Country Respite

Rolling hills, 
myriad shades of green.  
Drive slowly, windows open . . .  
Fresh crisp air,  
cloudless blue sky.  
Drumlins shaped patiently by glacial ice,  
Mother Earth’s gentle curves.  
Vibrant wildflowers here . . .  
flowering brush there.  
Stop. Rest.  
Inhale the quiet calm. 

Written for Quadrille Monday at dVerse, the virtual pub for poets. We are to use the word “drum” or a form of the word, within our exactly 44 word poem. Image from Pixabay.com

Sweet Rose Beguiles Me

Sweet pink petals,
primrose nestled ‘midst greenery.
Worry not,
I shall not assail you.
I shall take you with me,
memorized, not plucked or bouqueted.
Summer breeze ruffles your fragility.
Nearby lilac’s scent floats round you
and your color seems to deepen.
Like a young woman’s blush
at her first lover’s caress.
Sweet pink petals,
what is it in you
that stirs me so?

Written for Open Link Night at dVerse, the virtual pub for poets. Photo taken today in the gardens that surround our building. These may not be roses, but they motivated this poem.

Loner Interrupted

He fancied himself a loner.
Enjoyed solitude.
Cabin deep in woods.
Gardener. Hunter.
Private well and still too.
Voracious reader, simple cook.
No need for wife.
Too troublesome,
would probably snore too.
Social distancing?
Should be a snap,
except for that damned guy.
Stood in his way or followed behind
whenever the sun warmed up the day.

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Written fordVerse, the virtual pub for poets where on Tuesday, Bjorn asked us to write a poem that somehow relates to solitude, and Thursday Frank asks us to write a 14 line poem.

I See Now

It must be the masks.
Most people wear one now.
Not to avoid recognition
while performing some illegal act
like robbery or kidnapping.
Rather to avoid being robbed
or being kidnapped
by Covid-19.

I used to walk down streets
see people but not see them,
hear sounds but not listen to them.
Intent on getting to work
or the store
or the whatever.
I plowed on, looking straight ahead.
No mask. No gloves.

I could have stopped to listen,
hear the blue jay in a nearby tree.
Cracked a smile at passersby.
But I didn’t.
I just plowed ahead
to get to that place,
to that thing I was scheduled to do.
No mask. Just oblivious.

Today I walked to feel fresh air.
Gloved, masked, gasping a bit.
Breathing through a piece of cloth
rubber-banded behind my ears,
only my eyes exposed.
I have nowhere special to go
but I crave being outside.
I need to see people. . .

. . . but not coming too close to me.
In their masks. Worse yet, without them.
I gesture SINGLE FILE
as they come toward me.
I listen for footsteps from behind.
Could be someone coming too close.
Round-trip walk from home,
I decide to stop on the bridge.

Leaning over I take a long look.
See a scene I’ve seen so many times
but not really seen.
Trees along the Charles River.
Water rippling from geese swimming.
And then I see her.
Mama goose upon her nest
staring warily at me.

She moves a bit and hisses.
I see new meaning to an old phrase,
one overused today. Shelter in place.
Cracked eggs beside her,
feathers in her beak,
she shifts her body and just for a moment
I see tiny wriggling masses of yellow
trying to escape from beneath her .

Does my mask make me the interloper?
And still I stare and listen and watch.
It must be these masks affecting me.
Seeing what has always been there,
season after season.
People and nature along my way.
I notice the mundane more
and finally I understand.

It never really was mundane.

April 28 in National Poetry Writing Month where the challenge is to write at least one poem per day. This is my second for today.

This one is written for Toads where we are to choose a quotation or an impression from Harper Lee’s To Kill A Mockingbird as the motivation for our poem. I’ve chosen the quotation “People generally see what they look for, and hear what they listen for.”

Video is from our walk this morning. 

You may want to see my other poem, written for dVerse today. It will take you to the Norwegian fjords!

Birch Tree Lane

This place spoke to her
and she said yes.
Her party would be waiting
her bridegroom, her love.
All standing patiently
in windswept open field.

Her dress of white ethereal silk
flowed as she walked alone
oh so slowly down the path.
She held a small bouquet,
delicate white freesia
hyacinth and sweet peas.

Birch trees lined the trail,
leaning in as sentinels would
protective and quietly calm
seeming to guide her steps.
Lush greenery everywhere
leading to her new life.

This stretch of spackled white bark
delicate in its strength.
This birch tree lane
seemed an extended bridal veil
approving her decision,
her love for him.

Their lush branches
whisper-rustled encouragement.
Trees on either side,
embracing her in calm serenity
as she took step after step forward,
until at last, they were all at her back.

She turned and looked once more
these birch trees, their beauty,
leaning in to line this walkway.
They seemed now to be
her wedding gown’s bridal train
bidding her adieu . . .

and she smiled . . .
turned . . .
and stepped into the open field

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April 21: day 21 of National Poetry Writing Month. Today Kim at Toads asks us to write about trees. Photo taken some years ago when we visited our niece in Ohio. 

Flower Child

Bloom wherever you are planted, my dear.
Her mother’s sage advice.
And she did.

She fancied herself an annual,
as her life took many turns.
And always, she bloomed,
but never with perennial roots.

She took odd jobs to secure her keep.
Brought joy and happiness
wherever she landed,
for whatever her growing season.

She took a new name in every town.
Dahlia for Davenport. Pansy in Peoria.
Hitchhiking cross country
she became Zinnia in LA.

Suitors brought her flowers,
obsequiously wooing her.
When they got too close.
she uprooted once again.

She carried one note always
written in careful hand,
folded inside the pocket
of her well-worn floral wrap.

When last I seek the sun
and it rises not on me,
place me ‘neath the fertile ground
with marker at my head.

Etch my epitaph in simple script
that all might finally know.
Here lies Marigold.
Daughter of Chrys Anthemum,
and dweller of the Cosmos.

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Day 10: National Poetry Writing Month, where the challenge is to write a poem every day. Written for Toads where today we are to write an Ekphrasis: a poem that is motivated by a work of art. 

This work of art by Odilon Redon (1840 – 1916) is titled Mystery. He is a French symbolist painter, printmaker, draughtsman and pastellist . “My drawings inspire, and are not to be defined. They place us, as does music, in the ambiguous realm of the undetermined.”

Metamorphosis-19

We emerged from our cocoons,
beautifully.
Heard laughter again
marveled at smiles
touched outstretched hands
reveled in freedom.
And our spirits soared.

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Day 9: National Poetry Month where the challenge is to write a poem every day in April.

Written for the prompt at Toads We are to use one of the scientific illustrations by Maria Sibylla Merian, artist and naturalist, to motivate our poem. Merian traveled to Suriname in South America in 1699. The trip was sponsored by the city of Amsterdam. Remarkably for the time, Maria traveled with her young daughter, but with no male companion.  In 1705, she published a book about the insect life of Suriname, Metamorphosis Insectorum Surinamensium.  Maria Sibylla Merian was one of the first naturalists to draw insects from direct study. The poem is also written for dVerse, the virtual pub for poets, where today Frank asks us to write a 7 line poem. No other content or form restrictions. Pub opens at 3 PM Boston time. Come join us!

And to all my readers, stay safe and stay healthy!

Parlor Game

Pick a plant most like you.
Obviously, she said,
Prickly Pear.

Haughty. High-society.
Stiletto heeled.
Rouged pink bosom blossoms,
bursts forth from green signature gown.
Rapier scathing words,
thorns thrown at his every overture.
Succulent indeed,
but peeling away her defenses?
Nigh to impossible.

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It’s Quadrille Monday at dVerse, the virtual pub for poets. Today Mish asks us to include the word “peel” or a form of the word, in our quadrille: a poem of exactly 44 words, sans title.
What plant best describes you?

 

 

Waiting for Spring Tending

The small San Diego garden plot lies waiting. Remains stripped bare from summer past. Green straggling leggy vines meander over and under blunt-cut branches of a now anonymous plant. Dried tall corn stalks stand in leaning stance, blown by winds or simply bent from lack of care once the cobs were picked.

Long woody stems are capped by dry flower tops, their name a mystery to me. Brown scaled outer shell still holds tight to popped open pods. Each pod is perhaps six inches across and contains what looks like spiderweb short wisps of silken threads. I am smitten by these long-past-their-prime blooms and try to capture their beauty in photos – some in monotone black and white, others in their natural earth like tones. I am sad to know these plants, beautiful in their drying state, will soon be cleared as new seed is sown.

migratory bird
transports dried seed in plumage
beauty travels far

Photos taken Saturday, on a walk through the beautiful campus of San Diego State University. We came upon a small garden plot by the art buildings. It was obviously left untended until spring, when it will be cleared and replanted.

Written for Haibun Monday at dVerse, the virtual pub for poets. Today Frank asks us to write about the coming spring. Haibun: two or three tight paragraphs of prose (must be true) followed by a haiku that invokes a season. 

Wildflowers Unite

Carolina Jessamine with baby blue eyes
nicknamed Monkey Flower as a tot.
Ignored social norms,
rogue shooting star in the cosmos.
Obediant plant? Spineless prickly pear?
Never.
Wild Bergamot learned,
seduced on her lady’s bedstraw.
Hybrids and selected cultivars?
Unnecessary
for a beautiful bouquet.

Kim hosts dVerse today…asking us to include the word “wild” – or a form of the word – in a Quadrille. Quadrille: a poem of exactly 44 words, sans title.
I immediately thought of wild flowers and went to a seed catalog and the internet for names of wildflowers. Nine wild flowers are included in the poem: Carolina Jessamine, Baby Blue Eyes, Monkey Flower, Shooting Star, Cosmos, Obediant Plant, Spineless Prickly Pear, Wild Bergamot, and Lady’s Bedstraw. Yes: Obediant is spelled correctly here.