Monday, March 20, 2017

ROGUE RIVER RUN

This challenge brought about a happy memory
I hadn't visited for some time.  My thanks to
our hostess this week.
Submitted to dVerse
Haibun/haiku
March 20, 2017
****************


When visiting my daughter, who lives in Salem, Oregon, we chose to take a ride up the Rogue River on one of the jet boats that deliver the U.S. mail from Gold Beach to isolated spots on the river.  There were about 15 people in our group.  It was a glorious day and a glorious opportunity to see the unspoiled and unpopulated course of the Rogue, where we saw heron, cormorant, osprey, a bald eagle, and assorted wildlife   It seemed to be as it had been since the beginning of time, a veritable untouched Eden. 

At mid-day we stopped at Lucas Lodge, which is at the confluence of the Rogue and the Illinois River.  There we were seated at one large table with red-checkered tablecloth, and served a farmhouse style dinner of crispy fried chicken, buttery mashed potatoes, garden vegetables, hot biscuits with blackberry jam, and apple pie.  It was a quiet group at first, but I suggested we go around the table and introduce ourselves.  What followed was a meal I will always remember.  Conversation flowed freely amongst the varied folks at the table … a pair on their honeymoon (blushing appropriately), an employee of the timber industry, a save-the-white-owl environmentalist, a pharmacist (my daughter), our tour guide and others.   By the time we got to the apple pie, we were a congenial group, and we found our way back down the hill and boarded the boat for the trip back to Gold Beach. That meal somewhere on the Rogue is one of my pleasantest memories.

Summer on the Rogue
far from civilization
worries fall away

A POET'S PRAYER


Having used my river story for yesterday's
Haibun, I offer instead this prayer with
its allusion to the river of time.
Submitted to dVerse Poetics
March 21, 2017






Oh God of poets,
He/She who shepherds the
      river of time and oversees currents
        and white waters of life
visit me tonight with mind-blowing
      phrases of wonderfulness.    
        guide my pen to philosophical
            profundities and psychological
               magnitude.
 plant scintillating and sparkling repartee’
       in the pens of those of us
          with word addiction.
Let me eloquently speak of pulchritude
         and thoughtfully of solitude.
beknight me with the
      wisdom of the ages and,
        if possible, put it in rhyme.
bestow vocabulary acuity
       and grammatical alacrity;
         and, if it’s not too much,
          keep me humble. 


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

Friday, March 17, 2017

MY LAST $20

Someone once asked "What would you do with
your last $20?", which gave me pause for thought.
My thoughts turned to the rich, flat prairie of Illinois
and the little farm where I grew up, and occasioned
this little ditty.
Submitted to Poets United Poetry Pantry
March, 2017
http://poetryblogroll.blogspot.com

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



Ten things I’d do with my last $20
Me, the girl who’s always had plenty?
I learned well at my mother’s knee
To beware of the careless spending spree.
I’m not the trendiest girl on the block
But I’ve some put back in a well worn sock.

I’d need pen and paper so I could write
And something to read when it got to be night
I’d want a mu-mu, loose and flowing
(I won’t be wearing a bra where I’m going.)

I’ll gather my kids and we’ll head for the farm    
The one safe place, free from harm.
I’ll take along some packets of seeds
We’ll grow enough to meet our needs.

We may be down to our very last dime
But we’ll be living in a simpler time.
No electronic tethers, which some will think odd
But we’ll have time again to talk to God.

We’ll breathe fresh air, and dance in the sun
And count our blessings when day is done.
“They sure don’t have much”, some will say
But, then, what good is money anyway?




Thursday, March 16, 2017

POETIC IMPRESSIONISM

At dVerse Meet the Bar, we're challenged by Bjorn
to consider Impressionism in words, a
formidable task!
Painting:  Claude Monet's Cliff at Pourville
Submitted to https://dversepoets.com/
 March 16, 2017
*****************

Dust devil in the desert
whirl-a-gigging into the air
sailing azure currents
to know not where

Spinagain, spinagain
twirl to the dawn
roundabout gadabout
still moving on

Circuitous, fortuitous
and now at sea
whirlpooling onward
wet, wild and free

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

A POLITICAL FAIRY TALE


Any resemblance to persons living or dead is purely intentional……
Submitted to  Poets United Midweek Motif
and to dVerse Open Link
March, 2017
***************




Once upon a time there was an empty man,
filled only with himself.  The Earl of Deceit
dwelled in a golden tower, yet convinced
many he was everyman.  He rose to the
highest office in the land, then spent his
time wreaking revenge on those who dared
disagree with him.   With a careless stroke
of the pen, he extinguished the light of
Lady Liberty, divided families and caused
hardship and grief  to those who had already
suffered much, then retired to his opulent
castle in a southern city for a spirited game
of trick and tweet. 

With swaggering bravado,  no mirror large
enough for his ego, he spouted lies meant to
obfuscate his true agenda.   He denigrated
women, though he married three. 
He smiled little, and blustered much.   He
embarrassed his nation and spat upon tradition. 

Soon (and this is the fairy tale part) he
disappointed those who believed in him, and
became like the emperor with no clothes. 
Everyman came to see his feet of clay, and he
was dethroned.  The country fell to its knees
in gratitude to have escaped self-inflicted
Armageddon.  The torch of Lady Liberty was
re-ignited, and all the peoples of the land
lived companionably ever after. 

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

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

THE KINDNESS OF STRANGERS



Submitted to Midweek Motif
http://poetryblogroll.blogspot.com/
March 15, 2017
*****************

There are grandiose gestures
about which much is written 
of strangers inordinately kind.
But the kindnesses small
for no reason at all
are meaningful too, I find.

If we became the strangers,
we could all be life-changers,
and perhaps change our own as well
If we look for the chance to
make someone’s eyes dance
we’d both feel a lift, truth to tell.

A compliment paid, a smile and a nod
Small things are time well spent
Some small chore
 like opening a door
and gloom just got up and went!
**************

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

THE MIDWAY


It's Tuesday Poetics, and Lillian asks us to revisit an amusement park.
March, 2017





kaleidoscope of sights and sounds
smell of gasoline engines
fueling adrenalin rush
for frantic thrill-seekers.

ferris wheel view of chaos
smell of sweat and cotton candy
weary parents and excited children
“Once more, Daddy, please”.

tilt-a-whirled and dizzied
sensory overload
merry-go-rounded on wooden steed
nobody wins the race

taken high, turned upside down
scream into the night
right side up and grateful
overcome with revelry

homeward bound,
it slips away
cacophony is stilled

Monday, March 13, 2017

SPRING QUADRILLE


We’re challenged to create a quadrille
using the word “spring” in exactly 44
words.  I challenged myself to use
the various meanings as well.
Submitted to dVerse at https://dversepoets.com/
March, 2017







The buggy springs creaked
on the bumpy ride to Bozart's Spring
atop Larkspur Mountain.
Buckets were filled with clear,
cool water, and the homeward
trip begun amidst bluebells
and forget-me-nots, while
songbirds basked in sunshine
and serenaded the first days of Spring.

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

Thursday, March 9, 2017

A CHAPTER ENDS

https://dversepoets.com/  
I've always felt we live our life in chapters.  For this week's Open Link
I've chosen a poem I wrote many years ago when I became a widow, and
a chapter in my life ended.
February, 2017



We kissed as you took your departure
And both said “I’ll see you then”
For how could we know on that morning
We’d not see each other again.

We live day by day always thinking
There’ll be time to say things on the morrow
But death takes away all those chances
And we’re left full of words in our sorrow.

I looked at your lips still and silent
And I wanted to shout “It’s not fair!
We had things to be said to each other
How could we know there was no time to spare?”

Did you know when I sat by the graveside
And words flowed that had been left unsaid?
It seemed the world faded about me
And it seemed I heard your voice instead.

It seemed I heard “Life’s for the living.
There’s no turning back, it’s all done.
Hold close what we had while our lives touched,
But it’s time to pick up and move on.”

It’s true time heals, as it’s spoken
And I find life still good day by day
But when someone does something to please me
I try to take time now to say.

For I know our time here is fleeting
And life rushes by very fast
We must say what we feel when we feel it
Lest the moment to say it has passed.

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

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

HUMBLE PIE



We’re honoring International Woman’s Day.  Born in the era when a woman’s place was in the home, I married and raised my babies as expected.  I was widowed at a young age, however, and so began my business career.  I have always felt I had the best of both worlds.   My poem is not deep or introspective, but rather a humorous look at my self-confident self in a humbling moment. 
Submitted to Poets United Midweek Motif   http://poetryblogroll.blogspot.com/, February, 2017,
with a salute to all the young working mothers today who are juggling motherhood and career.

*****************
T’was at my friend’s daughter’s wedding
I’ve remembered it all this while
I’d taken the arm of my usher
And we’d headed up the aisle.

Under my brand new navy dress
I wore my ancient navy half slip
It’s elastic was weak and weary
But it hung on my ample hip.

I was looking downright regal
For our brief trip, heaven knows
But, soon that dratted half slip
Fell down about my toes.

I hardly missed a forward step
As I bent to pick it up
Gathered it in my fist
And continued on…Hup Hup

My escort looked over at me
With a twinkle in his eye
“It was just my slip”, I whispered
And slid into my seat with a sigh.

When I told it at the reception
We all had a laugh quite hearty
As I sat slipless among good friends
At that well-remembered wedding party.

I’m attending a wedding in a week or two
But I won’t take a chance
I’ll still be downright regal,
But I’ll be wearing pants!

Monday, March 6, 2017

THE CONCERT

We're requested to feature the forest in our
haibun/haiku this week at https://dversepoets.com/
Age prohibits walks in the woods for me, but I
am nonetheless able to enjoy the concert of the
forest outside my window.

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

One of the blessings in my life is the grove of trees outside my bedroom window.   I savor the nights I can sleep with my window open, listening to the night sounds in the woods.  The occasional flutter of wings, the quiet “who who” of the owl who lives there, courting sounds of the tree frogs,  the bugling trill of the cardinals, the plaintive murmur of the mourning doves,  and the rustling of small creatures,,,all are sounds that settle on me like a mantle of calm and comfort.   A summer rain is a concert from the patter of the first drops to the drumming of a steady downpour, the accompanying breeze wafting the wonderful scent of pure, sweet rain through my window.  

The seasons bring gifts of their own.   The usual night sounds in autumn are accompanied by the occasional plop as the acorns fall from the oaks, followed by the appearance of glorious shades of rust, red and gold.   Soon the dry leaves are a muted concert of their own, until the trees stand bare like old ladies, arms akimbo,  whose petticoats have fallen to their feet.  The first snow of winter frosts it all in a magical panorama of white.  An occasional ice storm brings a tympany of  colliding branches.   At last, the first tinges of Spring green appear, the daffodils push up through their bed of fallen leaves.  The cycle prepares to repeat itself….. and I have had a ticket to the concert. 

Contemplate the tree
recording passage of time
standing sentinel

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

Thursday, March 2, 2017

TO HAVE AND TO MOLD

Frank Hubeny at dVerse has challenged us to write
prose poetry.  I realize I've been writing it for years!
Submitted February, 2017
****************



Every woman thinks she can change the man she marries.   As girls, we dream of finding our knight in shining armor, who will cause our hearts to skip a beat, and carry us off to his castle where we’ll live happily ever after.  We begin our search for this paragon, who causes our heart to skip a beat.   When at last we meet the guy who has that inexplicable something that rattles our estrogen,  and by some curious stroke of fate we have that same inexplicable something that rattles his testosterone,  love settles upon us.  In some cases, love settles gently as a soft falling Spring rain, and in others it strikes with the ferocity of a Summer thunderstorm.   Whichever is the case,  it is not long until we hear strains of “Here Comes the Bride”,  a ring is on our finger, the vows are exchanged, and we have a bright, shiny new husband,   Our dreams are all coming true.

From almost the exact moment we slide the bolt on the door of our new honeymoon nest, our powers of observation kick into high gear.   Our groom is still quite charming, however we find when he sleeps his jaw drops open and he snores, which interrupts our beauty sleep.  Other small things begin to crop up.  He squeezes the toothpaste tube in the middle, leaves his shorts and socks inside out when he puts them in the hamper (IF he puts them in the hamper),  doesn’t rinse out the sink after he shaves,  puts toilet tissue on the holder feeding from the bottom and not the top,  turns hangers the wrong way in the closet, and any number of little foibles that were not visible when he was wearing his suit of shining armor.   We women are not known to shilly-shally when we set about the task of retraining our grooms.  We will use every capricious feminine wile we possess, and, if all else fails, nag and harangue.   It is no wonder the occasional husband mounts his white horse wearing the tattered remains of his shining armor and gallops off for greener pastures.  There, unfortunately, he is apt to fall  prey to another female who, after a time, will set about correcting his faults.   It is a fact, it takes a man to be a man!

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

THE CLOCK

We are asked to write of a memento with special meaning.
I guess this could be called prose poetry.  At any rate,
it is a memento story that begs to be told.
Submitted to dVerse Poets Pub  and
to Poets United Poetry Pantry
February 2017
***************


It was autumn in middle Illinois, and the ears of corn hung heavy on the stalks.  The oaks were beginning to show tinges of reds and golds, and at the edge of the little town near our farm, a traveling carnival set up shop in the empty field.  There were ticky-tacky rides, and booths of chance, and the inevitable fortune teller.  Like other farm families, my parents ambled from booth to booth with me in tow, looking for diversion and an evening of fun.

We stopped at one booth that appealed to my mother.  If a tossed coin lit in a dish, you won the dish.  A couple of tosses and she won a carnival glass candy dish which pleased her no end.   We moved on to a booth with a mechanical row of little ducks moving across a track, and a row of cork-shooting guns.  A dollar bought 5 shots, and if those shots knocked down five ducks a prize was yours.  My father was taken with a gaudy carnival clock, and was determined to win it for my mother.  Five shots.  Four ducks.  Another dollar changed hands.  Five shots.  Three ducks.  Another dollar changed hands.  Determined, my father soldiered on.  My mother, a frugal soul, begged him to give up, but Dad was a man with a mission.  I was a child, so I don’t remember how many dollars changed hands, but at last, to mother’s immense relief, five ducks fell, and the clock belonged to Dad.   Once home, the clock had a special place on the shelf in the kitchen.  Never mind it was a mantel clock, gold-edged and gaudy.  Dad was a happy man.

Over the next 45 years, the clock marked the hours and minutes in their lives.  I left home, married and had children.  Mom and Dad moved 3 more times, and each time the clock went with.  It marked the hours when they sold the farm and moved to town, when Dad passed, and when Mom lost her battle with Alzheimer’s and moved to a safe place.   When Mom slept away and treasures were divided, the clock came to me.  It sits on a shelf in my den.  The cord is the same cord my father spliced and wrapped with electrical tape.  It still shows the white paint from some redecorating project.  Now it marks the hours and minutes of my life.   God willing, it will mark the hours and minutes of the lives of one of my children when I am gone.   I’m sure somewhere Dad is smiling, chucking Mom under her chin with a wink in the way he had, and reminding her he got his money’s worth after all. 

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


Wednesday, March 1, 2017

FEAR

Poets United Midweek Motif challenge is
to write of FEAR.   Our world today certainly
offers lots of opportunities for fear...and yet
opportunities for enjoying the gift of life
are all about us.   

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

Tentacles of dread
doom and despair
sometimes seem
to be everywhere

What will we do
when the globe grows warm
How can we keep
those we love from harm

How will we conquer
this terror called Isis
What can we say
with our country in crisis

How will we save
the things we hold dear
and not be disabled
by the paralysis of fear

Perhaps clinging to faith
will help us to cope
Even Pandora’s box
at the bottom had HOPE

Live in faith or in fear
each day there’s a choice
Count blessings or sorrows
quake in fear or rejoice.

***********