Category Archives: Poetry

Poems in many categories: Loss, NaPoWriMo

Burning Your Journals

IMG_0356


Burning your Journals

Who knew fidelity’s even stance
could be mitigated by circumstance?
That a subtle smile, perchance,
exchanged between you at her advance
would wind up in a swift romance
that flourished in that small expanse
between us and her winsome glance.

Who knew that you would go freelance
when love became our ritual dance?
And that I, still in loving’s trance,
would only learn it later, by chance.
Reading your words, caught twice askance.
First by your death, then grief enhanced
as I suffered loss anew
with this further death of you.

 

IMG_0357 (1)

The prompt word today was trance.

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

IMG_0107

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/

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/

Pelicans

IMG_3473
Pelicans

They float upon the gentle swells,
with chins tucked in politely.
Of all the birds, most dignified,
their movements never sprightly.

They look like grumpy butlers
named Oliver or Jeeves
in morning coats of softest gray
with wings tucked in their sleeves.

They may be only scouting
the source of their next meal,
for soon they take off to the air
with energy and zeal.

And soon they’re diving down again,
straight like an arrow shot,
down into the shallows
to see what can be caught.

Bobbing once again,
they lift their bills and then let slide
all that’s in their pouches
to another place inside.

I wonder if the fishes flop
all the long way down,
and this is why the pelicans
then fold their arms and frown?

 Version 2

The prompt today is shallow. This poem is a rewrite of a poem published a few years ago..

Silly Words

Silly Words

Bumbershoots and pollywogs, gorp and whirlybird—
Why are the words we choose to coin sometimes so absurd?

Why does one word sound sillier than others we might use?
Why are some sounds more serious while others just amuse?

Why do some get tummy ache blocking their digestion,
while others simply get the flu? It is a puzzling question.

One names the problem. That is all. No words that might confuse.
Whereas the other says the same in words that might defuse

the worry that plain words might cause–a silly sort of way it
is possible to ease the news by the way we say it.

So if the day dawns cold and drear, don coats and scarves and boots
and if dark clouds float overhead, grab your bumbershoots.

Umbrellas block the rain out and keep your shoulders dry,
but bumbershoots are bound to add a sparkle to your eye.

 

The prompt word today is bumble.

Kitten Afternoon

 

Kitten Afternoon

They tumble off the bed and land on padded feet,
light as feathers blown by wind, their movements sure and fleet.


They leap upon the pillows, sliding down the back
of the leather sofa, this little feline pack.

Off on single sorties, still they must collect
together in a pile to communally reflect

on the adventures of the day: the palm fronds they’ve combatted
and all the tiny spaces they have covertly catted.

They bravely face the secrets under the guest room bed,
approaching cowering crickets with fascinated dread.


They eye the inert bed cat with a careful glance,
then settle down around her, mirroring her stance.

Tumblers and explorers, their days are wildly varied––
sculptures to be batted at, business to be buried.


Laps to be climbed up on, computers to be checked.
Feathers to be batted at. Bird nests to be wrecked.

With their indulgent human approving all of it,
that nests are being shredded matters not a whit.


These kittens are her little bits of kinetic art,
infusing her still house with a spontaneous heart.


Those who say that kittens are a bother and a mess

could not begin to fathom, to comprehend or guess


how those subtle sounds—each skittering and scratching
heard from the next room is another mystery hatching.

Each tiny paw that walks across her unsuspecting chest
as she lies in bed is a most welcome guest,


messing up the covers of her unruffled day
with an invitation to leave her work and play.

Hometown Boys

 

Hometown Boys

I never knew the simple joys
of going out with hometown boys.
For me, romance was never focal
on a male who was a local.
The smart ones just aimed to debate me
but seemed to have no yen to date me;
while the ones who asked were way too slow.
Why this was, I do not know.

I may have been too brash and vocal
for any hometown country yokel,
so when I finally tied one down,
he was a boy from out of town.
Sweet Sixteen and never been kissed,
romance was something I had missed;
but we made up for lost time
with remedial work that was sublime.

So it is, I am confessing,
that mobility’s a blessing.
If what you need’s not where you are,
then I suggest you use a car.
If you cannot shop at home,
it may be necessary to roam.
Free trade’s not just for clothes and toys.
It also works for teenage boys.

 

 

The prompt today is local.