Marking October Fourteen

There is a pain too raw.
Too personal to write down.
Wrapped in the shrouds of death
it came too near,
but for angels along the way.

Pain of illness, threat of death,
most astute tutors of life.
Love every mundane moment,
cherish them as a gift.
Celebrate every dawn.

Written for dVerse, the virtual pub for poets. Today Ingrid asks us to consider pain and how we can come out on the other side of it stronger. Photo of dawn from one of our many trips.

Remainders

Cleaning out her grandmother’s home
she found only one mirror.
Hidden in the back of a drawer
buried under delicate handkerchiefs.
Some with embroidered flowers,
others with faded tatted edging.
It had multiple cracks
but the maple handle’s patina
still glowed.

The bouquet began drooping days ago.
Calla lily bodies downed,
long stems succumbed to gravity.
Sunflower heads
ruffled edges turning brown,
faces no longer meet the eye.
Nearby, on oak sidebar,
shriveled pink-veined orchid petals
ready to fall.

Retreated to their tents
they sleep encased in sleeping bags.
Bought on sale,
blue cloth on the outside.
Inside, cowboys ride horses,
stand with guns holstered by cacti.
Childlike Western print
on bright yellow flannel.
Embers pale in campfire ash.

Gathered for their fiftieth
they take the tour,
campus now lush with trees.
Three-story new student center
sports three dining options,
baristas in the Coffee Corner.
Library tables barren, minus green
Readers’ Guides to Periodical Literature.
Fossils still displayed in the Geology Museum.

Scientist by training, environmentalist by trade,
he took over cooking after retirement.
Meticulous shopping lists.
Weekly menu spreadsheets.
One recipe covers two nights.
Red aproned
in black and white tiled galley kitchen.
Meal cooked, served, eaten.
Leftovers stored for another day.

Written for dVerse, the virtual pub for poets around the globe. Today Bjorn asks us to write a Cadralor. This is a relatively new poetry form. It is comprised of five unrelated, highly-visual stanzas. Each stanza must stand alone as a poem. Stanzas should be fewer than ten lines and usually each stanza has the same number of lines. Imagery is crucial – each stanza should be like a scene or a photograph. The fifth stanza is the crucible and should answer the question “For what do you yearn?” In the case of Remainders, I’m emphasizing that the leftovers, in each of the stanzas, has or has had value. In the last stanza, leftovers is taken literally.

Provincetown Pilgrimage

I mellow in my Provincetown days.
I watch and listen to the ocean tides,
their fidelity to lunar rhythms.
My body rests in this place.

Skies often pastel my respite.
Blushing dawns. Tinted sunsets.
Sherbet orange melts into lemon yellow.
Pinks blur into shades of grey and soft orchid.

I’m struck by how colors blend here.
As if the palette is tipped
just ever so slightly
and delineations disappear.

For two weeks every year,
I leave the world behind.
I do not come to recharge;
quite the opposite.
I simply come to be.

Written from Boston, having recently returned from our annual two weeks in Provincetown. Posted for OLN at dVerse, the virtual pub for poets around the globe.

Apologies for those who have been reading a lot of my poetry about Provincetown the past two weeks….this is the last one for this year. I promise!

This photo was taken on one of my last mornings there this year. Somehow Provincetown IS an artist’s palette. The challenge is to recreate it in words. No photoshopping here….it really looked like this. Mother Nature a la the impressionist painter? Until next year…..

My Love and I

Wine me this evening.
Let us sit together
sipping and listening.
No words needed.
Waves roll in, roll out.
No other sound.
Love can be silent.

Side by side many years.
Children raised, married,
parenting their own.
We have time to reflect
on what was,
what is,
and what is yet to come.

The years ahead,
far less than those behind.
And yet we smile,
sit together,
sipping and listening.

Photo taken this week in Provincetown, at the tip of Cape Cod, Massachusetts.

Attitude is a Choice

Sum days her mirror reflects the years.
Grooves etched beside eyes,
crevices left from emotional stress.
Blue veined highwayed hands tattle,
leaving behind tremor shaken script.
But open-toed shoes reveal her true self.
Shining sterling peace-sign toe ring,
defiant purple glitter-polish on her nails.

Quadrille written for dVerse, the virtual pub for poets. Today De is hosting and asks us to use the word “groove” or a form of the word, in our Quadrille (a poem of exactly 44 words, sans title). Image from Pixabay.com

Oh Glorious Day

This Iowa field, this Iowa day.
I stand in the midst of flowers
green grasses waving,
sun’s warmth soaking my skin.
Double hollyhocks stand tall.
Gaillardia faces blush,
edged in sherbet yellow ruffles.
Ethereal clouds float lazily,
cotton ball fluffs
like white misshapen dots
on seersucker blue sky.
Newly painted barn gleams
surrounded by emerald shrubs,
trees and hills.
Ah yes, Iowa,
you are indeed the heartland,
loved by so many.

Written for dVerse, the virtual pub for global poets. It’s OLN (Open Link Night) and Mish is hosting.
We’ve not lived in Iowa since 1997, but oh the glorious memories we have of our days there. From teaching in a small rural high school, to owning our first home on 30 acres of land, to raising our children in a University town and earning my PhD there. Iowa is known as the Heartland – we surely found it that.

Photo is from Nancy Mast who often posts Iowa farm photos.

The Gathering

Love and laughter abound
from youngest to oldest, three generations.
Memories shared, stories told, memories made.
The circle of love goes around and round . . .
. . . we are blessed to still be aboard.
Thankful for every day.

Traditional cousins’ bench shot. In the top one, youngest is 2 and on the bottom, she’s almost 10!
Fifty-one years…..thankful for every day.
Hail hail, the gang’s all here….
Our much loved children and grandchildren.

All photos from last weekend….and what a joyful time we had at a marvelous VRBO farmhouse in Virginia!

Sweet Apples

Three apple trees.
Due date approaching.
Branches loaded with fruit,
over-ripe ones on ground
sickly sweet with buzzing bees.
Fresh picked apples brought inside,
peeled carefully, cut in halves,
sliced after cores are tossed.
Seasoned with cinnamon, allspice and nutmeg
they’re left to sit, making their own juice.
I move the rolling pin over the dough,
stretching it carefully into shape, leaning in
as close to counter as my swollen belly allows.
And then I feel it. Shirt lifted, I look…..
our soon-to-be little one is rolling too.
Crusts placed gingerly in aluminum pie pans
spicy scented apple mixture poured into tins.
Butter pads scattered on top, then top crust placed.
Crimping dough I smile, remembering.
Yesterday I folded sweet little undershirts,
cloth diapers, and placed them just so
on shelf in second-hand bassinette.
Pies made, into the freezer they go.
All the preparations done, we wait.
Iowa’s winter won’t seem so harsh this year.
We’ll have that heavenly apple aroma
as one of our pies bake,
and we’ll be holding a tiny baby boy or girl
ever so closely in our arms.

Written for dVerse, the virtual pub for poets. Today Kim asks us to consider fruit….pick a fruit…..what does it remind us of. What is it like? Describe it.
Immediately our apple trees came to mind from when we lived in rural Iowa. And then memories came flooding back. These were the days when we went to the dr. to find out if we were pregnant. And the only gender reveal was when the baby was born. Our daughter was born after I’d frozen our apple pies for the winter – she’s now 46!

Lesson in Timing

Diapers, bedtime stories,
Christmas stockings.
Driving them to lessons,
reading report cards.
Wound up like a top
I whizzed through the arcane.
Now in my golden years
I think back and realize.
I should have paid more mind.
The arcane was indeed
the miraculous.

Written for Quadrille Monday at dVerse, the virtual pub for poets around the globe. Today I’m hosting and ask people to include the word “wound” or a form of the word in a poem of exactly 44 words, sans title. Notice that “wound” is a homograph. There are two pronunciations and each has a different meaning: He suffered a wound in battle. VS She is wound up like a top. Folks are free to use either pronunciation/meaning or both! If using both, their poem must still consist of exactly 44 words, not including the title.

Photos are of our children who are now 45 and 46! And yes that’s me, about forty years ago!