Tag Archives: Poetry

Disappointing Petrarch (Three Shakespearean Sonnets for dVerse Poets)

Three Wan Dogs before Their Feeding

Our mistress lies upon her bed too long,
her favorite silver thing upon her lap.
That she should put our feeding off is wrong.
We sit and stare at her through her door’s gap.

She taps upon her thing and taps and taps.
Sometimes she chortles, but we don’t know why.
Where formerly her bed was used for naps,
a favorite dog cuddled against her thigh,

she now spends all  her time there with that thing
as we sit hungry, waiting to be fed.
She seeks the nourishment that words can bring,
for she is sure that if she leaves her bed

before she finishes her sonnet, then
her muse will not agree to come again.


Three  Hungry Dogs Intent Upon Their Feeding

At last at last she opens up her door
and feeds our sister first, lest we devour
her food ourselves and then not leave the poor
dear girl with any sustenance to power

her barking at the other dogs who pass.
But now our mother fills our bowls as well––
each portion measured by a measuring glass.
Each second  we must wait becomes a Hell.

She scoops out first the dry and then the wet––
more for the big dog and less for the small.
We worry over how much food we’ll get,
remembering times when we had none at all.

But finally, our portions, too, are dished
(although not quite so full as we’d have wished.)


Three Patient Dogs after Their Feeding

Now see our dishes cleaned and neatly stacked?
Our human lolls once more upon her bed.
to write more stanzas that she formerly lacked
and free herself of rhymes that fill her head.

The small dog leaps upon her bed to lie
and garner a small scratching now and then.
We larger dogs lie watching from close by,
kept from our human in her iron pen.

See her now, look quizzical and rapt?
We know not what she thinks there on her back.
Where formerly she read or watched or napped,
she stews about just what her poems might lack.

For Shakespeare she is not, the silly goose.
Her talents? More in line with Dr. Seuss!!!

(Click on the first photo below to enlarge photos and read captions–also written in couplet form.)  Good grief. It’s my muse’s fault. The girl can’t help it!!)

 

A sonnet for dVerse Poets (Sorry, Petrarch.  These are Shakespearean!)

Revelation in Twilight: 19 Studies of the Moon

Revelation in Twilight

This morning I woke early—an hour before light
obscured my vision of the moon, hanging like a kite
in the night-stained sky, there through my window bars.
suspended high up in a sky devoid of clouds or stars.

Just a minute later, it moved along with me
to float the pool’s surface that only I could see.
Too soon the sun would come, its golden light to douse.
But for now, it followed me as I walked through my house.

Friendly moon to loiter in my company.
It seemed this early morning that both of us were free
to spend a few rare moments quietly alone.
Both of us free-floating in the twilight zone.

(Please click on first photo to enlarge all.)

 

 

 

The prompt today was revelation. All photos by jdb.

Good Fortune

DSC07563

Good Fortune

How lucky I’ve been in the bad luck I’ve had,
for no matter how dangerous, life-threatening, bad,
I’ve always come out both alive and still kicking
whenever my life chose to give me a licking.

The prompt word today is luck.

Romancing the Muse

The Not Yet Dead Poets Society new Anthology is now available on Amazon.

Here is a link: https://www.amazon.com/Romancing-Muse-Selected-Poems-Chapalas/dp/1540749967/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1488924021&sr=8-2&keywords=kenneth+salzmann

Rhythm Method

img_0982
(The poem I’ve written below is based on the “Five Principles for Getting through the Trump Years,” given by Alice Walker in her speech at a reading in La Manzanilla, Mexico two nights ago on February 20, 2017. I was fortunate enough to be at that reading where she and four other excellent writers also talked about subjugation, prejudice, inequality, poverty and the importance of kindness, open-mindedness, acceptance and education in bringing our country to a better level of fairness to all.  I’ll talk about some of the other poets and storytellers who told their tales in a later post; but for today, and since it fit in with today’s prompt, here is my take on Ms. Walker’s wonderful talk.)

Rhythm Method

You’ve got to listen to the beat.
Shake your booty, pound your feet.
If you want to survive the day,
the rhythm method is the way.
It’s been said by smarter folks than I
that it’s the way that we’ll get by
in times we think we won’t survive—
the way we stay fully alive
in spite of voters who were hazy
and voted in a man who’s crazy.

Instead of listening to his bleat,

until the time of his defeat,
first and foremost, kindness will
help us to swallow this bitter pill.
A close connection with nature might
help us stay strong in the fight.
Respect for all those elders who
just might be another hue:

native tribes or Africans
brought unwillingly as hands
to shore up our economy
and build a country for you and me
while they paid the awful fee
in poverty and slavery.
It’s time to set our people free!

Gratitude for human life,
both theirs and ours, will allay strife.
In times like these, less than enhancing,
“Hard times demand furious dancing!”
One wiser and more in the groove
than I am, says that we must “Move!”
James Cleveland sang “This too shall pass,”
Turn on his music and move your ass.

Thousands of people dance along
this wonderful old gospel song
in her mind’s eye and I agree.
While we are waiting, you and me,
for enough others to see the light
and step in line to wage the fight,
we have to keep the joy in us
in spite of this unholy fuss
that seeks to keep us frightened and
prisoners in our native land.

Instead of knives and swords and guns,
defeat the tyrant with jokes and puns.
Comedians will save the day
and keep us laughing on the way.
But in the mean time, move your feet.
Feel the rhythm. Feel the beat.
If this nation has a chance,
perhaps we’ll find it in the dance.

The quotations above are all from Alice Walker’s talk. In prose form, here again are her five principles for getting through the Trump years (or hopefully, months.)

1. Kindness, which can keep us going through these unkind times.

2. A close connection with nature.

3. Respect for our oldest biological ancestors including native Americans (specifically those at Standing Rock), Africans  (who survived the fierce physical brutality of slavery) and Europeans such as John Brown and Susan B. Anthony.

4.  ‘Move!  Hard times demand furious dancing.’ Reverend James Cleveland sang, “This too shall pass.”  Get a recording of it and dance to it! She has an image of thousands of people dancing to this wonderful gospel song.

5. Maintain gratitude for human life.

She ended by relating the importance of meditation, which she described as a means “to rediscover the blue sky that is our mind,” and by stating that one way we can overcome the constant bad news with which our oppressors drug us is to learn the bad news first from comedians. This, perhaps, is one way for us to get through this dark period in our history.

The prompt today was rhythmic.

“Girls” Night Out

Click on any photo to enlarge and view all as gallery.

“Girls” Night Out

Mary Tyler Moore, Working Girl and I Love Lucy—
 film nights with the ladies are usually juicy.
Although we’re staying in, all that’s tucked in must be outed.
All those mumbled gripes now brought to light and shouted.
Pulling out the bobby pins to let the chignons flow.
Kicking off the heels to wiggle arch and toe.
Slipping off the panty hose, loosening top buttons.
Gorging on potato chips and dip like teenage gluttons.
Drinking margaritas, martinis and mojitos.
Pepperidge Farm and popcorn, ice cream and Doritos.
When old dames get together, pull out all the stops.
Banish all the dust cloths. Lock up all the mops.
Rip up all the lists and turn them to confetti.
Break out the lasagne. Break out the spaghetti.
Fill the crystal bowls with M&Ms and truffles.
Ban antimacassars, doilies, tucks and ruffles.
Bring out your old 8-tracks and your 45’s.
Forget that you are mothers, grandmothers and wives.
Better shake your booties while they still can shake.
Better come alive while still able to wake.
Time enough for normalcy when you’re ninety-six.
When you’re only seventy, you’ve still got some kicks.
Leave your spouses home staring at their football games—
vicariously living while you’re out being dames.
It’s your secret life, for no one needs to know
everything you do and everywhere you go.
Let the whole world think you’re in there playing bridge
while you are jitterbugging and emptying out the fridge.
It’s more fun when it’s secret, so promise not to tell
when old girls get together and raise a little Hell!!!!

The prompt today was juicy.

Where Time Goes

 Version 2

Where Time Goes 

They have not vanished without a trace.
Past years are written on your face.
They web your skin like finest lace,
its former smoothness to efface,
and write a story in its place.

The prompt today was replacement.