Two Lives – Metaphorically Speaking

i.
He lived a crab’s life
sidling through his world
without confronting anything head on.

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ii.
She never knew who she was.
Today, servant to his whims
yesterday his foil.
Tomorrow, his jewel case on display.

In her youth, the obedient child.
Perfect pianist stretching to reach the pedals
daddy’s little girl,
mama’s protegé.

Turn this way, look here.
Here, not there.
Do this. Do that.
Twisted. Manipulated.

She’d led a kaleidoscope life
until all the pieces crumbled,
reduced to shards.

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Two poems, one short, one a bit longer, written for dVerse. Today, Bjorn hosts and asks us to write metaphorically. Pub opens at 3 PM Boston time.  For those who need a quick review from their highschool poetry unit, very basically stated, a simile is a comparison using the words “like” or “as.” A metaphor is a comparison without using the words “like” or “as.”  Both photos in public domain at http://www.pixabay.com

What’s in a Name?

Lillian Mae Gruenwald. My full name before marriage. Lillian after my maternal grandmother, and by happenstance, my father’s twin sister. Mae after a beloved great-aunt. I hated it. The name; not my relatives. Cousins called me Lilly Mae or Little Mae. To everyone else I was Lillian.

In high school I was the skinny girl on the cheerleader squad. The only one chosen because of acrobatic abilities. I was also the only girl on the debate team. I dared to carry long metal boxes of index cards filled with researched “evidence.” I argued aggressively with boys, at tournaments all over the state of Illinois. To me, Lillian Gruenwald was a never-would-vote-for-homecoming-queen kind of name. And I was right. At homecoming, I was left leading the crowd in cheers for our Bulldogs while the Gail Shorts and Kay Savels left to change clothes. I watched as they sedately rode around the field at half-time, draped over new-model convertibles, donated for the occasion by the local Oldsmobile dealer.

So when my folks readied to leave me at college on that fateful day in early Autumn 1965, a crisp, cool, fresh day, I fidgeted. I willed them to leave before anyone came up to greet us. They finally did, after dutifully giving their Lillian lots of parental advice and enough hugs to smother me. I stood on the curb by the dorm, finally alone. Poised for a new life. On the brink of a new beginning. And then some newbie freshmen came up to greet me. I don’t remember who they were. Or how many there were. But I distinctly remember grinning, holding out my hand to shake their hands, and saying confidently, “Hi, I’m Lill.

sugar maple tree
dwarfed in surrounding green leaves
claims fall glory with crimson red

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Toni is hosting Haibun Monday at dVerse, the virtual pub for poets. The theme today is KOMOREEI…a Japanese terms that literally means the light filtered between leaves, usually occurring in spring and fall…that in-between season. We’re asked to write about something that has occurred in between seasons.  Haibun: 2 or 3 tightly written paragraphs of prose, not fiction; followed by a haiku. In true Japanese form, the haiku is not beholden to the syllabic count, rather must be about nature and include a “season” word. Pub opens at 3 PM Boston time. Photo in Boston’s Public Garden, Fall 2016. PS:  I’m happy being called Lill or Lillian these days….with age comes a knowledge that we are who we are, regardless of the name.

Palindrome Acrostic

Harrumph.
Abbracadabra . . .
Hurrah!


Palindrome: word that is the same, spelled forwards and backwards as in mom, wow, and hah! Also a four-way acrostic for dVerse.  An acrostic contains a hidden word within the poem, usually spelled out from top to bottom within the first letter of each line. In this short short poem, read first letters of each line from top to bottom, or from bottom to top; and read the last letters of each line from top to bottom, or from bottom to top, and you get the same word!  And the message/meaning is that sometimes, magically, a person’s personality can change😊

Film Noir, Take 39

Blissful dream journey
turns nightmare.
Ghosts whisper, dance,
twist, shimmer.
Lightning sparks, sounds echo.
Storm drizzles, bubbles open.
Breath flickers,
fearful giggle jars grin.
Clouds balloon, curl.
Breeze skips through leaves.
Dawn spills, melts rose-red.
Peppered blood-shadows
scar green spring grass.
Cue still lull.

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Bjorn hosts dVerse today. We must write a Quadrille (poem of exactly 44 words, sans title) using the word “bliss.”  Quadrille Mondays occur every other week. We need only include the week’s one given word in our poem. Ultimately 44 Quadrille Weeks occur, thus 44 word prompts. Past words this series have included dreamfear, flicker, pepperdance, bubble, grin, lull, melt, shimmer, twist, skip, green, breeze, spill, rose, journey, jar, leaves, open, shadow, cloud, spark, cue, breath, scar, curl, whisper, dawn, ghost, giggle, drizzle, still, echo, sound, storm, spring, and balloon. This post includes all 39 words given thus far. Bar opens at 3 PM Boston time.  Come join us!
Image: public domain at pixabay.com

Tanka Tatting

nature’s lace makers
shadows made by rustling leaves
spider’s silken web
once empty spaces glisten ~
like memories easing pain

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Gayle is hosting Open Link Night at dVerse, the virtual pub for poets and we’re invited to post a poem of our choice. I’ve been lace-knitting a shawl lately and have become obsessed with the way making lace is all about creating empty spaces and joining them together. Making emptiness beautiful. Hence this tanka today!  A Tanka is a 7 line poem with the following syllabic form: 5, 7, 5, 7, 7. There is supposed to be a shift from the natural in their first 4 lines…to something personal / human in the last line.

Inspired by a Visit to Matisse

Shadow lady,
from wherever-you-prefer
cash-only for hire,
she an artist’s muse.
Name-her-as-you-wish
pose her as you will.
Her rule, never touch,
sparks a masterful brush.

Face concealed,
enveloped in a penumbra of voile
anonymity always required.
Pastels, oil, charcoal, or clay
shades of black, white or grey.
Bright hues perhaps?
Your choice.
Clothing optional, save the veil.

Perched upon a chair,
garters hold stockings taut
bare breasts paint themselves.
Curses fall upon that masked face,
as she survives within the pale.

Fee collected, she hurries home.
Scarf thrown upon the chair
no mirrors with which to see
that face so hidden then,
now sipping cup of tea.

Years later,
accompanied by her spouse
she visits galleries,
genteel pastime of the upper class.

Smiling ever so slightly
she spies her former self,
framed in golden gilt
hanging upon the wall.

She, an artists’ muse,
their anonymous visage.
Paid a pittance then
worth a fortune now.

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Written for today’s Poetics at dVerse, the virtual pub for poets. I’m delighted to be hosting so step right up to the bar. The prompt word for today is “shade.”  Use the word itself or any derivation of the word in the body of your poem. My poem today is inspired by a recent visit to Boston’s MFA to see the Matisse Studio exhibit. I was enamored with this painting, Seated Figure with Violet Stockings, oil on canvas, painted by Matisse in 1914. My imagination took a leap from the painting to this musing. Pub opens at 3 PM Boston time. Come join us in the shade!

Abdication By Your Design

I decree:
I am the Queen of Cooland.

See me shimmer and shine.
Bling me with stardust.
Bring me gold and silver sugar crystals
to savor upon my tongue.
Bring me dime store diamonds
glitter glue, sequins, and bangles too.

This bench, my throne.
This broken branch, my staff.
I fling riches upon my subjects,
kernals of golden corn their joy.
Why do you not share your riches with me?
No bows, no smiles, no understanding.

Can you not see me?
How can you pretend I do not exist?
My royalty wrapped in newsprint,
I wear the remains of your misdeeds.
Can you not feel shame
as I mutter my royal decree?

Pigeons shit on my command.
They coo at my feet,
jewel my crown.
I am the Queen of Cooland.
This is my decree.
The End.

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Written for dVerse, the virtual pub for poets, where Paul hosts today, asking us to write a poem that somehow deals with “the end.” Pub opens at 3 pm.  Come imbibe some words with us!

Infestation

Panders.
Off-loads guilt.
Loose lips abandon civility.
Instead spew
trite narcissistic patter.
Intimidates.
Cruel Machiavellian rule
steeps rot within.

Oh too similar to those
familiar with the

fruit fly who gloats over spoils
eviscerates solid cores
avariciously deteriorates the good,
reduces life to rot.

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An Acrostic Quadrille written for dVerse where Victoria asks us to write a quadrille (poem of exactly 44 words) using the word “fear.”  Acrostic: a poem in which the first letter of each line spells out a word or message. Note the first letter of each line from top to bottom in each stanza. You’ll find three words, including the prompt word for today. Apologies to those who do not care for poetry as commentary on the state of politics today. You might instead enjoy my second poem, also published today: Film Noir, Take 37

 

I wonder . . .

if star dust is available
to those who seek a glimmer of hope

if lunar paths lead to satin slippered elves
ready to grant a wish

if buttercups picked yield petal tea
when imbibed bloom happiness

if imagination can quell fear
set pen to page with gut wrenched honesty

if simplicity can softly pad its way
through a cacophony of bombastic lunacy

I wonder
how to reach Neverland

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Shared with dVerse where it’s OLN time.  Open Link Night – no prompt. A time to share a poem of your choosing.

That Evil Night

A winter tale of gusting winds
the might-have-beens
his tale of woe
forsaken beau

She left him ‘neath the midnight moon
collapsed in swoon
his feet like stone
his heart didst moan

Her kiss did curse his soul that night
his monstrous plight
’tis blood he needs
on necks he feeds

fear-653629_1920Written for dVerse, the virtual pub for poets.  Today Frank asks us to write a Minute Poem. Another poetic sudoku!  Entire poem contains three 4-line stanzas and a total of 60 syllables. Each stanza must have 20 syllables and a syllabic structure/ rhyme scheme arranged in this manner:
Stanza One: line 1 = 8 syllables, end rhyme word A; line 2= 4 syllables, A again; line 3 = 4 syllables, end rhyme word B; line 4 = 4 syllables, B again.
Stanza Two: identical to above EXCEPT rhyme scheme is CCDD.
Stanza Three: identical to above EXCEPT rhyme scheme is EEFF.
And to throw in one more constraint for good “measure” — it should be in iambic meter
which is short, long accent; short long accent; etc.
And of course, the challenge is to have the sense of the poem outshine the form!