Friday, March 30, 2018

"Morgan le Fay Haunts Evergreen Park" by Sylvia Cavanaugh

Songs of Eretz Poetry Review is pleased to present “Morgan le Fay Haunts Evergreen Park” by Sylvia Cavanaugh. Cavanaugh has an M.S. in Urban Planning from the University of Wisconsin, teaches high school African and Asian cultural studies, and advises break-dancers and poets. She and her students are actively involved in the Sheboygan chapter of 100,000 Poets for Change.

Cavanaugh’s poems have appeared in numerous literary journals and anthologies.  She is a contributing editor for Verse-Virtual: An Online Community Journal of Poetry.  Finishing Lines Press published her chapbook, “Staring Through My Eyes,” and Kelsay Books will publish her second chapbook, “Angular Embrace,” in April. You can find more of Sylvia’s poetry at https://sylviacavanaugh.com/.  Cavanaugh originally hails from Pennsylvania.

Morgan le Fay Haunts Evergreen Park
Sylvia Cavanaugh

"Oblivious" Ink and Watercolor on Paper
By J. Artemus Gordon
Streaks of pale sand
salt the memory
nested in horizons 
of dark organic soil

12,000 years and counting
these sloping swells might be old dunes
or fossilized waves
swollen to the crest

they used to say she dwelt
to the west
across the ocean

could our glacier
have been her crystal
carved palace

German immigrants 
with 1848 ideals
may have sensed this
from their own
nearly forgotten folklore 
even before they stepped foot
in Sheboygan

today Georgia and I pretend
to read omens 
in the winding word
of an unnamed stream
fallen sticks create eddies
we seek to be edified as rushing
water spills secrets
into the hollow behind stones
we listen closely
but can’t yet decipher 

the sweetwater sea 
has long since retreated
from this upland park
I need to find a wild apple tree
it may be all that’s left 
of sorcery

Poet’s Notes:  It seems that sometimes there is not enough magic. Although our ancestors lived and breathed it, we are left somewhat adrift in the modern world of technology. I feel as though encounters with nature may be the closest we can come to magic these days if we remain open to its many spells.

Editor’s Note:  This poem has many good moments.  I particularly like the concept of the Wisconsin Glacier as the palace of an evil queen.  The charming side narrative of the speaker and her friend or child or niece Georgia is, well, charming.  The idea that our world once contained magic and that now the magic is gone (and perhaps replaced by technology as implied here) creates a sad longing in the reader.  The pun on "eddies" is nicely done, too. 

Artist's Note: I recently had the opportunity to try an Oculus Rift, and the experience was magical. However, we should all do our best not to forget the magic of nature.

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