Schooldays, schooldays, good old golden rule days . . . familiar words from a song my mother sang to me as she tucked me into bed. Generations later, I sang these words at bedtime to our young children, and then again to their children.
As a septuagenarian, I’ve been entrenched in schooldays from when I went to kindergarten until I rejuvenated (never say retired) in December 2012. Schooldays were part of my life as a student, a parent of school-aged children, a teacher, and finally as a university administrator. Whether we lived in rural Iowa, or a city, August always signaled summer’s end. More importantly for me, it was the harbinger of schooldays to come. Depending on my age, it could mean cutting up brown paper grocery sacks to make textbook covers; or shopping for new crayons, knee socks for my uniform, #2 yellow pencils, new Bic pens and notebooks, or a new sweater set. Later it signaled filling out a new lesson plan book, or noting upcoming meetings in a day planner. At seventy-five, back-to-school ads on television bring back memories of August days gone by.
sweetcorn season done seed corn soon to fill silos school bells ring again
Written for dVerse, the virtual pub for poets around the globe. Today Sanaa is hosting and asks us to write about what August means to us. We can use any poetic form we choose. I decided to write a haibun.
Haibun: a poetic form that includes one or two succint paragraphs of prose followed by a haiku. The prose cannot be fiction. The haiku must include a seasonal reference.
Like young colts galloping through wildflowered fields, all legs in a blur. These teenage grandchildren rush in laughing, talking, a whirlwind of energy. Fast hugs for me, quick words of endearment and they’re out the door.
I sit down, coffee cup in hand, and chuckle at what just was. I marvel, smiling, at what is to come and what will be. The world is theirs to explore, to grapple with, to improve, to endure. But for now, let them gallop in the wildflowered fields.
Posted for Open Link Night at dVerse, the virtual pub for poets around the globe. AND we are LIVE today from 3 to 4 PM Boston time. Read below how to join us!
EXCITING NEWS FOR dVERSE! Mr. Samuel Peralta announced the selection of dVerse Anthology, Chiaroscuro, for inclusion in the LunarCodex Polaris time capsule going to the moon in 2023! It’s true! Not a hoax! Chiaroscuro will be on the moon — I have six poems in the anthology! I’m going to be on the moon! Go to lunarcodex.com to learn more. At the Menu on the right click on MORE….scroll down and you’ll come to an image of Chiaroscuro! Mr. Peralta is interviewed on YouTube about the technology. Google “We”re flying to the moon samuel Peralta” you’ll find it. It’s rather lengthy, but very interesting to read about the technology!
What is OLN LIVE? Go to https://dversepoets.com at 3 PM or shortly thereafter. There will be a link right at the top of the page…Click on it and it will take you to the dVerse pub! You’ll meet many of the dVersers who post here weekly, and some who just come when the spirit moves them (or the prompt does!). Each attendee has the opportunity to read one poem aloud as others listen and appreciate. Alternatively, if you are not comfortable reading for the group, simply join us and listen in! The more the merrier!
I hope to see you at the pub today!!! https://dversepoets.com at 3 PM Boston time or shortly thereafter. We’ll be live until 4 PM.
The summers of my privileged youth were filled with riding bicycles with my best friend, June; drinking from the garden hose; drawing hopscotch grids with colored chalk; climbing Mrs. Jester’s apple trees; running through sprinklers in the back yard; and fishing off the Lake Michigan pier with my dad. Once every summer, my mom bought a box of popsicles and doled them out to me and my friends. Everyone else fought over the red ones. I always had the yellow ones to myself. I guess nobody else liked banana.
hot city summer steam hovers over pavement tempers flare, guns pop
Frank is hosting haibun Monday at dVerse, the virtual pub for poets. Today he asks us to consider summer. Photos from my childhood, in the early 1950s. Pub opens at 3 PM Boston time. Come join us!
Haibun: one or two paragraphs of succinct prose, usually biographical in nature, followed by a haiku that amplifies the theme, but does not duplicate the prose.
My life is like a fragile hourglass sand grains drop through. Some moments I savor slip past me before I can taste them. Other times lag behind move so slowly I can not stand it and so I open my mouth and scream aloud. I want to control each and every grain of my life, especially now in our winter season when the path ahead is far shorter than the glorious one we’ve been blessed to share.
Written for NAPOWRIMO, DAY 28. Today the prompt is to write a concrete poem, in which the lines are shaped in a way that mimics the topic of the poem. Also shared with dVerse, the virtual pub for poets, where today it’s OLN: Open LInk Night where we can share any one poem of our choosing.
Rain drops glisten daffodil petals. Forsythia blooms in Mrs. Jester’s yard. Buttery yarn disappears from hank, chain-stitched and double-crocheted by arthritic fingers on blue-veined hands. Children with yellow chalk-smudged cheeks squat on sidewalk squares. Round smiling sun in place, they draw happy flowers below.
Written for NAPOWRIMO, Day 18 and dVerse, the virtual pub for poets around the globe: both prompts coincide nicely in this poem.
It’s Quadrille Monday at dVerse. The word to put in our poem of exactly 44 words (sans title) is “chalk” and the pub opens at 3 PM Boston time.
The NAPOWRIMO prompt is to “write a poem that provides five answers to the same question – without ever specifically identifying the question that is being answered.” The question I’ve answered is “What are yellow things you might see in the spring? My answers are daffodils, forsythia, yarn, chalk-smudged cheeks, and the sun.Photo is from Pixabay.com
** I grew up in Waukegan, Illinois. The house I lived in from the time I was two until I went into third grade was at 144 South Butrick Street. Mrs. Jester was our elderly next door neighbor.
She paints a different scene different from the devastation of war. One of deep meaning to her people.
Far from crimson-orange flames, bomb bursting flares in night skies, blood-stained rubble covered streets.
She paints a girl with auburn hair back to us, looking out at sunburst sky in the midst of dandelion fields.
Beautiful broadleaf perennial weed, dandelions bloom brightly yellow, steep in teas and make fine wine.
Notoriously challenging to remove, ten-inch-long taproots deep in soil tenaciously hold their place in earth.
Sunflowers may be the national flower, but this upstart weed personifies her people. Strength, perseverance, and beauty, just as she painted, the dandelion field.
Written for Poetics Tuesday at dVerse, the virtual pub for poets around the globe. Mish is hosting and gives us an inspiring, beautiful and timely prompt, acquainting us with Ukrainian artist, Vika Muse. We are to select one of her remarkable paintings and be inspired by it. As Mish writes: “During this unfathomable yet very real situation in her homeland, let us bask in the light of her artistry and be a reflection of light with our words.”
The work of Vika Muse can be found on Instagram at @get.muse and is featured on the website http://www.inprnt.com (just do a search on this site for Vika Muse and all her artwork will come up).I selected her piece, The Dandelion Field.
dVerse pub opens at 3 PM Boston time, featuring this prompt.
The second half of joy is shorter than the first. Emily Dickinson
everyday a gift wildflowers along the road – snow falls silently
Written for the NAPOWRIMO prompt given the day before National Poetry Writing Month begins. We are to respond to one of Emily Dickinson’s lines of poetry. Several are provided or we may choose our own.
Also will appear at dVerse, the virtual pub for poets around the globe. Today is OLN: Open Link Night. Ingrid is hosting and we may post any one poem of our choosing. Pub opens at 3 PM Boston time. NAPOWRIMO begins officially tomorrow. April is National Poetry Writing Month and the challenge is to write a poem every day of the month. Photo is from our trip to Ireland a number of years ago.
During the season of cherry blossoms, after more than fifty years of being separated by more than six-thousand miles, we met again. This gentle man, Kenji, who I knew only for one year, all those years ago. So many changes in the world since last we’d seen each other. Kenji was a foreign exchange student from Japan, during our senior year at my Illinois high school. And now I was a visitor in his home country. There for a few days to experience his beautiful culture. In his hometown of Tokyo for one day. How would it be to see him again?
We sat in a small restaurant over a pot of fresh brewed tea. Shared news about our lives, careers and family. Reminisced too. And somehow, the years melted away and friendship bloomed again.
cold brings frost, stunts growth trees remain rooted in earth – blossoms come again
Written for Haibun Monday at dVerse, the virtual pub for poets around the globe. Today Frank asks us to consider cherry blossoms. A haibun combines prose and haiku. Photo is from our cruise to China, South Korea and Japan in 2019. Such a wonderful reunion with Kenji Kojima! And how appropriate that our friendship bloomed once again exactly during cherry blossom season in Japan.