The Black Widow

Imagining herself on silver screen,
seductive in lace, she hosts a soiree.
She lures her guests, her evil goal unseen,
with delicate threads to lead them astray.
Her hourglass figure, tempting when seen,
is summoned to weave a web for her prey.
Beware,  Miss Arachnid’s truly notorious.
Her venomous kiss, always victorious.

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Written for dVerse, the virtual pub for poets, where today, Frank is hosting and asks us to write an Ottava Rima. A new form for me, and quite challenging. It is actually an old Italian form of poetry that has multiple stanzas of 8 lines, in iambic pentameter (10 feet per line), with an ababababcc rhyme scheme. Frank gave us a reprieve and said one stanza was acceptable. Iambic pentameter also involves a pattern of unstressed and stressed syllables — which I find extremely difficult — so I originally went with 10 syllables per line and avoided the stress! The version you just read, went back and aimed for the iambic pentameter. I have new admiration for Will Shakespeare! Stop over and see what others have done with the form — or better yet, give it a try yourself and join us — we’re a very friendly bunch! Photo in public domain.

Dead Man’s Fare

Graveyard journey.
Ghosts whisper, twist, shimmer
curl through drizzly clouds.
Breeze dances, skips with leaves.

Dawn spills rose-red tincture,
blood-shadows scar green grass.

Shallow breath jars sickly grin.
Fear bubbles, melts
cues nervous giggley spark,
sound opens echoes.

Still lull gone.
Death laughs here.

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Quadrille (44 words exactly, not including title) written for dVerse, using all 31 quadrille prompts given thus far: 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 (we’ve had 31 weeks of quadrilles thus far, each one, using one of these words as a prompt). Photo: black and white of Glendalough, Ireland cemetery which surrounds St. Kevin’s 6th century monastic ruins.

Icelandic Lava Tubes

Descending into Earth’s belly
we clamber over solidified lava,
misshapen slabs, coarse and sharp.
Crouch. Walk. Crawl in darkness.
Her innards surround us.

Two thousand years have passed
since she belched fire
spewed molten fury
hurled detritus,
encased this land.

Liquid anger flowed and ebbed
cracked in cooling drafts
left behind tunnel pathways,
cold witness to those fury days.

My mouth agape,
body chilled to the bone,
we move through this, her confession,
the scars of a temper once unleashed.

Written for dVerse, the virtual pub for poets, where Paul asks us to write a poem from our underground travels. Paul opens Tuesday Poetics at 3 PM Boston time.  Photos: from our recent excursion into the lava fields and extinct volcanoes outside Reykjavik, Iceland. We actually went underground and explored a 2,000 + year old lava tube. That’s me in the purple. Last photo is what the land above the tube looks like — that’s lichen growing on ancient lava fields. Very barren and harsh. Iceland is one of the world’s most sparsely populated countries. It has extensive volcanic and geothermal activity (see photos with my one sentence poem entitled Geyser. About 50% of Iceland is mountainous lava desert. Only 1% of their land is cultivated.

Final Scene

Sprawled on faded flaccid couch,
she snores guttural gumpfs and wheezes.

A warped pendulum creaks . . . shudders . . . stops . . .
clock face sags in disrepair.

Rodent feet in plaster-dust slippers
scurry inside flaking walls.

Spotlight dims. Floorboards creak.
Vamp sounds of decay.

Enter Death as curtain falls.

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Written for dVerse, the virtual pub for poets. It’s Quadrille Monday (a poem of 44 words – not including the title – no more; no less). Today Victoria is hosting and asks to use the word “sound.” Bar opens at 3 PM Boston time! PS:  after a wonderful month + trip that included a TransAtlantic cruise and cruises through the Norwegian Fjords, Iceland and Ireland, it’s great to be home! Enjoying my regular early morning writing and reading time again.

Glendalough…

…thy voice speaks to me.

Rolling hills of green
ancient Celtic cross
sixth century monastic ruins.

Paths echo medieval prayer
parlay murmurs of buried souls
stones tipped and etched by time.

I tread lightly through hallowed ground
savor the quiet of this place.
Glendalough, thou art a soothing song.





Written for dVerse, the virtual pub for poets. Mish prompts us to write of an abstract thing (I chose serenity) using sensory description. Photos: Glendalough, Ireland, the valley of the two lakes renowned for its Early Medieval monastic settlement founded by St Kevin in the 6th century. We opted for an excursion that took us into the countryside, outside of Dublin, rather than a city or pub tour. This is a truly beautiful and mystical place.

Traveler’s Guide

Sow seeds of beauty as you travel earth.
Mirror the sun.
Shine kindness upon frozen souls,
splash colors brightly.
Climb as the ivy does,
each dawn higher,
each morn basking in hope.




Written for dVerse where Björn hosts, asking us to write about soil/earth. Photos: Norwegian fjords; gardens in Blarney Village (Ireland); house in Kinsale, Ireland; dawn from the deck of our cruise ship on our way to Dublin. Final photo taken in midst of Norwegian fjords fascinates me — note the shadow of mountains on the mountain — looks like a face!

Lysefjord

Echos of light reflect rugged beauty.
Silent walls of rock carved by glaciers,
mirror themselves in ancient seas.

We sail, necks craned,
staring, gaping in awe.

Awareness dawns
in setting sun.

We are but specks
on the scales of time.

       

Written for dVerse, the virtual pub for poets where Monday’s quadrille (4o word poem, no more no less) prompt is to include the word echo within our poem. Photos from recent Norwegian Fjords cruise. 

Sequel

I doth tromp amidst this misty fjord scene
my youth expired, seeking to inquire.
Searching caves, knowing my child’s desire.
To sail with thee, frolicking where I’ve been.

Since my desertion, what is thy routine?
May I but hear you roar and see your fire?
Meet my child, that is all that I require.
And so I bare my shame, I plead and keen.

I’ve shared with him my childhood tale of joys
of pirate ships and rides upon your tail.
Prithee show yourself and accept my plea.

I dost promise thee, he shall bring you toys,
climb upon your back to happily set sail.
I shall bow to thee, grateful for his glee.

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Kim is hosting dVerse today, the virtual pub for poets. She asks us to rewrite a popular song in the style of a sonnet (perhaps Shakespearian), without telling readers what the song is. Sonnet: 14 lines: two quatrains followed by two tercets — all in iambic pentameter with the following rhyme scheme: abba, abba, cde, cde.  This was a real challenge for me! Warning: even the mighty Will Shakespeare diverted from the strict form occasionally.  Pub opens at 3 PM Boston time. Come join us!  (Photo taken a few years ago on our Alaskan trip)
LYRICS:  Puff the Magic Dragon

Puff, the magic dragon lived by the sea
And frolicked in the autumn mist in a land called Honahlee
Little Jackie paper loved that rascal puff
And brought him strings and sealing wax and other fancy stuff oh

Puff, the magic dragon lived by the sea
And frolicked in the autumn mist in a land called Honahlee
Puff, the magic dragon lived by the sea
And frolicked in the autumn mist in a land called Honahlee

Together they would travel on a boat with billowed sail
Jackie kept a lookout perched on puff’s gigantic tail
Noble kings and princes would bow whene’er they came
Pirate ships would lower their flag when puff roared out his name oh

Puff, the magic dragon lived by the sea
And frolicked in the autumn mist in a land called Honahlee
Puff, the magic dragon lived by the sea
And frolicked in the autumn mist in a land called Honahlee

A dragon lives forever but not so little boys
Painted wings and giant rings make way for other toys
One grey night it happened, Jackie Paper came no more
And puff that mighty dragon, he ceased his fearless roar

His head was bent in sorrow, green scales fell like rain
Puff no longer went to play along the cherry lane
Without his life-long friend, puff could not be brave
So Puff that mighty dragon sadly slipped into his cave oh

Puff, the magic dragon lived by the sea
And frolicked in the autumn mist in a land called Honahlee
Puff, the magic dragon lived by the sea
And frolicked in the autumn mist in a land called Honahlee

Writer/s: LEONARD LIPTON, PETER YARROW
Publisher: Warner/Chappell Music, Inc.

The Old Lamp Lighter

Lamplighter of yesteryear
resides light years away.
Nightly strolls relocated,
he illuminates the stars.

Written for dVerse where I’m hosting today, asking folks to write a poem that contains the title of a Billboard Magazine #1 hit recording from the year they were born, or their early years of growing up. The Old Lamp Lighter, recorded by Sammy Kaye and His Orchestra, 1947. Below is a drawing my 10 year old grandson did for this post.

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What Is Shall Be Was

Shadows tread in life’s past.
Embers gleam red passion,
pale to ashen grey.
Ship wakes sink into oblivion.
Sand dollars, once much more.

Daguerrotypes.
Faces unknown
posed in serious countenance,
fade frozen in corroded frames.

Vestigial pock marks upon the earth.
Life marches forward
directionally unaware,
into the past.


Written for Open Link Night at dVerse, the virtual pub for poets. April is national poetry month so drop by to imbibe some words with us – or better yet, step up to the bar, no prompt on OLN. It’s an opportunity to share as you wish! Bar opens at 3:00 PM Boston time. Photo in public domain