Ode to Life

What spirits roam this earth?
Moon gods no longer constant
fatigued by cloud-strung battles,
wax and wane their beams.
Seasons test the sun,
warmth succumbs to winter gales.

Spirits gone these many years
hover o’er our heads.
Their whispers ride the winds.
Arise my children, each day sublime,
whether warm or cold or dark or light,
reach out, touch hands, and dance.

Smile hope upon your neighbors
be they far or near.
Smile hope upon your loved ones
be they on earth,
or in the heavenly sphere.
All gaze upon the same bright stars.

Love this day together, my children,
for I am with you as they are too.
Greet each day sublime,
hearts flush with gratitude, no fear.
Listen for their whispers
they are always there to hear.

Image by freepik.com

Shut Down

Friday night and the lights are low.
Tinseltown dimmed, marquees dark,
Broadway shut down.
Performers encased at home, mouths agape.
No words. No melodies.
No sound escapes their parched lips.
Feet stilled, faces bare. They sit, not in the wings,
but on couches and chairs. No audience.
Just the cat curled up on their feet,
surprised to find this comfort in these hours.
The night the music died and the curtain fell,
subways ground to a halt.
This, the night Covid came to town.

Written for dVerse, the virtual pub for poets around the globe. Today I’m hosting Tuesday Poetics and delving into Sweden’s musical archives. I’m asking folks to include one line, and one line only, from the lyrics of ABBA’s Dancing Queen. The line must be used word for word within the body of the poem. You can find the lyrics to Dancing Queen, as well as some fun information about ABBA, in my prompt at dVerse. Pub opens at 3 PM Boston time and full prompt will appear then. Image from Pixabay.com

Some days I want to . . .

. . . put on roller skates and
careen down the esplanade
along the Charles River.
Grinning, looking straight ahead.
Faster, faster, and faster still.
Wind blowing back my hair,
tearing my eyes
until the real world blurs
and I am flying
with wheels as my wings.

Written for Quadrille Monday at dVerse, the vitual pub for poets around the globe. I’m hosting today, asking folks to use the word “careen” within their poem of exactly 44 words, sans title.

The esplanade is a wonderful green space in Boston that in part, runs along the Charles River. It has a very long walking/bicycling/rollerskating path along the river itself and is only about 2 city blocks from where we live. It goes for miles and we often take walks there. For those of you who watch the Boston Pops 4th of July concert on television, the hatch where they perform is on the esplanade itself, just off the river. Photo from Pixabay.com

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.