The Opened Window

The window opened a hand’s breadth
Cool morning air / and just the right amount
Of light for waking up slowly

The train rumbling by
People already on their way to work
And I am not

The rumble fades
Birds cawing now / from nearby trees
A little writing / to welcome the day

/ / /

This poem written to the celebrating the ordinary prompt at imaginary gardens with real toads.

lounging in nowstalgia

i never get carded anymore
too much gray at my temples
and in my beard

moving as I am towards the grave
as we all are

whatever machines we drive

or which ride us
grind us down so gradually
we don’t notice

we are no longer grooving
to the hip music
we were never groovy really

with our cassette mixtapes
and eight-tracks
so uncool

now we are
in the groove the rut
we said we’d never fill

yet so much happier
lounging on the couch
our sagging butts

on leather cushions
binge-watching Netflix
and sipping pinot noir

asking your spouse
to turn up the volume
because our hearing is going

or playing cards
hearts preferably
with friends

than going out to some
bar or club or lounge
sitting on stools or chairs

with tight plastic cushions
some symbol of youth
with our uncushioned butts

grinding hips
with your love
or your lust

the volume of the music
so loud
you must lean in close

colliding beautifully
on the dance floor
thus couching your love

to the beats
of the drum
machine

/ / /

This poem was written in response to the baker’s dozen of words of Wordle 278 at The Sunday Whirl.

astrological autobiography

The sun shines
On a young wanderer emerging from the woods
Gazing at far cities

At night, the moon is reflected
In the windshield of a man driving his car
Madly racing with a train

A message is delivered
To a group of serenaders
Making merry

A father watches
As his young child leans over a pond
To catch a goldfish

The warrior stands guard
As his two children
Study their lessons together

/ / /

This poem came from Impromptu #11 by Matt Trease at The Found Poetry Review.

I went to the website he recommended and got my birth chart. My sun sign is Gemini, and my ascendant sign is Cancer. I took the five symbols – Sun, Moon, Mercury, Mars, and Jupiter – within Gemini and Cancer to find text for my poem. I used the link to the Sabian Symbols Matt Trease provided and took my text from those descriptions. I did alter some of the text, as well as adding language to connect one of the symbols to each of the stanzas.

humming fools

the fool is humming again
the king is rolling olives around his mouth
the queen is busy with her needlework
but she is also listening

only the children are laughing
playing at stones and dominoes
while the men from the country
bring their sheep for shearing

the bleached wool will then be dyed
and spun by the traditional method
yarn for the queen’s needlework
she is not fooled by the humming

/ / /

salt      mouth
olive juice      napkin
fingers      dominoes

delicate method
sheep’s wool
fingers needlework

humming      laughing
feet      bleached stones
country men      fools

/ / /

These poems were written in response to Whirligig 8 at Sunday’s Whirligig. I had started the second one first, but it wasn’t going anywhere, so I tried something more narrative, which is the first poem above. Returning to my first attempt, I stripped it down, trying a different tack for a narrative.

changing

my son’s voice is changing
lengthening       widening
his appearance too

when he looks out
is he seeing differently now
or is the world to him unchanged

and how does he see me
has he noticed my changes
is he hearing       is he listening

what are scents to him now
do the same aromas please
are there new hungers developing

i know his palate hasn’t changed
he still eats much the same as before
is that comforting for him

does touch       or any other sense
arouse him now       make his blood flow
or is it still sensory overload

he measures his height       against mine
but I worry about him       inside
as he moves through the chrysalis

the hardness of middle school
will it damage the softness of his boyhood
can he keep some of that unchanged

I fear he will be like me as a teenager
having that angry edge in his voice
just as I am finding again the softness in mine

/ / /

This poem was written in response to the Let’s Change It Up prompt at Margo Roby’s Wordgathering.

NaPoWriMo – Day Eighteen

my quietness
has a man
in it

he’s the strong,
silent
type

think
Gary Cooper
i do

he is transparent
light passes
through him

and no sound
emanates
from him

people
don’t see
through him

though transparent
he is
solid

his quietness
disturbs them
they rush

to fill
his quietness
with noise

they cannot reconcile
his quietness
with his transparency

or his transparency
with his
quietness

and
his quietness is
my quietness

/ / /

This poem was written to the day four prompt at Poets & Writers, using a line: “my quietness has a man in it, he is transparent,” by Frank O’Hara.

NaPoWriMo Day 9 – Dear Poetry Gods

dear poetry gods,
please forgive me
for not writing a poem yesterday

i am writing one today
actually, two,
because i don’t want to fall behind

i know in this month of poetry
you might not have noticed
but i thought i’d mention it

i didn’t want you finding out
later and then being doubly mad
at my failure

it was the first day
of standardized testing
and i was stressed

by the test
and by the efforts i made
not to stress my students

then i had to rush
and get my son to a doctor’s
appointment on time

i know i wasn’t seen
at the appointed time
but you know how doctor’s are

or do you?
do poetry gods get sick?
or is it a dual

immortality
immunity
thing you got going on?

and then it was my twelfth
wedding anniversary
-why, thank you-

and my better half
wanted to go out
to dinner

and, yes, we took
the children with us
which is fair

when you think about it-
they being one of the results
of our marriage

and then i fell asleep
on the couch
between 8 and 9

which you know is early for me
so i didn’t write a poem
yesterday

but i do have
this one
for you today

/ / /

This is a true story. And written to no prompt in particular, just in the spirit of National Poetry Month, NaPoWriMo, the Poem-a-Day Challenge, or whatever you want to call this crazy thing.

NaPoWriMo – Day Six

Aletea would write letters
of her long days
and of Laurana, their daughter

Naldo was in Salinas
he would get to the motel
in the evening and write

he didn’t have much to tell
no stories really
mostly questions about Laurana

and then he would open Aletea’s letter
and smile, the weariness he felt
lessened a little just with those words

in the morning, on his way to work,
he’d put his letter in the blue box
and look south to Arizona

Naldo would pray and then turn
his attention to the work
ahead of him in the fields that day

they would talk on the phone
on the weekend – until then,
it was love by post

/ / /

This poem was inspired by the post prompt at Poetic Asides.

Wordle 101: Nicolaas Edvard

Nicolaas Edvard

had been disguised for so long
he had forgotten himself
and his country of origin

he walked across the sand
and as the water swirled
memories stirred in his mind

but they slipped from him
as quickly as they formed
as from a cracked pottery jar

he wound his way up and down
this beach again and again
just as he had yesterday

he was not in a hurry
he knew he could not jar
those memories loose

his wounds were too deep
and too wide
his mind half-asleep

his true self continued to elude him
so beneath a cypress tree
he sat and wept

/ / /

This poem was written using the dozen words in Wordle 101 at The Sunday Whirl and using Warmup 3 from Miz Quickly’s Impromptu Poetry Month.

Wordle 91

beatnik bar

the diminishing palace
of diminishing virtue
drunk on ditch poetry

the poet not only bends
the rules, he breaks them
and has bad line breaks too

this long room full of drunks
with diminishing wishes
and broken steps

(or is that
diminishing steps
and broken wishes?

no
better to go with the first
don’t overthink it)

they burden the poet
with their life poetry
the virtues they dropped

and he recites aloud
steps with each iamb
on the room’s wooden floor

the stories of their ditched dreams
the virtue of drams
in this poetry drunk palace

/ / /

This poem was written in response to Wordle 91 at The Sunday Whirl.