Tale of the Hats

Two men, not brothers
married two women, not sisters.
One man brother to one not-sister.
If you’re counting, that’s four in all.

Christmas means a family gathering
cousins and those two not-brothers,
Bob the wee man, wicked funny
Bud a big man, comic not,

Laughter, carols, dinner done,
friends and family sit to leave.
Expectantly they wait,
tittering they anticipate.

Bob and Bud step forth all clad
coats, galoshes, mufflers too.
But to hats the family looks
as Bob and Bud, snicker not.

Bob stands small, beside big Bud.
Simultaneously they seriously say,
We’re ready to go dears
as all guffaw at what they see.

Bud looks sheepishly at Bob.
Bob’s small hat sits daintily,
perched
on top of Bud’s big head.

Bob cannot see Bud,
his eyes covered by Bud’s big hat
sitting precariously balanced
atop two pencils
protruding from Bob’s ears!

hat-157581_1280

Written for dVerse, the virtual pub for poets, where Mark Walters guest hosts Tuesday’s Poetics. He asks us to write humorously about something humorous from our lives. The Tale of the Hats is absolutely true! My Uncle Bob (very small head and a very fun-loving guy) and my dad, known as Bud, (a much more serious guy) exchanged hats every year at the end of our big Christmas gathering. Uncle Bob made sure he had two pencils in his coat and they’d come out looking absolutely ridiculous! No matter how many times they did this, we always laughed and laughed. Family lore now….I miss them both. 

 

 

Generations Shall Pass

Raw winds blow. Rusted lock bars entrance to dark, dank family crypt. Souls long forgotten. Generations ceased their lineage, lost in the dust of time. Undisturbed cobwebs ensnare no prey. Nothing lives here.

Steps away, a young mother’s tears salt the ground below open-toed shoes. Her gaze locks on the small white coffin. Follows it lower, lower, and lower still, until its sides are nestled by mother earth. Stunned mourners file by, gently releasing miniature white roses into fresh dug grave. Wind shifts. Breeze rifles through nearby trees. Magnolia blossoms, rift from spring green leaves, rain quietly on forlorn scene.

Rest little one, love shall follow you. Mother, father, sisters too. All will come in time. And more. And more. Until the dust of time consumes them all.

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Used for Napowrimo day 28 where the prompt was to write prose poetry. Photo taken several months ago at the cemetery in Valparaiso, Chile. Shared with dVerse, the virtual pub for poets, on Thursday, May 3rds OLN. 

 

Bud’s Daughter

I have
a morning mirror routine.
Mine for sandman’s deposits.
Eyes clear, smile appears.

There it is,
thick wavy hair.
Left side front
waving, brow-over.

Morning mirror bud,
dad’s reflection waves.
Cascading silver,
my inheritance.

IMG_9004

Written for dVerse, the virtual pub for poets, where it’s Poetics Tuesday. Kim hosts and challenges us to write a poem in the first person about a body part we’ve inherited. Yep, that’s me and my waves. My dad, affectionately called Bud by his friends and relatives, had a full head of hair – beautifully silver and always wavy, till the day he died. I miss him.
PS:  did you read that last line aloud? It’s all about hair.
Also posted as off-prompt for Napowrimo Day 24.

 

Mother’s Junk Drawer

Teeth-gnawed yellow #2 pencil stubs.
One Avon Coral Pink lipstick.
Rosary missing crucifix.
Emery board. Eleven rubber bands.
Antique roller skate key.
Three packs Juicy Fruit gum,
never opened.
One white Sunday glove.
Thirty-two S&H green stamps.
A gathering of . . . what?

Green-Stamps

Written for dVerse where I’m hosting Quadrille Monday, asking folks to write an exactly 44 word poem (sans title) that includes the word, or a form of the word, gather.  Junk drawers: quite a gathering place. Do you have one?

Enigma, Mother Dear

There once was a woman named Helen Cecile
married and happy, her life surreal.
Many an escapade made us laugh,
silliness multiplied gaffe by gaffe.

I remember a day we spent at the zoo
where she created quite the to-do.
On the visitor’s side of the animal’s moat
she suddenly blanched and cleared her throat.
Shaking she stood near the pacing jaguars
knee red and swollen, stuck between bars.
Zookeepers rushed to embarrassing scene,
saving the day, they applied vaseline.

Seeking calm and less to-do
we headed to the petting zoo.
She laughed out loud patting the goats
who gathered round her petticoats.
Closing time near, she strolled through the gate,
stopped short and turned, sensing less weight.
Waving at us, with her once-flowered purse
she swore at the goats. You are perverse!
Her purse, you see, was now quite bald
they’d nudged and ate, till it was mauled.

My mother’s name was Helen Cecile,
life with her was surely surreal.
In between faults lie love and gaffes
missing-her-tears, softened by laughs.

IMG_9978

I’m behind here….written for day 17 of Napowrimo: Prompt was to write about a family anecdote. Need to catch up with days 18, 19 and today, 20.  More to come.

Not Her

Inherited from her,
the quick-to-explode gene.
Eyes down, fists clenched,
we stood silently passive
until the flame was spent.

Her sudden verbal lashings,
see-what-you-made-me-dos,
fury flung horiffic words.
Perhaps, in those moments,
I learned to control anger.

But she can fester within me.
Like termites gnawing
eroding the core of sanity.
Pause. Breathe.
Seek a good. A beautiful.

Take up pen and feel the script.
The flow. The ebbing.
I am not her.
Not that way.
I will it to be so.

Shadorma in the Grave Yard

family
mom, dad, son
me, last born
they waited nine years for me
now they wait again

mist hovers
floats above their graves
hushes sounds
muffles grief
head bowed, I know they miss me
I whisper, not yet

A shadorma written for dVerse, the virtual pub for poets. Amaya is our host today and explains that a shadorma is a syllabic poem consisting of six-line stanzas, each stanza defined in lines of 3-5-3-3-7-5 syllables. She asks us to be motivated by the title of the form and perhaps write about “fog, the paranormal, or the unexplained phenomena of death and life. ” I’ve also posted a second shadorma, Bermuda Beautiful. Pub opens at 3 PM Boston time. Come join us!

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! 🙂

 

 

Gatherings

My first eighteen years ~
we enjoyed picnics
backyard fun,
family celebrations and holidays.
Cacophonies of raucous laughter and glee.

Hiatus years, different byways ~
address books with edit over edit.
Catch-up Christmas times
marked by postage-due,
aging faces afloat in photo cards.

Reunions of late, any time of year ~
increase in frequency.
Convene in funeral homes,
adjourn with casseroles
served over memories.

Still shadows walk beside me ~
aunts, uncles, cousins.
Will I be the last?
Sole survivor of happy clan,
left to sit with photo albums,
colors fading beyond the years.

Motivated by Misky’s Twiglet prompt, “still shadows.”  A twiglet is a short phrase meant to motivate thoughts. Photos from many many years ago when we often gathered with aunts and uncles and cousins – we had so much fun together in those days when the entire family lived nearby. Now, sadly, all the aunts and uncles, my folks and brother, and some of my cousins, have passed on from this life. Others live far from me. Family is always dear — no matter how far and no matter if earthly or not.  

 

tanka

one christmas mass past
my hands clasped, so smooth, so young
hers riddled vein-blue ~
snow covers ground, gently still
my hands hued with age, missing hers

Our Christmas tree is a memory tree. The bell from my mother’s tree, when she was a little girl. The Santa my brother made in first grade. He was nine years older than me and died far far too young at fifty-one. The airplane from my father’s tree when he was a little boy. Christmas brings so many memories of cherished times past with relatives, friends and family. Merry Christmas, everyone!
Tanka form: 5 lines, syllables of 5-7-5-7-7. There should be a “twist” or change that occurs between lines 3 and 4.