A Stellar Tale

Lady Ursula fancied herself a star,
nay, bigger and better than that.
She with ostentatious tastes,
constellation better than most.

Daily she ate delectable treats.
Croissants, caviar, and fine patés
berries and truffles, chocolates too,
all as she sampled the finest of ports.

And as was her habit before the first snow,
into her four poster bed she’d go.
Curtains drawn, she nestled in down,
appetite sated, she slumbered to sleep.

N’er did she stir ‘till a bright April morn,
when bluebirds would warble and sun stream in.
Slowly she’d struggle to open her eyes
push herself upright, sit tall in her bed.

Suddenly famished she licked her lips
and stretching she toggled the service bell.
They chuckled and smirked hearing that sound
for they understood the secret she lived.

Their Lady Ursula, no Ursa was she
rather an Ursus she really be.

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It’s OLN at dVerse today, the virtual pub for poets. This means we are free to post any poem of our choosing – no prompt. I had a little fun with this one. Hope you enjoy 🙂

Calendar Crazed

March,
that month after February,
thirty-one days before April.
A season unto itself.

A time for bluster. . .
pushy blow-hard March winds,
nature’s  ill-tempered signal
she is ready to move on.

Impatient crocus tips,
tulip and joinquil crowns,
clamor beneath the soil
desperately seeking warmth.

Sun tries to abide.
Sharpens her rays,
pierces leaden skies,
melts errant snows.

And we, with pens in hand,
cross off calendar days.
Like Sousa leading the band
we march forward . . .

wanting so badly
to pick up the pace,
to quick-step
our way to spring.

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I’m hosting Tuesday Poetics at dVerse, the virtual pub for poets, asking folks to think about the verse from Ecclesiastes quoted below. It was set to music by Pete Seeger in the late 50s and became a full-fledged hit Turn! Turn! Turn! by the Byrds in 1965. We’re writing a poem about “a time to/for ______.”  Pub opens at 3 PM Boston time, so you can find the exact prompt there.
“For everything there is a season, and a time for every purpose under heaven:  a time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted; a time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up; a time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance; a time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing; a time to seek, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away; a time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak; a time to love, and a time to hate; a time for war, and a time for peace.”

Pantoum Sudoku

I sit to gather thoughts and write.
Like quickening ripples in windswept pool
ideas hurtle, thrash and roil in spite.
My mind consumed, your muse too cruel.

Like quickening ripples in windswept pool
your face appears in waves to take control.
My mind consumed. Your muse too cruel,
like fists that pummel a dying soul.

Your face appears in waves. To take control,
eyes wide, I gather strength. My voice attacks
like fists that pummel a dying soul.
You shall not rule as I defy all impacts.

Eyes wide, I gather strength. My voice attacks
ideas. Hurtle, thrash and roil in spite.
You shall not rule. As I defy all impacts,
I sit to gather thoughts and write.

Gina hosts MTB Thursday at dVerse, the virtual pub for poets. Today we are exploring a particular form of poetry called a pantoum. It’s made up of quatrains (4 line stanzas). BUT, they have to be in this pattern:

A (has to end rhyme with C)
B (has to end rhyme with D)
C
D

B (Exact same line as B in first stanza; and has to end rhyme with D)
E (has to end rhyme with F)
D (Exact same line as D in first stanza)
F

E (Exact same line as E in second stanza)
G (has to rhyme with H)
F (Exact same line as F in second stanza)
H

G (Exact same line as G in third stanza)
C (Exact same line as C in first stanza)
H (Exact same line as H in third stanza)
A (Exact same line as A in first stanza)

Hah! Did you follow that?  And now you know why I titlee this post Pantoum Sudoku!

Cruelty, Thou Art Life

Is there a beauty in insipidity,
blending in to all around? Stupidity
amassed beyond the pale,
in group-think, mass-appeal.
Invisibility, thou art cruel
spiteful invalidity.
Tread instead through morbidity
following ancient ways
as Plato did with Socrates.
Follow deeper still
with final sip,
hemlock
release.

Mish is hosting Quadrille Monday at dVerse, the virtual pub for poets. Today she asks us to include the word “sip” within our exactly 44 word poem, sans title. For some reason, I went to the dark side with this one: “insipidity” and “sip.” Pub opens at 3 PM Boston time. Come join us!

Ode to the Lost

1972 . . .
High school field trip chaperone
battered yellow school bus,
ear plugs needed.
Kids chatter
shout across aisles.
Loud and louder voices join,
belt out singing, grins on faces

bye bye Miss American Pie
drove my Chevy to the levee
but the levee was dry
and them good old boys
were drinking whiskey ‘n rye
singing “This ‘ll be the day that I die
This’ll be the day that I die.”

2019 . . . 11 AM
High school field trip chaperone
battered yellow school bus,
kids plugged in.
Heads down, thumbs fly.
Some lips move
no sounds heard.
Eye contact? There is none.

2019 . . . 5 PM
Commuter rail, going home.
Same scene,
different place.
Heads down, thumbs fly.
Some lips move,
no sounds heard.
Faces never seen.

Don McLean’s American Pie
turned sardine humanity,
schooling no more.

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I’m hosting OLN today at dVerse, the virtual pub for poets. Folks can post one poem of their choice – no particular form, length or topic. By the way, “schooling” is a very social behavior of fish. It requires coordinated body positions and synchronized movements. And for those of you not familiar with the song American Pie, click below for a listen – topped the Billboard charts in 1972. Photo from pixaby.com  Pub opens at 3 PM Boston time. Come join us!

Lost at Sea

Her calloused feet didst plod cross ominous ocean shore
while howling winds lashed her face and whipped the gown she wore.
Oblivious waves roiled. Her pleas screamed through salted lips
till sudden chill filled her heart. Head bowed, she hoped no more.

Spirit crushed she sank to sand. Broken shells with cruel tips
rushed into her hands. With closed fists, she squeezed tight, both grips
till blood was drawn. Then dragged herself into heartless sea,
palms stinging, she whispered hoarsely. My blood flows with thee.

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At dVerse, the virtual pub for poets, we are working on Rubaiyats: originally a Persian poem with 4 line stanzas, each line with 13 syllables, rhyme scheme of AABA, BBCB. Jilly is hosting MTB today and asks us to amplify the Rubaiyat with imagery that appeals to the senses. I’ve cheated a bit on this one….my second stanza is BBCC rather than BBCB. As most of my readers know, I struggle with form and rhyming…I’m a free-verse person. But dVerse does challenge us and I learn a lot from the folks here! 

You are my touchstone . . .

You were my honey mine,
sipping bubblicious.
Feeling passions quake
in hot and youthful ardor.

You proposed with golden band
rich in love, but not in funds.
Hearts expanded, two to four,
those we called our wonder years.

Till suddenly we caught our breath,
their childhood gone, somehow over.
Watch we did as they left home,
amazed were we, as two again.

Seasons passed and reappeared
our path ahead, much shorter now.
But kisses still doth kindle joy
for you and I, our love defined.

Love divine, a decoupage
years layered upon years.
Passion flows through comfort,
your skin next to mine
love within familiar folds.

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Sarah hosts Tuesday Poetics at dVerse, the virtual pub for poets. She is thinking about all the computer games that occupy so much time of some people. She asks us to choose three games from among those in a list she provides; and use those three names in our poem. I selected the games Honey Mine, Quake, and Overwatch – the latter split between two lines in stanza 3. Photo is taken at Pilgrims First Landing Park in Provincetown, MA. Most folks don’t know the pilgrims first landed in Provincetown but did not find it to their liking and went on to Plymouth. Pub opens at 3 PM Boston time: come join us! 

Seasonal Ditty

Winter kisses.
Snowflakes on lashes
tip of nose
caught on tongue.

Winter fury.
White-out curtain
howling winds
sleet and ice.

Winter warmth.
Wooly mittens
snuggle downs
‘neath gramma’s quilt.

Winter leaving.
Snowman drooping
puddles form
days grow long.

Winter gone.
Crocus pop-ups
daffodils shine.

5378634594_1149da7a53_b (1)De is hosting dVerse Quadrille Monday. She asks us to include the word (or a form of the word) “kiss” in our exactly-44-word-poem (sans title). Thought I’d go lighthearted today. Seems to me we can always use some smiles. Pub opens at 3 PM Boston time….come on over for some smooching! Image from Bikes And Books on Flickr.

Haibun to Savor

I’ve often contemplated the difference between solitude and loneliness.

Five years ago, my husband was struck down by a six-minute cardiac arrest. For forty-eight hours, we did not know if he would come back to us. Although surrounded by medical staff and family, it was the loneliest time I’ve ever faced. It was frightening to think about life without him. Being alone in loneliness is a fate I wish on no one.

Solitude, on the other hand, is something to savor. In my definition, one is not lonely in solitude, even if one is alone. I’ve stood in the middle of Iowa country fields, feeling the wind on my face, arms outstretched, and felt solitude. A personal sense of wonder at being one with the earth. I also believe solitude can be experienced in partnership. Standing in awe with my husband, looking at our newborn. Feeling a sense of miracle, engulfed in love. It was only us in that moment – there was no one else was in the world – just us. For me, there is a profound sense of positive energy within the word solitude. I’ve experienced a myriad of moments in my life, shared in partnernership, in solitude. And some by myself. Thankfully, there have been very few experiences of abject loneliness.

doe stands in awe, her
sole prints in new fallen snow –
field mouse cowers cold

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First and foremost, let me assure everyone. My husband and I will joyfully celebrate our 49th anniversary on February 7th! All is well and we are thankful for every day.

It’s Haibun Monday at dVerse, the virtual pub for poets, where Kim asks us to write about solitude. A haibun is two to three paragraphs of prose (must be true) followed by a traditional haiku (5-7-5 syllables; must include a seasonal reference and prefarably be about nature). Image from Pixabay.com

Ruby at her window . . .

Frost-shimmer blurs window glass, like her lucidity,
as winter bundles trudge in faceless frigidity.
Memories sync with candle flicker, seem to come and go,
vague blizzard of anonymous insipidity.

She sits quietly peering through pane at what’s below.
Her mind, once clear as bright sun filled days, now lies fallow,
unaware of winter’s certain approaching demise.
The promise of warmth, rebirthing wild blue indigo.

Frank hosts Thursday’s MTB at dVerse, the virtual pub for poets, and asks us to write a Rubaiyat:
* a Persian form of poetry, written in quatrain stanzas (4 lines to a stanza).
* Originally, 13 syllables to a line with variation on the pattern of accents.
Rhyme scheme is AABA, BBCB.
Quite the challenge!
Wild blue indigo is a flowering plant native to much of central and eastern North America and is particularly common in the Midwest.