Maiden by the Sea

She was but a young sweet maiden,
smitten by the power of a gifted book.
Mesmerized by words, her only escape,
imprisoned alone on distant shore.
Her appetite for love, like thunder,
battered her soul like a storm at sea.

She met her swashbuckling pirate at sea
in chapter two’s final scene. “My, maiden!
I proclaim my love for thee,
” he thundered.
Eyes smoldering, as described in the book,
he appraised his lover, as if a shore,
seeking soft inlets for future escape.

His character so real, she craved to escape,
clambered from tower, ran to the sea.
Consumed by lust, she scanned the shore.
I know you are real and I am your maiden!
I long for your lips, and not from a book!
Words so loud, they rose above thunder.

Where are you? Emotions roared over thunder.
Reality struck hard. There was no escape.
The man she adored, merely words in a book.
Irrational now, seeking her pirate by sea,
into the water she strode. Love struck maiden,
seeking Neptune’s comfort far from shore.

Distraught by loss, villagers gathered by shore.
News spread quickly, as hooves thundered,
galloping across the land. Where is our maiden?
they cried in despair. How could she escape?
Bereft of her graces, they prayed by the sea.
Swore at the heavens. Damn ill-fated book!

Town wizards scolded the crowd. Burned the book.
Chanted mantras up and down the shore.
Gone. Their locked away lady-by-the-sea.
She had been theirs. Until words like thunder
roused the rabid escape
of their walled-in maiden.

Book but ashes now, repercussions still thunder.
Guilt forever plagues their shore.  No escape.
She haunts their seas. Storms from a once loved maiden.

My first attempt at a Sestina….the most difficult poetic form I’ve ever tried. Thank you dVerse for the challenge!
Sestina: A 12th century form consisting of 6 stanzas, each having 6 lines; followed by one tercet (3 line stanza).  BUT, that’s not all.
The end-words of the first stanza’s six lines, must appear as end words in each line of the following stanzas, in a particular prescribed order:

Stanza 1: End-words: Line 1 – maiden. Line 2 – book. Line 3 – escape. Line 4 – shore.
Line 5 – thunder, Line 6 – sea.

Remaining 5 stanza’s end-words use end-words from stanza 1 as follows:

Stanza 2:
Line 1 – sea (end word for line 6, stanza 1)
Line 2 – maiden (end word for line 1, stanza 1)
Line 3 – thunder (end word for line 5, stanza 1)
Line 4 – book (end word for line 2, stanza 1)
Line 5 – shore (end word for line 4, stanza 1)
Line 6 – escape (end word for line 3, stanza 1)

Stanzas 3 -6 use the end-words of stanza one’s lines as follows:
Stanza 3
:   3, 6, 4, 1, 2, 5

Stanza 4:   5, 3, 2, 6, 1, 4
Stanza 5:   4, 5, 1, 3, 6, 2
Stanza 6:   2, 4, 6, 5, 3,
One can use a bit of poetic license and use a form of the word – hence thundered.

Stanza 7:  is DIFFERENT. It is a tercet-only three lines. It must contain all six of the end- words for the lines in Stanza 1 in the following order:
Line 1: book (line 2’s end-word) somewhere in the line; and line 5’s end-word thunder as the last word of the tercet’s line 1
Line 2: shore (line 4’s end-word) somewhere in the line; and line 3’s end-word  escape as the last word of the tercet’s line 2
Line 3: sea (line 6’s end-word) somewhere in the line; and line 1’s end-word maiden as the last word of the tercet’s line 3

Confused? Add to that: somehow the poem must make sense! It’s a poetry sudoku!!
Image from Pixabay.com

Surround Sound

24/7 cycle news.
Despicable words
spewed from bully pulpits
met by rabid voices
raised to group-think.

24/7 cycle news.
Despicable acts,
violence stacked on violence.
Horrific acts
met by thoughts and prayers.

Put my mind at ease.
Find my quiet space.
Is now the time?
Accept teleprompter words
and be tomorrow like yesterday?

Where is the movement?
The push and shove
and marching and . . .
what?
Where is our energy . . .

to demand better?
To say enough is enough
and mean it,
do it,
live it.

Reckoning.
Power is born
when one joins one
joins one joins one
becomes many.

In this litany of hate
of otherism,
I shall seek a way
to make a difference.
Demand a difference.

I shall . . .
step out of my safe space.
Beginning here,
on this page,
because . . .

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Written for Tuesday Poetics at dVerse, the virtual pub for poets. Today Linda asks us to “think about things you do to put your mind at peace: pray, meditate, write, etc. Given the state of this country today, I just couldn’t go there . . . I can’t get there. Pub opens at 3 PM Boston time.

embers Only

When to hit the return
on her Smith Corona ~
typed one font
had no delete
no warning sounds
carriage just stopped.
End of the line,
so she gave up.

Too much misspelled.
Angry eraser holes
at best, visible smudges.
Life on a page
ripped out in disgust,
crumpled beside tin ash tray,
empty pack nearby.
No sequel here.

Written for dVerse….in reply to the prompt about “temperature”.
This started from reading the line “I sat in bed in the morning writing poetry, hitting the return key whenever I wanted.” in Sally Rooney’s Conversations with Friends. Went from that to the old days of typing on my very small, portable Smith Corona typewriter all through my college days….and somehow came out with this post. Go figure! Photo from pixabay.com

Rend Asunder

Simmering . . .
daze on end.
Days and weeks
on the back burner.
Simmering . . .

Until what?
Fingers drumming.
Unanswered calls.
Bubble bursts.
Boils over.

Hot blooded,
she explodes.
One – quick – STAB.
His blood flows
till warm no more.

Days later he lies
beyond the pale.
Forever stilled
beneath the earth,
cold to touch.

As is her soul.

I’m hosting dVerse today, the virtual pub for poets. Prompt today is to somehow involve the idea of “temperature” within your poem – in any of its diverse meanings or uses. The word itself does not need to be in the poem….but we must be able to tell how “temperature” is related to your poem. IE — to take one’s temperature, red-hot with anger;  temperature of a nation, being in hot water, passion, etc.  Prompt goes live at 3 PM Boston time. Come join us!
And apologies to my readers today….I’ve gone over to the dark side with this post. Photo from Pixabay.com

There comes a time. . .

Developing her own voice
testing her wings,
child no longer.
He understood as a poet does,
metaphorically . . .
you cannot tether a bluebird to your wiles,
no matter how loose the string.

Written in response to Tuesday Poetics at dVerse, the virtual pub for poets. Linda is hosting and asks us to write a poem inspired by one of six particular paintings by Jacquline Hurlbert. I’ve selected Bluebird’s Journey, with permission of the artist. Find all paintings and information about the artist at jhurlbert.com

Wandering Troubadour

Serial killer, folksong singer,
croons Pete Seeger tunes.
Strums guitar strings
while pressing fret on neck.

Wicked smile then splays his lips
when nightfall comes, he changes gigs.
Metal strings undone from fret
now seek a human neck.

Reminder note:
new strings needed tomorrow.

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Kim hosts Quadrille Monday today at dVerse, the virtual pub for poets. She asks us to include the word “fret” or a form of the word, in our post. Quadrille: a poem of exactly 44 words, sans title. Photo from Pixabay.com

Number Me Not

Somedaze
life is like a giant Sudoku.
I should fit in here.
So (how) do I?
So-do I do ok
with you?

I’m good with Jumbles.
I can fill in those kind of blanks.
______ and I are ______.
But I don’t do numbers.
Not like that. Not linear.
So not Sodoku.

Can we just
turn the puzzle page . . .
please?
Better yet,
let’s get a different book . . .
can we paint by numbers instead?

I‘m hosting OLN (Open Link Night) at dVerse today, the virtual pub for poets. Why not drop by and post any one poem of yours so we can all enjoy?  Photo from Pixabay.com

One Moment

Twelve voices soar,
faces aglow.
Response to powerful words.

Reach out your hand
And I’ll be flying home.

Twelve voices soar,
touch us.
Emotions enveloped in yours.

My work is finished
The angel’s command.

Twelve voices soar,
pull us
into a new world.

Carry me on . . .
I’m flying home.

Twelve voices strong.
Thank you,
we heard your song.

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Italicized words in poem are lyrics from Jason Robert Brown’s Flying Home – a song from his musical Songs for a New World. Last night we were privileged to see this show, which is literally a song cycle without any dialogue between performers, sung by 12 students at Phillips Academy at Andover. It was hard to believe these were high school sophomores, juniors and seniors. They literally carried us through a gamut of emotions as they sang (lived) moments of decision by the characters they became. If you’re not familiar with the song, Flying Home, click here and you’ll understand the power of the piece – stick with it to the end. And yes……it was powerful in last night’s Phillips Academy production.

I am . . .

labeled Taurus by sun,
emerald green by hue.
Fire and earth,
my elements.
1947,
year of the pig.

All this I am told.
All this I read . . . and ignore.
You are my mirror.
In you, my reflection
has no labels,
no boundaries.

You release me,
you always have.
I suspect
you always will.
Stalwart, loving,
supportive, accepting.

Together,
two individuals
side by side,
in sync.
Two harmonious melodies
with unique time signatures.

Two strong vines,
you and I, intertwined.
We blossom sans labels,
sans categorizing systems.
We soar in harmony,
Zodiac be damned.

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Amaya is hosting Tuesday Poetics at dVerse, the virtual pub for poets. She asks us to consider cosmology, the various systems that define us by elements, astrology, etc. Image is from a family album of geneology I am creating. That is my writing…and this is actually a page from my father’s desk calendar, ripped out the day I was born; laminated, and carried by him in his wallet until the day he died. He had another one from the day my brother was born. That small block printing “LILLIAN” below the calendar, is his handwriting. A draftsman, he always wrote in block print.

 

Child Rising

Maneuvered.
Layer upon layer,
expectations for perfection.
Like yeast-leavened dough
worked and plied,
slathered with to-dos.
You-wills pummeled into thinning skin.
Turned again and again by strong hand.
Beneath the slamming and kneading,
beginnings obliterated.
Raised to croissant elite.
Bran muffin, never an option.

Posted for dVerse Quadrille Monday, a bit late! Quadrille is a poem composed of exactly 44 words, sans title. The prompt word, to be included in some form for this post was “up” — I’ve used “upon”.  dVerse is a wonderful virtual pub for poets at http://dversepoets.com.  Prompts are given every Monday, Tuesday and Thursday. Come join us!