Ode To My High School Gym

 

Home to . . .

blue onesied teenage girls
delicately batting badmintons,
and pimpled boys man-upping
in raucous dodge-ball games.

Crew cuts and ratted Aqua Net dos.

School assemblies.
Seats assigned by homeroom,
alphabetical misery.

Six-foot hoopsters.
Full-skirted
ball gown under-frames
and the tall gangly ball-shooting kind.

Hand-wringing game-ending cacophony,
and teenage clutching
Johnny-Mathis-crooning
sock-hop last chance
he-has-to-be-the-one dance.

Crepe paper.
Gathered in strips,
duct tape hand grips
bouncing in pompom cheers.
Stretched————————–
transformed to ceiling
with hanging mirrored ball
above parading bouffant heads.

Embarrassed girls
side-lined on folding chairs
watching nervous girls
lined up in pretended calm,
waiting to learn
if they would be the one
adorned in prom queen crown.

Fifty years later,
we stand on your creaking boards.
Is it possible? Is this the space?
Old age does not become you,
our once hallowed place.

IMG_6666

Frank hosts dVerse today, the virtual pub for poets, asking us to write an ode (poem of praise). No required form, meter or content. Photo: from my 1965 senior year high school annual, Waukegan Township High School in Waukegan, Illinois. Prom court….I was on a folding chair 🙂 And yes, there’s a metal hoop skirt under that second gown. You had to be really careful when you sat down! In the actual photo, you can see the basketball court lines on the gym floor. Pub opens at 3 PM Boston time.

Single in the City

Perfectly happy
in her narrow galley kitchen,
she planed to outgrow it.
The oversized refrigerator
became her gallery of sorts.
Photos of him taped to the door,
ultimately yanked off in anger
before the catsup was even gone.
New boys appeared and disappeared,
friends she planned to feed into lovers.
Time emptied the tape dispenser.
No boys, just gummy residue.
So she walked in the rain one day
going store to store, on a magnet spree.
Colorful dots. Hearts. Fanciful sayings.
Two bright rainbows.
And one empty royal blue photo frame
she stuck on the far-right upper corner
of the freezer door.
She was, after all, an optimist
through and through.

 

I’m hosting dVerse today, the virtual pub for poets. It’s Tuesday Poetics and I’m asking folks to walk into their kitchen and peruse their refrigerator! Look inside. Look at the outside. What do you see that strikes your imagination that can be a jumping off point for a poem! Describe an object or use it somehow in a poem. Our refrigerator doors have always been a “gallery” of sorts with magnets and photos and sayings. So, looking at ours, I made up a young woman who uses her refrigerator door in somewhat the same way.
Pub opens at 3 PM Boston time.  Come visit and chill out with us today!

Two Lives – Metaphorically Speaking

i.
He lived a crab’s life
sidling through his world
without confronting anything head on.

—————————————————————————————————————————–

ii.
She never knew who she was.
Today, servant to his whims
yesterday his foil.
Tomorrow, his jewel case on display.

In her youth, the obedient child.
Perfect pianist stretching to reach the pedals
daddy’s little girl,
mama’s protegé.

Turn this way, look here.
Here, not there.
Do this. Do that.
Twisted. Manipulated.

She’d led a kaleidoscope life
until all the pieces crumbled,
reduced to shards.

surreal-402830_1920

Two poems, one short, one a bit longer, written for dVerse. Today, Bjorn hosts and asks us to write metaphorically. Pub opens at 3 PM Boston time.  For those who need a quick review from their highschool poetry unit, very basically stated, a simile is a comparison using the words “like” or “as.” A metaphor is a comparison without using the words “like” or “as.”  Both photos in public domain at http://www.pixabay.com

Reminders

Somehow,
even in the serenity of Cape Cod’s seashore
there are reminders of life’s turmoil.

Sea grass, once vibrant green
turned darkly dank
littering the shore,
forced asunder by ocean waves.

Three molted hermit crabs
espied at low tide,
battling over prized shell
future home for only one.

Salt water and mold
slowly rotting undersides
of aging, once sleek sloops.

In one’s calm,
one must not forget
those living through the storm.

climate-165080_1280

Posted on my blog on 9/13 —- but seems it fits beautifully for Bjorn’s 9/14 prompt at dVerse, the virtual pub for poets. If you already read this yesterday, apologies. But I did want to repost for dVerse. Bjorn remins us that life has meaning metaphorically speaking. A metaphor is a comparison, without using the words “like” or “as.”  As I relax at the beautiful Cape Cod seashore, I am reminded by bits and pieces of nature, that others are struggling to recover from recent hurricanes and monsoons — struggling to regain a sense of calm and balance in their lives. For them, the storm, even when the rains and winds have ceased, continues.

 

Palindrome Acrostic

Harrumph.
Abbracadabra . . .
Hurrah!


Palindrome: word that is the same, spelled forwards and backwards as in mom, wow, and hah! Also a four-way acrostic for dVerse.  An acrostic contains a hidden word within the poem, usually spelled out from top to bottom within the first letter of each line. In this short short poem, read first letters of each line from top to bottom, or from bottom to top; and read the last letters of each line from top to bottom, or from bottom to top, and you get the same word!  And the message/meaning is that sometimes, magically, a person’s personality can change😊

Appreciating Differences

My mother and father were very different from each other. She was volatile and outgoing. He was quiet and non-demonstrative. A draftsman by trade, he had neat block printing. His basement workshop shelves contained Skippy jars of nails, nuts and bolts, each with its content duly noted on labels, printed in his steady hand. My mother was brought up in the Catholic Church in the days of “sister school.” I was told that at a young age, the nuns wrapped her knuckles with a ruler when she tried to write with her left hand. Consequently she became a right-hander with almost illegible script.

Our Christmas tree is a memory tree. On the bottom branches, I hang gift tags from years gone by. “To Lillian, Love Mom” written in her horrific handwriting. I also hang wooden ornaments made on my dad’s jigsaw, inscribed on the backs in perfect block letters, “Love Dad.” Nostalgic during the holidays, I occasionally peruse my 1947 baby book, not so much to look at the old black and white photos, but to see my mother’s script which fills the pages. The ramblings of a young harried woman, writing about daily life with me. It takes time to decipher, but I feel her presence more if I can make out the words.

My dad’s perfect printing. My mom’s wild scribbling. They fought, they loved, they played pinochle together. I treasure each for who they were and who together, made me. And I wonder, when I’m gone, will anyone keep these mementos? Or will the ink be so faded, they will be lost to time.

wildflowers constrained,
exhuberant colors vased
bonsai, controlled art

Written for dVerse Haibun Monday. Today Victoria is hosting and asks us to explore the Japanese art of Wabi Sabi – the art of revering authenticity, appreciating imperfections, slowing down to appreciate rather than perfect. The haibun form begins with non-fiction prose and concludes with a haiku. The haiku must deal with nature.