Maiden by the Sea

She was but a young sweet maiden,
smitten by the power of a gifted book.
Mesmerized by words, her only escape,
imprisoned alone on distant shore.
Her appetite for love, like thunder,
battered her soul like a storm at sea.

She met her swashbuckling pirate at sea
in chapter two’s final scene. “My, maiden!
I proclaim my love for thee,
” he thundered.
Eyes smoldering, as described in the book,
he appraised his lover, as if a shore,
seeking soft inlets for future escape.

His character so real, she craved to escape,
clambered from tower, ran to the sea.
Consumed by lust, she scanned the shore.
I know you are real and I am your maiden!
I long for your lips, and not from a book!
Words so loud, they rose above thunder.

Where are you? Emotions roared over thunder.
Reality struck hard. There was no escape.
The man she adored, merely words in a book.
Irrational now, seeking her pirate by sea,
into the water she strode. Love struck maiden,
seeking Neptune’s comfort far from shore.

Distraught by loss, villagers gathered by shore.
News spread quickly, as hooves thundered,
galloping across the land. Where is our maiden?
they cried in despair. How could she escape?
Bereft of her graces, they prayed by the sea.
Swore at the heavens. Damn ill-fated book!

Town wizards scolded the crowd. Burned the book.
Chanted mantras up and down the shore.
Gone. Their locked away lady-by-the-sea.
She had been theirs. Until words like thunder
roused the rabid escape
of their walled-in maiden.

Book but ashes now, repercussions still thunder.
Guilt forever plagues their shore.  No escape.
She haunts their seas. Storms from a once loved maiden.

My first attempt at a Sestina….the most difficult poetic form I’ve ever tried. Thank you dVerse for the challenge!
Sestina: A 12th century form consisting of 6 stanzas, each having 6 lines; followed by one tercet (3 line stanza).  BUT, that’s not all.
The end-words of the first stanza’s six lines, must appear as end words in each line of the following stanzas, in a particular prescribed order:

Stanza 1: End-words: Line 1 – maiden. Line 2 – book. Line 3 – escape. Line 4 – shore.
Line 5 – thunder, Line 6 – sea.

Remaining 5 stanza’s end-words use end-words from stanza 1 as follows:

Stanza 2:
Line 1 – sea (end word for line 6, stanza 1)
Line 2 – maiden (end word for line 1, stanza 1)
Line 3 – thunder (end word for line 5, stanza 1)
Line 4 – book (end word for line 2, stanza 1)
Line 5 – shore (end word for line 4, stanza 1)
Line 6 – escape (end word for line 3, stanza 1)

Stanzas 3 -6 use the end-words of stanza one’s lines as follows:
Stanza 3
:   3, 6, 4, 1, 2, 5

Stanza 4:   5, 3, 2, 6, 1, 4
Stanza 5:   4, 5, 1, 3, 6, 2
Stanza 6:   2, 4, 6, 5, 3,
One can use a bit of poetic license and use a form of the word – hence thundered.

Stanza 7:  is DIFFERENT. It is a tercet-only three lines. It must contain all six of the end- words for the lines in Stanza 1 in the following order:
Line 1: book (line 2’s end-word) somewhere in the line; and line 5’s end-word thunder as the last word of the tercet’s line 1
Line 2: shore (line 4’s end-word) somewhere in the line; and line 3’s end-word  escape as the last word of the tercet’s line 2
Line 3: sea (line 6’s end-word) somewhere in the line; and line 1’s end-word maiden as the last word of the tercet’s line 3

Confused? Add to that: somehow the poem must make sense! It’s a poetry sudoku!!
Image from Pixabay.com

Respite

Rocking my soul,
surrounded by lush forest
as lazy loons float upon the lake.
Leaves rustle occasionally
while wooden slats creak
back and forth,
back and forth.
My soul dozes carefree,
enveloped in Adirondack calm.

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Posted for dVerse, Open Link Night Thursday. Photo from our recent family reunion in the Adirondacks.

Surround Sound

24/7 cycle news.
Despicable words
spewed from bully pulpits
met by rabid voices
raised to group-think.

24/7 cycle news.
Despicable acts,
violence stacked on violence.
Horrific acts
met by thoughts and prayers.

Put my mind at ease.
Find my quiet space.
Is now the time?
Accept teleprompter words
and be tomorrow like yesterday?

Where is the movement?
The push and shove
and marching and . . .
what?
Where is our energy . . .

to demand better?
To say enough is enough
and mean it,
do it,
live it.

Reckoning.
Power is born
when one joins one
joins one joins one
becomes many.

In this litany of hate
of otherism,
I shall seek a way
to make a difference.
Demand a difference.

I shall . . .
step out of my safe space.
Beginning here,
on this page,
because . . .

IMG_7456

Written for Tuesday Poetics at dVerse, the virtual pub for poets. Today Linda asks us to “think about things you do to put your mind at peace: pray, meditate, write, etc. Given the state of this country today, I just couldn’t go there . . . I can’t get there. Pub opens at 3 PM Boston time.

For Tomorrow

We walked quietly through Hiroshima’s Peace Garden and the Peace Museum, listened closely to the story of Sadako Sasaki. She was two years old when Enola Gay flew over Hiroshima. Although she was outside the perimeter of its immediate target, she was diagnosed with leukemia seven years later.  An after-effect of the bomb’s widespread toxicity. During eight months of hospitalization, she folded 1,000 paper cranes, many made from small labels off her medicines. In Japanese culture, the crane is symbolic of good fortune and longevity. Sadako was nine when she died.

In 1958, people from all over the world, sent chains of 1,000 paper cranes, to the dedication of the Children’s Peace Memorial. It commemorates Sadako and the thousands of innocent children who died as a result of the atomic bomb. We smiled at the beauty, patterns and bright colors of paper cranes on display. We looked upward to the widespread arms of the beautiful statue.

origami springs
paper cranes in my window
blessings soar each day

The crane has come to represent peace and hope and today,is one of the most popular figures created in the art of origami.

Written for dVerse, the virtual pub for poets, where Frank asks us to write a “haibun to commemorate Hiroshima…to focus not on despair of nuclear holocaust, but on hope born of rising from the ashes. ”  Photos are from our recent visit to Hiroshima: the colorful display of paper cranes; the beautiful Children’s Peace Memorial Statue; paper crane chains I made that now hang in the window of my study; and a photo of me with Kenji. He was an exchange student from Japan in my senior year of high school, 1965. I had not seen him since then and was so excited to reconnect in Japan. He gave me the beautiful origami paper I used to make the cranes. A very special trip indeed.
Reason for title: On August 6, at 8:16 a.m. Japanese time, the world’s first atomic bomb was dropped on Hiroshima. The city holds a Peace Memorial Ceremony each August 6, to console the victims of the atomic bombs and to pray for the realization of lasting world peace.  Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes is a wonderful children’s historical novel written by Eleanor Coerr, published in 1977.
Haibun: A Japanese form of poetry that includes 2 or 3 succinct paragraphs of prose followed by a traditional haiku. 

Perspectives

Arboreal cobwebs.
Ethereal threads glimmer in sun,
intricate patterns
cling leaf to leaf.

Familial cobwebs.
Wisps of the past,
displayed on tables
ready for yard sale.

Charlotte’s cobwebs.
Eager youngsters
admire the spinning,
imagination’s delight.

Gray matter cobwebs,
clammy uneasiness.
Disturbed cluttered thoughts
provoked by age,
exasperated by twenty-four-seven news.

spider-web-with-water-beads-921039_1920

Before you were born . . .

I dreamed of holding stardust in my hands.
Wondering who you were inside of me,
moving softly as my belly expands.
Some being, ethereal? Feathery?
Then you abruptly kicked. Staggeringly.

Doubts, questions, fears, realities unfurled.
How to protect you enough in this world?
Then you, pushing. Pushing until you’re through.
Angry. Squalling. Blotched face. Legs fetal curled.
But once in my arms, my stardust I knew.

Today Frank is hosting dVerse, the virtual pub for poets. We continue to explore the Dizain — a particular form of poetry that includes 10 lines, each with 10 syllables, and a rhyme scheme of ababbccdcd.  There is to be a “turn” in the poem after line 5.  For me, as always with forms, and in particular forms with a set rhyme scheme, it is a struggle to have the meaning of the poem come through without calling attention to the form.  Although folks at dVerse have been working with the Dizain for a bit, this is my first attempt. Pub opens at 3 PM Boston time. Come try your hand at a Dizain! Photo is from pixabay.com  

embers Only

When to hit the return
on her Smith Corona ~
typed one font
had no delete
no warning sounds
carriage just stopped.
End of the line,
so she gave up.

Too much misspelled.
Angry eraser holes
at best, visible smudges.
Life on a page
ripped out in disgust,
crumpled beside tin ash tray,
empty pack nearby.
No sequel here.

Written for dVerse….in reply to the prompt about “temperature”.
This started from reading the line “I sat in bed in the morning writing poetry, hitting the return key whenever I wanted.” in Sally Rooney’s Conversations with Friends. Went from that to the old days of typing on my very small, portable Smith Corona typewriter all through my college days….and somehow came out with this post. Go figure! Photo from pixabay.com

Rend Asunder

Simmering . . .
daze on end.
Days and weeks
on the back burner.
Simmering . . .

Until what?
Fingers drumming.
Unanswered calls.
Bubble bursts.
Boils over.

Hot blooded,
she explodes.
One – quick – STAB.
His blood flows
till warm no more.

Days later he lies
beyond the pale.
Forever stilled
beneath the earth,
cold to touch.

As is her soul.

I’m hosting dVerse today, the virtual pub for poets. Prompt today is to somehow involve the idea of “temperature” within your poem – in any of its diverse meanings or uses. The word itself does not need to be in the poem….but we must be able to tell how “temperature” is related to your poem. IE — to take one’s temperature, red-hot with anger;  temperature of a nation, being in hot water, passion, etc.  Prompt goes live at 3 PM Boston time. Come join us!
And apologies to my readers today….I’ve gone over to the dark side with this post. Photo from Pixabay.com

Summer Ditty

Freckledee doobie
summer me toonie,
singin’ some sillies with you.

Suckin’ orange slurpees
racin’ thru sprinklers,
singin’ our goofy-do tunes.

Hopscotch my sidewalk
ten in pink chalk,
singin’ hippity hoppity, bippity bop.

Friendship and freckles
grow in the sun.
Besties forever
singin’ as one.

It’s Quadrille Monday at dVerse, the virtual pub for poets. Mish is hosting and asks us to include the word “freckle” or any form of the word in our Quadrille (a poem of exactly 44 words, sans title). Photo from Pixabay.com

Ah, Sweet Iowa Summer

Kitchen counter line-up:
sealed mason jars
filled with stewed tomatoes,
green beans, chunky apple sauce,
Harvard beets and pickled too.

Freezer shelves of season’s best.
Umpteen zuchinni breads,
apple pies and butter corn.
Blueberries, tagged in bags,
waiting to grace a cold morning’s stack.

Fresh mown grass, delicious scent.
Orange tiger lilies, shasta daisies,
farm cats mewling with swollen teats.
Sheets flap in hot summer breeze,
fireflies dance as sun departs the scene.

My Marengo memories . . .
ah, sweet Iowa summer daze.

Photo from our Iowa garden many years ago! Posted to dVerse, the virtual pub for poets. We lived in Marengo, Iowa from 1970 through 1974 and then Iowa City until 1997. Had amazing gardens! Learned to can and freeze much of our homegrown vegetables and fruits. Somehow, our zucchini plants seemed to explode and we ate zuchinni bread all winter long! Lavonne Heitman’s recipe for freezer butter corn was delectable and oh those bread and butter pickles that took up so much refrigerator space! Our apple trees filled many a frozen aluminum pie tin. Blueberries graced sourdough pancakes on cold winter mornings. One year, I even canned homemade ketchup! Fireflies were always the magical part of Iowa summers – sorely missed in Boston. Ah sweet Iowa memories! Deserving of the title, Heartland!