Thundering Voices

A woman’s intrinsic abilities
far surpass chauvinist suppositions.

Our daughters understand. Empowerment
means control. Bodily autonomy.

Your assault, revoking Roe-versus-Wade,
wakes anger. Volatile independence.

Rain, lightning, thunderbolts, precipitate
storms. Crashing. Disturbing complacency.

Written for dVerse, the virtual pub for poets around the globe. Today Laura asks us to consider couples, writing a poem in couplets. She presents a number of forms that are based in couplets including the Rhopalic Couplet. First used by Homer in the Illiad, the Rhopalic Couplet contains two lines. In both lines, each word progresses adding 1 more syllable than the preceding word in the line. The lines need not be rhymed. So for example
x xx xxx xxxx
x xx xxx xxxx

I found this quite tricky to do! Another poetic sudoku for me. Image from Pixabay.com

Sensory Delight

Quilt me a cacophony of colors,
floral me a scene.
Roses, lilac, freesia, lavender, gardenia,
scents melding into sweet aroma.
Featured like fragrant punchbowl
on caterer’s gleaming sideboard.
Senses tempted to imbibe, I submit.
Feast my eyes, inhale deeply,
engulfed in garden’s ethereal delight.

Quadrille written for dVerse, the virtual pub for poets around the globe. Today De asks us to use the word “punch” or a form of the word, within our poem of exactly 44 words, sans title. Photo taken a number of years ago in Ireland.

An Aphoristic Thanks to Bjorn!

I’ve know Bjorn on dVerse for six+ years and finally got to meet him in Stockholm last week during our Best of Scandinavia cruise. He and Lotta were indeed the best of Scandinavia! They showed us the city from an insider’s perspective. We especially enjoyed walking through quiet streets and neighborhoods and going to a small restaurant filled with locals, for a truly Swedish lunch!

My husband’s grandfather immigrated from Sweden so Swedish traditions literally run through his veins. I’ve embraced many of those traditions, especially those related to Christmas. I’ve also eaten many a Swedish meatball. One tradition I have not taken to? Herring! George and our children always ate soft boiled eggs and pickled herring on Christmas morning while I stayed in bed. When they finished eating, they woke me up by breathing heavily in my face. Yech! So you can imagine George’s great delight to see an appetizer with three kinds of herring, Vasterbotten cheese, sour cream, red onion, and dill potatoes on the menu! He also had Köttbullar (Swedish meatballs) for an entrée with potato puree, cream sauce, lingonberries and pickled cucumber. I had Souvas (smoked reindeer) as an appetizer with kohlrabi in horseradish crème, lingonberries and hazelnuts; and Kröppkakor (Swedish potato dumplings filled with pork) for my entrée. Everything was delicious! But even better, was the time to sit and relax and just get to know Bjorn and Lotta. They took us on a commuter ferry back to our ship which meant more time to talk and seeing more of the real Sweden. The last photo is Bjorn and Lotta waving goodbye from the ferry. What an amazing day! THANK YOU BJORN and LOTTA!

And an aphorism for the prompt?
One man’s herring may be reason enough for a woman to refuse his kiss!


Written for dVerse, the virtual pub for poets around the globe. Today Bjorn is hosting Thursday’s Meet the Bar and asks us to create an aphorism, and if we’d like, add some prose of explanation.

All photos are from our visit with Bjorn and Lotta last week in Stockholm! If you click on each photo, you can see them a bit larger.

Aphorism: a statement that presents a moral or philosophical idea and many times does so with a pithy statement. For example: “the grass is always greener on the other side”and “don’t count your chickens before they hatch.”

I do admit, I’ve taken a bit of liberty with my aphorism….but I really wanted to share these photos with all of you dVersers! And…..after all…..everyone should know when to use breath mints!

Call Me Tempestas

She was a pluviophile,
born in the monsoon times.
Overcome by strikhedonia
she fled her village,
sought solace in the woods.

A sturmfrei soul was she,
content to burrow away
on bright clear days.
Her cottage well hidden
from prying eyes.

She lived for the darkest of storms.
Aroused by lightning strikes,
thunder her love-struck mate.
They danced together in downpours,
her hair drenched, clothes clinging.

Townspeople burbled about her,
bumfuzzled by her ways.
Over time she became the Other.
Easier to will her out of existence,
they stayed inside during heavy rains.

Mish is hosting Poetics today at dVerse, the virtual pub for poets around the globe. She asks us to consider memes in a unique way, providing us with a number of unusual words and their definitions. She asks us to use at least three of them within our poem. I’ve chosen the following from her list:
pluviophile (noun): a lover of rain
strikhedonia (noun): the joy of being able to say the hell with it
sturmfrei (adjective): the freedom of being alone; the ability to do what you want
burble (verb):  to speak in an excited manner
bumfuzzle (verb): to confuse or fluster


*In ancient Roman religion, Tempestas is a goddess of storms or sudden weather.
Image from Pixabay.com

Zaanse Schans

Step back in time with me,
into 17th century Holland.
Into rural fields of working windmills.
One man pulls ropes taunt,
sets sails to catch wind and spin.
Inside wooden cogs and wheels whirl,
grind stone to fine ochre powder.
Village survives by ingenuity.


Quadrille written for dVerse, the virtual pub for poets around the globe where today, Lisa asks us to use the word “work” or a form of the word in our poem of exactly 44 words, sans title.

Images and videos from four days ago when we visited the village of Zaanse Schans, which is about a twenty-five minute drive from Amsterdam. During the 17th century there were more than 600 windmills in this area. Today there are 8. They were used to grind spices, produce paint, saw wood, and make oil, among other things. The one we climbed around in is used to grind rock into ochre powder.

A man must climb up onto the roof and adjust the angle of the sails to catch the wind. The turning sails power the inner workings, cogs, wheels etc (top video) which work to make the grinding wheels turn on the ground level (2nd video). We climbed up a steep wooden ladder to see the machinations and walked around downstairs to watch the huge grinding wheels.

Sheltered / Seeking Shelter

We stood on the deck of our cruise ship, warm and comfortable, having just eaten our fill for breakfast in a beautiful dining room. The night before, we’d had wine with dinner and our choice of four entrees. We were returning to the ship’s home port in Florida, to then return to our highrise condominium in Boston.

The Captain’s voice was clear and strong over the loudspeakers. “There is a small boat of refugees on our starboard side. We have alerted the Coast Guard and will hold our position until they arrive. We believe in safety at sea for all. This will not impede our itinerary. We will arrive at our home port as scheduled.“

A small boat bobbed in the ocean, the people barely distinguishable except to see they were crowded in what looked like a rubber raft. It looked so low in the water, as if it was barely staying afloat. When the Coast Guard arrived more than an hour after the announcement, our ship moved away quickly. We only saw the Coast Guard approach the refugees. We never knew what happened to them.

cherry tree blooms pink
robin sits in feathered nest
mole burrows in darkness

It’s Haibun Monday at dVerse, the virtual pub for poets around the globe. Today, Mish asks us to consider the word “shelter” in our haibun: two or three succinct paragraphs of prose that are nonfiction/autobiographical, followed by a classic haiku.

Photo is from November 2021, when we took a cruise in the Caribbean. It was sobering to see in reality, what we’d read about in newspapers and heard about in the news.

The Ride

How many times around
life’s stationary wheel?
Eight times ten,
nine times ten?
Apex reached at twenty-five or fifty?
Maybe thirty and three-quarters?
Down cycle begins later, much later,
or maybe it did? Back then.
There should be a view from the top,
everything spread out in miniature
but recognizable.
Broken fulcrum invevitable,
timed entrance tickets do end.
Others clamor to get on, their turn.
What’s that saying?
We’re just along for the ride.

Photo taken in Warnemunde, Germany two days ago.

Ode to Love

Rise up this morn, ingenue divine.
Sing joy unto the skies for youth,
for energy and love.
Live now to dance in flower laden fields.
Soon enough
petals shall shrivel upon their stalks,
energy depleted.
But love, if tended well,
will never desert you.

Written for dVerse, the virtual pub for poets around the globe. Today, Monday, August 22nd is Quadrille Monday. Linda asks us to write a quadrille (poem of exactly 44 words, sans title) including the word “morning” or a form of the word. If you look carefully in the first line of Ode to Love, morning is there, albeit broken in to two words.

Apologies to dVersers! I am on a cruise until September 2nd and have very little access to the internet…and when I do, it is intermittant. Therefore I am unable to read your posts to dVerse prompts. Do not feel the necessity to read or post comments on my poems during this time since I can rarely reciprocate.

PS: Poem before this one on my blog, includes photos from our first cruise to the Norwegian Fjords. We are on back-to-back cruises and have just begun the second leg, our Best of Scandinavia cruise.

Ode to Norway’s Lysefjord

Craggy jagged giants, chiseled and slashed.
What unseen sculptor divined your magnificence?
Vertical behemoths,
you tower above humankind,
almost barren of vegetation, so steep are you.

Silent sentinels of time.
Generations and generations more
have you keenly watched,
streaming tearful waterfalls of lament.
Disbelief in man’s inhumanity to man.

Might you remind us, teach us?
Despite glacier carved differences
you stand together in strength,
forming one grand monolith
overcoming the tests of time.

Photos taken on Thursday, August 18th on our Celebrity Norwegian Fjords cruise. Lysefjord is just outside of Stavanger, Norway. Absolutely stunning in its raw beauty.