Tag Archives: dVerse Poets

East Meets West

East Meets West

I’m fueled by fire yet pulled by the moon.
Everything used up too soon, oh too soon.
I’m a pig by my nature. I want it all.
I love my home, yet hear the world’s call.
Adventure and travel I had in full measure,
but now it’s my home that affords me my pleasure.
Nesting, then flying patterns my past.
Change chasing change in the past was a blast.
But now I prefer for the nesting to last.
As a crab in my shell, my future is cast.

Born a fire pig according to the Chinese calendar, western astrology brands me as a water sign—moonchild—crab. In the last quarter of my life, I would say that water has quenched fire, but of course all of these elements reside within us always. I just now find more sedate ways to express them.

For dVerse Poets.

Wise Habit (Lai)


Wise Habit

Try this exercise
to see through disguise.
Take note:
To locate the lies,
examine the eyes.
I quote:
Life’s ultimate prize
is to become wise
by rote.

This is a strange poetic form know as Lai which looks to be a very simple form composed of a five syllabled couplets followed by a two syllable lines. The number of lines in each stanza is fixed at nine and the couplets must rhyme with each other, as the two syllable lines must also rhyme. In English this line is probably the most difficult part of the poem.

The Lai is a very old French form and tradition states that the short line must not be indented, it must be left dressed to the poem. This is known as Arbre Fourchu (Forked Tree); there is a pattern meant to be set up as a tree.

The number of lines in each stanza is fixed at nine. The number of stanzas is not fixed and each stanza has its own rhyme pattern. The stanza’s rhyme
pattern is… a. a. b. a. a. b. a. a. b.





My best friend taught me about limbo and saints,
Showed me their stacks of National Geographic.
You had to be invited into membership, she said,
not everyone could join. I rated them against
my mother’s Ladies’ Home Journals

and felt deficient, somehow.

No wine in our Methodist kitchen cupboards.
No tuna and salmon tins
stacked up awaiting Friday.
All those cans on my friend’s mother’s shelves in limbo
all Saturday, Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday,

that long summer when we were still twelve.

Wanting something we didn’t yet know the name of.
Restless stirrings the little boys our age 
did not know how to respond to.
All of them inches shorter than us
 except for one—a tall country boy
new to town school,
the most innocent of all.

How we waited to be chosen—
the fact that we’d already chosen in our minds
having little consequence.
How we watched. How we kept secrets,
even from each other.

I knew what to call it, at least,
if not much else,
that summer I turned thirteen,

nothing changed.


The dVerse poets prompt is “Limbo.”

But Jimmy Cliff says it best!!!!

And “Limbo” of a different sort was two years in our future: 

Water: for DVerse Poets


Rivulets running down the windowpane
Another two join together, racing for the windowsill.
Is there any chance they’ll call off school?
Nah.  Not for rain. Never.

Creatures chasing each other across the sky.
Looking like one thing and then the other.
Old men,
Drifting and changing almost before you can see what they were before.

Shivering near the window. 
Now rivulets frozen into patterns on the glass.
Obscured by snowflakes frozen in lacy patterns.
Wonderland viewed safe inside. No school today.

For dVerse Poets “Water” prompt.

Gone Fishin’

Gone Fishin’

All of the other girls are extolling
your expertise in flirting and trolling
for available fellows here at the bar.
The barstool regulars know who you are. 
When you remove your jacket, revealing your chest,
it’s the general opinion, your bait is the best.

The only “rule” for a quadrille poem is that is has exactly 44 words, not counting the title. The prompt word was “troll.” Strangely enough, that prompt seemed to invade my next day 4-prompt posting as well.  Here’s that post:

For the dVerse Poets Quadrille Prompt.

Baker’s Dozen


A dozen fatal flaws forgiven seems to be a fair number to allot to anyone. It’s that thirteenth misdeed that is unforgivable!

Baker’s Dozen

(Only So Much Forgiveness to Go Around)

I forgive you for hogging the covers
and eating the last cookie, too.
I forgive you for doing the crossword
that I was intending to do.

I forgive you for all of the dogs you brought home
that you’ve never walked even once
and for donating genes to our children
that turned them each into a dunce.

I don’t mind your poker night forays
or the damage you do to my car,
or the fact that your minimal salary
really can’t stretch very far.

Your spare tires and the fact that you’re balding
really don’t bother me much.
I’ve grown used to your slobbery kisses,
and the foreplay no more than a clutch.

But there’s one thing that you always do, dear,
that rouses my most  primal scream,
for I had made plans for a tryst with
that last pint of chocolate ice cream!


For dVerse Poets, Forgiveness.

The Dogs Are Barking


The dVerse Poets prompt requires that we write a quadrille–a poem of 44 words––making use of the word “steep.”  To do so, I rewrote an earlier poem so it became a 5 stanza poem, each stanza forming a quadrille. I wonder how many other poets share this experience as they are awakened from dreams by one means or another:

The Dogs Are Barking

They break the morning––a daily rite.
It’s just a warning. The dogs won’t bite.
Two strangers talk but pass unseen.
I doze, they walk, with a wall between.
I lie here posed between thought and sleep.
My eyes still closed. I’m swimming deep.

I try to sink back into sleep,
once more to drink of waters deep;
but the dogs still bark. They leap and pace.
My dreams, not ready for this morning place,
lie dark and deep and intertwined,
wanting to creep back up my mind.

But its steep slope is much inclined
and provides small hope that I will find
once more that world well out of sight
where truth lies curled, still holding tight––
as an oyster cleaving, loath to unfurl
and reveal to light the priceless pearl

of that mind of dreams that slips the knife
beneath the rind of our daily life.
Time is a brew of present, past
and future, too—all tenses cast
to bring to light those grains of sand
made pearls of wisdom by nature’s hand.

Dreams are stories we tell ourselves
and share, perhaps, on bookstore shelves.
Pinned to pages, they reach their height
and bring our sage self to the light.
But the dogs are barking. They’re hungry, cross.
When I rise feed them, the poem is lost

dVerse Poets Quadrille prompt is steep.