For ears that hear

My buggy to places far away
is nothing more than ears that hear
the rat-a-tat-tat like a gentle snore
of a woodpecker that moved in right next door
each morning he chooses a tree ever closer
to the wide-open window above my dresser.

Over the metronome tick of the clocks
cupboards slam above my head
in counterpoint to the fire alarm beep
warning of bacon left far too long
the creamer slides with a gentle splash 
of spoon chimes and dings on the side of the mug.

Next door ricochets the giggles and shrieks
of a gaggle of geese kept penned inside
while past the shelter of too-small decks
robins sing of spring delights
the aging beagle peeks through deck rails
beats the air with his helicopter tail.

Old toad croaks below the moon high above
while the evening breeze rattles the shades
my ears so free they long to hear
the song of the stars before they fade
into the beat of the wings of a gnat
and the chirping call of a hunting cat.

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Today’s poem brought to you by the NaHaiWriMo prompt of “cart or buggy” and the NaPoWriMo prompt to create a “walking archive” from inside one’s home.

Don’t feed the troll!

It never fails to amaze
how fact is kept under lock and key. In the face of rabid fancy
snowflakes should grow into snow balls and landslips.
It never fails to amaze
how one microphone can hold such glacial sleet
only to melt underneath the glare of the camera’s red stare.
It never fails to amaze
how fact is kept under lock and key in the face of rabid fancy.
Day 12’s NaPoWriMo prompt was to write a triolet which has a very fixed structure. 

trillium

The Day 11 prompt from National Poetry Writing Month challenged us to write a poem in which one or more flowers take on specific meanings. And for inspiration directed us to the Language of Flowers, a glossary of flower meanings.  My favorite flower since my childhood days running wild and free in the forests around our home is the Trillium. How lovely to learn it means “modest beauty.”

modest beauty –
flawless bud peeks through lashes
at a globe in tears

chaos is a friend of mine

NaPoWriMo’s day 5 prompt was a doozy. Thank heavens it came on the weekend. Y’all should check it out. It has 20 components. I tried to use all of them, but there are a few missing. A couple of key things inspired this piece: a 1965 Bob Dylan interview, his biography, and a curious article on on Siri’s spread of Bob’s demise.

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“Chaos is a friend of mine,” it’s said Bob Dylan did opine.
For daring to taste electric nectar, adoring fans began to hector --
which caused no end to our folk hero’s lecture
on monkey wrenches, sellout jackets and rosy Hollywood air.

                    She sips her coffee with slow regret
                    and surfs the wily ethernet
                    unable to find a credible mention
                    of how this man lived his life.

Oh, Siri, thou font of all-knowing wisdom
what brought this man back from his piece of heaven?
Perhaps you channeled his neglected vision,
a country’s hope for changing times. 

                    She sips her coffee with slow regret
                    and surfs the wily ethernet
                    and stumbles across a hidden message
                    that answers all unanswered questions:

“Music was a pipedream . . . There are no more escapes.”

                    She sips her coffee with slow regret
                    and surfs the wily ethernet
                    the sleeveless mouse of make-believe
                    bait to her frozen hand.

Would Dylan use music and word and rhyme
to throw some shade on epic, thirsty times
where cool cats aren’t hip, just sick,
and chaos no longer divine?

                    She sips her coffee with slow regret
                    and surfs the wily ethernet
                    and ponders the butterfly logic
                    of making friends with mayhem and mess.

If truth is chaos -- maybe beauty, too --
then hope is free to soar and sing.
Gather manna as you can.
Vires acquirit eundo.

don’t talk turkey

The Day3 NaPoWriMo prompt: make a list of ten words and then use Rhymezone to identify two to four similar-sounding or rhyming words. Write a poem using your “word bank” play with sound, repeating sounds and echo.

Why so quiet?
Does it take riots
to make them supply it?
Whist, Ms. Perky, don’t talk turkey.
Bide your time and stay in your aerie!
With stoic grace step away from the rat race!
Sip red wine. Nibble on toffee. Avoid strong coffee.
Spirits will save you from becoming blind.
Recall the recipe for mustard plaster,
Gramma’s answer to this unfolding disaster.
Scribble notes for posterity, the lessons learned
on civility, agility and utility. Have you done all you can?
Have you reached out your hand?
Don’t harden your heart or come apart
at the seams. Pray for pardon before
you enter the Garden
lest the end days
be brutal and
spartan.

where I long to be . . .

On a winding trail
lined with ragged pine trees,
I paused to watch the unfurling of spring.
Fiddlehead ferns sprang upright
under mid-day sun that cast no heat
as a too-early wakened bumble bee
tried to shake hidden pollen from me.
(I’m told this is complimentary – I quite disagree!)
Red-winged blackbirds looking for mates
laid claim to cattails round the still pond,
a built-in early warning system
for the snoozing beaver clan.
I drew in great gulps
of fresh spring air
and thought how blessed I was to be there.

Day 2 NaPaWriMo challenged us to write a poem about a specific place with lots of detail. I’m missing being out on the hiking trails during this time of COVID close-down. Stay safe and healthy out there folks. Only let the bumble bees invade your space.

Brittle


she is the pliability
between the scraping
which is odd to say
because her strength
is
brittle
rather like the peanut brittle
she recalls
whipping up
with her dad
in steady, even strokes
around and around the bowl
until the frothy finish
is laid out
still and silent
to bake in a thousand degrees
time and time again
NaPoWriMo — Prompt for Day One:  “. . . write a self-portrait poem in which you make a specific action a metaphor for your life – one that typically isn’t done all that often, or only in specific circumstances. For example, bowling, or shopping for socks, or shoveling snow, or teaching a child to tie its shoes . . .”

hope is blindfolded

Under limbs bare of leaves but still with summer’s warmth we find hope
on top of wool blankets that scratch bare skin and know this is
just one way to paradise -- surely there are others. Blindfolded
we cross the finish line hand in hand, battered
by our dance of finding mystery beneath the lies we dressed
our public face in.
Shall we dress our desire in rags?
Or offer it as a tithing to a distant godhead? And
if we do neither, what angel will cast
us adrift 
to rock on blue-green waves in
search of distant lands until parched and pleading the
moon sets us free on the shores of our cloistered universe.

I return time and again to the challenge of the “golden shovel” poem. I find it offers just the right mixture of challenge, structure and opportunity to spend time on a particular line or phrase I read that stuck with me. In this case, Connie J. Jasperson’s #FineArtFriday musing on Hope by George F Watts 1886 had a line that grabbed me and would not let go: “Hope is blindfolded, battered, dressed in rags, and cast adrift in the universe.”

nothing but child’s play

I see a lot of families out walking, biking and generally enjoying together time right now. Which is the silver lining of all the ruckus. So, it only made sense for childhood to be on my mind as a I played with four of the March 2020 NaHaiWriMo prompts: patches of snow, plum blossom, return of the migrants and thunderheads.

I spy croci
peeking through fairy rings
snow patch find

white snow turns pink
when the south wind blows
we honk with the geese

among cedar and fern
we wandered dawn to dusk
porch light migrants

with each flash of light
we count one-Mississippi
big guns overhead