Category Archives: Poem

The Silence of the Iambs

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The Silence of the Iambs

Anapests sing lullabies while dactyls gallop on.
Trochees beat a drum beat that’s heard hither and yon,
but raindrops speak in iambs, dripping from the eaves
as the torrent lessens and cups itself in leaves.
All the small feet hushed now, we can fall asleep.
We can find our dreams inside a silence that’s so deep.

 

The title, by the way, is talking about iambs, not lambs.  Hard to tell when it is capitalized.

The loud rhythms of the unseasonal rain that awakened me so early this morning have ceased, leaving only the faint drip of water off the eaves. This poem may be one that only another poet could appreciate, but for those of you who aren’t poets and who didn’t pay attention in your lit class, it is about metrical feet—the syllable rhythms within a poem and even within our everyday speech and nature itself.  A trochee (the rhythm of a native American drumbeat replicated in the poem “Hiawatha”) is an accented or long syllable followed by a short one. An iamb is the rhythm in the English we speak every day––a short syllable followed by a long one. An anapest is the rhythm of a lullaby. (short short long) whereas a dactyl (the rhythm of a horse’s gallop) is its opposite (long short short).

 

The prompt today is silent.

Bad News for the Substitute Teacher

IMG_4972Bad News for the Substitute Teacher

Pity the poor substitute.
No matter just how resolute,
up on the subject and astute,
no matter that you’re deadly cute,
these factors will not constitute
a success that is absolute.
They will not render class clowns mute,
for they, too, have their horns to toot.
These truths I swear can’t be refuted.
You’ll rue the day you substituted!

After today’s poem about English teachers, Mike Akin requested that I write one about substitute teachers.  I meet every challenge!  Here it is.

“Gorge”ous


“Gorge”ous

Everyone is cognizant that
runway models gone to fat
will very promptly get the axe
for appetite control grown lax.

Alas, it is a tragic truth
that larger forms are viewed uncouth.
Plus-sized is not viewed as “in,”
within a world that’s based on thin.

Designers never seem to feel
that models who enjoy a meal
do their fashions adequate
justice in the hips and butt.

Their hungry models  stroll and strut
with tiny waist and taut-stretched gut,
looking very lank and lean
and also just a little mean.

No doubt from hunger––their daily fate.
While as we watch, those overweight
have found a way to compensate.
We gain revenge by chocolate!

For the WordPress Daily Prompt: Gorge.

Relocation Dreams

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Relocation Dreams

I’ve so many things that there’s no place to stack them in.
No drawers to hold them, no cupboards to pack them in.
So many things stowed away from detection.
My fireplace houses its own art collection.

My wardrobe suffers from costumes aplenty.
I’ve boxes of sizes from nine up to twenty.
My jewelry box is stuffed to the gills,
my medicine drawer is spilling out pills.

When I try to cull them, they all want to stay.
The only solution’s to just move away
to find a small island with palm trees and sky
where there is simply nothing to buy!

I’ll live in a hut with floors of swept dirt.
One pair of flip flops, a simple grass skirt.
I won’t feel that shopping should be my main duty.
I’ll look out the window if I require beauty.

No buying new paintings whenever I please.
No little nicknacks and no DVD’s.
No drawers of makeup or tea towels or spoons.
No tarot cards, horoscopes, Ouija boards, runes.

I will not need things to determine my fate,
that day I walk out, simply locking my gate,
taking one suitcase, computer and cables,
and scanner and backup drives, printers and tables,

an internet router and energy backup—
just these few items to locate and pack up.
Then I’m off to a life that’s simpler by far
if these bare necessities fit in my car.

 

The prompt today was relocate.

Sparkle

ENVY

I do not crave a sylphlike form.
Mere gorgeousness is not the norm
I seek to build my ego up.
I do not need a 4D cup—
the back strain nor the stares and gawking.
The genius of a Stephen Hawking?
I do not want it, seek it not;
and I would not wish to be caught
inside a Porsche or Aston Martin,
for joy’s not packaged in a carton
large nor small. No jewels seek I.
No diamonds sparkle in my mind’s eye.
I do not envy your honor student
Your sex life I just find imprudent.
I covet not thy ox nor ass,
thy husband nor thy backstage pass.
There’s just one thing I’m thirsting for
If I had it, I’d need no more.
I guess I’ll tell the truth, y’all.
What do I want? I want it ALL!!!!

 

Another repeat of a poem written 3 1/2 years ago.  I go home from my retreat today so I promise.  Tomorrow, a fresh poem!  For the time being I’m kept busy working on the novel my writing friends are forcing me to finish!!  What will be my prod once I get home? The prompt today was sparkle.

Snippets of Happiness

 

Snippets of Happiness

The ceiling fans turn above five women. One holds an almond cookie in her mouth as her hands adjust her notebook and reach for her pen. She moves the rest of the cookie into her mouth with the hand that has finished turning to the correct page, then brushes away the crumbs from the glass table. Another woman sits hunched over a tablet in her lap. She is wearing a black swimsuit and sits on the white canvas cushion of a rattan couch.

A third taps on her computer—a fact that has driven her former sofa neighbor out to the terrace to write––that tapping too distracting. Next door, the crash of chisel on concrete furnishes a counter-tempo to the gentle tapping of the keys. The ocean swells in a continual basso…snippets of a plaintive Mexican song straining in over the fence as well. The sparseness of the view––sea dunes, succulent ground cover, crashing ocean and sky–– is augmented by so many sounds that they blend into a cacophony that can be overlooked…or underheard, as the case may be.

I am the fifth woman, and as the other four write about whatever world each is in, their imagined voices fill my thoughts to a point where my own voice is lost. I can only record what I see and hear. It is as though my own imagination has been sucked up by the morning, lost in the profusion of thoughts of others that grow like liana in my mind.

The blades on the fans spin. Tiny upside-down crosses are formed by the bolts that secure the glass globes of the lights below the fans. Like crucifixes the tortured have slipped free from, they stand useless as metaphors but necessary in actuality. All of the crucified have scurried away…survivors of someone else’s bigotry or fears or cruelty.

Some of the survivors climb up the legs of the coffee table and pull themselves onto my computer keys. They jump on keys to say, “We have voices that will not be stilled. We sacrifice that bullies may be overcome. We expect you to resist as we do. Frightening as it is, it is the only way. Life is choice after choice and those choices, if easy, are not worth making.”

I take over. Brush them like crumbs from my keyboard.  I get to choose how profound my life will be, at least on the page, and I don’t want to write about crucifixion, shootings in churches or fast food restaurants, massacres at concerts.

I want my senses filled with tappings and poundings and too-loud strains of music and where the fridge will go in the tiny new sleeping/feeding room I’m having constructed for my dogs. I want another almond cookie, and a sip, two sips of hazelnut coffee. Some of us have to have a happy life. Some need to go on in spite of the slaughter, greed, small-mindedness. We win in this way. Something exists in spite of the horrible chaos some would make of the world.

We win by fighting, but we also win by being. By remaining. By choosing to be happy. The ocean roars and sometimes I must roar, also. But not always.

 

Since Monday, I’ve been in Puerto Vallarta at a writer’s retreat with seven other women. Since our days start before the prompts come out, there is no time to write before the sessions begin, so I’m resorting to editing earlier work.  This piece was written at a retreat attended by most of these same women three years ago. The prompt today was snippet.

Sound Bites

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Sound Bites

When the daylight takes its bite
eating up the dark of night
I begin my daily rite
of finding all the words to cite
that serve to bring my thoughts to light.

I write and write and write and write–
filling up my blogging site
until my dogs begin to fight,
and finally I know it’s quite
necessary to do what’s right.

And this is when I find I might
secure my laptop lid up tight
and give my brain a small respite.
It is my  second day’s delight
for they have tried to be polite

lest they disturb me or incite
words that in my haste are trite.
With  open door, I then invite
their appetites—now at their height.
Each jumps and spins–high as a kite,
and comes to have his morning bite.

 

Eight of us are at a writing retreat in Puerto Vallarta so I’ll soon be doing writing to a different prompt.  In the meantime, this is a  rewrite of a poem written 3 years ago. The prompt today is bite.