Come Walk with Me

Lilac aphrodisiac, scent my world.
Your goodness blossoms
blessed with sweet delicacy.
From palest to deepest shades,
side by side on Lilac Lane.
Each alone exudes the beautiful,
together you blend as one scene.
I walk slowly, senses awakened.
Serenity wafts, and in the moment,
all is good in my world.

Ode to Joy Harjo

She writes of the sacred land,
red earth cherished by Creek Nation.

Moencopi Rise, Round Rock,
Four Corners, a dreaming place of bears.
Her words are songs of praise
to ochre soil, parched sand,
grey rocks, and dust spattered plants.
Her faith in the whole,
revealed in full and sliver moon
steady and flickering stars.

Prayer is manifest
as horses gallop through hills.
Words written in linear lines
paint images revered by generations.
Her poetic spirit soars.
An eagle spreads its wings,
magnificently embracing
the bluest of skies.

She is those who were before her,
caretakers of Mother Earth all.

Written for dVerse, the virtual pub for poets. Late for the Tuesday Poetics prompt given by Laura. She asks us to consider poems to a poet. I decided to write an ode to poet Joy Harjo.

JOY HARJO is a member of the Creek Nation. She is a screen writer, poet, and teaches creative writing and Native American Literature at the University of Arizona. She has received the New Mexico Governor’s Award for Excellence in the Arts, a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Native Writers Circle of the Americas, and the William Carlos Williams Award from the Poetry Society of America. Harjo served as United States poet laureate from 2019-2021, and was the first Native American to serve in the position.

Image from Pixabay.com

Blossom Me

Sunny daffodils, wave your ruffled heads.
Delicate cherry blossoms loosed by spring breeze,
softly, silently, rain pink petals upon all below.
Candy-cane red and white tulips stand tall
beside double-layered pinks and yellows.
Soon bleeding hearts will dangle gently
over sweetly petite lilies of the valley.
And lanes will burst forth with lilac blooms,
myriad shades of purple perfuming the air.
Bedazzle me, Mother Nature.
I am so ready for your greening,
most especially
after this long reclusive year!

Written for Open Link Night at dVerse, the virtual pub for poets around the globe. Today we go LIVE at 3 PM Boston time and folks have the opportunity to visit, put faces and voices with author’s names and read aloud if they wish. Come join us! Link is on the dVerse site, at 3 PM Boston time.

Also posted at Day 15 NaPoWriMo.

Photos all taken around our building here in Boston, at the Public Gardens and at the Harvard Arboretum….in past years. Spring is still trying to green this year!

Willow’s Tale

“I am the bud and the blossom, I am the late-falling leaf.”
from Paul Dunbar’s The Paradox

Led down the primrose path
they succumbed to The Flatterer’s guile,
followed him to their death.
All but her,
the youngest one.

Willow, he assumed, was gullible too.
Small in stature, she wisely hung back.
Saw angry rolling brine ahead
slipped into a shrub and hid,
covering herself with leafy fronds.

Her sisters sang as they followed him,
not seeing Willow’s gesticulations.
She waved desperately to alert them,
but they walked on under his spell
eyes only on him.

Surely his scepter, his magical skills,
would keep them afloat they thought.
They danced o’er waves. Waded deeper still.
Alas, only a devastating result,
one by one they disappeared.

He counted each beautiful head
swallowed by guzzling salty foam.
“One is missing!” he screamed.
Looking backward toward land
he saw nothing, heard nothing.

Diving deep, he swam to his maidens
now ashen, sinking dead weight.
Tying their hair together, he took the eldest’s hand,
pulled them to his kingdom,
far from shore.

Willow wept silently,
her small feet cold in tear stained soil.
Long curls hung wet round her cheeks.
“Help me oh Lord,” she pleaded.
“I am but the last alive of them.”

She cried in torrents
until a rogue cold breeze
whipped round her face.
Tears suspended in air,
her lean lithe body, solid froze.

Now something she was not before,
Yet she prospered over many years.
Pure happiness, mythologists would say.
Yet still she wept and weeps today,
especially amongst her kind.

Children play hide and seek,
joyfully tug those leafy fronds.
Sisters long gone, yet she has borne many.
Weeping Willow trees o’er the land,
her legacy to all.

Written for dVerse where today we’re asked to consider the element of paradox within our poetry and be inspired by one of several lines provided for the prompt. Line I’ve used is at the top of the poem as an epigraph. Photo from pixabay.com.

Survival Tale

In 1978, US law declared the bald eagle a protected species and the results have been phenomenal. Between 1963 and 2006, the number of nesting pairs increased from 417 to 9,000. These magnificent birds live from twenty to thirty years and tend to mate for life. Their nests can be from seven to ten feet wide, ten feet deep, and weigh as much as two tons.

Winters are an important season for eagles. They must consume enough food and expend as little energy as possible to maintain their body heat. January brings scores of eagles to Iowa for winter nesting. When our children were young, if the weather was good, we’d take a January Saturday and travel to the quad cities area. We’d drive along the Mississippi in hopes of spying eagles soaring above their nesting areas. Bird watchers were indeed fortunate if they could spy an eagle through their binoculars, legs extended with talons ready to land upon a winter bared tree.

snow drifts impede path
human footsteps nowhere seen –
eagle’s glory reigns  

Written for dVerse, the virtual pub for poets, where today Frank is hosting. He asks us to write a haibun that is somehow related to eagles. Factual information in the first paragraph of my haibun is gleaned from a pamphlet by the Iowa Department of Natural Resources. Haibun: two to three paragraphs of prose followed by a haiku. The haiku must be traditional in terms of including a seasonal reference.

Kaleidoscope

Falling leaves rustle
blown by howling winds.
Kaleidoscope of colors swirling
like my mind these days.
Focus on the moments
when sun touches me like kindness.
Kindness is more contagious
than the virus swirling in the wind.
Sun shines down today. Happy am I

Kaleidoscope is written by Lindsey Ein. I’m thrilled to post her poem to my blog today. She’s responded to the Quadrille prompt at dVerse, writing a poem of exactly 44 words that includes the word “happiness” or a form of the word (“happy”). Lindsey is the mother of my very talented son-in-law and belongs to a writing group in Kentucky.