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!

Atalanta

Some days
I want to mail our politicians
spiked shoes.
The kind with cleats
like athletes wear.
To be sure-footed in muck
and muddied fields.

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Atalanta was a famous Greek huntress and an exceptional athlete. She was also a favourite of the goddess Artemis because of her survival instinct, impressive skills, courage and noble character. Image from Pixabay.com

Pantoum Sudoku

I sit to gather thoughts and write.
Like quickening ripples in windswept pool
ideas hurtle, thrash and roil in spite.
My mind consumed, your muse too cruel.

Like quickening ripples in windswept pool
your face appears in waves to take control.
My mind consumed. Your muse too cruel,
like fists that pummel a dying soul.

Your face appears in waves. To take control,
eyes wide, I gather strength. My voice attacks
like fists that pummel a dying soul.
You shall not rule as I defy all impacts.

Eyes wide, I gather strength. My voice attacks
ideas. Hurtle, thrash and roil in spite.
You shall not rule. As I defy all impacts,
I sit to gather thoughts and write.

Gina hosts MTB Thursday at dVerse, the virtual pub for poets. Today we are exploring a particular form of poetry called a pantoum. It’s made up of quatrains (4 line stanzas). BUT, they have to be in this pattern:

A (has to end rhyme with C)
B (has to end rhyme with D)
C
D

B (Exact same line as B in first stanza; and has to end rhyme with D)
E (has to end rhyme with F)
D (Exact same line as D in first stanza)
F

E (Exact same line as E in second stanza)
G (has to rhyme with H)
F (Exact same line as F in second stanza)
H

G (Exact same line as G in third stanza)
C (Exact same line as C in first stanza)
H (Exact same line as H in third stanza)
A (Exact same line as A in first stanza)

Hah! Did you follow that?  And now you know why I titlee this post Pantoum Sudoku!

Ode to the Lost

1972 . . .
High school field trip chaperone
battered yellow school bus,
ear plugs needed.
Kids chatter
shout across aisles.
Loud and louder voices join,
belt out singing, grins on faces

bye bye Miss American Pie
drove my Chevy to the levee
but the levee was dry
and them good old boys
were drinking whiskey ‘n rye
singing “This ‘ll be the day that I die
This’ll be the day that I die.”

2019 . . . 11 AM
High school field trip chaperone
battered yellow school bus,
kids plugged in.
Heads down, thumbs fly.
Some lips move
no sounds heard.
Eye contact? There is none.

2019 . . . 5 PM
Commuter rail, going home.
Same scene,
different place.
Heads down, thumbs fly.
Some lips move,
no sounds heard.
Faces never seen.

Don McLean’s American Pie
turned sardine humanity,
schooling no more.

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I’m hosting OLN today at dVerse, the virtual pub for poets. Folks can post one poem of their choice – no particular form, length or topic. By the way, “schooling” is a very social behavior of fish. It requires coordinated body positions and synchronized movements. And for those of you not familiar with the song American Pie, click below for a listen – topped the Billboard charts in 1972. Photo from pixaby.com  Pub opens at 3 PM Boston time. Come join us!

Lost at Sea

Her calloused feet didst plod cross ominous ocean shore
while howling winds lashed her face and whipped the gown she wore.
Oblivious waves roiled. Her pleas screamed through salted lips
till sudden chill filled her heart. Head bowed, she hoped no more.

Spirit crushed she sank to sand. Broken shells with cruel tips
rushed into her hands. With closed fists, she squeezed tight, both grips
till blood was drawn. Then dragged herself into heartless sea,
palms stinging, she whispered hoarsely. My blood flows with thee.

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At dVerse, the virtual pub for poets, we are working on Rubaiyats: originally a Persian poem with 4 line stanzas, each line with 13 syllables, rhyme scheme of AABA, BBCB. Jilly is hosting MTB today and asks us to amplify the Rubaiyat with imagery that appeals to the senses. I’ve cheated a bit on this one….my second stanza is BBCC rather than BBCB. As most of my readers know, I struggle with form and rhyming…I’m a free-verse person. But dVerse does challenge us and I learn a lot from the folks here!