Haibun for August

Schooldays, schooldays, good old golden rule days . . . familiar words from a song my mother sang to me as she tucked me into bed. Generations later, I sang these words at bedtime to our young children, and then again to their children.

As a septuagenarian, I’ve been entrenched in schooldays from when I went to kindergarten until I rejuvenated (never say retired) in December 2012. Schooldays were part of my life as a student, a parent of school-aged children, a teacher, and finally as a university administrator. Whether we lived in rural Iowa, or a city, August always signaled summer’s end. More importantly for me, it was the harbinger of schooldays to come. Depending on my age, it could mean cutting up brown paper grocery sacks to make textbook covers; or shopping for new crayons, knee socks for my uniform, #2 yellow pencils, new Bic pens and notebooks, or a new sweater set. Later it signaled filling out a new lesson plan book, or noting upcoming meetings in a day planner. At seventy-five, back-to-school ads on television bring back memories of August days gone by.

sweetcorn season done
seed corn soon to fill silos
school bells ring again

Written for dVerse, the virtual pub for poets around the globe. Today Sanaa is hosting and asks us to write about what August means to us. We can use any poetic form we choose. I decided to write a haibun.

Haibun: a poetic form that includes one or two succint paragraphs of prose followed by a haiku. The prose cannot be fiction. The haiku must include a seasonal reference.

Photo from Pixabay.com

Revenge

She falters, steps lightly,
lightly asserting herself again.
Again he beats her, denies her being.
Being a brute, how can she win?

How did this happen,
happen to her, create such fear?
Fear is the impetus she finally needs.
Needs to act quickly, her path is clear.

Miles away she laughs aloud,
a loud guffaw that signals she’s free.
Free of his violence, while he lies dead,
dead by her deed near the old oak tree.

Written for dVerse, the virtual pub for poets around the globe. Grace asks us to consider Loop Poetry, a form created by Hellon. There are no restrictions on the number of stanzas nor on the syllable count for each line. However, in each stanza, the last word of the line 1 becomes the first word of line 2. The last word of line 2 becomes the first word of line 3. The last word of line 3 becomes the first word of line 4. This is followed for each stanza (4 line stanzas). The rhyme scheme is abcb. Tricky. Took me a while to get in the rhythm of it and for some reason, this poem from the dark side was the result.

Moving Day

Chipmunk cheeks, chubby knees
toddler toddles unsteadily.
Plops down on diaper padded bum
eyes surprised at sudden landing.
Spies round unknown object
in midst of packing boxes.
Left-over, missed by movers,
his to explore and claim.
Metal globe on brass colored axis,
somewhat dented
but sporting what looks to him
like gaily colored splotches.
Blues and reds and blacks
and yellows and greens
and shapes that fascinate.
Pudgy fingers reach out,
touch cool round surface
and tentatively push . . .
then more . . .and more and
ooooh spinning colors.
Faster, faster, faster,
round and round and round.
Squeals of delight
draw me to the door.
I see this happy child,
the world, a spinning top for him.
Unaware of famine, wars, discord,
and oh so intricately drawn borders.
Imagine whirled peace
with colors spun into one.
Boundaries blurred and gone
and laughter the only sound.
Or just as suddenly,
what could be.
A world in shock,
tipped off its axis
and the only sound,
disappointed screams.

Written for dVerse, the virtual pub for poets around the globe. Today I’m hosting Tuesday Poetics.

For the prompt, I’ve provided a list of sixteen Ben and Jerry’s ice cream flavors, many of which have been retired. Writers must include the name of at least one flavor from the list of sixteen in the body of their poem – and the poem cannot be about ice cream! I’ve used the flavor Imagine Whirled Peace. It was a Ben and Jerry’s ice cream flavor from 2007 to 2013.

Writers cannot change the order of the words in the flavor, or the tense of the words. They cannnot change the words of the flavor into plurals or possessives. They cannot add words between the words in the name of the flavor. Of course, folks are free to use more than one flavor from the list. After all, who doesn’t like a double-dipper or triple-dipper ice cream cone????

Pub opens at 3 PM Boston time. Come join us – it should be fun!

A Giverny Night

Claude Monet tiptoed
through last night’s deep slumber.
Wrapped my dream in glorious blooms,
hushed pinks fading into hazy purple iris.
Calmed my senses
with myriad brushed greens.
Dewed my eyes
as undulating water lilies
nudged me into wakefulness.
I sit remembering
and smile.

Quadrille written for dVerse, the virtual pub for poets around the globe. Today Mish asks us to include the word “wrap” or a form of the word, within our poem of exactly 44 words, sans title.

Claude Monet images in public domain.

Blessed Rain

Black earth cracks open
begging through jagged, arid lips
water, please, drown me with drops
of life restoring rain.
Tendrils of roots seek my riches
to nourish them, to bloom with promises
threatened now in dark, dry soil without a drop to drink.

Butterflies and bees will be robbed of the balm they seek.
Blossoms will not open, colors will fade to yellow and brown.
Lavender will lose its scent, the fragrance of summer
begs for life restoring rain.
Clouds blow in providing shade but no rain falls from
decorator clouds that quickly puff away.
We watch the radar but it is like the pot that never boils.

Thunderstorms are possible they say.
Rumbles of thunder are heard in the distance,
winds pick up, branches fall in dry frustration.
Black earth cries out
water, please, drown me with drops
of life restoring, blessed rain.

Written by Lindsey Ein for OLN LIVE at dVerse, the virtual pub for poets around the globe. Image from Pixabay.com

Reflections on a Family Visit

Like young colts
galloping through wildflowered fields,
all legs in a blur.
These teenage grandchildren rush in
laughing, talking,
a whirlwind of energy.
Fast hugs for me,
quick words of endearment
and they’re out the door.

I sit down, coffee cup in hand,
and chuckle at what just was.
I marvel, smiling,
at what is to come and what will be.
The world is theirs to explore,
to grapple with, to improve,
to endure.
But for now,
let them gallop in the wildflowered fields.

Posted for Open Link Night at dVerse, the virtual pub for poets around the globe. AND we are LIVE today from 3 to 4 PM Boston time. Read below how to join us!

EXCITING NEWS FOR dVERSE! Mr. Samuel Peralta announced the selection of dVerse Anthology, Chiaroscuro, for inclusion in the LunarCodex Polaris time capsule going to the moon in 2023! It’s true! Not a hoax! Chiaroscuro will be on the moon — I have six poems in the anthology! I’m going to be on the moon! Go to lunarcodex.com to learn more. At the Menu on the right click on MORE….scroll down and you’ll come to an image of Chiaroscuro! Mr. Peralta is interviewed on YouTube about the technology. Google “We”re flying to the moon samuel Peralta” you’ll find it. It’s rather lengthy, but very interesting to read about the technology!

What is OLN LIVE?
Go to https://dversepoets.com at 3 PM or shortly thereafter. There will be a link right at the top of the page…Click on it and it will take you to the dVerse pub! You’ll meet many of the dVersers who post here weekly, and some who just come when the spirit moves them (or the prompt does!). Each attendee has the opportunity to read one poem aloud as others listen and appreciate. Alternatively, if you are not comfortable reading for the group, simply join us and listen in! The more the merrier!

I hope to see you at the pub today!!! https://dversepoets.com at 3 PM Boston time or shortly thereafter. We’ll be live until 4 PM.

Breaking Point

That was it. She’d had it. Sliced away, leaving a scar on the ancient bark, the tree looked raw. Desecrated. His handiwork obliterated.

That night of infatuation, he carved a heart with their initials right there for all the town to see. “We’re forever entwined” he said. Except they weren’t. He left for college and never returned. It’d been years. She’d waited tables at the Oleander Café. Endured the town folk’s talk behind her back. Their whispers haunted her. They knew she’d carried his child for six months before the miscarriage. People pitied her.

She knew he was never coming back. She dropped the knife and walked out to meet the dusty road. She hailed the first bus she saw. Paid cash and finally got the hell out of there. No matter the bus’ destination, it was her turn to leave it all behind.

Written for dVerse where today Sarah is hosting our Prosery session. She asks us to include the line “she’d had it sliced away leaving a scar” from Michael Donaghy’s poem, Liverpool.

What is Prosery? A Prosery prompt gives a line from a poem and we are to include it in a piece of flash fiction of 144 words, sans title. The line must be word for word, although the punctuation may be changed.

Backwards . . .

it must be a dream . . .
or time-machine . . .
or machinations of an addled brain.

Used to be a woman’s road
to pregnancy and through pregnancy
was determined by men.
Their genitalia and their laws.
Used to be coat hangers
bloodied in cavities,
did more than hang up coats.

It’s not a dream . . .
or time machine . . .
or my septuagenarian brain.
Once again, a woman’s body
her insides, her uterus
are ruled by men.
Their genitalia and their laws.