Category Archives: Daily Post

Beauty’s Clutch.

 

Beauty’s Clutch

Life’s a library where we choose
book after book to read and muse
on the truth of each, or how it serves
to amuse us or to calm our nerves.
It starts with storybooks in our youth.
Cinderella’s lovely, her kin uncouth.

The pretty sister we all adore.
The others? Rotten to the core.
We judge by beauty evermore.

As teenagers, our thoughts are filled
with thoughts of hair, complexion, build—
the ways we rank and choose our friends.
For some, this method never ends.
We judge the world by what we see.
At court, the prettiest are set free.

Our dates determined by their cars,
Our peanut butters by their jars,
Our candidates are movie stars.

World is illusion, say the seers,
the thinkers and philosophers.
We cannot know reality
by going just by what we see.
Yet time and time again, we choose
our futures based upon our views.

The “curb appeal” that meets our eye
determines which house we will buy.
The crust is how we choose the pie.

Ted Bundy had a handsome face
that drew young ladies to his embrace.
An arm sling or perhaps a crutch
tricked them into his murderous clutch.
His handsomeness served to distract
till he’d performed his heinous act.

His cover perfect, his act most skilled,
he killed and killed and killed and killed—
lives ruined and ended as he willed.

So crack the book and look inside.
Talk before you choose your bride.
Drive the car before you buy.
Sip the wine and taste the pie.
See what’s inside if you are able.
Don’t go by face or box or label.

Though beauty dulled is less sublime,
scrub the tarnish from the dime.
Looking deeper takes more time.

Don’t choose the cover of a book.
Instead, take care to have a look.
One page nor twenty will not do.
You have the whole book left to view.
Avoid appearances and preening.
Look for truth and look for meaning.

George Eliot coined the adage first.
If for truth you have a thirst,
judging by the cover’s worst.

This  poem was written 3 1/2 years ago, when I’d just started my blog and had very few readers, so I don’t think many  reading my blog today have read it before. The prompt word today is clutch
.

Gremlins (A Teenage Mythology)

Of course none of these teens, who happen to be my nieces and nephew, would ever sneak in after hours!

A Teenage Mythology

A sneeze is how a poltergeist gets outside of you.
At night a different stinky elf sleeps inside each shoe.

Every creaking rafter supports its resident ghost,
and it’s little gremlins who make you burn the toast.

Each night those tricky fairies put snarls in your hair,
while pixies in your sock drawer unsort every pair.

Midnight curtain billows are caused by banshee whistles.
Vampires use your toothbrush and put cooties in its bristles.

Truths all come in singles. It’s lies that come in pairs.
That’s a zombie, not a teenager, sneaking up the stairs.

 

 

Gremlins is the prompt word today. This is a rewrite of a poem written 4 years ago.  Can’t believe that I actually had a poem with “gremlins” in it.  Glad the WordPress search function
has a better memory than I do.

Burnt Offering

Version 2

In some cultures, loyalty extends far beyond the fair or rational, but no one controls what happens after tradition is satisfied:

Burnt Offering
(The Virtuous Wife)

This suttee

is easier to bear with eyes closed.

She falls upon his burning pyre,

puts out his flame,

grateful for short rituals.

The pyre,

the bone,

ashes on the sheets.

He cannot touch her.

She is air.

She floats his breath.

She tracks his carbon

down the hall.

She walks

out to the Avenue,

wearing  sheerest black

with nothing but a cauldron underneath.

Her fire.

She picks a stranger

dusted by the road,

leans him against

shadows

in  the tall grass,

spills her steam,

lifts into

penumbra

above shaded hill.

The prompt today was loyal.

That Tiny Niggling Little Prickle

download

That Small Feeling That Something’s Wrong

My intuition sounds its gong.
I have an inkling something’s wrong.
I look  around  for what’s amiss,
but cannot tell what signals this.
My arm and neck hairs stir and rise,
as if to warn me of surprise.
This tiny hunch keeps me alert,
but insight is a fickle flirt.
When nothing happens, it goes away
and I live out my normal day.
That tiny niggling little prickle
might lead to nought, for insight’s fickle,
and sometimes things are just so small
that they aren’t there at all.

This poem, actually written last year, seemed appropriate both for the “prickle” prompt and for relaying information about the Lone Star Tick  just passed on to me by a friend. This tick seems to have supplanted the Lyme disease scare in the Eastern U.S. A friend and her boyfriend have both been bitten by it and have developed the meat allergy. More grist for the worry mill:    http://www.popsci.com/lone-star-tick-meat-allergy

The prompt today was prickle. The image was copied from the internet.

Dakota Dirt

 

Dakota Dirt

My father toiled for fifty years,
facing the worries and the fears—
the gambles that a farmer faced
when all his future he had placed
as seeds beneath Dakota dirt.
Every year, he risked the shirt
right off his back. With faith, he’d bury
his whole future in that prairie.
Sticky gumbo, that fine-grained silt
upon which his whole life was built.
Then, closer to our summer home,
near the river, in sand and loam,
he hoped he could prepare for ours:
our clothes, our college, and first cars.

Then came those years that brought the change
that altered fields and crops and range.
The rain that formerly turned to rust
plows left untended, turned to dust
that, caught up in the wind’s mad thrust
caused many a farmer to go bust
as a whole nation mourned and cussed
black clouds of dirt that broke the trust
that nature would provide for all.
What formerly fed, now brought their fall.

It broke the men who couldn’t wait
for the drought years to abate,
but my father kept his faith in soil.
Found other paying forms of toil
building dams to catch what rain
might later fall on that dry plain.
And though others thought his prospects poor,
he kept his land and bought some more.
He learned to vary furrow line,
believing it would turn out fine.

So when good fortune returned again,
bringing with it snow and rain,
he welcomed and was ready for it.
That April it began to pour, it
filled his dams and nourished what
soil remained. He filled each rut
with clover, alfalfa and wheat.
Allowed the summer sun to beat
and change them into fields of gold—
into grain and feed he sold.

Bought cattle. Planted winter wheat.
Once more secure on his two feet,
expanded and as he had planned,
bought more cattle and more land.
Some said that he had just exploited
those whose land he’d reconnoitered
and purchased after they’d given up,
empty hands transformed to cup.
He was a hero unsung, unknown,
until long after when I was grown.

At the centennial of our town,
I learned a bit of his renown
when others told to me how he
shared nature’s generosity.
He sent three daughters to university,
then shared with his community 
to build a church and give more knowledge
to those young men he sent to college.
Then made loans without fame or thanks
to other farmers denied by banks.

I’d always known how rich my life
was made by all his toil and strife—
the insurance he gave his family
that enabled us all to be free.
But, aside from daughters, wife and mother,
I’d never know of every other
soul he’d helped  to prosperous ends:
neighboring ranchers, sons of friends.
Could my father have known he’d also planned
all these other futures when he bought the land?

 

This rich Jones County gumbo on the treads of my tire at one of our all-town reunions a few years ago is what sent me to college!

Not enough dirt for you?  Check out this story: https://judydykstrabrown.com/2015/01/26/south-dakota-gumbo/

The prompt today was soil.

Travel Illusions

An Andalusian Businessman Visits Mexico

When business problems brought disillusion,
I hoped to prompt their fast diffusion,
jumping to the fast conclusion
that a coronary occlusion
could be allayed best by the fusion
of tequila and a lime
and so I thought that it was time
to move from Spain to Mexico
to see how well my life would go
in climes more southern, still, than mine.
I’d heard it said on the grape vine
my college sweetheart still lived there.
I thought I’d see how she might fare.
But when this friend sought dissolution
of her marriage, my inclusion
as a witness brought confusion.
It seems the judge had the delusion
that she and I were in collusion—
that it was I who broke their fusion.
He gave me three days of seclusion,
thinking that my simple exclusion
might furnish them a love transfusion.
The Spanish/Mexicano fusion
I now know is mere illusion.
That we’re joined by language is a delusion.
What exacerbated the confusion
was that I spoke in Andalusian!

 

The prompt today was illusion. (Image downloaded from the Internet.)

Commitment Issues

(You don’t dare enlarge these, do you?  If you do have the courage of your convictions and wonderful resistance to temptation, enlarge all photos my clicking on any one.)

Commitment Issues

I breakfast on oatmeal and vile green tea.
Oats aids in digestion, the tea makes me pee
and helps me to swallow the Omega 3
that lowers blood pressure and lubes up my knee.
I do pool aerobics when the water’s not cold.
I open my mind so it doesn’t get old.
I don’t shoot up drugs or overdo liquor.
I try to eat food that is good for my ticker.

Broccoli, whole grains, jamaica, white beans

to lower my blood pressure by other means
than those dreaded pills that make me feel old
by sapping my energy, dulling my bold.
I can give up the salt and give up the nookie,
but please don’t deprive me of my evening cookie
or maybe a dozen or two, more or less.
 In my frenzy, I sometimes lose count, I confess.

If I’m going to have meat, a potato’s a must.
Protein without carbs is simply unjust.
Dark chocolate’s allowed, but I fear just a bit,
and when it comes to chocolate, I never can quit.
Who wants to commit to a life with no sin?
No pasta, no cookies, no chocolate, no gin?
I try to be good but I’m still not the best,
for I cannot commit to a diet with no zest.

 

The prompt today was commit.