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.

Once Upon a Walk

Autumn brilliance beckons
quiet walks feed my soul.
Chain link fence meant to impede
gives pause.
Adorned by copper hued leaves
between and through metal links,
the mundane
turned stained glass window.
I sigh . . .
before walking on.

Written for Tuesday Poetics at dVerse where today, Sarah asks us to write a 3 to 12 line poem choosing one group of three words from a list she provides. I chose feed-copper-quiet.

SO INTERESTING! Each group of three words marks an actual place in England (feed-copper=quiet is the exact location of the National Art Gallery in London). Sarah tells us “The developers of what3words have divided the whole world into 3 metre squares and allocated each of them a combination of 3 words. The idea is that if you are lost and in need of help, you can use these words to pinpoint your location exactly.” I went to the site and found the three words that pinpoint exactly where I live.  Interesting concept!  Our poem is just to use the three words – it does not have to incorporate the actual place the words refer to in the mapping scheme.

Photo taken on a BC walk in Andover, MA.
BC means Before Covid — as in last fall.

Celestial Journal

Eyes spy these skies.
Robin’s egg blue ‘round brilliant yolk.
Dreary gloom leaking drizzly days.
Snowflake cutouts fairy-floating.
Impressionist pinks and mauves.
Ominous grey turning dark,
thunderclap cymbals crashing loud.
Cantankerous clouds tango dipping.
Firecracker sun fizzling out,
begrudgingly cedes to starry starry night.

Written for Quadrille Monday at dVerse, the virtual pub for poets around the world. Today, De asks us to write a quadrille (poem of exactly 44 words, sans title) that includes the word “sky” or a form of the word. Photos are from various years in our beloved Provincetown, except for Van Gogh’s Starry Starry Night (one of my favorite paintings of all time).

Seasonal Scenes

Summer tourist ignores gawking stares,
is scantily clad
leaving little to imagination.
Too intent on catching season’s last rays
exchanging working haze for lazy days.

Its transition, felled by floral war of sorts,
gold dipped sunflowers droop defeated.
For autumn’s hearty mums,
brass and bragadocious, now gleam victorious.

Written for Tuesday Poetics at dVerse. Today Laura asks us to write a nine line poem. To make it more challenging, she asks that it incorporate a specific line from a poem she’s cited; and that line just happens to be exactly nine words long! Each of these nine words then, in that order, become the first word in each of the nine lines of my poem. Confused?
Here’s the line: “Summer is leaving too, exchanging its gold for brass” from Dorothy Lawrenson’s September. Now, look just at the first word in each of the nine lines of my poem Seasonal Scenes. And now read those first words from top to bottom and voila, they say Summer is leaving too, exchanging its gold for brass!

Photo from pixabay.com

Nature’s Bliss

Garden me . . .
cacophony of brilliant colors.
Red roses, blue lobelia
brown-eyed susans,
and raspberry-tinted cone flowers.
Beguile me with sweet scents.
Lilacs, lily-of-the-valley
and honeysuckle too.
Nearby apple trees
offer their sturdy limbs.
I climb . . .
dislodging blossoms on the way,
sit atop and dream.

Quadrille posted to dVerse, the virtual pub for poets. Victoria is hosting today and the word to include in our exactly 44-word poem (sans title) is “garden” . Photos from Pixabay.com except the lilac, which is outside our building. Poets from around the world gather at dVerse. Come join us!