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!

Covid Daze

Wishful wisps.
Virus estranged.
Missings:
children, grands,
outdoor smiles.

Streaming scenes of was,
wanting was to change to is.
Ole Man Winter
soon to close doors,
shutter windows tight.

Shut-ins, we dream of release.

View from our window yesterday morning. Snowed from 7 AM to 4:30 PM in Boston.

All Hallows’ Eve . . .

Caldron nearby
she is the enigma,
silver flowing garb
white hair plaited high.
Index fingers encased in wax,
flame extinguished
by gust from fleeing bats.

Eyes heavenward, pointing skyward
she seeks illumination.
Answering nay, consumed by clouds,
lunar glow dims and disappears.
Tear soaked cheeks
dried on thinnest cloth
sHow dwindling faith . . .

     consumed moon
          pearls from tissue
               candle salve
                    skulls of saints
                              spiritual songs


her crooning voice cracks
this hallowed eve.
This burial ground,
last chance
to find her gods.
All sounds, all hopes
cease.

Pleas unanswered
she returns to abysmal cave,
forsaken and alone.

Written for Tuesday Poetics at dVerse, the virtual pub for poets around the globe. Today Laura hosts and refers us to the American Poet, Samuel Greenburg. His “…feverish tubercular episodes gave him a verbal recklessness that lent itself to surrealism.” In The Pale Impromptu, written in 1915, he strings words together in indentations and to Laura, they appear like charms on a bracelet. She has listed for us twenty-one of these “charm” phrases from The Pale Impromptu and asks us to use five of them in our poem. I’ve attempted to use his form as well as five of his “charms” which are italicized for easy recognition. My apologies to Laura and Samuel Greenburg if I’ve not explained this very well.

Photo from Pixabay.com

I ask for this, please . . .

Compass magnetized to truth,
lead me to serenity.
Through brazen brambles
toward path with verdant ferns,
emerald grass and sentinel trees.
Close to streams unseen but heard.
Soft swishes, trickles too,
psalms in salient tranquility.  
Guide me through morass
into a land of grace.

Written for Quadrille Monday at dVerse, the virtual pub for poets around the world. Today De is hosting and asks us to include the word “magnet” or a form of the word in our poem that is exactly 44 words, sans title. Photo taken a number of years ago on trip to see our niece in Ohio.

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.