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

Still Hearin’ That Swing

It was the big band era, lots of brass.
Billy whalin’ on the drums
while Johnny waited for his riff
makin’ the saxophone swing.

And me, standin’ on the riser
my long arms waitin’ too.
“Wing span of a hawk,” mama said.
Just the ticket for a trombone man.

Yeah, I could slide that brass,
hear the notes strong and clear.
No strings or keys,
just that long smooth glide.

And Mabel at the mic,
feathers clipped in henna dyed hair
sultry voice in the sweet spots.
Hips, always swingin’ to the beat.

Never made it big like Glenn,
but we had our gigs.
Glass of gin between sets
and smoke swirlin’ round our heads.

They’re all gone now.
Pawned my Tbone long time ago.
But sometimes, while I’m sittin’ here,
I can put myself back there again.

Close my eyes imaginin’ and start to sway,
feel Mabel lean in real close like she did.
I wheel this chair around a bit
and I can feel us back there again.
Swingin’ to that big band sound.

THIS POST IS BEST IF READ ALOUD!

Rewritten a bit from an older post. Shared at OLN by reading aloud at our online dVerse pub event. dVerse is a virtual pub for poets around the globe – except that once a month we have a live Zoom-like gathering where we read aloud a poem and can actually see and hear the creators of all the words we’ve been sharing for so many years at this amazing virtual pub.

Apocalypse

Winds ripple
wind chimes sing
I sit basking in autumn sun.

Winds howl
news spews discordance
I cringe in easy chair.

Storm breaks
Covid strikes hard
I blink in disbelief.

Where is the calm
as sirens scream cross seas?
God help us all.

I am usually a Pollyanna…..but these times can test our frame of mind and make us feel the gloom and doom. I choose to write out my feelings. It is a way to rid me of those I do not want to harbor. Having done that, I now shall smile with hope. May we all somehow do our part to brush away the storms that seem to surround us these days; and pray for those who are caught up in them and suffering in these times.

Serene Me

Serenity is
all I need,
a verb
 I can make be.
Serenity is bliss.

Serenity is what color?
Not raging red
nor egregious green.
Pastel me serene.

Serenity is far away,
not freedom from the storm.
Serenity is a firefly

flitting out of reach,

on and off, off and on,
reminding me.
Serenity
is a verb
 I can make be.

Today Bjorn is hosting MTB (Meet the Bar) at dVerse, the virtual pub for poets. He prompts us to “use the google autocomplete functionality as a trigger to create lists to trigger poems . . . for instance what happens when I try to google ‘love is.’” In this case, I googled Serenity is… The lines italicized in the poem are some that came up with my query.
Photo is from last year’s visit to our beloved Provincetown: no photoshopping…the sky looked like this! Color me serene.

Awakening of a Septuagenarian

I am a product of white privilege.
I hula-hooped and pogo-sticked through youth
scholarshipped through college on the debate team
married, bought a house, and had two children.
We had two dogs who roamed our big back yard.
a vegetable garden and raspberry bushes.
Our kids had good friends, played board games
took music lessons, learned to drive,
went to high school swing choir competitions.
They went to college, married,
bought a house, and had kids
who took music lessons and walked to school.
None of us had the proverbial picket fence,
but sure seemed we had everything else.
I had no idea there was a Green Book.

At seventy-three, I am appalled, frightened,
and petrified for this country.
I applaud all who take a knee
and decry the knee that pressed,
without mercy, on George Floyd’s neck –
8 minutes and 15 seconds of deliberate hell.
I decry the lack of justice for Breonna Taylor.
I decry the narcissistic occupant
whose utter disregard for science,
truth, the environment, the letter of the law,
sacrifices made by our armed forces,
has decimated the moral fiber of this country,
left us with 200,000 lives lost to Covid.
And the number grows.
Yet people follow this self-centered prat,
gather in enclosed spaces
no masks, no social distance,
cheer on this person
masquerading as our president.
The occupant who doesn’t give a rip about them ~
except to keep him in power.
I write, I speak, I donate to senate contests,
and I WILL VOTE.
I maintain hope in the good.
That is my protest.

Written for dVerse, the virtual pub for poets around the globe, where today Grace asks us to consider protest poetry.

Ancient Artist’s Final Days

Alone his last weeks,
squirreled away in abandoned dune shack
sole window open to ocean’s ebb and flow.
Easel, sawhorse-table, canned goods,
sleeping bag and brushes. Minimal décor.

She’d left him years ago,
but each day she came closer.
Porcelain skin, barely blushed cheeks
velvet brown eyes as he remembered them,
brimming love.

Pale coral tinted mouth,
retouched each day.
Gently he brushes her lips,
moistens them as mornings dawn,
heart searing, needing her.

Ribboned strapless sheath
painted to reveal sultry throat, soft shoulders.
Delicate fingers hold blooming vine.
Each rose carefully painted,
petaled to life.

Until at last he smells her scent,
roses permeate his soul.
One last rose lovingly placed
centered within her crowning hair,
her essence complete.

And so he sleeps his final sleep
as gulls squall in the distance
and waves create his elegy.
His bluing lips smile in repose,
knowing she is nearby.

I am hosting at dVerse today, the virtual pub for poets around the globe. I’m delighted to have reconnected with artist Catrin Welz-Stein who is graciously allowing us to select one of four provided images as motivation for our poetic creations today. I’ve chosen the beautiful image above – it was hard to choose as all four are magical in my opinion. You can find more of her work here: Catrin Welz-Stein, Join us today to see art-inspired poetry – what is called ekphrastic poetry.

My Plea

Clown me, please.
Paint a smile on my face
and give me huge clodhoppers.
Stomp with me through muck and lies.
This bulbous red nose?
Not from weeping.
It toots raucously –
my exclamation point
to your inane arguments.
Living in this three-ring circus
it’s the only way to survive.
Clown me, please.

Written for Tuesday Poetics at dVerse, the virtual pub for poets across the globe. Today we’re asked to write a poem that somehow uses the word “clown” or deals with a clown. Image from Pixabay.com.