Tracing Whitman’s Path

Lying back, blue sky beckons me
carries me through dreams
until flock of geese interrupt serenity.
Rolling on my side, eyes shift to daffodils.
Yellow ruffles near still pond,
quiet in their breezy sway.

Noisey crowd above migrates north
racing through scattered clouds.
I rise reluctantly, retrace my steps.
Well worn path through banks of trees
leads to asphalt covered parking lot,
return to life’s routine.

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Written for Napowrimo Day 18’s unique prompt. Select a poem (or stanza from a poem), cover up all but the last line: write a response to that line. Now cover up all but the second to the last line: write a response to that line. Etcetera.  In essence, you read the poem backwards, creating your poem. Your poem responds to the original poem, and is its reverse.

I’ve used the first 6-line stanza of Walt Whitman’s famous poem,
I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud:

Fluttering and dancing in the breeze
Beside the lake beneath the trees
A host of golden daffodils
When all at once I saw a crowd
That floats on high o’er vales and hills
I wandered lonely as a cloud.

First line of my poem responds to last (6th) line of his stanza; second line of my poem responds his 5th line; third line of mine responds to his 4th; fourth line of mine responds to his 3rd; fifth line of mine responds to his 2nd; sixth line of mine responds to his 1st.  My last stanza simply completes my original poem as the “speaker” of the poem must leave the beauty and serenity of nature and return to life’s routine. 

Enigma, Mother Dear

There once was a woman named Helen Cecile
married and happy, her life surreal.
Many an escapade made us laugh,
silliness multiplied gaffe by gaffe.

I remember a day we spent at the zoo
where she created quite the to-do.
On the visitor’s side of the animal’s moat
she suddenly blanched and cleared her throat.
Shaking she stood near the pacing jaguars
knee red and swollen, stuck between bars.
Zookeepers rushed to embarrassing scene,
saving the day, they applied vaseline.

Seeking calm and less to-do
we headed to the petting zoo.
She laughed out loud patting the goats
who gathered round her petticoats.
Closing time near, she strolled through the gate,
stopped short and turned, sensing less weight.
Waving at us, with her once-flowered purse
she swore at the goats. You are perverse!
Her purse, you see, was now quite bald
they’d nudged and ate, till it was mauled.

My mother’s name was Helen Cecile,
life with her was surely surreal.
In between faults lie love and gaffes
missing-her-tears, softened by laughs.

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I’m behind here….written for day 17 of Napowrimo: Prompt was to write about a family anecdote. Need to catch up with days 18, 19 and today, 20.  More to come.

What moment lies between?

To cruise the seas. Ship of many with restaurants, shops, shows, casino and dancing. Playing on the waves. Yet for me, it is the moments of silence I savor. Sunset on our veranda. Leaning into the salty breeze.  Pondering as body sways naturally. What lies between that place where red melds into black? Between moments in time? Between a last intake of breath and the final audible sigh? Clouds hover like memories floating through my mind. Mixed emotions. Content to stand and savor. Slow ache for loved ones faded from my life. Red streaks lessen, darkness consumes. I shiver in the suddenly cold air.

black cold red-streaked sky
Ursus lumbers to dark den
winter signals sleep

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Haibun prompt today at dVerse: think about CHIJITSU, a Japanese Kaigo that means lingering day….can relate to the moments of sunrise or sunset. Haibun: prose (must be true) followed by a haiku that must, in the true Japanese sense of the form,  include reference to a season.  Post also applies to day 16 Napowrimo’s prompt: something to do with play. Photo taken from the deck on our last cruise around South America.

Sadly we say goodbye to Victoria our dVerse host today. She’s been a force at dVerse since its early days in 2011. Thank you, thank you, Victoria.

Nursery Rhyme Primed

Tawny Donny wealthy and sly,
kissed the girls and made them cry.
When they told the world their tales
tawny Donny lost his veils.

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Day 15, Napowrimo : using Hansel and Gretel and Blackbeard the Pirate as examples, today’s prompt asks us to rewrite a villain’s unfortunate situation. Today, Georgie Porgie’s friend gets caught in a kettle of fish. ILLUSTRATION from Volume One, Poems of Eary Childhood, Child-Craft, published by The Quarrie Corporation, Chicago, in 1947.

 

Grant Me Peace

Decision must-do list sits crumpled,
blue pill bottle tipped askew.
Disturbed sleep awaits release,
sweat covered head buried in down.

I teeter,
teacup-shaped rowboat
adrift on wobbly table legs.
Knife-shaped oars
slice mahogany waves,
slivers shred my hands.
Teeth grit like hammer’s vise.
One thousand dentists drill,
prying, prying, prying still.
High pitched metallic sound
gathers sharks, circling round.
Close to waking, tossing, turning
seagull’s wings appear.
Flapping madly, madly more
tip the cup ‘till I spill forth,
swim across the dawning rays.
Sea of calm upon my face
hands relax, fingers curve,
arms arc upon the bed.
Dream softens in balletic pose,
body slips to denouement.
Curtains rise on new world.

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Written for Napowrimo, Day 14 where we’re asked to consider dreams….and to include one or all of the following words/items: teacup, hammer, seagull, ballet slipper, shark, wobbly table, dentist, row boat. I’ve included all….using balletic and slips for ballet slipper. 

With Aplogies to Mark Twain

“Age is an issue of mind over matter. If you don’t mind, it doesn’t matter.”
Mark Twain, aka Samuel Clemens

Welcome to the Ball and Socket,
newest hip joint in town.
Formerly Mark Twain’s Pub,
still catering to the hale and hearty.

Specialty drinks have disappeared,
Huck Finns and Tom Sawyers gone.
But never you worry and never you mind,
what matters most, is easy to find.

Old Sam leans on the bar,
pours drinks and sloshes the foam.
Jaws and listens and nips a few too,
just like the place, he’s as good as new.

Written for Napowrimo, day 13, where the prompt is to turn a famous saying upside down and have fun with it. I’ve had a bit of fun with Mark Twain’s quotation, cited at the beginning of the post.

Ars Poetica: through a forest’s eye

Forest walkabout.
Slowly saunter, savor pine scent
see sun-lattice pattern through breeze blown leaves,
feel rock-strewn ground beneath your feet.
Find toadstool mushrooms
nestled in myriad shades of green.
Hear birds cackle, warble,
cry monosyllabic shrieks.
Or just get through.
Enter to exit the other side.
Rush from point A to B or G.
Been there but never saw.

Word forest, thy name is Poetry.
Slowly saunter through words
letters arranged, thought path on a page.
Smell rain. Picture grey clouds shifting,
sun blocked above the trees.
Hear rhythmic patterns,
singing sounds, harsh plosives,
hissing sibilants, warbling vowels.
Or just get through.
Enter to exit the other side.
Scan from point A to B or G.
Read that but never saw.

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Written for dVerse where Paul asks us to consider Ars Poetica: a term meaning “the art of poetry. ” An Ars Poetica poem expresses the poet’s aims for poetry and/or the poet’s theories about poetry. Also used for Day 12 Napowrimo. Photo taken in Ireland last year.

. . . carousel music rings in my ears

My mind says do it.
Muscle memory falters,
too many springs have sprung,
the daffodil kind.
Too many candles have crowded flowers,
the icing kind.

Life’s become a carousel ride.
I’m the unbolted horse,
slowly getting up from down
moving slower still from down to up.
Au naturel, gold gilding eroded by time
ultimately rounding the bend.

Walking to my once busy house,
I imagine that merry-go-round
music wooing, colors shimmering.
I smile as my mind reminds me done that,
and I pick up my pace,
kicking through the autumn leaves.

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Day 11 of Napowrimo. April is national poetry writing month. Today’s prompt includes these words, “If you are a citizen of the “union” that is your body, what is your future “state of the union” address?”

Character Study

As a youngster,
she loved playing outside,
building dirt castles with lollypop flags.
Grade school entrepreneur,
her lemonade stands featured mud pies,
hand crimped with sand frosting on top.
Today, a sweet toothed geologist,
she loves layer cakes, marzipan sculptures
and all rock candy.

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Quadrille (44 words exactly, sans title) written for dVerse, where today we’re asked to include the word “zip.”  You’ll find it stirred into the marzipan! Also posted for Napowrimo, Day 9: prompt to write about the large and the small….stretching it here….from dirt and sand granules to geologist?