Remove Thy Blinders

And still they hide
behind partisan masks,
minus apertures.

Occupant in driver’s seat
tantrum spittle spews.
White-knuckled, weaves erratically
beyond civility, decency, decorum.
Down-shifts –
crash-dummy hurtling forth.

Redefines killing fields
beyond ecology to necrology.
In cages, beside borders,
ours and those across the seas.
Still they hide behind partisan blinders,
apertures seamed resolutely shut.

Let slip the masks this hallow’s eve.
Rein in with blistered palms
what thou hast unleashed.
Your children’s children shall ask,
innocent heads tilted up to you,
eyes wide open in disbelief,

How could you?

I beg you,
transpose the occupant’s childlike words below
as theirs to you this night:

“History will look upon you favorably if you get this done the right and humane way. It will look upon you forever as the devil if good things don’t happen. Don’t be a tough guy. Don’t be a fool! I will call you later.”

Aye, your children’s children shall call to you,
standing upon your grave.
How could you not let slip your mask,
apertures torn asunder?
How could you not act then,
call foul that which ruled the land,
thinking of them and theirs to come.

Written for dVerse’s Open Link night where I’m hosting tonight. This virtual pub for poets hosts prompts on Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays. Open Link night means folks can post any poem of their choosing — no prompt, no specific form or length. Pub opens at 3 PM Boston time. Come join us!
Quotation from Donald Trump’s letter to the President of Turkey, dated October 9, 2019: authenticity confirmed by White House.  Photo from Pixabay.com

Lifer

Beneath blood-red sunset
she met her ex.
Tinction blotted sky
with angry cloud canopy,
festered over sea.
She should have known.
Fatal mistake.
His, not hers.
His passion revealed in fists.
Her dignity recouped,
but at a price.
Life sentence.
Sky now cement blocks.

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Posted to dVerse, the virtual pub for poets, where today Linda asks us to use the word “extinction” or a form of the word, in the body of a quadrille (poem of exactly 44 words, sans title). Extinction does appear in Lifer. Do you see it?

The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines tinction as the act or process of staining or dyeing: coloring matter.

Photo taken in Provincetown, Cape Cod.

The Rabbit Hole

Alice: How long is forever?
White Rabbit: Sometimes, just one second.
Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland.

. . . and the gods hovered
watching glaciers melt
fires burn and scar the land
animals lose their habitat
guns and sirens blare
and the gods said enough.

As I stood, hands cupped
shielding candle’s flame
wax dripping faster
wick sputtering weakly
the gods said enough,
and the light was gone.

 

Written for dVerse the virtual pub for poets. Amaya asks us to consider how we feel living in “this surreptitious world of smoke and mirrors” and to remember “that writing poetry is a clear and simple form of rebellion against a world that is anything but clear and simple.” Photos from our 2015 Alaska trip where we hiked to a glacier field and saw it melting.  Note this August 18, 2019 headline: Scientists bid farewell to the first Icelandic glacier lost to climate change. If more melt, it can be disastrous.” Pub opens at 3 PM Boston time. Come join us!

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.

guitar-case-485112_1920

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