With Aplogies to Mark Twain

“Age is an issue of mind over matter. If you don’t mind, it doesn’t matter.”
Mark Twain, aka Samuel Clemens

Welcome to the Ball and Socket,
newest hip joint in town.
Formerly Mark Twain’s Pub,
still catering to the hale and hearty.

Specialty drinks have disappeared,
Huck Finns and Tom Sawyers gone.
But never you worry and never you mind,
what matters most, is easy to find.

Old Sam leans on the bar,
pours drinks and sloshes the foam.
Jaws and listens and nips a few too,
just like the place, he’s as good as new.

Written for Napowrimo, day 13, where the prompt is to turn a famous saying upside down and have fun with it. I’ve had a bit of fun with Mark Twain’s quotation, cited at the beginning of the post.

. . . carousel music rings in my ears

My mind says do it.
Muscle memory falters,
too many springs have sprung,
the daffodil kind.
Too many candles have crowded flowers,
the icing kind.

Life’s become a carousel ride.
I’m the unbolted horse,
slowly getting up from down
moving slower still from down to up.
Au naturel, gold gilding eroded by time
ultimately rounding the bend.

Walking to my once busy house,
I imagine that merry-go-round
music wooing, colors shimmering.
I smile as my mind reminds me done that,
and I pick up my pace,
kicking through the autumn leaves.

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Day 11 of Napowrimo. April is national poetry writing month. Today’s prompt includes these words, “If you are a citizen of the “union” that is your body, what is your future “state of the union” address?”

Last Breath

Stem sticky sap, spent dandelion
clutched in blue-veined hand,
slowly raised to cracked lips.
Eyes wide, she blew, wishing not.
Seeds and tenuous wisps dislodged,
age-old secrets sent to God.

Ali - Dandelion

Officially day one of NaPoWriMo! A poem a day during the month of April, National Poetry Writing Day. Today the prompt is to write about secrets.

Love Letter, Long Overdue

Strewn on the floor
stacked on a spindle,
my teenage love affairs.
Sometimes lying on my bed,
smile plastered on my face.
Sometimes gliding slowly,
watching in the mirror,
arms hugging waist.
Paul Anka, Johnny Mathis,
Harry Belafonte,
and Fabian too.
That plop-down sound.
Then needle stuck in groove,
spun round and round.
Forty-five RPM respite
from teenage angst.
Black vinyl disks,
I adored thee.

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NaPoWriMo starts tomorrow — April is National Poetry Month. The challenge is to write a poem every day. We begin a day early with an early-bird prompt to write a love letter.

Shadorma in the Grave Yard

family
mom, dad, son
me, last born
they waited nine years for me
now they wait again

mist hovers
floats above their graves
hushes sounds
muffles grief
head bowed, I know they miss me
I whisper, not yet

A shadorma written for dVerse, the virtual pub for poets. Amaya is our host today and explains that a shadorma is a syllabic poem consisting of six-line stanzas, each stanza defined in lines of 3-5-3-3-7-5 syllables. She asks us to be motivated by the title of the form and perhaps write about “fog, the paranormal, or the unexplained phenomena of death and life. ” I’ve also posted a second shadorma, Bermuda Beautiful. Pub opens at 3 PM Boston time. Come join us!

Elixir

Can you recall her?
Elfin sprite, youthful innocence.

Sipped happiness
from rose petals tipped toward sun.
Turned acorn crowns upside down
savoring drops of morning dew.
Danced with snowflakes
tasting cold on outstretched tongue.

Cup your wizened hands
‘neath steady drizzling rain.
Raise them to cracked lips
eyes closed, sip deeply.
Recapture hope.

white-rose-2907862_1920

Written for dVerse Tuesday Poetics where Paul asks us to pen a poem about “drinking”; being as creative as we wish with the word.

tanka – a study in brevity

childhood innocence
blushing cheeks and pudgy knees
jump-rope and hopscotch ~
photos keep her company
brittle memories thick with dust

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Frank is our Thursday host at dVerse, the virtual pub for poets. He asks us to consider brevity in our writing…and talks about the Japanese poetic forms of haiku and tanka as examples of brevity. Tanka is 5 lines with the syllabic content 5-7-5-7-7 and should contain a “pivot” at or after the third line. Here, there is a change of perspective: lines 1 – 3 describe childhood for the reader. There’s a sense of liveliness and action. Lines 4 and 5 shift the reader’s view to an elderly person looking at the photos of childhood and hopscotch. The liveliness is gone, replaced by that last line. The person seems alone….left to finger and think about these images, these brittle memories. Perhaps the photos and her memory are “thick with dust?”

Gatherings

My first eighteen years ~
we enjoyed picnics
backyard fun,
family celebrations and holidays.
Cacophonies of raucous laughter and glee.

Hiatus years, different byways ~
address books with edit over edit.
Catch-up Christmas times
marked by postage-due,
aging faces afloat in photo cards.

Reunions of late, any time of year ~
increase in frequency.
Convene in funeral homes,
adjourn with casseroles
served over memories.

Still shadows walk beside me ~
aunts, uncles, cousins.
Will I be the last?
Sole survivor of happy clan,
left to sit with photo albums,
colors fading beyond the years.

Motivated by Misky’s Twiglet prompt, “still shadows.”  A twiglet is a short phrase meant to motivate thoughts. Photos from many many years ago when we often gathered with aunts and uncles and cousins – we had so much fun together in those days when the entire family lived nearby. Now, sadly, all the aunts and uncles, my folks and brother, and some of my cousins, have passed on from this life. Others live far from me. Family is always dear — no matter how far and no matter if earthly or not.  

 

My Pen and I

My writing spills out from a deep cistern of life’s experience. Sometimes a bit dank and dark as the pen dips deeper. But never from the despair of a void.

I am a doer. A make-your-own-sunshine-on-a-grey-soupy-day kind of gal. Cheerleader-tap-dance vigor still runs through my veins. Lean machine, gone somewhat dumpy with the addition of an old age belly, I choose to look up and out, not down. My daughter once said to me, “Mom, every movie can’t be the Sound of Music!” But I do choose the channel, right? Write.

sunflowers smile at me
sheets flap and furl on clothes line
summer of my mind

 

 

It’s Haibun Monday at dVerse, the virtual pub for poets. Toni, our haibun queen, asks us to write about why we write the way we do. Who are we and how does that come out in our writing? My readers will have to decide if they think I’ve nailed this assignment. 🙂

These are two of my all-time favorite photos from Provincetown at the tip of Cape Cod, Massachusetts. We’re in the second week of our annual two weeks here. Even on grey and foggy days, there is a soft beauty to this place! Hmmmm sounds like my haibun! Haibun: a paragraph or two of tightly written prose (cannot be fiction) followed by a haiku. A haiku true to Japanese form, always includes a seasonal word. Pub opens at 3 PM Boston time. Come join us!