Saturday, August 19, 2017

13 WAYS OF LOOKING AT A ROCK

In the spirit of Wallace Stevens’
“13 Ways of Looking at a Blackbird”,
I’ve taken a look at famous rocks.
Submitted to Poets United Poetry Pantry #367
August 20, 2017




Ancient Phoenician landmark
Pillar of Hercules
Rock of Gibraltar

Aboriginal sacred site
Uluru, red behemoth
in Australia’s outback

Giant head on Easter Island
standing silently in mystery
through the centuries

Endless task of Sisyphus
pushed onto the hilltop
falling again to valley floor

Stone of Blarney
kissed by many
famous bit of Irish lore

Plymouth Rock beside the shore
welcome sight to Pilgrims
arriving to new land

Imposing Devil’s Tower
thrusting upward
from Wyoming’s vast expanse

Signature Rock on westward trail
where steadfast pioneers
left their marks for history

Rosetta stone
that cracked the code
of Egypt’s ancient hieroglyphs

Rushmore’s rock of faces
countenances of history
worn smooth by wind and rain

Part of Stonehenge Circle
holding fast the secrets
of ancient druids

Haystack Rock of Oregon
legacy of ancient lava
sentinel at Pacific shore

Faithful voices raised in chorus
“On Christ, the solid rock I stand
All other ground is sinking sand
All other ground is sinking sand.”

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*Photo is my own digital art.

Thursday, August 17, 2017

THE LAST TIME

It’s Meet the Bar at dVerse, and Bjorn has
asked us to write a sonnet without rhyme, without
meter …a volta (two quatrains and two tercets)..
ala Pablo Nuerda.
Submitted to dVerse Meet the Bar
August 17, 2017
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The pages of life’s calendar turn inexorably onward
and I find the phrase “the last time” plays often in
my mind.   A dear one passes into the Great Perhaps
and my thoughts turn to our last words to each other.

It is easy to suffer some minor offense, stuff it in our
backpack and carry it with us.  How much lighter our
backpack if we take the time to make peace, and know
each night, if it’s our last, we’ve left no words unsaid.

Life unfolds by startling circumstance that sometimes plunders
opportunities to make our “last times” what we  might wish
them to be, and we find ourselves left full of words.

If  we approach each instance as “the last time“, how different
our demeanor, whether it’s a kind word or simply taking
the time to notice a sunrise, a sunset, a shower, or a birdsong.

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

FINAL JOURNEY

Time for Midweek Motif at Poets United
and we’re asked to feature the word Flood.
Submitted to Midweek Motif
August 16, 2017




When I was a child, there was a burbling little creek a mile or so from our farm.  It was  the kind of stream that meandered through the meadows, shallow enough that one could wade across it at any point.  But, in the Spring heavy rains, it became a raging torrent, quickly rising beyond its banks, flooding fields and galloping on its way south, where it eventually emptied into the Mississippi River and thence into the Gulf of Mexico and ultimately into the Atlantic Ocean.   Someone once wrote “All the waters of the world are one”, and so I think perhaps a flooding rain drains from the fields into the ditches, into the rivulets, into the streams, into the creeks and into the rivers, then rushes to the ocean, where moisture is drawn up into the clouds until their fat bellies are filled with rain and the cycle repeats itself.  The power of floods is the stuff of legends.  Many years ago, when working on family history, I discovered that the cemetery where many of my ancestors were buried was swept away by massive flooding of the Mississippi.   They were hardy pioneers who made their way from Virginia to Kentucky and into Indiana.  Strange to think that, dressed in their funeral finery, they took yet another journey to heaven knows where. 

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Photo is my own surreal
digital art creation.

Monday, August 14, 2017

MANO A MANO

This week’s Quadrille #38 is to feature
a form of the word DREAM in exactly
44 words.   I don’t usually write 
political rants, but one seemed due.
Submitted to dVerse
August 14, 2017


The world dreams in fear and trembling
as two deranged world leaders
who drank from the poison well of power  
engage in a juvenile game of mano a mano,
their missiles phallic symbols of their
insecurities in their game of “mine’s
bigger than yours.”

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Saturday, August 12, 2017

THE VAGABOND

Armchair travels for this week's
Poetry Pantry #366
Posted to Poets United
August 13, 2017

Arthur was a vagabond
On whom travel cast a spell
He set off adventuring,
A story we will tell
He spent some time in Africa
On a mission to help the needy
Lived in an underground hotel
And mined opals in Coober-Pedy
In temples deep in Thailand
He consorted with the monks
He met the royal elephants
And rode upon their trunks
He stopped at Machu Pichu
On the high plains of Peru
In Nepal he stayed with Sherpas
And met their llamas too.
Then on he went to Egypt
And boated down the Nile
Paying a visit to the Valley of Kings
Where he spent a little while
Arthur traveled onward
A victim of his desires
To Ireland, Scotland and England
Visiting local shires
He journeyed on to India
Visiting  the Taj Mahal
And small islands in the Pacific
Whose names I can’t recall
The seven wonders of the world
Were on his bucket list
He traveled on  to see them all
Assuring none were missed
At long last the day arrived
When Arthur said “I’m done”
And he packed his bags and set off
For the place where he’d begun
He told his friends, “Yes, I admit
I had an urge to roam
But that’s all over now
There is no place like home!”

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Thursday, August 10, 2017

OF PRINCES AND FROGS

It's Open Link Night #201 at
dVerse where we enter a
poem of our choice.  I'm submitting
an idle musing.
Submitted August 10, 2017


Ah, I was your Scheherazade
You were my handsome prince
Passion burned within my heart
I’ve not seen the likes of since

My friends just shook their heads
They thought I’d slipped a cog
They all knew before I did
That you were just a frog

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Tuesday, August 8, 2017

MIDNIGHT EPIPHANIES

Lillian challenges us to use the
word SHADE in our poetic
endeavor today at dVerse.
I've added a bonus haiku.
Submitted to dVerse Poetics
August 8, 2017

I’m a dreamer by day and a thinker by night and,
when I lay me down to sleep, will-o-the-whispers
wander in and out of my thoughts in a rustle of
satin and silken swish, flinging words and phrases
like tangled skeins spun by some shape-shifter’s
loom. Carousels and chapel bells, cowboy boots
and vagabond’s loot, lamp shades and nines of spades,
ballet slippers and champagne sippers, smooth talkers
and sky walkers drift through my mind on their way
to some future poetic adventure.  Occasionally there
springs from this abyss of word salad a midnight
epiphany worth recording in my bedside journal. 
Once words are committed to paper,  the nightly
marathon ends and I’m allowed to drift into blessed
slumber.  Ah, the glorious sleep of an octogenarian
would-be poet!  Bliss.


***********
Sleep is slow to come
Slumber is inhibited
Til midnight epiphany   
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