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!

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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Juxtaposition

Some say
art attempts to mimic life
represent what is.
Sunrise, sunset, shifting clouds.
Feelings within, so real and so deep.
Elation, grief, giddiness, disbelief.

Innumerable mediums
used to model, massage,
meld, shape,
perhaps punctuate.
To express what is
what was or what could be.

Juxtaposers of the real
and the contrived.
Can we identify the essence,
make that available to another?
Or does the essence change
by the time or while we try?

That moment of utter despair.
Does it curdle
as we convey its circumstances,
its shredding of our soul?
Can we freeze reality
in paint, or clay; words or tale?

Or is all art
but a flicker of perception,
the artist’s, the essence,
and the observers as well.
Never static,
though made apparently so.

Poem was motivated by a walk in Boston’s Public Gardens last week, when I took the first photo of the beautiful and graceful swans with the Swan Boats in the background. 
History: The Swan Boats have been in operation since they were created by Robert Paget in 1877.  He was inspired to make them after seeing Lohengrin, based on a German tale where a character rides on a swan. In 1877 the bicycle was gaining in popularity so he created the swan boat using a catamaran with benches, powered by pedaling, similar to pedaling a bike. The photo on the right is from the late 1800s. Interesting to note: the swan boats are still operated by the Paget family….and still have the original design. Tourists flock to ride them….and my grandchildren love them! 

 

Contenders

Sometimes I think . . .
we are all but two legged steeds
ruled by stop watch and finish lines.
Some struggle to keep the pace.
Others never leave the race,
gates open and off they go
pasture be damned.
Some claim the roses
only to have them wither and die,
first place noted on fraying record book.
Has beens, almost and never weres.
Frenetic trotters round the track
until age ultimately claims its due.
Then woe the beast who suddenly sees.
Blinders stripped away
peripheral vision cleared,
too late the lesson learned:
there were others along the way.
I was simply galloping too fast
flying past, eyes ahead.
I should have known,
they were the ultimate prize.

WordssdroW

This world puzzles me.
DonalddlanoD?
Oh god! That dog?
Loves his mirror.
Stands with star rats
who emit time warts,
straw guns snug in raw war.
Pals slap pals, live evil lives.
It’s like quaking jello out there,
and we’re getting our stressed desserts.

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It’s a puzzler poem. There are words written as a mirror image and words, almost next to each other, that are a different word when spelled exactly backwards. Can you find them?  Hints/key given below.
Today’s Quadrille,  written for dVerse , must include the word “puzzle” or a form of the word. Mish is hosting and has us in a quandry!
HINTS / KEY: Mirror image of Donald is? Spell these words backwards: god, star, emit, warts, guns, raw, pals, live, and stressed.

Mishmash Succotash

Little Orangey Raiding Hood
cocky and bullish too
spit on our lady’s torch,
shorting out her light.

Bellicose as Old King Cole
merry in his big white house
decorated by special order,
he stuccoed it with lye.

Kitchen menu his design,
donkey stew cooked on high,
boiling for a long reduction
still kickin’ in the pot.

Uneasy with house chairs,
too soft, none just right.
No match to for his needs,
only gilded throne will do.

Upstairs to try the beds
too short, too long.
Ah just right, finally to sleep.
Bird twitter starts at dawn.

Fitful dreams of Miss Tuffet
savoring curds and whey.
Spiders crawl out from covers,
itsy bitsy never more.

Awakened by Fox and hounds
he calls for cavorters three.
Get my breakfast pie 
and put that crown upon my head!

Then, oh so gleefully,
in goes his royal thumb
ready for a veritable plum.
YEEEEOW!

Inside that massive flakey crust
five and twenty blackbirds
baked in a bordered row.
Oh no! He’ll have to eat crow!

And now this silly poem must stop
although the tale itself does not.
Guess its ending from sounds you hear
louder, louder, more and more
that huffing puffing at his door.

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Written for dVerse, the virtual pub for poets where I’m hosting Tuesday Poetics, asking folks to write a poem, serious or humorous, that somehow deals with opposites or antithesis. Folks can include simple opposite words such as light/dark, good/bad in the poem; look at one event from two opposite view points; or take a nursery rhyme and write it in an opposite way — instead of There was an old woman who lived in a shoe – make it a man! In this post, I’ve satirically dealt with a number of different nursery rhymes, changing their meaning completely. For a more serious take on the prompt, go to my poem Hovering In Absentia. 

Nursery Rhyme Primed

Tawny Donny wealthy and sly,
kissed the girls and made them cry.
When they told the world their tales
tawny Donny lost his veils.

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Day 15, Napowrimo : using Hansel and Gretel and Blackbeard the Pirate as examples, today’s prompt asks us to rewrite a villain’s unfortunate situation. Today, Georgie Porgie’s friend gets caught in a kettle of fish. ILLUSTRATION from Volume One, Poems of Eary Childhood, Child-Craft, published by The Quarrie Corporation, Chicago, in 1947.

 

Harlequin

Medieval court’s poetic jester
leaps cross marble floor,
bells on cap and toes.
Sings boldly eyeing men,
their indiscretions
bared aloud.

Sag-faced courtiers
murmur hoarsely, choking coarsely,
cannot silence tales.
Red-faced king sits in midst
as women waggle fingers,
his scepter turned to stone.

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Quadrille (44 words, sans title) written for dVerse, the virtual pub for poets, where today De asks us to include the word “murmur”. Pub opens at 3 PM Boston time — come on over and quaff some poems! 

Pentimento

Shall I sit
complacent?
Stilled
as if painted upon a wall?
Indelible street art
disintegrating in time?
No.

Dreamers, Mother Earth,
I care.
I give voice.
I demonstrate.
I remonstrate.
I strive to keep her arm outstretched,
a beacon of hope
promised to all.

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First photo is street art from our recent time in Valparaiso, Chile. Written for dVerse, the virtual pub for poets, where today Amaya is hosting and asks us to consider pentimento. A word about pentimento:  this can refer to an alteration in a work of art…sometimes visible to the viewer, such as the shadow of a flower appearing in a painting of the forest; or the hidden woman’s face in the bent neck of Pablo Picasso’s “The Old Guitarist.”  Shifting this into poetry, Amaya asks us to consider a time we changed our mind. Pentimento in Italian means “repentance” so Amaya suggests we think about a change for the greater good.  This started me thinking about Martin Luther King, the 60s, and the recent political scene. No matter the partisan side you lean toward, the election of Donald Trump did create a voice of activism that had been stilled in recent years. I was one of many women who found my voice and demonstrated with my daughter on the day after his inauguration. The recent #metoo movement is another instance of finding voice.