Sally Rand

She always yelled at him
before her grand entrance.
“Harry, crank up that wind machine!”
Then she’d wind up those hips
get the feathers quiverin’
and strut out on stage,
fans strategically placed.
She wanted to entrance the blokes,
not wound their swoonin’ heart.

Written for dVerse, the virtual pub for poets around the globe. Today is Quadrille Monday and I’m hosting, asking poets to consider homographs, and in particular, the word “wound”. A homograph is a word that has two pronunciations and two different meanings, but the same spelling – as in “a wound up top”, and “he suffered a serious wound”. One can also use a form of the word….as in “wind” which is the present tense of “wound” but can also refer to a breeze – thus another homographic word. Note the use of the word “entrance” in this poem also a homographic word. And of course, a quadrille must be exactly 44 words in length, sans title.

Sally Rand, born Helen Gould Beck, was an American burlesque dancer most noted for her ostrich fan dances and her balloon bubble dances. She was mot active from 1925 to 1979.

Lesson in Timing

Diapers, bedtime stories,
Christmas stockings.
Driving them to lessons,
reading report cards.
Wound up like a top
I whizzed through the arcane.
Now in my golden years
I think back and realize.
I should have paid more mind.
The arcane was indeed
the miraculous.

Written for Quadrille Monday at dVerse, the virtual pub for poets around the globe. Today I’m hosting and ask people to include the word “wound” or a form of the word in a poem of exactly 44 words, sans title. Notice that “wound” is a homograph. There are two pronunciations and each has a different meaning: He suffered a wound in battle. VS She is wound up like a top. Folks are free to use either pronunciation/meaning or both! If using both, their poem must still consist of exactly 44 words, not including the title.

Photos are of our children who are now 45 and 46! And yes that’s me, about forty years ago!

Light the Candles!

What’s one year more?
I am NOT a dinosaur!

I’m thrilled to turn seventy-four,
let me give that an underscore.
Some decry growing old,
equate grey hair and wrinkles
with creeping mold,
and simply cannot be consoled.

Not as nimble with a few pains?
Hands mapped in purple veins?
Come on people, grab the reins!
What more could you ask for
than to celebrate one year more
with your family and people you adore?

So I’ll put on my tap shoes for a loud dance,
blow out the candles at the very first chance.
Then I’ll give my husband a meaningful glance
and celebrate seventy four with a night of romance!

Written for OLN – Open Link Night – at dVerse, the virtual pub for poets around the globe. OLN means we can choose any one poem to post today – no specific prompt, form, rhyme scheme, or length. And since today is indeed my birthday, I wrote this little ditty. I do believe it is a privilege to grow old. I continue to be thankful for every day.

Bermuda Beautiful

Seascape rhythmic swells,
sonata in blue.
Harmonic melody
carried by balmy breeze.
Percussion added
as sea foamed waves lap shore.
Time signature ever changing,
sand grains shift and ripple too.
I sit mesmerized,
all this balm to my soul.
Smile serenely, softly,
as unconscious movement of tongue
reveals salty upper lip.
Apt coda to this masterpiece ~
nature’s wondrous symphony.

Written for Tuesday Poetics at dVerse, the virtual pub for poets around the globe. Today Sarah asks us to consider “blue” in our poetry. Photo is from our time in Bermuda a number of years ago.

Bridges

She crossed a bridge with the utmost faith
knowing her husband, gone so long,
and her Lord would be on the other side.
We who wait in this waystation
bid her farewell and rest
and we move on as we must.

Sometimes a bridge is like a catapult,
a sudden bolt from here to there.
Others seem miles long
as we cross treacherous waters,
painful steps, unsure of where they lead,
straining to make the span longer still.

I stand outside tonight,
staring at the stars above our universe.
I wonder and I hope.
Peace and unconditional love
must surely have met you
as you knew it would,
when you crossed over to the other side.

Written for dVerse, the virtual pub for poets. Today, Merril talks about bridges and asks us to either write a poem in a particular form, or to somehow write about bridges. This poem is dedicated to my sister-in-law Starr. We lost her on April 10th. She and I were planning on my visiting in July….it was not to be. I shall miss her. I do miss her.

Winding River *

Sun melted snow trickles down,
enlivens creek, soon to expand
to winding river’s width.
Once a harbinger of spring,
displaced cherry blossoms
float downward in breeze.
I grieve the season’s loss
and the loss of you,
as pink petaled rain gently falls.
Blossoms cling to gurgling stream,
like sweet rosé lingering
upon nature’s savoring lips.
Kingfishers nest in branches
looking down upon headstones,
all ornate save one.
Your simply etched name
and the grandiose sculptures,
all indiscriminately covered.
What more wealth do you or I
or any of these dead souls need
than nature’s unconditional kindness?
This reminder of her accepting love.
This exquisitely serene pink rain.
  

Written for last Tuesday’s Poetics at dVerse, the virtual pub for poets around the globe. Laura is hosting and reminds us that today is UN Chinese Language Day.

She asked us to choose one of four poems she provided, and with as many re-reads as we needed, to imagine what the poet painted and what impressions were conveyed…and then reinterpret the poem in our own style. We must use the title of the poem we choose and of course, credit the author. We may only use a few words from the poem itself. The poem I chose to reinterpret is below:

Winding River ~ Du Fu
Each piece of flying blossom leaves spring the less,
I grieve as myriad points float in the wind.
I watch the last ones move before my eyes,
And cannot have enough wine pass my lips.
Kingfishers nest by the little hall on the river,
Unicorns lie at the high tomb’s enclosure.
Having studied the world, one must seek joy,
For what use is the trap of passing h
onour?

Please . . .

bother me with sunlight today,
streaming through windows
this crisp cool day.
Bother me with good news,
happiness smiles
and a baby’s grin.
Bother me with a romantic tale
full of daffodil cups,
a good merlot
and love tendered kisses.
Please, do bother me!

Written for Quadrille Monday at dVerse, the virtual pub for poets around the globe. Today De hosts, asking us to use the word “bother” or a form of the word in our poem of exactly 44 words, sans title. Pub opens at 3:00 PM Boston time – come imbibe some words with us!
Also posted at Day 19 NaPoWriMo.
April is National Poetry Writing Month and the challenge is to write a poem every day of the month.

Blossom Me

Sunny daffodils, wave your ruffled heads.
Delicate cherry blossoms loosed by spring breeze,
softly, silently, rain pink petals upon all below.
Candy-cane red and white tulips stand tall
beside double-layered pinks and yellows.
Soon bleeding hearts will dangle gently
over sweetly petite lilies of the valley.
And lanes will burst forth with lilac blooms,
myriad shades of purple perfuming the air.
Bedazzle me, Mother Nature.
I am so ready for your greening,
most especially
after this long reclusive year!

Written for Open Link Night at dVerse, the virtual pub for poets around the globe. Today we go LIVE at 3 PM Boston time and folks have the opportunity to visit, put faces and voices with author’s names and read aloud if they wish. Come join us! Link is on the dVerse site, at 3 PM Boston time.

Also posted at Day 15 NaPoWriMo.

Photos all taken around our building here in Boston, at the Public Gardens and at the Harvard Arboretum….in past years. Spring is still trying to green this year!

A neck can be a beautiful thing . . .

People have necks
as do much of the animal kingdom.
Tigers, sloths, grizzly bears,
giraffes and turtles too.

Akin to giraffes are we.
We stick our necks out
leeeean way over to gawk,
and try to stand out in a crowd.

To me, even zoo giraffes are majestic.
Necks out-stretched, they stand tall.
Calmly eat from high-top tables,
drink from troughs on very tall poles.

I think some of us are like that.
Neckwise,
not staturewise.
Some people live in zoos of their own making.

Cocktail party impressarios.
Standing tall at high-top tables
neck craned to see VIPs, they politely sip.
No one looking? They lap and slurp it down.

I dislike most the raucous barflys
guzzling pints, tequila and whiskey shots.
Standing on sawdust covered floors,
they sway beside sticky high-top tables,

craning blotchy necks.
They try to catch a waiter’s eye
or land an easy mark,
belching as the crowd mills by.

And that’s the rub isn’t it?
Standing out in a crowd,
necks craned, leaning in or out,
all can be done appropriately.

Who then is the beast in reality?
Faced with a challenge, a time to stand tall.
I see far too many humans
pull in their necks,

retreat in their shells and hide.
Unlike the turtle,
they never enter the race.
My real question then is this:

Who really comprises the animal kingdom?


Tryst at Pine Woods

They met late in life. Widow and widower, their rooms were down the hall from each other at Pine Woods Rest Home. He insisted on being called James. Everyone knew her by Sunny. They both despised bland food and working jig saw puzzles. She liked flippy organza dresses and he always wore a tie. While many dozed in front of the blaring television, they shouted out answers to Jeopardy in a friendly competition. That Christmas season, they sat beside each other holding hands during sing-alongs. On New Year’s Eve, they joined in on the countdown at 9 PM. In her silk nightie that night, as the clock glowed 11:30, she heard the pre-arranged quiet knock at her door. “If you are a dreamer, come in” she trilled. This would indeed be a dream come true. Who said lovemaking is the domain of the young?

Today I’m hosting Prosery Monday at dVerse. In Prosery, writers are asked to write a piece of flash fiction that can be no more than 144 words, sans title, and include a specific line from a poem that the host provides. The line must be exactly as written in the original poem, except the punctuation can be changed. The line I’m having people include in their flash fiction today is If you are a dreamer, come in. It’s from Shel Silverstein’s poem Invitation from his book of poetry for children entitled Where the Sidewalk Ends. Prosery Mondays are the ONLY days at dVerse where we do not write poetry – we write flash fiction that includes a specified line from a poem.

Photo by alevision.co on Unsplash in the public domain.