Marengo Years

How did a city girl end up a high school English teacher in rural Iowa? From graduating in a class of eight-hundred-fifty, quick-stepping to Pomp and Circumstances so the procession wouldn’t last an hour; to senior class sponsor of thirty-two, holding students back until the prior one was all the way down the aisle and seated – so the band could play the entire song.

Town square on Main Street. No traffic lights. Elementary school kids on decorated trikes and bicycles in the high school homecoming parade. Future Farmers of America, 4-H, and drama club. Six-on-six girls’ basketball and a superintendent who sometimes wore bibber overalls. Houses with unlocked doors and party-line telephones.  Church cookbooks and pot-lucks. Friendly people always willing to share, listen, and lend a helping hand. My second time in high-school. More special than the first.

ten foot drifts that year
folks hunkered down waiting for plows –
farm cats warm in barns

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Written for dVerse, the virtual pub for poets. It’s Tuesday Poetics and Amaya is hosting, asking us to remember our school days. Photo: Our rented farm house in rural Marengo, Iowa.

Not Your Toymaker’s Daughter

I prefer to live outside the box.
I am not a jack.

I won’t jump at your desire.
I am not a puppet.  Or a toy.
I am more like a cat.

Independent with nine lives.
And trust me,
none of them are yours.

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De is hosting dVerse today, asking us to use the word “box” in a Quadrille (poem of exactly 44 words, sans title). Image from WikiCommons: 1863 Harpers from Thomas Nast.

Garden’s Delight

He waited in the garden.
Their daily early tryst,
always morning glory.

Impatiens,
burning desire
bursting his bachelor buttons.

Dainty yellow lady slippers
softened her step
coming closer, closer still.

Beautiful bosom
draped in ivy,
touched by morning dew.

Primrose to many,
but he knew better.

Those swinging rosehips,
passion flower in disguise.

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Written for Misky’s twiglet # 88, “ivy draped.”  There are seven flowers mentioned in this poem, in addition to ivy. Can you find the all? A twiglet is a short phrase or word that is aimed to prompt.

Desolate

The girl sat awhile,
gazing out over the waves
from a solitary sandbar.
Pebbles and rock ground fine,
parched by harsh sun,
as wave after wave came,
again and again.
Awash in waves of guilt,
drowning on dry land.
Nothing curled in the air
but the sound of nothing,
the hymn of nothing,
the humming . . .

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Written for Real Toads where the prompt is to write a piggyback poem:
First and last lines should be quoted from two different poems. First line here is from Maureen Hynes, The Horses, the Sorrow, the Umbilicus; last line is from Mark Strand’s She. Photo from Pixabay.com

for far too many . . .

Brown girl dreaming,
tattered ribbons woven
through dark tresses.
She walks in beauty
always plodding upstream,
seeking answers to secrets
from the center of the world.

Oh, to make a joyful noise
that all might hear in high fidelity.
Shout love triumphs hate.
One hundred white daffodils
strewn upon blood soaked streets
could turn a pinkish hue.
Become peace roses beneath our feet.

Oh for those inalienable rights
to be shared amongst us all.
Beyond the hour of land divided,
us and them transformed to we.
To prosper, pain free,
beyond this faithful and virtuous night
into and during every living day.

Or was that Declaration,
that torch held high
to those across the seas . . .
were those just words and symbols?
The happiness project
never intended to be shared,
never meant to be?

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August 9th is National Book Lovers Day and National Hand Holding Day, International Day of the Word’s Indigenous People, National Rice Pudding Day, and National Polka Day! It’s also OLN (Open Link Night) at dVerse, the virtual pub for poets. Folks can post one poem of their choosing – any form, any topic. 

In honor of National Book Lovers Day, I’ve posted a “book spine” poem written with book titles, all from the bookshelf on my desk. Reread the poem, and you’ll find these titles, in this order:

brown girl dreaming
by Jacqueline Woodson

Ribbons – Spring/Summer 2017: Vol. 13, No. 2 (Tanka Society publication)
she walks in beauty (A Woman’s Journey Through Poems)  by Caroline Kennedy
Upstream by Mary Oliver
Secrets from the Center of the World by Joy Harjo and Stephen Strom
Joyful Noise (Poems for Two Voices) by Paul Fleischman
High Fidelity by Nick Hornby
A Hundred White Daffodils by Jane Kenyon
The Hour of Land by Terry Tempest Williams
Pain Free by Pete Egoscue
Faithful and Virtuous Night by Louise Gluck
The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin

What is that? And where has it gone?

Mr. Rogers . . .
putting on his sweater.
Not Angry Birds.

Pen Pals . . .

Waiting . . .
for book three,
Harry Potter
and the
Prisoner of Azkaban.
Not a Netflix binge.

Family vacation . . .
road trip
with I Spy
and
the license plate game.

So . . .
tell me.
How are you,
really?

To listen . . .
leave space . . .
to wait . . .
slow down . . .
to appreciate time.

To think . . .
before we blurt.

A skill.
A common sense attribute,
I fear is becoming a lost art.
Patience.

letter-1077860_1280It’s Tuesday Poetics at dVerse, the virtual pub for poets. Today Jill asks us to consider unseen things, reminding us that only about 5% of the universe is visible matter. Patience is something you cannot hold in your hand.

A Cry for Peace

On a typical hot, humid summer day in Washington DC, we visited the National Air and Space Museum.  A favorite tourist stop for young families, there were many squeals of delight and loads of loud chatter around the space capsules and astronaut exhibits. Parents eagerly read placards aloud and answered their children’s questions.

And then we saw the Enola Gay.  Why does that old plane have that name? Because the pilot, Colonel Paul Tibbets, named it after his mother. Why is it here? Is it famous? How do you answer those questions from a four year old who has no idea where Hiroshima is, what it signifies, and stumbles to even pronounce the word?

decomposing raven
lies outside rotting in snow –
infant wails for breast

Col_Paul_W._Tibbets_before_takeoff_6_August_1945

Frank Tassone hosts Haibun Monday at dVerse, the virtual pub for poets. He reminds us that today is Hiroshima Day 2018. It will be marked by the annual Peace Memorial Ceremony where approximately 50,000 local citizens and visitors, as well as ambassadors and dignitaries from around 70 countries, will] gather in Hiroshima to console the spirits of those killed by the atomic bomb and also to pray for lasting world peace. Our haibun should somehow deal with this theme.

Haibun: Two tight paragraphs of prose, must be true, cannot be fiction; followed by a haiku. I’ve chosen to write a traditional haiku: three lines: 5-7-5 or short-long-short in syllabic form; about nature; includes a Kigo (reference to a season) and a Kireji (a cut achieved by a hyphen, ellipsis, or punctuation mark, that shifts to an added insight within the haiku). 

Photo: Colonel Paul Tibbets before take-off on August 6, 1945. Taken by US Air Force employee (unnamed) – https://www.archives.gov/research/ww2/photos/ photo #162, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=9162980

Are You There?

Temples pulsing, heart racing
mouth clenched in fear.
Pleading. Bargaining.
Nightmare screams in daylight hours
silently explode in my head.
Why?
Why can’t you hear me?
Can you?
Do you?

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Dwight is our guest host today at dVerse, the virtual pub for poets.  It’s Tuesday Poetics and he ask us to consider the sounds of silence. Illustration: The Scream by Edvard Munch – Wikipedia Commons.

WordssdroW

This world puzzles me.
DonalddlanoD?
Oh god! That dog?
Loves his mirror.
Stands with star rats
who emit time warts,
straw guns snug in raw war.
Pals slap pals, live evil lives.
It’s like quaking jello out there,
and we’re getting our stressed desserts.

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It’s a puzzler poem. There are words written as a mirror image and words, almost next to each other, that are a different word when spelled exactly backwards. Can you find them?  Hints/key given below.
Today’s Quadrille,  written for dVerse , must include the word “puzzle” or a form of the word. Mish is hosting and has us in a quandry!
HINTS / KEY: Mirror image of Donald is? Spell these words backwards: god, star, emit, warts, guns, raw, pals, live, and stressed.

Related to Wee Willie Winkie . . .

Tiny Tina Twinkle
flit about the pumpkin patch.
Her little voice like merry bells
she readied for the snatch.

Magic dust in her wee hand
she sought out Peter’s wife.
Took her from that horrid shell
to share her fairy’s life.

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In response to Misky’s Twiglet # 85, “voice like merry bells.” A Twiglet is a short phrase or a word. Its aim is to “prompt” a flow. In a whimsical mood today 🙂 And posted, although rather late, to dVerse OLN with Kim hosting.