Greening

Shhh . . .
follow me.
Walk quietly
thru stately trees
dew-kissed leaves
green glistening fronds.
Inhale. Breathe in deeply.
Fresh woods’ scent fills lungs.
Eyes shut, listen to forest sounds.
Birds sing, scamper, dart overhead.
Shrubs swish softly as critters scamper.
Forest tranquility.

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I’m hosting Quadrille Monday at dVerse, the vitual pub for poets. The challenge is to write a poem of exactly 44 words, sans title. The poem must include the word “tranquility” (or a form of the word) within the body of the poem. Pub opens at 3 PM Boston time. Come join us!

Did you know, according to a British Council’s survey of 40,000+ people from 102 nonEnglish speaking countries, “tranquility” is the tenth most beautiful word in the English language?  

Photo taken on our visit a number of years ago to the Crosley Estate in Cincinatti, Ohio. 

New Day

Cold nose whiffs coffee
perked over campfire.
Hands warm
round chipped mug.

Leaf canopy dew-drop glistens,
lake shimmers with rising sun.
Fresh morning, new day
breathe it in.

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Wherever you are this morning or next, city or lakeside, campground or home, breath in life and live! Photo from Pixabay.com

 

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!

Lunch At That Place

She felt herself slipping away. Nerves frazzled. Lashing out. Pieces of herself seemed to be missing. She couldn’t remember where she used to live – she just knew this wasn’t it. She remembered taking the train to work, having a nice big desk with an ink blotter. She wore hats to church. And gloves too. Now she was in some kind of housedress, sitting in a room with people she didn’t know. Well, maybe that one over there. She looked familiar. It’s like being inside a Chinese puzzle box. But just your head. Someone gave her a poetry book today. Or yesterday? “You will love again the stranger who was yourself.” She got that. Her body was a stranger attached to legs. Her brain was across the room in the orange sherbet jello mold. Those cream cheese curds. I’m the stranger. To you and me.

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Prosery written today for dVerse where Kim is hosting. Prosey is a new form for dVerse and prompts appear every second or third Monday. We are given a line from a poem, in this case “You will love again the stranger who was yourself” from Derek Walcott’s poem Love After Love. We must include the exact line in a story (prose) of 144 words or less. Photo from Pixabay.com

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

Respite

Rocking my soul,
surrounded by lush forest
as lazy loons float upon the lake.
Leaves rustle occasionally
while wooden slats creak
back and forth,
back and forth.
My soul dozes carefree,
enveloped in Adirondack calm.

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Posted for dVerse, Open Link Night Thursday. Photo from our recent family reunion in the Adirondacks.

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.

For Tomorrow

We walked quietly through Hiroshima’s Peace Garden and the Peace Museum, listened closely to the story of Sadako Sasaki. She was two years old when Enola Gay flew over Hiroshima. Although she was outside the perimeter of its immediate target, she was diagnosed with leukemia seven years later.  An after-effect of the bomb’s widespread toxicity. During eight months of hospitalization, she folded 1,000 paper cranes, many made from small labels off her medicines. In Japanese culture, the crane is symbolic of good fortune and longevity. Sadako was nine when she died.

In 1958, people from all over the world, sent chains of 1,000 paper cranes, to the dedication of the Children’s Peace Memorial. It commemorates Sadako and the thousands of innocent children who died as a result of the atomic bomb. We smiled at the beauty, patterns and bright colors of paper cranes on display. We looked upward to the widespread arms of the beautiful statue.

origami springs
paper cranes in my window
blessings soar each day

The crane has come to represent peace and hope and today,is one of the most popular figures created in the art of origami.

Written for dVerse, the virtual pub for poets, where Frank asks us to write a “haibun to commemorate Hiroshima…to focus not on despair of nuclear holocaust, but on hope born of rising from the ashes. ”  Photos are from our recent visit to Hiroshima: the colorful display of paper cranes; the beautiful Children’s Peace Memorial Statue; paper crane chains I made that now hang in the window of my study; and a photo of me with Kenji. He was an exchange student from Japan in my senior year of high school, 1965. I had not seen him since then and was so excited to reconnect in Japan. He gave me the beautiful origami paper I used to make the cranes. A very special trip indeed.
Reason for title: On August 6, at 8:16 a.m. Japanese time, the world’s first atomic bomb was dropped on Hiroshima. The city holds a Peace Memorial Ceremony each August 6, to console the victims of the atomic bombs and to pray for the realization of lasting world peace.  Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes is a wonderful children’s historical novel written by Eleanor Coerr, published in 1977.
Haibun: A Japanese form of poetry that includes 2 or 3 succinct paragraphs of prose followed by a traditional haiku. 

Perspectives

Arboreal cobwebs.
Ethereal threads glimmer in sun,
intricate patterns
cling leaf to leaf.

Familial cobwebs.
Wisps of the past,
displayed on tables
ready for yard sale.

Charlotte’s cobwebs.
Eager youngsters
admire the spinning,
imagination’s delight.

Gray matter cobwebs,
clammy uneasiness.
Disturbed cluttered thoughts
provoked by age,
exasperated by twenty-four-seven news.

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Before you were born . . .

I dreamed of holding stardust in my hands.
Wondering who you were inside of me,
moving softly as my belly expands.
Some being, ethereal? Feathery?
Then you abruptly kicked. Staggeringly.

Doubts, questions, fears, realities unfurled.
How to protect you enough in this world?
Then you, pushing. Pushing until you’re through.
Angry. Squalling. Blotched face. Legs fetal curled.
But once in my arms, my stardust I knew.

Today Frank is hosting dVerse, the virtual pub for poets. We continue to explore the Dizain — a particular form of poetry that includes 10 lines, each with 10 syllables, and a rhyme scheme of ababbccdcd.  There is to be a “turn” in the poem after line 5.  For me, as always with forms, and in particular forms with a set rhyme scheme, it is a struggle to have the meaning of the poem come through without calling attention to the form.  Although folks at dVerse have been working with the Dizain for a bit, this is my first attempt. Pub opens at 3 PM Boston time. Come try your hand at a Dizain! Photo is from pixabay.com