Valparaiso, Chile

I stand atop Casa Galos’ rooftop terrace, seeking the moon which appears in Chicago, Paris, and Vienna. Cities that progressed with time. Here I see only bright orbs. Street lights that blanket the cerros – hills holding once architectural gems beside corrugated metal homes. Erosion defied by vibrant street art.

Twentieth century’s magnificent achievement, the Panama Canal, thief of Valparaiso’s livelihood. And this past month, deserted by the cruiseship industry, as if a pickpocket stole her last coin. A missing moon tonight, and I wonder if it will ever reappear to illuminate this city’s spirit again.

blood moon phenomenon
shrunk to crescent sliver shard –
will you wax again?

Scheherazade

Across the page my pen does fly
If, not, why
A pathway straight to and from my . . .
He, she, I
. . . Brain

I tell my story, tell again
First, next, then
Revise and edit with my pen
House, place, den
Me
Scheherazade
Storyteller

Written by Stella Hallberg, my granddaughter, who will soon be 11. She and I trade poetry prompts each month. She decided we would start the year with the same word, scheherazade. This is her poem….as she wrote it. No edits by me. It fits beautifully with Bjorn’s prompt for today at dVerse. He asks us to recognize the importance of silence in poetry. Silence can be illustrated with various punctuation, including the ellipsis . . . which Stella uses in her poem. Stella explained to me “The syllable pattern is something I might have made up. I did 8, 3, 8, 3, 1 twice, but at the end I added 5, 4. Do you like it?”  Yes, Stella, I do! 🙂

 

 

The Story Teller

Her clan’s scheherazade.
Last in her lineage,
skilled by birthright
in the ancient art.

She follows the stars.
Finds her way,
village by village
to listen, to tell.

Stories they share
of birth, death, harvest,
and ceremonial hunts.
All grace her plots.

Mitochondrial details
events infused by voice,
sadness, daily banter, and joy.
Emotional spectrum wide and deep.

She the vessel of tales,
ewer of their heritage.
She is their story teller,
the carrier of life.

Written for my almost 11-year-old granddaughter who decided we should start the year with the same prompt word, “scheherazade,” meaning storyteller. Also penned for dVerse where Paul hosts today, with the word “grace” for a prompt. Apologies in advance to all who read and comment — it may take a while to respond as we embark today on a 34 day journey to S. America and Antarctica! 

 

Jive with Me

This score’s for you.
None of that silent reading please,
move your mouth and loose those chords.
This gig is made for jumpin’ jive
words like notes, should come alive

Drum set movin’ stickin’ strong
keh-nock that rim
keh-nock, keh-nock
keh-nockin’ smooth and stickin’ strong.
Brushes swishing smoothing so
brushing brushing softly go.
Brushing cymbals smoothly now
brushing brushing, soon to splash.
Two feet pumping work the set
bouncing, grooving rhythms’ beat.
High hat moving by the left,
bopping bass drum boomed by right.

Trumpet blaring bleating high
sax is sobbing, crooning low.
Clarinet steps up to lead,
fingers pop and swing that reed.
Trombone arm moves in and out
o-o-o-o-zing up
and o-o-o-o-zing down,
gliding in and sliding out.

Pedal pumping, player plunking
blacks and whites bring pure delight.
Fingers fly then magically join
chords crescendo, conclude the jam.

So come my friends and keep it movin’
snap your fingers, sway your way.
Don’t just sit there silently still,
find your groove to rock your day.
Note_lines_horizontal

I’m hosting Tuesday Poetics over at dVerse today, the virtual pub for poets. Asking folks how they feel today.  Suggesting that they find their groove somehow and create a poem of any form, that uses the word “groove” or a derivation of the word. Come join us! Pub opens at 3 PM Boston time.

Haibun from Days Gone By

Looking back from this vantage point, from who I am now and how we raised our children, I’m surprised at my calm, unquestioning “okay” to one man during my lifetime. Wally Rucks, high school football coach and my guidance counselor.

I only had one meeting with this overweight, jowly faced man. In 1964, at the beginning of my senior year.
“Are you filling out your college applications?”
“Yes.”
“What career are you aiming for?”
As the only female on our award-winning debate team, I was ready with the answer. “A lawyer.”
“Girls don’t do that. Study to be a Speech and English teacher.”
The meeting was over. I walked out the door and that’s what I did. I became a high school Speech and English teacher, albeit a very good one.

And then years later, I earned a second Master’s Degree and a PhD. Became a university dean and traveled the world solo, meeting corporate executives, establishing internships for our Global MBAs. Go suck an egg, Mr. Rucks.

smallest acorn
trampled in mud by hiking galoots
tall now in forest green

It’s Haibun Monday at dVerse and today we’re supposed to write about something that surprises us. Come join us at the virtual pub for poets — bar opens at 3 PM Boston time. Haibun: short, precise prose (cannot be fiction) followed by a haiku.

Sunken Desire

Spirits beneath the blue
assuaged by filtered sun
and undulating sea grass.

Marauding masked visitors
disturb your sleep,
seek riches beyond the pale.

Wherein lies the treasure?
Corroded trinkets, ancient coins
or peace for lost immortal souls.

IMG_4005

Delighted to host Tuesday Poetics today at dVerse, the virtual pub for poets. Many folks across the globe celebrate holidays during the month of November and December and with that comes visitors to our homes and, perhaps, travel for us. Today, I’m asking folks to write a poem that includes the word “visit” or a form of the word. Photo is from last February’s visit to Bermuda. There are more than 300 sunken ships around the coast of Bermuda – a haven for adventurous divers. Pub opens at 3 PM Boston time — come join us!

Best Wishes and Thank You, Toni

I rejuvenated (never say “retired”) exactly five years ago this Friday. From a stress-filled dean’s job at a university including solo global travel to doing . . . what? Talk about transition! I decided to reverse roles and became a student in an online poetry class. The pen hit the paper every morning as if a dam had been breached. Then I found WordPress and this untechie created a website. I was thrilled when I reached ten followers – all relatives. And then I found dVerse.

For me, writing is a space in and of itself, unlike any physical space. There’s a part of my mind that seems to have a conversation with my pen. dVerse introduced me to new forms and meters, and forced me to sometimes include that bug-a-boo-for-me, rhyme. I write for myself. Because of dVerse, I also edit and rewrite for my readers. Rejuvenatement brought a huge change to my biorhythms and my frequent-flyer status. dVerse made me a Samurai of words – gave me the courage to “put-it-out-there.” It’s introduced me to folks around the world who, like me, enjoy the power and creativity of words. Today, for the very first time, my computer’s auto-correct didn’t automatically change haibun to habit. How fitting is that???  Aren’t you proud of me, Toni? 🙂

migrating geese
arrow formation in cold crisp air
transition flies forward

grey-geese-2112216_1920

Post is “double-duty” for dVerse, the online pub for poets. Today, Paul hosts Tuesday Poetics and asks us to write about a change in our lives. Yesterday was Haibun Monday where, for the last time, Toni hosted and asked us to write about how we write/our plans for our writing. She is retiring from the dVerse board, although we’ll continue to see her poetry posts. For me, Toni is inspirational….she’s patiently taught me how to write a haibun (tight, nonfiction prose followed by a haiku).  She personifies the haibun’s Japanese spirit. Thank you, Toni. This one’s for you! 🙂

Cairn

I am with you still.

My spirit
embued within the sky
floating midst the clouds
cool mist above rushing waters.

I walked this earth
stacked small rocks
in special places.
I cared.

Grieve not for me,
stand quietly.
Between your steps
feel me still.

cairn-2281982_1920

It’s Quadrille Monday at dVerse, the virtual pub for poets. And we begin anew. Week 1 with 43 more to come. Today, Quadrille Week 1, the word to use within our poem is “rock” – or a form of the word. Come join us! A quadrille is a poem of exactly 44 words…sans title.