Tag Archives: the daily spur

Donald’s Time Out

Donald’s Time Out

Everyone knows that you reap what you sow.
This platitude’s spoken wherever we go.
And when it is cotton you bury so deep,
It’s also true that you’ll sew what you reap.

You must get despondent when things don’t go right,
for the seeds that you’ve sown are what you must bite.
If you plant bitter melons, you’ll meet with defeat
if sweeter fruit is what you want to eat.

Whatever is planted at your behest
is what you will yield at your own request.
Whatever you’ve buried will rise to the top.
Benevole
nt actions will yield a kind crop.

But harm done to others, you’ll likely rue,
as the other one acted upon will be you!
You are part of the world where you’re planting your seed,
and you’ll bear the brunt of your terrible greed.

It’s a different dark harvest the world is now reaping.
It’s been getting a foothold while you have been sleeping.
As you wielded your golf clubs, its roots have spread wide.
It lifted its branches as millions have died.

It crept out of cages as children bemoaned
the fact they were hungry and cold and alone.
It was watered by rivers poisoned and polluted,
as reason was smothered and good sense diluted.

So reap your cruel harvest. What fate is now serving
is certainly what you have long been deserving.
So you’ll sit at the table until you’ve diminished
the junk on your plate, and once you have finished,

please clean up the beaches and oceans and air,
for the evils you’ve planted have spread everywhere.
You’ll sit at that table until you confess
your part in creating this terrible mess! 

Pull your chair to the table and eat ’til you choke.
The evils you’ve done are more than a joke.
The fruits of your labor have made a vile stew.
Please forgive us if we refuse dining with you!!!

 

Words of the day are harvest, despondent, benevolent, behest and difference. Image by Joyce Romero on Unsplash.

 

Fernweh

Family trip to Idaho, 1950

 

I’m putting the prompt words first today as they include two obscure words and giving definitions to save you the problem of looking them up if, like me, you don’t already know the meanings. Prompt words today are fernweh (a German word that means the opposite of homesickness–a craving for travel or longing for distant places you have not yet visited), facetious, blanket, vellicate (to pluck, twitch, nip, pinch or cause to twitch), and complex.

Fernweh

I miss it, that feeling of fernweh–a craving for travel or a longing for distant places not yet visited that is one of my very earliest memories. I remember standing by the highway that passed through our town just two blocks south of the house I grew up in and longing to be that child with her nose pressed against the window looking back at me as the car she was in whizzed past. Who were they, these people in the cars that passed in strings through our little town each summer? “They are tourists” my mother told me, and I imagined tourists to be perpetual travelers with no homes of their own. What did I want to be when I grew up? “A tourist,” I would reply. Everyone laughed at what they considered to be a facetious reply. They had no idea that I meant exactly that.

Although I had been on short trips before–at the age of three, to visit relatives in Idaho, at the age of 8, to accompany my parents when they drove my sister to college in Iowa, other one-day trips to drive my sisters to summer camp, when I was 12, my family finally took the long vacation I always begged them to take. They left it up to me to decide where we were going, and I declared that I wanted us to start out and then take turns deciding which way to go. When we came to the first crossroads, I said “Left!” At the next crossroads it was my sister’s turn, then my mother’s and finally my father’s for two glorious weeks. We all agreed that it was a wonderful vacation. Because he never knew where we were going, my father couldn’t press us more quickly toward our destination than we may have chosen to go and so we stopped numerous times along the way and spent as long in each spot as we wished to. We saw cousins we had heard about but never met and visited old neighbors in Minnesota, just “dropping in,” but always being urged to spend the night, and doing so.

We wound up on the shores of Lake Superior–which to me looked like one of the oceans I had always dreamed of visiting. I remember sneaking out at night to collect water and sand from the lake in an empty prescription container—the rush of the waves dashing against the rocks, the blanket of stars overhead, that smell of freedom I had been longing to experience my entire life. It would be eight years more before I actually saw an ocean and at that time I would spend four months on it, sailing around the world. My parents thought it would solve my fernweh, but little did they know. The minute I graduated from college, I was off again.. to Australia, and then to parts more wild for four long years before finally returning home.

Life is complex and I have found that I am rarely able to predict what will happen next. That lust for change that has driven me my whole life to leave friends behind to explore foreign countries, to leave houses and careers I’ve spent years building to take off for the great unknown—that need to be the stranger and to face situations I have been in no way prepared for—has taken me to all but one of the seven continents. It is as though those yearnings for strangeness and change were errant hairs that needed to be vellicated and travel was the only way in which to pluck them.

So how does a person like me deal with the forced isolation that the coronavirus has foisted upon us all? Strangely enough, it has alleviated a guilt that has been creeping up on me for the past few years—a strange feeling of contentment regarding where I am and what I am doing. I am taking an intense pleasure in my own back yard, instigating changes in my house and garden that I’ve been too busy to attend to in my past years of going here and there. I am sorting through pictures of past travel, reading disks from long-dead computers that chronicle the adventures of long ago. I am starting to dread trips away from home, to enjoy days where I see no one, go nowhere. In taking off for longer trips inwards, I am perhaps growing into myself, seeking satisfaction there, perhaps because it is a richer place to be because of a lifetime of venturing out.

Heading out into the Timor Sea on a WWII tank barge, 1973

Absence Makes the Heart Grow Fonder

flying-heart

Absence Makes the Heart Grow Fonder

If you want my love, dear, you’ve got to give me space.
Love’s so much more likely when not always face-to-face.
Even the paranormal works better when the fright
occurs when not expected instead of every night.

That familiarity breeds contempt is not, dear, mere codswallop!
Love is more exciting when taken as a dollop.
How many great love stories were romantic interlude—
those long-remembered periods when we were briefly wooed?

Love can be a lifelong trip or one terrific bash
where two bodies crash together and then burn away to ash.
The bodies that are left to us may then be wooed and married,
the memory of past flaming passions sealed away and buried.

But in a vault within us, those past interludes are kept,
and now and then the present they are bound to intercept.
They do not rival constancy—that lasting love or marriage
that is the coach that carries us. They’re just the undercarriage.

But that daily diet that regularly nourishes
cannot but be improved upon with a few spicy flourishes.
Like an appetite that grows the stronger with the fasting,
love delayed may well make even married love more lasting.

 

Just for the fun of it this time, I decided to look up one prompt word at a time and write a couplet that contained it before looking up the next word, then do the same each time. So much fun. I always say I rarely know where a poem is going until I finish it, but this time is the proof of it! I didn’t know from couplet to couplet where it was going.

Sam found THIS POEM that bears a remarkable resemblance to the poem above. I guess when I start repeating myself, it is time to stop. I had no memory of writing this poem. Guess it is time to start worrying as well.

Words of the day are space, paranormal, codswallop, interlude and crash.

Fatal Persuasion

 

Fatal Persuasion

Don’t ruffle up your pinions as though I’m about to strike.
Although my bite is lethal, I am kind to those I like.
They say in certain circles that I am quite a catch,
and I await you at your doorway. Just open up the latch.

 

 

Word prompts today are catch, pinion, strike,

Separate Vacations

 

Separate Vacations

I guess it was inevitable that there’d be a breach 
with you wanting the mountains and me wanting the beach.
We’re broken into moieties, with one kid choosing you
the other choosing me so you know what we’ve gotta do.
You’re fierce in your decision and my determination
to have my way as well in terms of this winter vacation
means we’ll relax in different climes—you snow and me the sun.
Then we’ll get back together once our holidays are done.
Marriages find ways to work in snow and sunny weather,
but sometimes it works for the best when they’re not faced together.

 

Prompt words today are beach, inevitable, fierce, moiety and holiday.

Celestial Harvest

jeremy-thomas-E0AHdsENmDg-unsplash

Celestial Harvest

Whenever I see stars, I get these rambling sort of feelings.
My soul soars out to meet them, abandoning its peelings—
my body left behind as though left back in a cave
with stars studding the ceiling—the rest of me not brave
enough to chance the journey away from what I know,
but I release my spirit, hoping it will sow
flowers of remembrance whenever it deems
the time right to come back to plant them in my dreams.

 

HERE is another piece I wrote about star-gazing four years ago. I found it while looking back through past blogs to try to find a photo to illustrate this poem.

Prompt words today are stars, ramble, feeling, antre (cave) and sport. Photo by Jeremy Thomas on Unsplash. Used with permission.

Bad Fortune

Bad Fortune

A superfluous excrescence  to our sinking ship of state,
of all our past mistakes, I’m sorry to relate
that this uquiet jester is our biggest flub to date–
a fact that many voters cottoned onto way too late.
But if you seek a formula for change, there’s no debate.
Vote this fool out of office before he seals our fate!

Prompt words today are quiet, formula, jester, excrescence and past.

 

The Lowest of the Highest by Default

The Lowest of the Highest by Default

He was a homeless jester, a contentious feisty gent.
He shed a sense of triumph everywhere he went.
No amount of scorn and no superior air
ever contradicted his shabby debonair.
In a stovepipe hat, overalls and a tux jacket,
he played his mobile xylophone, making such a racket
that folks rushed out to pay him just so he would quit.
He felt no sense of shame in this, for he took pride in it.

He had the perfect racket. He felt he counted coup—
raking in the dough for what he didn’t do.
He had a fridge crate penthouse on a tower labeled Trump.
(Also a little pied á terre across town at the dump.)
Highest of the highest and lowest of the low—
his main address  the finest though he had so little dough.
The key up to the rooftop he had scored out of a pocket
right after the janitor had gone up there to lock it.

He snitched a maintenance uniform and in the helter-skelter
of a tenant’s moving day, filched his plywood shelter.
It made a perfect domicile obscured in a back corner.
As a joke, on its front cornice, he wrote, “Residence of Horner.”*
But he dragged it to the rooftop’s front when the day was done
and had a view of city lights that was second to none.
You may think that he’s a shyster and the building’s lowest resident,
but only since the former lowest tenant became president!

 

*Little Jack Horner sat in the corner eating his Xmas pie.
He stuck in his thumb and pulled out a plum and said, “What a good boy am I!”

Words for the day are homeless, contentious, jester, amount and triumph. Image by Donald Teel on Unsplash, used with permission.

Visiting Grandma

 

Visiting Grandma

If you must go on an escapade, be sure to take umbrellas.
Do not talk to strangers and do not flirt with fellas.
Why put on all that makeup? Your natural look is best.
Why would you wear a bustier when you could wear a vest?

Pick locales you know are safe. Just go to ones near churches.
Beware of stuff that falls from planes and pigeons on tall perches.
You may think your gallivanting is the stuff of dreams,
but the world of adventure is not all that it seems.

Why not choose daylight hours to see what you can see
and once the sun sets, stay at home, here with gramps and me?
I’ll make a pan of fudge and then we can play Parcheesi.
This town’s not nice at night. It’s very dark and way too breezy.

But if you simply must go out, mind the bottom stair.
Is that funny little outfit the one you’re going to wear?
Put toilet paper on the seat when you use the loo!
A key? Oh, you won’t need one.  We’ll be waiting up for you.

Prompt words today are umbrella, escapade, dream, locale and natural.

Attitude

Attitude

Memory can be a juggernaut, retelling us too often
of hard past events that time should be allowed to soften.
What good is it to resurrect mistakes and acts of folly?
Better to forget times gone and make the present jolly.

Our only security lies soundly in the present.
Why waste our thoughts on bygone days instead of days more pleasant?
Trade former tears for whoops of joy and for the umpteenth time,
remind yourself you have the choice to make your world sublime.

Words for the day are whoops, juggernautumpteen and security

 

merciless, indestructible and unstoppable.