Category Archives: Judy Dykstra-Brown poems

Water Fetish

Water Fetish

From my time of birth up to my years septuagenarian,
if it were my choice, I always chose to be riparian.
I hate the sound of silence, for I find it rather static,
but I love the sound of water, be it tidal or erratic.

A little water rushing by or falling from a height
is lulling to my hearing and pleasing to my sight.
It contributes to my happiness, creates a sense of calm—
a sensory diversion that serves me as a balm.

So to add to my contentment, no need for feast or cake.
Just plant me by a river or a waterfall or lake.
All I need is just a little water in my view.
If you want to make me happy, just provide the H20!!!

Click on any photo to enlarge all.

The prompt words today are erratic, feast, riparian and contribute. Here are the links:

https://fivedotoh.com/2018/09/12/fowc-with-fandango-erratic/
https://ragtagcommunity.wordpress.com/2018/09/12/wednesday-rdp-feast/
https://wordofthedaychallenge.wordpress.com/2018/09/12/riparian/
https://dailyaddictions542855004.wordpress.com/2018/09/09/daily-addictions-2018-week-36/contribute

Compulsion to Rhyme II

 

Compulsion to Rhyme II

By now you’ve read my oeuvre once or twice before.
It’s bulging out of file cases, stacked upon the floor.
It’s quickly filling up my blog and straying to the media.
Soon I fear I must compose my own encyclopedia.
It started out a habit but soon became compulsion.
My housecleaner surveys my poems with undisguised revulsion.
Spiders live within the files, cats use them for their beds,
so they serve grander purposes than cluttering up heads.
Perhaps someone could stop me with a cudgel or a gun,
but lacking that, I fear that when my final poem is done,
my heirs will have to market my oeuvre by the ton.

 

The prompt today was oeuvre. In case you’ve never encountered the word without its buddies hors and d’,  used alone, oeuvre means the works of a painter, composer or author, regarded collectively.

https://ragtagcommunity.wordpress.com/2018/08/29/wednesday-prompt-oeuvre/

Shadow Play

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Shadow Play

The dark
is stark.
The night,
too tight.
Its lack of sight
is nighttime’s  plight.

I also fight
direct sun light.
Full height,
its bite
too much
as such.

Before I fade,
I seek the shade,
half light, half dark
in which to park.
Veiled light?
Just right.

 

For Fandango’s “Stark” prompt.

 

Swimming to Sandy Bottom

 

jdb photos. Click on any image to enlarge all.

Swimming to Sandy Bottom

Working my way to sandy bottom,
through murky waters growing clear.
Through all the things I daily think of,
I hone in on what I hold dear.

Swimming down to sandy bottom,
down to past truths and future fears.
The daily details float behind as
I face old matters in arrears.

If my whole life should tell a story,
how do the details all add up?
I’ve always thought time was a sieve, but
perhaps I’ll find it was a cup.

Working my way to sandy bottom,
the flotsam of my years floats near.
All the past terrors and past glories,
and future truths I’ve come to fear.

Trying to reach that sandy bottom,
no oxygen to draw my breath.
Working our ways to sandy bottom,
we spend our lives to buy our death.

All the glories and the triumphs.
All the failures and the fears.
All the trophies we’ve collected,
and all the tattered, used-up years.

Working our ways to sandy bottom,
will there be gold grains in the sands?
Too late to spend discovered riches,
they slip like lives right through our hands.

Working our ways to sandy bottom,
our lives lift up as we swim down,
As we leave the past behind us,
we find our future all around.

 

This was actually written as a song.  I had a melody in my mind as I wrote it, but it awaits a more talented composer of music than I am. The daily addiction prompt word was “hone.”

Agave Marias

 

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Agave Marias

Two sides are battling for possession of my life. One pushes me ahead, urging, “Do, do, do, and you will be of value,” but the other twines a hand around my ankle and pulls me down to earth and whispers, “Be.” The “Proud Marys,” I have named these contrasting women who emerge one at a time from my center, but since I have lived in Mexico for seventeen years now, perhaps Maria would be a better shared name. A name is all they share, for by their own natures one is an outward person: a doer, a liver of life, a socializer. The other is inner: a reclusive watcher, dreamer, thinker, artist and writer.

Some people know how to balance these voices, but I don’t. And so I live on a little seesaw of made and canceled plans, meetings and random days of alternately reading, writing, watching movies or wandering around my house attending to my ever-lengthening “to do” list. What is life, I wonder? Is it your accomplishments? I have lists of those I seem to have less and less willpower to sit down to and finish. It’s like I have to sacrifice the satisfaction of ticking things off a list for the promise of a different kind of life.

I don’t think I’ve every really felt I had significance other than as a doer of things: artist, writer, committee chairman, decorator of houses, organizer of my friends’ lives. Yet during all of this activity, I always suspected that all around me people were leading lives that were more fun than mine, more satisfactory. If I gave more, did more, accomplished more, I thought I would attract this ideal life to me.

A tour guide once explained to me the importance of the agave plant in Mexico. For the Mexican of the past, the agave was what the buffalo was to the American plains Indian. Different parts of the agave plant were used to make rope, housing, clothing, food, dye and last but never least, mescal—the finest of tequila-like alcohol. So perhaps I should call my Marias the Agave Marias. Between them, they furnish me with all of the necessities of life. One says organize, proceed in a linear fashion. The other says, “Brainstorm. Go with the flow. Let process win over need for a perfect product.” So I let one Maria lead me through my mind and put it all down on paper, now and then letting the other Maria pop in to clean things up a bit and organize. Agave Marias, furnishing it all.

Childless, have I instead created all of the possibilities for myself within myself? In refusing to give birth, have I hoarded all of the possibilities of my genes within myself and is that what has led to this slightly schizophrenic seesaw of existence-—one day running off for an entire day of activity, the next staying home behind walls? One side wanting to be Cinderella at the ball, the other side wanting only the security of my own hearth?

I was married for fourteen years and before that lived with another man for three years, I’ve also had female roommates, but most of my life has been lived alone. There is some part of me that only exists in solitude and when I’m too long away from her, I miss her. Without her I feel superficial. It is from this side of my Agave Maria that I draw all of my real nourishment—my creativity, my soul. The other Maria is my reward—the finished product, the publication party or the book tour.

All of the seed I hoarded has given birth to these different entities within myself. Failing to produce offspring, I have become my own offspring. These children, my Marias, journey out from me but always return to the wellspring. I go to the party but come home to snuggle into bed for the entire next day, venturing out only for popcorn and a different CD. Or I sit on the side of the tub for two hours with my laptop on my lap, writing a story which takes me into a wonderful world of my own creation.

It is Christmas, and in the background, a chorus sings what to my ears becomes, “Agave Mar-eee-e-e-e-aaaah,” and the beautiful notes convince me, for a short time, that I am the mother of creation, the one Maria that all of Mexico celebrates, tattoos upon their chests, dyes into their T-shirts, puts on decals and bumper stickers, commemorates in stone or plaster or clay or wood in every house. She is the spirit of duality in all women and in all men: flesh and spirit, of this world as well as heaven, of the utilitarian and the creative, human and divine.

All of us are Agave Marias, learning to collect ourselves and pull all sides of ourselves in to ourselves to appreciate them. We are our own mothers as well as our sisters and daughters and friends. Within all of us are these Agave Marias, like sisters absolutely indispensable to each other who are nonetheless competing for our attention.

“Honor them by listening to each,” Mother Maria says to me and suddenly I realize that there are more than two Agave Marias within me. This third motherly Maria seeks to reconcile the others and whispers, “Look deeper. There is always one more. All welcome. All part of life.”

 

The daily prompt was Narcissism. Since I had already written on this topic in April, I chose a slightly different slant on this prompt, concentrating on the different sides of myself in a slightly nacissistic manner. My original Narcissism poem, published in April for NaPoWriMo is HERE.

Near: dVerse Poets Pub, Apr 28, 2018

Near

My father went from obscurity to a sort of small renown.
He worked hard as a rancher and the mayor of our town.
He met my mother at a dance in her sister’s borrowed gown–
both of them lonely visitors to a faraway strange town.
I’ve thought about it often since we laid him down.
Why didn’t I ask more questions? Why didn’t I write it down?

Many a calf he helped to birth and many a field he’s mown.
Avoided his mother if he could–long-suffering aged crone.
Not many highways traveled,nor many airwaves flown.
He died in his angry daughter’s arms–the two of them alone.
I’ve thought of it often till regrets have turned into a drone.

His eyes were always looking further over yon.
Over a ripening field of wheat or over a fresh-mowed lawn.
Working, often, until dark and up again at dawn.
A man of camaraderie and wit and brains and brawn.

He liked to tell a story and sing a rousing tune.
Stand on the porch at midnight to piss under the moon.
He gave me a turquoise ring, a baby rabbit and a coon.

Now that he’s very gone away.  Now that I’m very grown,
I know my flesh is of his flesh. My bone is of his bone.

And I wish that I’d asked more questions. That we’d both been less alone.

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The form of this poem is one consisting of six stanzas, the first with 6 lines and each thereafter one less line.  Each line in each stanza rhymes with all the other lines in that stanza and each stanza’s rhyme is a near rhyme to the last. The name of this form is Sylvestrian Near Rhyme and since “Near” describes both the theme and form of my poem, it is also the name of the poem.  And yes, I did make up the form!  I’d love it if poets given to rhyming and meter would attempt the form and send me the results as comments or a link to this blog.

For dVerse Poets Pub

Banded

Click on any photo to enlarge all.


Banded

From string to string and fret to fret,
they draw us into music’s net.
They strum and pick and blithely finger
notes that make us want to linger,
tap the table, move our feet
to their infectious strumming beat.

They are my favorite sort of band––
unique and playing their own brand
of acoustic, bluesy notes––
a kind of music that denotes
connection to a world of hearts.
Their music woos and cuts and smarts.

Opening sensibilities.
Music that unites and frees
our spirits to commune and soar.
Notes that journey to our core.
Which is what music’s meant to do
in  dancehall, city street or pew.

Good music sets our hats askew,
chases us down and counts a coup.
Stirs our hearts and brings a change.
Astounds us with its depth and range.
Draws us with it, layer on layer,
unites us in communal prayer.

Denominationless, it draws
us in and gives a place to pause
together to survey that place
devoid of sex or age or race.
That place where we unite in song.
Give up ourselves, and sing along.

The prompt today is fret.