Tag Archives: Love poem

One-sided


One-sided

 I’m tempted by your zaniness and your eclectic charm,
but I’m not reflected in your eyes, although I have your arm.
And though you yield umbrella to shield me from the drizzle,
when I look into your eyes, I don’t detect a sizzle.
So though I hang on all your words—mind everything you quote—
and though I laugh and coo and preen and blink my eyes and dote,
I know it is just habit, your attentive chivalry.
I know that I am into you, but you aren’t into me!

 

Prompts today were drizzle, reflect, eclectic and tempt.

Rainy Season: NaPoWriMo 2019, Apr 25

DSC00131

Rainy Season

When you walk into my photograph
in your new yellow raincoat,
a stalk of grain is in your hand
and you are plucking at it, shredding it.

I have set the tripod,
pinned the curtain back,
and I am waiting for the turn of light.

Chaff blows in the rain behind your shoulders.
In the wet street I can see you twice.
Steam from the straw pile down the street,
yellow blossoms of the spirea bush—

and still
I do not close the shutter,
for I am waiting for the turn of light.

You woke earlier than usual today,
craving fresh yogurt.
A waxed street that your footsteps
and the wheels of bicycles had marked

did not prompt me
to close the shutter,
for I was waiting for the turn of light.

When you return three hours  later,
your pockets  filled with fresh strawberries,
as though this is the reason
for which you left,

your shadow passes
across my photograph
as I stand waiting for the turn of light.

 


For the NaPoWriMo poem we are to write a poem that:

     Is specific to a season
Uses imagery that relates to all five senses (sight, sound, taste, touch, and smell)
Includes a rhetorical question, (like Keats’ “where are the songs of spring?”)

Full Moon Indictment

Full Moon Indictment

The moon is just your implement, dismantling my defenses.
It rattles my conviction, plays havoc with my senses.
What is it in the moonlight that lowers my resistance?
It seems to  swell to its full power just at your insistence.

 

The prompt words today are tool, trickery, implement and moon. Here are the links:
https://ragtagcommunity.wordpress.com/2019/04/19/rdp-friday-tool/
https://fivedotoh.com/2019/04/19/fowc-with-fandango-trickery/
https://onedailyprompt.wordpress.com/2019/04/19/your-daily-word-prompt-implement-april-19-2019/
https://wordofthedaychallenge.wordpress.com/2019/04/19/moon/

Paronomasia

Paronomasia

Sunshine lies today.
It lies on the backs of the cupped palms of plumeria,
floats on the surface of the pool.
The outdoor cat
brings it in on his gleaming back
as he streaks through a sun ray
on his way to steal the indoor cat’s breakfast.

So, though I am prone to gloom,
I compromise with a small journey
to meet friends for coffee and croissants
and conversation reminiscent of talks
with ghosts before they were ghosts.

My bright hair the color of the hay
that he picked out of it.
His skin the gleam of ebony
in the high mountain air.

That sparkling past turned dull
before its ending.
Choosing which part to remember,
that daily decision.
Whether we choose to say
that sunshine lies or not.

 

Prompts today are sunshine, reminiscent, prone and compromise. Here are the links:
https://onedailyprompt.wordpress.com/2019/04/18/your-daily-word-prompt-sunshine-april-18-2019/
https://wordofthedaychallenge.wordpress.com/2019/04/18/reminiscent/
https://fivedotoh.com/2019/04/18/fowc-with-fandango-prone/
https://ragtagcommunity.wordpress.com/2019/04/18/rdp-thursday-compromise/
and for dVerse Poets

Footnote to the Revolution, Elegy for Napowrimo Apr 18, 2019

At two different times in the past year, I have suddenly had a flood of signs in one day that I should continue the book I started to write about my years in Ethiopia leading up to and during the first stages of the revolution that deposed Haile Selassie. Yesterday, the first was an email message from an Australian  woman I was traveling with at the time who said I must complete the book.  The second was a Facebook message from an  Ethiopian friend, showing me a photo of Andualem and I that had shown up on a Facebook page in a group (of almost 200,00 members) dealing with historical photos of Ethiopia. Everyone was speculating on who we were–this good-looking tall young Ethiopian man kissing a long-haired blonde caucasian woman. Who could they be? The third sign seems to be this prompt, so I’m sharing again this elegy I wrote after I learned of his death.

Footnote to the Revolution

The red clay from the cane field in your hair,
leaves pressed into my neck from lying in the tall stalks,
we heard in the trees
the movements of the shepherd
who had watched.
Later, at the Filowaha baths,
we washed ourselves from each other
and slept in a room
rattled
by the eucalyptus.
I would have wanted you more in that room
if I’d known about the bullet
already starting its trajectory through the minds
of men spending youth fresher than ours
in revolution.
I remember watching your shave
in the lobby barber shop,
your face mummied by the steaming towels.
I tasted bay rum afterwards
as we shared cappuccino.
Parked at the roadside near enough to hear our parting,
I imagine they drank katikala,
its bite sealing brotherhood
your blood would buy in the street
outside the Filowaha baths.

 

 

In 1973-74, I journeyed to and lived in Ethiopia. It was not my original intention to do any more than visit and pass through, but fate had a different plan in mind. I was first detained by violence, then by love. The Filowaha baths in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, were probably the equivalent of the “No Tell Motels” in Mexico, but for Andy and me, they were a place to be alone, to soak in hot water together and to make love with no listening ears. I guess that is what they were to everyone who visited, but there was nothing illicit in our relationship. We were both single and in what at the beginning we thought was a committed relationship that would end in marriage. His family had accepted this. My parents, thousands of miles away, had long ago given me the message that they did not want to know anything that, as my mother had stated, “would make them feel bad.” My sister knew, but they never did.

This poem actually chronicles two different visits to the Filowaha baths–one near the beginning of our relationship and the other our last night before I departed to fly back to the United States. On this second visit, we both knew we would probably never see each other again. Once again, we had figured out that the relationship wasn’t going to work, and our own feelings were complicated by the revolution that was already raging around us. We had both just spent a month in the hospital–Andu Alem recovering from the bullet that had gone all the way through his body as he defended me from a man whose intention was to kill me. Not able to return to my house, I had stayed in the hospital with him so we could both be guarded by his father’s soldiers.

Years later, when I made my first assemblage boxes, I made this music box that told the story I’d already told in the poem years before. The song it plays is “The Way We Were.” I’m now trying to tell the story a third time in a book. Now that I know the true ending to our story, I might have changed the poem, but I leave it as I once thought it was. There are many truths in our lives, according to which vantage point we are telling them from.  This story is as true as the very different story I will eventually tell, if I have the courage to face up to it. Please enlarge the photos go see the details which should be self-explanatory. The hand I sculpted out of clay. I photographed the assemblage box on the table where I had been rereading letters I’d written home from Ethiopia as well as letters Andualem and other friends living in Ethiopia had written me once I returned to the states.

Napowrimo prompt: write an elegy of your own, one in which the abstraction of sadness is communicated not through abstract words, but physical detail.

Check Mate

 

Version 2

Check Mate

Some girls are bent on wedding any Tom or Dick or Harry,
but when it comes to choosing the man one wants to marry,
a lass should be selective­­––very circumspect and wary
lest she overlook what’s prime for his subsidiary.
A lesser man will drop the ball a better man will carry.
Is it best to know the difference? “Yes!” I insist, “Very!”
Choose a man who makes you hum, and once met, do not tarry.
Why settle for a mere canoe when you can take the ferry?

 

Prompts for today are ferry, subsidiary, prime and hum—or drop. (Ragtag’s prompt page and URLs sport two different words.) Here are the links:
https://ragtagcommunity.wordpress.com/2019/04/16/rdp-tuesday-hum-2/
https://fivedotoh.com/2019/04/16/fowc-with-fandango-prime/
https://onedailyprompt.wordpress.com/2019/04/16/your-daily-word-prompt-subsidiary-april-16-2019/
https://wordofthedaychallenge.wordpress.com/2019/04/16/ferry/

Since NaPoWriMo seems to have dropped all my links off all 16 of the poems I’ve done for them in the past sixteen days, I’m also going to include a link to that poem here in hopes a few people will see it: https://judydykstrabrown.com/2019/04/16/bucket-listless-napowrimo-2019-apr-16/

 

The Cure: NaPoWriMo 2019, Day 5

Heart 3


The Cure

That sadness in your heart?
You told me once that she had
kissed it all away.

But still I could detect,
once she was gone, the echo of
that sadness in your heart.

We took your sad past to the ocean
where I hoped the waves had
kissed it all away.

Yet, like a bitter tide, it returned
and I could see again
that sadness in your heart.

I took your sad past to the mountain,
where once again I hoped the wind and sun had
kissed it all away,

and when, on our descent,
I feared the reappearance of
that sadness in your heart? I
kissed it all away.

 

 

The NaPoWriMo prompt today was to write a villanelle that contained at least two of three other components.  Here is the vital information concerning that prompt:

the villanelle. The classic villanelle has five three-line stanzas followed by a final, four-line stanza. The first and third lines of the first stanza alternately repeat as the last lines of the following three-line stanzas, before being used as the last two lines of the final quatrain. And to make it an even more virtuoso performance, Dargan’s alternating lines, besides being taken from songs, express “opposing” ideas, with one being about sleeping, and the other waking.

Following Dargan’s lead, today we’d like to challenge you to write a poem that incorporates at least one of the following: (1) the villanelle form, (2) lines taken from an outside text, and/or (3) phrases that oppose each other in some way. If you can use two elements, great – and if you can do all three, wow! (I did all three. The opposing line “There’s a sadness in my heart” is the title of a song recorded by Legs and “kissed it all away” is a song title from the album “The Distance Between Two Truths” recorded by Mark Sholtez.)