Sunburst

She becomes the sun in his world.
Dazed, stunned, smitten. Emotions whirled.
Fierce sunbeam.

Parhelion in mocking sky,
her beauty shines to mystify.
Burned. Sunstruck.

Moist tempting lips smile to ensnare.
Hips beckon, sway in daylight’s glare.
Felled. Sunstroke.

Obsessed he beds her day and night
primal, neurotic appetite.
Sunscalded.

His money spent, he’d been cajoled.
Drugged. Job over, she leaves him cold.
Done. Sunset.

Written for dVerse, the virtual pub for poets around the globe. Grace hosts today and introduces us to the Compound Word Verse:

This complex form was created by Margaret R. Smith:
Five 3-line stanzas. Fifteen lines total.
Last line of each stanza must be a compound word.
The compound words must share a common stem: IE sun, sunbeam, sunstruck, sunstroke, sunbathing, sunset.
Rhyme scheme must be aab.
Syllable count must be 8, 8, 3.

Parhelion: a sun dog or mock sun called a parhelion in meteorology, is an atmospheric optical phenomenon that consists of a bright spot to one or both sides of the sun.

Photo from Pixabay.com

Witch Trial Residuals

Hanged in 1692,
they haunt the streets of Salem still.
Blood-drained ashen apparitions
unabashedly bitter,
they wander far beyond their graveyard.
October tourists beware.
They seek revenge from you who gawk,
bring money to town’s coffers.
Fury unleashed, ashcans ready
to harvest your souls.

Written for Quadrille Monday at dVerse, the virtual pub for poets around the globe. Today Sarah asks us to use the word “ash” or a form of the word, in our poem of exactly 44 words, sans title. I’ve used the word “ashen” and the word “ash” is hidden within three other words – can you find them?

Salem, Massachusetts is the home of the infamous Salem witch trials. Begun in the spring of 1692, Bridget Bishop was the first to be hung in June at Salem’s Gallows Hills. Nineteen more were hung that month. Some 150 were ultimately accused. There were other means of execution. Today, almost a half-million tourists flock to Salem in the month of October, frequenting the various witch museums, related shops, and of course, the graveyards.

Country Roads

Escape from blaring horns,
nights filled with tossing,
project expectations and stress.
Been on two lane roads for quite a while.

Wayside diner beckons me.
Apple tree shaded walk,
bees buzz round fallen overripe fruit.
I don’t even lock the car doors.

Inside, vases with brightly colored zinnias,
oilcloth covered tables and comfy booths.
Sheila sashays over with a pleasant smile.
Nametag printed in thick magic marker.

She sets down a chipped porcelain mug,
pours in dark rich coffee right to the brim.
“What’ll ya have? Got fresh melon off the vine.
Pies are apple and blueberry today.”

“Just the coffee for now.”
She saunters back to the kitchen.
I just sit. Between sips I run my finger
slowly round the coffee mug’s lip.

I stare out the window.
No deadlines hurtling at me.
No internet connection.
I may just sit here forever.

Coffee drips create brown splotches
on my paper placemat menu.
Chalkboard over the counter
lists supper specials.

Pot roast with Betty’s gravy.
Sounds good to me.

Written for dVerse, the virtual pub for poets around the globe. Tonight is Open Link Night and we are LIVE for the first hour, from 3 to 4 PM Boston time. That means you can link in, see friendly faces, listen to folks read their poems and, if the spirit so moves you, join in with a poem of your own. No prompt; no required form. Come join us! Image from Pixabay.com

Marking October Fourteen

There is a pain too raw.
Too personal to write down.
Wrapped in the shrouds of death
it came too near,
but for angels along the way.

Pain of illness, threat of death,
most astute tutors of life.
Love every mundane moment,
cherish them as a gift.
Celebrate every dawn.

Written for dVerse, the virtual pub for poets. Today Ingrid asks us to consider pain and how we can come out on the other side of it stronger. Photo of dawn from one of our many trips.

The Return

Namrah soared high. Twenty years after the Peabody children wished him live, he decided to return. Would they want to travel on his golden wings again? He’d taken so many children across the globe on secret midnight rides. Sometimes circling the full moon, chasing shooting stars across the skies. He’d not been above American shores in all these years. Would Allen and Susan consider themselves too old to climb aboard his teal feathered back?

Closer to their city now, but why so dark? Hovering over their yard, he stared in disbelief. Piles of bricks, uprooted trees, scattered roof tiles, shattered glass. Fear seized his heart. What are the roots that clutch, what branches grow out of this rubbish? A solitary tear escaped one azure sequined eye. Has time destroyed the home, the town of his origins? Are Allen and Susan alive?

Written for prosery Monday at dVerse, the virtual pub for poets around the globe. Mish is pub tender and asks us to include the line “What are the roots that clutch, what branches grow out of this rubbish?” from T. S. Eliot’s The Waste Land in our flash fiction of 144 words or less, sans title. I’ve written of imaginary friend Namrah in years past. Here we visit him twenty years after he was wished alive.

Prosery is a genre created by dVerse. Pub tenders choose one line of poetry and writers must use that exact line (only the punctuation may be changed; word order must be the same) in a piece of prose, 144 words or less in length, sans title.

Remainders

Cleaning out her grandmother’s home
she found only one mirror.
Hidden in the back of a drawer
buried under delicate handkerchiefs.
Some with embroidered flowers,
others with faded tatted edging.
It had multiple cracks
but the maple handle’s patina
still glowed.

The bouquet began drooping days ago.
Calla lily bodies downed,
long stems succumbed to gravity.
Sunflower heads
ruffled edges turning brown,
faces no longer meet the eye.
Nearby, on oak sidebar,
shriveled pink-veined orchid petals
ready to fall.

Retreated to their tents
they sleep encased in sleeping bags.
Bought on sale,
blue cloth on the outside.
Inside, cowboys ride horses,
stand with guns holstered by cacti.
Childlike Western print
on bright yellow flannel.
Embers pale in campfire ash.

Gathered for their fiftieth
they take the tour,
campus now lush with trees.
Three-story new student center
sports three dining options,
baristas in the Coffee Corner.
Library tables barren, minus green
Readers’ Guides to Periodical Literature.
Fossils still displayed in the Geology Museum.

Scientist by training, environmentalist by trade,
he took over cooking after retirement.
Meticulous shopping lists.
Weekly menu spreadsheets.
One recipe covers two nights.
Red aproned
in black and white tiled galley kitchen.
Meal cooked, served, eaten.
Leftovers stored for another day.

Written for dVerse, the virtual pub for poets around the globe. Today Bjorn asks us to write a Cadralor. This is a relatively new poetry form. It is comprised of five unrelated, highly-visual stanzas. Each stanza must stand alone as a poem. Stanzas should be fewer than ten lines and usually each stanza has the same number of lines. Imagery is crucial – each stanza should be like a scene or a photograph. The fifth stanza is the crucible and should answer the question “For what do you yearn?” In the case of Remainders, I’m emphasizing that the leftovers, in each of the stanzas, has or has had value. In the last stanza, leftovers is taken literally.

What’s In A Name?

Her mother was a stoner,
flowerchild of the sixties.
Braless, barefoot, oblivious.
She copulated in a purple haze.

Love child born in a stream,
drifted from womb to surface
floated in sun’s glistened path.
Named according to her origins.

Forever asked,
why Mica Shist?

Written for Quadrille Monday at dVerse, the virtual pub for poets around the globe. Today, De would like us to use the word “stone” or a form of the word, in our poem of exactly 44 words, sans title.
When I saw the word stone, immediately thought of rocks, then different types of rocks as in metamorphic, granite, and mica schist. Mica schist is a metamorphic rock that includes the mineral schist. When on the surface, schist gives a sparkle to the rock. Some say mica is nature’s glitter. So I decided to have a little fun with the prompt! Image from Pixabay.com

Provincetown Pilgrimage

I mellow in my Provincetown days.
I watch and listen to the ocean tides,
their fidelity to lunar rhythms.
My body rests in this place.

Skies often pastel my respite.
Blushing dawns. Tinted sunsets.
Sherbet orange melts into lemon yellow.
Pinks blur into shades of grey and soft orchid.

I’m struck by how colors blend here.
As if the palette is tipped
just ever so slightly
and delineations disappear.

For two weeks every year,
I leave the world behind.
I do not come to recharge;
quite the opposite.
I simply come to be.

Written from Boston, having recently returned from our annual two weeks in Provincetown. Posted for OLN at dVerse, the virtual pub for poets around the globe.

Apologies for those who have been reading a lot of my poetry about Provincetown the past two weeks….this is the last one for this year. I promise!

This photo was taken on one of my last mornings there this year. Somehow Provincetown IS an artist’s palette. The challenge is to recreate it in words. No photoshopping here….it really looked like this. Mother Nature a la the impressionist painter? Until next year…..

Which Reflection?

I seldom use it –
the full-length mirror.
When I do, it makes me wonder,
who is that person?

I’ve had fun with crepe paper.
That weird webbing you could stretch.
Make it wider and longer.
Hung it all over the family room
for many a birthday party.
So I have crepe skin on my arms.
Okay, be honest. In other places too.
I understand the term’s origins.

How did my mother climb into that frame?
Save your clucking tongue,
your “you haven’t changed a bit” comments.
I prefer to see my value in other ways.
In my husband’s eyes.
In my daughter’s forty-seven year old smile.
In my forty-five year old son’s weekly calls.
In the tik toks and quick texts shared with five grandkids.

I’ll wear capri pants, sleeveless tops,
sparkly eye shadow below my thinning brows.
I love my almost pure white streak
in the midst of my grey hair.
Save your tears for somebody else.
I’m quite content to be a septuagenarian.
The mirror be damned!

Today I’m hosting Tuesday Poetics at dVerse, the virtual pub for poets around the globe. I’ve asked folks to go to the website https://mybirthdayhits.com and plug in their birth date. The site then gives you the musical hit that made #1 on the charts for every birthday you’ve celebrated until 2021. So for example, if your birthday is today, September 28th and you were born in 1952, you plug in that date and the site will give you the #1 hit for every year on September 28th from 1952 until 2021! AND the site gives you a recording you can listen to as well. Such fun! So the prompt today is to take at least one of the #1 hits from your birthdate and include the song title, word for word, in your poem. You can use more than one #1 hit if you wish.
My birthday is May 13th: In 2007, my 60th birthday, the #1 hit was Makes Me Wonder by Maroon 5; in 2021, for my 74th birthday, the #1 hit was Save Your Tears by The Weeknd. You’ll find those titles in my poem today.

Worlds Apart

Before this
brick, concrete, two hospitals,
Old West’s church steeple.
My Boston’s high-rise views.

Before this
seventh floor balcony,
city walks.
My outside.

Here, the ocean lives outside my door.
Sun rises in pastel silence.
Serenity lingers on the breeze.
I can just be.

Written for Quadrille Monday at dVerse, the virtual pub for global poets. Today the word to use in our poem of exactly 44 words, sans title, is linger. Photos taken from our deck this morning in Provincetown, at the very tip of Cape Cod.