If One Could But Change History . . .

What a sham! Poo on you!
You shall not still my tongue,
nor shall you have me.
Cash? Mere bribery.
You’ve noticed but my shapely form
and never asked my name.
My name is Ava. Tar it not.
You shall not name me a witch, sir.
I am a woman of substance.

And you sir, are but a juggernaut,
steamrolling your way
into petticoats of young girls.
Threatening them like Tituba,
dare they not succomb.
Poor Tituba, incarcerated,
questioned these many days.
I have talked with them all, sir.
No longer will they remain silent.

No longer are they your mollified band.
Ana and Sarah, Elizabeth,
Susannah, and Rebecca as well.
In church on the morrow, sir
they will bare their legs, thigh high.
Exhibit their bruises and mottled skin,
then point their fingers at you.
You are the witch sir.
May you burn in hell.

Written for Tuesday Poetics at dVerse, the virtual pub for poets around the globe.

Today, Punam is hosting from India, where she’s been celebrating Diwali. She introduces us to a number of words from Indian languages that have become a part of the English language. For example, bandana comes from ‘bandhana’ which means to tie as well as ‘bandhej’ which is the art of tie-dye technique used on fabrics in Rajasthan and Gujarat. Punam provides us with 15 such words and asks us to include 4 in our poem. I’ve used 5: shampoo, cashmere, avatar, juggernaut, and bandana. See if you can find them all!

The poem obviously refers to the Salem Witch Trials of 1692. Sarah Good, Elizabeth Howe, Susannah Martin, and Rebecca Nurse were all convicted and hung.

You’ll find the photo here in an article written about Salem’s history. It’s the home of Judge Jonathan Corwin (1640 – 1718) and is the only structure you can visit in Salem today with direct ties to the Witch Trials. By the way, Salem is literally overrun with tourists this time of year! Living in Boston, we are but a 30 minute commuter rail trip away. We visit Salem in the summer for fun….don’t go near it in October!

Autumn in Vermont

October’s full moon
shines kindly in darkest skies,
unobliterated by city’s glare.
Gleams its bright spotlight
upon Vermont mountains,
hills and forest trails.
Trees stand tall in fall crisp air,
raucous cacophony of colors
punctuate serene picturesque scenes.
Leaves’ iridescent glorious hues,
crimsons, burnt orange
golden yellows, wine-reds too.
They flaunt their beauty
beneath your steady gaze,
defying winter’s wish
to cause their demise.

Written for dVerse, the virtual pub for poets around the globe. Today Sarah asks us to consider various names for an October full moon that she provides in a list. She explains that different areas of the US and indeed, different cultures, have different names for the full moon. I’ve chosen the name, Kindly Moon from the list.

Image of Vermont fall from Pixabay.com Apologies: could not find photo of a full moon shining on a glorious fall Vermont scene. But you can definitely get the idea from this photo.

Power in a Bottle

Ah, belladonna,
how formidable art thee.
Thine power used since Roman times.
Claudius and Augustus, dead,
wifely potions lethal with thee.

Medieval women
placed drops of thee in their eyes.
Became alluring with wide-eyed innocence,
capturing a gentleman caller’s proposal
curtailing his gigolo lust.

It’s Quadrille Monday at dVerse, the virtual pub for poets around the globe. Today Kim asks us to use the word “bell” or a form of the word, in our poem of exactly 44 words, sans title. Image from pixabay.com

Belladonna is a potent plant. Reserach tells us in Roman times, it did indeed kill Emperors Claudius and Augustus when placed in a potion made by their wives. It is said that Macbeth of Scotland used it to poison the liquor supply of invading troops from England. In medieval times, drops of belladonna were used by women for cosmetic purposes: to widen their eyes to make them seem more alluring. Today, belladonna is used by many opthamologists to dilate pupils for examination.

The Queen’s Tears

Of course she shed tears
after 70 + years
shared with her one true love.
Since we first saw her Grace
the world is a far different place.
Her long life a gift from above.

I fancied the Royals forever it seems,
listened to their wedding, dreamed my dreams.
In 1947, I was only 9 but in love.
A handsome prince, Philip, stole my heart
but Elizabeth was his mate, never to part.
Little girls like me dreamed of that kind of love.

Mother and I watched Elizabeth’s coronation.
in the middle of the night I was filled with elation.
Crowns, royal robes, jewels reigned from above.
Philip stood tall as she became queen.
Such pomp and circumstance I never had seen.
He looked at her with such love.

Over the years I have admired the queen
wearing colorful outfits, blue, pink or green
matched head to toe, hat, coat, and glove.
Children and grandchildren blessed her life.
We saw very little of her role as wife
until Philip died. Queen’s tears shed for love.

Written by Lindsey Ein and read aloud at our OLN LIVE! So happy to have Lindsey participate and to share her poem with all of you here.

With Folded Hands

Faith came much easier when I was young.
I believed in Purgatory.
That half-way house you might need
before your final reward.
I’d say three Hail Marys for the one lucky soul
who needed exactly that many words
to move out and ascend to heaven.
My lips moved silently,
hands folded, head bowed, like I learned
in Immaculate Conception Grade School.
Then I’d say a very loud Amen and grin.
Good deed done for the day!
These days, as a septuagenarian,
I realize that for some people
hell is right here on earth.
Hail Marys don’t seem to cut it
when a Black man gets shot in the back
while innocently jogging down a street.
I don’t grin anymore
at the end of my prayers.

Shared with dVerse today, the virtual pub for poets around the globe.

Today is OLN LIVE from 3 to 4 PM and OLN. I’m hosting today….so hope to see many folks there. Photo is my hands this morning.

Pestilence can be eradicated . . .

Tales told over and over
take hold in one’s memory.
Lies told over and over,
still lies.

Oft heard lies ferment.
Fester in one’s brain,
in one’s psyche.
Foment unrest, distrust.
Rattle rational thought
into rationalization.

Beware the frequent liar,
the pseudo Pied Piper.
Rats follow in legions.
Sewers clog with muck.
Rotten smells waft high,
putrify the air.

Rise up ye voices!
Shout facts! Blow forth truths
from the mountain top.
Topple the house of cards.

Written for Tuesday Poetics at dVerse, the virtual pub for poets around the globe. Today Lisa asks us to consider fermentation. We are to “write a poem that uses any of the definitions, examples, images, or applications of fermentation that inspires” our Muse.
Images from Pixabay.com

For the Love of Harold

Widowed at eighty-three, she didn’t cry until they closed the lid on Harold. Never to see him again in that beautiful dark blue suit, worn on so many of their date nights over many years. The love of her life, resting in the Peters-Carmody Funeral Home, before the hearse would take him away.

Five years later, Maud Smith noticed an elderly woman sitting in the front row of mourners patiently waiting for Father David to begin the rosary. She approached the funeral director and quietly asked “Who is that old woman in the front row? Why is she sitting with my family?”

“That’s Mrs. Crowley, ma’am. She often comes to our viewings if the decedent is male. Her husband Harold’s service was here five years ago. I think she imagines him lying there, near her again. You see, to her, death is quite romantic.”

Written for dVerse, the virtual pub for poets around the globe. Bjorn is hosting Prosery Monday, where a line from poetry is given and then must be used, word for word, in a piece of prose that is 144 words or less, sans title. Today the line is from Bob Dylan, “To her, death is quite romantic.”
Image from Pixabay.com

I am many hued . . .

track my life Crayola bright.
Pink infant with colicky baby blues.
Grade school cobalt uniform
morphed to purple-gold cheerleader poms.
College reading, black and white print
in mahogany-shelved library stacks.
Wedding-white
then tie-dyed kaleidoscope kids.
Senior grey? Never.
It’s silver in my golden years.

Merril is hosting dverse tonight, the virtual pub for poets around the globe. She asks us to use the word “track” or a form of the word, within our poem of exactly 44 words, sans title. Photo: yep, that’s me, without my glasses about two months ago.

Thundering Voices

A woman’s intrinsic abilities
far surpass chauvinist suppositions.

Our daughters understand. Empowerment
means control. Bodily autonomy.

Your assault, revoking Roe-versus-Wade,
wakes anger. Volatile independence.

Rain, lightning, thunderbolts, precipitate
storms. Crashing. Disturbing complacency.

Written for dVerse, the virtual pub for poets around the globe. Today Laura asks us to consider couples, writing a poem in couplets. She presents a number of forms that are based in couplets including the Rhopalic Couplet. First used by Homer in the Illiad, the Rhopalic Couplet contains two lines. In both lines, each word progresses adding 1 more syllable than the preceding word in the line. The lines need not be rhymed. So for example
x xx xxx xxxx
x xx xxx xxxx

I found this quite tricky to do! Another poetic sudoku for me. Image from Pixabay.com

Sensory Delight

Quilt me a cacophony of colors,
floral me a scene.
Roses, lilac, freesia, lavender, gardenia,
scents melding into sweet aroma.
Featured like fragrant punchbowl
on caterer’s gleaming sideboard.
Senses tempted to imbibe, I submit.
Feast my eyes, inhale deeply,
engulfed in garden’s ethereal delight.

Quadrille written for dVerse, the virtual pub for poets around the globe. Today De asks us to use the word “punch” or a form of the word, within our poem of exactly 44 words, sans title. Photo taken a number of years ago in Ireland.