Transient Beauty

It was the first summer after we bought our Iowa farm house. City transplants, we planted a huge garden. Tomatos, sweet corn, carrots, beets, cucumbers, radishes, green and yellow beans, peas, zucchini, squash and pumpkin, all kinds of peppers, and oak leaf and ruby red lettuce.  I planned to can and freeze vegetables. Enjoy our harvest through the winter.

On this particular hot and humid day, I was seven months pregnant and exhausted, but very proud of my first attempt at canning stewed tomatoes. I’d picked and washed the tomatoes. Dipped them in boiling water to loosen the skins. Chopped them with celery and peppers. Cooked the mixture and poured them into sterilized glass jars. And finally processed them in the pressure canner. Deliciously, gloriously red, the mixture was now displayed in mason jars, standing tall on my cupboard.

And then I heard our German Shepherd barking — a lot. I took two steps into the back yard and stopped dead in my tracks. The smell was unbelievable. Skunk. And all those beautiful stewed tomatoes, gone in a flash. Rubbed into the coat of Toby. At least he had the grace to lick his chops.

nature thunders rain
magnolia blooms fall to ground
magnificence gone

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It’s Haibun Monday at dVerse, the virtual pub for poets. Today Grace asks us to write a haibun related to summer. This summer memory is from many many years ago. Haibun: prose (cannot be fiction) followed by a haiku (should be related to nature).  Pub opens at 3 PM Boston time. Come on over and join the fun! Photo in public domain – from Pixabay.

 

My Dad

My dad was a quiet man. He wasn’t an exuberant fan of any pro or local sports teams. But I do remember him sitting on our fake leather hide-a-bed couch, watching Cubs games on our blonde console TV. Televisions in those days were cumbersome pieces of furniture. My mother stacked Readers Digests on top of ours.

I never saw my dad swing a baseball bat, but he wielded a mean croquet mallet. It sent many a competitor’s wooden ball sailing into our neighbor’s yard. And rather than joining the popular winter bowling leagues, he stayed late after work, one night a week, competing in a checkers club. He also loved pinochle and rummy. He taught me all these games, using very few words. And he never let me win — until I really did. I never participated in sports. But I did become a high school and college debater. I wonder how much the man of few words had to do with that?

tall oak canopy
acorn roots itself below
reaches for new heights

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Haibun written for dVerse, the virtual pub for poets. Today Bjorn asks us to write about sport. A haibun is a piece of prose (cannot be fiction) followed by a haiku. Generally, the haiku must be about nature.

 

The Bed

We fancied ourselves antiquers in those days. In reality, we bought used furniture at farm auctions, garage sales, and dusty second hand stores.

In its day, it was called a sleigh bed. We spied the slightly warped high headboard and frame propped up against a wall, and bargained for a price we could afford. Back home, our daughter was fast approaching the age to move out of her crib into a “big girl bed” and my parents were with us for a visit. We enlisted my father’s help. He sanded then painted the headboard white and stenciled it with blue tulips and red hearts. Our daughter slept with that design above her head long after my father died. Until she left the nest and began her college years.

robin gathers twigs
nesting haven grows crowded
wind tussles emptiness

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Grace is hosting Haibun Monday at dVerse, the virtual pub for poets. Haibun: one or two paragraphs of prose (not fiction) followed by a haiku. She introduces the Japanese tradition of kintsugi, asking us to write about finding beauty in broken pieces or imperfections. Photo: headboard from the side. This is my daughter, many years ago, being awakened by a surprise birthday party from her friends.

The Old Lamp Lighter

Lamplighter of yesteryear
resides light years away.
Nightly strolls relocated,
he illuminates the stars.

Written for dVerse where I’m hosting today, asking folks to write a poem that contains the title of a Billboard Magazine #1 hit recording from the year they were born, or their early years of growing up. The Old Lamp Lighter, recorded by Sammy Kaye and His Orchestra, 1947. Below is a drawing my 10 year old grandson did for this post.

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Helen Cecile

Discombobulized,
she was like that.

Wound up tight tremors,
taut sprockets of the mind.

Spring-like nerves compressed
temper flares spewed.

Church hands folded, twitched, 
flailed by noon.

Even keel sailing
turned runaway train.

Expect the unexpected,
she was like that.


Kim is hosting today’s quadrille ( a poem of exactly 44 words, not including the title) at dVerse, the virtual pub for poets, and asks us to use the word “spring.” Bar opens at 3 PM Boston time. Come join us! 

One narrow drawer . . .

for putting in.
Rarely
taking out.

Three corroded pennies.

One pale yellow
Tupperware bottle cap.

One hair comb.
Strands
stuck in teeth.

One black and white
cracking
turned grays
dime store photostrip.

Sachet
absent scent.

Seven holy cards.

Lipstick bottom
almost empty
vibrant
red.

Tumbled
left behinds.

Bits
of
her.

Written for day 3 of my poetry mentor’s March 21 Day Challenge online poetry class. We are to write a poem of short lines with many stanzas.

Mementos

Dried roses,
brittle as beleagured time.

This yellow, paler now,
graced a funeral spray.
Dew kissed by tears,
gathers patina of dulling dust.

This blood red, from wedding bliss.
This soft blushing pink,
remembrance lost.
Dimentia by decay.

Dried roses,
crumbling petals.
Fading synapses
midst prickly thorns.


Written for dVerse, the virtual pub for poets. It’s time for Tuesday’s Poetics with Mish tending bar. She asks us to write about a memento. Bar opens at 3 PM Boston time. Come post a poem or just enjoy imbibing the poetic words of others. Remember, dVerse exists in cyberspace — a virtual pub — so we have poets from around the world post with us! It’s a meeting of poetic spirits – and we call it our virtual pub! Come visit! New prompts on Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays — although I try to post here every day.