The Journey: Tanka

 

Ship berthed, door opens,

friends lost, remembered now, here

the odyssey ends

far from the blue planet Earth,

immigrants from a dead world

 

 

earth_western_hemisphere

By Reto Stöckli (land surface, shallow water, clouds) Robert Simmon (enhancements: ocean color, compositing, 3D globes, animation) Data and technical support: MODIS Land Group; MODIS Science Data Support Team; MODIS Atmosphere Group; MODIS Ocean Group Additional data: USGS EROS Data Center (topography); USGS Terrestrial Remote Sensing Flagstaff Field Center (Antarctica); Defense Meteorological Satellite Program (city lights). (http://visibleearth.nasa.gov/view.php?id=57723) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

 

This tanka is for Colleen Chesbro’s Weekly Tanka Challenge.

The prompt words were friend and door.

 

 

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Moonstruck

 

samuel_palmer_-_kornfeld_im_mondenschein

Samuel Palmer, Kornfeld im Mondenschein,” [Public domain or Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

 

Before the dawn, I saw the moon,

her father nearby, he stood there forthright,

seeking her radiance, no, not immune

to her empyrean charm, her pale, silver light.

 

Her father nearby, he stood there forthright

with pride in the memory, he thought of her birth,

to her empyrean charm, her pale, silver light

flirting with shadows, brightening the earth.

 

With pride in the memory, he thought of her birth

as if in a trance, the twins, moon and sun

flirting with shadows, brightening the earth

timeless and time-bound, till time is done

 

I hear her humming, I hear the song,

seeking her radiance, no, not immune

to magic moonlight, in still-darkness of morn

before the dawn, I saw the moon.

 

A Pantoum for Secret Keeper’s Writing Challenge.

The prompt words were: Birth/Trance/Pride/Seek/Flirt

When I walked outside this morning to get the newspaper (support the press!), I was struck by the beauty of the bright sliver of moon with Jupiter by her side.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Selma

the_obamas_and_the_bushes_continue_across_the_bridge

By Official White House Photo by Lawrence Jackson [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

 

To the bridge they marched, making the decision

though they knew it was risky, in Selma they marched.

They wanted their rights, after years of derision,

struck with clubs and tear gas, they were bloodied and parched.

 

Though they knew it was risky, in Selma they marched

the judge ruled, in court, saying they could march on

struck with clubs and tear gas, they were bloodied and parched,

soon they walked on to Montgomery from evening to dawn.

 

The judge ruled, in court, saying they could march on,

they’d been delayed in Selma, but they were not broken,

soon they walked on to Montgomery from evening to dawn

their stories now heard, their stories now spoken.

 

There have been lakes of sorrows, and lakes of tears,

they wanted their rights, after years of derision,

but a stand must be taken, despite many fears,

to the bridge they marched, making the decision.

 

This is a Pantoum for Secret Keeper’s Writing Challenge.

In a pantoum, the second and fourth lines become the first and third lines of the next stanza, and the poem ends with the first line.

The prompt words were: Broke/Judge/Story/Bridge/Lake

 

The protesters in Selma were marching for civil rights, including the right to vote, as black voters were disenfranchised by various “tests,” poll taxes, and intimidation. State Troopers beat nonviolent protesters as they attempted to cross Edmund Pettus Bridge on March 7, 1965. The day became known as Bloody Sunday. Edmund Pettus, for whom the bridge was named in 1940, was a Confederate general, a U.S. Senator—and a Grand Dragon of the Alabama Ku Klux Klan. The Selma to Montgomery march began on Sunday, March 21. The marchers reached Montgomery on Thursday, March 25. I took some poetic license with “evening to dawn.”  President Johnson signed the Voting Rights Act of 1965 on August 6, 1965.

See “The Racist History Behind the Iconic Selma Bridge”

And “Selma-to-Montgomery March

 

 

 

 

Those Left Behind

viktar_smatau%cc%86_1994_farewell

Viktar Smataŭ , “Farewell,” [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html) or CC BY-SA 4.0-3.0-2.5-2.0-1.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0-3.0-2.5-2.0-1.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons

 

He was gone /  She watched his ship vanish, incandescent

No trace left/ gone, an unmarked path to undiscovered territory

A journey of miles / a journey of years

Across indigo seas, uncharted  / amidst radiant spheres, unknown

Would she ever see his smile? / would she hear his voice again?

She felt no sense of wonder for his voyage/  she felt only fear and regret

As she bid him farewell / as she watched the trail of light in the sky disappear

 

This is a cleave poem (the left side is one poem, the right side is another, and both parts form a third poem. This is for Secret Keeper’s Weekly Writing Challenge. The prompt words were:

Gone/Sense/Trace/Voice/Path

atlantis_taking_off_on_sts-27

By NASA, Space Shuttle Atlantis [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

 

 

 

 

 

Walk and Talk

“but before I can live with other folks I’ve got to live with myself. The one thing that doesn’t abide by majority rule is a person’s conscience.”

–Atticus Finch in Harper Lee’s To Kill A Mockingbird

 

No harm was done

(just talk).

Walk and talk,

Tic Tac talk

(and looming walk),

no deep thought,

(just locker room talk),

boys will be boys talk,

(that’s what they say),

but they might stare,

and grab,

so best beware,

take some care,

(though it’s just talk).

Hate-filled words

(incite some action).

Obscene gestures

(from small hands)

Obscene thoughts

(from small minds),

Dog whistles and gas lighting,

talk’s just talk

(even if it’s frightening).

But if it prevails

(the repulsive talk,

the racist squawks

the bully stalk)

It’s all our loss,

(It’s not just talk.)

 

This poem is for Secret Keeper’s Writing Challenge.

The prompt words are: Harm/Deep/Act/Stare/Loss

And here’s the kind of “walk and talk” I like. With a president I like.  Vote!

 

Dancing Wind

franz_marc-_die_kleinen_blauen_pferde

Franz Marc, “The Little Blue Horses,” 1911, Public Domain, via Wikimedia Commona

 

 

Lead me, dancing wind

on a journey of delight

tend my soul with pure sunlight.

 

Lead me, dancing wind

to find a shimmery shore,

a place of peace, without war.

 

Lead me, dancing wind

to where blue ponies play, stay,

bravely dance, in waves and spray.

 

Lead me, dancing wind

in sailing ship or small cart,

lead me now, to find my heart.

 

This is for Secret Keeper’s Weekly Writing Challenge.

Using these words: Brave/Tend/Pure/Lead/Dance

I feel the need for blue ponies.

 

***WP is telling me I should encourage US voters to vote by “adding a subtle prompt.” So here is link to register.  VOTE! Is that subtle enough?

Vote your conscience, but I’m With Her, and I’m voting #LoveTrumpsHate.

 

 

 

 

 

Constellations

constellations1

By Chrisrobertsantieau (Own work), “Constellations,” [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

 

Shimmering, flickering, the stars appear,

glimmering patterns revealed. The Seer,

sees love flowing (in dark she is freer),

bewitched, enraptured by the twinkling spheres,

she casts her spells before they disappear.

 

This is for Jane Dougherty’s poetry challenge.  The fiftieth! Well done, Jane!

She writes, ““The rules are simple, a single stanza of five lines of ten syllables each. The five end of line words all rhyme.” The rules may be simple, but following them never is. 🙂

 

Song of the Stars

Shadows_looking_at_stars

Jess Mann [CC BY-SA 4.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons

 

I watched the stars as they danced by,

They glimmered brightly in the sky.

I heard their song, mellifluous,

I heard their song, I thought of us.

 

I heard the lap of river waves,

They touch the edge of muddy graves.

I thought of war and bloody fields,

I thought of death and broken shields.

 

But still your touch remains with me,

Though different skies and stars we see,

Come back to me, before too long,

To watch the stars, to hear their song.

 

This week for her poetry challenge, the ever creative Jane Dougherty asked us to concentrate on sound and meter. I’m not certain I succeeded, but here it is.

The prompt words were: Stars, night, and water. The image is the one above by Jess Mann.

 

 

 

 

 

Rain Dance

“Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0″CC BY-SA 3.0,

 

The dance of rain

on window pane, all misty grey

the dance of rain.

The first few drops, a slow pavane,

the lightning flash, a sky ballet,

to boom and crash, twirling away

the dance of rain

 

This poem is in response to Jane Dougherty’s poetry challenge. This week’s challenge was to write a Rondelet using the prompt “summer storm” and the photo above.