Birthday Celebration

The room had a sour smell,
filled with canes, walkers
tv guides, checkerboard games,
and the people that accompany them
in a place like this.

He sat up tall, expectantly,
waiting for that age-old song
from the high-pitched warblers
hunched over the tinny piano
pulled out for occasions like this.

Balloons hovered overhead.
Candles dripped life-time moments
onto fondant flowers.
He patiently held a paper plate,
too thin for the thick slab he desired.

And so I asked the centenarian
for the secret of his longevity.
Well sonny, I always say,
close your eyes to dream.
Just make sure you open them wide
to watch where you step.

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Posted for Tuesday Poetics at dVerse, the virtual pub for poets, where Walt asks us to write a celebratory poem or one that uses the word “celebrate.” This is actually one of my first poems, a character study, reworked for this prompt.

Dance with Me

Hand in hand, we explored the ports of call: Cartagena, Puntarenas, Puerto Quetzal, Puerta Vallarta, Cabo San Lucas. The cruise of a life-time through the Panama Canal in its 100th anniversary year.

We extended our trip by two days in the final port, San Diego. Our last dinner began at dusk and ended in the dark. Sitting in a pedicab with tiny white lights round its surrey, we wended our way down the esplanade, beside city trolley tracks. Music from the driver’s battered boom box played romantic songs. And then my husband’s voice surprised me: An extra twenty bucks if you play The Time of My Life! And so the surrey stopped and we danced in the night. One year after almost losing the love of my life, I was dipping, swaying, laughing and twirling in his arms. Two lovers having the time of their lives. Thankful for every day.

ebony still night
interrupted by joyful shimmer
two shooting stars

Written for Haibun Monday at dVerse where we’re asked to write about a romantic moment. Prose should not be fiction (it’s not), followed by a traditional haiku (nature based with a cutting pivot in the second line). Video was taken by our driver – you can see the train/trolley go by near the end.  Photo below is earlier that day, The Kiss — statue of the famous photo taken at the close of World War II.  That’s us at the bottom of the statue 🙂  Statue is near the USS Midway — which you can tour in San Diego.

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Joie de Vivre

Effervescent, she shook up life
until it bubbled delicious.
Wore glitter star barrettes
high-kicking through life
like a sequined Rockette.

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Bjorn is tending the bar today at dVerse and asks us to write a Twitter poem:
exactly 140 characters. A character is defined as a letter, space, hyphen, or punctuation mark.
Yep, that’s me. About 10 years ago, celebrating with the Boston Pops on the 4th of July on the esplanade. This shot made the jumbotron that night! I always wanted to be a 
Rockette! 🙂

 

Finding Me

My job surprised me. I was a person I thought I was not. Travelling the world alone, meeting with corporate VIPs like I knew their business. Their eyes looked for someone else when they entered the room. And they found just me. India, Morocco, Germany, China, Thailand. And just me.

In Brazil, on a rare no-appointment day, I took a flying leap. Quite literally.

Strapped to a stranger, we took five running steps to the mountain’s edge and I was hang gliding. He started to talk. Point out landmarks below. Shhhh. Please, no. Silent exhilaration as we drifted through rays of sun. Slow banks turned me to a spiritual place: empowered, thankful, proud. I am doing this. Feet touched earth after ten minutes of solitude strapped to a man I knew not. And during that time, a lifetime of time, I became a new me.

Breeze flows midst rays of sun
clouds drift through golden shimmer
let go, let God, and soar.

Haibun written for dVerse Poets’ Pub, Open Link Night. Poets may post a poem of their choice. Photos: yep – that’s me.

Merry Me Not

Carnival merry-go-rounds go
round and round and up and down.
My knot-so-merry-tummy goes
round and round and up
and down and urp [sic] it goes,
paint me calliope green.

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Written for dVerse Tuesday Poetics where CC is tending bar. The topic of conversation is “even monkeys fall from trees.”  CC asks us to write about mistakes we’ve made – can be humorous or serious. Well, I learned the hard way — I never ride on merry-go-rounds! Photo credit: Richard Styles

Festival

The sky is aglow this morn.
Floating quilt of primary colors
myriad shapes and sizes
blankets the bright blue overhead.

Row by row, baskets peopled
by those akin with adventure
fires stoked, ropes cut, they rise
to gas gusting sounds and cheers.

And we are left behind
we who stood the ground
arid browns and taupes,
dry earth and tumble weeds.

Thermos empty, dusty mouth
a vague sense of wish-I-was-there
mind dulled with lack of sleep
I crane my neck again

and wonder,
why am I here
and they are out there
soaring with their dreams.

2001-Albuquerque-International-Balloon-Fiesta-02

Written for Tuesday Poetics at dVerse, hosted by Mish. She asks us to write a poem related to the Southwest — and she has strong ties to New Mexico. A number of years ago I was in Albuquerque, New Mexico for the hot air balloon festival. I went out before dawn and helped folks with their balloons, readying them for flight. Watched as wave after wave of balloons fired up and lifted into the sky. An amazing sight indeed.

Wannabe

I am not Sarah Elizabeth!
Call me Izzie, please.
I hate these tedious tatting lessons.
My dresses always have dark dots in the lace
and my finger tips feel like pin cushions.
Thimbles are the silliest things
impossible to maneuver.
I’d rather be a Samuel.
Sammy in knickers and suspenders
rolling a hoop and playing catch.
And my chest.
I’m soon to be found out.
And mother shall issue those dreaded words,
“It’s corset time.”
I’d rather hang from the rafters,
ride bareback and swig spirits
than be straight laced
wearing one of those things.
I hate being a girl!

mary-shipman1

Word Count: 100   Written for Rochelle Wisoff- Fields’  Friday Fictioneers — prompt photo appears on Wednesday and posts can be early. Apologies to the purists as I “arranged” my lines in more poetic form today. It is after all, NaPoWriMo (national poetry writing month). Photo Credit: Mary Shipman

In Response to Mary Oliver [2]

most of the world is time
when we’re not here,
not born yet, or died –

I am infinitesimally small.

Those who knew me at birth
cared for me, walked with me,
left this earth too soon by my count,
melded into the universe.

The sun however,
still shines upon me
although days are shorter
and final miles fewer.

At my back,
the sun projects my future,
step by step in front of me
a syncopated seer.

Shadowed possibilities
become realities,
one foot forward
into the new.

In front of me
she warms my face
till glances backward
see my past,

following me,
stepping where I was
but a moment before,
a speck of time

a dab of humanistic paint
upon a pointillist canvas,
soon to intersect
with those before my time.

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Written for dVerse Tuesday Poetics. We are to respond to a poet in dVerse, or a poet of our choice. We may or may not use an actual line from their poem. The first line here is from Hummingbird Pauses at the Trumpet Vine by Mary Oliver. In Response to Mary Oliver [2]  is two because when I started writing poetry in February 2015, my first attempt was a response to another poem by Mary Oliver — rewritten in January 2016. I enjoy her writing — and she is a kindred spirit in terms of being a Massachusetts resident from Provincetown, where we spend two glorious weeks each fall. Today is also used for NaPowWriMo Day 26.