Haibun for August

Schooldays, schooldays, good old golden rule days . . . familiar words from a song my mother sang to me as she tucked me into bed. Generations later, I sang these words at bedtime to our young children, and then again to their children.

As a septuagenarian, I’ve been entrenched in schooldays from when I went to kindergarten until I rejuvenated (never say retired) in December 2012. Schooldays were part of my life as a student, a parent of school-aged children, a teacher, and finally as a university administrator. Whether we lived in rural Iowa, or a city, August always signaled summer’s end. More importantly for me, it was the harbinger of schooldays to come. Depending on my age, it could mean cutting up brown paper grocery sacks to make textbook covers; or shopping for new crayons, knee socks for my uniform, #2 yellow pencils, new Bic pens and notebooks, or a new sweater set. Later it signaled filling out a new lesson plan book, or noting upcoming meetings in a day planner. At seventy-five, back-to-school ads on television bring back memories of August days gone by.

sweetcorn season done
seed corn soon to fill silos
school bells ring again

Written for dVerse, the virtual pub for poets around the globe. Today Sanaa is hosting and asks us to write about what August means to us. We can use any poetic form we choose. I decided to write a haibun.

Haibun: a poetic form that includes one or two succint paragraphs of prose followed by a haiku. The prose cannot be fiction. The haiku must include a seasonal reference.

Photo from Pixabay.com

Life as an Hourglass

My life is like a fragile hourglass
sand grains drop through.
Some moments I savor
slip past me before
I can taste them.
Other times
lag behind
move so
slowly
I can
not
stand
it and so
I open my
mouth and
scream aloud.
I want to control
each and every grain
of my life, especially now
in our winter season when the
path ahead is far shorter than the
glorious one we’ve been blessed to share.

Written for NAPOWRIMO, DAY 28. Today the prompt is to  write a concrete poem, in which the lines are shaped in a way that mimics the topic of the poem. Also shared with dVerse, the virtual pub for poets, where today it’s OLN: Open LInk Night where we can share any one poem of our choosing.

The Septuagenarian

Society’s expectations?
She doesn’t give two hoots
about being who she’s not.

It’s taken her a while to get there,
seven decades to be exact.
Wrinkle creams and hair dye be damned.

She wears flat shoes on every occasion,
air-dries her hair in all its grey glory
and orders dessert, which is mandatory.

Happily sleeveless when it’s hot,
just stare if you dare at her crepe-like skin
and notice her knees with those very high hems.

Stereotypical sayings are bantered about,
she’s older and wiser and been round the block
but look at her now as she picks her own route.

Written for NAPOWRIMO, Day 15.
Today we’re asked to “write a poem about something you have absolutely no interest in.”
We’re invited “to investigate some of the ‘why’ behind resolutely not giving two hoots about something.”
Although my poem is written in third person, this is how I feel at seventy-five.

Choices

I choose flat dress shoes instead of stiletto heels.
My balance isn’t what it used to be.
I choose a romance novel or best seller.
Headlines raise my blood pressure
and I don’t want to take another pill.
I choose strolling the well-worn path.
Young people can push the boulders up hill.
I choose biting into a blushing velvet peach,
sectioning an orange takes too long.
I choose creating my own sunshine
on a cloudy rainy day.
I choose to be me.
My age, right here, right now,
with you by my side.

Written for Tuesday Poetics at dVerse, the virtual pub for poets where today Sarah asks us to consider anaphora: a rhetorical device that consists of repeating a sequence of words at the beginnings of neighboring clauses, thereby lending emphasis. She gives us a list of verbs to choose from for the word we’d like to repeat. I selected the word choose.

Also posted, off prompt, to NAPOWRIMO, Day 5.

Photo from Pixabay.com

Haiku to ponder

The second half of joy is shorter than the first.
Emily Dickinson

everyday a gift
wildflowers along the road –
snow falls silently

Written for the NAPOWRIMO prompt given the day before National Poetry Writing Month begins. We are to respond to one of Emily Dickinson’s lines of poetry. Several are provided or we may choose our own.

Also will appear at dVerse, the virtual pub for poets around the globe. Today is OLN: Open Link Night. Ingrid is hosting and we may post any one poem of our choosing. Pub opens at 3 PM Boston time.

NAPOWRIMO begins officially tomorrow. April is National Poetry Writing Month and the challenge is to write a poem every day of the month.

Photo is from our trip to Ireland a number of years ago.

The Mysteries of Time

Time slips away, disappears.
Those years of youth,
ours and theirs.

I had a firm grasp on reality.
Even so, the mundane simmered,
repetition melded, numbed time.

Infinitesimal changes crept in,
unnoticed until too late.
What was, was gone.

Those everyday moments . . .
in hindsight I know
were anything but mundane.

Sweet viscous memories
fragments, rarely continuous,
slip and slide in my mind.

I sit, smiling gently,
my head in the past
then force myself into the now.

Pen in hand,
I write as time moves on
faster than my script.

My gait slower, skin thinner
eye sight cloudier,
but joy nurtures me.

Each day is still a gift
for one constant reason.
You are still beside me.

Birds of a Feather . . .

She adored attending church,
not to finger her rosary beads
or murmur prayers upon her knees,
but to wear her finest hats for all to see.
Purposely arriving late
she strutted down the aisle
showing off her plumage,
much like the Tall Crowned Crane
and the Secretary Bird
she visited often at the Diego Zoo.

We’re trying on hats today at dVerse, the virtual pub for poets around the globe.
First two photos are from the San Diego Zoo: first is the Tall Crowned Crane and second is a Secretary Bird. That old bird in the third photograph is me some years back. I always say, if you’re going to wear a hat, wear a HAT!
Poem is fictional….I’m not Catholic, don’t use a rosary, and certainly don’t strut in church.

A Carroll for the Ages

With walking sticks in hand
golden agers cross the field
all in the golden afternoon.
The aged aged man smiles,
his love beside him today
and all these many years.

Beach house waits patiently
weathered bench outside.
They stop and look and sigh,
then reach slowly to touch
initials carved so deep that day,
when first they fell in love.

They sit, tremored hand in calloused one,
gaze across the lake.
Vision blurred beyond optician’s help,
still they recognize shapes afar.
A boat beneath the sunny sky
prods his memory back in time,

remembering . . .
. . . remembering . . .
he pats her hand and smiles.

Written for Tuesday Poetics at dVerse, the virtual pub for poets around the globe. Today Sanaa asks us to consider a Candy Crush Saga! One option we have for our poems is to choose three titles of Lewis Carroll’s poems from a long list she gives us. We do not have to include the titles in our poem, but our poem should be inspired by them and we should give credit to his titles. I was most familiar with Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland so this was interesting to see some of the many poems he’s also written! Pub opens at 3 PM Boston time. Come join us!

The Lewis Carroll titles I included word for word within my poem are All in the Golden Afternoon, The Aged Aged Man, and A Boat Beneath a Sunny Sky.