Remove Thy Blinders

And still they hide
behind partisan masks,
minus apertures.

Occupant in driver’s seat
tantrum spittle spews.
White-knuckled, weaves erratically
beyond civility, decency, decorum.
Down-shifts –
crash-dummy hurtling forth.

Redefines killing fields
beyond ecology to necrology.
In cages, beside borders,
ours and those across the seas.
Still they hide behind partisan blinders,
apertures seamed resolutely shut.

Let slip the masks this hallow’s eve.
Rein in with blistered palms
what thou hast unleashed.
Your children’s children shall ask,
innocent heads tilted up to you,
eyes wide open in disbelief,

How could you?

I beg you,
transpose the occupant’s childlike words below
as theirs to you this night:

“History will look upon you favorably if you get this done the right and humane way. It will look upon you forever as the devil if good things don’t happen. Don’t be a tough guy. Don’t be a fool! I will call you later.”

Aye, your children’s children shall call to you,
standing upon your grave.
How could you not let slip your mask,
apertures torn asunder?
How could you not act then,
call foul that which ruled the land,
thinking of them and theirs to come.

Written for dVerse’s Open Link night where I’m hosting tonight. This virtual pub for poets hosts prompts on Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays. Open Link night means folks can post any poem of their choosing — no prompt, no specific form or length. Pub opens at 3 PM Boston time. Come join us!
Quotation from Donald Trump’s letter to the President of Turkey, dated October 9, 2019: authenticity confirmed by White House.  Photo from Pixabay.com

Surround Sound

24/7 cycle news.
Despicable words
spewed from bully pulpits
met by rabid voices
raised to group-think.

24/7 cycle news.
Despicable acts,
violence stacked on violence.
Horrific acts
met by thoughts and prayers.

Put my mind at ease.
Find my quiet space.
Is now the time?
Accept teleprompter words
and be tomorrow like yesterday?

Where is the movement?
The push and shove
and marching and . . .
what?
Where is our energy . . .

to demand better?
To say enough is enough
and mean it,
do it,
live it.

Reckoning.
Power is born
when one joins one
joins one joins one
becomes many.

In this litany of hate
of otherism,
I shall seek a way
to make a difference.
Demand a difference.

I shall . . .
step out of my safe space.
Beginning here,
on this page,
because . . .

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Written for Tuesday Poetics at dVerse, the virtual pub for poets. Today Linda asks us to “think about things you do to put your mind at peace: pray, meditate, write, etc. Given the state of this country today, I just couldn’t go there . . . I can’t get there. Pub opens at 3 PM Boston time.

Ode to the Lost

1972 . . .
High school field trip chaperone
battered yellow school bus,
ear plugs needed.
Kids chatter
shout across aisles.
Loud and louder voices join,
belt out singing, grins on faces

bye bye Miss American Pie
drove my Chevy to the levee
but the levee was dry
and them good old boys
were drinking whiskey ‘n rye
singing “This ‘ll be the day that I die
This’ll be the day that I die.”

2019 . . . 11 AM
High school field trip chaperone
battered yellow school bus,
kids plugged in.
Heads down, thumbs fly.
Some lips move
no sounds heard.
Eye contact? There is none.

2019 . . . 5 PM
Commuter rail, going home.
Same scene,
different place.
Heads down, thumbs fly.
Some lips move,
no sounds heard.
Faces never seen.

Don McLean’s American Pie
turned sardine humanity,
schooling no more.

fish-406564_1920

I’m hosting OLN today at dVerse, the virtual pub for poets. Folks can post one poem of their choice – no particular form, length or topic. By the way, “schooling” is a very social behavior of fish. It requires coordinated body positions and synchronized movements. And for those of you not familiar with the song American Pie, click below for a listen – topped the Billboard charts in 1972. Photo from pixaby.com  Pub opens at 3 PM Boston time. Come join us!

for far too many . . .

Brown girl dreaming,
tattered ribbons woven
through dark tresses.
She walks in beauty
always plodding upstream,
seeking answers to secrets
from the center of the world.

Oh, to make a joyful noise
that all might hear in high fidelity.
Shout love triumphs hate.
One hundred white daffodils
strewn upon blood soaked streets
could turn a pinkish hue.
Become peace roses beneath our feet.

Oh for those inalienable rights
to be shared amongst us all.
Beyond the hour of land divided,
us and them transformed to we.
To prosper, pain free,
beyond this faithful and virtuous night
into and during every living day.

Or was that Declaration,
that torch held high
to those across the seas . . .
were those just words and symbols?
The happiness project
never intended to be shared,
never meant to be?

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August 9th is National Book Lovers Day and National Hand Holding Day, International Day of the Word’s Indigenous People, National Rice Pudding Day, and National Polka Day! It’s also OLN (Open Link Night) at dVerse, the virtual pub for poets. Folks can post one poem of their choosing – any form, any topic. 

In honor of National Book Lovers Day, I’ve posted a “book spine” poem written with book titles, all from the bookshelf on my desk. Reread the poem, and you’ll find these titles, in this order:

brown girl dreaming
by Jacqueline Woodson

Ribbons – Spring/Summer 2017: Vol. 13, No. 2 (Tanka Society publication)
she walks in beauty (A Woman’s Journey Through Poems)  by Caroline Kennedy
Upstream by Mary Oliver
Secrets from the Center of the World by Joy Harjo and Stephen Strom
Joyful Noise (Poems for Two Voices) by Paul Fleischman
High Fidelity by Nick Hornby
A Hundred White Daffodils by Jane Kenyon
The Hour of Land by Terry Tempest Williams
Pain Free by Pete Egoscue
Faithful and Virtuous Night by Louise Gluck
The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin

What is that? And where has it gone?

Mr. Rogers . . .
putting on his sweater.
Not Angry Birds.

Pen Pals . . .

Waiting . . .
for book three,
Harry Potter
and the
Prisoner of Azkaban.
Not a Netflix binge.

Family vacation . . .
road trip
with I Spy
and
the license plate game.

So . . .
tell me.
How are you,
really?

To listen . . .
leave space . . .
to wait . . .
slow down . . .
to appreciate time.

To think . . .
before we blurt.

A skill.
A common sense attribute,
I fear is becoming a lost art.
Patience.

letter-1077860_1280It’s Tuesday Poetics at dVerse, the virtual pub for poets. Today Jill asks us to consider unseen things, reminding us that only about 5% of the universe is visible matter. Patience is something you cannot hold in your hand.

A Cry for Peace

On a typical hot, humid summer day in Washington DC, we visited the National Air and Space Museum.  A favorite tourist stop for young families, there were many squeals of delight and loads of loud chatter around the space capsules and astronaut exhibits. Parents eagerly read placards aloud and answered their children’s questions.

And then we saw the Enola Gay.  Why does that old plane have that name? Because the pilot, Colonel Paul Tibbets, named it after his mother. Why is it here? Is it famous? How do you answer those questions from a four year old who has no idea where Hiroshima is, what it signifies, and stumbles to even pronounce the word?

decomposing raven
lies outside rotting in snow –
infant wails for breast

Col_Paul_W._Tibbets_before_takeoff_6_August_1945

Frank Tassone hosts Haibun Monday at dVerse, the virtual pub for poets. He reminds us that today is Hiroshima Day 2018. It will be marked by the annual Peace Memorial Ceremony where approximately 50,000 local citizens and visitors, as well as ambassadors and dignitaries from around 70 countries, will] gather in Hiroshima to console the spirits of those killed by the atomic bomb and also to pray for lasting world peace. Our haibun should somehow deal with this theme.

Haibun: Two tight paragraphs of prose, must be true, cannot be fiction; followed by a haiku. I’ve chosen to write a traditional haiku: three lines: 5-7-5 or short-long-short in syllabic form; about nature; includes a Kigo (reference to a season) and a Kireji (a cut achieved by a hyphen, ellipsis, or punctuation mark, that shifts to an added insight within the haiku). 

Photo: Colonel Paul Tibbets before take-off on August 6, 1945. Taken by US Air Force employee (unnamed) – https://www.archives.gov/research/ww2/photos/ photo #162, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=9162980

Allegory

Standing midst the city bustle
carousel with children chortling
dark-suited briefcase clutchers
people-ears attached to cells
city buses garbed in gaudy ads
taxis weaving, hotly honking
rushing quick-stepping humanity
standing midst the city bustle.

Standing midst the city bustle
lone curbside flower bed
stems bedraggled, drooping heads
once gaily bright and newly sprouted
dulled by daily apathy
straw-color shrivel, stripped to shreds
barely living, shadowed existence
dying midst the city hustle.

NaPoWriMo Day 4. Prompt is to realize the importance of description in poetry. It’s all in the details, hence, no photo today
April: National Poetry Writing Month, a poem a day til the month of May.

Want Ad

Needed
super heroes
the twenty-four-seven variety.
Requires
kindness, empathy,
a listening ear,
open heart and mind.
Willingness to wear another’s shoes.
Must self-identify with humanity
not gender, race,
ethnicity, education,
or place of origin.
We need you,
now.

I’m hosting dVerse today and asking folks to think about the words “super hero” and “super power(s)” and write a poem that is somehow related to or motivated by those words. The words themselves may or may not be in the poem. Pub opens at 3 PM Boston time. Come on over to read some super posts!

The Cat and the Elephant

Tis not the end of the world, my friend.
Nine lives I have
and don’t you see?
I’ve really only been through three.

Tsk, tsk, so you say.
These tusks did push us off the land
but sails they’re not,
without the wind.

Then I shall cat-call to the moon,
plead to lunar-up a breeze.
But you so heavy at the knees,
we’ll still be deadweight in the seas.

Your kitty croons, so pitiful and small,
my BAALOOs shall loudly do the trick.
I’ll proudly call up mighty Orca
and she will surely solve our plight.

—–

Suddenly their boat was perched
atop a dorsal fin
as waves did froth and start to spin,
and winds did help them soar. . .

beyond the land of different,
one so big and one so wee.
She looked up and he looked out
to navigate the troubled seas.

————

Readers heed this little tale
as you doth scan my words.
An elephant and a cat at sea,
sealed their fate successfully.

He did this and she did that
with moon and stars
and wind and whales.
Absolutely no buts allowed.

And thus they sailed,
the elephant and the cat,
into a new and verdant land ~
designed to house the everyone and all.

Silent-Night-Catrin-Welz-Stein-Acrylic-Glass-Print

This is my second post for dVerse today, the virtual pub for poets, where I’m hosting and asking folks to choose one of four images from talented artist Catrin Welz-Stein.

The first post, with another image, is Primitive Folk Tale.

Some fabulous poems have been posted using Catrin’s images. Thank you again, Catrin, for letting us be inspired by your artwork!