Notes to Self

Perk up!
So the path behind is longer
than the trail ahead.
Wild flowers still bloom,
ready for picking along the way.

No more reins to white knuckle.
The children are loose
reining in their own foals,
galloping in fields you planted,
tended many years ago.

Embrace your lover joyfully
as days and weeks slip by.
Love more deeply, gently, surely.
Expect to share the morrow gladly
as you kiss the night goodbye.

Beautiful-Elderly-Couple-Hugging

Written fordVerse, the virtual pub for poets, where Frank is tending bar, asking us to write a soliloquy poem today.  Photo from Pixabay.com

Winter Glistens

“As I left China farther and farther behind, I looked out of the window and saw a great universe beyond the plane’s silver wing. I took one more glance over my past life, then turned to the future. I was eager to embrace the world.”
Wild Swans, Jung Chang

Youth and middle age.
I am far past those lanes,
beyond that curve in the road.

Photos framed on shelves.
Who I was and who I loved
all along the way.

Mirrored image returns my gaze.
Silver haired and wizened,
in this, my final season.

No turning back.
Winter’s snow always glistens
even in the setting sun.

I shall embrace this scene.
This my new world forever,
as ever I shall be.

Mish is hosting Tuesday’s Poetics at dVerse, the virtual pub for poets. She asks us to choose a book near us (or from a link she provides) and look to the last lines at the end of the book….and then let those be our poetic muse for our post today! Thus the last lines to Wild Swans, included before my poem.
Photo from our trip to Norway a few years ago.

Repercussions

Machines roar their voracious appetite.
Mill girls risk hands and limbs,
work fourteen-hour days.
River powers turbine belts,
transforms cotton bales to cloth.
Spindle City’s deleterious result,
more slaves on auction blocks.
Black hands blister in cotton fields.
Industrial revolution’s progress
paves misery’s trail.

IMG_0455

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Written for Monday’s Quadrille at dVerse, the virtual pub for poets.  De is tending the pub and asks us to include the word “roar” in our Quadrille, a poem of exactly 44 words sans title. Photos from this past summer’s visit to Lowell, Massachusetts and the Bott Cotton Mills Museum. Lowell, once known as Spindle City, is recognized as the Cradle of the American Industrial Revolution. The first textile mill was built there in 1826. By 1850 it was America’s largest industrial center with many large textile mills and factories. By 1840 there were 8,000 workers in the mills, mostly women between the ages of fifteen and thirty. Within one year, the mills could transform raw bales of cotton into 50,000 miles of cotton cloth. The North’s increased appetite for cotton textiles led to an expansion of slavery. One side note: Some of the Southern cotton was made into ‘negro cloth’ at the Lowell mills and sold to plantation owners for their slaves.

Darkness and Light: Beginning Anew

October 19, 2013. We walked across the street from Mass. General Hospital into a new life. My question: Is there always darkness before light? Night skies before the dawn. In utero before light at the end of the birth canal. Sleep before the alarm sounds. Death before new life.

Six minutes minus a heart beat. Thirty-six hours of induced comatose state. You suspended somewhere; eyes shut, machines whirring. Me existing in light which felt like the darkest of times.

You returned to us and the morning sun. Five days later, we walked home. Six years later, we are together still. Thankful for every day.

dark in chrysalis
strength builds, body renewing
life’s splendor springs forth

Written for dVerse, the virtual pub for poets. Bjorn is hosting Haibun Monday and asks us to write about new beginnings. Haibun: 2 to 3 tight paragraphs of prose (must be true) followed by a haiku. The condominium building we live in is actually located directly across from the main campus of Massachusetts General Hospital.

Wishing

If I could choose, let us be a kaleidoscope.
Created by One with artistic eye,
teacher of Truth who understands,
together, we all shine best.

You, me, everyone as glass shards.
Infinite hues, shapes and sizes,
knowing we are at our finest
melding into one design.

Sun and moon do shift their paths,
causing solar temperaments to flare.
Tempted to mirror that discord,
reflections may tip, slightly askew.

Then quietly, with kindly understanding,
One gives but a gentle twist.
We realign, nudged ever so slightly,
even more beautiful than before.

None of us misshapen.
No color better than another.
We mirror each other’s good will,
design so glorious to behold.

Would that we could truly be
one magnificent kaleidoscope,
birthed within the cosmos.
Each bit valued,
an intricate part of the whole.

Written for Tuesday Poetics at dVerse, the virtual pub for poets.  Today Mish is hosting and asks us, “Do you ever wish you could just wave a magic wand, eliminate everything that creates havoc, unrest, uncertainty, injustice? I do. Today I am asking you to do the same. Dream with me. . . create and describe a ‘new world’ as you envision it.” 
Photo from Pixabay.com

Campfire Scene

There is beauty in ash
as embers glow brightly.
Once sapling, resilient to touch,
life juices now almost gone.

Last moist quiet hiss
escapes crumbling sinews
as ashes join earth.

Glowing flecks break free
catch wind, flicker and float.
Momentary sanctuary
in darkening sky.

Posting to dVerse, the virtual pub for poets, where today I’m hosting the final Quadrille Monday of 2019. Quadrille: poem of exactly 44 words, sans title.  I’ve chosen the word “glow” as the Quadrille prompt. Folks must use the word “glow” or a form of the word within the body of their poem. Pub opens at 3 PM Boston time. Stop on by!

Manifesto

Ah men, the bane of women,
amen. We pray, we sing this hymn,
that we be not prey to him.
Man’s heart can be but steel,
thieves striving to steal
hour after hour,
our rights to our very selves,
rites that celebrate our being.

Would that we remain on course
coarse not as his ways claim.
We weigh our choices wisely
for we are not poor in intellect.
Pour not your wiles on us sirs,
while we know our truths.
Your heels shall not tread in judgment
for we know only compassion heals.

Tears shall be shed in any decision
for we are caring women, all dear,
not deer caught in your short-sited scope.
And so I repeat to you this hour,
our voices, our bodies,
our strength is in togetherness.
Amen I say to you.
Ah men, we pray they listen.

Written for Tuesday Poetics at dVerse where today, Merril asks us to think about using an echo technique in our poetry…or to write somehow about the idea of echo. I’ve used homophones to echo sounds….two words that sound the same but are spelled differently and have different meanings. There are 12 homophones here. Two use one word as a plural (wiles and and while; ways and weigh). Can you find the other 10? Photo from the Womens’ March in Boston, the day after President Trump’s inauguration. I was there with my daughter.

The Trek

We were warned. “There are grave risks to crossing that unforgiving land.”

I set the pace. Our cow, her calf, my daughter, wife, and babe of four months following me. Lips blistered, soles of my feet cracked, I move determinedly toward the border. After thirteen days, we are parched. The calf is emaciated because we’ve squeezed its mother’s teats to near emptiness, claiming her milk as our own. And then, a freak of nature. Torrential rain. Cow and calf tethered to nearby scruff, we huddle as darkness falls. Lightning strikes. The calf slips its noose, rushing headlong into the gully. That rocky dry earth unable to absorb the storm. The cow is screaming across the arroyo as her calf flails and disappears.

We survived that terrible night. Followed that implausible creek and crossed the border: my daughter, wife, and babe of four months.

Posted to dVerse, the virtual pub for poets. Today is Prosery Monday where flash fiction collides with poetry. Linda is hosting and we are to include the line “A cow is screaming across the arroyo”  – a line from Jim Harrison’s poem entitled Cow – in our piece of flash fiction that must be 144 words or less, sans title. Photo from Pixabay.com
An arroyo is a deep-sided gully formed by fast-flowing water in an arid or semi-arid region.

Perspectives

Can you see . . .
homes alight with holiday cheer
stars and angels atop yule tide trees,
shoppers bustling, carolers singing
couples kissing ‘neath mistletoe,
gingerbread men snuggling in Christmas tins.

Can you see . . .
bell ringers seeking donations
people laughing, rushing by,
widowers staring out windows
dabbing eyes as snow fills air,
crumpled souls cowering on sewer grates.

Marking time . . .
advent wreaths lit each week
expectations for blessings dear.
Homeless shelters filled each night
bed fitful sleepers dreading dawn
when same day starts anew.

Photo: Christmas tree of my childhood.  Amaya asks us to write a poem for dVerse, the virtual pub for poets, using Apostrophe as a literary device. Addressing someone within the poem. 
 

Let us make magic . . .

let us lie together,
dreaming deeply
until we find an opalescent
magically luminescent forest.
Let us love
beside immortal sprites and spirits,
share dew drop kisses
amongst shimmering leaves.
Wouldst this be our shared lullaby,
that we might ignore the dawn
when reality beckons.

Written for Quadrille Monday at dVerse, the virtual pub for poets where today De asks us to use the word “spirit” (or a form of the word) within our quadrille (a poem of exactly 44 words, sans title). Image from Pixabay.com