Category Archives: Poem

Anything but Solitary

Simplicity

Simplicity is something that I rarely do.
Why have only one of something when you could have two?
It takes a lot of veggies to come up with a stew,
and we’d do a lot of limping if confined to just one shoe.

Multiples are awesome. Multiples are grand.
Look how many fingers we have upon each hand.
One finger could not do the job. Neither could two or three.
Simple cannot form a hand, did not form you or me.

Simplicity’s much touted but I think it is absurd.
Who ever heard of stories comprised of just one word?
With a single raindrop, the world could not get wetter.
Sparsity may be more chic, but I like clutter better.

I don’t get minimalism. I’m a hoarder to the core.
When I ran out of wall room, I put art upon my door.
There are no piles in hallways. Hoarding need not be a sin.
I’ve built three rooms onto my house just to store things in.

With so many lovely things in life, collecting is a joy.
With life’s manifold choices, why be niggardly or coy?
At the ice cream parlor, why does one have to choose?
You need not always limit yourself just to ones and twos.

Have a scoop of strawberry and pineapple and mint.
Green tea is delicious and tequila’s heaven sent.
Load your dish with raspberry and coconut and mango.
Why do the simple two step when you could do the fandango?

In short, I am a gatherer. I have too many things.
I like to make the choices that a complex lifestyle brings.
When it comes to writing, a stuffed-full mind is fine!
Reach into words and shake them out and string them on a line.

A solitary animal will never make a zoo.
One grain of dirt, one drop of water cannot create goo.
A single cannon fired will not execute a coup.
The world just is not simple, nor am I and nor are you!

 

 

The prompt today is solitary. Yes, you’ve read this one before!!!

(Dis)organize(d)

Life Piles Up

You know that this can happen. It’s silly asking why
the books and papers pile up from desktops towards the sky.
You do not dare to open the window that’s nearby
lest the papers blow away to flutter yon and nigh.

I wish I had a simple life with time to do it all
so I could post a picture to prove it to y’all
that my house is super organized and tidy and pristine.
My life as orderly as tasks spewed out by a machine.

Unfortunately, nothing stays in its usual space.
A new thing starts before I’ve filed the old thing in its place.
Boxes from camp still stand in rows out in my garage,
while papers from last April’s trip slide down in a barrage.

I cannot find the cord and mike that belong to my amp.
Perhaps they’re buried deep within the boxes left from camp?
Or other boxes in my car from events even older?
I think perhaps dealing with life is more than I can shoulder.

Somehow I think that WordPress may have gotten word
about my loaded desktops. I know it sounds absurd,
but if you’re keeping track of prompts then surely you have noted
that lately this one topic is one on which they’ve doted!

I told you you just four days ago–I’ve cleaned off desk and table.
I promised I would clean the rest when I was free and able;
and so today I’m sorting books and papers and detritus,
but to this prompt I’d like to say, “WordPress, kindly bite us!”

IMG_3608Okay, the desk area in my bedroom that I promised to clear off the other day is a little bit better.  To check up on that by comparing to its state just four days ago when we had  a very similar prompt, go HERE.

IMG_3606In the meantime, the desk in my sala hasn’t piled up again–much. So please, WordPress–no more nagging.  I’m as organized as I’m going to get for awhile.  Okay to check up again in six months.

The prompt today is organize. This was actually the prompt two years ago, almost to the day, so I have reprinted my post for that prompt. Things haven’t changed much. I had a party a few days ago, so the desk is cleared off, but two boxes of items to “put back” in their designated places are hidden in a corner of my bedroom.  What can I say? Life piles up.

Special Delivery

Special Delivery

You hide yourself in shadows deep
to watch me as I fall to sleep.
Half-lidded, with your sleepy stare,
you cup my cheek and stroke my hair.
I do not know as I fall deeper
that you stalk this drifting sleeper.

Once I have no power to resist,
you give my hair a painful twist.
I try to jerk awake but fail.
I tense my muscles, fight and flail,
but I cannot escape your grasp.
I call for help. I moan and gasp.

Sir Nightmare, from where do you come
with death knoll beat on ragged drum?
I hear its pulse now through the day.
At every hour, it sounds the way
back to the horror of the night––
a pathway to that final fight

when I will mount at last that steed
that nightly stands to do its deed
to carry to oblivion
this sleeper off to meet her kin—
that father lost, those lovers three
who wait for my delivery.

Is this nightmare just a dream—
a mere digression from the stream
of conscious thought—a nightly swim
through a fantasy most grim,
or a window showing me
an inevitability?

The prompt word today was delivery.

DVerse Players: “Shade” The Tile Layers

The Tile Layers

 

The Tile Layers

The tile cutter on his knees whistles “Fur Elise—”
five measures over and over—all day with no surcease.
A younger man behind him, in another room,
whistles tunelessly in rhythm as he wields a broom.
Hod carriers laugh and loudly call. Comida will be soon.
One of the youngest sings out a jolly ribald tune.
Their labors hard, their hours long as they hauled and carried,
and yet they have not seemed distressed, back sore, stressed or harried.

As they go to take comida, they move with one assent
as if to be relieved of where their labor time is spent.
Outside my wall they line the curb, their legs stretched in the street
to eat their warm tortillas­­­­––their chiles, beans and meat.
The only time they’re quiet is now their mouths are chewing,
for they are never silent when they are up and doing.
Five minutes and then ten pass as the silence swells around me,
until I feel the magnitude of silence might astound me.

Then one quiet voice is heard, and then another slowly after.
But still no music, calling out, whistling or laughter.
I can imagine well the scene. They’re spread out in the shade,
on their backs just resting in the shadows trees have made.
An hour’s camaraderie, like school kids taking naps,
their ankles crossed, their dusted clothes, their work hats in their laps.
Against their quietness, a motor hums out from afar.
Persistent birdcalls interrupt the tire crunch of a car.

A lawnmower chops at grass below. My clock ticks out the time.
This hour’s quiet interlude is almost sublime.
They must wonder what I do clattering on these keys––
my room cut off from all the dust , but also from the breeze.
The large dog’s bed is in a cage with an open door.
The little dog forsakes his bed to curl up on the floor
nearer the larger, older dog, although he’s sound asleep.
They too prefer to sleep as one, their brotherhood to keep.

An hour passed, the jefe wakes and jostles all his neighbors
who find their voices as they waken to resume their labors.
The gentle scrape of trowels sets the rhythm for
young men shouldering hods of what old men spread on the floor.
The jefe scolds for tiles mismeasured, rails against the waste
of both time and materials lost because of haste.
After the day’s siesta, they work three hours more.
They measure, chip and cut and smooth, then fit and trim each door.

By day’s end, hands are coated, and collars ringed with sweat.
The dust of their day’s labors in their work clothes firmly set.
But folded in each backpack they once rested heads upon
is a fresh change of clothing that later they will don.
Cleaned and pressed, they’ll walk on home unmarked by dust or dirt,
ready for the ladies to admire and to flirt.
For a man’s not made of merely the work that he might do,
and when he leaves his labors, his day begins anew.

Actually, I was imagining the scene described in the poem as the house hushed for an hour after a morning and early afternoon of extreme noise. Diego and Morrie were imprisoned in the small run outside my door but in sight of the front entrance gate all the men had vanished through, tortured by observing all the activity they couldn’t get their paws on, not to mention all those lunches in the back packs.  Then, after I wrote the poem and started to hear a few voices from what seemed to be a direction not anticipated in my poem, I went out to the living room to see the younger members of the crew hunched over their smart phones on my patio, first watching some drama, then talking to what sounded like female voices. One lay stretched out as expected, but by the pool rather than out on the sidewalk. (I had earlier invited them to eat at the patio table and the table in the gazebo, but they had preferred to warm their tortillas in my microwave and then go eat in the street.) My former stereotypes dashed, I then ventured beyond my walls into the street, and there found the older generation living up to former experience and present expectations—asleep in the shade.

This is a reblog of an earlier poem.

 

If you want to play along and write a poem with the word “shade” in it, post it here:  https://dversepoets.com/2017/08/08/seeking-some-shade-today/

Childhood Wishes

 

daily life color162

Childhood Wishes

All those aimless childhood gambols—
dawn to dusk spontaneous ambles.
Up the block and down again,
back once more to where we’d been,
Hoping things perhaps had changed—
something misplaced, someone deranged.
But still, we found each of our homes
as regular as metronomes.
Day to day, each time we came,
everything was just the same.

How we craved a big event.
A calamity would be heaven-sent.
News to share in Sunday school
pithier than the Golden Rule.
We yearned for things to brag about
to cause town tongues to wag about.
Some juicy news or disaster that
served as excuse to chew the fat.
Instead, our lives were all the norm.
Safe and regular and warm.

We Monopolied and kicked the can.
We walked and biked and hopped and ran.
Combed back yards for a four leaf clover.
Played blind man’s bluff and Annie-I-Over.
But still we yearned for something new.
Felt caught in long hot summer’s glue.
Stones kicked down roads by summer sandals
attempts to dislodge unearthed scandals.
Little did we know one day
we’d be called upon to pay

Our debt for wishes finally granted.
Yet how we cursed and wept and ranted
when all those asked-for ills befell us.
Why didn’t anybody tell us
that normalcy is everything—
those quiet times that soon took wing.
Telephones first brought the news
of all those things we’d one day lose:
old pets, old dreams, old friends and spouses.
Totalled cars, repossessed houses.

War and pestilence and hunger?
We did not know when we were younger
that they were not simply a game.
We did not know that casting blame
on those responsible would fail.
For rich men do not go to jail.
They buy our votes then do their deeds
so no man but they ever succeeds.
And never can they get enough
as they cloak our eyes in blind man’s bluff.
But oh the scandals we now can tell.
Our childhood wishes realized so well.

The prompt word today was amble.

Shimmering Locks

I found this poem written a year and a half ago that perfectly reflects today’s prompt word  shimmer. Since I had totally forgotten it, you probably have, too, so please read below:

lifelessons - a blog by Judy Dykstra-Brown

IMG_5324

Locks

Locked up in my bedchamber. More than I can bear.
The beauty of my countenance, the shimmer of my hair
do me no good for no prince charming comes to find me here.
I will go unmarried––for my whole life, I fear.

My father thinks he honors me. I am his special treasure.
He worries not about my fate.  He thinks not of my pleasure.
I am but one more lovely thing he keeps for his collection––
admired for my golden locks, my flawless pale complexion.

I care not for beauty.  I care not for my tresses.
I do not treasure jewels or slippers or my ornate dresses.
A husband and a family are all that I desire.
A simple life’s the sort of life that I most admire.

From my window I look out upon the broad King’s Highway.
All roads must converge here––every path and byway.
And so I see…

View original post 640 more words

No Partner?

IMG_0057

The Dance

Cheek to cheek and toe to toe,
graceful dancers come and go
smoothly passing me while I 
sit motionless, with dancing eye.
Jealousy may rear its head
as I wish that it were me, instead—
held securely in my partner’s arms,
guided surely away from harms
of other dancers’ straying feet
or jutting elbows I might meet.

I might feel sorry, sitting there,
no arms around me—only air.
Then I remember in the past
dancing nights I thought would last.
How all those partners have stepped away—
even the ones I hoped would stay.

Life has a way of leaving us
like hopeful riders passed by the bus
as it soars away with no seat left
those left behind feeling bereft.
Then I look deeper and clearly see
one day that bus will stop for me.
Something heavy grows inside
where it’s not good for it to bide.
I scoot back my chair to shift that stone
as I get up and dance alone.

Steered through dangers into bliss,
barely meeting the floor’s long kiss,
I soar and bend and sway and glide,
giving way to what’s inside,
the music coming to live in me
setting all that’s in me free.
Stirring sadness at my core
and leaving it upon the floor
for other dancers to kick away
while only light parts choose to stay
within my heart as I dance on
from dark of night into the dawn.

 

The prompt today was partner. I have an early meeting today, so this is a rewrite of a poem written a few years ago.