Tag Archives: change

Just Do It

Just Do It

Change need not be a hazard. It can be a brand new start.
Thinking up potential problems puts the horse behind the cart.
Just think of what you want to do and set about creating
what it is you want to do. Life’s not best spent in waiting.


Today’s prompt words were haphazard and change.
https://fivedotoh.com/2018/11/19/fowc-with-fandango-haphazard/
https://onedailyprompt.wordpress.com/2018/11/19/your-daily-word-prompt-change-November-19-2018/

Transformation

Tottering on stubby legs,
Reaching for the world,
Another child once nested
Now slowly comes uncurled.
Stretching out and learning,
Forgetting childhood woes,
Opening to each new thing,
Reforming as she grows.
Meet her in the springtime
And meet her in the fall.
The child you met the first time
Is no longer there at all.
One more child a woman,
Now a mother, now a grand.
Always we are changing,
Led by nature’s hand.

Libraries cannot answer
If changing has an end,
For we know not if transformation
Ends around the bend.

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/transformation/

Rings of Saturn

The Prompt: Weaving the Threads–Draft a post with three parts, each unrelated to the other, but create a common thread between them by including the same item — an object, a symbol, a place — in each part.

Rings of Saturn

I had taken off my wedding ring years before. How typical of me that I would finally put it on again after he died. I don’t know why I do these things. Perhaps it was easier to be married to a dead man, or perhaps I felt he had finally atoned for his bad behavior, but suddenly that symbol had more significance than it had come to have in life. That sainthood of departure. I’d seen it happen again and again, but I had never been one to run with the pack and so it surprised me so much when I looked down one day and saw his ring on my finger again that I took it off and it has resided in that heart-shaped jewelry box ever since. That jewelry box with the little slit-compartment for rings that my sister’s friend had brought as a hostess gift when she had come to visit during that long year after his death when everyone came out of the woodwork to come visit.

Draw a ring around the old. Ring in the new in multiples. Duplication has become such a science–the craftsman thrown out of the ring. With the new three-dimensional copier, what cannot be duplicated, if plastic is your creation material of choice? A plastic gun—complete down to the bullet in its chamber. A perfect functioning model of anything with moving parts. Can each grain of gunpowder be duplicated? One ringie dingie, two ringie dingies. Floating away on the surface of the lake of forget. Is that giving up? Ringing the final buzzer? Burning the evidence in a ring of fire? Burning bridges? A phone rings and rings in the distance. It has that ring of authenticity, but that does not mean it is real.

Ring of thieves. One by one, the days steal my life away. Time is that one thing no one has control over—even Einstein or Hawking who perhaps understood it more than anyone. Estee Lauder, Timex, Time, Incorporated–all profit by time but none have conquered it. We are all in the ring with it whether we know it or not. Others may take the black eyes or sound the buzzer, but we are all really fighting the same fight. The smoothest face still wrinkles and the most beautiful voice grows shrill with age or disappears. Buzzers go silent and the arms holding up the signs go saggy. Ring around the rosie. Ring around the rosie. Ashes, ashes, we all fall down.

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_prompt/weaving-the-threads/

Who Knew?

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompts: New and Skills.

Who Knew?

When new was new, I was crazy about it. A new friend, new dress, new favorite food. But what I liked best was new places. I yearned to travel, even if it was just to the next town. Strangely enough, as tiny as the towns were in my part of South Dakota, people from neighboring towns did not mix. We went roller skating in Draper, 7 miles away, but when our eyes chanced to stray to Draper boys, we were taken aside by several of the “popular” Draper girls—the cheerleaders, in fact, and told to stay away from their boys. This really happened. We played their school in sports, went roller skating every Sunday in their school gym, even went to movies in their tiny theater, but we did not mix. When we tried, we’d been warned.

I think I visited Presho, Vivian and Kennebec—all 20 to 40 miles away—no more than once in the 18 years I lived in Murdo, population 700. White River, 38 miles away, we more regularly visited since they had shows on Mondays as well as weekends, and the movies were just ten cents, whereas ours cost twenty-five cents! But, never did we ever socialize with White River girls. The boys, however, were a different matter.

The first boy I ever kissed was from White River, and we went steady for two years. I think I’ve told the story of that first kiss in another blog posting. Suffice it to say that after putting it off until age 16, it was about time. And, it worked. I was literally dizzy and he had to hold me up for a minute afterwards. He had opened my car door, helped me out, then folded me in his arms and kissed me. I was so discombobulated that instead of walking to my own car, I opened the back door of his car and started to get into the back seat. Not for the reasons you might think. My best friend and a boy who (as I recall) later turned to cattle rustling were already in the back seat. I just did so in utter confusion. And no, I had never had a drink in my life at the time.

At any rate, this story has veered off in a direction unintended, so just suffice it to say that after that, life continued to present new after new and I accepted most of them. I traveled widely, loved a few loves, pursued a few careers and wound up in Mexico. Now, at age 67, I suddenly find that new isn’t as necessary to me. The older I get, the more I realize that everything is everywhere. You just have to look for it closely.

No longer is it necessary for me to travel to faroff third world countries. It is exciting to take the same walk on the same beach day after day since the sea presents new treasures each day. I love getting up each morning and writing first thing, having Pepe come each Monday to give me a 1½ hour massage after which I plop into the hot tub. I love spending hours in my studio and sometimes hate having to leave home even for activities I have enjoyed in the past.

The point is, that the older I get, the more I want to spend all my time doing what I love most. Writing. Art. The fact that each endeavor creates a new piece is getting to be enough “new.”

Who Knew?

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “New.”

Who Knew?

When new was new, I was crazy about it. A new friend, new dress, new favorite food. But what I liked best was new places. I yearned to travel, even if it was just to the next town. Strangely enough, as tiny as the towns were in my part of South Dakota, people from neighboring towns did not mix. We went rollerskating in Draper, 7 miles away, but when our eyes chanced to stray to Draper boys, we were taken aside by several of the “popular” Draper girls–the cheerleaders, in fact, and told to stay away from their boys. This really happened. We played their school in sports, went rollerskating every Sunday in their school gym, even went to movies in their tiny theater, but we did not mix. When we tried, we’d been warned.

I think I visited Presho, Vivian and Kennebec–all 20 to 40 miles away–no more than once in the 18 years I lived in Murdo, population 700. White River, 38 miles away, we more regularly visited since they had shows on Mondays as well as weekends, and the movies were just ten cents, whereas ours cost twenty-five cents! But, never did we ever socialize with White River girls. The boys, however, were a different matter.

The first boy I ever kissed was from White River, and we went steady for two years. I think I’ve told the story of that first kiss in another blog posting. Suffice it to say that after putting it off until age 16, it was about time. And, it worked. I was literally dizzy and he had to hold me up for a minute afterwards. He had opened my car door, helped me out, then folded me in his arms and kissed me. I was so discombobulated that instead of walking to my own car, I opened the back door of his car and started to get into the back seat. Not for the reasons you might think. My best friend and a boy who (as I recall) later turned to cattle rustling were already in the back seat. I just did so in utter confusion. And no, I had never had a drink in my life at the time.

At any rate, this story has veered off in a direction unintended, so just suffice it to say that after that, life continued to present new after new and I accepted most of them. I traveled widely, loved a few loves, pursued a few careers and wound up in Mexico. Now, at age 67, I suddenly find that new isn’t as necessary to me. The older I get, the more I realize that everything is everywhere. You just have to look for it closely.

No longer is it necessary for me to travel to faroff third world countries. It is exciting to take the same walk on the same beach day after day since the sea presents new treasures each day. I love getting up each morning and writing first thing, having Pepe come each Monday to give me a 1 1/2 hour massage after which I plop into the hot tub. I love spending hours in the studio and sometimes hate having to leave home even for activities I have enjoyed in the past.

The point is, that the older I get, the more I want to spend all my time doing what I love most. Writing. Art. The fact that each endeavor creates a new piece is getting to be enough “new.”

(A half hour to write, three hours to post.  Will I ever learn how to use this PC?)

Fast Change

The Prompt: Let It Be—A restaurant that removed your favorite item from the menu, a bad cover of a great song… Write a post about something that should’ve been left untouched, but wasn’t. Why was the original better?

Fast Change

This modern world has changed and changed
until I have become estranged.
These alterations make me dizzy.
I do not like my world so busy.

The young are used to change, it’s true.
They love the instant and the new.
Texts and sound bites come so fast.
Nothing’s really built to last.

But, for someone over fifty,
all this change is hardly nifty.
When at each end the candle’s burned,
when everything we’ve newly learned,

when everything that we hold dear
turns obsolete within one year,
we’re always slightly out of gear,
which makes us feel unjustly queer.

They make these changes without a clue.
Let’s start out minor, then work up to
the major things they’ve set askew:
(I will not mention Dr. Who.)

Every computer becomes its clone.
I cannot use the telephone.
My applications change so quick
that I have come to feel I’m thick.

Skype makes its changes overnight.
(Yet rarely ever improves the site.)
Microsoft Word just loves to change,
which leaves her users feeling strange.

Move this to there and that down here;
so all my mental powers, I fear,
are spent in figuring out the APP
and organizing a mental map

of how to write instead of what,
creating one big mental glut.
No room for creativity.
No safe place where our minds soar free.

We’re always “searching” for, instead,
our minds caught up in fear and dread
of where they’ve moved the enlarge bar to
in this week’s Word processing zoo!

Our e-mail servers have joined the plot.
I feel like pitching out the lot.
Just when I’ve learned most every trick
of tool and contact, every lick—

their Machiavellian, evil team
goes and changes the whole darn scheme!
But when we’re sending coast-to-coastal,
the alternative is going postal.

So though we bitch and though we frown,
they are the only game in town;
and so they have us where they want us.
Though they frustrate, ire and daunt us,

one after another, they are the same,
playing at this modern game
of change for change’s sake, it’s true.
There’s really nothing much to do.

So I submit, though in a tizzy,
I’ll relax less and keep real busy.
I’ll leave the cyber world alone
and concentrate on just one bone

I have to pick in this modern world,
and I say this with my top lip curled.
Max Factor, Revlon, Almay, please—
I kneel before you on my knees.

Leave the lipstick colors that we hold dear
alone! Don’t change them every year.
Each time you cancel one that’s zesty,
to find another makes us testy!!!

NaPoWriMo Day 28: Looking Glass Menagerie

Looking Glass Menagerie

I am trying to escape the menagerie—
all those selves I hold in front of me
as well as the ones I have let escape.
Those that run ahead—
the ones that are my future selves—
are here, hidden in the portrait that you see.
Domineering, perhaps. But seasoned with
an awareness of what might have produced
all of the parts of myself I try to reign in.
This has produced a certain slowness to connect.
The natural is seasoned with a desire to honor dreams
of what I hope to be. When I look in the mirror,
I see them all: my mother and my grandmother
and my sisters. We demand, are stubborn.
Sometime we are martyrs, stifling tears.
Then suddenly, I pass them by like memories
of nightmares: all the anxiety attacks,
illnesses and heartbreak.
We are all wonderful performers,
using bad luck to fuel good.
The belles of our own ball,
we push back the grim news
of what we fear we really are.
Headstrong, we reach for what we can be.
Utterly addicted to change,
Tony or no Tony,
we are the stars of our own lives.

The prompt today was “to find a news article and to write a poem using (mostly, if not only) words from the article! You can repeat them, splice them, and rearrange them however you like. Although the vocabulary may be “just the facts,” your poem doesn’t have to be — it doesn’t even have to be about the subject of the news article itself.”

With massive tornadoes, politician campaign funding fraud, murder and mayhem being the main stories of the day, I was hard-pressed to find any good news to write about. Finally, I chose a very long theater review in the NY Times which I picked at like a foraging chicken, picking a word here, a word there. Above is the resulting poem.

Here is a link to the NY Times article from which  I drew words : NY Times Article

Interloper (Day 13 of NaPoWriMo)

The assignment today was to take a walk and to translate that experience into a poem. It was a very busy day and I didn’t get around to taking my walk until about an hour before sunset. I finally finished my poem at around 11 PM. An hour to spare! Takes the pressure off a bit. The lady I’m talking about who spreads her skirts under the extinct volcano known as Señor Garcia is Lake Chapala, the usually beautiful lake whose shores I have lived upon for twelve years. Ringed by the Sierra Madre mountains, she reclines in the heart of Mexico, about an hour from Guadalajara. It is a view of her from Tony’s porch that graces the cover of our book. When I moved here twelve years ago, they thought the lake would be completely dried up within five years due to low rainfall and three big dams further upstream which drew off most of the water. At that time, the sixty-mile long lake had shrunk to a point where it was actually necessary to take a taxi from the Chapala pier to get out to the water! It was at this time that I started to take my daily walks on a lakebed that was once under water. This land had sprouted a new civilization of herds of horses left to wander free, cattle, burros, wild dogs, flower nurseries, fishermen’s shacks, small palapa restaurants, huge thickets of willow trees and acres and acres of tall cattails. A few years later, when the lake filled up again, all of this was lost. Of course, it was fortunate that rains and legislation concerning water usage swelled the dying lake; so although I missed my old walking ground, I did not mourn it. Unfortunately, the lake is again in dire straits. It has once again shrunk, but this time it has left a wasteland of rocks, dead tree stumps and a beach littered with fresh water shells and abandoned graveyards of soda bottles. This was the first time I’d walked in my old walking grounds and it was a somewhat depressing experience that nonetheless contained some hopeful signs toward the end. I hope to include some pictures to accompany this piece.

Interloper

If you live long enough,
what others consider history
will become your life.

Twelve years ago,
I walked for hours every day
on this dry lake bottom,
in places the lake
a mile further out
from its usual banks.

Then, five years
from its supposed extinction,
the rains came.
The floodgates
of the dams upstream
opened as well
and the lake swelled to its former girth.

My old walking trails
through the cattails
and the willows
became suffused in a watery world.
Tree tops became the perches for egrets
scant inches above the waterline,
and the lake became once more
the private property
of homes and landowners who fronted
on the water.

But now, again,
the water has retreated,
and for the first time
in eleven years,
I am again walking
on what was once lake bottom.
I see for myself how this
venerable lady
who spreads her skirts under the mountain
known as Señor Garcia,
has done so in a curtsy,
before beating a hasty retreat.

Freshwater shells pave the dry silt.
Discarded soda bottles , moss-covered and corroded,
lie in a pile as though emptied like catch from a fisherman’s net.

Coots and grackles replace the white pelicans
who have circled over in their last goodbye
like other snowbirds heading north.
Sandpipers whistle their reedy pipes,
as if to rein in the small boy
who runs with a rag of kite
streaming out behind him,
creating his own wind.

A man in red shorts wades out
to a bright yellow boat,
lugging a five gallon gas container.

The kite pilot
and his two brothers,
as tattered as their kite,
walk past,
then circle as though I’m prey,
to sit behind me on an archipelago
of large stones
that form a Stonehenge
around the sheared-off skeletons of willows.

I wrote about these willows in their prime—
when the villagers had come to clear and burn them
eleven years ago,
not knowing they would not grow back.

What had been foremost in their prayers for years would soon happen.
The lake would rise
again to her former banks.

But now she once again
beats a hasty retreat,
leaving the stubs and skeletons
of trees revealed again.
It is a wasteland
stripped of
the life of water or of leaves.

“Rapido!” the boy in the green shirt
demands of his brother.
Their sister pulls the bones of the kite
from their plastic shroud.
Rags turn back to rags,
their flight over.

The brother in the black Wesley Snipes T Shirt
winds the coil of string as though it is valuable
and can’t be tangled or lost.

The sun is half an hour from setting.
“Be off the beach by nightfall,”
a man had warned me
as I set off for my walk.
He was a gringo,
yet still I am ready
to start back.
I remember the banks of blackbirds
that used to settle in clouds in the reeds—
acres and acres of cattails—
enough to get seriously lost in.
At sunset, the birds would lift in funnels
by the thousands–
a moving tornado of winged black
that moved as one.
But they are history, now.

La Sangerona—
that bright yellow boat
whose name translates
as “the annoying one”
does not disappoint.
Despite her fresh infusion of fuel,
she has to be pulled manually ashore.
She is like a princess
being towed
up the Nile.
She expends no energy
to further her own movement.

A red dog,
wet sand to his high tide mark,
settles politely in the sand beside me.
Like iron filings drawn to their pole,
the children gather closer.
They pull at the rocks
as though mining for worms—
prod at the packed sand,
casting eyes up, then away.
Curious but silent.

Now, all run away.
I am left with one grackle,
three sandpipers
and fourteen coots,
drawn out by the waves
and pushed back in,
over and over
in a lullaby.

As I climb to the malecon,
the sun dissolves
into the mountains
to the west.
Shadows of palms
are blown in a singular direction,
all pointing north.
Below them,
the skirts of lesser trees,
as low as bushes
but lush in their fullness,
toss with abandon,
as though this lower wind
did not know its own direction.
I have a hunch, go closer and examine.
I am rewarded.
They are willows,
swaying to obscure
a fresh stand of cattails,
once again beginning their
long march of dominance.
The water that was interloper
is history. And I am part of it.

Dry lakebed.  Once again revealed

Dry lakebed. Once again revealed   (CLICK PHOTO TO ENLARGE)

Freshwater shells revealed by retreat of lake
Freshwater shells revealed by retreat of lake

new serpentine shoreline
new serpentine shoreline

bones of the old willows again revealed
bones of the old willows again revealed

closeup of freshwater shells

closeup of freshwater shellsFresh catch!Fresh catch!

DSC07734Creating a breeze

DSC07741The kite flyer

DSC07719

palms point northwards in the sunset breeze

palms point northwards in the sunset breeze

The first surprise.  New willows!

The first surprise. New willows, and, below, cattails!!!

DSC07751

A lake sunset
A lake sunset