Child Rising

Maneuvered.
Layer upon layer,
expectations for perfection.
Like yeast-leavened dough
worked and plied,
slathered with to-dos.
You-wills pummeled into thinning skin.
Turned again and again by strong hand.
Beneath the slamming and kneading,
beginnings obliterated.
Raised to croissant elite.
Bran muffin, never an option.

Posted for dVerse Quadrille Monday, a bit late! Quadrille is a poem composed of exactly 44 words, sans title. The prompt word, to be included in some form for this post was “up” — I’ve used “upon”.  dVerse is a wonderful virtual pub for poets at http://dversepoets.com.  Prompts are given every Monday, Tuesday and Thursday. Come join us!

For Kenji

‘Tis legendary
not ordinary,
‘cross sea.
Firm friendship, nary
time’s adversary.
To be
older, not wary.
Smiles luminary,
esprit.

Inspired by my recent visit in Yokohama with Kenji Kojima. Photos of Kenji and I in our 1965 senior high school album. And a new photo of us taken together last week in Yokohama, Japan.

Kenji was an AFS exchange student from Japan during our 1965 senior year at Waukegan Township High School in Illinois. We had not seen each other since 1965! The years didn’t matter. The distance didn’t matter. The friendship held true and we enjoyed two wonderful hours together reminiscing, talking about our families and grandchildren. What an absolute privilege to see him again.

Poetry form is the Lai: 9 lines with the following syllabic and rhyming restrictions:

Line 1: 5 syllables, rhyme word a
Line 2: 5 syllables, rhymes with a
Line 3: 2 syllables, rhyme word b
Line 4: 5 syllables, rhymes with a
Line 5: 5 syllables, rhymes with a
Line 6: 2 syllables, rhymes with b
Line 7: 5 syllables, rhymes with a
Line 8: 5 syllables, rhymes with a
Line 9: 2 syllables, rhymes with b

Solace

Like a peregrine
caught in a tailspin,
hard pressed
to find calm within.
To escape the din,
to rest,
seeks his lover’s inn.
Ah sweet nest of skin,
sweet breast.

Form of poem is a Lai: nine-line stanza with syllabic and rhyme requirements as follows:

line 1: 5 syllables, rhyme word a
line 2: 5 syllables, rhymes with a
line 3: 2 syllables, rhyme word b
line 4: 5 syllables, rhymes with a
line 5: 5 syllables, rhymes with a
line 6: 2 syllables, rhymes with b
line 7: 5 syllabkes, rhymes with a
line 8: 5 syllables, rhymes with a
line 9: 2 syllablesm rhymes with b

Written for dVerse, the virtual pub for poets.
Photo from pixabay.com

Lost in Time

Gold pocket watch clasped shut
sits unnoticed.
Dust dims its luster,
unseen though visible
on antique store shelf.

Faded smiling visage
carefully snipped
by someone’s loving hands,
nestles inside the old time piece.
Exactly fits within its rim.

Opposite those softly staring eyes,
wire hands mark five till twelve.
No sound. No movement.
Dead in time past.
Someone’s treasure cast aside.

Posted for dVerse, the virtual pub for poets, where today I am hosting Open Link Night. Folks can post any one poem of their choice: no particular topic, prompt, form or length. Pub opens at 3 PM Boston time. Come join us!

Summer Invasion

On a rainy summer day, melted cherry popsicle juice puddles on kitchen countertop. The now bare, but somewhat red-stained stick, is a walking bridge from stainless steel sink’s edge to sticky stuff. It’s a veritable picnic spot for sugar thirsty ants. Our kids, unaware of the insect invasion they’ve created, sit on the faux-brick linoleum covered floor playing with colorful legos.

forget dull bread crumbs
summer brings popsicle juice
ants’ debauchery

ant-3555102_1920

It’s Haibun Monday at dVerse, the virtual pub for poets. Today, Gina is tending pub and asks us to write about a picnic. Haibun: short prose (cannot be fiction) followed by a haiku. Photo from pixabay.com

Haibun for Hiroshima

There is an expectant rise to the emotions – to visit Hiroshima where terror blazed. Hear survivors’ words, see artifacts, and one-thousand colorful paper cranes made by many hoping for world peace.

from devastation
hope bursts forth in blossomed trees
cranes lift wings to soar

Written for dVerse, the virtual pub for poets. Today Merril hosts Quadrille Monday and asks us to use the word “rise” in a 44 word poem. It can be any form, hence a 44-word haibun today.
Photos from our recent sobering visit to Hiroshima. The Atomic Bomb Dome miraculously still stands…especially considering it was so very near the hypocenter of the bomb. A three-year old boy was riding his trike at the time of the explosion…his family buried him in their backyard with the trike….and then years later, exhumed his body to place it in the family plot and donate the trike to the Peace Museum.The sculpture is the top of the Children’s Peace Memorial, dedicated to all children killed and hurt in the blast. In particular, dedicated to Sadako Sasaki who was 2 at the time of the explosion and seemingly escaped unharmed. At 9 she developed leukemia and died 8 months later. As she was in hospital, she folded (origami) one-thousand paper cranes…the crane is believed to bring health and longevity. When the memorial was dedicated many people from around the world sent chains of 1000 paper cranes. President Obama is the only US President to visit Hiroshima. He made 4 paper cranes…2 are here in the Peace Museum, the other 2 in Nagasaki. I am so privileged to have visited this place. May no one ever experience this devastation again for any reason.

Ode to the Sea

My moon-blown dreams flutter flit.
‘Tis but water-spoken words
afloat in tide-looped waves,
gently wending their way
wave-seeping through my synapses.
Meanderments that mesmerize,
a ringed-sea within my mind.

Eyes sea-scape.
Islands seemingly afloat
shimmer on reflection,
my ‘scape
from dews of storm-clad life.
I seem to levitate
hover somewhere, not here.

No sound but water-softness,
lapping as if heaven-circling.
Eyes stair cross waters,
climb surreal to starry scrim.
Leaning against ship’s rail,
all railings retreat to insignificance.
Serenity lives upon the seas.

For April 16 Poetics….hosted by guest Laura Bloomsbury. Motivated by her prompt and our current journey, cruising through Japan, China and South Korea.

A Stellar Tale

Lady Ursula fancied herself a star,
nay, bigger and better than that.
She with ostentatious tastes,
constellation better than most.

Daily she ate delectable treats.
Croissants, caviar, and fine patés
berries and truffles, chocolates too,
all as she sampled the finest of ports.

And as was her habit before the first snow,
into her four poster bed she’d go.
Curtains drawn, she nestled in down,
appetite sated, she slumbered to sleep.

N’er did she stir ‘till a bright April morn,
when bluebirds would warble and sun stream in.
Slowly she’d struggle to open her eyes
push herself upright, sit tall in her bed.

Suddenly famished she licked her lips
and stretching she toggled the service bell.
They chuckled and smirked hearing that sound
for they understood the secret she lived.

Their Lady Ursula, no Ursa was she
rather an Ursus she really be.

black-bear-3759225_1920

It’s OLN at dVerse today, the virtual pub for poets. This means we are free to post any poem of our choosing – no prompt. I had a little fun with this one. Hope you enjoy 🙂

Calendar Crazed

March,
that month after February,
thirty-one days before April.
A season unto itself.

A time for bluster. . .
pushy blow-hard March winds,
nature’s  ill-tempered signal
she is ready to move on.

Impatient crocus tips,
tulip and joinquil crowns,
clamor beneath the soil
desperately seeking warmth.

Sun tries to abide.
Sharpens her rays,
pierces leaden skies,
melts errant snows.

And we, with pens in hand,
cross off calendar days.
Like Sousa leading the band
we march forward . . .

wanting so badly
to pick up the pace,
to quick-step
our way to spring.

eastman-johnson-84946_1920

I’m hosting Tuesday Poetics at dVerse, the virtual pub for poets, asking folks to think about the verse from Ecclesiastes quoted below. It was set to music by Pete Seeger in the late 50s and became a full-fledged hit Turn! Turn! Turn! by the Byrds in 1965. We’re writing a poem about “a time to/for ______.”  Pub opens at 3 PM Boston time, so you can find the exact prompt there.
“For everything there is a season, and a time for every purpose under heaven:  a time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted; a time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up; a time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance; a time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing; a time to seek, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away; a time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak; a time to love, and a time to hate; a time for war, and a time for peace.”

Pantoum Sudoku

I sit to gather thoughts and write.
Like quickening ripples in windswept pool
ideas hurtle, thrash and roil in spite.
My mind consumed, your muse too cruel.

Like quickening ripples in windswept pool
your face appears in waves to take control.
My mind consumed. Your muse too cruel,
like fists that pummel a dying soul.

Your face appears in waves. To take control,
eyes wide, I gather strength. My voice attacks
like fists that pummel a dying soul.
You shall not rule as I defy all impacts.

Eyes wide, I gather strength. My voice attacks
ideas. Hurtle, thrash and roil in spite.
You shall not rule. As I defy all impacts,
I sit to gather thoughts and write.

Gina hosts MTB Thursday at dVerse, the virtual pub for poets. Today we are exploring a particular form of poetry called a pantoum. It’s made up of quatrains (4 line stanzas). BUT, they have to be in this pattern:

A (has to end rhyme with C)
B (has to end rhyme with D)
C
D

B (Exact same line as B in first stanza; and has to end rhyme with D)
E (has to end rhyme with F)
D (Exact same line as D in first stanza)
F

E (Exact same line as E in second stanza)
G (has to rhyme with H)
F (Exact same line as F in second stanza)
H

G (Exact same line as G in third stanza)
C (Exact same line as C in first stanza)
H (Exact same line as H in third stanza)
A (Exact same line as A in first stanza)

Hah! Did you follow that?  And now you know why I titlee this post Pantoum Sudoku!