Poetry Friday: An Aubade

Every month, one member of my critique group poses a challenge for us to respond to. I love how these challenges push me, and am always astonished at where some of these poems lead. This month, Linda challenged us to write an aubade, “a poem or piece of music appropriate to the dawn or early morning.”

As I said, these challenges always lead in unexpected directions. I struggled to come up with a way into this poem. Then, while I was walking one morning, the phrase “brittle blue sky” came into my mind and became the key to this draft.

This painting, which I found through Google Arts & Culture, also helped this draft come together:

Two Women Bathing
Carl Holty1948/1950, Georgia Museum of Art

How long has it been 
since we last went to the lake?
Twenty years? More?
It feels like yesterday
when we woke to the cry of loons,
whispers of the water kissing the rocky beach,
patches of light filtering through wispy pines

The sky brightens,
and my dream dissolves
into a patchwork of green and gold pixels.

The lake recedes into memory,
scattered among my worries 
of today.

Outside, jays squawk and squabble,
and the maple is a shock of scarlet
Against a brittle blue sky.

Draft © Catherine Flynn, 2020

Please be sure to visit my fellow Sunday Night Swaggers to read their aubades:

Heidi Mordhorst @ My Juicy Little Universe
Linda Mitchell @ A Word Edgewise
Margaret Simon @ Reflections on the Teche
Molly Hogan @ Nix the Comfort Zone

Then stop by and say hello to Susan Bruck at Soul Blossom Living for the Poetry Friday Roundup.

13 thoughts on “Poetry Friday: An Aubade

  1. Thank you for sharing this delightful aubade–another new-to-me poetic form. I love the way the memory fades, “scattered among my worries of today”–and also the cries of the loons–which evokes lovely lake memories for me–and the “whispers of the water kissing the rocky beach” It’s just lovely!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I love how you came into this poem with a question longing for the lake and then back again to the worries of today. Beautiful. And you captured the red maple against the brittle blue! Ah, yes.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. The memory receding into the lake is such a poignant goodbye…until the very last shock of scarlet against brittle blue sky. Wow. Lovely love poem. And, it really does fit the painting too. You always wow me, Catherine!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Most often, at least in my reading of adult poetry, an aubade is written upon lovers parting in the morning… often they are wistful, tinged with longing, pleasure, regret… I love them! And “brittle” is going into my notebook today… also love your patchwork of green and gold pixels. Beautiful! xo

    Liked by 1 person

    • Wow, Catherine your images are so vivid, yet I feel intimacy, and hear alliteration all the way through. Beautiful! All of your images spoke to me, but my two favorites are “when we woke to the cry of loons” and “ the maple is a shock of scarlet against the brittle blue sky.” I love your poem! I think you should publish this.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Catherine, this new form of poetry is captured in your writing in such a beautiful way. How many times can worries carries me away from the beauty of nature?
    These lines speak to me:
    The lake recedes into memory,
    scattered among my worries
    of today.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I love the voice, Catherine, & the way you’ve woven the pieces together, that “whispers of the water kissing the rocky beach,” till the shock of the end. It’s gorgeous!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Catherine, this is so wonderful! I love the imagery and nostalgic feel, the turn with the sky brightening, and then the punch of that amazing ending and the “shock of scarlet/Against a brittle blue sky.” You knocked this challenge out of the park!

    Liked by 1 person

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