Category Archives: Silly poems

Life in the Time of Corona

IMG_9679

If you wonder why this poem is so long and strange, read the prompt at the very bottom and you’ll understand. Not my fault!!

Life in the Time of Corona

It is nothing
but an April morning.
The leg cramp awakened me before the roosters.
A hot shower dissolved the cramp and blasted me awake,
sputtering at first
with air from the unused pipes,
like a voice unused too long.

Isolation “friending” me, along with the dogs,
who were delighted with my longer attention.

Tap tap on the keys into a black morning.
The lonely staccato of dogs in the distance.
Descant of bird voices
and the percussion of the fighting cocks across the road,
the left stage bray of a donkey. 
This far up the hill,
their voices rise like heat,
precursors to the church bells that seem to be in a different time zone this morning.

6:59 and still they haven’t tried to recruit me.
They’ve been trying for 19 years.
The old woman at the christening, shocked when I say I’m not Catholic, moving away an inch or two,
side-eyeing me when I miss a beat at rising and sitting, 
sit in the pew as she kneels on the kneeling bar.

Arms sore from this flat-back typing,
I consider rising.
In bed since the cramp-induced hot shower,
hair damp,
hands like sandpaper from this
Coronavirus obsessive washing,
disinfecting.
My life washed free
of appointments
and friends,
except for trips down the hill to pick up masks,
leave off notes for the illustrations of the book that might get finished thanks to this enforced “Go to your room!” by Mother Nature.

She levels her guns at us, hoping we will listen and fall into line.
Only man creating his own rules.
The world dependent
on the right people making the rules.
There have not been enough right people,
the cuckoo taking over for the owls
and the rowdy mockingbirds taking up his call.  
He sticks his head from his house too often,
repeating the first thing in his head,
stammering like a Swiss clock that needs maintenance.

Bird language fills the very early dark morning air.
So I want to move to the hammock—
bare butt as I am.
Braving mosquitos
and the early morning awakening of my neighbors.
I imagine

welt marks from the knitted fabric of the hammock,
scratch marks from Morrie leaping into the hammock after me.
No. The time for nude swinging is twenty years past
and not probable even then.
So a long robe fills my imagination,
but I do not go.

My fingers beat tattoos on the keyboard,
searching for names for the bird dialogues I am hearing.
The trilling runs of a piccolo, bassoon of the downhill donkeys, discord of a dog’s three short barks and howl, running down the scale. My house is still asleep.
Water not yet gushing from the pipes into the pool,
hot and steaming in the cool morning air.

“Go back to sleep,” that part of my lazy brain directs.
“Do the assignment,” my dutiful persona contradicts.
It is rare that the dogs do not detect my thoughts and call for kibble
within seconds of my awakening and thinking of them.
They do not stir.
Traffic noise of trucks on the carretera a mile below.

I hang on this mountain,
depending on gravity
and my house’s firm foundations.
The hard rock that resists that sliding
down the mountainside where eight years ago
it came tumbling down on either side of my house,
leaving me safe.
Since then the penance has been
cracks in the wall by the stairs
leading down from my upstairs casita.

Twenty minutes already?
My story still untold, unlocated, even.
The dark being permeated by light.
Scarlet ribbons start to flow.
The sky as I open the drapes
flooding in to me
on early morning colors.
The pale puce of the morning sky to the north.
The whistle of the whistle bird. Chirp of the chirper,
Mexico crow of the rooster..
ER ere r er without the cockle and the doo.

Where is my family?
My animal alarm clocks?
The cats stay silent in their bed in the garage,
not demanding entrance.
The dogs, mere feet away, curled in the room I built for them.
How do I feel about this forced isolation?
A relief as sorts.
Permission to do what I’ve been adding to the list for the past year:

The mural painted around the front door?
After 11 years, Jesus called asking to do the job,
all of his other commissions cancelled
as gringos flooded back to the states
like rats deserting a sinking ship,
Yet, ironically, it
seems to be America that is sinking.

Mexico bobs along on the internet and phone calls of friends asking what I need. 
Yolanda, breaking into the house to clean after a month,
bans me to the studio while she does so.
Appears the next day to clean the studio,
telling me to stay in the house,
even though I have paid her for two months
and told her to stay home.
Said I would pay as long as
anyone but the president of the USA directs.
Using his words as a rapids to avoid
during this whole rush of directives,
demands,
questions,
contradictions.
The world is being deflected off its course
by a fool supported by bigger fools,
because they have to be smarter than him and yet let their pockets replace their brains and hearts.

The big dog awakens and strolls nonchalantly past my open drapes.
A higher-pitched donkey bray.
Birds quieting into a caesura.
Where are my woodpeckers,
my early morning alarm clocks?
Every day, they awaken me,
except for
when a stiffening and locking
somewhere in some limb awakens me first.
Both alarm clocks
from different sorts of limbs.

Fix the dishwasher
Make the peanut butter cookies you bought ingredients for a week ago
Finish typing up and formatting the storybook and get the illustration corrections to Isidro
Finish the Africa book
Finish the NaPoWriMo poem
Finish the prompt poem
Publish the flower prompt photo
Abandon my bed in search of hand lotion
Feed the animals
Thyroid pill
Half hour timer
Other pills and smoothie.

The time ran out five minutes ago, 
yet still I go on trying to meet all the directives.
That night on main street
in a small neighboring town in South Dakota.
Two cars pulled up driver’s window to driver’s window.
The chat.
The moving to one car.
The first kiss, ever, in this world.
The whole world changing. 
That one rebellious action
leading to a moving out into the world that never stopped.
Leading eventually to Mexico
and this morning following directions
into this avalanche of words.
Stones of unsorted sizes.
One layer covering the layer before it.
Instructions lost at the bottom of the pile.
I stop.
Ponder. 
Stop.

Yellow. Orange. Fuchsia.
My day reasserts itself.
I go back in search of it.
The weather outside is the ordinary  perfect April weather.
The weather inside is a hurricane of sneezes.
The plumeria is blooming.
My desk chair, my hammock and my pool
call out to me in that order.
Type.
Exercise.
Swing.

Anything
leaks
around
red
mornings

checking out
lazy
or
customary
kinesis.

STOP!!!!!

 

Below is the NaPoWriMo Day 25 prompt today that led to this poem, so don’t blame me. Phew:

A writing prompt toward the present tense, a meditation in everyday language, that makes room for small noticing and our most spacious perceptions.

For writing: please see the following suggestions and have them ready for a free write, selecting and using those that further your present tense engagement. Write for at least twenty minutes. You can return to this prompt and write through it numerous more times, to infinity.

  • Bring your perspective and verbs back to the present tense, even when addressing memory
  • Seek the “unforced flow of words”
  • Introduce all of the things that you might ordinarily deem incidental or too small for consideration
  • Include quoted speech (overheard, announced, in dialogue, as song lyrics)
  • Build your lines with associative accumulation (parataxis), move with your attentions
  • Introduce a swerve or observation that serves as interjection, non-sequitur
  • Include at least four colours
  • Animate the landscape or nearby object, imbue it with expressiveness of action or address
  • Include perceptions of the weather without, perceptions of weather within
  • Use a noun as verb that is typically not used that way (anthimeria): “white freaked with red”
  • Introduce the occasional 3- and 4-word sentence.
  • “Let’s make a list”: include a list of things you love
  • Did you remember to ask questions?
  • Include a hemistich line: a line made-up of two halves, of equivalent beats, hinged on a silent beat (caesura): “The world is all cut-outs then—and slip or step steadily down”

Keep writing: if you get stuck, begin again by penning a sentence that begins with the word “And…”

Keep writing: if you get stuck, repeat a word or phrase you wrote earlier and build

Keep writing: if you get stuck, perform an instant acrostic—look up and find a short word and use the letters from seeds to generate language (ex.: I performed an instant acrostic on the word “sky” to arrive at the phrase “said ‘Kill yesterday’”; see fragment of the poem drawn from “Mulberry Mess” in Red Juice below.

 

Dagwood

473fef2d0018fdef47b61a3b0c92686f--dagwood-sandwich-dinner-recipesphoto from Pinterest

Dagwood

After my pizza and after my knish
I have just one more edible wish.
I’m building its fantasy here in my mind:
a spectacular sandwich of a unique kind.

A little pastrami, baked beans and some cheese,
pickles and mustard and if you please
some mayonnaise lightly spread over the bread.
(Miracle Whip?  I’d rather be dead!)

Some avo and onions sliced thin would be nice,
and if you have it, a green pepper slice.
Some olives and beets would add a good zing,
and then I’d like one more additional thing.

Some chips to add crunch––put them right there inside.
(Only a ninny would place them outside.)
Then slice it diagonally if you will,
with a pickle beside it––a big kosher dill.

Then you can leave, please, so I can I start
greedily ripping that sandwich apart.
For though I needed help, perhaps, in its construction,
I need no further guidance in its destruction

Prompt words today are sandwich, fantasy, ninny, vanquish and guidance.

Piscine Phobia


Piscine Phobia

I don’t eat salmon, don’t eat flounder.
I prefer my protein rounder—
chicken, roasts or food like that.
Fish is too fishy and too flat.

Tuna mixed with soup and noodle,
I despise kit and caboodle!
Nothing could persuade me that
I should eat food fit for a cat.

I won’t eat food grown in a swamp,
so crabs and clams I never chomp.

No protein caught by motor boat
will ever pass my teeth and throat.

When dinner parties serve up chowder,
I’m likely to just take a powder.
I simply can’t take the suspense
of what fish lurks in soup so dense.

So if you want to plan a treat
that I will find the nerve to eat,
once again, I must repeat,
forget the lobster. Give me meat!!

Words for today are flounder, suspense, nothing, swamped and motor.

Lazy Feet

IMG_6633

Lazy Feet

Crossing the room or traversing the plain,
one foot goes in front of the other again.
It is the business of shoe after shoe
to follow each other through sand, dirt or goo.

They have easy going through fields filled with clover,
but when they meet something they have to climb over,
their task is much harder. No reflecting or browsing,
for climbing up hills is ten times more rousing.

They  pump up the blood, these mountains and ramps.
They irritate arches and instigate cramps.
They cause blisters, pulled muscles, and wear a girl out.
That’s why I don’t often saunter about.

You won’t often find me walking out there
with the wind to my back and stirring my hair.
For although there’s less scenery, I do not care.
I prefer bed or hammock or chair.

Prompt words today are something, browse, revenge, traverse and business.

When the World Turns Upside Down

Screen Shot 2020-03-10 at 10.23.17 AM

When the World Turns Upside Down

When the world turns upside down, I’ll have to stand on air.
My heels will be over my knees, my knees over my hair.
Will the water stay in place or just come tumbling down
to fill up where the sky is now—where formerly was town?
Will gravity act just the same or will it pull us up?
How will it work when Grandpa tries to fill his coffee cup?
Will balls bounce up or down and will skiers ski uphill?
How will grandma’s old gray cat stay on the windowsill?
May I suggest the world stay just as it is instead?
It’s just too complicated standing on your head!

For: https://mindlovemiserysmenagerie.wordpress.com/2020/03/10/photo-challenge-306/

Eleventh Hour

Eleventh Hour

It’s true the groom was old and gray,
a cane or walker his mainstay,
and the one he called his child bride
was just as tall as she was wide.

Her bathing schedule so erratic,
she was rather aromatic,
but since he’d lost his sense of smell,
they were suited very well.

If they had cause to take a journey,
he’d simply push her in a gurney
in lieu of walker. It worked well.
Her needs and his were seen to gel.

Centuries later, folks will recall
the evening of their wedding ball.
The dance they chose was rock and roll—
as practical as it was droll.

He rocked, she rolled, then one dance done,
he wheeled her off to have some fun.
For the groom, so aged and furry
was nonetheless in a great hurry

to address their wedding bed.
Fearing that he’d soon be dead,
he rolled his roly poly mate
out of the ballroom, through the gate,

down the hall and  to their room,
an act, I fear, that sealed his doom,
for once his ardor was diminished,
alas, the groom’s long life was finished.

But in the end? A bit of magic,
for the ending was not tragic.
Nine months later his game was won
when posthumously, he had a son!!!

Prompt words are aromatic, century, journey, mainstay and wide

On the Subject of Cracking Knuckles

IMG_3565

On the Subject of Cracking Knuckles

Please don’t snap your bones at me. 
I cringe, I plug my ears, I plea.
If you must make noise with body parts,
please stick to  burping, coughs or farts.
Since popping sounds tend to astound me,
Do not crack knuckles when around me!

 

 

I do not like that brittle sound,
so please don’t crack your bones around!

For the dVerse Poets prompt “crack.” For Quadrille Monday.

Escape from the Day Spa

 

Photo by Adrian Motroc on Unsplash, used with permission

Escape from the Day Spa

Our hair is neatly coiffed and our fingernails are lacquered,
but they’ve been at us for hours and, frankly, I am knackered.
They’ve elevated eyebrows and plucked chin hairs at random.
Two people worked an hour, massaging me in tandem.

This day trip to the beauty spa once seemed a good idea,
but I’ve found it as annoying as a junket to Ikea.
Everything goes on and on. There simply is too much.
First there’s this and this and this and then there’s such and such.

And though it’s meant to calm me, I find I’m feeling goaded.
When it comes to things and services, I’m simply overloaded.
“I know” I tell my friend, “I should be finding it relaxing,
but I feel the opposite. I find the process taxing!”

I need to steer us out of here before she finds another
way for them to soak us or to pluck or curl or smother.
Before this spa day started, she’d assured me it was fun,
but now its time for me to declare that it is done!!!

I need a gin and tonic and perhaps a wild dance
to loosen all the hairpins and give my hair a chance
to escape the close confinement of gel and goop and spray.
I’m tense with relaxation. I need wildness in my day!

Give me a seedy roadhouse and some honky tonk guitar.
Some cowboys with their cowboy boots propped up against the bar.
Some line dances and two-steps to work up a little sweat,
and I’ll be about as relaxed as I’m ever going to get.

IMG_1017jdb photo of the Mint Bar, Sheridan, Wyoming

It

Prompt words today are trip, knackered, random, elevate and steer.

Tropical Gig

img_6020

Tropical Gig

A cricket and a katydid in need of some excitement
when the cold winds started, and with no other incitement,
set out on upon a sea journey, their ship an old guitar.
(It wasn’t very roomy. Oh, but it was yar!)

They christened her as Lulabelle after an old amor.
They thought they’d sail the whole wide world from shore to shore to shore.
Setting off from Mexico, they drifted with the breeze,
their water and provisions stacked up around their knees.

The cricket sang such lullabies. The katydid chimed in,
a catfish as a tagalong stroked rhythms on its fin.
Guileless in their motives, they sought no fame nor riches.
From port to port they drifted, with only minor glitches.

On Isla Mujeres, they met a small land crab
that had been used in research in an oceanic lab.
It lit up in the darkness with a thousand little lights.
And so they offered it a ride to light up starless nights.

They drifted off to Cuba atop an ocean swell,
telling all the stories that they had to tell.
Traitorous loves and conquests, flight through the summer night.
The sand crab told of capture after a valiant fight.

The cricket had such stories of houses he’d been in.
The katydid could mime a leaf: long and green and thin.
When they made their music, the crab just clacked its claws.
All night they chirred and clattered—sometimes without a pause.

By the time they got to Cuba, they had a stirring act.
They drew the gulls and pelicans to listen—it’s a fact!
They got a gig in Havana, playing in a bar,
drawing folks to hear them from both near and far.

The cricket’s name is Chirrup and and Katydid is Slim.
The Crab’s name is Oblongus—based on the shape of him.
Their act can be heard nightly in the ocean dunes,
where they will serenade you with their blended tunes.

 

 

 

Prompt words for today are guitar, guileless, traitor, research and excitement.

Chopstick Savior: in Honor of National Chop Suey Day!!!

DSCN2810

Chopstick Savior

Faced with rush hour traffic, I was already leery
that any meal I’d cook tonight would turn out rather dreary.
This day was not abnormal. At its end, I was a wreck.
My colleagues in the office? A true pain in the neck.
My story is not poignant, but it’s sad enough, I guess.
Most days I end up bushed once they are finished, I confess.
So faced with thoughts of cooking, once again I murmur, “Phooey!”
And thank the Lord for takeout. Tonight? Egg rolls and chop suey.

Prompt words today are bush, abnormal, poignant and wreck. Since this is National chop suey Day, I’m adding chop suey to the prompt list.

If you feel inclined to help me honor chop suey today, please give a link to your post in comments below. At the very least, eat Chinese today, take a photo, post it and send me the link. Happy Chop Suey. (If I’m not wrong, it was an Americanization of Chinese food, anyway.)