Ravaged

She sits slumped,
rot gut whiskey bottle
clutched in hands.
Stitch in side, she aches.
Time blurrs
lost in last nine shots.

Pennies by her feet
tossed by do-good passerby
don’t jar her mind.
Can’t think straight or at all.
Too far gone to live
not quite enough to die.

bottle-2257787_1920Written for Tuesday’s Poetics at dVerse, the virtual pub for poets. Jilly is hosting and asks us to take one or two well known adages and significantly change them! Can you find the two I’ve used?
Photo from Pixabay.com Answer Key: Stanza 1 from “A stitch in time saves nine.” and Stanza 2 is from “A penny for your thoughts. ”  Explaining further, in case you’re not familiar with having a stitch (pain) in your side:  often happens to people when they’re running … or can be a sign of other medical problems too. 

The She of Serenity

Nature’s nymph.
Child of the moon, wed to earth.
Mossy slippers quiet her step.
Willow frond skirt swishes in breeze,
natural scent blends with trees.
Seek her healing balm
amongst urban parks, forest glens.
Or retreat within your mind,
savor soothing rivulets of calm.

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Written for dVerse, the virtual pub for poets where it’s Quadrille Monday. Kim is our able and creative pub tender. She asks us to use the word “earth” in our exactly-44-word poem. Photo taken on our trip to Ireland. Pub opens at 3 PM Boston time. Come join us!

Sing Me Some Jazz

Time’s long shadow
scats and sings.
That ole pendulum
forever swings.

Doo-ya doo-ya
doo-ya bop.
Tickety tickety
tickety tock.

That grim reaper,
got no soul.
But shit my honey,
he’s got control.

Doo-ya doo-ya
doo-ya bop.
Tickety tickety
tickety tock

Now listen good
while I’m tellin’ you.
Doo-ya doo-ya
doo-ya boo.

Live it up baby
while we can.
Stompin’ and dancin’
that’s the plan.

Jazz it up baby,
come on now.
Do some lovin’
fore he takes his bow.

Snappin’ and poppin’
and rockin’ strong.

Singin’ doo-ya doo-ya
doo-ya bop.
Ain’t no way
we’re ready to stop.

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Sharing with dVerse, the virtual pub for poets, on Open Link Thursday.  Image by freepik.com

Immigrants

Our ancestors. Our families.
They sailed through rough seas.
They worked hard, dreamed big.
We are us because of them.
Their identities may fade but
Their determination remains apparent.
Pictured and posed in family albums,
They live on in sepia tones.

 

Written for dVerse, the virtual pub for poets. It’s Meet The Bar Thursday (MTB) and Frank hosts, asking us to write a Reverse Poem. Read it top to bottom. Read it bottom to top. Line by line. It makes sense both ways. Quite challenging! 

Photos:
Left:  Hjalmer Siegfried Hallberg, born in Sweden, 1884. Arrived Ellis Island, NY at age 22, in 1906. My husband’s grandfather.
Right: Adam Gruenwald, born 1857 in Germany. Arrived in U.S. in 1880. Grandfather to my father. 

And here it is in reverse, including the same punctuation at the end of each line.

Immigrants

They live on in sepia tones.
Pictured and posed in family albums,
Their determination remains apparent.
Their identities may fade but
We are us because of them.
They worked hard, dreamed big.
They sailed through rough seas.
Our ancestors. Our families.

Moon Dipping

Soaking in a creek,
she lingered in the cool moonlight
basking in luminescent shadows.
Clothes on rocks beside her
she imagined star glitter upon her brow,
pretended the soft breeze was her lover
and succumbed to the night.

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Written for Misky’s Twiglet # 89: “soaking in a creek”
A twiglet is a word or short phrase meant to motivate.

Marengo Years

How did a city girl end up a high school English teacher in rural Iowa? From graduating in a class of eight-hundred-fifty, quick-stepping to Pomp and Circumstances so the procession wouldn’t last an hour; to senior class sponsor of thirty-two, holding students back until the prior one was all the way down the aisle and seated – so the band could play the entire song.

Town square on Main Street. No traffic lights. Elementary school kids on decorated trikes and bicycles in the high school homecoming parade. Future Farmers of America, 4-H, and drama club. Six-on-six girls’ basketball and a superintendent who sometimes wore bibber overalls. Houses with unlocked doors and party-line telephones.  Church cookbooks and pot-lucks. Friendly people always willing to share, listen, and lend a helping hand. My second time in high-school. More special than the first.

ten foot drifts that year
folks hunkered down waiting for plows –
farm cats warm in barns

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Written for dVerse, the virtual pub for poets. It’s Tuesday Poetics and Amaya is hosting, asking us to remember our school days. Photo: Our rented farm house in rural Marengo, Iowa.

Not Your Toymaker’s Daughter

I prefer to live outside the box.
I am not a jack.

I won’t jump at your desire.
I am not a puppet.  Or a toy.
I am more like a cat.

Independent with nine lives.
And trust me,
none of them are yours.

Jack-in-the-box_1863_Harpers

De is hosting dVerse today, asking us to use the word “box” in a Quadrille (poem of exactly 44 words, sans title). Image from WikiCommons: 1863 Harpers from Thomas Nast.

Garden’s Delight

He waited in the garden.
Their daily early tryst,
always morning glory.

Impatiens,
burning desire
bursting his bachelor buttons.

Dainty yellow lady slippers
softened her step
coming closer, closer still.

Beautiful bosom
draped in ivy,
touched by morning dew.

Primrose to many,
but he knew better.

Those swinging rosehips,
passion flower in disguise.

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Written for Misky’s twiglet # 88, “ivy draped.”  There are seven flowers mentioned in this poem, in addition to ivy. Can you find the all? A twiglet is a short phrase or word that is aimed to prompt.

Desolate

The girl sat awhile,
gazing out over the waves
from a solitary sandbar.
Pebbles and rock ground fine,
parched by harsh sun,
as wave after wave came,
again and again.
Awash in waves of guilt,
drowning on dry land.
Nothing curled in the air
but the sound of nothing,
the hymn of nothing,
the humming . . .

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Written for Real Toads where the prompt is to write a piggyback poem:
First and last lines should be quoted from two different poems. First line here is from Maureen Hynes, The Horses, the Sorrow, the Umbilicus; last line is from Mark Strand’s She. Photo from Pixabay.com

for far too many . . .

Brown girl dreaming,
tattered ribbons woven
through dark tresses.
She walks in beauty
always plodding upstream,
seeking answers to secrets
from the center of the world.

Oh, to make a joyful noise
that all might hear in high fidelity.
Shout love triumphs hate.
One hundred white daffodils
strewn upon blood soaked streets
could turn a pinkish hue.
Become peace roses beneath our feet.

Oh for those inalienable rights
to be shared amongst us all.
Beyond the hour of land divided,
us and them transformed to we.
To prosper, pain free,
beyond this faithful and virtuous night
into and during every living day.

Or was that Declaration,
that torch held high
to those across the seas . . .
were those just words and symbols?
The happiness project
never intended to be shared,
never meant to be?

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August 9th is National Book Lovers Day and National Hand Holding Day, International Day of the Word’s Indigenous People, National Rice Pudding Day, and National Polka Day! It’s also OLN (Open Link Night) at dVerse, the virtual pub for poets. Folks can post one poem of their choosing – any form, any topic. 

In honor of National Book Lovers Day, I’ve posted a “book spine” poem written with book titles, all from the bookshelf on my desk. Reread the poem, and you’ll find these titles, in this order:

brown girl dreaming
by Jacqueline Woodson

Ribbons – Spring/Summer 2017: Vol. 13, No. 2 (Tanka Society publication)
she walks in beauty (A Woman’s Journey Through Poems)  by Caroline Kennedy
Upstream by Mary Oliver
Secrets from the Center of the World by Joy Harjo and Stephen Strom
Joyful Noise (Poems for Two Voices) by Paul Fleischman
High Fidelity by Nick Hornby
A Hundred White Daffodils by Jane Kenyon
The Hour of Land by Terry Tempest Williams
Pain Free by Pete Egoscue
Faithful and Virtuous Night by Louise Gluck
The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin