Two Aphorisms Created for Our Times

I.
Life is a card game,
play your hand wisely.
Seems like we’re caught
in a never-ending bridge game.
Trump suit named,
trick after trick after trick played.
Anyone ready to change the game?

II.
When parade horses leave a trail of shit,
sweepers must follow.

Seems like we’re caught
in a never-ending parade
of show ponies
with far too few sweepers
willing to clean up the mess.


Written for dVerse, the virtual pub for poets around the globe. Today, Ana returns to dVerse and asks us to consider Gnomic poetry which is the practice of moralizing in verse. We can start or end our poem with an aphorism; create our own aphorisms; or be inspired by a myth. We have many choices in how to approach the prompt but the “focal point” of our poem must be a moral or assert a philosophical position on life. And she tells us that just because we’re moralizing, doesn’t mean we must be serious. We can add a bit of humor or irony. Images from Pixabay.com

A Lunker or Two

Spelunker by day
lady’s man by night.
Stalactites his game,
caves his domain.

Met his match at the local pub.
Spellunker by night,
scrabble her game
words her fame.

Challenged him
after a pint or two.
She won the game
he won her heart.


Written for dVerse, the virtual pub for poets around the globe. Today Sanaa hosts Quadrille Monday and asks us to use the word “spell” somewhere within the body of our poem of exactly 44 words, sans title. Had a little fun with this one.
PS: a spelunker is a person who explores caves. Image from Pixabay.com

Overheard on the Corner in Ptown

Walking down Provincetown’s main street,
I passed two men sitting on a bench
chatting in front of the courthouse.
It’s a popular place to people watch.

I heard one man say to the other
“I have a list of things I’m not allowed to buy.”
I started wondering,
what might that list include?

Possibly . . . M&Ms with peanuts,
wine spritzers and flavored beer.
Tie-dyed tee shirts, bumper stickers,
and coffee mugs for mom, dad,
grandpa, grandma, best brother
or best sister.
Cape Cod engraved silver spoons.
Salt and pepper shakers
in the shape of whales.
And possibly starfish from the shell shop?
Because he already has too many.

“So what would I buy if I had that list,”
I asked my spouse after writing this poem.
In his inimitable way, he simply said,
“Use your imagination.”

Image: photo of sign taken on our walk yesterday to the far East side of town, where automobiles first enter Provincetown.

We’re just going to look . . .

Quick
wiggles
brought
giggles.
Kissing us
with
sloppy licks,
just one of her
silly tricks.
This peppy
puppy
stole our
hearts
in one short
hour.

Written for NAPOWRIMO, Day 23. Today we are to write a poem in the style of Kay Ryan: short, snappy, lots of rhyme and sound play. Our daughter’s family went to “just look” at a litter of new puppies at a friend’s house. . .they now have a new bundle of energy in their home!

Ode to Okra

My dear okra plant, you are absolutely divine.
Hibiscus cousin, slow to grow,
ultimately sprouting green tendrils
and yellow blossoms fine.

Soon ‘tis time to harvest and prepare
your lantern shaped, bright green pods.
First I wash, then gently pat dry.
Slice crosswise with considerable care.

I heat the olive oil until very hot,
then slide your delicate sections into pan.
‘Tis time to sauté, tossing and turning
until beautiful slime coats the pot.

Carefully removed from heat,
I carry you slowly across the kitchen floor.
Reach screen door to our outdoor porch,
out I slip, without missing a beat.

Then, mustering all my culinary style,
I heave you onto the compost pile.

Written for NAPOWRIMO, Day 20. Today’s prompt is to anthropomorphize a food, perhaps one you feel conflicted about. Phots from Pixabay.com

And added to dVerse, Tuesday Poetics where Misky has asked us to write about food.

The Septuagenarian

Society’s expectations?
She doesn’t give two hoots
about being who she’s not.

It’s taken her a while to get there,
seven decades to be exact.
Wrinkle creams and hair dye be damned.

She wears flat shoes on every occasion,
air-dries her hair in all its grey glory
and orders dessert, which is mandatory.

Happily sleeveless when it’s hot,
just stare if you dare at her crepe-like skin
and notice her knees with those very high hems.

Stereotypical sayings are bantered about,
she’s older and wiser and been round the block
but look at her now as she picks her own route.

Written for NAPOWRIMO, Day 15.
Today we’re asked to “write a poem about something you have absolutely no interest in.”
We’re invited “to investigate some of the ‘why’ behind resolutely not giving two hoots about something.”
Although my poem is written in third person, this is how I feel at seventy-five.

Ah. . . Perchance to Sleep

This star lit night my lovely dear,
we lie entwined, our lips so near.
Our spirits joined in dreams to soar
until you break the spell to snore.

You grunt and groan and sputter snort.
I toss, I turn, till last resort
my patience worn from all that sound,
my need for sleep is so profound,

I trippingly flee our marriage bed
collapse undone, on couch instead.
And when the sky is lit with dawn
to your side, again I’m drawn.

Alarm rings loud, you wake refreshed
our bodies once again enmeshed.
While you leap up to greet the day,
I’m just ready to hit the hay.

Originally written in early 2019, tweaked for Open Link Night LIVE at dVerse, the virtual pub for poets around the globe.

Click here at 3 PM Boston time today, to join us LIVE at dVerse! Come to read your own poem and hear others; or just to listen. The more the merrier!

A little humor is good for the soul! Also shared on NAPOWRIMO Day 14, off prompt today.

A stitch in time saves nine . . .

. . . but there’s no Singers in this house!
No sopranos, altos, or tenors either.
Only two spools of thread available here.
One cat-masticated white, the other
a forty-six year old neon orange –
from a pumpkin project
for a Montessori kid.

You wore spectacles, Ben,
so you must know.
Your sage advice here
requires at least one eye.
Needless to say, that needle’s slit
and my cataracted two?
Not exactly a winning bet.

So what nine and what time?
Nearing the end of mine,
I’ve resolutely decided
to wear my holey socks.
Instead, I offer you this adage:
A glass of wine at any time
may alleviate your need to whine.

Written for NAPOWRIMO Day 7 where today the prompt is to “write a poem that argues against, or somehow questions, a proverb or saying. They say that ‘all cats are black at midnight,’ but really? Surely some of them remain striped. And maybe there is an ill wind that blows some good. Perhaps that wind just has some mild dyspepsia.  Whatever phrase you pick, I hope you have fun complicating its simplicity.”

*** By way of explanation: Singers is in reference to the popular brand of sewing machines and Ben Franklin popularized this phrase in his Poor Richard’s Almanac.

Image from Pixabay.com

Relating to Aesop

Things sometimes manifest themselves in clouds
Are they real shapes, real creatures others see as well?
Not only my machinations, but some unexplainable cumulus creation?
Always I wonder, is my mind crazed or simply too artistic for the mundane?
What occurs to me as perfectly easy to discern, may or may not be for others.
They perhaps simply see white fluffs surrounded by blue and I
seem rather odd to them, as I ogle over a fire-breathing dragon in the sky.

Written for NAPOWRIMO, Day 6. The prompt for today is “write a variation of an acrostic poem. But rather than spelling out a word with the first letters of each line, I’d like you to write a poem that reproduces a phrase with the first words of each line.”

I’ve chosen a line from Aesop’s Fable, the Bee-Keeper and the Bees: Things are not always what they seem.

Image from Pixabay.com