That Evil Night

A winter tale of gusting winds
the might-have-beens
his tale of woe
forsaken beau

She left him ‘neath the midnight moon
collapsed in swoon
his feet like stone
his heart didst moan

Her kiss did curse his soul that night
his monstrous plight
’tis blood he needs
on necks he feeds

fear-653629_1920Written for dVerse, the virtual pub for poets.  Today Frank asks us to write a Minute Poem. Another poetic sudoku!  Entire poem contains three 4-line stanzas and a total of 60 syllables. Each stanza must have 20 syllables and a syllabic structure/ rhyme scheme arranged in this manner:
Stanza One: line 1 = 8 syllables, end rhyme word A; line 2= 4 syllables, A again; line 3 = 4 syllables, end rhyme word B; line 4 = 4 syllables, B again.
Stanza Two: identical to above EXCEPT rhyme scheme is CCDD.
Stanza Three: identical to above EXCEPT rhyme scheme is EEFF.
And to throw in one more constraint for good “measure” — it should be in iambic meter
which is short, long accent; short long accent; etc.
And of course, the challenge is to have the sense of the poem outshine the form!

Night View from 7N

Outside, an evening still-life
city sounds gone.
Color wheel spun to day’s end,
the stuff of coloratura
no more.
Within the darkness,
a multiplicity of light.

Tree leaves
individual by day
morphed imperceptible,
indistinct within their larger shape.
Lunar glow, specks of bright,
office window flickers,
shadows in grays.

Not black or white.
No monochrome this.

Softened lines and curves.
Milky illumination
blending into hazy ebony.
Outside my window,
a continuum of grace.
My urban amen
as I slip into sleep.

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We’re Looking Out/Looking In at dVerse today. I’m hosting Tuesday’s Poetics and asking everyone to consider the windows in their apartment/home. They can either look in or look out; look at the view or the window itself. And then write a poem that somehow deals with that window, metaphorically or in reality (poetic license allowed, of course!). Each writer is to do two things: 1) post the photo of their window or view from their window; and 2) write a poem motivated by that photo, using the word “window” in either the title or text of the poem. And by the way, dVerse just celebrated their 6th anniversary yesterday!! dVerse, the virtual pub for poets, opens at 3 PM Boston time today. Come on over and post your “view” and/or just take a peek with us! All are welcome!

Film Noir, Act 36

Graveyard journey.
Ghosts whisper, dance,
twist, shimmer.
Breeze skips through leaves.
Clouds balloon, curl, drizzle,
storm bubbles open.
Lightning sparks, sounds echo.

Dawn spills, melts rose-red.
Peppered blood-shadows
scar green spring grass.
Nervous giggle jars grin,
breath flickers.
Cue still lull,
death lurks near.

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[INCLUDES ALL THE WORDS THUS FAR]
Grace hosts Quadrille Monday today at dVerse,  And it is the 6th anniversary of dVerse! Quadrille Mondays are held every other week. Quadrille: a poem of exactly 44 words, sans title. Each time a word prompt is given: week #1 = Quadrille #1 and 1 word; Week #2 = Quadrille #2 and a new word; etc.  We build to Quadrille # 44 in week 44 with still another word. We’re on Week #36  and the prompt word is “flicker.”  Past words this series have included pepperdance, bubble, grin, lull, melt, shimmer, twist, skip, green, breeze, spill, rose, journey, jar, leaves, open, shadow, cloud, spark, cue, breath, scar, curl, whisper, dawn, ghost, giggle, drizzle, still, echo, sound, storm, spring, and balloon. Bar opens at 3 PM Boston time.  Come join us!

Moonbeam

Introduction first: this poem is written by my 10 year old granddaughter, Stella Hallberg. She and I share monthly prompts. For May, I sent her the word “percolate.” There are no edits here and no one helped her. This is what she wrote.

Love
Like a moonbeam
Starting just as dark
Both percolate into light
Both something more than life
Bright
Beautiful
Precious
A gem in a sea of rocks
A light in an ocean of shadows

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Photo: from one of our many stays in Provincetown on Cape Cod.
Today is Open Link Night at dVerse, the virtual pub for poets. There is no prompt. We are free to post one poem of our choosing. Although dVerse will be taking a summer break, I will continue to post poems, almost daily. Follow and comment as you wish! 🙂

Blessings

When the cacophony of news blares deafening dreadful,
‘tis time to still one’s feet, one’s hands, one’s mind.

Seek the beautiful, but for a moment.
Listen to stillness and you will hear the quiet.

Contemplate the beside you ~
     the chair upon which you sit
     the cold-hot water you may choose to drink, to draw
     the texture of cloth which warms your skin
     the view through glass panes that alternates,
     day to night to day again
     the love you carry within your heart,
     from those who have held your hands.

Inhale. Exhale. Breathe.

Then slowly rise and move deliberately,
into the good.

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It’s Tuesday and that means Poetics at dVerse, the virtual pub for poets. Paul is hosting and tells us about a book, Anam Cara, by Irish poet/philosopher John O’Donahue, which includes a number of “Blessings” poems. Paul asks us to write a blessing, adding “and may our words create ripples in the pond of the world.”  Pub opens at 3 PM Boston time. Come soar with us! Photo taken a number of years ago on our Baltic cruise.

Transient Beauty

It was the first summer after we bought our Iowa farm house. City transplants, we planted a huge garden. Tomatos, sweet corn, carrots, beets, cucumbers, radishes, green and yellow beans, peas, zucchini, squash and pumpkin, all kinds of peppers, and oak leaf and ruby red lettuce.  I planned to can and freeze vegetables. Enjoy our harvest through the winter.

On this particular hot and humid day, I was seven months pregnant and exhausted, but very proud of my first attempt at canning stewed tomatoes. I’d picked and washed the tomatoes. Dipped them in boiling water to loosen the skins. Chopped them with celery and peppers. Cooked the mixture and poured them into sterilized glass jars. And finally processed them in the pressure canner. Deliciously, gloriously red, the mixture was now displayed in mason jars, standing tall on my cupboard.

And then I heard our German Shepherd barking — a lot. I took two steps into the back yard and stopped dead in my tracks. The smell was unbelievable. Skunk. And all those beautiful stewed tomatoes, gone in a flash. Rubbed into the coat of Toby. At least he had the grace to lick his chops.

nature thunders rain
magnolia blooms fall to ground
magnificence gone

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It’s Haibun Monday at dVerse, the virtual pub for poets. Today Grace asks us to write a haibun related to summer. This summer memory is from many many years ago. Haibun: prose (cannot be fiction) followed by a haiku (should be related to nature).  Pub opens at 3 PM Boston time. Come on over and join the fun! Photo in public domain – from Pixabay.

 

The Request

Sweet darling, accompany me I pray.
Our hearts and souls aligned, yet still we spar.
I promise to lead thee nowhere astray.

Your eyes whisper words, seem softly to say
whither we goest? And the door’s left ajar.
Sweet darling, accompany me I pray.

As the moonlight glistens, gifts our soiree,
I shall protect thee as a fragile star.
I promise to lead thee nowhere astray.

Your scent my dear, an enticing bouquet
beguiles my mind, my loins, I lust too far.
Sweet darling, accompany me I pray.

To kiss, to hold. How this resolve doth sway,
struggles to recall who and what we are.
I promise to lead thee, nowhere astray.

Do think of me as in Romeo’s day,
’tis painful unrequited love to bar.
Sweet darling, accompany me I pray.
I promise to lead thee nowhere astray.

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It’s Thursday at dVerse and Frank asks us to write a Villanell, a 19 line poem: 5 tercets followed by 1 quatrain. Within the first tercet, the key lines are 1 and 3. They’re repeated in a prescribed order.  Also, the rhyme scheme is quite strict: only an “a” (IE pray, astray, say, soiree etc) and “b” (IE spar, ajar, star, far, etc).  So it should look like this:
1a, 2b, 3a (numbers = lines; a and b = rhyme scheme)
4a, 5b, 1a (line 1 repeated)
6a, 7b, 3a (line 3 repeated)
8a, 9b, 1a (line 1 repeated)
10a, 11b, 3a (line 3 repeated)
and finally the quatrain:
12a, 13b, 1a again, 3a again
It’s a poetic sudoku!!   Frank does indicate that we do not have to follow iambic pentameter — thank goodness! 🙂  The challenge is to have some kind of meaningful flow and sense to the piece. Needless to say, I find this extremely difficult….but at dVerse, I’m always willing to give it a shot 🙂
Pub opens at 3 PM.  Stop by and see what others have done with this unique form!

A Sign of the Times

Day after day, he stacked the mail
catalogues, ads, all on the steps
in rain and sleet, and snow and hail.

So I sat by the window, waiting one day
caught him as he was walking away,
and queried him nicely. Why?

Why don’t you use the LETTERS slot
that’s right on the door, quite plain to see.
He stared and looked blankly at me.

“Well ma’am, I see the sign on your door
capital block letters, all in blue,
and that little slot thing too.

But I have no idea what LETTERS means
and the slot’s too narrow to ever fit
all this important stuff you get.”

Ping.

“Excuse me ma’am,”
the young man said with a grin,
“That’s an important text coming in.”

 

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Mish is hosting Poetics at dVerse today, the virtual pub for poets. She asks us to write a poem about signs. Pub opens at 3 PM Boston time. Stop by and join in the fun! Photo in public domain.

Film Noir, Act I

Graveyard journey.
Ghosts whisper, dance,
twist, shimmer.
Breeze skips through leaves.
Clouds balloon, curl, drizzle,
storm bubbles open.
Lightning sparks, sounds echo.

Dawn spills, melts rose-red.
Peppered blood-shadows
scar green spring grass.
Nervous giggle jars grin.
Cue shallow breath.
Still lull.
Death laughs here.

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[INCLUDES ALL THE WORDS THUS FAR]
Quadrille
 – poem with exactly 44 words, sans title.  dVerse Quadrille Mondays: every other week. Each time a word prompt is given: week #1 = Quadrille #1 and 1 word; Week #2 = Quadrille #2 and a new word; etc.  We build to Quadrille # 44 in week 44 with still another word. We’re on Week #35 with Kim hosting and providing the prompt word “pepper.”  Past words this series have included dance, bubble, grin, lull, melt, shimmer, twist, skip, green, breeze, spill, rose, journey, jar, leaves, open, shadow, cloud, spark, cue, breath, scar, curl, whisper, dawn, ghost, giggle, drizzle, still, echo, sound, storm, spring, and balloon. I tried to use all the words for #32 but mistakenly left out 2. All here this time and I’ve shifted the focus a bit. Photo: from our recent trip – Glendalough, Ireland.  Bar opens at 3 PM Boston time.  Come join us!