Tempest

In anger walked I by the roiling sea
the taste of salt, like she, embittered me.
Rough waves didst crash against volcanic rock
and spewed their shards of foam, thus dousing me.

Her words of yesterday, I thought were talk
and thus I waited by her door to stalk.
Bereft was I, like sharpened rocks so bruised,
the knife now purged of blood and hurled to sea in shock.

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Written for dVerse, where today, Frank hosts, asking us to write a rubaiyat: a poem consisting of quatrains (stanzas of four lines) and, if using more than one stanza, employs a “nesting” rhyme pattern: AABA, BBCB — and each line is written in iambic pentameter.  It’s a poetry sudoku!  Also posted for Napowrimo, day 26 where the challenge is to write, appealing to the senses. Hopefully, without lookin at the photos, you can see, hear, taste and feel this poem! Photos are from our recent trip to Bermuda.

Bane of Beauty

Be afraid,
I am Pterois Volitan.
Beautiful mane of dorsal fins,
lionfish in the reefs.

Venemous.
I eat as I please.
No predators have I,
save men no longer fooled.

I have crossed seas
multiplied,
wreaked havoc
and swim where I please.

Biodiversity be damned.
I am your nightmare
even as day dawns
gracing your shores.

IMG_9736Posted for Napowrimo Day 25. The challenge: to write a poem of warning. Photo taken at the Bermuda Aquarium/Zoo.

Lionfish are native to the Indo-Pacific, but have somehow invaded the U.S. southeast, the Caribbean, and parts of the Gulf of Mexico. Because they are not native to the Atlantic waters, they have very few predators. They feed on small crustaceans and fish, including the young of commercial species. They are dramatically and negatively affecting the fishing economy, native ecosystems and biodiversity.

Gifted by the Sea

Gulls squawk
fight over half-eaten fish carcass,
wave-tossed, then shored
reclaimed to float and churn.

Gathered in hot sun
barefoot seekers squabble,
fingering shards tumbled smooth.
Blue-flowered ceramic slivers,
amber and green bits of hazy glass.

Neptune’s discards,
remnants with anonymous past.
Treasured leftovers.

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I’m hosting Quadrille Monday at dVerse, the virtual pub for poets. The challenge today: write a quadrille (exactly 44 words, sans title) using the word, or a form of the word gather. Photo is a collection of sea glass and ceramic shards from our recent stay in Bermuda. Pub opens at 3:00 PM Boston time. Join our gathering today! Post also shared for day 23, Napowrimo

Desperate Corners

Spinning. Top handle pushed.
Heel of hand slams down.
Pumps up and down,
fast, faster as head whirrs.
Manic music loop hums, buzzes.
Commuter rail speeds like top.
Speeds to dos, never dones.
Programmed straight line
but circles back. Races there
then back again. Then there,
back, and there again.
Riding circles in straight line track.
Back and forth and back . . .
going nowhere somewhere same.
No exit, detour, changing lanes.
No corners to cut.
Desperately need to circumvent.
Hell’s spinning in my head.
Straight line circles on track,
back and forth and back again.
Flat circles straight through Dante’s hell.
Cats in the cradle fingers frozen.
Razor feels cool in hand.
Razor-cut corners. Find corners,
arcs through blue veined tubes.
Red globules travel through body
to heart through body to heart . . .
. . . till corner is cut and circle is . . .
. . . your image blurs slowly . . .
like over-used hopscotch chalk.
Jump off grid at double squares.
Heel of hand feebly strikes on top.
Off line, pace slows,
sounds slur, world blurs.
Circle spins slower . . . slowe . . .
slow. . . slo . . . sl . . . s. . .
Stop chasing tail.

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Written for Day 22, Napowrimo.  Prompt: To write a poem that disproves the statement “A circle can’t have corners.”

Tracing Whitman’s Path

Lying back, blue sky beckons me
carries me through dreams
until flock of geese interrupt serenity.
Rolling on my side, eyes shift to daffodils.
Yellow ruffles near still pond,
quiet in their breezy sway.

Noisey crowd above migrates north
racing through scattered clouds.
I rise reluctantly, retrace my steps.
Well worn path through banks of trees
leads to asphalt covered parking lot,
return to life’s routine.

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Written for Napowrimo Day 18’s unique prompt. Select a poem (or stanza from a poem), cover up all but the last line: write a response to that line. Now cover up all but the second to the last line: write a response to that line. Etcetera.  In essence, you read the poem backwards, creating your poem. Your poem responds to the original poem, and is its reverse.

I’ve used the first 6-line stanza of Walt Whitman’s famous poem,
I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud:

Fluttering and dancing in the breeze
Beside the lake beneath the trees
A host of golden daffodils
When all at once I saw a crowd
That floats on high o’er vales and hills
I wandered lonely as a cloud.

First line of my poem responds to last (6th) line of his stanza; second line of my poem responds his 5th line; third line of mine responds to his 4th; fourth line of mine responds to his 3rd; fifth line of mine responds to his 2nd; sixth line of mine responds to his 1st.  My last stanza simply completes my original poem as the “speaker” of the poem must leave the beauty and serenity of nature and return to life’s routine. 

Enigma, Mother Dear

There once was a woman named Helen Cecile
married and happy, her life surreal.
Many an escapade made us laugh,
silliness multiplied gaffe by gaffe.

I remember a day we spent at the zoo
where she created quite the to-do.
On the visitor’s side of the animal’s moat
she suddenly blanched and cleared her throat.
Shaking she stood near the pacing jaguars
knee red and swollen, stuck between bars.
Zookeepers rushed to embarrassing scene,
saving the day, they applied vaseline.

Seeking calm and less to-do
we headed to the petting zoo.
She laughed out loud patting the goats
who gathered round her petticoats.
Closing time near, she strolled through the gate,
stopped short and turned, sensing less weight.
Waving at us, with her once-flowered purse
she swore at the goats. You are perverse!
Her purse, you see, was now quite bald
they’d nudged and ate, till it was mauled.

My mother’s name was Helen Cecile,
life with her was surely surreal.
In between faults lie love and gaffes
missing-her-tears, softened by laughs.

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I’m behind here….written for day 17 of Napowrimo: Prompt was to write about a family anecdote. Need to catch up with days 18, 19 and today, 20.  More to come.

What moment lies between?

To cruise the seas. Ship of many with restaurants, shops, shows, casino and dancing. Playing on the waves. Yet for me, it is the moments of silence I savor. Sunset on our veranda. Leaning into the salty breeze.  Pondering as body sways naturally. What lies between that place where red melds into black? Between moments in time? Between a last intake of breath and the final audible sigh? Clouds hover like memories floating through my mind. Mixed emotions. Content to stand and savor. Slow ache for loved ones faded from my life. Red streaks lessen, darkness consumes. I shiver in the suddenly cold air.

black cold red-streaked sky
Ursus lumbers to dark den
winter signals sleep

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Haibun prompt today at dVerse: think about CHIJITSU, a Japanese Kaigo that means lingering day….can relate to the moments of sunrise or sunset. Haibun: prose (must be true) followed by a haiku that must, in the true Japanese sense of the form,  include reference to a season.  Post also applies to day 16 Napowrimo’s prompt: something to do with play. Photo taken from the deck on our last cruise around South America.

Sadly we say goodbye to Victoria our dVerse host today. She’s been a force at dVerse since its early days in 2011. Thank you, thank you, Victoria.

Nursery Rhyme Primed

Tawny Donny wealthy and sly,
kissed the girls and made them cry.
When they told the world their tales
tawny Donny lost his veils.

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Day 15, Napowrimo : using Hansel and Gretel and Blackbeard the Pirate as examples, today’s prompt asks us to rewrite a villain’s unfortunate situation. Today, Georgie Porgie’s friend gets caught in a kettle of fish. ILLUSTRATION from Volume One, Poems of Eary Childhood, Child-Craft, published by The Quarrie Corporation, Chicago, in 1947.

 

Grant Me Peace

Decision must-do list sits crumpled,
blue pill bottle tipped askew.
Disturbed sleep awaits release,
sweat covered head buried in down.

I teeter,
teacup-shaped rowboat
adrift on wobbly table legs.
Knife-shaped oars
slice mahogany waves,
slivers shred my hands.
Teeth grit like hammer’s vise.
One thousand dentists drill,
prying, prying, prying still.
High pitched metallic sound
gathers sharks, circling round.
Close to waking, tossing, turning
seagull’s wings appear.
Flapping madly, madly more
tip the cup ‘till I spill forth,
swim across the dawning rays.
Sea of calm upon my face
hands relax, fingers curve,
arms arc upon the bed.
Dream softens in balletic pose,
body slips to denouement.
Curtains rise on new world.

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Written for Napowrimo, Day 14 where we’re asked to consider dreams….and to include one or all of the following words/items: teacup, hammer, seagull, ballet slipper, shark, wobbly table, dentist, row boat. I’ve included all….using balletic and slips for ballet slipper.