As We Dream . . .

Call me to lie down in the fragrance.
         – D. Margoshes, Seasons of Lilac

Bare brittle branches and snowless grey pallor,
this winter’s reality.
Night dawns starless as we slip into dreams.
Our bed afloat in riotous blossoms,
spring collaged in wildflowers
cacophony of colors and scents.
There is but one season with you by my side.
Calendared through so many years,
this season of love.

Written for dVerse, the virtual pub for poets around the globe. Today Laura asks us to write a poem inspired by a final line from a poem. She provides us with a number of lines and we are to choose one. We may use that line as an epigraph, but are not required to do so. The line can not be in the body of the poem; nor can it be the title of the poem.
Epigraph: a line from another source, inserted between the title and content of one’s poem. It should somehow complement the poem.
Photo: from a visit to Ireland’s Blarney Castle a number of years ago.

Snow Globe and More

This is not a snow globe
this is me seeking refuge
slipping mentally inside,
beautiful crystal orb.

This is not a snow globe
but a world disrupted.
Lies pummeling us everywhere
beliefs shaken, in disarray.

Wellbeing, within our grasp.
Shake loose the tyranny.
Set it down firmly
and stop the madness.

This is a snow globe.
Sentries within trust us.
When their world is shaken
they know we will reset the calm.

Written for Tuesday Poetics at dVerse, the virtual pub for poets around the globe. Today we are asked to write an object poem and begin with the words “This is not a ….” We are asked not to simply describe the object, but to relate to it. How does its existence affect me….what does it mean to me….how do I relate to it at this moment. Photo is the snow globe on our coffee table … a Christmas decoration I’ve had for many years. I love to tip it and see the beautiful shimmering “snow” swirl inside.

Where is thy Epiphany, oh Lord?

Would-be leader:
brazenly denigrated the disabled
name-called, disparaged so many.
Usurped Lenin’s words, Enemy of the People.
And we gasped in shock,
watched as he became

our leader. And all could see.
He swooned at tyrannical dictators,
locked innocent children in chain link cages
denied science, endangered earth.
Denies a virus its due respect,
callous as thousands upon thousands die.

People carried lit torches into the night
spit epitaphs at Jews and blacks and browns.
This chosen leader praised these folks.
They’re “good people” he said
and he did nothing to change the tide.
And we watched, some ashamed.

Our chosen leader lied and lied and lied again.
Some lies repeated so often
morphed into truth for far too many,
angry people starved for validation.
Supremacists lurking in the shadows
came out in droves, baited by his words.

Some people dared to say, this cannot be.
But others among us,
some in leadership roles
consumed his lies
until they began to take root,
fill their mouths like canker sores.

He created his own reality.
We watched as too many followed
until the fire he lit became a blaze.
Destruction reigned over their shocked heads.
Death was in their house
and they cowered in fear.

We watched with sickening bile
on this day of Epiphany.
Surely they would now understand.
And yet they took their place again,
his mouth still incised upon their faces.
They spewed his lies for all to witness.

We watch days later, true evil unveiled.
Not just him, but scores of others.
His sycophants, a scourge upon our land.
We wring our hands and pray,
where is the justice, oh Lord?
Only in us, our voices must be raised.

I’m “filing” this under Cherished on my blog because I cherish this democracy and pray for its preservation.
Written on January 9, 2021.

A Christmas Carol

Like sparkling lights
I love you

like tart cranberry sauce
and chocolate mousse

smooth and sweet
and roast turkey

the day of and days after
and after that’s leftovers

like youthful kisses
I love those leftovers too

the you and me
season after season,
still savory good.

Written for dVerse, the virtual pub for poets where today Sarah asks us to write a response to a poem we’ve read in the past year. Below is the poem I modeled mine after. It appears in jelly roll, a collection of poems by African American poet Kevin Young, winner of the Patterson Poetry Prize and Finalist for the National Book Award. I tried to simulate his form and like him, used a type of music as the title. And yes, that’s my husband and I fifty years ago and obviously, much more recently!

Ragtime
by Kevin Young

Like hot food
I love you

like warm
bread & cold

cuts, butter
sammiches

or, days later, after
Thanksgiving

when I want
whatever’s left

Senses

2020 Christmas season begins with a gray, gloomy winter view out my front window. Remnants of light snowfall melt into a muddy mess. Turning from bleakness, I behold the color of Christmas spread throughout every room. Our tall green tree lit with colored bulbs, covered with sparkling ornaments collected for 60 years from travels and special life moments in my family. Red candles in brass candlesticks glow, the scent of cinnamon and peppermint awaken my senses. Alone, missing my family, I close my eyes and they are here.

Redbird in front tree
Sings familiar melody
Amaryllis blooms.

(Written by dear friend, Lindsey Ein)

This Last Day

Although this year ends
and the next promises hope,
far too many can not be joyful.
They survive, just barely.
Lost jobs. Lost income.
They watch the year end
without a loved one by their side.
Let the new year begin.
Let hope live and thrive.
Bring relief. Bring safety.
Hear our prayer, oh Lord.
Help us begin anew.

For those who are struggling with loss . . .

Sometimes, this time of year,
we struggle to stay in the present.
Memories intrude ever so gently
or sometimes harshly,
like a kick in the gut.
We may gasp. We may wail.
Loved ones lost. No. Wrong word.
Loved ones gone.
Gone from our sight, our touch,
our living space.

Tears they say, are cleansing.
A release. Well . . . perhaps.
But must we be staid while others carol?
Granules of being have disappeared,
theirs and thus some of ours.
So we reminisce. Sometimes ache
as waves of emotion flow through us.
Whisper aloud I love you,
though the room is empty,
save for us.

This Christmas season shall pass
and we shall live on.
Beyond the celebratory gifts,
beyond that sweet gospel
of an infant born one miraculous morn.
Our treasured memories still intact,
just shelved, perhaps a bit farther back.
But still there. Always there. Always with us.
Available for the taking out, the reexamining,
at any time we wish.

Today, we shall step into the sun,
feel its rays and warmth.
We shall smile through gentle tears.
Our tongue shall linger on our lips,
taste sweet saltiness,
a gift of remembrance.
We shall walk another day
but we shall always know one truth.
The empty space beside us
is not indicative of an empty heart.

I am about to celebrate Christmas with our home warmly decorated, and my spouse of fifty years by my side. I am however, cognizant of the many who have lost loved ones in the past year or two…whether to Covid, addiction, cancer, accident, any myriad of other reasons. Many people have difficulty during this season as they face the starkness of their loss. My poem is dedicated to all of you. May you all be blessed with gentle memories, serenity, and a new year that brings hope and health to all.

Let it be so . . .

There is hope in the air
in the midst of fear, rancor, illness, and loss.
Can you sense it?

In these final days of advent,
this challenging year,
let us open our hearts to hope.

Imagine a newborn babe.
Its innocence. Its vulnerability.
Imagine the brightest star aglow.

A new beginning about to be.
Hope for good health, good will,
so very close now.

Let it be so.

Thankful for Every Day

I reach for your hand, my love.
I seem to do that more often as the days age on.
We walk more slowly, notice things more minutely.
Outside our window, that jay,
perched on winter’s shivering branch.
Sky blurs. Sometimes blues to hazy violets.
Sometimes shifting reds to soft shades of orange,
as day slips into night.
There is a truth we cannot deny.
The path ahead
is shorter than the one we’ve tread.
No less glorious, just different.
Each time my hand seeks and finds yours,
there is quiet reassurance.
We are us for another day, another hour,
another moment in time.

Photo taken at our beloved annual sojourn in Provincetown, at the tip of Cape Cod.