Knees creak. Arms once firm, crepe in thinning skin. Hands stiff in morning show off puffed blue veins, like highways on ancient road map. Grey hair brittles, mine still thick, yours not so. Burgeoning cataracts blur our pleasure but still we embrace life and love, changed as it is.
Diapers, bedtime stories, Christmas stockings. Driving them to lessons, reading report cards. Wound up like a top I whizzed through the arcane. Now in my golden years I think back and realize. I should have paid more mind. The arcane was indeed the miraculous.
Written for Quadrille Monday at dVerse, the virtual pub for poets around the globe. Today I’m hosting and ask people to include the word “wound” or a form of the word in a poem of exactly 44 words, sans title. Notice that “wound” is a homograph. There are two pronunciations and each has a different meaning: He suffered a wound in battle. VS She is wound up like a top. Folks are free to use either pronunciation/meaning or both! If using both, their poem must still consist of exactly 44 words, not including the title.
Photos are of our children who are now 45 and 46! And yes that’s me, about forty years ago!
I’m thrilled to turn seventy-four, let me give that an underscore. Some decry growing old, equate grey hair and wrinkles with creeping mold, and simply cannot be consoled.
Not as nimble with a few pains? Hands mapped in purple veins? Come on people, grab the reins! What more could you ask for than to celebrate one year more with your family and people you adore?
So I’ll put on my tap shoes for a loud dance, blow out the candles at the very first chance. Then I’ll give my husband a meaningful glance and celebrate seventy four with a night of romance!
Written for OLN – Open Link Night – at dVerse, the virtual pub for poets around the globe. OLN means we can choose any one poem to post today – no specific prompt, form, rhyme scheme, or length. And since today is indeed my birthday, I wrote this little ditty. I do believe it is a privilege to grow old. I continue to be thankful for every day.
They met late in life. Widow and widower, their rooms were down the hall from each other at Pine Woods Rest Home. He insisted on being called James. Everyone knew her by Sunny. They both despised bland food and working jig saw puzzles. She liked flippy organza dresses and he always wore a tie. While many dozed in front of the blaring television, they shouted out answers to Jeopardy in a friendly competition. That Christmas season, they sat beside each other holding hands during sing-alongs. On New Year’s Eve, they joined in on the countdown at 9 PM. In her silk nightie that night, as the clock glowed 11:30, she heard the pre-arranged quiet knock at her door. “If you are a dreamer, come in” she trilled. This would indeed be a dream come true. Who said lovemaking is the domain of the young?
Today I’m hosting Prosery Monday at dVerse. In Prosery, writers are asked to write a piece of flash fiction that can be no more than 144 words, sans title, and include a specific line from a poem that the host provides. The line must be exactly as written in the original poem, except the punctuation can be changed. The line I’m having people include in their flash fiction today is If you are a dreamer, come in. It’s from Shel Silverstein’s poem Invitation from his book of poetry for children entitled Where the Sidewalk Ends. Prosery Mondays are the ONLY days at dVerse where we do not write poetry – we write flash fiction that includes a specified line from a poem.
Box of colored chalk in hand, hmmm…. how do I do this again? First, pick the perfect sidewalk spot. White chalk, start close, draw one square. Yellow chalked rectangle on top, divide it into two and three. White chalk again, I like consistency. Draw square four, same as one. Green rectangle right above that, evenly make into five and six. White me a seven. Orange rectangle next, divide precisely into eight and nine. Sky blue ten crowns them all, all squares point to heaven. Brush straggly gray hair off face. Ooh yes, scratch nose where it itches. Small rock in hand, stand steady, stand tall. Neighbor man walks by and smiles, stares at my colorful cheeks and nose. “Hi” I say. “Care to play?” “Nah” he says, “but you go ahead.” So . . . stoop and throw . . . hopscotch through my private rainbow right on up to that promising blue.
This human being is . . . stabilized. Once frisky, galloping, romping o’er fields afar. Ran the mighty race too, round the curve, thrilled by the chase. Set out to pasture in 2012 – slowed down, but still free to roam. 2020 came and all hell broke loose. Who knew I’d be corralled? Merry-go-round bound. Same path up and down, days blurred, round and round, going nowhere fast. Even old nags need to be free. Grease this damn pole! Shoot me up and uncarousel me! Little did I know out to pasture or not, the grass was always greener wherever my hooves did trot.
For those of you not familiar with the title, it refers to the tv show Mr. Ed. It aired from 1961 to 1966. As inane as it sounds, Mr. Ed was a talking horse. I never could understand how the show ran for five years!
Kim is hosting Tuesday Poetics at dVerse, the virtual pub for poets around the globe. She asks us to begin a poem with the line “This human being is…” Have no idea why this concept popped into my head….other than the fact that for this past Covid year, we have mainly been corralled into our homes. Probably the most useless item we bought for the year 2020 was a Day Planner! And yes, I did rejuvenate (never say retire) in 2012. Photo from Pixabay.comSo I guess you could say, Mr. Ed had nothing on me….considering my life as a horse!
Reflecting today – don’t know why exactly. Just am. Wondering . . . who has known me my entire life? Requires they be older than me. Parents, brother, grandparents, aunts, uncles, five cousins. But all departed from this earth. Have I known me all my life? Earliest memories, not gleaned from photographs? Me at age five. So no, I haven’t known me all my life. Turns out, no one on this earth has. Odd. Life is just odd.
Written for dVerse, the virtual pub for poets around the globe. I’m hosting OLN today. That means folks can post any one poem of their choosing: no prompt, form or topic requirements. Pub opens at 3 PM Boston time. Come on over and imbibe some words!
Photos in collage: Left to right top row – me with mom and dad; my folks and my brother Chuckie (I called him that all his life) in summer; me and my brother before his high school graduation. Left to right middle row: mom and dad; my gramma the year before she died; me as an infant. Left to right bottom row: my brother and I not too many years before he died suddenly at age 51; my brother and I with our grandparents; me, mom, dad and Chuckie at my baptism. He was nine years older than me.
Call me to lie down in the fragrance. – D. Margoshes, Seasons of Lilac
Bare brittle branches and snowless grey pallor, this winter’s reality. Night dawns starless as we slip into dreams. Our bed afloat in riotous blossoms, spring collaged in wildflowers cacophony of colors and scents. There is but one season with you by my side. Calendared through so many years, this season of love.
Written for dVerse, the virtual pub for poets around the globe. Today Laura asks us to write a poem inspired by a final line from a poem. She provides us with a number of lines and we are to choose one. We may use that line as an epigraph, but are not required to do so. The line can not be in the body of the poem; nor can it be the title of the poem. Epigraph: a line from another source, inserted between the title and content of one’s poem. It should somehow complement the poem. Photo: from a visit to Ireland’s Blarney Castle a number of years ago.
the day of and days after and after that’s leftovers
like youthful kisses I love those leftovers too
the you and me season after season, still savory good.
Written for dVerse, the virtual pub for poets where today Sarah asks us to write a response to a poem we’ve read in the past year. Below is the poem I modeled mine after. It appears in jelly roll, a collection of poems by African American poet Kevin Young, winner of the Patterson Poetry Prize and Finalist for the National Book Award. I tried to simulate his form and like him, used a type of music as the title. And yes, that’s my husband and I fifty years ago and obviously, much more recently!
I reach for your hand, my love. I seem to do that more often as the days age on. We walk more slowly, notice things more minutely. Outside our window, that jay, perched on winter’s shivering branch. Sky blurs. Sometimes blues to hazy violets. Sometimes shifting reds to soft shades of orange, as day slips into night. There is a truth we cannot deny. The path ahead is shorter than the one we’ve tread. No less glorious, just different. Each time my hand seeks and finds yours, there is quiet reassurance. We are us for another day, another hour, another moment in time.
Photo taken at our beloved annual sojourn in Provincetown, at the tip of Cape Cod.