Derecho

They walked through devastated streets. The derecho had its way with this small town. High winds tore off roofs and flattened walls. Had no respect for a newly decorated baby’s room or hi-bred roses clinging to an arched trellis. Twenty minutes of hell.

House gone, the James family sifted through rubble. Faint smiles shared when Betty discovered a shattered glass frame; reunion photo still intact. Down the road, Grampa Hilliard sat on a tree stump in the center of what had been his pristine front yard. Head in hands, he mumbled words of thanks to God for lives spared and green grass below his feet.

Talk what you please of future spring and sun-warm’d sweet tomorrow, this was the day the Lord brought. Grateful to be alive, they would sing His praises in church tomorrow. Monday they would begin the herculean task of rebuilding.

Written for dVerse, the virtual pub for poets around the globe. Today is Prosery Monday and Sanaa has asked us to insert the line, “Talk what you please of future spring and sun-warm’d sweet tomorrow.” – from the poem A Daughter of Eve by Christina Rossetti into our piece of prose/flash fiction that is no more than 144 words long, sans title.

Iowa was hit by a derecho on August 10, 2020 when widespread, destructive straight line winds hit the central area of the state. Wind gusts measured up to 106 mph near Marshalltown. The story above is fiction.

Straws

Our lives are made of moments, some plain, some filled with awe.
Looking back I was surprised how many included sipping through a straw!

My mother showed me how to sip orange juice to go with grahams;
Then coca cola and ice cream sodas helped make me who I am.
Chocolate milkshakes, creamy and thick should be against the law.
The memories sweet, of all those times sipping through a straw.

In college I learned about Scotch Mists, served with straws black and thin;
As were those Mai Tai’s with rum and gardenias that almost did me in.
Anything sipped through a straw was yummy. To me a special treat,
Until the memories of hospital stays I do not wish to repeat.

When your lips are cracked, your mouth is dry and your body feels so raw
There is no better thing the nurses can bring than water to sip through a straw.
It’s funny the things that come to mind; the adventures, the things you saw.
My life’s special moments have often come when sipping through a straw.

Straws is written by Lindsey Ein: wonderful writer, wonderful friend, and mother to our dear son-in-law. She shared this poem with dVerse LIVE on Thursday – I’m just a bit late posting it.

Tremor Me Frustrated

I remember mother’s shaking hand,
coffee sloshing from cup,
cup knocking against teeth.
Fork spilled food in restaurants,
wine stained damask cloth.
I did not understand.
I do now.
Essential Tremor is its name,
inherited trait.
Tremor me frustrated.

Essential tremor disorder is a neurological condition that causes your hands to shake rhythmically. The head, trunk and voice might also be involved, but hand shaking is most prominent. The cause is not known, but it is often passed down from a parent to a child.
Essential Tremor Disorder | Johns Hopkins Medicinehttps://www.hopkinsmedicine.org › conditions-and-diseases

Photo is me with my mother, in 1969 when I was about to go off to graduate school.

Yes, my hands have begun to shake in the past six months. It has affected my handwriting, which is most upsetting to me. I will admit, it’s why I’ve not been posting lately to my blog. My normal process is to rise early, write by pen in my journal, creating first drafts of poems. I then go to the computer to type in the first drafts and edit from there. Lately, I cannot read all the words I’ve written. So — to keep up my blog and to keep writing, I must change my process. I must skip the journal with pen-in-hand and go straight to the computer. Essential tremor is a minor problem in the scheme of things. However, now I realize how it can affect self-esteem and bring on frustration. I must keep my sense of humor and, for example, never order soup in a restaurant again!

Written for dVerse, the virtual pub for poets. It was Open Link Night on Thursday and I’m a bit late to posting.

Lunar Assurance

Moon sliver
slice of shimmer
always brings a promise.
Full moon’s glory will come
then shall begin to ebb
but never be lost.
Moon sliver
slice of shimmer
always brings a promise.
Full moon’s glory will come
and so it shall continue
as we’ve seen and
and those will
see after
us.

Written for NaPoWriMo Day 17 where the prompt is to write a poem about or related to the moon.
April is National Poetry Month and NaPoWriMo challenges us to write a poem every day of the month.

Three Chord, Twelve-Bar Blues

You loved me Joe
braggadocio
impresario,
only to go.

I’m singin’ these blues,
you still my muse.
But I remember  long ago
I pleaded, don’t go.

But you left me alone
strummin’ the twelve-bar blues.
My spirit so damn low,
heart’s dyin’  like indigo.

I had fun with this one…..tried to write a poem as a 12-bar blues composition.
The chord progress of a 12-bar blues is I – I – I – I – IV – IV – I – I – V – IV – I – I
Translated to a rhyme scheme, I used AAAA-BBAA-CBAA.

The video is a short description of how to create and play the 12-bar blues chord progression. Fun to listen to.

Written for Quadrille Monday at dVerse, the virtual pub for poets. Kim hosts and asks us to include the word BLUE or a form of the word in our poem of exactly 44 words, sans title.

Wish Upon a Mermaid

Merm me –
shiny gleaming teal and aqua blue
magically beautiful and intelligent,
free to explore and dare.

Merm me –
flow, glide, glissade
braided seaweed round my wrists
necklaced in seashells and coral bright.

Would that I could . . .
dive deeply
escape earth’s rancor
and rollick in rolling waves.

Of what good are legs
and human lungs
when hell
is inhumanity on earth?

What if only life within the sea
in and of the sea,
can live and love
within the lunar tides?

mermaid-2456981_1920

Written for Tuesday Poetics at dVerse, the virtual pub for poets, where today De asks us to write a poem that is somehow related to mermaids. Image from pixabay.com  I must admit, I have always been smitten with the idea of mermaids!

In Celebration of Matsuo Basho

When we travel, we most especially enjoy immersing ourselves in new cultures. Last April we toured the Asakusa area of Tokyo. Many people strolled these special grounds, photographing the iconic 5-tiered pagoda and praying before the Shinto and Buddhist shrines. We saw a good number of people in formal kimonos, rented from nearby shops to mark a celebratory visit, perhaps a birthday, engagement or anniversary. We stood quietly in front of a temple, in awe of its gold and rich reds. Walking a bit away from the crowds, we discovered a memorial to the poet Matsuo Basho. He lived from 1644 to 1694, during Japan’s Edo period. His haiku are considered the ultimate example of this poetic form. I touched his memorial stone in awe and appreciation.

As we ended our time at Asakusa, I talked with Kaz, our guide. I learned his mother wrote and published poetry in her youth and he told me more about the continued honor that Basho is paid in his country. He gifted me with the special pen he’d been using to jot down notes, in Japanese characters. He also gave me a beautiful writing pad with cherry blossoms etched on it. I was so very touched.

Later, back at our hotel, I did a bit of research and discovered Basho’s haiku about this place:

A cloud of cherry blossoms
the chime of a temple bell
is it Asakusa, is it Ueno?

花の雲    鐘は上野か   浅草か

see with your eyes wide ~
bees visit many gardens
all have sweet nectar

Day 27 of National Poetry Writing Month. Today’s post is written for both Toads and dVerse’sHaibun Monday. ¯¯

Toads asks us to consider the ancient tea ceremony and The Way of Tea which includes a good number of suggestions on how to share tea meaningfully. One, that I used to motivate this prompt is: “See with your eyes! Listen with your ears! And if you wish to smell the fragrance, press for an explanation of every unresolved matter until your understanding is complete.”
My haiku at the end moves beyond humans appreciating other cultures and explains that even the bee appreciates nectar from many gardens. 

Frank hosts dVerse and asks us to consider how similar Basho and Shakespeare were to their cultures, in their own time and for many generations to come. He asks us to write a haibun related to one of these famous literary geniuses.

Covid-19, The Unveiler

Welcome to the After Awards,
bracelet signifiers distributed
and assigned.
Hero. Survivor. Privileged.

Before the Age of Corona
we lived unaware.
Blithely took much for granted.
We thought nothing of what we had
when so many others had nothing.

A home, savings, vacations
books and toys for our kids.
Safe neighborhoods
cupboards chockfull
and mobility.

In donning masks
our eyes began to see.
Privileged were we.
We watched numbers
numbly, then fearfully.

Even the privileged succumbed.

And then came the New Dawn.
BC took on a second meaning,
Before Corona.
And we understood,
after being assigned
our Privileged bracelet.
It was a jewelry of shame.
And yet,
now we actually were,
because we lived.

And we would shed that arrogant air,
and we would share
and we would care
and we would love.

corona-4962578_1920
Day 7 of national poetry month where the challenge is to write a poem every day.

Written for dVerse, the virtual pub for poets where Bjorn asks us to write a poem about the pandemic, for example, how it might look on the other side. At Toads, we are asked to somehow write about bracelets. Image from Pixabay.com

To all my readers, stay safe. Stay healthy.

We Gather Again

Fifty years ago,
we wore bridal veils.
Walked past the elders’
with a cursory but loving nod.

Then family reunions,
joyful raucous gatherings
at the twenty
and thirty-something’s table.

Then babies appeared on hips,
high chairs crowded table seatings,
crayons joined forks and spoons
and the elders watched lovingly.

Too soon,
teenagers rolled their eyes,
talked about whatever they do,
made lists for Santa’s exchange.

Someone tried to reproduce
Auntie Maia’s meringue cookies.
Papa Milt’s son took over
his carving-the-turkey role.

Beloved faces,
grandparents,
uncles and aunts
disappeared from the scene.

And now, tomorrow,
we gather again,
a new generation
gracing a bridal veil.

And just for a moment I see their faces.
Generations
who instilled love of family,
no matter the distance or age.

Then quietly
we walk into the room,
smile knowingly and take our seats.
We now, are the elders’ table.