Love Is . . .

Just twenty months apart, they grew up together. Whispered secrets through a grate between their bedroom walls. Shared stories at supper time. Shared chores on family camping vacations. One tent for the four of us. Four small blue canvas chairs always set up by the campfire site. We sat together talking. Sometimes stared at stars and moon; watched ember sparks glow. They always slept soundly when the lantern was doused, even in their teenage years. Cocooned in sleeping bags.

Years later, they live six-hundred miles apart. Raising their families. Busy with life. Those starry nights are part of who they are. Like deep and long roots sustaining the stately oak, those special times inform how they define family. I wonder if in their dreams, they sleep with the moon shared between them still. Far apart, but always akin.

Written for Prosery Monday at dVerse, the virtual pub for poets around the globe. Today, Merril is hosting and asks us to include the line “In their dreams, they sleep with the moon” in a story or memoir (some type of prose; cannot be poetry). The line is from Mary Oliver’s Death at Wild River.

Re-imagined

Version One

I take my walkabouts at the optimum time of day,
always with my shadow in the lead,
following her confident pace,
one step at a time into my future.

Version Two

I walkabout at half-past two.
Toe-to-toe,
my shadow leads the way
then picks up the pace.
We two-step
then strut
then run.
We dare the future
to trip us up,
dare the sun to set.

Written for dVerse, the virtual pub for poets around the globe. Today Peter, who is from Australia, tells us that we write like a dog and should edit like a cat! He asks us to rewrite a poem we’ve previously posted. I do like the second version better. Photo from Pixabay.com

It’s Me

I like my positive attitude
my hazel-green eyes
my dad’s white-streaked wave in my hair
the Vionic shoes I wear to support my feet
so I can dance when the mood strikes.

I love that I married my best friend
that Face Time allows me to see our son
that our daughter still laughs with us
and our children still think
our thoughts are important.

I love that I’m in my seventh decade
and whenever anyone complains
about growing old,
I always say,
“and aren’t we glad we are!”

In this age of Covid, I am blessed
to be a recluse with the man I love
to walk along the Charles River
to be healthy and safe.
I am humbled by my privilege.

Written for Poetics Tuesday at dVerse, the virtual pub for global poets. Today Sarah asks us to write a self-portrait poem.
Last week , we walked along the Charles and then through Boston’s Public Garden, where this photo is taken. Since we do not own a car and avoid public transportation during this age of Covid, we explore and walk within a perimeter that our feet will take us. Can you tell we’re smiling for this selfie
?

An Iowa Story

She returned
to eavesdrop on her history.
Imagine Grandpa’s weathered face,
rusted tractor rumbling through fields.
Picture Grandma young and spry,
aproned in her summer kitchen.
Failing roofs,
weathered homestead,
long empty.
But as she left, it whispered,
You are our dreams come true.

Written for dVerse, the virtual pub for poets, where today Kim asks us to write a Quadrille (poem of exactly 44 words, sans title) using the word “eavesdropper” or a form of the word.

PHOTOS provided by Andrea Gunderson Frederickson. She was a high school student of mine many many years ago when I taught at Iowa Valley High School in Marengo, Iowa. This is her grandparents’ homestead, just outside of Marengo. Summer kitchens were used to avoid heating up the entire house during the hot and humid summer months.

Credo

In the spaces of the doldrums,
I find my faith.


In these days of Covid-19, when we are tied closer to home, I find more time for reflection. I believe it is an important time to maintain our faith; to believe in the good. Photo taken at dawn, last year in Provincetown on Cape Cod.

By the Sea

Standing in front of the sea,
she smiles with moon-kissed lips.
I immerse myself,
deeper and deeper still.
Explore her nautilus curves.
Ebb and flow within her wake,
then lie still
as darkness gives way to light
and dawn awakens me.

I lie stilled on deserted beach.
Low tide surrounds me,
as if the ocean bared its soul.
Oh rapturous sleep, I question thee.
Was she real, this goddess of the night?
Or was she but a siren
escaped from far-off craggy coast?
Tears flow from my eyes
staring up at blushing sky.

Spent am I,
splayed out on moist and rippled sand.
And then my fingers feel . . . what?
Something smooth and cool to touch.
A nautilus.
I stare at it in wonder.
Then slowly, lowered to my lips,
my mouth upon its curved edge
I whisper hoarsely,
I shall return tonight, my love.
You are my destiny.

Written for dVerse, the virtual pub for poets, where it’s Tuesday poetics and we are asked to explore erotica in poetry. I like to think of this as romantic rather than erotic. Simply my choice of words. Photo taken last year in Provincetown during a full moon.

Iceland

We’ve seen firsthand the many faces of Iceland. We’ve soaked in the Blue Lagoon and walked beside hot bubbling fumaroles in the Krysuvik geothermal field. We’ve hiked in her desolate volcanic terrain.

Wearing sturdy hiking boots, using walking sticks for leverage, we climbed to the top of Stora Eldborg, an extinct volcanic crater. At its peak, buffeted by winds, our travel van below was a mere dot. Craters in the distance looked like small molehills. On the descent, our sticks helped take the pressure off our knees.

An hour later, we donned hardhats with headlights; no sticks allowed. Our guide took us to explore a 2,000 year old lava tube. Once a conduit for flowing molten rock, the channel crusted over forming a tunnel which we gingerly entered. We inched over boulders, slid down slabs, and crawled our way through parts of this damp, dark hollowed out place. Our headlights revealed pockmarked, cracked, uneven walls and lavacicles that hung from the ceiling. We came upon misshapen lava pillars impeding forward progress, thus marking our turn-back point. By the time we clambered out of the tube, my body was chilled to the bone and I was exuberant to feel the sun.

earth weathers through all
summer’s torrid heat burns land
below ground, cold springs

Written for Haibun Monday at dVerse, the virtual pub for poets. Today Frank is our host and asks us to write about a hike, or somehow use the word hike in our post. Photos are from our 2017 visit to Iceland.
HAIBUN: 2 or 3 paragraphs of prose, must be true; followed by a haiku.

Arachnophobic . . .

I should have known.
She silked the room,
entered with swishing skirts.
Eye-lashed me
in that coquettish way.
Wove words into delights.
Spinning wheeled me,
unlike any woman I’d ever known.
I could not escape her wiles.
I skeined under her spell.
First hands, then arms,
then eyes, then heart.
My senses spooled as one,
tautly captured in her clutches.
She left me,
forever specimened.
Pushpinned my veins
until I was but a dried shell.
Once a vibrant man,
now locked in despair.
I shall never love again.

Written for Meet the Bar at dVerse, the virtual pub for poets from around the globe. Today, Bjorn asks us to “verbify” in our poem. That is, to use a noun, or several, as verbs in our poem. Photo taken a number of years ago at Ricoleta Cemetery in Buenos Aires.

To Everything There is a Season

City folk turned country dwellers
we weathered through the seasons.
First-time home-owners on thirty acres,
we rented out our fields.
Watched corn and wheat planted,
then flourish in hot Iowa sun.

Harvest seasons came and went.
Like shapeshifters,
acres changed their landscaped views.
Plant, tend, reap, rest.
We marked off years waiting,
hoping for a blooming of our own.

And then, pregnant with expectation
we watched my belly grow,
just as the wheat and corn grew tall.
Similar to mother earth that year,
we gave birth, finding sustenance
in the fruits of our labor.

And then one bright September day
we brought our daughter home.
Stood blinking from the sun’s glare
holding her up amidst the fields,
thankful for new life
in this, our season of joy.  

Written for Tuesday Poetics at dVerse, the virtual pub for poets across the globe. Today, Rose is guest hosting and titles her prompt “Waiting on Wheat” – asking us to somehow write about wheat within our poem. Photos are from our homestead in Iowa, in 1974. Yep – that’s me with our daughter on the day I came home from the hospital. In those days, it was common to stay in the hospital for 5 days! Even after a normal birth. My how times have changed! The title for the poem comes from Ecclesiastes in the Bible and was also turned into a wonderful song written by Pete Seeger, first recorded in 1959.

My Plea

Clown me, please.
Paint a smile on my face
and give me huge clodhoppers.
Stomp with me through muck and lies.
This bulbous red nose?
Not from weeping.
It toots raucously –
my exclamation point
to your inane arguments.
Living in this three-ring circus
it’s the only way to survive.
Clown me, please.

Written for Tuesday Poetics at dVerse, the virtual pub for poets across the globe. Today we’re asked to write a poem that somehow uses the word “clown” or deals with a clown. Image from Pixabay.com.