Down under the bridge . . .

she rolls words round her tongue,
mingled with saliva slurs.
Thick words, rich like dark beef-gravy,
some whispered with spicey-hot plots.

She cooks up campfire tales,
huddled over dumpster fires.
Her cronies, eyes glazed,
listen intently, hands over flames.

Homeless, devastating
s’more-less, too-real scene.

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Quadrille (poem of exactly 44 words, sans title) written for dVerse where Kim asks us to use the word “rich.”  Photo from Pixabay.com

Faith

Her faith burrows into the folds of her being.
Where there is sadness,
there is never despair.
Where there is hurt,
there is never hatred.
Love and hope shine upon her face
as she lives kindly within her days.

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Photo from pixabay.com

One Moment

Twelve voices soar,
faces aglow.
Response to powerful words.

Reach out your hand
And I’ll be flying home.

Twelve voices soar,
touch us.
Emotions enveloped in yours.

My work is finished
The angel’s command.

Twelve voices soar,
pull us
into a new world.

Carry me on . . .
I’m flying home.

Twelve voices strong.
Thank you,
we heard your song.

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Italicized words in poem are lyrics from Jason Robert Brown’s Flying Home – a song from his musical Songs for a New World. Last night we were privileged to see this show, which is literally a song cycle without any dialogue between performers, sung by 12 students at Phillips Academy at Andover. It was hard to believe these were high school sophomores, juniors and seniors. They literally carried us through a gamut of emotions as they sang (lived) moments of decision by the characters they became. If you’re not familiar with the song, Flying Home, click here and you’ll understand the power of the piece – stick with it to the end. And yes……it was powerful in last night’s Phillips Academy production.

I am . . .

labeled Taurus by sun,
emerald green by hue.
Fire and earth,
my elements.
1947,
year of the pig.

All this I am told.
All this I read . . . and ignore.
You are my mirror.
In you, my reflection
has no labels,
no boundaries.

You release me,
you always have.
I suspect
you always will.
Stalwart, loving,
supportive, accepting.

Together,
two individuals
side by side,
in sync.
Two harmonious melodies
with unique time signatures.

Two strong vines,
you and I, intertwined.
We blossom sans labels,
sans categorizing systems.
We soar in harmony,
Zodiac be damned.

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Amaya is hosting Tuesday Poetics at dVerse, the virtual pub for poets. She asks us to consider cosmology, the various systems that define us by elements, astrology, etc. Image is from a family album of geneology I am creating. That is my writing…and this is actually a page from my father’s desk calendar, ripped out the day I was born; laminated, and carried by him in his wallet until the day he died. He had another one from the day my brother was born. That small block printing “LILLIAN” below the calendar, is his handwriting. A draftsman, he always wrote in block print.

 

Ah Boston, for the record . . .

Hear ye, hear ye!
Listen my friends and ye shall learn
of the accolades so well earned
by one auspicious founding city,
bordered by the sea.

1632: first windmill, erected upon Copp’s Hill
1634: first public park, aptly named Boston Common.
1635: first public school dubbed Boston Latin,
still educating youth today.
1636: first college, Harvard University
originally in Boston proper,
later moved across the Charles,
still today in Cambridge, Mass.
1653: first public library
1704: the first newspaper shared its tales.

Now I’m quite certain,
there are many more,
all of which burnish
that proverbial record book.
But do let me share
one most unusual first,
not oft discussed
amongst delicate Brahmin Bostonians.

Taking a birds’ eye view, as they say,
of Boston’s colorful history,
well beyond its revolutionary ties.

1886: the first known photo  . . .
. . . wait for it . . . ’tis really true,
of someone flipping the bird!

There in grainy black and white
the Boston Beaneaters baseball team
stands tall beside and behind
the New York Giants team of the day.

Look closely and ye shall see
Charles “old Hoss” Radbourn
leaning in, well ahead of his time,
Boston-proud that long-ago day.

Middle finger extended,
obviously raised,
hand rests firmly on the shoulder
of one oblivious New Yorker chap.

Now one can theorize
and I generally do,
this could mark
another auspicious first.

One raised finger, the first of many
shared over years to come,
between Boston and New York.
Long before the Babe walked out!

IMG_6089Written for Tuesday’s Poetics at dVerse, the virtual pub for poets, where we’re asked to write about a theory, or use the word “theory” in a poem, or theorize within a poem. Information for this post is documented at https://www.chaostrophic.com/heres-first-known-picture-someone-flipping-bird/   Old Hoss is far left, back row. Caveat: some have since said he is holding a cigar…but others point to later pictures of him flipping the bird on other occasions as well! 

Child Rising

Maneuvered.
Layer upon layer,
expectations for perfection.
Like yeast-leavened dough
worked and plied,
slathered with to-dos.
You-wills pummeled into thinning skin.
Turned again and again by strong hand.
Beneath the slamming and kneading,
beginnings obliterated.
Raised to croissant elite.
Bran muffin, never an option.

Posted for dVerse Quadrille Monday, a bit late! Quadrille is a poem composed of exactly 44 words, sans title. The prompt word, to be included in some form for this post was “up” — I’ve used “upon”.  dVerse is a wonderful virtual pub for poets at http://dversepoets.com.  Prompts are given every Monday, Tuesday and Thursday. Come join us!

For Kenji

‘Tis legendary
not ordinary,
‘cross sea.
Firm friendship, nary
time’s adversary.
To be
older, not wary.
Smiles luminary,
esprit.

Inspired by my recent visit in Yokohama with Kenji Kojima. Photos of Kenji and I in our 1965 senior high school album. And a new photo of us taken together last week in Yokohama, Japan.

Kenji was an AFS exchange student from Japan during our 1965 senior year at Waukegan Township High School in Illinois. We had not seen each other since 1965! The years didn’t matter. The distance didn’t matter. The friendship held true and we enjoyed two wonderful hours together reminiscing, talking about our families and grandchildren. What an absolute privilege to see him again.

Poetry form is the Lai: 9 lines with the following syllabic and rhyming restrictions:

Line 1: 5 syllables, rhyme word a
Line 2: 5 syllables, rhymes with a
Line 3: 2 syllables, rhyme word b
Line 4: 5 syllables, rhymes with a
Line 5: 5 syllables, rhymes with a
Line 6: 2 syllables, rhymes with b
Line 7: 5 syllables, rhymes with a
Line 8: 5 syllables, rhymes with a
Line 9: 2 syllables, rhymes with b

Solace

Like a peregrine
caught in a tailspin,
hard pressed
to find calm within.
To escape the din,
to rest,
seeks his lover’s inn.
Ah sweet nest of skin,
sweet breast.

Form of poem is a Lai: nine-line stanza with syllabic and rhyme requirements as follows:

line 1: 5 syllables, rhyme word a
line 2: 5 syllables, rhymes with a
line 3: 2 syllables, rhyme word b
line 4: 5 syllables, rhymes with a
line 5: 5 syllables, rhymes with a
line 6: 2 syllables, rhymes with b
line 7: 5 syllabkes, rhymes with a
line 8: 5 syllables, rhymes with a
line 9: 2 syllablesm rhymes with b

Written for dVerse, the virtual pub for poets.
Photo from pixabay.com

Lost in Time

Gold pocket watch clasped shut
sits unnoticed.
Dust dims its luster,
unseen though visible
on antique store shelf.

Faded smiling visage
carefully snipped
by someone’s loving hands,
nestles inside the old time piece.
Exactly fits within its rim.

Opposite those softly staring eyes,
wire hands mark five till twelve.
No sound. No movement.
Dead in time past.
Someone’s treasure cast aside.

Posted for dVerse, the virtual pub for poets, where today I am hosting Open Link Night. Folks can post any one poem of their choice: no particular topic, prompt, form or length. Pub opens at 3 PM Boston time. Come join us!

Summer Invasion

On a rainy summer day, melted cherry popsicle juice puddles on kitchen countertop. The now bare, but somewhat red-stained stick, is a walking bridge from stainless steel sink’s edge to sticky stuff. It’s a veritable picnic spot for sugar thirsty ants. Our kids, unaware of the insect invasion they’ve created, sit on the faux-brick linoleum covered floor playing with colorful legos.

forget dull bread crumbs
summer brings popsicle juice
ants’ debauchery

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It’s Haibun Monday at dVerse, the virtual pub for poets. Today, Gina is tending pub and asks us to write about a picnic. Haibun: short prose (cannot be fiction) followed by a haiku. Photo from pixabay.com