Wishes

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From the sea, she walks ashore, seal-skin slips

from her body–she stands now unadorned–

shimmering hair unbound and flowing,

dulse-laced and glowing, she whips

it ‘round like armor. Girded thus, the sea foresworn

yet she lingers, soul unsure, not quite captured

by the sunlight, body gleaming, hair sheened by salt-sea blowing,

directed then by lover’s shouts, she turns, enraptured.

 

But rapture does not last, not when the sea sighs and calls

in waves that beckon with infinite ebbs and flows

with subaqueous whispers from afar–

till finally, she must flee the confining walls,

let loose her hair and shed her clothes

to rush upon the sea-kissed sand,

fur-pelt in hand, she makes one wish upon a star,

and embraces the sea, abandons land.

 

For De’s prompt at dVerse on mermaids and selkies. I rewrote a poem I did a while ago for one of Jane’s prompts and added a second stanza. I kept the rhyme scheme, but didn’t quite follow the rest for a san san poem. So, here goes—no minimalism here, this one’s unabashedly romantic.

 

 

 

 

 

Persistence Glows

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After years of archival research, chapters drafted and re-drafted, grad school extensions, and the birth of my first daughter, I finally received my Ph.D. in American History. My husband, father, and toddler daughter watched me receive my degree in a small January ceremony. I was proud of my accomplishment, but I think my father may have been prouder.

 

Seeds drift and flutter,

fields and cracks fill with flowers–

the glow of persistence

 

 

 

 

A Haibun for dVerse, where Lillian asks us to write about one shining moment.  Something I just noticed–my dad never wore ties, but he wore one for this.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Looking back to that room

the door closes

and opens again

the past seen from the future–

 

my attic bedroom

the door at the bottom of the stairs

closed, a barrier in that present

 

to family strife, a sanctuary

in those angst-filled teen years–

         I look back

 

to that room, bright blue wooden floor

with its slanted flower-papered walls and round red rug

         where I sat listening

 

to Joni and Judy and the Jefferson Airplane,

when like Alice, I was small and falling

         in love, dreaming, and wondering about my future

 

a blank page, still to be written

(as it always is)

         in the world beyond that room.

 

I must have one somewhere, but I couldn’t find a photo of that room. You can see a blurry bit of the wallpaper here. I think I must have been in college and home on break. I had those stuffed animals on my bed.

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For dVerse, where Laura asked us to write about rooms.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Reflected World

 

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Tall Pines State Preserve, May 2020

sky and water meld

in evanescent embrace,

and birds swim with the fish

through green branches,

gilded by light above and below

 

A gogyohka Frank’s 5-Line Japanese Poetic Forms dVerse Prompt.

My poem was inspired by the photo above that I took this morning during a walk my husband and I took at a state nature preserve that was formerly a gold course.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

MTB: 5-Line Japanese Poetic Forms

Sailing Through Time

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Redon, “Barque Mystique”

 

In a dream,

I sailed the night sky,

swallowed the music of the stars,

merged with them, glowing incandescent,

red shifting, drifting through time and beyond–

 

and when I woke,

I took your hand. We opened a door

together, began a new life,

of hopes, fears, love, tears–

ebbing, flowing, drifting through time–and beyond.

 

For  Anmol’s prompt on dVerse, “Portals,”  

I’m using this Redon painting again because it fits.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Shadows

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Credit: Pixabay

 

Once he was so alive–handsome, vital, and full of laughter. I miss his laugh. It was full of joy, never mean-spirited.

It was the first thing to go.

I didn’t notice at first. Chris was feeling the strain of his work, I thought. My husband was new to the firm. He was told to go to a client’s house for a deposition regarding a property dispute. Later, he said the man was creepy. I didn’t really pay attention to the details. I wish I had.

A month ago, Chris drove out to the property, but he never came home. I dreamt of him that night, and every night since. I know it’s him, even though all I see is his shadow. His shadow shouts. On a nightmare scream, I wake.

But now it’s not a dream. Chris’s shadow is here. Waiting for me.

 

For dVerse’s Prosery prompt, Björn has asked us to incorporate this sentence from Maya Angelou’s “Caged Bird”: “his shadow shouts on a nightmare scream”  

“Your piece of prose can be fiction or autobiographic, but you are only allowed to use 144 words (which means that you need to add maximum137 words that are your own.

You are allowed to capitalize and punctuate the given line, but you are cannot add any text inside the quote.”

So, this line is from Maya Angelou’s poem, but it has nothing to do with the poem’s meaning.

 

 

 

 

 

Mockingbird, NaPoWriMo 2020, Day 30

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Every year–

I wait for spring

to hear again

the mockingbird sing–

the effort he exerts—

that brings to me such pleasure.

 

Now hear the sound of robins, cardinals, jays,

all of their phrases within his song

so long, and repeated with such power,

calling from above the flowers

as he perches in a tree.

 

See—he struts,

with wings outstretched

he flaunts his stuff—

 

but it’s his voice that floats

above the pink-petaled rain,

he’s sustained

by hope–or desperation–

the sound

goes ‘round and round

through the midnight hours

 

singing with so much might

he summons dawn’s light—

 

and still he sings

into the after.

 

So. . .many of you know I’ve had a rough couple of weeks, and I stopped participating in this year’s NaPoWriMo and other prompts. But, here’s one on-prompt for the last day of NaPoWriMo to write a poem about something that returns. I felt like doing a bit of rhyme.

I’m also linking it to Open Link Night at dVerse, where Kim is hosting and notes “we are listening.”

 

 

 

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Dreams and Stars: NaPoWriMo2020, Day 16

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Redon, “Barque Mystique”

 

days turn to night

and back again–

dreams drift,

a barque on a mysterious sea

 

~above the stars dance~

 

and we reach up, swallow them–

filled with honeyed light

we whisper in shimmered tones,

leap–and fly.

 

This is a puente. I didn’t have a chance to post it yesterday for Day 16 of NaPoWriMo, but I’m off prompt. I’m linking this to dVerse’s Open Link Night, where Lillian is hosting.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

April Wind: NaPoWriMo2020, Day 10

 

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Blowin’ in the Wind

 

The wind moans, a dissonant ghost

Ooooo it sighs, as it drifts through trees

and shifts down streets, then with a boast–

I travel wide, cross land and seas

in gusty gales and gentle breeze–

let birds soar high and then take wing,

flying on currents, singing of spring.

 

It’s cold and windy here today. We even had some snow flurries. Yesterday and the day before we had thunderstorms.

I’m off prompt for Day 10 of NaPoWriMo,but on prompt for Frank’s 7-line poem prompt at dVerse. I’ve done the rhyme scheme for a Chaucerian stanza, but I’m not sure that I got the meter right.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Gleam in the Gloom: NaPoWriMo2020, Day 7

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I walk down streets marked No Outlet

wondering if I could find a way, to flit

or flee, like Alice underground

 

but I’m afraid of falling, rolling

into a hungry black hole,

consumer of light—and all–

 

though light beams through night

and clouds and cracks, the sight

we see glimmers from the past–

 

no less wondrous if unseen–

the black hole, or a tree, I mean

here, the flowers bloom,

 

and birds sing

in their secret language of spring,

of greening feathered flight,

 

and the sun flirts with treetops,

but no one kisses on Main Street, that’s stopped,

and there’s no rock and rolling,

 

as masked like bandit queens and kings

in solitary kingdoms, with empty swings–

the children inside–

 

we walk steadfast apart

with trembling hearts

still able to feel

 

steel yourself, no stumbling into a hole,

so, we comfort and console

as the birds sing and flowers bloom

 

and we sit in our rooms

connected with Zoom—

finding there’s an outlet after all,

 

a gleam through the gloom.

 

I’ve combined two prompts. The NaPoWriMo Day 7 prompt asked us to write a poem based on a news story. I wrote about “the hungry black hole.” At dVerse, Björn asked us “to take inspiration from the words like plague, pestilence, and pandemic, and write a poem to console us in this time of the Corona.”