A Haibun for Bilbo

We drove for miles ‘cross lush countryside, the majestic Kaimai Range in the background. Rolling hills in myriad shades of green were everywhere, always dotted in white. There are more sheep in New Zealand than people.

We finally reached the sprawling Alexander family farm, centerpiece of J.R.R. Tolkein’s Middle Earth. Setting out on foot to stroll the Shire, we were enthralled by the massive pine known as the Party Tree, the scene for Bilbo’s eleventy-oneth birthday. We walked along paths that led to vegetable, herb, and flower gardens – each different in shape, texture and color – next to thirty-seven colorful Hobbit Holes. Delightful miniature sheltered smials. Underground homes built into the hills, with roofs covered in grass and clover, and windows so low we had to crouch as if to take a peek. A clothesline was strung with miniature work shirts. A small wheelbarrow leaned up against a tree stub. We were giants walking through a magical world.

lily of the valley
miniature belled flower tops
tabby cat traipsing through

 

Written for Haibun Monday at dVerse where Toni is hosting today, giving us free rein in terms of a topic. Haibun: prose (not fiction) followed by a haiku (must have a nature theme). Photos from our wonderful trip to New Zealand. We visited the 1,250 acre Alexander family sheep farm outside Auckland, NZ, home of the mythical Hobbiton. The rolling topography, huge trees and lakes were deemed the perfect spot for 17th century Middle Earth immortalized in J.R.R. Tolkein’s The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring. 

That Evil Night

A winter tale of gusting winds
the might-have-beens
his tale of woe
forsaken beau

She left him ‘neath the midnight moon
collapsed in swoon
his feet like stone
his heart didst moan

Her kiss did curse his soul that night
his monstrous plight
’tis blood he needs
on necks he feeds

fear-653629_1920Written for dVerse, the virtual pub for poets.  Today Frank asks us to write a Minute Poem. Another poetic sudoku!  Entire poem contains three 4-line stanzas and a total of 60 syllables. Each stanza must have 20 syllables and a syllabic structure/ rhyme scheme arranged in this manner:
Stanza One: line 1 = 8 syllables, end rhyme word A; line 2= 4 syllables, A again; line 3 = 4 syllables, end rhyme word B; line 4 = 4 syllables, B again.
Stanza Two: identical to above EXCEPT rhyme scheme is CCDD.
Stanza Three: identical to above EXCEPT rhyme scheme is EEFF.
And to throw in one more constraint for good “measure” — it should be in iambic meter
which is short, long accent; short long accent; etc.
And of course, the challenge is to have the sense of the poem outshine the form!

A Telling Tale

He looked back one last time. No one noticed as he left. People milling about mistook the bright wormhole for a full moon. But he knew. They’d come back for him.

He was not of this time. But because of her, he desperately slithered toward the machine. He’d shapeshifted somewhere between town and this desolate field. She’d touched . . . what? His synapses? Some seed of humanity roiling within these tentacles? He’d followed orders. Assessed the creatures.

There are more good than bad! She and I can turn this earth! The energy field engulfed him. They would never know.

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Flash Fiction (exactly 100 words) written for Friday Fictioneers where the masterful Rochelle Wisoff-Field provides a photo and challenges us to create a story for it. This is actually from last week’s challenge. Have not done fiction here for quite a while. A good change of pace! Photo Credit: Dale Rogerson.

Mugshot Poetry

The infamous Flowers Act,
high-steppers of vaudeville fame.
Two performances a day
forty-two weeks a year,
those days before the movies talked.

Flunkie acts started shows,
as rows began to fill.
Maybelle and her off-key dogs?
Surefire way to empty the house.
The best was always in-between.

Operatic divas with mighty breasts
Mr. Visser and his singing duck
acrobats performing impossible knots
and in the midst of all this prime time,
René strutted onto the stage.

Deflowered early in her career
she’d made the best of it.
Twirled baby Rosebud overhead
tapping away to the newest tune,
audience clapping with glee.

Child-stars grow as years move on,
mamas trying to keep them young.
Highlight move of the Flowers act
dancing with Rosey held overhead,
harder and harder to do with a smile.

Teenage angst festered full-bloom.
Rosie kicked higher and higher still,
belligerantly balked at precarious lifts.
Brass played louder, drummer too
covering angry words that flew.

And then . . .

The nefarious night of 1929.
Outdoor billboards proclaimed,
See Our Flowers Tap To Delight.
Spotlights cued, the band played
and curtains rose to a barren stage.

As talkies came
and vaudeville disappeared,
their billboard photo gathered dust.
Missing persons,
never found.

Advance the reel please,
to 1932, in the Big Apple.
Crowds waited raucously.
til Radio City Music Hall
flung open her art deco doors.

The organ played and the audience cheered.
High steppers fanned across the stage,
kicking their way into Billboard fame.
Including one with a rosey attitude,
because her time had finally come.

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It’s Tuesday’s Poetics at dVerse, the virtual pub for poets. Today I’m hosting, asking folks to write a poem motivated by mugshots from the 1920s (all in public domain). Folks can use their imagination and take their post anywhere the photo inspires, as long as they include one of the photos, all of which can be found here. I did some research on vaudeville and Radio City Music Hall. Vaudeville acts were arranged as mentioned in stanza two. There actually was a very popular vaudeville act, Gus Visser and his singing duck! Radio City Music Hall did open in 1932. All else….your guess is as good as mine! Pub opens at 3 PM Boston time.  Come on over and enjoy a mug!

Her World

Head cleared of cotton candy
and spider webs,
she begins to write
backwards and up-to-down.

Fairy tales
beginning at happily ever after,
famous quotations
from future generations.

Temporary lodger on Rainbow Lane,
dreamer extraordinaire.
Fuscia and chartreuse stripes
appear on sidewalks and gutter spouts.

Her wings, still nubs,
keep her anchored to earth,
impatiently waiting
for thirty-three o’clock.

Then, and only then,
will she dust herself in stars
summon her steadfast unicorn
and ride to the century’s morrow.

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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.

Nahed Enid’s Growing Garden

Were you waiting for me?

Back corner of her studio, smiling
gathering dust midst jewelry displays
shadow boxed art.

Did you jiggle a bit?
Swing your beaded cord braids
glint a wink from googly metal eyes.

Functional Art the sign said.
Amalgamation of discards
someone’s this and something’s that.

Old charms (you do), hair fobs
paintbrush skirt and flower heart
forever wire smile.

You caught my eye that day
and here you are with me
forever now my muse.


Written for prompt in my online poetry class with Holly Wren Spaulding. We are to write a poem of address – as in addressing someone or something. This is a wonderful piece of art work entitled Growing My Garden by Nahed Enid: bought at Nahed’s studio in at the Dockyards in Bermuda. She makes me smile every morning as I sit to write and read. 

I’ve decided . . .

to thrive in this topsy turvey world.
I shall walk upside down, toes in the stars,
leave diamond shaped footsteps in the sky.

When down is up and in is out,
I shall touch the soil with outstretched arms
fingers wriggling in earthworm rings.

I will be a handstand acrobat
padding through sunflower fields,
pollen dust knees attracting bees.

When the sun sets, I shall ride the moon,
kicking stars into nova showers
and I shall never wane.

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Bjorn is tending bar at dVerse, the virtual pub for poets. He challenges us to make our words into the equivalent of expressionistic art. “The simplest and most effective way to define expressionism is that you present the world in a totally subjective perspective.” He also asks us to write in the first person. Bar opens at 3:on PM Boston time. Come join us!  Artwork: The Starry Night by Van Gogh.

Imaginary Friend

My Namrah, fantastical beast,
is always waiting near.
When fear accompanies darkness,
I know he will be here.

He flies me to the shining stars,
appears within my dreams.
Lifts me up on widespread wings
and soars through sequined streams.

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Frank is our guest host at dVerse, the virtual pub for poets, and asks us to write a poem in common meter. This is one of the most difficult types of poetry for me to master. Pub opens at 3 PM Boston time.