After Many Anniversaries

I have no need for mirrors
or overly affective words.
Aging is reality.
I need not be reminded
of it stealing time
elasticity and
dew-fresh skin.

But you, my love,
wrap me as if in gold,
caress my heart.
You hold my hand
and walk with me,
as if we are young love
now as then.

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Wrapping up our dVerse 7th anniversary week, Frank asks us to write a septet. It can be a single 7-line stanza or a poem with two or more 7-line stanzas. Image is one of my favorite Gustav Klimt works, The Kiss (from Wikipedia Commons). 

Dad, You’re in my Haibun

What is a venial sin? What is the Immaculate Conception? What are the Ten Commandments? What are the seven mortal sins?

As a young child, I had to memorize answers to Catholic Catechism questions before I could make my first holy communion. One of the greatest benefits I gained from my early Catholic education was the ability to memorize. I spouted off those answers quickly and matter-of-factly as my father patiently sat in his big green fake-leather chair, asking the questions. He never went to church – except for mother’s day, Christmas and Easter. Yet he sat patiently, testing me on my catechism questions.

I remember my father as undemonstrative. I don’t remember being hugged or hearing him say, “I love you.” But I understood years later. He showed his love in different ways. For example, listening to me spout off doctrine he didn’t believe. The one answer I parroted, but could never ever understand, and never dared to ask a nun or priest about, was the one that basically told me my father would go to hell because he didn’t believe. No way. He had the patience of Job. He was a good man. And he was my dad.

huge white pelican
rules of gravity be damned –
soars in autumn skies

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The White Pelicans migrate every fall to Florida. With a 9′ wingspan, they are one of the largest birds in North America. And they soar.
Amaya hosts dVerse today, the virtual pub for poets. She asks us to considerthe 7 deadly sins, and/or the 7 virtues. We may consider our relationship to them — or how they affected us at some point in our lives. I’ve written a haibun: 2 or 3 tight paragraphs of prose (must be true), followed by a traditional haiku.
Missing my dad….

Keep Yer Elegy!

Quit yer bitchin’
and scratch where yer itchin’.
However-many years you’ve got,
light more damn candles
and quit yer complainin’.

Quit yer terminable thinkin’
‘bout pushin’ up daisies.
You best be lookin’
to pick ‘em instead.
Water ‘em good and
scratch where yer itchin’.

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Happy 7th year anniversary dVerse! Back from our summer respite, Grace hosts Quadrille Monday, asking us to include the word “itch” or a form of the word in our exactly 44 word poem, sans title. dVerse, the virtual pub for poets, opens at 3 PM Boston time. Come join our anniversary celebration by posting your own quadrille, or just reading the creativity of others. Photo from pixabay.com  

Still He Draws

Mind stalled, synapses off kilter
gait pained by age and atrophy,
he swings a chalk bucket
as we walk our weekly walk.

Stopped to watch scurrying ants
he stoops, putting chalk to sidewalk.
Hopscotch numbers beyond his grasp
he draws a simple sun, one cloud.

Standing, he pats my face
grins at me, then bends again.
Clutching pink chalk, draws a string
attached to one pink balloon.

Chalk tossed aside, he lowers himself
shifts bony frame uncomfortably
until he is perfectly placed,
as if holding that pink string.

Eyes tight shut, he lies still
floating in his muddled mind,
beside the cloud and sun.
And I smile wistfully.

I picture him a young boy
spent from playing tag,
drawing this sidewalk scene
lying down just like this . . .

then jumping up to run away,
an entire life in front of him.
Not bumbling to recognize me,
needing a helping hand.

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My nephew posted this photo of his son quite some time ago on FB. I loved the photo and asked permission to use it some day on my poetry blog. This little boy is a wonderful bright, lively and imaginative child! I went to a place with this poem that I wasn’t expecting.
Posting for OLN (Open Link Night) at dVerse, the virtual pub for poets, where today that famous guy from Sweden, Bjorn, is still revelling in the summer solstice season and Sweden’s advancement in the World Cup! 

the player

scabby knees squat low
agate rolled in sweaty palms
spit for extra luck
cold marbles wait for quick hit
king of the hood at six, shoots

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A tanka (5 lines with the following syllabic pattern: 5-7-5-7-7) written for Misky’s Twiglet #82, “cold marble”. A twiglet is a short phrase meant to inspire writing. Perhaps someday all our children will only shoot marbles. 

Mishmash Succotash

Little Orangey Raiding Hood
cocky and bullish too
spit on our lady’s torch,
shorting out her light.

Bellicose as Old King Cole
merry in his big white house
decorated by special order,
he stuccoed it with lye.

Kitchen menu his design,
donkey stew cooked on high,
boiling for a long reduction
still kickin’ in the pot.

Uneasy with house chairs,
too soft, none just right.
No match to for his needs,
only gilded throne will do.

Upstairs to try the beds
too short, too long.
Ah just right, finally to sleep.
Bird twitter starts at dawn.

Fitful dreams of Miss Tuffet
savoring curds and whey.
Spiders crawl out from covers,
itsy bitsy never more.

Awakened by Fox and hounds
he calls for cavorters three.
Get my breakfast pie 
and put that crown upon my head!

Then, oh so gleefully,
in goes his royal thumb
ready for a veritable plum.
YEEEEOW!

Inside that massive flakey crust
five and twenty blackbirds
baked in a bordered row.
Oh no! He’ll have to eat crow!

And now this silly poem must stop
although the tale itself does not.
Guess its ending from sounds you hear
louder, louder, more and more
that huffing puffing at his door.

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Written for dVerse, the virtual pub for poets where I’m hosting Tuesday Poetics, asking folks to write a poem, serious or humorous, that somehow deals with opposites or antithesis. Folks can include simple opposite words such as light/dark, good/bad in the poem; look at one event from two opposite view points; or take a nursery rhyme and write it in an opposite way — instead of There was an old woman who lived in a shoe – make it a man! In this post, I’ve satirically dealt with a number of different nursery rhymes, changing their meaning completely. For a more serious take on the prompt, go to my poem Hovering In Absentia. 

Hovering In Absentia

i. Hovering

That night . . .
my body turned against me
you praying, willing me to live.
My last breath
words unheard by you.
I am still here.
I hover
in rays of sun
in soft mist beneath grey clouds
in star lit and blackened nights.
My essence ever walks with you.
Savor life, my dearest.
I am content, waiting patiently.


ii. In Absentia

That night . . .
your breath rattled
eyes closed,
never to open again.
Days later
we celebrated your life
even as emptiness suffocated me.
I redecorated yesterday
all mirrors removed.
My reflection without you
too painful, too alone,
reminder of you
in absentia.

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I’m hosting Tuesday Poetics at dVerse today, the virtual pub for poets, asking folks to write a poem that somehow deals with opposites or uses the literary device of antithesis. One can include simple words in opposition happy/sad, inside/outside; or describe one event from two opposite viewpoints. The opposition can happen in one poem; different stanzas; or even two short poems.  Folks are free to be creative….as long as they deal with opposites! For a different take on the prompt, a satirical one, go to my second post, Mishmash Succotash. Pub opens at 3 PM Boston time….come join us and write in opposites or just read along!