Elixir

Can you recall her?
Elfin sprite, youthful innocence.

Sipped happiness
from rose petals tipped toward sun.
Turned acorn crowns upside down
savoring drops of morning dew.
Danced with snowflakes
tasting cold on outstretched tongue.

Cup your wizened hands
‘neath steady drizzling rain.
Raise them to cracked lips
eyes closed, sip deeply.
Recapture hope.

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Written for dVerse Tuesday Poetics where Paul asks us to pen a poem about “drinking”; being as creative as we wish with the word.

tanka – a study in brevity

childhood innocence
blushing cheeks and pudgy knees
jump-rope and hopscotch ~
photos keep her company
brittle memories thick with dust

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Frank is our Thursday host at dVerse, the virtual pub for poets. He asks us to consider brevity in our writing…and talks about the Japanese poetic forms of haiku and tanka as examples of brevity. Tanka is 5 lines with the syllabic content 5-7-5-7-7 and should contain a “pivot” at or after the third line. Here, there is a change of perspective: lines 1 – 3 describe childhood for the reader. There’s a sense of liveliness and action. Lines 4 and 5 shift the reader’s view to an elderly person looking at the photos of childhood and hopscotch. The liveliness is gone, replaced by that last line. The person seems alone….left to finger and think about these images, these brittle memories. Perhaps the photos and her memory are “thick with dust?”

The Cat and the Elephant

Tis not the end of the world, my friend.
Nine lives I have
and don’t you see?
I’ve really only been through three.

Tsk, tsk, so you say.
These tusks did push us off the land
but sails they’re not,
without the wind.

Then I shall cat-call to the moon,
plead to lunar-up a breeze.
But you so heavy at the knees,
we’ll still be deadweight in the seas.

Your kitty croons, so pitiful and small,
my BAALOOs shall loudly do the trick.
I’ll proudly call up mighty Orca
and she will surely solve our plight.

—–

Suddenly their boat was perched
atop a dorsal fin
as waves did froth and start to spin,
and winds did help them soar. . .

beyond the land of different,
one so big and one so wee.
She looked up and he looked out
to navigate the troubled seas.

————

Readers heed this little tale
as you doth scan my words.
An elephant and a cat at sea,
sealed their fate successfully.

He did this and she did that
with moon and stars
and wind and whales.
Absolutely no buts allowed.

And thus they sailed,
the elephant and the cat,
into a new and verdant land ~
designed to house the everyone and all.

Silent-Night-Catrin-Welz-Stein-Acrylic-Glass-Print

This is my second post for dVerse today, the virtual pub for poets, where I’m hosting and asking folks to choose one of four images from talented artist Catrin Welz-Stein.

The first post, with another image, is Primitive Folk Tale.

Some fabulous poems have been posted using Catrin’s images. Thank you again, Catrin, for letting us be inspired by your artwork!

Primitive Folk Tale

She, the earliest of living things.
Her strength, serenity.
Eternal for the ages.

Birthed ‘neath a solar scrim
stars and silver moons afloat,
heavenly aura ’round her soul.

In her hand she held thee, wren.
Firstborn feathered creature
created from wisps of love.

Genesis of multiples
winged in soaring flight,
traversing through her skies.

Red blossoms, thorned and not,
suckled from her bosom soft
kindness sipped by every bloom.

Life seeded within her mind
begat entangled branches,
generations of humankind.

Earthly homes imagined
crowned forth upon her head
’til eyelids softly closed,

whispered words escaped her lips.
‘Tis done.
Now they must live.

Catrin Welz-Stein - German Surrealist Graphic Designer - Tutt'Art@ (24)

I’m hosting dVerse today, the virtual pub for poets, asking folks to chose one of four images that I’ve provided, from talented artist Catrin Welz-Stein.  

I also published The Cat and the Elephant, using another of her images.

I love the serenity of this image. If you click on her name, you’ll get to her website which includes much more of her artwork. Thank you, Catrin, for letting us use your beautiful images for motivation today! Pub opens at 3 PM Boston time. Stop by and be inspired!

Harlequin

Medieval court’s poetic jester
leaps cross marble floor,
bells on cap and toes.
Sings boldly eyeing men,
their indiscretions
bared aloud.

Sag-faced courtiers
murmur hoarsely, choking coarsely,
cannot silence tales.
Red-faced king sits in midst
as women waggle fingers,
his scepter turned to stone.

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Quadrille (44 words, sans title) written for dVerse, the virtual pub for poets, where today De asks us to include the word “murmur”. Pub opens at 3 PM Boston time — come on over and quaff some poems! 

Pentimento

Shall I sit
complacent?
Stilled
as if painted upon a wall?
Indelible street art
disintegrating in time?
No.

Dreamers, Mother Earth,
I care.
I give voice.
I demonstrate.
I remonstrate.
I strive to keep her arm outstretched,
a beacon of hope
promised to all.

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First photo is street art from our recent time in Valparaiso, Chile. Written for dVerse, the virtual pub for poets, where today Amaya is hosting and asks us to consider pentimento. A word about pentimento:  this can refer to an alteration in a work of art…sometimes visible to the viewer, such as the shadow of a flower appearing in a painting of the forest; or the hidden woman’s face in the bent neck of Pablo Picasso’s “The Old Guitarist.”  Shifting this into poetry, Amaya asks us to consider a time we changed our mind. Pentimento in Italian means “repentance” so Amaya suggests we think about a change for the greater good.  This started me thinking about Martin Luther King, the 60s, and the recent political scene. No matter the partisan side you lean toward, the election of Donald Trump did create a voice of activism that had been stilled in recent years. I was one of many women who found my voice and demonstrated with my daughter on the day after his inauguration. The recent #metoo movement is another instance of finding voice.

Happiness is . . .

when you marry your best friend
knowing he is the love of your life. . .

when your heart expands
as your family does the same. . .

when your love is so strong
that together, you could travel

to the end of the earth
and back . . .

and you do.

Photo from Antarctica. Days before we rounded Cape Horn and ferried to the last light house on the earth. An amazing journey – through the last almost 48 years with this man . . . and to the end of the earth!

Elephant Island, Antarctica

Shackleton’s men
twenty-two in number
left behind to wait . . .
in this ice-clad
god-forsaken
frozen hell.

Desperate human spirits
battled Nature’s fury,
trespassers
upon her frozen soul.

Weeks on end
they dared to hope,
‘midst wind-blasted anguish
fear, hunger,and numbing cold.

Eyes blurred
by snow-mass glare,
stared beyond roiling seas.
Barely saw the shape emerge.

Eyes opened wide and wider still
watched it grow.
Frozen limbs sluggishly awoke
began to stretch . . .

Arms began to stiffly wave . . .
reaching higher, then higher still.
Slowly first, then slowly faster . . .
quickened to a frantic pace.

Raspy voices strained with hope
hoarsely yelled . . .
then shouted to unforgiving peaks.
‘Tis the Captain, our compass true!

History writ that day
etched in frozen tears.
Defined by return to home
from frozen end of earth.

Photo from yesterday’s visit to Elephant Island with reference to Shackleton’s Antarctica Expedition on the aptly named ship, Endurance – one of the greatest tales of endurance and survival in history.

Antarctica

I stand
on ship’s deck.
Scenes dealt by Nature
visual poetry to me,
death’s hand to many seafarers of old.

Icebergs,
some city-blocks in size
litter the sea.
Imposing ice-capped peaks
tower above.

Humpbacks
spout jubilant spray.
I breathe misty wisps
in frozen air.

Photos from Antarctica – taken yesterday on our cruise. Amazing scenery. Quadrille written for dVerse using the word “poetry.” Apologies to readers that I cannot reciprocate and read your posts or reply to comments – Internet very sparse and expensive here.