Country Respite

Rolling hills, 
myriad shades of green.  
Drive slowly, windows open . . .  
Fresh crisp air,  
cloudless blue sky.  
Drumlins shaped patiently by glacial ice,  
Mother Earth’s gentle curves.  
Vibrant wildflowers here . . .  
flowering brush there.  
Stop. Rest.  
Inhale the quiet calm. 

Written for Quadrille Monday at dVerse, the virtual pub for poets. We are to use the word “drum” or a form of the word, within our exactly 44 word poem. Image from Pixabay.com

Sweet Rose Beguiles Me

Sweet pink petals,
primrose nestled ‘midst greenery.
Worry not,
I shall not assail you.
I shall take you with me,
memorized, not plucked or bouqueted.
Summer breeze ruffles your fragility.
Nearby lilac’s scent floats round you
and your color seems to deepen.
Like a young woman’s blush
at her first lover’s caress.
Sweet pink petals,
what is it in you
that stirs me so?

Written for Open Link Night at dVerse, the virtual pub for poets. Photo taken today in the gardens that surround our building. These may not be roses, but they motivated this poem.

I See Now

It must be the masks.
Most people wear one now.
Not to avoid recognition
while performing some illegal act
like robbery or kidnapping.
Rather to avoid being robbed
or being kidnapped
by Covid-19.

I used to walk down streets
see people but not see them,
hear sounds but not listen to them.
Intent on getting to work
or the store
or the whatever.
I plowed on, looking straight ahead.
No mask. No gloves.

I could have stopped to listen,
hear the blue jay in a nearby tree.
Cracked a smile at passersby.
But I didn’t.
I just plowed ahead
to get to that place,
to that thing I was scheduled to do.
No mask. Just oblivious.

Today I walked to feel fresh air.
Gloved, masked, gasping a bit.
Breathing through a piece of cloth
rubber-banded behind my ears,
only my eyes exposed.
I have nowhere special to go
but I crave being outside.
I need to see people. . .

. . . but not coming too close to me.
In their masks. Worse yet, without them.
I gesture SINGLE FILE
as they come toward me.
I listen for footsteps from behind.
Could be someone coming too close.
Round-trip walk from home,
I decide to stop on the bridge.

Leaning over I take a long look.
See a scene I’ve seen so many times
but not really seen.
Trees along the Charles River.
Water rippling from geese swimming.
And then I see her.
Mama goose upon her nest
staring warily at me.

She moves a bit and hisses.
I see new meaning to an old phrase,
one overused today. Shelter in place.
Cracked eggs beside her,
feathers in her beak,
she shifts her body and just for a moment
I see tiny wriggling masses of yellow
trying to escape from beneath her .

Does my mask make me the interloper?
And still I stare and listen and watch.
It must be these masks affecting me.
Seeing what has always been there,
season after season.
People and nature along my way.
I notice the mundane more
and finally I understand.

It never really was mundane.

April 28 in National Poetry Writing Month where the challenge is to write at least one poem per day. This is my second for today.

This one is written for Toads where we are to choose a quotation or an impression from Harper Lee’s To Kill A Mockingbird as the motivation for our poem. I’ve chosen the quotation “People generally see what they look for, and hear what they listen for.”

Video is from our walk this morning. 

You may want to see my other poem, written for dVerse today. It will take you to the Norwegian fjords!

Birch Tree Lane

This place spoke to her
and she said yes.
Her party would be waiting
her bridegroom, her love.
All standing patiently
in windswept open field.

Her dress of white ethereal silk
flowed as she walked alone
oh so slowly down the path.
She held a small bouquet,
delicate white freesia
hyacinth and sweet peas.

Birch trees lined the trail,
leaning in as sentinels would
protective and quietly calm
seeming to guide her steps.
Lush greenery everywhere
leading to her new life.

This stretch of spackled white bark
delicate in its strength.
This birch tree lane
seemed an extended bridal veil
approving her decision,
her love for him.

Their lush branches
whisper-rustled encouragement.
Trees on either side,
embracing her in calm serenity
as she took step after step forward,
until at last, they were all at her back.

She turned and looked once more
these birch trees, their beauty,
leaning in to line this walkway.
They seemed now to be
her wedding gown’s bridal train
bidding her adieu . . .

and she smiled . . .
turned . . .
and stepped into the open field

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April 21: day 21 of National Poetry Writing Month. Today Kim at Toads asks us to write about trees. Photo taken some years ago when we visited our niece in Ohio. 

Biding Her Time . . .

She sang sprightly tunes
skipping lightly across mushroom caps,
a spring in her step.

She wandered beneath dripping canopy,
rain drenched leaves
above her head.

Fairy wings at the ready
waiting . . . waiting . . .
for the sun to reappear.

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Day 19: National Poetry Writing Month where the challenge is to write a poem every day in April. Today Toads asks us to write a poem of less than 100 words, that includes one list of four words given within the prompt. We have five lists to choose from.  I chose the list that included CANOPY, WANDER, LIGHTLY, and SPRING. 
Photo taken a number of years ago on our trip to Alaska. 

Celebrating National Haiku Poetry Day

kaleidoscope me
fuchsia, orange, purple too ~
flowerlicious spring

Day 17 of National Poetry Writing Month, which is also National Haiku Poetry Day. Toads asks us to write a traditional haiku:
* three lines, 5-7-5 syllabic structure
* must include a kigo (seasonal reference)
* must include a kiru (cutting/juxtapositioning/punctuation that shifts focus).  Here the toy kaleidoscope becomes spring’s profusion of flowers.

Photos: first is from the San Diego Botanical Gardens last month. The lilac photo was taken last May in Harvard Arboretum’s lilac lane.

Stop in at Toads today to sample some wonderful haiku! 

La Jolla Coastal Walk

Winds whirl as clouds build
heavens thunder, upset calm.
Ominous sky shifts like easel askew,
pearlescent clouds turn darkest grey.
Ocean current races toward home,
whitecaps crashing shore.
Nearby, daisies’ ruffled petals
duck and dance to nature’s roar.

Sole large succulent leans in, thrilled.
Meets nature’s tantrum with aplomb.
Its tall spike-stems ignore the ballyhoo,
resolute, they refuse to sway.
I stand on cliff, sprayed by foam,
wait for rain, weather’s soaking encore.
It never comes and so with mettle
I hike further up the coast I adore.

Written for day 8 of National Poetry Month. Responding to a Toads prompt to write an L’Arora, a poetry form developed by Laura Lamarca. It is an 8-lined stanza with the following rhyme scheme: a, b, c, d, e, f, g, f. The poem is usually a minimum of 4 stanzas, but for Toads, 2 are allowed.
Poem motivated by photo from our La Jolla coastal walk about a month ago. Now we are back in chilly Boston! 

A Seal’s Life

I savor La Jolla’s coast.
Feeding delight near the cove
time to frolic in rushing waves,
flipper scoot on to sand.
I snort my derision
at gawking beings.

But the best, oh the best . . .
sun drenched rocks.
Lying close, just resting.
Crowds be damned.

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Written for day 6, national poetry month. Combines prompts from Toads to write in the voice of another (can be an animal) and the dVerse Monday quadrille word-prompt, “close”. A quadrille is a poem of exactly 44 words, sans title. Prompt word muse be used in body of the poem.

Photo taken last month at what is called the Children’s Pool in La Jolla, California. Originally designated as a sheltered sandy beach for children to swim, it has been taken over by seals. Many people walk the coast line to watch the seals there, and on nearby rocks.

Night Flight

Tell me a story, magical and gentle,
like Shasta daisy petals
dancing in soft winds.
Lullaby me through foamy seas.
Envelop me in undulating waves.
Stir my imagination
beyond daily doldrums.
Guide me into Neverland
on etheral dream wings,
soaring beneath sand encrusted lids.

img_4092Quadrille (poem of exactly 44 words, sans title) written for dVerse, the virtual pub for poets where De asks us to use the word “stir” within the body of our poem.
Photo taken on La Jolla, CA coastal walk last week. Pub opens at 3 PM Boston time. Come join us!

Indifferent Model

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Feline lies on ledge
aloof, pristine.
Basks in sun
seemingly thoughtful –
certainly Zen-like.

Aperture opens,
quickly clicks and closes.
Image frozen in time.
Unaware or insolent,
she doesn’t appear to care.

Languidly cleaning her paws,
she stops to stare through me.
Stretches, slowly unfolds to stand,
silently slinks away
with one swish of her tail.

No hello.
No goodbye.
No sound.
Simply present
for a moment in time.

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Photo taken yesterday on the deck of our rental apartment in San Diego. She wandered in and wandered out. Paid no attention to me. Will we see her again?  No idea. Cats are such interesting creatures.