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.”

*******************
*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
**************


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. 

***************
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.”

*************

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!”

*********************

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

****************************

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   
***********************

Monday, August 7, 2017

IMPERFECTION


Victoria asks that we consider
Wabi-sabi (the beauty of imperfection)
 for our Haibun this Week.
Submitted to dVerse
August 7, 2017





Eloquent with age
secrets lie within
your chipped porcelain
of lips that drank
from your communal cup
cool, clear water
from some unknown well
I drink from your beauty
enhanced by the scars of time
My thirst is slaked
with your eloquence.

****************

faded porcelain
for everything a season
your beauty remains

*****************


Friday, August 4, 2017

MODERN FAIRY TALE


Sometimes I think fairy tales should
have happier endings, so I've revised
the story of Little Red Riding Hood to
suit my fancy.
Submitted to Poets United Poetry Pantry #367
August 6, 2017
 Related image

The little girl with cloak of red
Tucked in her basket a loaf of bread
Set off through the woods with a hop & a skip
She always enjoyed the forest trip
To her grandma’s house, all snug and warm
With never a thought of fear or harm.
The wolf himself was in the woods
Seeking his dinner and other goods
He stalked through the trees with heavy tread
Until he saw the cloak of red.
She skipped so happily it warmed his heart
And he ceased the mischief he’d thought to start.
Smiling to himself, he said
“I think I’ll not bother the girl in red.
It’s elsewhere I’ll look for what I seek
I’ll let her pass by with only a peek.
Her smile made for me a brighter day
So I’ll not bother her on her way."

And so it is, and the rule is thus
What we give to others, comes back to us.

************************

Thursday, August 3, 2017

TRIMETER

It's Meet the Bar at dVerse, and Frank would
have us try trimeter.   Apparently the dog
ate my homework.  I seem to be at a loss.
Here's my tongue-in-cheek excuse, submitted
with abject apology.
Submitted August 3, 2017

****************
My muse has gone away
I hope just for today
What caused this wild foray
I’m afraid I cannot say
Perhaps the feet and metre
Were likely to defeat her
She didn’t tell me why
Or stop to say goodbye.
Without her I’m bereft, alas
Simply put, I have to pass.

****************

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

THE END?

Paul at dVerse has asked us to contemplate
"The End" and its meaning to us.  For
once, I didn't think in rhyme!
Submitted to dVerse Poetics
August 1, 2017
Related image

 We equate the end with death … but we don’t like to call it dying.  We say a dear one has “passed”, or we use euphemisms like “drop off the perch”, “take a dirt nap”, “meet your maker”, or “enter into the long sleep”.   I’ve always felt we live our life in chapters.  When one chapter ends, another begins … the end of childhood is the beginning of being an adult; the end of being single is the beginning of being married; the end of a job is the beginning of retirement; and so on. Every ending is a new beginning.  My father was much revered by all in his family.  When he died, we were all gathered in his hospital room to say our last goodbyes, and when he took his final breath we went to the hospital nursery to see the new babies, to remind us of the circle of life.  At times in my life when I’ve felt a bit depressed, I’ve sought a new interest to rejuvenate my spirit.   A new beginning never fails to spark enthusiasm.   So, when my life reaches an end and I pass into the Great Perhaps,  I’ve told my children I want my epitaph to be “What’s Next?”

*********************
*  The question mark at the end of the title is NOT a typographical error.

Monday, July 31, 2017

FEAR

Victoria hosts Monday night's
quadrille of exactly 44 words
to include the word FEAR.
Submitted to dVerse Quadrille #37
July 31, 2017

I couldn't decide whether to be hopeful,
or  succumb to it, so I've written
two quadrilles.  Bear with me!

***************************
#1:
Catastrophes and chaos
Calamity and disaster
Clamor with intention
To capture us in fear  

If we let them overtake us
And let our faith forsake us 
We miss all the good things
In the short time we are here.

Believe faith can conquer all.

*****************
#2:
I heard the rustle beneath my bed
I clung to my pillowcase in dread
I’m glad I wore my underwear
I should’ve brought along a spare 
It’s black as pitch, I cannot see
Is it a monster after me?  
Helplessly, I wait in fear
…and now ,,, it’s HERE!

*******************

Thursday, July 27, 2017

ALPHA AND OMEGA

Submitted to dVerse
Open Link Thursday #200
July 27, 2017

**********************

Joy reigned in the beginning
When love had just begun
One selfish, careless act
And a piece of love was gone.

A door was closed to closeness
That could not be regained
But love is slow to disappear
And still some of it remained.

One final breech of trust
More thoughtless than before
No need to discuss forgiveness
For now love is no more.

****************

SANCTUARY

Poets United Midweek Motif  asks us
to find a sanctuary.  Also submitted to
Poetry Pantry #364
Submitted  July 30, 2017
**************

In my home there’s a room where I spend my days
And the hours pass in a pleasant daze
In the corner a chair, all plump and comfy
For reading or napping, if it strikes my fancy
A big L-shaped desk for my computer and such
A sewing machine I don’t use much
Paints and pencils and things for my art
Happy pastimes that are dear to my heart.
There’s a bookcase wall with shelves for my treasures
Photos of loved ones and mementos of pleasures
A pocket watch my father carried
Photo of a niece on the day she married
A cage with glass birds my mother collected
Favorite books, of course, as might be expected
Books that transport me to exotic places
I travel the world,  just in my bookcases
From a trip to the Smoky’s, an arrogant duck
A carnival clock my father won with some luck
Painted by granddaughter, a colorful plate
A pair of brass swans from Tennessee state
A cross-stitched Welcome from my daughter, Lori
A shelf of art journals that record my life’s story
Special keepsakes from my friends who are arty
A photoshopped Sinatra from a long ago card party
From Germany a domed clock, a gift from my son
A small oil painting on glass I did just for fun
Notebooks of essays and poems I write
And outside my window, a pleasant sight
Feeders where feathered friends come to call
Such a blessing to see them all
This is my sanctuary, my safe place to be
With a heart full of happy, I’m glad to be me.

***********************

Monday, July 24, 2017

SEASONS

It's Haibun Monday at dVerse, subject
of our choice.
Submitted July 24, 2017



She was never the same after he was gone.
In the last few years of their 55 years together,
it was he who reminded her of the day, the
week, the names of their grandchildren, and
the many miscellaneous facts that had faded
from her memory as snowflakes disappear
when they fall on a warm surface. When he
was gone, she spent her days in a gentle state
of bewilderment. Sometimes she tried to retain
her grasp on time and place. I know this,
because I saw written on her calendar
“This is today.”  Now she’s joined him in
the great what-comes-after.  They’re together
again,  no longer solitary halves of a pair
honed and weathered by the passage of time. 
What a comforting thought.

The seasons of life
Parted for a moment in time
Together again

****************************
*Photo is my parents' hands on their
50th anniversary.

Saturday, July 22, 2017

NEVERNESS

My muse hit the road, and I fell
into some sort of celestial Brigadoon.
Submitted to Poets United
Poetry Pantry
July 23, 2017



I dreamed I rode a rainbow to
just beyond Somewhere, in the
land called Neverness.  

In my skiff with gossamer silken sails,
I skimmed  the River of Forgiveness
to the shore of Lake Serenity at the
foot of the Contemplation Mountains.  

I hiked up Mount Awareness and stood
at the  peak,  surveying the Valley of
Wisdom. 

On the way down, I had a sip from
Compassion Falls and partook of the 
fruit from the Tree of Success.  

I  heard the melodious call of the Bird
of Paradise and …… WAIT! It’s not
the bird, it’s my alarm clock. 

Well, damn!
********************

* Picture is my own digital art.


Friday, July 21, 2017

THE CLOWN

Meeting the Bar brings us a
challenge from Frank to
write a “minute” poem. Truly
a challenge!
Submitted to dVerse 
July 20, 2017


I’m Roberto, the circus clown,
the best, hands down,
star of the show,
laughter to go.

I excel at playing the fool,
follow the rule,
play for my pay,
day after day.

But behind my greasepaint I hide
pain inside.
Star of the show,
heartbreak to go.

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

MASKS

Over at Poets United, our
Theme for Midweek Motif
Is MASKS
Submitted  July 19, 2017
**********

We hide behind the cheerful fa├žade
Lest hurt be known, now isn’t that odd?
Our hearts are pierced by verbal thrusts
Unkind deeds and broken trust
And yet we smile, our lips are sealed
So … is it a mask, or is it a shield?

*****************



Monday, July 17, 2017

IT'S TRADITION

Time for a quadrille.  The word
is "flicker".
Submitted to dVerse Quadrille #36
July 17, 2017
Related image





Evening campfire.

Amid night sounds
the flames flicker
and memories unfold
family stories of
those long gone
but remembered still .

Young ones listen.
One day they’ll tell
the next generation
the campfire stories
of who we are, and
from whence we came.

It’s tradition
****************************

Saturday, July 15, 2017

PERSPECTIVE



Reminding myself to keep things
in perspective.
Submitted to Poets United
Poetry Pantry #362
July 16, 2017



I flew on the great silver bird
High aloft in the sky
It was wonderful for my perspective
As I thought “How small am I”

I gazed down on a crazy-quilt landscape
Spread richly to left and right
And I guessed that all of life’s spectrum
Must lie there below in my sight.

Somewhere hearts were happy
As they shared the miracle of birth
While other hearts were heavy
As a loved one passed from this earth.

Some were amassing great riches
Others struggling just to survive
Some contemplating suicide
Others rejoicing to be alive.

Somewhere babies were crying
Young folks were falling in love
And farmers were tilling the soil
As I viewed from my seat above.

I thought to myself, “Remember,
When you question the path you’ve trod
Others are facing life’s challenges
You’re but one of the children of God."

***********************

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

BLESSINGS

Submitted to Poets United
Midweek Motif, where we’re asked
to contemplate movement.  I
chose to submit a haibun.
July 12, 2017




**********
I refuse to dwell on political upheaval,
death, environmental problems, and
despair in general.  I choose to dwell
on the gentle breeze and the graceful
dance of the leaves on the large maple
in my view,  and the lazy, drifting clouds in
a sky of softest blue.   I savor the sight
of the cardinal, the dove, and the finches
at my bird buffet, companionably having
their lunch side by side, while bees are
stopping in flight to visit the lilies blooming
by the front walk.   I am blessed. 
****
Soothing gentle breeze
Reminds me to count blessings
Dwell on what is good

Saturday, July 8, 2017

LAST CALL


Submitted to Poets United
Poetry Pantry #361
July 9, 2017


On most any night in some local pub
Regulars show up to their private club
Seeking libation for broken dreams
Enough to quiet their silent screams
A shot of inspiration, a bottle of hope
A cure-all, they think, to help them cope.
Familiar faces tell the same old war stories
And the same listeners hear of long ago glories
Smoky haze hangs like tattered gauze
Over shallow smiles and drooping jaws
Speaking of what almost was and might have been
And how they wish they could start again
The friendly bartender orchestrates it all
And bides his time til he issues last call
The cast of characters leaves, having silenced their din
… but they return the next night to do it again
**********************

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

INDEPENDENCE

Submitted to Poets United Midweek Motif,
where we’re asked to write of independence.
July 5, 2017


As he was helping draft the Declaration of Independence
of the United States of America, Abigail Adams wrote to
her husband, John, “I desire that you would remember
the ladies and be more generous to them than your  ancestors”.  
And John replied, “Depend on it.  We know better than
to repeal our masculine systems”, and they did not. 
John expressed that giving up their role as masters would
"subject men to the despotism of the petticoat”.   


I am woman
I am wife and partner
I am mistress and courtesan
I am laundress
I am cook and dishwasher
I am housekeeper and confidant
I am fashion consultant
I am cheerleader
I am bookkeeper
I am assistant breadwinner
I am social secretary
I am finder of lost things (Honey, where is …?)

I am petticoat.

************************

Sunday, July 2, 2017

SOLILOQUY






Some melancholy thoughts on a sunny
Sunday afternoon. 
Submitted to Poets United
Poetry Pantry
July 2, 2017


For more than 30 years, my three good friends and I spent a week every autumn in the foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains.  Creatures of habit, we stayed in the same room in the same lodge for all those years.  We spent long hours on the little balcony over the mountain river, and slept listening to the sound of its tumbling progress over the rocks below.   We shared our lives, our joys and tribulations, and marked those long hours with sometime tears, but always with much laughter.  The years passed, and two of our foursome  passed on to what comes after.  Last year, a careless spark ignited a dreadful fire that swept down the mountainside and burned to the ground the lodge we loved so much.  I was bereft.  One day soon, I thought, the last two of us shall follow our friends, and we’ll all be gone … the four of us, the lodge, and the balcony where we shared our lives.  We’ll all be but a blip in the passage of time.  A new lodge will replace the old, and new young housewives will come for their annual girlfriend getaway.  But I wonder, I just wonder,  if our spirits may not linger in the green hills above,  the sound of our laughter be heard faintly as the water tumbles over the rocks below, and our names be written in the smoky mists that hang over the mountains.

Smoky Mountain autumn
spirits linger in green hills
laughter in the air

**************************

Thursday, June 29, 2017

AN ODE

Submitted to dVerse Poetics
June 28, 2017
******************

I salute you, my hero in blue.
You carry me where I wish to go.
We enjoy our solitude, you and I.
and yet our togetherness brings us joy.
Together we savor country lanes,
visits to deserted cemeteries, quaint
villages and shops filled with ephemera.
Our camaraderie improves with the years
We both ripen with age, like fine wine.
If I have not remembered to tell you,
I tell you now,----your faithfulness enriches me.
Of them all, you are my stouthearted favorite
my own dependable, reliable Buick LeSabre. *

**********
*  For those not from the U.S., the Buick
LeSabre is my automobile, which I've
had since 2001 !

WAR ... AND PEACE

Submitted to Poets United Midweek Motif
where we're asked to write of
War and Peace.
June 28, 2017


WAR …. AND PEACE

In the 1700’s
it was the Revolutionary War, and we
fought for freedom from the English.
…and young men went to war and died.

In the 1800’s
We went to war with ourselves and the
North fought the South
…and young men went to war and died.

In the 1900’s
We went to war with Germany and the madman
who planned to conquer all of Europe, and the
Japanese, who destroyed half our navy at
Pearl Harbor
…and young men went to war and  died.

Today, the Germans, the Japanese, and the
English are our friends and allies.
Does anyone see the irony in that?
Why do men make war?   Could we just
make peace?
*******************************

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

BLESSINGS

Paul has asked us to write a blessing
poem for Tuesday Poetics this week.
What a wonderful idea to put blessings
and positive thoughts out into the
universe!
Submitted to dVerse Poetics
June 27, 2017
****************************

May you know the blessing of each
new day, and remember those who are
denied that gift.

May you know the blessing of family love,
and share it generously and gratefully.

May you appreciate the blessing of a roof
over your head and a warm bed, and remember
those for whom these are only dreams.

May you be blessed with gratitude for enough,
and not be greedy for too much.

May you be blessed to see the beauty of nature,
and  learn to treat it well.

May you be blessed with respect for those who
are irksome, and remember you don’t walk
in their shoes.

May you be blessed with friends, and remember
to be a good and thoughtful friend.

May you be blessed with the art of kindness,
and leave it wherever you go.

***********************

Monday, June 26, 2017

SUMMER TRAGEDY

Many of us are enjoying summer activities and
festivities, but my heart is in Ohio with the parents
of Otto Warmbier.
Submitted to dVerse Haibun/Haiku #50
June 25, 2017

********************
Otto Warmbier came home last week.  He was detained in
North Korea for a year and a half for the supposed infraction
of taking a political poster, for which he was sentenced to
15 years hard labor.  No one knows what torture he endured
during this time under the harsh and cruel regime of this country. 
Suffice to say when he was returned to the U.S. his body was
but a shell of the robust athletic body it had been, and he was,
for all intents and purposes, brain dead.   He died shortly after
his return home.  Two short years ago he was graduating high
school, second in his class,  a handsome, popular and adventurous
young man with plans for an exciting summer trip to North Korea
before entering the University of Virginia in the fall.  Now another
summer, and he lies beneath the prairie sod of Ohio, his ready
laughter and bright voice forever stilled.   What a tragedy.


Summer excitement
Sunshine and travel abroad
Tragedy ensues
 ********************************

Saturday, June 24, 2017

PUBERTY AT 45

Just when we think we have life figured out, it has a
way of throwing us a curve ball.  This poem was written
at just such a time in my life.
Submitted to Poets United Poetry Pantry #359
June 25, 2017
***************

I approached forty-five in a manner quite staid
The children were grown, the mortgage almost paid
I had all the answers, I knew what came next
Retirement, grandchildren, just like in the text.

Then Fate shuffled the cards and dealt a new hand
“You’re alone now”, Fate said, “Just where do you stand?”
“I don’t know”, I shouted, as I dealt with my sorrow,
“But somehow I’ll manage to plan for tomorrow”.

So I set out to consider just where I’d belong
“You’ll do fine”, people said, “You’ve always been strong”.
Didn’t they know it was scary out there
Facing life as a single when you’d been half of a pair?

And I, who only yesterday had seemed to know it all,
In my single encounters felt exceedingly small.
Suddenly, in my middle years, thanks to fickle Fate,
To my utter amazement I accepted a date.

And the wizard of the PTA felt once again quite stupid
As now once more, as at sixteen, she’s targeted by cupid.
My thoughts turned back to the late-night talks
When my daughter sat on my bed.
So wise I was then, so opposite now
What great thing was it I’d said?

“Mother’s doing quite well”, said daughter to son.
“It’s good she’s found life still can be fun.”
And they, whom I’d counseled in this, that and the other
Now took up the task of bringing up mother.

“Remember our talks, Mom, when you expected the worst?
They’re the same now”, said daughter,
“But the roles are reversed“.
I’m grateful, Lord, you’ve let me know
It’s still good to be alive.
But, is there some way that we could forego
This puberty at forty-five?

Thursday, June 22, 2017

A VILLANELLE

Frank meets us at the bar with a request for a villanelle,
which I consider to be a rather Machiavellian format,
akin to the dreaded "story problems" I abhored in school,
which, after circuitous route, ended in "How many people
were on the bus when it reached Topeka?" or some such. 
Nonetheless, I offer my feeble attempt ... my first villanelle.

Submitted to dVerse Poetics
June 22, 2017

*************
So many gods, so many creeds
So many ways to go astray
When love is all this old world needs.

Men fall victim to misdeeds
Power and money call their name
So many gods, so many creeds

Careless for the urge he feeds
Man  seems powerless to resist
When love is all this old world needs

Never guessing where it leads
The chosen path, the destiny
So many gods, so many creeds.

Wanting only to fill his needs
With no regard for implications
When love is all this old world needs.

Careless of the voice he heeds
Stumbling onward  toward his plight
So many gods, so many creeds
When love is all this old world needs.
****************

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

YOGA DROPOUT

In honor of the International Day of Yoga, we’re
asked to consider yoga in our Wednesday writing.
I’m sharing my shortcomings (sigh)!
Submitted to Poets United Midweek Motif
June 21, 2017

************
“Picture a hammock between two trees“,  the
hypnotist said.  The office was quiet, the
reclining chair was comfortable, the clock was
softly ticking, and I …I was wondering what
I’d fix for dinner.  Onward he soldiered, determined
to get me in touch with my inner self. I felt myself
sinking into deep relaxation … then my brain kicked in.
Was this hypnosis?  How was I supposed to react?
I wondered if he hypnotized his wife, ….and I
wondered what I’d fix for dinner.

Having failed hypnosis, I considered yoga, with similar
result. My work involved a good bit of auto travel.  I
never played the radio, but considered my travel to be
“think tank time”, and let my mind wander in many
directions as I motored in silence.  It was during this
time I wrote a lot of poetry, and drew a lot of conclusions
about life in general.  In retrospect, I think I engaged in
automobile yoga!  At any rate, I find myself ill prepared
to write a poem about yoga.  Were I to attempt the lotus
position at this point in my life, it would take two strong
men and a derrick to get me unbent and upright.  I look
forward to reading of the yoga experiences of my
fellow poets, however.

**************

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

DEAD END

Mish has asked us to feature a
road sign this Tuesday.
Submitted to dVerse Poetics
June 20, 2017



There once was a guy named Fred
Wherever he went, he sped
When his foot hit the floor
He thought there'd be more
Alas!  Now Fast Freddy's dead.

*********************


Monday, June 19, 2017

PEPPER ME

Kim asks us to  write a poem of exactly 44 words
(not counting title), including the word pepper
for this week's quadrille. 
Submitted to dVerse Quadrille #24
June 19, 2017

**************


Pepper me some kindness
Pepper me some joy
Hide daily papers
They only annoy     

Pepper me some happy
Pepper me serenity
A modicum of peace
A dose of tranquility     

Pepper me some calm
In the midst of madness
Pepper me whatever
Brings on  gladness.


***************


Sunday, June 18, 2017

MAN OF COURAGE

In honor of Father's Day in the U.S.
I submit this poem to
Poets United Poetry Pantry #358
June 18, 2017

**********************

As we rode through summer breezes
The man of courage and I
He taught me still another lesson
As he had since I was just so high.

For the years had left their burden
And now he walked with a cane
And the body once strong and strapping
Now faltered and gave much pain.

I heard him not once complaining
As we passed fields of grain on our drive
But commenting on God’s bounty and sunshine
Saying, “It’s a good day to be alive”.

When I find I’m feeling sorry
For the problems and troubles I’ve had
I look to my model of courage
With humble gratitude…I love you, Dad.
**************

Thursday, June 15, 2017

WHAT MAMA KNEW

My mother had sayings that applied to
everyday life.   This poem includes some
of those sayings I remember from my
childhood.
Submitted to dVerse Open Link #198
June 15, 2017



Mama says “Stupid is as stupid does”
My Mama said a lot.
She always had a saying
For every bad habit I’d got.

When I made a pouty face
When I didn’t get my way
“Your face is sure to freeze like that”
I’d hear my Mama say.

When I forgot to change my clothes
And keep all nice and neat
I was sure to hear my Mama say
“Remember, soap is cheap”.

When I was feeling lazy
Pretending the work was done.
There she was, and Mama’d say
“Hard work never hurt anyone!”

The years have passed so quickly
Before my very eyes
And it’s only now I’ve come to know
That Mama was so wise.

*****************

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

EXTRAORDINARY

Midweek Motif asks us to find the extraordinary
in the ordinary.
Submitted to Poets United Midweek Motif
June 14, 2017


                                    What’s more ordinary than a tree?
                                In a small town in Indiana, there grows a most
                                                  extraordinary tree.
                                  It grows from the top of the courthouse.
                                             How it came to be there
                                               is purely conjecture.
                                       Where its roots find sustenance
                                                   is a mystery.
                                  It has given Greensburg a claim to fame,
                                         and visitors marvel at the sight
                               of the solitary tree clinging to the rooftop.
                                         It’s really quite extraordinary.
**********************


Tuesday, June 13, 2017

MUG FOR CAMERA

Lillian has provided old photos and
asked us to choose one and write a poem
about it at Poetics.
Submitted to dVerse Poetics
June 13, 2017



Maisie belonged to a group of women
Who battled the wages of sin
Called the Christian Temperance Union
They determined to save their men
From the dreadful jaws of temptation
And influence of men like Capone
The 20’s were times of turmoil
Much moreso than previously known.

It was the advent of the speakeasy
Some called them dens of iniquity
Their lure was forbidden alcohol
For those who had the  proclivity
Here the gentlemen tippled
Gambled and dabbled in crime
Tobacco and prostitution
Became the signs of the time

But Maisie survived the 20’s
Soon considered them times in her past
Women achieved the right to vote
She was proud when her vote was cast
Time moved on, and so did Maisie
No longer in the political foray
Now she and her friends come together
And talk about “back in the day”!


*****************************

Monday, June 12, 2017

SPORT

Bjorn requests our haibun/haiku feature sports
this week.  Oh my, sad tale to tell.
Submitted to dVerse
June 12, 2017



My city is most noted for being home to the  internationally known 500 Mile Race.  During the month of May we’re a mecca for racing aficionados, and in excess of 300,000 people attend the race itself.  In addition, we have a major league football team  a major league basketball team, a minor league baseball team, an ECHL ice hockey team, and the Circle City Derby Girls rollerskating team.   In the midst of all this testosterone(and estrogen)-driven activity, I am an island of inertia.  Everything I enjoy is sedentary…BUT all is not lost!  I am an enthusiastic spectator.  You want to talk sports?  I’m your woman.  You want to participate, you’re on your own.  All things considered, I am, however a good sport.
***********
Sporting days are past
But spectatorship abounds
Armchair gymnastics

Saturday, June 10, 2017

HOPE

Thoughts in chaotic times.
Submitted to Poets United
Poetry Pantry #357
June 11, 2017



Weathered barns in distant places
Sun-kissed fields and open spaces
Tidy gardens weeded and hoed
Little white chapel by the road
Remembered faces, smiling and kind
Childhood lessons come to mind

Now, jet flights and concrete jungles
Internet and traffic tangles
Cacophony of sounds assault my ears
Terrorist threats to whet my fears
Drive-by shootings, prophets of doom
Everywhere, it seems, there’s gloom.

I wish we could bottle those carefree days
Of loving kindness and simple ways
And when we’re burdened and out of cope
We could open the bottle and sip some hope.

************

Thursday, June 8, 2017

DOUBLE LAI

Victoria is hostess this week at
Meet the Bar, and challenges us
to write a lai ... aab with first two
lines 5 syllables, last line two syllables,
and 3 stanzas.   Two came to mind ....
Submitted to dVerse Meet the Bar
June 8, 2017
***************

George was a farmer
A well-known charmer
Plenty rich

May was a looker
Hard-working hooker
Greedy bitch

Both perceived their catch
A natural match
For which?
***********

A lady was Mabel
Seemed to be able
Fred  thought

She revealed on their dates
She’d all the good traits
He sought

And so they were wed
A bad day for Fred
He’s caught
************

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

OCEANS



Submitted to Poets United Midweek
Motif, where the theme is "Oceans"
June 7, 2017


Azure waters and gentle tides
Peaceful lapping on the shore
Hidden deep beneath your waters
Lie civilizations that came before
Wrapped in coral, kelp and seaweed
Silent mysteries of the deep
Lost in wonder, man explores
Delving secrets that they keep.

And deep within the ocean bosom
Lie the hulks of sunken ships
Ancient fortunes, dreams and dreamers
Now no more than radar blips.
Men forever seek the fortunes
That lie beneath, or so they’re told
Pirate ships and Spanish galleons
Filled with artifacts and gold.

Such a multitude of mysteries
Lie upon the ocean floor
Hidden beneath those azure waters
And peaceful lapping on the shore.
***********************

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

A Dancer's Tale

At dVerse Poetics, we're challenged to
write a poem to save lives.  I've written
about a young lady who solved her
career crisis.
Submitted to dVerse Poetics
June 6, 2017

*************************

Once upon a time
In a city far away
There lived a comely lass
Who worked hard for her pay
 

Sadie was a dancer
Some frowned on her profession
And said that it was shameful
And she’d pay for her transgression
 

But Sadie turned a deaf ear
To the church ladies’ hue and cry
Each time she danced the night away
She put most of her money by

Sadie had a dream, you see
That in a year to come
The money she’d been putting by
Would be a tidy sum
 

The years went by and still she danced
And so her fortune grew
She knew one day her time would come
And she’d know just what to do

Just as she planned, the day arrived
Her dream came to fruition
I guess you could say what came next
Was a sort of divine retribution
 

The owner put the club for sale
And, smiling, Sadie bought it
And step by step her dream came true
Exactly as she’d sought it

She immediately proceeded
With an ambitious renovation
The place became a posh ladies’ club
And something of a local sensation
 

It catered to wealthy women
Of elegance and class
It promised them their boredom
Would be a thing of the past.

For the healthy price of admission
They could watch some young men dance
And fill their heads with fantasies
Of a secret forbidden romance.


Sadie?  She became very rich
A pillar of the community
Hobnobbing with high society
And conducting herself with impunity
 

But she never forgot from whence she came
Before she achieved her goal
She remembered all those shameful nights
When she’d danced around the pole

And the moral of this story is
If you’re frugal and also wise
You can soar above the ashes
And, like a phoenix, rise

So here’s to the Sadies of the world
With an eye on the straight and narrow
For those with pureness of their soul
His eye is on the sparrow. *

****************
* A line from an old gospel hymn
of the same name.

Monday, June 5, 2017

STORM

Our challenge this week is to
write a quadrille of exactly 44 words
using some form of the word “storm”.
Submitted to dVerse  Quadrille #34
June 5, 2017


I long for
your voice to
calm me,
your shoulder
to support me,
your love to
sustain me,
your humor
to entertain me.
I face the storms alone.
Life is good
but not the same .
Our time together
fades in memory.
I miss it still

**************
comes another storm
I’ll withstand the wind
for I know storms pass

Sunday, June 4, 2017

THE DRAMA QUEEN


Idle thoughts on a Sunday morning.
Submitted to Poets United
Poetry Pantry #356
June 3, 2017



THE DRAMA QUEEN
                
You may know her.

She snatches defeat from the jaws of
victory.

She thrives on depression.

She dwells on the blows life deals,
taking the good for granted.

She approaches each task with
visions of failure.

Success is not on her radar.

Her glass is always half empty.

She draws negative to her as honey
draws bees.

She’s a drama queen who usually gets
just what she expects, because
she expects little.

How do you break the cycle?

**************

Thursday, June 1, 2017

DRESSING FOR SUCCESS

When I was a child, my clothes were made
from print feed sacks.  No small wonder, then,
that the "Who are you wearing?" on the red
carpet leaves me askance.  My poem today
addresses the issue.
Submitted to dVerse  Open Link
June 1, 2017

    DRESSING FOR SUCCESS

I think the fashion designers
Must laugh behind closed doors
At the way we dance to their music
As we go about our chores.
We clamor for Jordache
And line up for Calvin Kleins
When K-Mart specials could just as well
Cover our behinds.

Gloria Vanderbilt’s into sheets now
With colors so pretty and bright
She knows we’d sleep just as well
Beneath J.C. Penney white.
The measure of a man, they say,
Is the emblem on his sox.
What possible difference can it make
If it’s an alligator or running fox?

Some live in mortal terror
Of Blackwell’s worst-dressed list
When they could be just as happy
If it simply didn’t exist.
For the proper running wardrobe
The joggers fuss and fret
When an old sweat suit could do the job
Of soaking up the sweat.

We need one wardrobe for tennis
Another one for golf
If we wore tennis whites to the golf course
Do you think we could tee off?
Being well-dressed strains our budgets
But I guess it’s our own fault.
They play the tune, we pay the bucks
And they take them to their vault.

I picture them all in conference,--
Cassini, Bill Blass and Chaus
Coming up with the proper wardrobe
To wear while cleaning the house.
While Pierre Cardin and Christian Dior
Are thinking equally hard
What the well-dressed suburbanite
Should wear while mowing the yard.

I think we should all rebel
And stand firm and strong in our boots
And tell them henceforth we’ve decided
Just to wear our birthday suits.
**********

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

EACH DAY'S A GIFT

Lillian is hosting Poetics this
week, and asking us to use
the word “gift”.
Submitted to dVerse Poetics
May 31, 2017



Each day’s a gift, they say
That’s why it’s called the present
And now that I’m retired
Most of them are pleasant

I try to start each new day
Avoiding the morning news
Because if I listen to any of it
I’m sure to get the blues

I look for a good-news station
On my little radio
But all I hear is who got shot
And traffic is awfully slow

I’m afraid to open the refrigerator
Everything in there’s out to get me
I’m sure to succumb, they say
To the non-organic litany

So I toddle off to my computer
I’m sure to find surcease there
Good grief!  He’s tweeted again
And someone wants me to share.

I hasten to my poetry site
To spend some quality time
My friends here know how to escape
And they do it all in rhyme.
*******************

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

REPURPOSING

Grace is hosting Haibum Monday, and
gives us to think about Kintsugi, the
ancient Japanese art of making something
beautiful from something broken.
Submitted to dVerse
May 30, 2017



I grew up with the Queen of Kintsugi and didn’t know it!   Mother
broadened the art to include anything worn, torn, bent or broken.  
Almost anything in my life as a  child had begun as something else. 
My clothes were made from the print fabric feed sacks which had
contained the grain mix for the chickens, and those that were plain
white were turned into dish towels.  Worn clothing was cut into pieces
and turned into quilts.  Heavy woolens were cut into pieces and
turned into heavy “comforters” for winter bed covers. My father’s
worn overalls were cut into pieces and made into coverlets that we
used to spread under the shade tree for lounging in the shade and
reading in summertime.  Small pieces of fabric were torn into strips
and used to make rag rugs. 

Mother’s talents extended to hammer and saw.  An old window
became the hinged cover for her hand-made hot bed for starting
plants for her garden.   Wood pieces from an old shed were turned
into a doghouse, and plant stands.  A defunct radio cabinet was
turned into a small sideboard.  Broken dishes or leaky pans were
turned into flower containers.  It seemed nothing was ever truly
broken, simply headed toward a new beginning … perhaps a good
lesson to apply to life itself.

*****************
Thunder in distance
harbinger of coming rain
riding tumbling clouds

Friday, May 26, 2017

THE QUILT

Submitted to Poets United #355
Poetry Pantry
May, 2017

THE QUILT

I’ve a quilt of many colors my mother gave to me
She lovingly caressed it as she told its history.
“These pieces”, she said with quivering voice,
“Are from my grandmother’s dress.
I made it in her memory, after she’d been laid to rest.”

I looked at the quilt of colors my mother so carefully made.
Life’s like the quilt, I thought to myself,  with pieces painstakingly laid.
Some colors are bright and happy, others are dark and sad
And the way we arrange the pieces reflects the life we’ve had.

I love my quilt of colors and display it with very great pride.
It’s more than a piece of fabric, it makes me feel good inside.
Very aware of my heritage and my place in the scheme of things.
We’re all keepers of memories, whether we’re paupers or kings.

As my mother passed on the memories of her grandmother to me
So I’ll entrust the memories to my daughter too, you see
She, in turn, will pass them on in an endless living chain
And the hopes and dreams of our ancestors
Will live again and again.

As those before, so those to come
Will encounter both joy and strife
And each generation be given the chance
To piece the quilt of life.

*****************************

Thursday, May 25, 2017

CELEBRATION

Frank has challenged us to write a poem
in a form called Ottava rima.
Ottava rima is an old Italian form consisting of
 multiple stanzas each of eight lines using
 iambic meter and having the rhyme
pattern abababcc.
Submitted to dVerse May, 2017
****************


She left in disarray, thoughts scattered
With only vestiges of broken dreams
Betrayed, abused, emotions tattered
She’d lost herself, a victim of his schemes
Escape and freedom all that mattered
She fled with faith alone, or so it seems.
She vowed to find a safe and better place
For regaining strength and renewal of grace.

Slowly they returned, the things she treasured
Things she scarcely realized she’d lost
Confidence, identity, resolve unmeasured
She came to know how great had been the cost
When she had lived only to see him pleasured
And he, in turn, had cruelly double-crossed.
She put in the past the deceit and degradation
And faced her future, filled with celebration.

********************
        Take the leap of faith
       Find yourself victorious
       Stronger than you know

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

LEGACY

This week's Midweek Motif topic is FLOWERS.

Did you ever take a  country drive and notice flowers
growing beside an abandoned house, and think about
who planted them?  Did you wonder if she knows her
flowers still bloom there?  Such a drive inspired this bit of
digital art and the poem therein. 

Submitted to Poets United Midweek Motif
May, 2017


Tuesday, May 23, 2017

THE CAVE

Paul has asked us to go underground for our
offering for Poetics Tuesday.  I chose to take
him literally. I hope my poet friends do not
tire of hearing my remember-whens!
Here’s another.
Submitted to dVerse Poetics Tuesday
May, 2017






A stone’s throw from the back door of my childhood home was what we called “the cave”.  Actually, it was an underground storm cellar.  Many of the farm homes had one for refuge in event of a tornado, which occurred on occasion in our area.  My mother was an inventive soul,  however, and turned our “cave” into her personal winter storage area.  She built long shelves along one side on which she arranged the food she canned from her extensive garden …  green beans, peas, corn, tomatoes, apple butter, jellies, jams, peaches, apples, pickles, and beets.   On the other wall, she built bins for the root vegetables … potatoes, sweet potatoes, onions, and carrots.   Unexpected  company for dinner merely required a trip to “the cave”, and a typical farm meal would be forthcoming.  Guests were usually sent home with a jar or two of her prized jelly.  My mother was a woman of many talents … a hard act to follow!
**************

Monday, May 22, 2017

MORNING SOUNDS

Today's Quadrille of exactly 44 words
is to use the word "Sound".
Submitted to dVerse
May, 2017



                                   Cardinal issues morning address
                           Instructions for wife and children, no doubt

                           Sound of distant crow committee meeting
                                      Apparently much to discuss

                               Rat-a-tat-tat of pileated woodpecker
                                You’d think he’d have a headache

                                   Small jet landing at little airport
                                          Race driver coming in? *

                                              Must be morning.

***************************

Welcome morning sounds
Fall pleasantly on the ears
Time to face the day

*It is May in Indianapolis, home to the vaunted
500 Mile Race.  

Sunday, May 21, 2017

RICHES UNTOLD



A prose/poem extracted from a
short story I wrote for my writer's group.
Submitted to Poets United
Poetry Pantry
May, 2017

 
Exploring their newly purchased property, Nathan and Alice came across a cave, and inside was a weathered trunk.  Thinking perhaps it contained treasures untold, they carefully opened the creaking lid.  Inside, they found a yellowed envelope which contained the following poem:

Fiddle de dum, fiddle de dee
There’s a secret to be told
To those who venture here
In search of a pot of gold.

In my lifetime there’s a lesson I’ve learned
Riches aren’t found in money
But in the wildflower meadow
Where the bees collect their honey

In the whispered breezes
Where the old elms stand
All this wealth is yours to hold
On this single piece of land.

Down the hill to the little creek
And the sound of its gurgling tones
As it flows ever so gently
Over time-scarred and weathered stones.

In the distant sight of birds on the wing
And the sound of their warbling trill
As they stop for lunch in the tangle
Of blackberry vines just down the hill

Savor the colors that are yours to see
Grass so green, and sky so blue
These  riches are yours, my friends
More than you ever knew.

So put this back in the weathered trunk
And close the lid on my rhyme
More treasure seekers will visit here
In yet another time. 

Slowly,  Nathan and Alice returned the envelope to the trunk, closed the lid, and left the cave.  They walked back to the house in silence,  through the wildflower meadow and the stand of elms, past the gurgling little creek and the tangle of  blackberry vines, each with a new appreciation for the riches that surrounded them, more than they ever knew.
**************

Thursday, May 18, 2017

GROWING OLDER

It’s Open Link at dVerse
Time for a little introspection.
Submitted to Open Link 196
May, 2017
******************

It’s wonderful to be older,
And oh, so very wise
…but I observe I have acquired
    some bags beneath my eyes.

My years of diligent labor
Have made me efficient about the house
…but now, when I look in the mirror
   my knees appear to blouse.

After all my years of practice,
I know quite the proper thing to say
…but I note on close inspection,
   my hair is turning gray.

Seniority has its privileges
Of travel beneath foreign flags
…but, when I check my silhouette,
    I believe my bottom sags.

When youth defers to me,
I think it’s really sweet
…but along with that, it’s sad to see
   my skin’s begun to pleat.

I’m now  loaded with self-confidence
When before a group I speak
…but, as I leave the podium,
   I hear my joints begin to creak.

Yes, aging has its privileges
And all in all they’re not so bad
…but they would really please me
   with that youthful body I had.

*****************

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

BICYCLE MEMORIES

Susan has chosen  Bicycles, Tricycles or Unicycles
for this week’s Midweek Motif.   The subject
conjures sweet memories of my favorite
childhood pastime.
Submitted to Poets United Midweek Motif
May, 2017



  
Sweet memories of bicycle rides at dusk
pedaling down lonely country roads
lost in summer fragrance
only the sound of gravel under wheels
meadowlarks perched on fenceposts
cattle grazing in the fields.

Once around the four mile square
a time for dreams and youthful plans
home in sight, and mother’s garden
tidy rows of vegetables, edged by flowers
bicycle parked, stop by the old grapevine
for reward of sweet purple grapes
watch out for evil bantam rooster

Open the screen door to HOME.

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

SENSE NONSENSE

Mish is hosting Poetics today, and
asks us to engage in abstract use
of the senses.   I’m not sure I hit the
mark.
Submitted to dVerse Poetics
May, 2017






A late Spring day sends shade songs
from the overhanging maples. I sit
on the deck, my latest novel ("Sold Down
the River") at hand,  and find myself lost in
soft Cajun patois, spicy jambalaya calling
my name, a visiting  jay casting voodoo spells
and dark promises.  I taste pipe smoke, chalks,
oil paints, euphoria and despair of artists who
display their wares on the wrought iron fences
of Jackson Square.   I inhale New Orleans
from the pages of my novel.   The day is
lush with green, and I am blush with happy.

Monday, May 15, 2017

BLISS

Bjorn hosts the Haibun/haiku at dVerse today
and asks us to include a recipe.
Submitted to dVerse
May, 2017



Chocolate … the panacea of the masses!   The very word is
soothing to the spirit.   On a cold winter’s night there’s nothing
like wrapping your hands around a mug of steaming hot chocolate,
the fragrance  drifting upward on the trails of steam.   Conversely,
on a hot summer day, there’s nothing like a trip to the local
ice cream store for a hot fudge sundae, the combination of hot
and cold a glorious  celebration of the tongue.   But when
I REALLY want chocolate, I  grab my favorite microwave safe
bowl, pour in a 12 ounce package of chocolate chips, a 6 ounce
package of butterscotch chips,  and one 14 ounce can of sweetened
condensed milk.   Stir it up a bit and pop it in the microwave
for about a minute and a half or until the chips are melted.  Remove
from the microwave,  stir vigorously, add a teaspoon of vanilla
and a handful of nuts.  Pour it into an 8 x 8 pan and allow to cool. 
Instant melt-in-your-mouth fudge.   Ah, bliss!

drifting from window
chocolate scent on spring breeze
titillating appetite
*****************

Saturday, May 13, 2017

POLITICAL RANT ii

I try not to politicize my poetry, but on
occasion my muse overpowers me.  Such
is the case with this poem, submitted to
Poets United Poet Pantry
May, 2017


***********

Consider the right-fighter
We’ve one in the White House today
If you dare to disagree with  him
There’s sure to be hell to pay

When he speaks he shows his ignorance
And embarrassing lack of knowledge
One wonders if he obtained his degree
From Kindergarten College.

He tells us Andy Jackson
Tried to avert the Civil War
Never mind that poor old Jackson
Had died many years before.

No sooner has he filled his staff
And everyone is hired
Than someone dares to disagree
And he’s shouting “You’re Fired!”

I try to hope for the future
But anxieties linger
If only there were a greater distance
Between “the button” and his finger!

Thursday, May 11, 2017

LIST POETRY

Victoria Slotto is hosting Meeting the Bar
at dVerse.  She’s requested “List Poetry”, which
 neatly squelched my poetic urges!   What follows,
I fear, is a bit grumpy. 
Submitted May, 2017



I’m basically a happy person
Positive, I guess you’d say
But there are some things that annoy me
And fail to make my day

      Such as

Alarm clocks
Rearranged grocery shelves
Slow drivers in the fast lane
Robo-calls
    And lists

People who are perpetually late
Mechanics who move my car seat
Shredded lettuce on my hamburgers
Unloading the dishwasher
    And lists

Wet morning newspaper
Unmade beds and clutter
Dishes in the sink
Donald J. Trump
    And lists

There, now, I've made an effort
And tried to be a sport
This comes with my apology
I'll work on my comport.

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

FIRSTBORN

Poets United Midweek Motif
features childbirth this week.
Such a special time!
Submitted 5-9-2017
**************

“It’s a boy!”  they told me that morning
What joy it brought to my heart!
And when they placed you beside me
I examined each small, perfect part.

I prayed for wisdom to guide you
To your manhood straight and strong
I prayed you’d always have courage
To separate right from wrong.

That’s you’d know real jewels are in sunsets
And true riches are not in the bank
And if you lost sight of those values
You’d only yourself to thank.

I prayed for your days filled with laughter
And life’s riches your lot day by day
For those riches are found in the loving
Of souls touched along the way.

********************

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

SOIL

Poetics:  Soil
Dverse Poetics Tuesday
Submitted  May 8, 2017

Black dust carried on prairie winds
God’s gift to middle Illinois
Rich, black, fertile loam
Nurtures crops and nature’s bounty
Tidy gardens, winter’s sustenance
Rippling waves of golden wheat
Fields of sweet and fragrant clover
Holding fast the hardwood forests
Carried by rivers to the sea
Bless this soil on which we stand
Lord, we’re grateful for this land.
************

Monday, May 8, 2017

ECHO

Quadrille #32  requires exactly 44 words
using the word echo
Submitted to dVerse
May 8, 2017


Abandoned and forlorn
Secrets kept within
Children’s voices echo
And play remember when

Someone’s cherished home
In days of long ago
Their voices speak to me
In echoes soft and low.

Simple days passed
Dreams were dreamed
Their memories remained
Or so it seemed.
***********************

Sunday, May 7, 2017

WISHING

Careful what you wish for, is what they say.
This poem is about just that.
Submitted to Poets United Poets Pantry
May 7, 2017

******

When I was small, I was very fat
And I thought skinny was where it’s at
And during the years of my single life
I knew I’d be happy if I just were a wife.

Then I was married and the children came
And I knew when they were grown
I’d be ahead of the game.
When my babies had flown the nest
I thought working women had life the best.

Now I was working and accepting the pay
But I thought I’d give anything for one leisure day
Sure, I was married, as I’d wanted to be
But my single friends all seemed so free.

Time turned the pages, I was single again
And freedom not so great as I thought it had been.
When it’s over, I wonder, on that final day
Will I have lived my life, or just wished it away?
**********
(I would not want anyone to think I've led a life of discontent,
as that is most definitely not the case.  It has been, and is, a
happy journey.)

Thursday, May 4, 2017

THE ME GENERATION

Written a few years back, but
still so timely, I think.
Submitted to dVerse
Open Link #195
May 3, 2017


It’s the “me” generation
It’s in vogue to please yourself
The idea is highly touted
In the books upon the shelf.
Self-fulfillment, self-enrichment
Look out for number one
If it works so well, I wonder
Where happiness has gone?

The divorce rate is steadily climbing
And many are at the end of their rope
Are we so busy feeding our egos
We’re running out of cope?
Our houses are growing larger
At quite an alarming rate
First we have to find one another
Before we can communicate.

Our children grow up with a sitter
Who has problems of her own
When we decide to spend time with them
We find they’re nearly grown.
The men are at the golf course
And the women at the pool.
And the children leave the sitter’s
And go to nursery school.

The husbands go to the men’s clubs
The wives go to the spas.
Are they so busy self-developing
They forget the way it was
When love was new and joyous
And each lived for the other
And finding time together
Wasn’t such an awful bother?

Could it be we had the answer
In the not so long ago
When we weren’t hung up on possessions
And what we had for show?

When our concern was more for others
And we loved our fellow man
And we weren’t too busy self-developing
To lend a helping hand?

Could self-denial be fulfilling
And self-control enriching too?
Is it just we have the self misplaced.
I wonder, is that true?

There’s a very great difference
Between what we want and what we need
And what we call desire to achieve
Is perilously close to greed.

It seems what we wear not who we are
Is what it’s all about
But ugly is still ugly
If it comes from inside out.

We’re all looking for the answers
And there’s little else to say
But, if we reassessed our values
Would happy come back one day?
************************************

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

NEWS THEN AND NOW

News Media ,,,
A nostalgic look at news as it used to be.
I don't think there's enough paper for me to
discuss what it is today.

Submitted to Poets United  Midweek Motif
 May 3, 2017


After supper, my father sat hunched in his old rocking chair
beside the console radio, dialed to the evening news.  It was
World War II, and  I can still hear the sonorous tones of
Gabriel Heater reporting on “our boys on the Western Front”.
This was our contact with the world beyond our rural part of
north central Illinois.  When the news reported a need for
blood for “our boys”, my father and a few of the neighboring
farmers, all of whom were above age for the draft, drove the
100 miles north to Chicago to donate blood. The country was
united in patriotism and support for our military.  Stars hung
in the windows of those who had fathers or sons in service.
Sadly, gold stars hung in the windows of those who’d lost that
father or son.  The newscasts on the old radio were never
questioned, but taken as gospel truth.

How I wish we could rely upon truth in our journalism today.
**************

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

MURDEROUS INTENT

Kim has issued a challenging challenge for
Tuesday Poetics.   Write a dramatic monologue,
she asks, and thrill her and chill her with our evil plans.
What’s more, we’re to do this in rhyming couplets
and anapestic format.   Forgive me for foregoing
anapest!  
Submitted to dVerse Tuesday Poetics
May 2, 2017 
************
I am happy for this chance to vent
My modicum of murderous intent
I fear it has potential, you see
To become a regular killing spree.

I want to dispose of more than one
Oh, many will go before I’m done
I’ll watch them fall like dominoes
And go the way of all my foes

A poisonous spray will do the task
I won’t inhale, I’ll wear a mask
It won’t take long til it’s all complete
And my victory will be so sweet.

Then. sitting back in my easy chair
I’ll cherish my view beyond compare
Free of the blight of those yellow scions
Oh, how I hate those dandelions. 
*****************

Monday, May 1, 2017

The River

Haibun Monday
Submitted to dVerse
May 1, 2017
Garth Brooks - The River






It was there, in the attic of my brain … “The River” … the lyric that had been meaningful to me in trying times … the lyric that inspired me to push forward when courage flagged.  Some songs speak to us, and linger in our memory like an old friend,  to be encountered once again with a rekindling of emotion.  I raise my glass to the musical poets who pen lyrics that mark the events in our lives ... a few notes of which, even years later,  can transport us back to that moment in time.  It seems contemporary lyrics often lack substance, and become a single repetitive phrase interspersed with "oh baby, baby."  Two lines from “The River” pop immediately to mind … “I will sail my vessel ’til the river runs dry.  I’ll never reach my destination if I never try”.    Ah, words to live by, Garth Brooks.   Thank you!

Turn the volume up
Sing me some inspiration
Music is my bliss

****************

Saturday, April 29, 2017

THE MYSTERY OF FLIGHT 19

The Bermuda Triangle has always held a
fascination, and the fate of Flight 19 is
one of its mysteries.
Submitted to Poets United, Poetry Pantry
April 30, 2017



Five pilots of the Navy’s tried and true
Took off on a mission routine
The Florida sun was shining
There were high hopes for Flight 19

They’d completed part of their journey
When the lead pilot called to say
His compass had malfunctioned
And he feared they’d lost their way

And so no one really knows
What happened to the flight
In the last communication
They said “No land in sight”.

What  followed was a massive search
The outcome was as feared
All five planes and 14 souls
Seemed to have disappeared.

Two rescue planes had been dispatched
To try to find the flight
Before another day had dawned
One of them, too, had vanished from sight.

The searchers found no oil slicks
No sign of  debris was seen
To explain the mysterious fate
Of the search plane or Flight 19.

The Bermuda Triangle is legend
For ships lost and never seen again
She still holds fast the destination
Of the search plane, Flight 19, and their men.