neither really can be sure,

with trepidation we tread lightly

inside our rhymes and metaphor.


© Ginny Brannan 2022

Tuesday, January 25, 2022

The “Truth” in Advertising

Obscured within the subtle views

of needful things that tempt desire

no outward signs, no hidden clues

that what is seen is just a ruse.

But camouflaged inside the lie

the hidden clause, the sharpened teeth.

How clever then the cunning man

who plays this game of hide and seek,

of bait and switch because he can;

who mixes just a hint of truth

to prey upon the unsuspecting?

Present knowledge notwithstanding—

for if we’d known, would we still choose?

Deception clouds our understanding,

for one to win, then one must lose.

© Ginny Brannan 2022

Tuesday, January 18, 2022

On the Eve of the Wolf Moon

 “By the full moon’s light our desires we know.
By the waning quarter we ebb and flow…”
— Unknown 

The moon, our ever-constant companion, mysterious light in the darkness… goddess, night traveler, ruler of oceans— nearly all civilizations from ancient to modern have been captivated by you, following you, reveliing in your story. Cerridwen, Luna, Artemis, Selene, known by these and so many other names. Even our Native Americans had titles for the you— Wolf Moon, Snow Moon, Corn Moon, Hunter’s Moon—in your cycles through the heavens ruling the months and seasons. We gaze at you from afar, shadowing you, observing your transformation as you recede past full and transition into final quarter. Though you are slowly waning, your light still shines brighter than all of the other lights in the night sky. And as you transform, so your dominance on nature evolves with you. Even the mighty oceans and seas bend to your influence: the tides slipping now to Neap phase— a time of balance, a time of least difference between high and low water. Is it any wonder that we humans—who are composed of 77% water—may be governed by your changes as well; that your lunar body may indeed play a critical role in the tides of our consciousness?

We sense your changes deep in our souls. This is a time of releasing, a time of forgiveness, a time of cleaning up; of putting everything back into place and letting go of the emotional intensity of previous weeks.  During this disseminating phase the time arrives for us to reap the rewards of a job well done with celebration and accolade. As writers, we intuitively sense these cosmic changes deep within our being.  We reflect on them and are drawn to share them in our words—perhaps in the sharing to better understand the shifts and rifts, the effects of these changes inside us;  or perhaps to allow us to open our hearts and minds, discovering the pathways of our own release.  I know the allure, the call of your waning moon, have felt your invitation to release the pain of the past through words that rise from deep within me. And I have found myself adrift, caught in your Neap phase: a limbo with no “high” no “low,” lost somewhere between the ebb and flow.  

Oh pale-faced Huntress of Souls, we feel your command, convergence, confluence— with all of our being. You shine on the pathways our consciousness, and in your waning light we come to understand that all things have a season, and that all that fades will again be reborn.




Re: quote at beginning: it is an excerpt of a longer poem I discovered in my research. Sharing full poem below.  Credited to ‘Unknown’ author.  Here it is in full: 

Bide by the moon, follow her glow,
By the light of the new we renew and grow.
By the waxing quarter our determination shows,
By the full moon’s light our desires we know.
By the waning quarter we ebb and flow,
By the dark moon’s presence we return what we’ve sown.
Bide by the moon,
Follow her glow.


      *Chapter 7 Intro, Last Quarter Moon, 2016 "Poetry as a Spiritual Practice, Illuminating the Awakened Woman"

Monday, January 17, 2022

Bows and Strings


The fiddle player plays her tune

under violescent sky,

enrapt inside each note she plays

the player gently rocks and sways

and as the song grows more intense

she taps her toes, kicks up her heels

awakened by the bow and string

blithe inner-spirit now revealed.

For music calls our very soul

it lifts the weary when we’re low

it fells the dark that lives within

to heal; to make us whole again.

So is it really happenstance,

some ancient rite, forgotten lore;

or could it be the song and dance

that whispers to our very core

and lives inside us, evermore.


© Ginny Brannan 2022

"Challenged" by an Irish friend to write a poem that included the word fiddle, reveal and violescent, a word I'd never used but means as it sounds! 

Image: Máiréad Nesbitt Fiddle player from Celtic Woman

Saturday, January 15, 2022

Winter Castings


Image: C. Parant Appetite for Photos

I feel the chill of winter days 

it seeps through skin, infects the bones;

weighing heavy on the weak;

it leaves the weary to atone.

High on a hill, a leafless tree

stands by itself, a sentry,

the arctic blast seeks out its limbs

as much the same, it seeks my own.

The words don’t come so easily

perhaps I wallow in illusion

this hope of being whole again

nothing but a sad delusion.

Pip, pip, dear friends, stiff upper lip!

Such fear and angst are overblown!

The hollow echo of the wind

blows through the chambers, deep within,

reverberates now empty halls;

Yet no one hears the background noise

for each is busy with their own,

and I, I stand against the wind

and like the tree, I stand alone.


©Ginny Brannan 2022

Image: C.Parant, Used with permission.

Wednesday, January 5, 2022

To "Slant" or Not to "Slant," That is the Question...

You’ve interjected that use of “slant rhyme”

is just excuse for those who “can’t rhyme”’

yet I will disagree

for I like subtlety

it pleases me more than your “rant” rhyme


While you say that tight rhyme is the best

and so clearly you’ve voiced your protest

the way that I see it

both are exquisite

a choice that the writer elects.


Poets Dickinson, Shakespeare and Yeats

who have rose to the realm of the greats

in their words we will find

a choice of slant rhyme

and that is but just a small taste


I truly mean no disrespect

yet please, if I may interject

that tight rhyme of course

is just fine if not forced

I prefer my own rhyme less direct.

© Ginny Brannan 2022

I follow a prolific writer of limericks in another state, who has the fine ability to share humor, politics, and daily life all in the format of a 5 line limerick. I am no Limerick writer, but I came across one of her recent limericks that had strong opinion on exact rhyme vs. slant, in part saying using slant "just means that you can't rhyme".  I have my own strong opinions on this, so here is my reply. Perhaps you can find the slant rhymes that I've interspersed in it.

For those who wonder what slant is, it is a more subtle form of rhyme that sounds like a word but is not exact, ie one of the more famous, Emily Dickinson's "Hope", the slant here is "soul" and "all." Not exact rhyme, but I can't imagine a more perfect poem!



Saturday, January 1, 2022

The Hands We're Dealt


I watched the battles that you faced

as each infection raged inside,

each piece it threatened to erase

while playing games of seek and hide.

We’d grow complacent as it slept

as weeks and months began to pass,

and as they started to accrue

we’d hoped the devil got his due.

And yet with every bout you faced

that ate away at life and limb,

each new piece that it erased

held recuperation slim.

You stood up to adversity

and fought your battles steadfastly,

and faced the enemy with pride,

but every time you rode the storm

you came back home a little less

nothing seemed to stem the tide.

I mourned for all that you had lost;

it’s difficult, but I’ll confess

that everything exacts a cost.

I watched you struggling from within

but fight you did, right to the end..

I’m sorry for the times I lied

as I watched the monster grow

and told you that you’d be okay,

you’d live to duel another day.

It’s only now I can confide

that with each new morsel it consumed

the more it ate, the more I prayed;

but in the place where faith resides

another piece of me would die.

     * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

I share a face that I have honed

borne from the hands that I’ve been dealt—

to what end should I admit

to all the things that I regret? 

I’ll share instead the legacy

of those I carry in my heart;

it’s said that when we say their name

is when they come alive again:

once more to walk this earthly plain

and know their lives were not in vain.

© Ginny Brannan 2022

For my Ray, who never complained, and 'kept the faith' for us both.