Then and now . . .

My school days,
saddle shoes, skirt and top.
Their school daze,
slippers, top and “cozy” pants.
My school days,
chalkboard in big classroom.
Their school daze,
computer screen and clicking keys.
My school days,
penmanship lessons
with nun in long habit.
Their school daze,
zoom math with talking head,
mute button and breakout rooms.
My school days,
long walk there in rain or snow.
Their school daze,
bed to desk with bathroom stop.
My school days, so long ago.
Their school daze, one big blur
in one lost year.

Written for NaPoWRiMo, Day 10‘s prompt which asked us to recall lyrics to a song we know, then look in a junk drawer in our house and see what’s in it…and then come up with a poem that somehow weds the two. For whatever reason, I thought of the old song School Days which my mother used to sing to me when I was young; and which I sang to my grandchildren when they were young. The drawer yielded a ruler and I won’t tell you what else! I started thinking about this past Covid year and what it’s done to children in terms of their school days….and voila, here’s the result.

Light at the end of the tunnel….

Rusty, stiff, unwilling introvert
this Covid-confined self.

Like a long steel girded tunnel
beam after beam
day after day
sameness leads nowhere
stretches far ahead,
farther than the mind can tolerate.

Until science leaps through hoops
crosses finish line,
wins trophy emblazoned HOPE.
Elixir in a sterilized needle.
Shots into arms engage wills
energizes souls.

Dim light,
once far beyond the grid
glimmers, brightens,
glows, grows.
Lights up faces around the world.
Emergence is near.

Written for Day 4 NaPoWriMo. The prompt is to use an image from Liminal Spaces@SpaceLiminalBot as motivation for a prompt. I chose the image above.

Apologies to Mr. Ed

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.com
So I guess you could say, Mr. Ed had nothing on me….considering my life as a horse!

Covid Casualty

James was an over-achieving gregarious intellect. Last to leave the office party, pleasantly tipsy, never offensively drunk. Top salesman for too many quarters to count. Then Covid hit and the world cocooned itself.

Confined to his efficiency apartment months on end, ambition disappeared into vodka bottles. He wore the same sweats day and night. Sat slumped in a second-hand folding chair, computer on his lap. When called by HR for his end- of-year report, he slurred “I prefer keeping in mind even the possibility that existence has its own reason for being and in due time I will send you a profitable report.” To which the HR Director replied, “What???”

He slammed the phone down; slammed the computer screen shut and stood up swaying. Eyes bloodshot, James reached for a sixteen-ounce tumbler and the vodka bottle. Just another day in this godforsaken Covid world.

Pure fiction…..but I fear isolation has affected far too many in negative ways.

Written for Prosery Monday at dVerse, the virtual pub for poets around the globe. Today Merril asks us to include the line “I prefer keeping in mind even the possibility that existence has its own reason for being.” from the poem Possilibities by Wislawa Szymborska. In Prosery, we are given a line from a poem and must insert it within the body of our prose, word for word (although the punctuation my be altered), and the prose can be a maximum of 144 words, sans title. Most writers consider this a flash fiction prompt that includes a specific line of poetry. Photo from Pixabay.co

Seasonal Change

Sun strengthens,
pries loose snow mask from mountain caps.
Water trickles, begins to overflow,
swiftly runs downstream.
~
Gregarious tendencies
stifled too long.
Confined by lockdowns,
hidden by masks from view.

Vaccinations bloom,
propagate in spring.
Sun strengthens as do we,
spilling out to streets.

It’s Quadrille Monday at dVerse, the virtual pub for poets. Today Sarah asks us to include the word “swift” or a form of the word (not a synonym) in our exactly 44 word poem, sans title. Photo from Pixabay.com
I fervently believe we are emerging from the season of Covid. Stay safe everyone and let’s insure this happens.

Hope for a New World

Swirl me.
Topple me through this rabbit hole.
Emerge me under a lemon sun
squeezed dry beyond sour memories,
yet lifegiving.

Twirl me in tuille skirt.
Pirouette my toes until . . .
I tour jeté into the light.
Abbracadabra these Covid spikes.
Disappear them to reappear nowhere.

Vamp up the timpani as brass blares.
Let me wave my arms
conductress supreme.
Through the finale of all finales,
with oxymoronic cadenza.

Cadenza me into a new world opus.
Melodious, and most importantly,
pandemicless, fomentless, argumentless,
povertyless, violentless, hatredless,
bLESSed be this world.

Cadenza, (Italian: “cadence”), unaccompanied bravura passage introduced at or near the close of a movement of a composition and serving as a brilliant climax, particularly in solo concerti of a virtuoso character.
Cadenza | music | Britannicawww.britannica.com 
I take poetic license with the word. Here, the cadenza continues the piece, leading into a new world: thus an oxymoronic finale.

For those who are struggling with loss . . .

Sometimes, this time of year,
we struggle to stay in the present.
Memories intrude ever so gently
or sometimes harshly,
like a kick in the gut.
We may gasp. We may wail.
Loved ones lost. No. Wrong word.
Loved ones gone.
Gone from our sight, our touch,
our living space.

Tears they say, are cleansing.
A release. Well . . . perhaps.
But must we be staid while others carol?
Granules of being have disappeared,
theirs and thus some of ours.
So we reminisce. Sometimes ache
as waves of emotion flow through us.
Whisper aloud I love you,
though the room is empty,
save for us.

This Christmas season shall pass
and we shall live on.
Beyond the celebratory gifts,
beyond that sweet gospel
of an infant born one miraculous morn.
Our treasured memories still intact,
just shelved, perhaps a bit farther back.
But still there. Always there. Always with us.
Available for the taking out, the reexamining,
at any time we wish.

Today, we shall step into the sun,
feel its rays and warmth.
We shall smile through gentle tears.
Our tongue shall linger on our lips,
taste sweet saltiness,
a gift of remembrance.
We shall walk another day
but we shall always know one truth.
The empty space beside us
is not indicative of an empty heart.

I am about to celebrate Christmas with our home warmly decorated, and my spouse of fifty years by my side. I am however, cognizant of the many who have lost loved ones in the past year or two…whether to Covid, addiction, cancer, accident, any myriad of other reasons. Many people have difficulty during this season as they face the starkness of their loss. My poem is dedicated to all of you. May you all be blessed with gentle memories, serenity, and a new year that brings hope and health to all.