Life as an Hourglass

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.

Spring Time on Butrick Street

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.

Zoey

This twelve-week old puppy
melts my heart,
tickles my funny bone
and tests my aging knees.

On the floor to tug and pull
then up to retrieve that bouncing ball.
It rolled to a place unknown to you,
where only I can stretch and reach.

Then on the floor to redirect.
Chew this toy, or this one here.
No . . . no . . .
not that shoe.

Then up again to attach your leash,
and out the door to poop and pee.
Then on the floor to toss and fetch,
then up again for kibbles and treats.

Then squatting down I attach your leash
and out the door we go to pee.
Not now you say, then tug to run
to greet the robins and have some fun.

And when it’s time for you to nap
tired out from all that serious play,
you circle twice and then curl up
to sleep and dream inside your crate.

And I, my friend, so tired too,
need no circles to find the couch.
I sleep, one ear half-alert
until I hear you stir and bark.

Then we start all over again.

Written for NAPOWRIMO, Day 17. Today the prompt is to “think about dogs and then use them as a springboard into wherever they take you.Photo is of our new grandpuppy, Zoey!

The Dandelions of Ukraine

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.

Haiku to ponder

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.

Renewal

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.

The Mysteries of Time

Time slips away, disappears.
Those years of youth,
ours and theirs.

I had a firm grasp on reality.
Even so, the mundane simmered,
repetition melded, numbed time.

Infinitesimal changes crept in,
unnoticed until too late.
What was, was gone.

Those everyday moments . . .
in hindsight I know
were anything but mundane.

Sweet viscous memories
fragments, rarely continuous,
slip and slide in my mind.

I sit, smiling gently,
my head in the past
then force myself into the now.

Pen in hand,
I write as time moves on
faster than my script.

My gait slower, skin thinner
eye sight cloudier,
but joy nurtures me.

Each day is still a gift
for one constant reason.
You are still beside me.

Childhood Memories

“He went to sea in a thimble of poetry.” Poet Warning, Jim Harrison


Wynken, Blyken and Nod
my childhood friends,
lived in the well-turned pages
of mother’s Child Craft book of poetry.
Their neighbors always made me smile,
the Old Lady who lived in the shoe,
Miss Muffet sitting primly on her tuffet
and that merry Old King Cole too.

I often dreamed of that crazy cow
jumping over the moon,
prancing round the stars.
I lived in my imagination
where no one yelled at anyone,
hugging my yellow sort-of-teddy-bear
smeared with mother’s lipstick
so it always smiled at me.

Those dog-eared pages,
oh how I loved them.
When mama read to me,
all was good and calm and fun.

Linda is hosting Tuesday Poetics at dVerse, the virtual pub for poets around the globe. She introduces us to Jim Harrison (December 11, 1937 – March 26, 2016), an American poet, novelist, and essayist, and provides us with a number of lines from his works. We are to choose one line and use it as an epigraph at the beginning of our poem. An epigraph is a short quotation at the beginning of a book or chapter (in this case, a poem), intended to suggest its theme.

I still have two of the Childcraft volumes published in 1949, including the Childcraft Poems of Early Childhood. I loved these poems as a child and then read them to my children and my grandchildren too. Photo is from the book.

Straws

Our lives are made of moments, some plain, some filled with awe.
Looking back I was surprised how many included sipping through a straw!

My mother showed me how to sip orange juice to go with grahams;
Then coca cola and ice cream sodas helped make me who I am.
Chocolate milkshakes, creamy and thick should be against the law.
The memories sweet, of all those times sipping through a straw.

In college I learned about Scotch Mists, served with straws black and thin;
As were those Mai Tai’s with rum and gardenias that almost did me in.
Anything sipped through a straw was yummy. To me a special treat,
Until the memories of hospital stays I do not wish to repeat.

When your lips are cracked, your mouth is dry and your body feels so raw
There is no better thing the nurses can bring than water to sip through a straw.
It’s funny the things that come to mind; the adventures, the things you saw.
My life’s special moments have often come when sipping through a straw.

Straws is written by Lindsey Ein: wonderful writer, wonderful friend, and mother to our dear son-in-law. She shared this poem with dVerse LIVE on Thursday – I’m just a bit late posting it.