Hope on the Horizon

In the darkness before dawn
we await so much.
Equality, justice,
civility, health.

I feel the arms of hope
reach out to comfort us.
Envelop our earth’s girth,
wrap ‘round this country’s soul.

In the darkness before dawn
we know in our hearts
the sun always perseveres.
It rises phoenix-like,

breaks through tumultuous clouds
strikes down darkness
and births a new day.

Photo: a recent dawn in our beloved Provincetown.

Awakening of a Septuagenarian

I am a product of white privilege.
I hula-hooped and pogo-sticked through youth
scholarshipped through college on the debate team
married, bought a house, and had two children.
We had two dogs who roamed our big back yard.
a vegetable garden and raspberry bushes.
Our kids had good friends, played board games
took music lessons, learned to drive,
went to high school swing choir competitions.
They went to college, married,
bought a house, and had kids
who took music lessons and walked to school.
None of us had the proverbial picket fence,
but sure seemed we had everything else.
I had no idea there was a Green Book.

At seventy-three, I am appalled, frightened,
and petrified for this country.
I applaud all who take a knee
and decry the knee that pressed,
without mercy, on George Floyd’s neck –
8 minutes and 15 seconds of deliberate hell.
I decry the lack of justice for Breonna Taylor.
I decry the narcissistic occupant
whose utter disregard for science,
truth, the environment, the letter of the law,
sacrifices made by our armed forces,
has decimated the moral fiber of this country,
left us with 200,000 lives lost to Covid.
And the number grows.
Yet people follow this self-centered prat,
gather in enclosed spaces
no masks, no social distance,
cheer on this person
masquerading as our president.
The occupant who doesn’t give a rip about them ~
except to keep him in power.
I write, I speak, I donate to senate contests,
and I WILL VOTE.
I maintain hope in the good.
That is my protest.

Written for dVerse, the virtual pub for poets around the globe, where today Grace asks us to consider protest poetry.

Always with us . . .

are the sun,
the moon, the sky
and the stars.

Sometimes harder to see
are filaments of joy.
They always hover near.

If we open our hearts
look up, look about,
we will find them.

As this morning dawns
and hope rises,
let us seek at least one.

Let us live today
with the incandescence of joy.

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Previously posted and then shared on OLN at dVerse where Mish is hosting today.
Photo: dawn in Provincetown, 2019.

Catharsis 1906

Ship of dreamers
homeland left behind.
We cross vast seas,
anxiety churned by pitching waves.

Land nears.
Hope rekindled,
we stand tall,
crane to see her torch.

Hands clasped, excitement peaks.
Grinning widely we circle round,
dance exuberantly
as she comes into view.

We are joyful Swedes,
ready to begin anew.

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Brian Miller, founder of dVerse, helps us celebrate the pub’s 8th anniversary today by providing the prompt. He wants us to capture a moment in our poem, reminding us that moments come with a context. The happenings before and after the moment. Today I write motivated by a Hallberg family photo, taken in 1906, at the moment Hjalmer Hallberg and friends saw the Statue of Liberty, when coming to this country from Sweden. I write in the first person, trying to imagine this moment.

In these times . . .

dark clouds gather,
humidity thickens.
Thunder mumbles, then roars
lightning rips through skies.

Slip inside for thine own relief
breathe in thine own security.
Or gather outside ‘neath city lights
take hands in solidarity.

Pray together for soothing rains
to ease this land’s parched soul.
Then work together that all may live
without the threat of storms.

Written for dVerse, the virtual pub for poets, combining yesterday’s prompt word “slip” and today’s prompt to write a poem that related to rain.

I See Now

It must be the masks.
Most people wear one now.
Not to avoid recognition
while performing some illegal act
like robbery or kidnapping.
Rather to avoid being robbed
or being kidnapped
by Covid-19.

I used to walk down streets
see people but not see them,
hear sounds but not listen to them.
Intent on getting to work
or the store
or the whatever.
I plowed on, looking straight ahead.
No mask. No gloves.

I could have stopped to listen,
hear the blue jay in a nearby tree.
Cracked a smile at passersby.
But I didn’t.
I just plowed ahead
to get to that place,
to that thing I was scheduled to do.
No mask. Just oblivious.

Today I walked to feel fresh air.
Gloved, masked, gasping a bit.
Breathing through a piece of cloth
rubber-banded behind my ears,
only my eyes exposed.
I have nowhere special to go
but I crave being outside.
I need to see people. . .

. . . but not coming too close to me.
In their masks. Worse yet, without them.
I gesture SINGLE FILE
as they come toward me.
I listen for footsteps from behind.
Could be someone coming too close.
Round-trip walk from home,
I decide to stop on the bridge.

Leaning over I take a long look.
See a scene I’ve seen so many times
but not really seen.
Trees along the Charles River.
Water rippling from geese swimming.
And then I see her.
Mama goose upon her nest
staring warily at me.

She moves a bit and hisses.
I see new meaning to an old phrase,
one overused today. Shelter in place.
Cracked eggs beside her,
feathers in her beak,
she shifts her body and just for a moment
I see tiny wriggling masses of yellow
trying to escape from beneath her .

Does my mask make me the interloper?
And still I stare and listen and watch.
It must be these masks affecting me.
Seeing what has always been there,
season after season.
People and nature along my way.
I notice the mundane more
and finally I understand.

It never really was mundane.

April 28 in National Poetry Writing Month where the challenge is to write at least one poem per day. This is my second for today.

This one is written for Toads where we are to choose a quotation or an impression from Harper Lee’s To Kill A Mockingbird as the motivation for our poem. I’ve chosen the quotation “People generally see what they look for, and hear what they listen for.”

Video is from our walk this morning. 

You may want to see my other poem, written for dVerse today. It will take you to the Norwegian fjords!

Metamorphosis-19

We emerged from our cocoons,
beautifully.
Heard laughter again
marveled at smiles
touched outstretched hands
reveled in freedom.
And our spirits soared.

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Day 9: National Poetry Month where the challenge is to write a poem every day in April.

Written for the prompt at Toads We are to use one of the scientific illustrations by Maria Sibylla Merian, artist and naturalist, to motivate our poem. Merian traveled to Suriname in South America in 1699. The trip was sponsored by the city of Amsterdam. Remarkably for the time, Maria traveled with her young daughter, but with no male companion.  In 1705, she published a book about the insect life of Suriname, Metamorphosis Insectorum Surinamensium.  Maria Sibylla Merian was one of the first naturalists to draw insects from direct study. The poem is also written for dVerse, the virtual pub for poets, where today Frank asks us to write a 7 line poem. No other content or form restrictions. Pub opens at 3 PM Boston time. Come join us!

And to all my readers, stay safe and stay healthy!

April Fool? Not I.

Follow a meditative path
out of stress, anxiety, and fear.
Open your heart to blessings,
lean into possibilities.
Serenity is after all, ours to achieve.

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It’s National Poetry Month and across the globe, people will take up the challenge to write one poem every day in the month of April. NAPOWRIMO challenges us to write a self portrait about an action that is a part of who we are. Imaginary Garden with Real Toads gives us the word “fool” as a prompt, since it is April 1.

Thus I’ve written an acrostic poem (first letter of each line spells FOOL) about meditation, which I find particularly helpful in these challenging times. Every morning I am on the yoga mat: meditation, stretches – all to wonderful calming Zen-like music. It is a quieting space I deliberately enter into and treasure. It centers me for the day.

Photo taken last summer in Provincetown, Cape Cod.