Category Archives: judy dykstra-brown poetry

I Keep Your Promise

I Keep Your Promise

Rain beats a riff on the back window
as I drive away from your familiar
promises, like lyrics of a worn-out song.
“Never again,” is made true this time,
my choice instead of your vow.

It’s only truth I take away with me:
torn buttons, bruises, broken dreams.
The empty baby carriage
you’ll find in the spare room,
one more unused space
in a house too rarely
a home.

I was the house
you entered
but never
spread out in—
the rumpus room
battered with misuse—
a refrigerator
filled with carry-out and cartons
with their “use by” dates all lapsed.

I was the melody
to that false chord
you loved to strike,
proud in your outlaw status—
that anchor that held your music to the page.

I see its strains floating after me,
as though that part of you
knows what it will miss
and even now
is trying to be found.

 

The prompt word today is riff.

The Finite. What We Can’t Fight.

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Universal Biography

In the end, all the same.
Although remembering your name,
eventually no one knows
the you that lived beneath your clothes.

They may see your charming smile,
your tender looks or cunning guile,
but they won’t have the faintest clue
of the authentic, inner you.

Perhaps we start out all the same;
so who’s the one that we should blame
when some turn into Phyllis Dillers
and others into serial killers?

Ghandi, Hitler, Bundy, and
the rest of us, by nature’s hand
instilled with sin or piety
in infinite variety.

But still, at end of life, we fall,
not so different after all.
At the very end of day,
returned to dust, we blow away.

 

The prompt word today is “finite.” This is a reblog of a poem I wrote two years ago.—

Exchanging Words on Little Santa Monica

photo by Georgia King


Exchanging Words On Little Santa Monica

There on that city avenue,
I watched you as I sipped my brew.
Not the woman you’d chosen to woo
as you read poetry so true,
so raw, so blunt, so rare and new,
the air around you turned to blue.
Your sad poems caressed and drew
us closer. All that motley crew.

For me, love was a new venue
that night I first set eyes on you,
but there was such a ballyhoo
around you, that you had no clue
that I had joined the retinue
of women waiting in your queue.
But as I left, oh yes, I knew.
My life took on a brighter hue.

And though you were far out of view,
your memory stuck to me like glue.
Thoughts of you both birthed and slew.
Our meeting was long overdue
that night I saw you in the pew—
there to hear the poems I grew
from words carefully chosen and few,
I drew you in by some voodoo.

Perhaps our muses conspired and blew
winds from exotic Xanadu
or Zanzibar or high Peru,
the air around us to imbue,
giving us the selfsame cue:
this is the lover meant for you,
your octoroon and kangaroo,
the heart you’ll break, the fat you’ll chew.

Of all words plucked from life’s rich stew,
the ones that I would never rue.
Never would they ring untrue.
Those words that, though we might redo them,
never could I overdo them.
The words I’d sought my whole life through.
The vow I’d renew and renew.
That one rare thing I’d finally do.

 

The prompt word today is continue. It is the first word I’ve ever found that has a rhyming word that begins with each letter in the alphabet! I discovered this without consulting Google or a rhyming dictionary, which I occasionally have to resort to when a word is especially hard to find enough rhymes for. I found 64 rhyming words. Still haven’t checked any dictionaries. They may have additional ones, but these are mine, all mine! The only rhyme that is repeated is the word “you,”

“The” Words: avenue ballyhoo blew blue boo (boo hoo) brew chew clue crew cue do (doo doo) drew due eschew ew few glue goo grew hew hue imbue issue Jew kangaroo Kew, knew  loo mew moo new  overdo  overdue Peru pew phew poo queue redo renew retinue rue screw shrew slew stew sue through true undo untrue  venue view vindaloo voodoo whew woo Xanadu you zoo

 

The prompt word today is continue.

Rhyming Violation

The prompt word today is rhyme.

 

Rhyming Violation

There is a reason and a rhyme
to the word they chose this time.
For though I am not in my prime
and don’t play tennis, do not climb
or stoop too low to conquer grime,
In any terrain, any clime,
my mind spins like a twirling dime.
If over-rhyming were a crime,
I’d probably be doing time.

 

(If you are a glutton for punishment, yes, you can click on these to enlarge them.)

 

Disappointing Petrarch (Three Shakespearean Sonnets for dVerse Poets)

Three Wan Dogs before Their Feeding

Our mistress lies upon her bed too long,
her favorite silver thing upon her lap.
That she should put our feeding off is wrong.
We sit and stare at her through her door’s gap.

She taps upon her thing and taps and taps.
Sometimes she chortles, but we don’t know why.
Where formerly her bed was used for naps,
a favorite dog cuddled against her thigh,

she now spends all  her time there with that thing
as we sit hungry, waiting to be fed.
She seeks the nourishment that words can bring,
for she is sure that if she leaves her bed

before she finishes her sonnet, then
her muse will not agree to come again.


Three  Hungry Dogs Intent Upon Their Feeding

At last at last she opens up her door
and feeds our sister first, lest we devour
her food ourselves and then not leave the poor
dear girl with any sustenance to power

her barking at the other dogs who pass.
But now our mother fills our bowls as well––
each portion measured by a measuring glass.
Each second  we must wait becomes a Hell.

She scoops out first the dry and then the wet––
more for the big dog and less for the small.
We worry over how much food we’ll get,
remembering times when we had none at all.

But finally, our portions, too, are dished
(although not quite so full as we’d have wished.)


Three Patient Dogs after Their Feeding

Now see our dishes cleaned and neatly stacked?
Our human lolls once more upon her bed.
to write more stanzas that she formerly lacked
and free herself of rhymes that fill her head.

The small dog leaps upon her bed to lie
and garner a small scratching now and then.
We larger dogs lie watching from close by,
kept from our human in her iron pen.

See her now, look quizzical and rapt?
We know not what she thinks there on her back.
Where formerly she read or watched or napped,
she stews about just what her poems might lack.

For Shakespeare she is not, the silly goose.
Her talents? More in line with Dr. Seuss!!!

(Click on the first photo below to enlarge photos and read captions–also written in couplet form.)  Good grief. It’s my muse’s fault. The girl can’t help it!!)

 

A sonnet for dVerse Poets (Sorry, Petrarch.  These are Shakespearean!)

“Bleach All the Colors” Cee’s Black and White Photo Challenge, Aug 12, 2017

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Bleach all the colors from the flowers. Cancel out the sun.
Stay the music. Still the dance. Tell laughter it is done.
She will not walk this way again so all must cease to walk.
Her conversation’s over. The whole world must not talk.
Earth upon its axis should still its constant motion.
The cook must quiet his cooking pots, the chemist trash his potion.
The universe must end itself now that my true love’s dead,
and I lay myself beside her on our wedding bed.

For Cee’s Black and White Challenge: https://ceenphotography.com/2017/08/10/cees-black-white-photo-challenge-take-a-new-photo-or-photos-any-topic/

Foggy Weather

 

Foggy Weather

For weeks I’ve been suspended in clouds and foggy weather.
Up here on the mountain, I can’t determine whether
there’s another world out there or if I am alone,
banished for a life of sins for which I must atone.
I don’t believe in Purgatory. Don’t believe in Hell
or other childhood stories that grownups chose to tell.
Yet something living in the mist has seeped out into me.
Suddenly I’m restless. I’m not content to be.
There’s something still left in the world although I don’t know what.
What I’ve thought of as security is suddenly a rut.
I haven’t lived my life out. There’s much that I have missed.
I’m needing much more laughter. I’m needing to be kissed.
As soon as this fog lifts away and full light reappears,
I’ll solve all my confusions. I’ll sweep away my fears.
The road will be much clearer when it isn’t half-obscured.
I’ll see the bait that life has set and let myself be lured.

The prompt today was foggy.