Which Reflection?

I seldom use it –
the full-length mirror.
When I do, it makes me wonder,
who is that person?

I’ve had fun with crepe paper.
That weird webbing you could stretch.
Make it wider and longer.
Hung it all over the family room
for many a birthday party.
So I have crepe skin on my arms.
Okay, be honest. In other places too.
I understand the term’s origins.

How did my mother climb into that frame?
Save your clucking tongue,
your “you haven’t changed a bit” comments.
I prefer to see my value in other ways.
In my husband’s eyes.
In my daughter’s forty-seven year old smile.
In my forty-five year old son’s weekly calls.
In the tik toks and quick texts shared with five grandkids.

I’ll wear capri pants, sleeveless tops,
sparkly eye shadow below my thinning brows.
I love my almost pure white streak
in the midst of my grey hair.
Save your tears for somebody else.
I’m quite content to be a septuagenarian.
The mirror be damned!

Today I’m hosting Tuesday Poetics at dVerse, the virtual pub for poets around the globe. I’ve asked folks to go to the website https://mybirthdayhits.com and plug in their birth date. The site then gives you the musical hit that made #1 on the charts for every birthday you’ve celebrated until 2021. So for example, if your birthday is today, September 28th and you were born in 1952, you plug in that date and the site will give you the #1 hit for every year on September 28th from 1952 until 2021! AND the site gives you a recording you can listen to as well. Such fun! So the prompt today is to take at least one of the #1 hits from your birthdate and include the song title, word for word, in your poem. You can use more than one #1 hit if you wish.
My birthday is May 13th: In 2007, my 60th birthday, the #1 hit was Makes Me Wonder by Maroon 5; in 2021, for my 74th birthday, the #1 hit was Save Your Tears by The Weeknd. You’ll find those titles in my poem today.

At my age . . .

. . . my to-do-list is
much too mundane to do.
*Laundry
*PT exercises
*Vacuum
*Clean out drawers

So I sit, pen in hand
page waiting to be filled,
adorned by words. 
Words like scintillation
fantasia, pomegranate
or perhaps persimmon.

Images, dormant in my mind,
waiting to appear on the page.
Orange sherbet sun
flirting with shapeshifter clouds.
Raucous carousel horses
racing round a blurred world.

Pen over vacuum? Easy choice
to clear the cobwebs from my brain.

Image from pixabay.com

In the midst of rain

I sit in the early morning
near rain dappled leaves,
contemplating . . .

Even in the midst of showers
or thunder storms,
the sun shines.

It is simply obscured by clouds . . .
but it will reappear.

Video taken last week at our family reunion in Warrenton, VA …. from the porch of our rented farmhouse.

A World Defined by Covid

Rain gushed from heavens
thunder, lightning
pandemic hell turned purgatory.
Boxed in by walls. Boxed in by zoom boxes.

Snows came, windows frosted shut.
Our spirits glazed as seasons passed
seen from shuttered window panes.
Cities crawled. Inequities laid bare.

Sparse masked figures hurried to tasks,
six feet apart. A grave distance indeed.
Hope impossible to grasp by stifled hands.
Optimists whispered. Hang on, hang on . . .

. . .after all, tomorrow is another day.
But optimists were far and few between.
Tomorrow is another day wore thin
because it never was.

Addendum. Recovery.
Release for those us who survived.
Smiles visible but leery. Freedom, sort of,
for far too many to openly grieve.

Freedom for the privileged
while far too many across the globe
still parched, still weary
still covid devastated . . .

. . . another day . . .
still impossibly too far away.

Written for dVerse, the virtual pub for poets around the globe. Today Mish asks us to consider lines made famous by movies. She provides many for us and asks us to include one of them in a poem.
I’ve chosen “After all, tomorrow is another day.” from Gone with the Wind, 1932.

Then and now . . .

My school days,
saddle shoes, skirt and top.
Their school daze,
slippers, top and “cozy” pants.
My school days,
chalkboard in big classroom.
Their school daze,
computer screen and clicking keys.
My school days,
penmanship lessons
with nun in long habit.
Their school daze,
zoom math with talking head,
mute button and breakout rooms.
My school days,
long walk there in rain or snow.
Their school daze,
bed to desk with bathroom stop.
My school days, so long ago.
Their school daze, one big blur
in one lost year.

Written for NaPoWRiMo, Day 10‘s prompt which asked us to recall lyrics to a song we know, then look in a junk drawer in our house and see what’s in it…and then come up with a poem that somehow weds the two. For whatever reason, I thought of the old song School Days which my mother used to sing to me when I was young; and which I sang to my grandchildren when they were young. The drawer yielded a ruler and I won’t tell you what else! I started thinking about this past Covid year and what it’s done to children in terms of their school days….and voila, here’s the result.

If you could choose . . .

anxiety
panicky, out-of-control
debilitating, all-consuming, frightening
nervous, sleepless / composed, content
empowering, stimulating, calming
mindful, cognizant
serenity

Written for Tuesday Poetics at dVerse. Lisa is our host and asks us to consider “opposite poems” …… giving us several options for our creative process today. One is to follow this form:
Line 1: a noun/subject
Line 2: two adjectives that describe the noun/subject
Line 3: three ‘ing words about the noun/subject
Line 4: four words: two about the noun/subject and two about its antonym (opposite)
Line 5: three ‘ing words about the antonym
Line 6: two adjectives that describe the antonym
Line 7: an antonym (opposite word) for the noun/subject
The noun and its antonym I chose: anxiety and serenity

Also posted for NaPoWriMo Day 6. Illustration: some wierd photoshopped photo of me done years ago.

Hope for a New World

Swirl me.
Topple me through this rabbit hole.
Emerge me under a lemon sun
squeezed dry beyond sour memories,
yet lifegiving.

Twirl me in tuille skirt.
Pirouette my toes until . . .
I tour jeté into the light.
Abbracadabra these Covid spikes.
Disappear them to reappear nowhere.

Vamp up the timpani as brass blares.
Let me wave my arms
conductress supreme.
Through the finale of all finales,
with oxymoronic cadenza.

Cadenza me into a new world opus.
Melodious, and most importantly,
pandemicless, fomentless, argumentless,
povertyless, violentless, hatredless,
bLESSed be this world.

Cadenza, (Italian: “cadence”), unaccompanied bravura passage introduced at or near the close of a movement of a composition and serving as a brilliant climax, particularly in solo concerti of a virtuoso character.
Cadenza | music | Britannicawww.britannica.com 
I take poetic license with the word. Here, the cadenza continues the piece, leading into a new world: thus an oxymoronic finale.

Haibun for 2021

As I think back on new beginnings in my life, I’m struck by how self-centered or family oriented they all were. Graduations, the births of our children and grandchildren, weddings, birthdays, rejuvenatement – never say retirement. New Year’s Eves don’t really come to mind as momentous occasions – until this year.

As we have in so many years past, George and I watched the crystal ball drop in New York City’s Times Square from the comfort of our home. We counted down the last ten seconds of 2020. But this time, when we hugged in 2021, I was literally overcome with emotion. Tears flowed and I clung to George. I was surprised at the depth of my emotional response until I realized what it encompassed. Hope on a global scale. Hope in the form of a vaccine. Hope that millions will escape misery, ill health, and untimely deaths. This moment in our lives, was a moment shared round the globe. It was so much bigger than us sitting on the couch. We were simply a microcosm of a weary world, rejoicing in hope.

snow pack melts in sun
trickle grows to waterfall –
like hope rushing forth

Today, I’m tending the bar at dVerse, the virtual pub for poets around the globe. We open 2021 with Haibun Monday. My prompt is to write about new beginnings. Think about how that phrase may relate to you. Perhpas you’re reminded of a new job, new garden growth, a new season. Anything that comes to mind in terms of a new beginning. BUT . . .
. . . I remind people that a haibun must meet certain requirements:
* 2 or 3 succinct paragraphs of prose that must be true

* followed by a traditional haiku.
Traditional means much more than simply 3 lines of 5-7-5 syllables.
Come join us at 3 PM Boston time and find out what a traditional haiku really is!

Photo: taken on our South America/Antarctica cruise in January 2018. Vincennes Rosales National Park, in Puerto Montt, Chile.

Monochromatic Beauty

Contemplation, gift of the night.
Moonlight glazes the sea.
Gone are those wild waves of yesterday
when nature caroused to youth’s delight.
Evening’s darkness, a quiet scene
dressed in shades of ebony.
I hear the sea’s symphonic hush as midnight nears.
So many questions come to mind,
most unanswerable by humankind.
Why should not the water
find delight in the floral fragrance
of its own rippled surface?
My scent commingles with the sea’s.
My toes curl, touching her lapping edge.
Her ripples ebb and flow so slowly,
shine in gentle arcs of lunar light.
Mesmerized, I begin to understand.
Yes, time seems shorter now
ending chapters closer,
looming large like tonight’s full moon.
Energy disipated, still beautiful
in this later monochromatic scene.
I’ve come to contemplate the night
and take my leave thanking the sea.
Quietly I begin the walk home,
sensing the rippled surface  I leave behind,
and I smile.

Written for Tuesday Poetics at dVerse, the virtual pub for poets. Today we are asked to let our imaginations become a springboard to the mystical/sacred and use one of eight fragments from the mystic poets. I’ve chosen “Why should not the water find delight in the floral fragrance of its own rippled surface?” (Jnanadev) Photo taken while on our last cruise, well before the age of Covid.

Allegorical Tail

No name and no identity.
I was caged, abandoned.
Lived in a shelter,
not really a home.

Rise up . . .
let ’em know my worth.
Look ‘em in the eye
and stand up tall.

Rise up . . .
from obscurity.
Major news story,
I’m staking my claim.

Rise up . . .
just walk on in.
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.
DOUS. That’s actually me.

You try it now.
Let ’em see your worth.
Look ‘em in the eye
and stand up tall.

It’s a new day a comin’.
tell the whole world.
I got this now,
so you can too.

Written for Tuesday Poetics at dVerse, the virtual pub for poets, where today Peter from Australia is hosting. He is looking at Poetry of Witness and asks us to go to our local newspaper and find a publicly reported event to write about. IE giving witness to an occurrence. That’s President-Elect Biden above, with his dog Major who he adopted in 2018 from the Delaware Humane Association. He was a shelter dog, abandoned to the shelter by someone for whatever reason. Unwanted. And now Major will be the DUSA (Dog of the United States), moving in to the White House on January 20th!

And the allegorical tail? Major teaches us that any person can stand up tall, look ’em in the eye and ultimately become POUS!