Derecho

Curtain billows in wind.
Candlelight flickers,
flame shivers, dips,
almost snuffed out.
Metaphorical
for our predicament,
but a gentler scene.

Healthcare systems threatened.
Tsunami of violence,
hatred, inequities.
We cup our hands
around the flame of hope,
trying to protect it
through these storms.

It’s Quadrille Monday at dVerse, the virtual pub for poets around the globe. Today we’re to include the word “shiver” or a form of the word (not a synonym) in our poem of exactly 44 words, sans title. Pub opens at 3 PM, Boston time. Come join us!

* A derecho is a wide-spread, long lived, dangerous windstorm.

Ode to Life

What spirits roam this earth?
Moon gods no longer constant
fatigued by cloud-strung battles,
wax and wane their beams.
Seasons test the sun,
warmth succumbs to winter gales.

Spirits gone these many years
hover o’er our heads.
Their whispers ride the winds.
Arise my children, each day sublime,
whether warm or cold or dark or light,
reach out, touch hands, and dance.

Smile hope upon your neighbors
be they far or near.
Smile hope upon your loved ones
be they on earth,
or in the heavenly sphere.
All gaze upon the same bright stars.

Love this day together, my children,
for I am with you as they are too.
Greet each day sublime,
hearts flush with gratitude, no fear.
Listen for their whispers
they are always there to hear.

Image by freepik.com

Sunday, December 12, 2021

Every time I see them
it creates an image in the present
which in seconds or hours
or a day or years,
depending on recall,
is always in my past.

We gathered to honor the matriarch.
From Texas, Illinois, California, Wisconsin,
Minnesota, North and South Carolina,
Massachusetts, Tennessee, and Virginia too.

She was the rock, the foundation.
Granddaughter of Swedish immigrants,
upholding the traditions.
Her life, lived for so many.

A career in nursing, a ministry of sorts.
She offered healing to the afflicted.
From surgical assistance to the elderly’s pains,
to the scrapes of school-age youth.

She taught her children compassion.
Lessons passed on to grandchildren
and their children. To nieces,
extended family, friends and neighbors too.

She faced the depths of loss and pain,
courageous and resilient.
Sustained by faith in God and love of life,
she taught us even through her death.

Family gathered to pray, to sing,
to share a meal. Tears and smiles comingled.
Yesterday’s emotional today,
so filled with love and caring support.
That is the essence of this family,
what we share and treasure most.

Those moments of yesterday’s today,
far too quickly in our past.
But still they give us hope and strength,
to face all of our coming tomorrows.

Written in memory of Janice Stewart. The family gathered on Saturday, December 11th at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in Wheaton, Illinois to celebrate her life. She will be missed by so many.

PHOTOS:
Hjalmer Hallberg immigrated from Sweden. He and his wife, Anna, settled in Chicago, Illinois. The photo on the left shows their five grandchildren. From left to right: George Hallberg, Nancy Jahnke, Lynne Gehrke, Janice Stewart, Donald Hallberg. Neil Netherton, Nancy’s brother, passed away many years ago. He was Hjalmer and Anna’s sixth grandchild. The second photo was taken immediately following the celebration of Janice’s life at St. Paul’s Church on Saturday, December 11th.

Third Time’s not the Charm

Working in the kitchen, she ruminated on the unfairness of it all. Three times passed over. For men with less experience! She propped open the instructions for how to shuck oysters. Get oriented with your oyster; nestle it in a towel. Really???? What idiot wrote this? She stabbed the knife tip into the hinge. What a jerk she was for staying. Rotate the knife blade and separate the top shell from the bottom. She dug in the knife. Twisted it. “Are you upset?” he’d asked. Stupid dull blade! The oyster shell blurred. I do not weep at the world – I am too busy sharpening my oyster knife into your gut. Oh how I wish you were nestled in this towel right now! She slammed the shell down on the counter in disgust. I’m done. She picked up the phone and dialed his private line.

Written for Prosery Monday at dVerse, the virtual pub for poets where today Lisa introduces us to the writer Zora Neale Hurston. We are to write a piece of prose that can be no longer than 144 words, sans title, and must include the line I do not weep at the world – I am too busy sharpening my oyster knife from Hurston’s “How Does it Feel to be Colored Me” in World Tomorrow (1928). Image cropped from a photo at Pixabay.com.

In the midst of rain

I sit in the early morning
near rain dappled leaves,
contemplating . . .

Even in the midst of showers
or thunder storms,
the sun shines.

It is simply obscured by clouds . . .
but it will reappear.

Video taken last week at our family reunion in Warrenton, VA …. from the porch of our rented farmhouse.

Bridges

She crossed a bridge with the utmost faith
knowing her husband, gone so long,
and her Lord would be on the other side.
We who wait in this waystation
bid her farewell and rest
and we move on as we must.

Sometimes a bridge is like a catapult,
a sudden bolt from here to there.
Others seem miles long
as we cross treacherous waters,
painful steps, unsure of where they lead,
straining to make the span longer still.

I stand outside tonight,
staring at the stars above our universe.
I wonder and I hope.
Peace and unconditional love
must surely have met you
as you knew it would,
when you crossed over to the other side.

Written for dVerse, the virtual pub for poets. Today, Merril talks about bridges and asks us to either write a poem in a particular form, or to somehow write about bridges. This poem is dedicated to my sister-in-law Starr. We lost her on April 10th. She and I were planning on my visiting in July….it was not to be. I shall miss her. I do miss her.

Please . . .

bother me with sunlight today,
streaming through windows
this crisp cool day.
Bother me with good news,
happiness smiles
and a baby’s grin.
Bother me with a romantic tale
full of daffodil cups,
a good merlot
and love tendered kisses.
Please, do bother me!

Written for Quadrille Monday at dVerse, the virtual pub for poets around the globe. Today De hosts, asking us to use the word “bother” or a form of the word in our poem of exactly 44 words, sans title. Pub opens at 3:00 PM Boston time – come imbibe some words with us!
Also posted at Day 19 NaPoWriMo.
April is National Poetry Writing Month and the challenge is to write a poem every day of the month.

Lunar Assurance

Moon sliver
slice of shimmer
always brings a promise.
Full moon’s glory will come
then shall begin to ebb
but never be lost.
Moon sliver
slice of shimmer
always brings a promise.
Full moon’s glory will come
and so it shall continue
as we’ve seen and
and those will
see after
us.

Written for NaPoWriMo Day 17 where the prompt is to write a poem about or related to the moon.
April is National Poetry Month and NaPoWriMo challenges us to write a poem every day of the month.

Blossom Me

Sunny daffodils, wave your ruffled heads.
Delicate cherry blossoms loosed by spring breeze,
softly, silently, rain pink petals upon all below.
Candy-cane red and white tulips stand tall
beside double-layered pinks and yellows.
Soon bleeding hearts will dangle gently
over sweetly petite lilies of the valley.
And lanes will burst forth with lilac blooms,
myriad shades of purple perfuming the air.
Bedazzle me, Mother Nature.
I am so ready for your greening,
most especially
after this long reclusive year!

Written for Open Link Night at dVerse, the virtual pub for poets around the globe. Today we go LIVE at 3 PM Boston time and folks have the opportunity to visit, put faces and voices with author’s names and read aloud if they wish. Come join us! Link is on the dVerse site, at 3 PM Boston time.

Also posted at Day 15 NaPoWriMo.

Photos all taken around our building here in Boston, at the Public Gardens and at the Harvard Arboretum….in past years. Spring is still trying to green this year!