Passages: Rondeau Redouble — Charlotte Mandel

Circadian rhythm eases sleep at night.
The seasons orbit to a cosmic scheme.
Earth spins—a whirligig that plays with light.
I wake to music, sunrise sets the theme.

Dust atoms shimmer gold in a sunbeam.
The radio sings, my universe is bright.
Then morning news injects the bloodstream.
Circadian rhythm eases sleep at night.

Historic floods sweep rooftops out of sight.
Sea levels rise and wide awake we dream
of islands conjured, mapped by megabyte.
The seasons orbit to a cosmic scheme

we’ve learned to harness—Fulton captured steam,
propelling engines east to west. The Wright
Brothers endowed us eagle wings. Supreme,
Earth spins—a whirligig that plays with light

abruptly dimmed on screen—to see the blight
of parched, drought-rutted farms. A new regime
may drill for arctic oil with dynamite.
I wake to music, sunrise sets the theme

in harmony with daily hope—the gleam
of chiseled marble under northern light,
a painter’s easel, figure skating teams,
the sound of children’s laughter. Poets write.
Circadian rhythm eases.

***

Charlotte Mandel has published eleven books of poetry, the most recent, Alive and In Use: Poems in the Japanese Form of Haibun . Previous titles include Through a Garden Gate—poems in response to color photographs by Vincent Covello; and two poem-novellas of feminist biblical revision—The Life of Mary and The Marriages of Jacob. Her awards include a Lifetime Achievement Award from Brooklyn College; the New Jersey Poets Prize; and two fellowships in poetry from New Jersey State Council on the Arts. Visit her at www.charlottemandel.com.