The Septuagenarian

Society’s expectations?
She doesn’t give two hoots
about being who she’s not.

It’s taken her a while to get there,
seven decades to be exact.
Wrinkle creams and hair dye be damned.

She wears flat shoes on every occasion,
air-dries her hair in all its grey glory
and orders dessert, which is mandatory.

Happily sleeveless when it’s hot,
just stare if you dare at her crepe-like skin
and notice her knees with those very high hems.

Stereotypical sayings are bantered about,
she’s older and wiser and been round the block
but look at her now as she picks her own route.

Written for NAPOWRIMO, Day 15.
Today we’re asked to “write a poem about something you have absolutely no interest in.”
We’re invited “to investigate some of the ‘why’ behind resolutely not giving two hoots about something.”
Although my poem is written in third person, this is how I feel at seventy-five.

Relating to Aesop

Things sometimes manifest themselves in clouds
Are they real shapes, real creatures others see as well?
Not only my machinations, but some unexplainable cumulus creation?
Always I wonder, is my mind crazed or simply too artistic for the mundane?
What occurs to me as perfectly easy to discern, may or may not be for others.
They perhaps simply see white fluffs surrounded by blue and I
seem rather odd to them, as I ogle over a fire-breathing dragon in the sky.

Written for NAPOWRIMO, Day 6. The prompt for today is “write a variation of an acrostic poem. But rather than spelling out a word with the first letters of each line, I’d like you to write a poem that reproduces a phrase with the first words of each line.”

I’ve chosen a line from Aesop’s Fable, the Bee-Keeper and the Bees: Things are not always what they seem.

Image from Pixabay.com

Choices

I choose flat dress shoes instead of stiletto heels.
My balance isn’t what it used to be.
I choose a romance novel or best seller.
Headlines raise my blood pressure
and I don’t want to take another pill.
I choose strolling the well-worn path.
Young people can push the boulders up hill.
I choose biting into a blushing velvet peach,
sectioning an orange takes too long.
I choose creating my own sunshine
on a cloudy rainy day.
I choose to be me.
My age, right here, right now,
with you by my side.

Written for Tuesday Poetics at dVerse, the virtual pub for poets where today Sarah asks us to consider anaphora: a rhetorical device that consists of repeating a sequence of words at the beginnings of neighboring clauses, thereby lending emphasis. She gives us a list of verbs to choose from for the word we’d like to repeat. I selected the word choose.

Also posted, off prompt, to NAPOWRIMO, Day 5.

Photo from Pixabay.com

Haiku to ponder

The second half of joy is shorter than the first.
Emily Dickinson

everyday a gift
wildflowers along the road –
snow falls silently

Written for the NAPOWRIMO prompt given the day before National Poetry Writing Month begins. We are to respond to one of Emily Dickinson’s lines of poetry. Several are provided or we may choose our own.

Also will appear at dVerse, the virtual pub for poets around the globe. Today is OLN: Open Link Night. Ingrid is hosting and we may post any one poem of our choosing. Pub opens at 3 PM Boston time.

NAPOWRIMO begins officially tomorrow. April is National Poetry Writing Month and the challenge is to write a poem every day of the month.

Photo is from our trip to Ireland a number of years ago.

Birds of a Feather . . .

She adored attending church,
not to finger her rosary beads
or murmur prayers upon her knees,
but to wear her finest hats for all to see.
Purposely arriving late
she strutted down the aisle
showing off her plumage,
much like the Tall Crowned Crane
and the Secretary Bird
she visited often at the Diego Zoo.

We’re trying on hats today at dVerse, the virtual pub for poets around the globe.
First two photos are from the San Diego Zoo: first is the Tall Crowned Crane and second is a Secretary Bird. That old bird in the third photograph is me some years back. I always say, if you’re going to wear a hat, wear a HAT!
Poem is fictional….I’m not Catholic, don’t use a rosary, and certainly don’t strut in church.

Childhood Memories

“He went to sea in a thimble of poetry.” Poet Warning, Jim Harrison


Wynken, Blyken and Nod
my childhood friends,
lived in the well-turned pages
of mother’s Child Craft book of poetry.
Their neighbors always made me smile,
the Old Lady who lived in the shoe,
Miss Muffet sitting primly on her tuffet
and that merry Old King Cole too.

I often dreamed of that crazy cow
jumping over the moon,
prancing round the stars.
I lived in my imagination
where no one yelled at anyone,
hugging my yellow sort-of-teddy-bear
smeared with mother’s lipstick
so it always smiled at me.

Those dog-eared pages,
oh how I loved them.
When mama read to me,
all was good and calm and fun.

Linda is hosting Tuesday Poetics at dVerse, the virtual pub for poets around the globe. She introduces us to Jim Harrison (December 11, 1937 – March 26, 2016), an American poet, novelist, and essayist, and provides us with a number of lines from his works. We are to choose one line and use it as an epigraph at the beginning of our poem. An epigraph is a short quotation at the beginning of a book or chapter (in this case, a poem), intended to suggest its theme.

I still have two of the Childcraft volumes published in 1949, including the Childcraft Poems of Early Childhood. I loved these poems as a child and then read them to my children and my grandchildren too. Photo is from the book.

For the Love of Sound

The only job she could land
landed her in an out-of-the-way town.
She’d cajoled and connived her way
to a choir of four.
Refusing to admit defeat,
she would not
call them a quartet.

David, eyes cast down interminably,
droned a background hum
for whatever tune was sung.
Delilah, the defiant one.
Deliberately off-pitch to shine,
spotlight stolen by default.
Dissonant in life as well.

Miriam, the honey-blonde.
Sensuous red lips
licked and dewed before each word,
mouthed dulcet tones too late.
Behind in every measure,
she flashed her thigh for all to see
beneath unbuttoned robe.

And Carl, the rapper.
Lordy, what a snazzy guy.
Snapped his fingers
while chanting words.
Smelled of weed with eyes glazed,
unwilling to shed
his percussive beat.

She smiled and waved her baton,
directing the motley crew.
Sweat dribbled down her chest
to that delicate spot
between her ample breasts.
Music is as music does,
always music to her ear.

She’d defied the warnings,
music her one true love.
So here she stood,
tone deaf and proud.
Her quartet, after all,
was magnificently loud.

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

Today, Laura asks us to write a “sound poem” choosing one word from five lists she provides. She also points us toward Hart’s Thesaurus of the Senses, a valuable resource for poets. Laura, I ordered a copy yesterday. The words I used (or forms of the word) were drone, dissonant, dulcet, dribble, and chant. I also added a fifth word from the list, honey. Truly had fun with this prompt. Thank you, Laura! Pub opens at 3 PM Boston time. Come join us!

PS: dedicated with humor to my daughter and son, both of whom direct a chorus and/or choir; and son-in-law, who composes choral music.

Image from A Scrub’s Life, February 1, 2017: “Sometimes We Can Be A Little Tone Deaf”

Some days I want to . . .

. . . put on roller skates and
careen down the esplanade
along the Charles River.
Grinning, looking straight ahead.
Faster, faster, and faster still.
Wind blowing back my hair,
tearing my eyes
until the real world blurs
and I am flying
with wheels as my wings.

Written for Quadrille Monday at dVerse, the vitual pub for poets around the globe. I’m hosting today, asking folks to use the word “careen” within their poem of exactly 44 words, sans title.

The esplanade is a wonderful green space in Boston that in part, runs along the Charles River. It has a very long walking/bicycling/rollerskating path along the river itself and is only about 2 city blocks from where we live. It goes for miles and we often take walks there. For those of you who watch the Boston Pops 4th of July concert on television, the hatch where they perform is on the esplanade itself, just off the river. Photo from Pixabay.com

Which Reflection?

I seldom use it –
the full-length mirror.
When I do, it makes me wonder,
who is that person?

I’ve had fun with crepe paper.
That weird webbing you could stretch.
Make it wider and longer.
Hung it all over the family room
for many a birthday party.
So I have crepe skin on my arms.
Okay, be honest. In other places too.
I understand the term’s origins.

How did my mother climb into that frame?
Save your clucking tongue,
your “you haven’t changed a bit” comments.
I prefer to see my value in other ways.
In my husband’s eyes.
In my daughter’s forty-seven year old smile.
In my forty-five year old son’s weekly calls.
In the tik toks and quick texts shared with five grandkids.

I’ll wear capri pants, sleeveless tops,
sparkly eye shadow below my thinning brows.
I love my almost pure white streak
in the midst of my grey hair.
Save your tears for somebody else.
I’m quite content to be a septuagenarian.
The mirror be damned!

Today I’m hosting Tuesday Poetics at dVerse, the virtual pub for poets around the globe. I’ve asked folks to go to the website https://mybirthdayhits.com and plug in their birth date. The site then gives you the musical hit that made #1 on the charts for every birthday you’ve celebrated until 2021. So for example, if your birthday is today, September 28th and you were born in 1952, you plug in that date and the site will give you the #1 hit for every year on September 28th from 1952 until 2021! AND the site gives you a recording you can listen to as well. Such fun! So the prompt today is to take at least one of the #1 hits from your birthdate and include the song title, word for word, in your poem. You can use more than one #1 hit if you wish.
My birthday is May 13th: In 2007, my 60th birthday, the #1 hit was Makes Me Wonder by Maroon 5; in 2021, for my 74th birthday, the #1 hit was Save Your Tears by The Weeknd. You’ll find those titles in my poem today.