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.
**********