Ledger of Life

In the wee hours of the morning
my mind tumbles faces, places, memories.
Little aches ping.
Hand holds pen to write,
conduit for black words
birthed on white unlined page.
What is this but a ledger of life?

Dids and dones
undones and shoulda-dones
woulda-dones, coulda-dones.
Little ones raised to move on
to raise little ones to move on
to raise little ones to move on.
Where in this pattern will I cease?

Dawn rises, stains sky in fiery reds
oranges, glaring orange-reds.
No sorbet pastel hues today.
Yesterday’s clouds only wisps today.
If they dissipate tomorrow,
will their essence still exist
somewhere in that indigo sky?

Someday,
I shall no longer walk this earth.
How many little ones raised to move on
to raise little ones raised to move on
will recall my name?
Know where to find my words,
poems once so thoughtfully scribed.

Perhaps I shall be a faded photo
in an antique frame,
dusty but shelved with someone’s knickknacks
between Kahil Gibran’s The Prophet
and James Patterson’s final mystery.
And when I think about it,
listening to the ocean roll in,
I’m okay with that.


Click on link above to see video…takes a second to run.
Written for Open Link Night at dVerse, the virtual pub for poets around the globe. OLN means folks can post any one poem of their choosing; no prompts given. Video taken Wednesday, September 16 in the age of Covid….from our deck in Provincetown.

Re-imagined

Version One

I take my walkabouts at the optimum time of day,
always with my shadow in the lead,
following her confident pace,
one step at a time into my future.

Version Two

I walkabout at half-past two.
Toe-to-toe,
my shadow leads the way
then picks up the pace.
We two-step
then strut
then run.
We dare the future
to trip us up,
dare the sun to set.

Written for dVerse, the virtual pub for poets around the globe. Today Peter, who is from Australia, tells us that we write like a dog and should edit like a cat! He asks us to rewrite a poem we’ve previously posted. I do like the second version better. Photo from Pixabay.com

It’s Me

I like my positive attitude
my hazel-green eyes
my dad’s white-streaked wave in my hair
the Vionic shoes I wear to support my feet
so I can dance when the mood strikes.

I love that I married my best friend
that Face Time allows me to see our son
that our daughter still laughs with us
and our children still think
our thoughts are important.

I love that I’m in my seventh decade
and whenever anyone complains
about growing old,
I always say,
“and aren’t we glad we are!”

In this age of Covid, I am blessed
to be a recluse with the man I love
to walk along the Charles River
to be healthy and safe.
I am humbled by my privilege.

Written for Poetics Tuesday at dVerse, the virtual pub for global poets. Today Sarah asks us to write a self-portrait poem.
Last week , we walked along the Charles and then through Boston’s Public Garden, where this photo is taken. Since we do not own a car and avoid public transportation during this age of Covid, we explore and walk within a perimeter that our feet will take us. Can you tell we’re smiling for this selfie
?

Flower Child of Old

Wilting daisies crown her head. 
Twined in double-chain necklace 
wilted more, they weep happiness
like old mood-rings on blue-veined hands.

Bare knees peek out
beneath tie-dyed ruffled skirt.
Tire-tread sandals grace her feet,
big toes polished in fireworks.

She seeks nothing now,
mind enveloped in hazy blur.
Nothing but a return to youth
before the savagery of time.

Love IS. Love the world.
Love everyone as your kin. 
Crooked sloppy words
painted on torn off shingle.

She holds it high for no one to see,
proud of its weathered look.
Blotched spots drip from letters
like tears shed in her dementia world.

At seventy-one, determined to return,
she roams these Woodstock fields
empty now, save her memories.
In her mind, she is there,
back in her revolutionary days.

2020-07-21 (2)
Merril is hosting Tuesday Poetics at dVerse, the virtual pub for poets. Today she asks us to consider the idea of revolution. We can write about it in any way: revolution of the planets, a spinning top, a political revolution, new ideas and inventions, medical discoveries. You get the idea.

Living Room?

What’s happened? How can I be a Russian Nesting Doll? Shrinking. Shrinking.  
Travelers were we. Recently returned from China, South Korea and Japan.
Walked the Great Wall. Reveled in Mt Fuji and cherry blossoms.
Sailed the seas. Viewed sunsets and sunrises across waves.
Escaped Boston’s winter in San Diego sun. Two months
walking Balboa Park, La Jolla coast. Seafood galore.
Joyfully we planned for our 50th anniversary
to meet our children and their children.
Long weekend in Washington DC.
Laughter, love, and more love.
Then Covid-19 raced across
our land. And yours too.
Told to stay at home
we are minimized.
I exist on a much
smaller plane.
Just me here
in these few
rooms. But
at least
I am
with
you.

Written for Tuesday Poetics at dVerse, the virtual pub for poets. Today Laura asks us to “conjure a room or rooms in the literal, functional, metaphorical, imaginary, or fantastical sense.” I am struck by how the Covid-19 has shrunk our world and decreased our living space….our “living rooms” so to speak. And thus this post. Image from Pixabay.com

Life’s Design

It seems to me, there is a map to our lives. Imagine that we can draw it on a grid. Each cell is a day. Cells filled in with bright colors are to-dos and pay-attention-tos. Some neon need-tos are so intense they cause a glare. Blank cells appear in chunks. Free days. Times to play, cogitate, and just be.

My early years were chock full of free days. But ultimately, they almost disappeared. The grid became so colorful, it was blinding. Full of responsibilities, accountability. Children to raise. Professional ladder to climb. Even in those few empty cells, vacation days, I found myself calling in to the office; answering emails. The job tinted even the blank chunks on my grid.

Now in rejuvenatement, never say retirement, filling in the grid is largely my choice. And as I look at it, I suddenly begin to understand, the map of my life is not all my own doing. The socioeconomic term “privilege” comes to mind. Circumstances of birth, ethnicity, geographical location – all have affected my life and enabled me to come to this point where the grid is much easier on the eyes. And in these days of Covid-19, I understand even more, how blessed I have been.

for the lucky ones
summer yields bountiful crops –
others slowly starve

Written for Haibun Monday at dVerse, the virtual pub for poets. Today Kim asks us to respond, in some way, to the image above, “Broadway Boogie Woogie”, created by Piet Mondrian, displayed at New York’s Museum of Modern Art.

Haibun: 2 or 3 paragraphs of prose followed by a haiku that includes reference to a season.

A New Me

Reboot. Rejuvenate.
Retired? Poor phrase.
Never intended to tire again.
Released from to-dos and alarm clocks.
I revel in the autumn of my life.

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Photo from a Boston 4th of July celebration with the Boston Pops on the Esplanade, soon after my rejuvenatement.

Day 25, National Poetry Writing Month. Prompt from Toads, where we are asked to write about a reboot, a renewal, that is meaningful to our lives.

Scene fades to . . .

. . . sun peeking round cotton-puff clouds.
I wander meadows flush with buttercups
trees rustling in breeze.
Leaves gleam myriad shades of green.
Sitting cross-legged, eyes closed
hands prayer-folded to chest
soothed by buttercups,
undulating tall grasses.
Serenity . . .

RRRRiiiinnnnnggggg!
RRRRiiiinnnnnggggg!

Scene shifts
I grudgingly answer call.

buttercup-352443_1920
Written for dVerse, the virtual pub for poets where it’s Quadrille Monday and the word to be used within the body of our exactly 44 word poem (sans title) is flush

In this Covid-19 era, I find myself doing yoga and meditating every day. This morning the telephone rudely interrupted me – motivating this post. Stay safe everyone! 

Pub opens at 3 PM Boston time. Photo from Pixabay.com

Jello

Jello is this.
It has color. Except aspic.
And this.
It has sweet.

It is granular life.
Granular metamorphosis.
It has fear. Shivers afraid.
But laughs in wiggles.

It is granular life.

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TOAD readers: My error! I did not understand how to link days 1, 2, and 3 prompts so here are the links:
Day 1: https://lillianthehomepoet.com/2020/04/01/april-fool-not-i/
Day 2:  https://lillianthehomepoet.com/2020/04/02/chalked-to-you/
Day 3: https://lillianthehomepoet.com/2020/04/03/the-nuts-and-bolts-of-it/

Day 4 of national poetry month. The prompt from Imaginary Garden with Toads is to write a poem in the style of Gertrude Stein’s TENDER BUTTONS.  I’ve chosen to write about jello, attempting to create a metaphor for life while at the same time, writing a factual description of this food. Challenging prompt!

Published in 1914, Stein’s TENDER BUTTONS is divided into three parts: Objects, Food, and Rooms. It avoids any use of gender specific pronouns. It is considered a masterpiece of verbal cubism and a failure at the same time.  Here is an example directly from Stein’s text: