Tag Archives: Reblog

Haibun Reblog: Dianne Hicks Morrow

Love the haibun by my friend Dianne. She doesn’t have a blog so wanted to insure this poem got the attention it deserves:

At 2 a.m. this morning son Jacob delivered us from the airport to our dark yard. Grateful to see no snow gleaming in the gloom, we staggered inside, even more grateful for the heat of the kitchen wood stove. Our three day return trip from the sunny hot Pacific coast of Mexico, our 2nd home for seven years, featured a snowstorm hello as our plane broke through the cloud to land in Calgary. While we’re mostly glad to be home on PEI, the sounds of silence are deafening. No morning wake-up calls from chachalachas, lorikeets, and doves. But this afternoon a sound surprised our ears—the wind howling.

Bathing suits blow on
Bare forsythia branches
We await their bloom

A Letter from My Future Self of 2038: NaPoWriMo, 2018, Day 11

 A Letter from My Future Self of 2038

Dear Remi,

Remember eight years ago, when you took this new name for yourself?  I notice you’ve slipped back into the “old” name (Judy) and the “old” you that you professed just five years before to no longer identify with.  What happened?  Was it merely the resistance of old friends to call you by this new name? Or was it that you slowly slipped back into being that person–more laconic, giving in to the heaviness and inactivity of age?  Did you also give up on romance and change and the excitement of the possibility of forward progress?  Did you decide to stay where it is easier with an established routine, people to clean your house and wash your clothes and mow your grass and clean your pool?

I’m wondering if you are thinking about how that is working out for you. I see you even more tied down than before–five cats instead of one, making plans to start more programs for the young people of your community, but will this be enough?  That sense of urgency and of time passing that has kept you vaulting from your bed and running outside to try to breathe at night—is it caused by any physical condition or is it me, prodding you to be young for as long as you can and to experience more before you sink into that routine that is the reward for doing all that you meant to do in this lifetime? Is it time to retire and to smooth your own pathway, or is it still time to leap over barriers such as this barrier of yourself and go boldly out into the world to see what else is there?

I’m not trying to prod or push you or suggest the way.  I am, after all, a figment of your imagination as surely as your present view of yourself is.  I understand that two foot surgeries in two years slowed you down and changed your exercise patterns as well as the patterns of your day.  I also realize that friends moved away or moved into new lives and that this also made you turn inwards.  There are reasons of one sort or another for everything we do.  We all have excuses.  At 90 years old, I have excuses, too.  I know where you ended up but I also know that there are a limitless number of me’s.

There is the me that succumbed to Alzheimer’s, as your sister did.  There is the me who moved to Italy and moved off into a new life that I only hint at here.  There is the me who has devoted herself for the past 20 years to making her small town a better place to grow up in.  There is the me who finally took off in that boat and went all the remaining places there were to go.  There is the me who grew grumpy and reclusive and eventually became dumber than her Smart TV.

There is even the implausible me who did all the “shoulds” and got her other books published—who maybe even got back on the agent/publisher treadmill and did it the “right” way. There is the me who found more romance, the one who converted her entire house into a dog kennel or cat sanctuary, the one who built the house on the adjoining piece of land and hired a nurse/housekeeper and invited her friends to come grow old with her.  There are so many potential me’s that I hope it is making your head swim and that I hope will make you think about what you want to do with the remaining 30 or so years of your life.

Things are not over.  In the first thirty years of your life, you grew up, went to summer camp, counseled at summer camp, went to University, sailed around the world on a boat and saw all else that life could be, got your masters degree, emigrated to Australia, taught for two years, traveled for four months through southeast Asia and Africa, moved to Africa and had various adventures, good and bad.  Fell in love, taught school in Addis Ababa, moved back to the U.S., taught for 7 more years, fell in love, built a house, edited a creative writing journal for teens, traveled to China and Great Britain and Hawaii.

Then you had a dream that knocked you into a recognition of your subconscious.  You quit your job, moved to Orange County, CA, wrote on the beach, moved to L.A., fell in love, studied film production and screenwriting at UCLA, worked in a Hollywood agency, joined a writer’s workshop, joined an actor’s studio, worked for Bob Hope, gave poetry readings, was co-editor of a poetry journal, fell in love again, married, moved to the Santa Cruz mountains, became an artist, traveled and did art and craft shows for 14 years, became the curator of an art center, lost your husband, moved to Mexico, self-published four books, traveled, taught English and art, fell in love a few more times, started a poetry series.

This is what can be done in thirty years.  So, what are you going to do with the next thirty?

Love, Remi–twenty years older.

The NaPoWriMo prompt today is: a poem that addresses the future, answering the questions “What does y(our) future provide? What is your future state of mind? If you are a citizen of the “union” that is your body, what is your future “state of the union” address?”  This rewrite of a piece written three years ago seems to fill the bill, except it was pointed out to me afterwards that it isn’t a poem!  Can I get by saying it is a prose poem?  If not, this former piece which is a poem also answers the same prompt:  https://judydykstrabrown.com/2018/03/15/provoke/

 

Foreign Tongues

Portugese Timor, 1973, Setting off on a WWII Troop barge into the Timor Sea

Ciao, Adios, Auf Wiedersehen, Adieu

When I was young, I traveled far
from Germany to Zanzibar.
Australia, Bali, France and Spain,
to Africa and back again.

And though I mostly loved them all,
from Venice to the Taj Mahal,
as my departure time grew nigh
I had to voice a sad goodbye.

To Ethiopia I strayed.
For eighteen months I stayed and stayed;
and when I had to leave too soon,
I had to say “dehena hun.”

In college days, when I was young,
German was my foreign tongue;
but when to Frankfurt wir mussten gehen
I just remembered, “Auf Wiedersehen.”

The French were rude and cold and snotty.
They mocked my accent and were haughty,
so while I had to bid “adieu,”
I’d have preferred to say, “pee-ew.”

Florence thrilled me from the start.
Their lasagna is a work of art.
When I left, they all said, “Ciao.”
Their kitties, though, all said, “Miao.”

I never went to Israel
but nonetheless, I’m proud to tell,
the rabbi books? Read every tome.
So I know how to say “Shalom.”

Though “Arigato” is bound to do
when you want to say thank you,
Sayonara” is the way to go
to bid farewell in Tokyo.

Bali’s full of dance and art
that treat your eyes and fill your heart.
I must admit, I had a ball
before I said “Selamat tinggal.”

Mexico was saved for last
And now I fear my lot is cast
Since “Adios” I cannot say,
I’ve decided I will stay!

The prompt today is foreign.

Acceptable Ways to Leave This Life

IMG_7316Linda in a moment of reflection  jdb photo 2018

A few weeks ago, I published a link to Linda Crosfield’s poem about ten ways she would prefer NOT to die.  I requested that she write one about ten ways she would prefer to die.  Here is her answer to that challenge, along with some photos and ruminations about this year in La Manzanilla:
 http://purplemountainpoems.blogspot.mx/2018/03/ruminations-about-my-winter-in-mexico.html

Shock!!!

If you’d like to read how I shocked every souk owner on my block when I lived in Ethiopia in 1973/74, read this old post from three years ago:
https://judydykstrabrown.com/2014/10/10/coffee-with-no-ceremony/

The prompt today is shock.

Candy Crush

Okay, Forgottenman is making me post this story I just told him.

Remember a few months ago when I wrote the poem making use of the names of candy bars and different sorts of candy?  Actually, one of the musicians at Open Mike has set it to music, but before that, I just read it as a poem at Open Mike.  Tonight I went back and read three other poems, and afterwards a woman came up to me and said,  “Remember when you read the poem about candy bars and I asked for a copy and you gave me yours?” I said yes and she continued. “Well, I went back to Canada and threw a party based on it. I filled a bowl with as many of the candies as I could find, then read the poem and whenever someone heard the name of a type of candy and was the first to raise their hand, they got to go to the bowl and take that candy bar or type of candy.” She said, “People loved it but said I didn’t read with enough feeling, so they made me read it again with feeling!” She was so excited to tell me this. Cool, huh?

Here is the candy bar poem:

The Ballad of Henry and Ruth

Before she met him at the candy store,
her days were empty and her life was a bore;
but when he offered her his 
Jujyfruits,
in just a moment they were in cahoots.
He was the drummer in a R&R band.
Down all 
5th Avenue, he held her hand.
She felt his pulse beat pump a sweet love tune
and knew he’d be her 
Sugar Daddy soon.

Chorus:

Yes she met him at the candy store,
between the sucker rack and front screen door.
He nearly tripped over her 
Mary Janes
and crashed into a rack of 
Candy Canes.
The 
Double Bubble and the Tootsie Roll Pops
collided with the 
mints and lemon drops.
Their love was written in the moon and stars,
but realized beneath the 
Hershey Bars!


Oh Henry
, she was crooning, and much more.
He loved this 
Bit O’ Honey down to the core.
Shifted his 
Firestick and they went for a ride
his 
Baby Ruth snuggled right up to his side.
She cried, “
Oh, Henry!” as they hit the Mounds,
poppin’ wheelies as they did the rounds.
He was no 
Slo-Poke, tell you here and now,
so as he swerved to miss a big 
Black Cow,


The car rolled over on its 
Rollo Bars
crashing into six  more hot rod cars.
Atomic Fireball” said the words on his car.
Now how appropriate those two words are.
100 Grand it costs him on Payday
so he’ll be working every night and day—
his
 Red Hot mama working by his side,
for now his 
Sweet Tart is his blushing bride.


Repeat Chorus:

 

To enjoy the candy in more detail, click on any photo.