By the Sea

Standing in front of the sea,
she smiles with moon-kissed lips.
I immerse myself,
deeper and deeper still.
Explore her nautilus curves.
Ebb and flow within her wake,
then lie still
as darkness gives way to light
and dawn awakens me.

I lie stilled on deserted beach.
Low tide surrounds me,
as if the ocean bared its soul.
Oh rapturous sleep, I question thee.
Was she real, this goddess of the night?
Or was she but a siren
escaped from far-off craggy coast?
Tears flow from my eyes
staring up at blushing sky.

Spent am I,
splayed out on moist and rippled sand.
And then my fingers feel . . . what?
Something smooth and cool to touch.
A nautilus.
I stare at it in wonder.
Then slowly, lowered to my lips,
my mouth upon its curved edge
I whisper hoarsely,
I shall return tonight, my love.
You are my destiny.

Written for dVerse, the virtual pub for poets, where it’s Tuesday poetics and we are asked to explore erotica in poetry. I like to think of this as romantic rather than erotic. Simply my choice of words. Photo taken last year in Provincetown during a full moon.

Iceland

We’ve seen firsthand the many faces of Iceland. We’ve soaked in the Blue Lagoon and walked beside hot bubbling fumaroles in the Krysuvik geothermal field. We’ve hiked in her desolate volcanic terrain.

Wearing sturdy hiking boots, using walking sticks for leverage, we climbed to the top of Stora Eldborg, an extinct volcanic crater. At its peak, buffeted by winds, our travel van below was a mere dot. Craters in the distance looked like small molehills. On the descent, our sticks helped take the pressure off our knees.

An hour later, we donned hardhats with headlights; no sticks allowed. Our guide took us to explore a 2,000 year old lava tube. Once a conduit for flowing molten rock, the channel crusted over forming a tunnel which we gingerly entered. We inched over boulders, slid down slabs, and crawled our way through parts of this damp, dark hollowed out place. Our headlights revealed pockmarked, cracked, uneven walls and lavacicles that hung from the ceiling. We came upon misshapen lava pillars impeding forward progress, thus marking our turn-back point. By the time we clambered out of the tube, my body was chilled to the bone and I was exuberant to feel the sun.

earth weathers through all
summer’s torrid heat burns land
below ground, cold springs

Written for Haibun Monday at dVerse, the virtual pub for poets. Today Frank is our host and asks us to write about a hike, or somehow use the word hike in our post. Photos are from our 2017 visit to Iceland.
HAIBUN: 2 or 3 paragraphs of prose, must be true; followed by a haiku.

Arachnophobic . . .

I should have known.
She silked the room,
entered with swishing skirts.
Eye-lashed me
in that coquettish way.
Wove words into delights.
Spinning wheeled me,
unlike any woman I’d ever known.
I could not escape her wiles.
I skeined under her spell.
First hands, then arms,
then eyes, then heart.
My senses spooled as one,
tautly captured in her clutches.
She left me,
forever specimened.
Pushpinned my veins
until I was but a dried shell.
Once a vibrant man,
now locked in despair.
I shall never love again.

Written for Meet the Bar at dVerse, the virtual pub for poets from around the globe. Today, Bjorn asks us to “verbify” in our poem. That is, to use a noun, or several, as verbs in our poem. Photo taken a number of years ago at Ricoleta Cemetery in Buenos Aires.

To Everything There is a Season

City folk turned country dwellers
we weathered through the seasons.
First-time home-owners on thirty acres,
we rented out our fields.
Watched corn and wheat planted,
then flourish in hot Iowa sun.

Harvest seasons came and went.
Like shapeshifters,
acres changed their landscaped views.
Plant, tend, reap, rest.
We marked off years waiting,
hoping for a blooming of our own.

And then, pregnant with expectation
we watched my belly grow,
just as the wheat and corn grew tall.
Similar to mother earth that year,
we gave birth, finding sustenance
in the fruits of our labor.

And then one bright September day
we brought our daughter home.
Stood blinking from the sun’s glare
holding her up amidst the fields,
thankful for new life
in this, our season of joy.  

Written for Tuesday Poetics at dVerse, the virtual pub for poets across the globe. Today, Rose is guest hosting and titles her prompt “Waiting on Wheat” – asking us to somehow write about wheat within our poem. Photos are from our homestead in Iowa, in 1974. Yep – that’s me with our daughter on the day I came home from the hospital. In those days, it was common to stay in the hospital for 5 days! Even after a normal birth. My how times have changed! The title for the poem comes from Ecclesiastes in the Bible and was also turned into a wonderful song written by Pete Seeger, first recorded in 1959.

My Plea

Clown me, please.
Paint a smile on my face
and give me huge clodhoppers.
Stomp with me through muck and lies.
This bulbous red nose?
Not from weeping.
It toots raucously –
my exclamation point
to your inane arguments.
Living in this three-ring circus
it’s the only way to survive.
Clown me, please.

Written for Tuesday Poetics at dVerse, the virtual pub for poets across the globe. Today we’re asked to write a poem that somehow uses the word “clown” or deals with a clown. Image from Pixabay.com.

A Child’s Wish Updated

Would that we all could be
Wynken, Blynken, and Nod,
sailing and bobbing along
on beautiful misty seas.

Snuggled together in our boat
lullaby waves softly lulling,
drifting slowly under the stars
off to the shores of Neverland.

Never the hatred,
never the strife.
Never the sadness
never the Covid-19.

Yes, I’ll be Wynken and you be Blynken,
both with our lids shut tight.
Smile with me and together shall we
nod off to the shores of Neverland.

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Sarah is hosting Tuesday Poetics today at dVerse, the virtual pub for poets. She asks us to write about boats. For me, the first thing that came to mind was the poem Wynken, Blynken, and Nod. My mother often read it to me when I was very young….always just before bedtime. The poem was written by American writer and poet, Eugene Field and first published on March 9, 1889.  Photo illustration is from the actual book my mother read to me from, Volume One, Poems of Early Childhood, in Childcraft in Fourteen Volumes, published by the Quarrie Corporation, Chicago, in 1947. I’ve obviously also taken liberty with Peter Pan’s Neverland! 

Nature’s Bliss

Garden me . . .
cacophony of brilliant colors.
Red roses, blue lobelia
brown-eyed susans,
and raspberry-tinted cone flowers.
Beguile me with sweet scents.
Lilacs, lily-of-the-valley
and honeysuckle too.
Nearby apple trees
offer their sturdy limbs.
I climb . . .
dislodging blossoms on the way,
sit atop and dream.

Quadrille posted to dVerse, the virtual pub for poets. Victoria is hosting today and the word to include in our exactly 44-word poem (sans title) is “garden” . Photos from Pixabay.com except the lilac, which is outside our building. Poets from around the world gather at dVerse. Come join us!

Early Morning Cape Cod View

Lone gull at dawn
sits calmly in repose.
Papaya stained sky,
mirrored hue on ocean tide.

Lone gull at dawn
anticipates promise of new day.
Spreads wings to full span,
ready for flight.

Pauses only moments
in rippled sand by lapping waves.
I breathe in the silence,
a beautiful hushed scene.

Lone gull runs gracefully
barely touching span of sea
then lifts, gloriously,
soars toward the unknown.

Poem written in response to Laura Bloomsbury’s prompt, Flights of Fancy, which appeared on July 28 at dVerse.  Posting it today as I host dVerse’s Open Link Night. We are a virtual pub where writers from around the world share their poetry.  Come join us!
Photo taken September 2019 at Provincetown, Cape Cod.

Flower Child of Old

Wilting daisies crown her head. 
Twined in double-chain necklace 
wilted more, they weep happiness
like old mood-rings on blue-veined hands.

Bare knees peek out
beneath tie-dyed ruffled skirt.
Tire-tread sandals grace her feet,
big toes polished in fireworks.

She seeks nothing now,
mind enveloped in hazy blur.
Nothing but a return to youth
before the savagery of time.

Love IS. Love the world.
Love everyone as your kin. 
Crooked sloppy words
painted on torn off shingle.

She holds it high for no one to see,
proud of its weathered look.
Blotched spots drip from letters
like tears shed in her dementia world.

At seventy-one, determined to return,
she roams these Woodstock fields
empty now, save her memories.
In her mind, she is there,
back in her revolutionary days.

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Merril is hosting Tuesday Poetics at dVerse, the virtual pub for poets. Today she asks us to consider the idea of revolution. We can write about it in any way: revolution of the planets, a spinning top, a political revolution, new ideas and inventions, medical discoveries. You get the idea.

The Hunt

Love is primal, fiercely protective. She understands that. Why doesn’t he?

Listening with a keen ear, she stands on rocky ledge, exhausted but alert. Will he find them? Her little ones are quiet now. Appetites sated, they sleep so sweetly. Their limbs tangled together, lying so close to each other. A red moon rides on the humps of the low river hills, illuminating the only path he can take to reach them now. Bramble burs prickle her scalp, tangled in her hair. Days on the run, she is more than disheveled. His bullet only grazed her, but the wound is beginning to fester. He will still want her. Will he continue the hunt? He covets her little ones. Their young fox pelts will bring a good sum. She hopes this new den will escape his site and he will turn to other prey.

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Written for dVerse, the virtual pub for poets, where today I am hosting PROSERY MONDAY.

The prompt is to include either the line “a red moon rides on the humps of the low river hills” OR the line “moan like an autumn wind high in the lonesome treetops” in a piece of prose (not poetry) that is 144 words or less.  The two lines are from Carl Sandburg’s poem JAZZ FANTASIA – you’ll find his full poem here

PROSERY: inclusion of a particular line (word for word) from a poem, in a piece of prose – can be flash fiction, memoir, or nonfiction. A form unique to dVerse where we usually write poetry! The PROSE must be 144 words or less.  

Photo from Pixabay.com