Welcome to a Skeltonic!

There once was a cat named Blue,
male cats paid her no ballyhoo.
So she sought a new and different view,
into a church she flew.
Bidding her old life adieu,
she met Tom in a red cushioned pew.
Playing the long-haired ingenue
she purred sweetly to his bashful deep mew.
Their relationship grew in this holy venue
as they loved and lived in this special pew.
And to this day, if you walk through
you’ll find in this particular place,
a glorious ethereal violet hue.

Written in response to the prompt for Day 16 in NaPoWrimo. We are to “relax with the rather silly form called Skeltonic.” The Skeltonic form has no specific number of syllables per line, but each line should be short, and should aim to have two or three stressed syllables. And the lines should rhyme. You just rhyme the same sound until you get tired of it! Quite an unusual form — but so appropriate on this day in April when Mother Nature fooled us Bostonians with snow almost all morning!

A neck can be a beautiful thing . . .

People have necks
as do much of the animal kingdom.
Tigers, sloths, grizzly bears,
giraffes and turtles too.

Akin to giraffes are we.
We stick our necks out
leeeean way over to gawk,
and try to stand out in a crowd.

To me, even zoo giraffes are majestic.
Necks out-stretched, they stand tall.
Calmly eat from high-top tables,
drink from troughs on very tall poles.

I think some of us are like that.
Neckwise,
not staturewise.
Some people live in zoos of their own making.

Cocktail party impressarios.
Standing tall at high-top tables
neck craned to see VIPs, they politely sip.
No one looking? They lap and slurp it down.

I dislike most the raucous barflys
guzzling pints, tequila and whiskey shots.
Standing on sawdust covered floors,
they sway beside sticky high-top tables,

craning blotchy necks.
They try to catch a waiter’s eye
or land an easy mark,
belching as the crowd mills by.

And that’s the rub isn’t it?
Standing out in a crowd,
necks craned, leaning in or out,
all can be done appropriately.

Who then is the beast in reality?
Faced with a challenge, a time to stand tall.
I see far too many humans
pull in their necks,

retreat in their shells and hide.
Unlike the turtle,
they never enter the race.
My real question then is this:

Who really comprises the animal kingdom?


Missing Her . . .

Handknit, hand-dyed scarf.
Raw wool dipped in boiled walnuts,
transformed to mahogany brown.
Steeped in golden rod,
yellow yarn gleams.
Red wine we often sipped,
created rich burgundy section.
Scarf left behind,
she promised to return.
Summer here, woolens stowed,
save one colorful scarf.

Written for Quadrille Monday at dVerse, the virtual pub for poets around the globe. Pub opens at 3 PM Boston time, come join us! Today’s word to incorporate into our quadrille, a poem of exactly 44 words, sans title, is wine.

Also shared at NaPoWriMo for Day 5. April is National Poetry Writing Month and the challenge is to write one poem every day during the month of April. Photo from Pixabay.com

And yes: I’ve dyed raw wool with such things as walnuts, wine, onion skins, golden rod, and even beets!

Who are the fools?

Foolhardy
hardened fools.
Foul actions,
faction’s divisive beliefs.
Believability be damned.
Dams broken open harshly flow,
flow drippings putrid.
Putrified racism.

Destroy hope?
Hope says never.
Evil stands for all to see.
Seeing it exposed, evil energy
energizes truth tellers.
Telling all, Truth wins the trifecta.
Trifle not with win, place or show
show all as one:

Respect.
Equity.
Humanity.
Let it be so.

Written for Open Link Night at dVerse, the virtual pub for poets around the globe. I am hosting today – pub opens at 3 PM Boston time. Writers are invited to post a poem of their choice: no prompt, no particular form. BUT, they must tag or somehow direct their readers back to dVerse so others can share and be exposed to this gathering of supportive and creative writers.

Also offered for NaPoWriMo (National Poetry Writing) day one. April is National Poetry Writing Month and the traditional challenge is to write a poem every day of April. As I have in many years past, I accept the challenge. This was actually written and posted on April 1; I simply forgot to tag NaPoWriMo.

A note on my post: I am drawn to the idea that this is April 1st, commonly called April Fools’ Day. I am also drawn to the trial of the police officer accused in the murder of George Floyd. Somehow, with my pen scribbling in my journal, this confluence of those two facts appeared. The death of George Floyd caused a national, actually a global movement, recognizing racism. Many took to the streets in the US and abroad, espousing that this is the time for equity and humanity. George Floyd’s death was but one example of racism – albeit the one that woke up many.

Convergence

Hands gnarled by fishing gear
introvert with lonely heart,
I’ve sailed the seas many a year.
I search the horizon,
especially in breaking dawn.

Skies painted tangerine,
meld into passionate reds.
Converge with glistening waters
awakened at first light as well.
She’s come to me only thrice.

Some say I imagine her. But I say to you,
I’ve cast my eyes upon that face
sweetly framed by seaweed tendrils.
I’ve marveled at her iridescence,
that silver-flecked aquamarine tail.

Once she rose up high as if to greet me,
as if to mimic the sun’s rising arc.
Her breasts, opalescent soft mounds
barely covered by white cap foam,
nature in its ultimate innocence.

I gazed until her eyes locked on mine.
That one glorious moment
etched sublime within my mind,
keeps me more at sea than ashore,
searching forevermore.

I seek that miraculous convergence
when divine dawn breaks early light
and she appears once more.
She, the sweetest balm in all the world,
for my aching lonely heart.

Written for dVerse, the virtual pub for poets around the globe. Today is Tuesday Poetics and Laura is hosting. She asks us to think about the poet as a painter. And most especially, she asks us to consider the ekphrastic poem: “The practice of using words to comment on a piece of visual art is an ancient one. One of the earliest and most commonly cited forms of ekphrasis occurs in The Iliad, when Homer provides a long and discursive account of the elaborate scenes embossed on the shield of Achilles… the term ekphrasis derives from Greek, where it literally means “description” and was formed by combining the prefix ex- (“out”) with the verb “phrazein” (“to point out or explain”)”. (Merriam Webster)”

HOWEVER, for this prompt, she gives us a number of artwork titles from contemporary artists and asks us to use that title, as the title of our poem – without looking at the actual artwork itself. With our words, we are to paint the story of or the image of that title. One title she provides for the prompt is Convergence by Jackson Pollack.

Image by Sharon McCutcheon:”Unsplash”

Seasonal Change

Sun strengthens,
pries loose snow mask from mountain caps.
Water trickles, begins to overflow,
swiftly runs downstream.
~
Gregarious tendencies
stifled too long.
Confined by lockdowns,
hidden by masks from view.

Vaccinations bloom,
propagate in spring.
Sun strengthens as do we,
spilling out to streets.

It’s Quadrille Monday at dVerse, the virtual pub for poets. Today Sarah asks us to include the word “swift” or a form of the word (not a synonym) in our exactly 44 word poem, sans title. Photo from Pixabay.com
I fervently believe we are emerging from the season of Covid. Stay safe everyone and let’s insure this happens.

Inebriated on Words

Point the way through wild thyme,
curling seductive fiddleheads.
Engulf me in hyacinth scented air.
I crave to satisfy my senses.

Perhaps words can fulfill this lust?
Become the enticement I desire?
Smooth curved letters
connecting script to feelings . . .

. . . forgive me while I imbibe.

It’s Quadrille Monday at dVerse, the virtual pub for poets across the globe. Today Lisa is tending the pub and asks us to use the word “way” in our quadrille (a poem of exactly 44 words, sans title). Pub opens at 3 PM Boston time. Come imbibe! Image from Pixabay.com

The Power of Words

We are a patriarchal society,
our language too often is male dominant.
Male designations within professions:
fireman, policeman, chairman.
Finally adjusted over recent years,
fire fighter, police officer, chair person.

But the very basic words to describe me,
to describe those of you like me,
remain, however subtly, patriarchal.
They contain the male
as if we cannot stand alone,
be independent as ourselves.

We are a woMAN, a sHE.
We are woMEN, feMALES.
And even as we age,
we face MENopause.
Are we not important
unto ourselves?

As long as our bodies exist,
all huMANs bear testament
to the power of their mother,
the ultimate her.
Not MANifest in huMANity,
but etched upon us as we entered the world,
our most basic connection to her.

That impression upon our belly
evidence of her supreme power,
the miracle of birthing.
Place your hand upon your belly.
Do it now as you read. Do it.
Do you understand?

You are forever connected to her.
This connection, too miraculous
to be mundanely called a navel,
worse yet, a belly button.
Scientifically it is the umbilicus,
but that term bears no reference to her.

Long after she passes to another place
her presence remains with us.
Umbilicus or mumbilicus?
Place your hand upon your belly and you decide.
And when you miss her most,
know she is always there with you.

Written for dVerse, the virtual pub for poets around the globe. Today Merril asks us to write a poem about connections. Image: Pregnant Woman by Edgar Degas, cast in 1920, on display at the Met on Fifth Avenue, in gallery 814. Image is in public domain.

** I’ve been interested in the herstory of language and its power to affect change for many years.

In the Midst of a Blizzard

Snow falls deep. Whiteness blankets outside. In-
side I sit and stare. Contemplate this.
This white scene. My life. Our world.
Looking out, I turn to look inward. Examine my I.
Memories of who I was. Who I am.

George Floyd’s image flashed over and over as
this rich country opened its eyes. Rich?
In what? Inequities. Color continuum laid bare as
I realize I grew up in la la land. My I?
White as far as I could see. White privilege. Need?
I had none. Have none really. So now, am I to . . .
to what? To admit? Because I can no longer just let this be.

Written for dVerse, the virtual pub for writers around the globe. It’s our last prompt of 2020 as dVerse takes a winter vacation and returns with a haibun prompt on January 4, 2021.

Today Peter from Australia asks us to consider endings and gives several suggestions on how to do that, including writing a Golden Shovel poem. Unfamiliar with the Golden Shovel form? You take one poem or line from a poem and use it to create your own poem. BUT the trick is, each word in the line, in the order they appear in the line, must be the last word in the lines of your poem! I’ve used the line “in this world I am as rich as I need to be” from Mary Oliver’s Winter. So look back at the poem and read only the last word in each line, from top to bottom: “in this world I am as rich as I need to be”.

Photo taken this morning from my window….yes, we are in the midst of a snow storm and by the time the pub opens, we will have at least 12 inches on the ground; perhaps up to 16!

Happy holidays to all my dVerse friends . . . and here’s to a happy and healthy 2021!

The Dawn Always Comes . . .

Hearts take the hand. Trump failed.
Dummy hand hapless in play.

Donned in camouflage
revealed as the ill-literate.
Sees no value in a paradigm shift.
Pair a dimes? Chump change.
No interest in cents at all.
Narcissistic I-land, far off shore.

You are no sire,
no knight with Excalibur.
Rather bellicose bellyacher
night or day, wielding tweets
perched upon a thin wire,
manufacturing a storm.

Hailing, thundering, “MY RAIN”
even as it is about to end.
Drowning in the fetid swamp
created by your squalls.
Your reign shall cease
and the sun will shine again.

Linda is hosting OLN at dVerse, where we can post any poem of our choosing: no prompt. I decided to engage in a bit of word play and ended up with a political piece – perhaps a poem of witness again? Photo from pixabay.com