The Shadow Knows

There are places and times for pure childlike delight.

We’d been through a stressful year. Death hovered too close to our family. Through the miracles of modern medicine, assisted by angels along the way, we survived. And so we ferried in September to our beloved Provincetown at the very tip of Cape Cod. We walked for miles at water’s edge, marveling at the vast ocean. Our mortal footprints disappeared as the tide returned to shore. We witnessed new dawns. Gazed at a glistening moon path on darkest nights. It was a time of contemplation and somber thankful prayers. 

Until that early morn. Standing in the cool sand, my shadow elongated before me. Cast like a circus lady on stilts. Like mirrors where clowns stretch tall or wide. Magnified to the absurd. And it birthed a smile. And then a chuckle. And then a laugh. Pure childlike delight far beyond my years. And it felt good. 

owls perch and observe
cows chew their cud in solemnity 
spring lambs frolic free

It’s Haibun Monday at dVerse, the virtual pub for poets, and Toni asks us to write about shadows. Any kind of shadows. A Haibun includes one or two paragraphs of prose and it cannot be fiction. The prose is followed by a haiku (3 lines with syllable counts of approximately 5, 7, 5). Haikus are about nature and include a seasonal word. Photo is my shadow in Provincetown. 

Makin’ Noise

I have these dance shoes
+++++full size, my size now
+++++taps on soles like woodpecker nose
silenced in a drawer.

Could make loud flaps
+++++not with wings but toes
+++++not on trees but floors
+++++shuffle off to buffalo
make myself be known.

Had smaller ones years ago
+++++noisy kid on taps on tap
+++++poured out energy bar none
+++++little girl was big out there
brave feet shushed by none.

Maybe I should tap again.


Written for Holly Wren Spaulding’s class. Prompt: “free yourself from the standard rules of English syntax” and perhaps also write about something that could have another meaning. Two ways to read to my post today: 1) read only the lines that are not indented to find the poem within the poem; and 2) read the entire thing. As the phrase goes, popularized when Senator Elizabeth Warren was silenced in a congressional hearing not so long ago, “She persisted.” (We shall not be shushed.) For the non-tap dancers: a flap is a tap step, as is the shuffle-off-to-buffalo. And yes, those are my shoes in my drawer and yes, that’s me many many many years ago! Shared with dVerse where today is open link time – meaning anyone can share one poem with dVerse readers – the virtual pub for poets across the globe. Come post your own or imbibe some words! Bar opens at 3 PM Boston time. 

Rat Race on a Horse

They live a merry-go-round life
maniacal calliope music
spinning circles, senses blurred
chasing what could lie ahead.

Blue horse, her mount
golden mane rich in gilt
cold cylindrical pole
clutched in lust.

Two steeds behind
eyes wild, hair disheveled
desperately out of synch
he up-downs as she down-ups.

Desire fuels the chase
bolted to spinning floor
moving unmoved
money, sex, fame
forever around the fluid bend.

I’m hosting dVerse today, the virtual bar for poets, asking folks to think about amusement parks, fairgrounds, carnival barkers. Write a poem that somehow uses an image from that scene – or captures a memory one has from going to such a place. Bar opens at 3PM BOSTON time, in the midst of Boston’s blizzard today! Come share a poem of your creation or just imbibe some words from poets around the world.

Hundertwasser Me

Blueprints in a cacophony of color
design my living loving house.
Angleless corners round flowing rooms,
textured floors pad souls on soleless feet.

One winding willow tree, rooted in love
grows up through every floor.
Climbs beyond skylight so all will see,
budding tiara atop our greening roof.

Two forms of light magically illuminate.
I-believe-claps activate sun in every space.
Twinkle twinkle little star releases scrim,
sparkles day dreams, night time’s too.

Inside is outside in my paneless house.
Plantings nourished from within,
grow and bloom beyond the sash.
Our family lives with open doors
and all are welcome here.


Sara hosts Tuesday’s Poetics at dVerse today, the virtual pub for poets. She asks us to build a house within a poem. My imaginary house is influenced by seeing the Hundertwasser House in Vienna many years ago. Friedensreich Hundertwasser, Vienna artist and architect, 1928 – 2000. Painting on top left is Hundertwasser House in Moonlight, color lithograph based on the original by Karl Goldammer, 1995. Photo on right is the actual Hundertwasser House, public housing on the corner of Lowengasse / Kegelgasse, Vienna. Third image is his painting: The 30 Days Fax Painting, 1994 and gives you a sense of his style as a painter. He defied the straight line and believed in the poetic quality of inhabited space: irregular alignments of windows, the spatial integration of trees and wavy lines in his urban plans. Uneven floors and undulating rough cast walls, tree-roofs, bearded windows, and tree tenants were features of his architecture.

I see a suburb . . .

one street after another
plat map symmetrical.
Slide rule log-a-rhythm’s
syncopated beat.
Red-amber-green lights
directing the inane.

Where are the pick-up trucks,
dust-kicking rolling roads,
clothesline flapping shirts,
and front porch swings?

Written for dVerse, the virtual pub for poets, where we’re asked to write suburban poetry today!  Looking at my Seascape photos and post, also done today, I think I prefer the sea side to the suburbs!