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!)

Burning Your Journals

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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.

 

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The prompt word today was trance.

Locked Secrets

Version 6

Locked Secrets

I’d just received my school’s math prize and my Uncle Jimmy, after handing me a twenty dollar bill, had, in his usual self-effacing manner, proclaimed that I must have gotten my smarts from him.  “How is it that you are both the pretty one and the smart one in your family?”  He teased.  My sister Eleanor was out of the room at the time.  If she’d been there and I hadn’t, he would have been proclaiming her the prettiest.  We all knew this about our uncle.  He adored us, and was not above flattery in revealing the fact.

This time, however, he had overlooked  both the precociousness and competitiveness of my two-and-a-half-year-old youngest sister, Stephanie.

“Elebben, eight, twenny, fiteen,” she recited proudly!

“Well, forgive me, Missy. Aren’t you a smart young lady, knowing how to count?” He reached into his lumpy pocket and tossed her a nickel.  Amazingly, she caught it.  Perhaps she was going to be the first athletic one in the family.

“Fohty-two!” she exclaimed proudly. “free, sebben-elebben, one, one, one.” This time he extracted his wallet, took out a one-dollar bill and handed it to her.  Putting his wallet back in his back pocket, he turned one side pocket inside out. “But that’s it, Teffie.  No more money. If you want to go on counting, it will have to be for free.”

His other pocket still bulged with its contents: coins, a rubber ball to throw for our dog Pudge, oatmeal cookie bits in a small plastic bag–also for Pudge.  My Uncle Jimmy always proclaimed that doggie treats were a real gyp and that no self-respecting dog would perform for such a dry, tasteless mouthful.  So, he preferred to bake his own dog treats.

My sisters and I agreed, and sometimes we would perform, hoping to be rewarded with one of Pudge’s treats.  We were all constantly performing for our uncle, whom we adored. He was the one person who paid more attention to us than to our parents when he visited.  He was our favorite babysitter, and our parents’ favorite as well, as he always waved away payment.

He would take us to Fern’s Cafe for strawberry malts, greasy hamburgers and mashed potatoes and gravy, since Fern didn’t have a French fryer. He took us for wild rides over cow pastures in his beat up old red Ford pickup.  Once he took us to a matinee cartoon show in Pierre, sixty miles away, and got us home and in bed again before my folks got home.  We were sworn to secrecy and so far as I know, none of us ever told.  I know for sure I didn’t.  My Uncle Jimmy had my undying loyalty.  I would have borne torture before giving away any of his secrets.

Sadly, Uncle Jimmy died during one of those wild rides across the South Dakota prairie.  This time he was flying solo over a dam grade and veered too far to the right, rolling the pickup.  He drowned trying to get out of the passenger door, the pickup mired driver-side down in the mud at the bottom of the dam.  We had always felt like such ladies as Uncle Jimmy graciously got out of his pickup to personally open the door from the outside for us.  We didn’t know then, as we know now, that it was a peculiarity of that door that it would only open from the outside.

“Thank God the girls weren’t with him,” my mother sobbed to my father, as they sat side-by-side at the kitchen table, my dad’s arms around her.  It was past midnight, and they were sitting in that room furthest away from our bedrooms, thinking we wouldn’t hear her sobs.  But, unable to sleep, we had stolen out to the living room to listen––all consumed by that missing of Uncle Jimmy that would last our whole lives.

“Oh, he never would have driven that wildly if the girls were with him,” my dad said.  But Eleanor and I and even Steffie just exchanged that look that we were to exchange so many times in our future lives together––that look that children exchange that would tell their parents that they know something their parents don’t know––if only their parents took the time to notice. Even Steffie understood.  And Uncle Jimmy was right when he proclaimed her wise beyond her years.  Even Steffie never told.

(This is a work of fiction.)

 

The prompt today was recite. (A repost of a story from a few years ago.)