Tag Archives: Judy Dykstra-Brown Poetry

Body Language

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Body Language

When words don’t translate, actions do,
and folks are always reading you.
Though you watch what you may say,
more information, day-by-day,
is given by the way you act;
so use a little care and tact.
There’s a language written on your face
that’s understood most any place.
In Des Moines or Timbuktu,
it’s the one you take along with you.

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The prompt today was translate.

Let’s Pretend

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Let’s Pretend

“Let’s pretend,” the children say,
as they hurry off to play.
But that same action has often blown
up in the face of those full-grown.
Escape is easier these days
with all the various means and ways
we have to skirt reality
by what we listen to and see.

On television or movie screen,
we might pretend that what we’ve seen
is more reality than fact,
until we find that we react
so vividly to what is fiction
that it becomes a real addiction
that deflects our full attention
from that we do not dare to mention.

Escape increasingly is sought––
deflecting us from what we ought
really to be dealing with.
Instead of truth, we choose the myth.
Global warming, poverty,
Isis, the disparity
between the classes and the use
of meth and alcohol abuse.

Children wielding guns because
it is what every game now does.
Adults displaying their frustration
at our society’s obfuscation
of the truth of what goes on
in a society gone wrong.
Wealth governs us then shields us from
how far from truth we’ve really come.

We watch pretty fantasies
that entertain or shock or please
filling us with false elation
that is not of our own creation.
So life becomes vicarious,
distracting us from various
problems where we might have acted
if we had not been distracted

by the gross banality
passing for reality
of made-up people who act and preen
on TV or computer screen.
There’s something to be said, you see
in favor of reality
when dealing with the painful facts
of what it is one’s own life lacks.

The prompt word today was “pretend.”

Time Is Generous in its Offerings, but Has its Limits.

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Petitioning Time

The day first blooms, then flowers and fades away to night;
and though I’d choose to slow its progress if I might,
no part of nature sympathizes with my plight.
It is a futile undertaking trying to seize light.

Time feeds upon us all—the ultimate parasite.
There is no way to sate her appetite.
No clever words can save us from her cruel bite,
for she feeds with equal favor on dull and erudite.

Though we might flail and struggle, it does no good to fight.
If we try to outpace her, it is a futile flight.
All our human efforts to stay her just incite.
Time always is the winner, feeding on our fright.

Though we might choose to hoard our time—to hold it close and tight,
or hope that pills and potions might hide us from her sight,
no rituals or magic words that we might recite
can keep our fading colors perpetually bright.

No matter what initiatives we choose to expedite—
no matter what our efforts are to reignite
the light so quickly fading from our sight—
we cannot defeat time through acts of plebiscite.

The prompt word today is “Generous.”

Shhhhhh?

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Silence

What lost sensations do our nightly slumbers bring?
Do colors fade out when we dream? Are scents a former thing?
Does flavor tremble on our tongues in that dreaming land?
Do we hear music in our sleep or feel a lover’s hand?

Let bright colors fill my eyes, let flavors dance my tongue,
and let all those sensations that surged when I was young
once again assault me and guide my sense of touch––
to feel all of life’s textures that once I loved so much.

There will be silence in the future when we’re in the clutch
of that which muffles music, color, flavor, touch.
So let the neighbors party on. Let thunder crash and roll.
Let ravens caw out harshly from each electric pole.

Let babies loudly protest and laughter’s raucous sound
fill my ears like cups and spill out to the ground.
I am sure that one day I will have silence enough
when my final dream guide takes me by the cuff

and leads me off to sleep a final slumber where
supposedly I’ll be removed from every worldly care—
leads me off to dreams where all sensations end
and I shed life’s cacophony as I round the bend.

The prompt word today was “Silence.”

At First

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At First

Days were not over half so soon
when we ate passion with a spoon.
Swirled chocolate at the Frosty Freeze

melting in the prairie breeze
hot and redolent of soil—
chaff of wheat and rattled coil.
Summer days and summer nights,
rolls in grass and water fights
with uncoiled hoses, cooking pans,
rolled up cuffs and soaked white Vans.

Passion then was not so much
a thing of kissing or of  touch
as of smells and sights and taste.
Baking beans and paper paste.
Brand new tablets, pencil shavings.
Summer nights, then autumn cravings.
Cattle lowing, school bells,
Cool spring water from deep wells.
Throats that ached from drinking it,
brought to light from ancient pit.

All these simple remembered things
that thinking about passion brings:
spin-overs on the monkey bars,
rides on bikes and naming stars.
It’s true some passion rides on night
with pressing lips and gentle bite,
or trembles on the fingertips
straying over breasts or hips.

Yet simpler loves bring lesser rations
of what adults consider passions.
Words like passion must be allowed
to be unfettered, like a cloud
and not confined in connotation,
dictionary or denotation.
Sometimes passion can be bright—
A meadowlark or soaring kite.
Sun-chapped lips just touched with mist
long before they’re ever kissed.

The prompt word today was “Passionate.”

To Gather Together

img_5823Over the river

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and through the woods. to our good friends’ house we go.

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When we stopped for lunch, if we hadn’t known it before, we would have known by the menu that we were in the south!

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And when we passed the rockets, we knew we were in Huntsville! 

It is most appropriate that the prompt word today was “Together,” for yesterday, Forgottenman and I drove from Missouri to Huntsville, Alabama, to be with two of our favorite people–our friends Tony and Allenda who lived right next door to me in Mexico for eight years before they moved back to the states. We had a wonderful time during those eight years, talking daily, meeting a few times weekly for Allenda’s incredible cooking or games of Mexican Train.

Tony and I wrote a book together and Allenda and I were in two different art groups together.  With our friends Audrey and Linda, (Forgottenman and Ron when they visited,) we formed a tight “posse” that gathered at the drop of a hat or an invitation.  And when we gathered, the one given was lots of laughter. Side-splitting, aching laughter that feels so good and that seems now to be the most necessary ingredient in friendship–coming right after trust and  loyalty, which was certainly there as well.

Unfortunately, they all left Mexico on the same year, and I’ve been missing them ever since.  Luckily, Audrey eventually came back, but two isn’t a posse, and we miss the rest of them.  Always will.  Hopefully just once more before all of our leaves fall from the tree, we’ll  be together en masse at my house, as it should be!  In the meantime, I’ll wander over the border now and then to come check up on them.  This time, it was Tony and Allenda and Forgottenman I’ve herded together.  Not the entire flock, but what lovely wooly creatures they are!


To Gather Together

To gather together, I flew on a plane
for seventeen hours, then flew once again
for another nine hours, then got in a car
and drove for five hours and now here we are!

Gathered together with three old time friends.
Now we’ll be together until our time ends.
Allenda’s lasagna and laughter with Tony
and all of Forgottenman’s verbal baloney.

I have been missing this madness for years.
All of their banter falls on my ears
like light verbal rain that gives birth to attention.
I soak in the comfort of each thing they mention.

There’s no time like idle time spent with a buddy.
We may not be sprightly, our memories muddy.
We tried to share book titles that we forgot,
Yet Google remembers all we have not.

Movies and TV and sports scores and then
we start to remember all over again
past times with invites thrown like a ball
with no prior warning, over  the wall

that was all that divided us three years ago
when life was easier–free-flowing, slow.
“Let’s get together for a meal or a game.”
No prior planning, no traffic to tame.

The folks in our posse would gather like sheep.
The talk wasn’t serious, organized, deep.
Light chatter and silliness, cleverness, joking.
Side-splitting laughter ’til we were all choking.

Linda and Audrey, Tony and Allenda.
Forgottenman (when we were on his agenda)
and me like a housemother, guiding them all
so they didn’t wander, stumble or fall.

A sterling example when I wasn’t stumbling
or tripping or falling, forgetting or mumbling!
For the value of good friends you’ve formerly had
is that they remember the good, not the bad:

the train games that lasted far into the night,
driven in by the moths drawn in by the light.
Hot tubs at midnight, margaritas or rum,
counting up tiles until  minds were numb.

Ridiculous movies of Allenda’s choosing,
raunchy and scandalous, but most amusing.
Collaborations over writing or art.
When we weren’t silly, damn, we were smart!

All of these pastimes special and shared—
All of the truths of our hearts that we bared
didn’t all end when you all went away,
for all of the memories have chosen to stay.

Now I’m handing them back to you, right here and now
and hoping you’ll all make a pledge, take a vow
that next year you’ll  make the journey to me
so all of the “us’s” can once more be “we.”

 

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We knew we were in the right place when Allenda served up her famous lasagne,

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when Tony fell alseep in his chair before the night was over,

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and when we found the flowers and chocolates our gracious hostess had left on our bed table.

Good night.  All’s well in this world. We are together.

Appropriately, the prompt today is “Together.”

Inelegant Obsession

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

Inelegant Obsession

I’d love to be elegant while I’m obsessing,
but if I told you how, I’d only be guessing.
The man at the counter said yoga’s the answer
to two hour waits, and smart cars and cancer.

I told him that yoga’s more easily done
in my pool or on mats spread out in the sun––
Not two hours before midnight when you’re feeling sad
’cause the car you pre-rented is not to be had

and instead you’re confronted with a Jeep Cherokee
with all bells and whistles included for free!
Yet each feature they’ve added is cryptic and puzzling.
Screen like a space ship and gasoline-guzzling.

I can’t find the lighter to plug in my Nuvi.
The radio screen is showing a movie,
but I can’t find a plug to plug in my phone
and I’m out in this parking lot, stressed and alone.

After one hour of standing and waiting to rent it
and one more in the parking lot, how I repent it!
I go on the road in the inky black dark
with no place to stop and no place to park.

My GPS empty of power and knowledge,
to find the right route would take training in college.
No route numbers have I, I can’t see the map.
My phone out of power sits limp on my lap.

The screen gives me options for stations galore,
but no arrow to choose them, just one button more
for feature after feature that I cannot use.
I wish I had knowledge.  I wish I had booze!!!

When I try to turn on the overhead light,
the moonroof zips open and try as I might,
I can’t get it closed but just open it more,
so the wind whips my hair with a terrible roar.

I’ve always loved traveling wild and free,
but it now seems travel’s evolved beyond me.
Where is my confidence and my elan?
That air of achievement, that air of “I can?”

When I get to the motel two hours in arrears,
when the clerk asks how are you, I explode in tears.
I tell him my story, like a silly old fool––
but he doesn’t snicker and he isn’t cruel.

“See that?” he said, waving a hand at my phone.
He shook his gray head and gave a small moan.
“Don’t know how to use one–not me nor my wife.
It seems like technology’s plaguing our life.”

He dished out a Kleenex and almost at once,
I found I was feeling much less of a dunce.
I may be a fool and an old one at that,
but it’s so reassuring to share that coned hat!

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This control board of the plane I flew from Prince Edward Island to Nova Scotia on is slightly less daunting than the dashboard of the Jeep Cherokee they pawned off on me as a replacement for the simple economy car I requested. The flight took one half hour. Renting the car (even though I’d filled out all the paperwork on the internet) and figuring out how to operate the monstrosity they gave me took two hours!!!

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The beast!!! I still haven’t figured out how to turn on the radio and tremble at the thought of mistakenly turning on the four wheel drive.

I later snapped a photo that better illustrates the size of this car.  See that photo HERE.

The prompt word today was “Elegant.” This was stretching the prompt, but I had my own agenda.