Mercury – Retrograde

Of course I am late with poetry practice! It’s lunchtime and I’ve lost sleep overnight with the feverish cold and sinus infection that blossomed over the Sabbath. For different reasons, like Jeffrey Bernard (RIP), I am unwell. Unlike Mr. Bernard, I have no substitute article to run. Besides, it would feel like cheating. I am wrapped up warm with my laptop in bed. Let’s just leave it at a slight disruption of normal services. Which is a foreshadowing of the astrological phenominum known as Mercury Retrograde.

Of course, no planet’s orbit ever does turn back on itself. It’s just an optical illusion from our point of view on earth. However, astrologers have collected enough data to now correlate certain circumstances happening when Mercury goes retrograde. These include: technological breakdowns and glitches, transport snarls and hold ups, messages get mixed up, weather events that create stoppages. Mercury mayhem. We are advised not to buy cars, major appliances, or sign contracts during the three weeks when Mercury is retrograde three times a year.

On a more positive note, it is said to be good for anything that begins with ‘re-‘ – rewind, review, revisit, remember, requite. Editting old poems is an activity that should be well-starred.

However, there are additional weeks that foreshadow this mini-era of gremlins, tricksters and general frustrators. In 2019, I counted up twenty-five weeks out of the fifty-two that involves the run up and playing out of Mercury retrograde. And the foreshadowing of 2019’s first Mercury retrograde technically begins tomorrow. But I have seen some foreshadowing already in my inability to access some websites. The real McCoy Mercury Retrograde happens from 5th March. Plan for plans to change and change and change.

Meanwhile, resuming poetry practice…even if it is on a ‘Go Slow.’In between sneezing fits, sputters, coughes, and nose honking.

Mercury Retrograde

You can't go forwards
for going backwards
when its a full stop...

It's like you travel on
the local train and the express
flashes past

It makes you feel like
you are caught in a freeze frame.
Remember

the women in white swimsuit
caught mid-dive
in the Tampax ad?

That son of a So and So
trickster, who had a mother
fittingly called Maia.

It's all a con,
a sleight of hand,
conjuring trick.

Part myth and
part major irritation,
Mercury retrograde

winds you up
just like a clock.
And then it stops.

It's a pie in your face.
It's a spanner in your works.
Both designed to irk.

Unless you are in on the joke.
Unless you don't mind
an extended mending time

into the more timeless.
It's never a stop, just
a press on to pause.


Copyright © 2019 Bee Smith. All rights reserved.



Featured Photo by David Menidrey on Unsplash

How to Hold Quicksilver

It’s dawn. The dwarf narcissi and iris are out. The white crocus I planted last September is flowering. But I have such a sore throat this morning you would have thought I had been quaffing vitriol in my dreamtime. Meanwhile, the weather is blustery. There was rain overnight. I probably need to have a traditionally restful Sabbath. But, as my dear husband told a friend he bumped into in the supermarket yesterday morning, “Since she started writing a poem a day, nothing happens in our house until it gets written!”

May today prove restful for you, too! May we all be well! And may there be a bit of poetry.

In the meantime, poetry practice…

How to Hold Quicksilver

The thermometer glass
shattered
and its elemental being
scattered
like ball bearings
just not all one way.

They got away
everywhere all at once
a sunburst.

Hermes is truly god-like
in every sense
of the catechism's
definition
of God.


A solid enough
elemental presence,
but fleet as wings,
or hope, yet not
evanescent.
It's moodily
inscrutible,
a being completely
bewildering.

How can you hold
quicksilver?
How can you hold
that man-god
who made you
fall in love?


Copyright © 2019 Bee Smith. All rights reserved.

Featured Photo by DAVIDCOHEN on Unsplash