Tag Archives: Daily Prompt

Chancy Cuisine

 

Chancy Cuisine

I ordered cottage cheese pancakes with bacon on the side.
I’d heard they were delicious, so I took it in my stride
when I saw them on the menu, not thinking it absurd
until I took my first big bite and bit into a curd.
So what if cottage cheese had lumps? I thought it wouldn’t matter.
I thought somehow that they’d be blended smoothly in the batter.
Not so, I found, attempting to mash them with my fork.
and take  a bite of pancake, then a bite of pork.
The pork and syrup didn’t help this dish lumpy and pallid.
It still tasted like breakfast that was conjoined with a salad!
By the time I’d drunk my coffee down to its last dregs
and tried to hide my pancakes under my scrambled eggs,
my friends were finishing their meals, replete and smacking lips,
settling their bills and figuring their tips.
Their breakfasts were not strange ones—neither oddly-paired nor lumpy.
Nothing in today’s cuisine had left them starved and grumpy.
They went on to see a matinee and other day’s adventures,
while I went home to pry the curds out of my brand new dentures!
Next time I’ll order scrambled eggs, an omelet or a waffle,
not chancing more exotic fare potentially awful.

 

The prompt work today is partake.

Crafted Heart

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As an artist who worked in wood, stone, metal, paper, glass and any other material he could find to project his mental imaginings into concrete objects, my husband had mallets of many shapes, sizes and materials, but my favorite was the one he fashioned himself as part of the first gift he ever gave to me—the musical instrument shown towards the end of this post.

Crafted Heart

He handed it to me without ceremony—a small leather bag, awl-punched and stitched together by hand. Its flap was held together by a clasp made from a two fishing line sinkers and a piece of woven wax linen. I unwound the wax linen and found inside a tiny wooden heart with his initials on one side, mine on the other. A small hole in the heart had a braided cord of wax linen strung through that was attached to the bag so that the heart could not be lost. He had woven more waxed linen into a neck cord. I was 39 years old when he gave me that incredible thing I never thought I would receive: his heart—as much of it as he could give.

It was the first handmade gift I’d ever received from a man. Inside, over the years, I have put a lock of his hair and a tiny tiny animal of indeterminate species hand-cut out of wood by his youngest son and presented to me. Twenty-eight years later, this bag is all that is left of what was once my union with the man and his eight children from three different women. When he died, we returned him to the inevitable earth and all of the children returned forever to their real mothers.

The bag lies in a box with other relics of our past together: a silver heart brooch, another carved of wood with wings attached and, strangely enough, a miniature computerized hand piano. Years after his death, it struck a chord on its own, just lying on the shelf beside my favorite picture of him. One last dying gasp from the tiny gadget I’d put in his Christmas stocking but then grown tired of hearing him play and so had hidden away, only to enter our bedroom one night to find him playing it under the covers like a guilty pleasure hidden from the adults, although he was already in his sixties.

For our first Christmas, he gave me a large sculpture that was also a musical instrument—three hand-raised copper gongs in the shape of breasts suspended over a wooden keyboard played by rawhide mallets, (ironically, they are not shown in this photo)  the gongs suspended from the long horizontal neck of a copper wind instrument with two necks and two mouthpieces, so two notes could be blown at once. When he died, it was the sculpture chosen by his youngest daughter, and I let her take it. Now, the remnants I have of him are only the leftovers that remained after eight children had chosen. I was moving to another country and could not hold onto everything he’d given.

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Sculpture by Bob Brown,1986.  4′ X 5.5′, wood, hand forged copper, marble and hemp.

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                                 Miniature hand piano, 4″ X 2″

I moved away from most of those things we had collected over the years, but somewhere hidden away in the thousand objects in my studio is the small leather bag and the tiny hand piano, now forever mute, his father’s pocket watch, his biking medals and the other assorted pieces of his life that will one day wind up in a secondhand store in Mexico. All of our gifts finally melding with the parts of all those billions of other lives that strike their brief chord before blending, inevitably, back into the cacophony of the universe.

 

Some material in this post was posted four years ago. The prompt today is mallet.

Let There be Light

Sometimes, to get to that authentic part of ourselves where poetry resides, we have to illuminate some dark corners.

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Let There Be Light


My mind is a growling dog.
While I stew and fuss,
fulfilling lists,
she jumps the screen door,
beckoning.
Rude me, to turn my back
on the only playmate
who wants to play
the same games I do
every day, every hour,
because I fear that initial
plodding through silt
page after page
in search of the stream
of words.

Sometimes boredom
yawns so wide
that I have to enter it,
to wander its inner closet
where for decades
only cobwebs
have stirred.
In some dark corner
where I spank the dog
or search the bedside table drawers
of a lover called out at midnight,
I find the river’s source,
but then
the phone
rings and I’m off
gathering crumbs from a forest path,
leaving lost children
stranded in their own story.

Stray puppies—I collect every one,
wild orange funnel flowers
and guava
washed in an afternoon kitchen
just before the invasion
of five o’clock sunlight.
All of them I carry back
to hidden places
to rub against each other
and ignite
into the language of this place
where life goes in,
plays dress-up,
but emerges
nude,
like poetry.

 

If you’ve been following me for four years, you’ve seen this one before. The prompt word today was authentic.

Sport Retort

 

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Sport Retort

When faced with talk of games and sport,
I seldom have cause to retort.
For dribbling, sparring, touching  down
raise no emotions but a frown.
The games I play are just of mind
Less physically taxing and more kind.

Using tongues and brains to spar,
I am more likely  under par
than when I hit a pock-marked ball
off of the course to hit a wall,
bounce off and into someone’s car
to be transported to regions far.

I have not thought to scream out, “Fore!”
My terminology’s as poor,
I fear, as my coordination,
I will not, ever, stun the nation
with my prowess with balls or bats,
parallel bars, hurdles or mats.

Likewise, I have no interest in
watching others skate and spin,
touch balls down or thrust a fist.
When it comes to sports, I must insist
when the tube depicts each bout,
I am forgiven for running out!!!

This is a reblog of a piece I wrote three years ago. The Prompt today was parallel.

Dear Genie (A Note Affixed to a Bottle)

Dear Genie  (A note Affixed to a Bottle)

Get back into the bottle. You’re doing nothing right.
The Adonis I requested just the other night
turned out to be the plumber. He got here around nine,
but the pipes he chose to work on were not any pipes of mine.
A problem with your hearing is a possibility,
so for now there’s only one more wish that I would ask of thee.
A doctor of ear, nose and throat you need to visit, please,
for when I requested money, you brought me hives of bees.
Now I’ve sufficient honey and beeswax it appears—
almost as much as I imagine you have in your ears.
As it is, each thing I wish for occasions my new fears.
So you’re confined to quarters ’til your hearing reappears!


The prompt today is genie.

Banded

Click on any photo to enlarge all.


Banded

From string to string and fret to fret,
they draw us into music’s net.
They strum and pick and blithely finger
notes that make us want to linger,
tap the table, move our feet
to their infectious strumming beat.

They are my favorite sort of band––
unique and playing their own brand
of acoustic, bluesy notes––
a kind of music that denotes
connection to a world of hearts.
Their music woos and cuts and smarts.

Opening sensibilities.
Music that unites and frees
our spirits to commune and soar.
Notes that journey to our core.
Which is what music’s meant to do
in  dancehall, city street or pew.

Good music sets our hats askew,
chases us down and counts a coup.
Stirs our hearts and brings a change.
Astounds us with its depth and range.
Draws us with it, layer on layer,
unites us in communal prayer.

Denominationless, it draws
us in and gives a place to pause
together to survey that place
devoid of sex or age or race.
That place where we unite in song.
Give up ourselves, and sing along.

The prompt today is fret.