Ode to dVerse

Appearing unbidden
Though soft, welcoming, sweet.
Open doors…unhidden,
Beckoning from the street.
Like a bright, warming cool day,
Friends greet and support,
Uplift and urge to play;
They’re the long-haul sort.

Never a cloud or a coarse word,
Even, accepting, but by rules are lead.
Abide and check yourself, preferred;
Relax, join in, and add to the thread.
Your fears will be put to rest.
You will be held with encouragement.
Feel free to share your zest,
Your authentic engagement.

Much like a steadfast lover
(Whose partner may come and go),
Or a devoted mother
Whose affection overflows.
A fluxing group that ebbs and flows
Like the tides…and the moon.
But always will find, though,
Spirit, life, truth…a boon.

Claudia invites us to share an ode as dVerse celebrates its third anniversary. Congratulations everyone! http://dversepoets.com/2014/07/15/3-year-anniversary-celebrating-poets/

The Way of Tea

Photo from Bing Images

Soft flute melodies
enchant the room;
with measured grace
the tea ceremony begins.
The tea house clean…
utensils handled with
distinct purpose, each
movement meaningful.
A meditation in action,
significance and detail
in its formal conveyance.
Each gesture choreographed
as if a ballet of the hands.
The ritual incorporates the
outer and the inner states.
It then becomes not so much
about drinking tea but
giving attention fully
…to the art…from the heart,
and blending the two.

Tending Thoughts (A Sestina)

To tend my thoughts and focus on all that’s good
will surely serve me best and bring me peace.
Attention given to pain and all world woes
only takes my happiness and swings it low.
For me to feel its grief makes two that suffer,
I will instead beam love to make that grow.

The ripples will go forth and all will grow
in love, steadiness, happiness and good.
The world will begin to heal from all it suffers,
no ills can escape the mend; it will know peace.
No peoples, nor air, nor lands…high or low,
will no longer be affected by any woe.

I firmly believe that this will cure our woes,
to focus on the affirmative and watch it grow.
Keep light, laugh, enjoy…play high and low
and reap that energy that sustains all that’s good.
The world and you and I will revel in joyous peace.
Life’s sorrow will be but a memory suffered.

Delighted freedom from ills is all we’ll suffer.
Start now to train your thoughts to forego woe,
and see how quickly fear is replaced by peace.
Give up worry, allow the good to grow.
Our thoughts impart power to make things good,
energy reacts around us to elevate or lower.

Keep to a state of allowing the higher…not low
into your conscious thought to abate any suffer.
Practice feeling happy, relaxed and good.
All things can be returned from a place of woe
through expansion of loving thoughts that grow.
Pay attention to your feelings…follow those of peace.

Calm, harmony, stillness, silence, peace
instill us with the strength to accept the low
yet not react and give it feed to grow.
You and I, this planet, need not suffer
by wallowing, dwelling, and grieving in the woe.
Contemplate only on thoughts of good.

Enlighten yourselves to ease all suffering.
As a whole we can transmute life’s woe
and increase a thousand-fold the good.

Claudia is our hostess at dVerse Poets for Open Link Night: http://dversepoets.com/2014/03/29/openlinknight-march-2014/

Nirvana-Garden

My inner-wanderer
has gone deep
this time.
Through the top
of the head
and out to
the cosmos-ladder
that lifts me beyond
all-there-is.
I can see for eons,
forward and backward.
I’m free of limitations
and this data-know
quickens the kundalini
energy that runs up
my spine out into
the everlasting-always.
I return the way I left,
slipping back into
mundane consciousness,
but feeling as if in
a nirvana-garden.

Bjorn has us trying our hand at writing kennings at dVerse Poets: http://dversepoets.com/2014/03/20/kennings-the-metaphor-of-skalds/

Lady With the Birds

LadyWiththeBirds

“Lady With the Birds”; Painting by Sunita Khedekar http://www.khedekars.com/about-sunita/

Her eyes were pavonated
like the feathers of the peacock
that was her constant companion,
and lightly encircled with deep topaz.
The affect was stunning.
Shiny, silky atrous hair
framed a delicate, porcelain countenance
that equaled her kindly demeanor.
But her outward beauty was
not why the avian world
was attracted to her presence.
It was her ease with and acceptance
of all feathered and winged creatures.
Since a small child, she doted on
and cared for fallen nestlings.
The injured or lost found their
way to her capable and
encompassing spirit.
She spoke to them in low,
gentle coos and trills and was
recognized as one of their own.
Her daily sadhana was
performed under the spreading
canopy of the village banyan tree.
As she relaxed in contemplation,
birds of all size and hue would
gather close…quiet, respectful,
in repose…understanding her
communion with the All Loving One.
They felt her peace; they knew her love.
Her gaze emitted a celestial, pale blue
light…the soul light of the Blue Pearl.
Stillness and harmony reigned…hearts
merged between woman and bird.
There was no separation.

Today at dVerse Poets, Grace introduces us to the spectacular artwork of Sunita Khedekar as inspiration. I chose her painting, “Lady With the Birds.” Thank you to Grace, and to Sunita for your generosity in sharing your work with us. http://dversepoets.com/2014/03/18/poetics/

The amazing story of how Diablo became Spirit

Posted on YouTube by Arjan Postma

Significance

Photos by Shanyn Silinski

Comparing the major to the minute
does not consider the fact that it
is the life conducted, not the dimension amassed,
which exhibits the charm of life’s significance.

In looking over Shanyn’s lovely photographs I was struck by the large structures and open spaces in comparison to the tiny, seemingly insignificant tiny birds, insects and flowers she portrayed. Thus my macro/micro observation. Thank you to Shanyn for being our hostess at dVerse Poets today. http://dversepoets.com/2014/03/11/poetics-its-a-micromacro-world/

In The Beginning

In the beginning there was the word
and the word was good. It tickled
and played with my imagination and
more of them strung together
and became cohesive…hey, I’m a poet!
Those poems seemed to flow pretty
easily in those heady, early days…
My angst, humor, pain and spirituality
flowed from brain to pen in seeming
effortlessness…I had so much to share.
The energy of other poets spurred me on
and I shared and read and wept and laughed
and joined together…took some space…
time to breathe, grew and changed.
Came back, still changing, sorting my thoughts
and those words are taking on new patterns, new
feelings, new growth…new friends have appeared.
It’s give and take…you gotta give, encourage others
as they encourage you and give of their time to
help you evolve, develop, become…and change again.
Transmutable…a poet is just like life.

Anthony Desmond is our host at dVerse Poets tonight and asks us to write on our evolution as writers. I haven’t had a very long career of writing…less than three years but I have learned so much during this short period of time and continue to grow and learn with much of that knowledge coming from prompts through dVerse…thank you! http://dversepoets.com/2014/03/04/poetics-poetically-evolving/

I’m “Hear” for You

I’ve never shared the elevator with another person in all the weeks I’ve been coming to help her. It has a musty, stagnant odor like most of them do, I suppose from mostly being shut tight while waiting for passengers. The worn carpeting probably doesn’t help either. Only two floors up but I can’t help wondering—what if this thing stops between floors and I get stuck? I eye the notice with instructions to call 911 in case of emergency. Ok, I have my phone, can do that. Hope help arrives quickly and I don’t go into a panic…

The doors open and I take a right and let myself into the first apartment where St. Francis stands guard on the porch. It’s dark and quiet…most likely she’s still in bed finishing her afternoon nap. I see that the sliding glass door is open and am thankful for the fresh air. The apartment smells of old age, illness and too many skipped showers. I reach her bedroom door that’s always open and see her small face haloed with white hair, layers of sheet, blanket, and comforter and her new favorite, fake, unidentifiable-animal-fur that her daughter sent for Christmas, pulled up under her chin. It’s soft as a bunny however and I’ve joked with her that it’s the perfect “pet”…no feeding or bathroom duties necessary. Careful not to startle her, I gently call her name and she quickly opens her eyes and asks…”is it that late already?”

Immediately she starts talking and pretty much doesn’t stop until I leave 2 ½ hours later. She tells me that she had a bad night…couldn’t sleep and her digestion is bothering her again. “Don’t know if I can eat, you know I don’t have an appetite anymore…I don’t care if I eat or not.” Her small, blue eyes look at me for sympathy and I give it to her. “I’m so sorry.” She changes the subject and points out her family members in frames scattered throughout the room. This son has two daughters who are successful and talented…and beautiful. This grandson now has a baby that I haven’t seen yet, and my daughter hasn’t visited me in almost 2 years. The stories have been repeated to me many times but I listen and nod and ask questions that I already know the answers to. She’s so happy and proud when speaking of her family.

We settle on a small, fresh salad with chicken strips on top with a balsamic vinegar dressing. I cut the strips into bite sized pieces. She finishes it all. Being a vegetarian, I hadn’t cooked meat in decades before agreeing to prepare her daily dinners. The chicken strips are pre-cooked and I just have to heat them up but the turkey burgers that she likes are bloody and have a strong “animal” smell. Took some getting used to…

Victoria C. Slotto has a prompt at The Bardo Group asking writers to integrate the senses in our writings: http://intothebardo.wordpress.com/2014/02/26/common-senses-writers-wednesday/#comment-5749

Upon the Creek

Upon the creek lies glass…emitting sheen
Unseen through clumped reed grass
But by a bathing Welsh lass
Water, nature, girl, en masse

This is my second Englyn Unodl Union, a Welsh/Celtic form introduced by Susan Judd some time ago for a FormForAll prompt at dVerse Poets…check out the particulars here: http://dversepoets.com/2012/10/11/formforall-englyn/

I’m linking this tonight at dVerse Poets for Open Link Night: http://dversepoets.com/2014/02/25/openlinknight-february-2014/

The Wind and the Sun—Aesop’s Fable

It came to pass that the
Wind and the Sun became
at odds with each other
as to which one was the
most powerful.

One day they made an
agreement that whichever
one of them could make
a traveler remove his cloak
first that one would be
declared the more dominant.

Noticing a young man
walking along a dirt path,
the Wind began to blow.
She blew with great gusts,
that drove the temperature
down…she whirled and
danced the air about but
it only served to make the
man clutch his cloak more
tightly around him.

The Sun then took his turn
and began to gently warm
the cooled air and the winds
calmed and the skies cleared.
The temperature slowly rose and the
man finally stopped and removed
his cloak to have relief from the heat.

The Sun was declared the winner and ever since it has been known that gentle persuasion is better than blustery force.

Bjorn Rudberg instructs us on fables today at dVerse Poets. http://dversepoets.com/2014/02/22/lets-be-fabulists-today/ I like that a person who writes fables is called a fabulist! Make up your own or take a fable and write a poem about it. I always loved Aesop’s Fables when I was a girl…I chose “The Wind and the Sun”.

Barlow

Perhaps it was in his pocket
among all that change that
clinked when he would nervously
play with the contents.

(There was something comforting
to me about that habit of his.
It was decidedly him.)

The black leather handle
looks almost stone like,
as if petrified like a piece of wood.
It’s lost all suppleness maybe from
no longer having the oil from those
fingers, rubbing, toying,
worrying it over and over.

BARLOW is spelled out across
both sides of the silver
portion on the handle.
There are two blades
enclosed in the metal casings.
I’ve pulled them open at times,
examining them for any
hint of their use.
They look used.
Spots, scrapings and a hint
of some debris left behind.
How long had he owned this?
Was it of value to him?
Had it been gifted…by whom?
Or just utilitarian?
Picked up at some drugstore,
he needing something to clean
under his fingernails,
cut a piece of twine or open a box.

I found it after he died
when going through his
things. I asked Mom if I could
have it along with the
silver matchbook cover,
with our last name engraved on it,
that still held a tiny, yellowed
photo of the two of them back
in the forties…both
smiling broadly…happy.

Mom said yes, take them,
I don’t want any of it.

Victoria C. Slotto is hostess at dVerse Poets encouraging us to write about an artifact or someTHING: http://dversepoets.com/2014/02/20/theres-something-i-want-to-tell-you-dverse-meeting-the-bar/

Back Nine

The first I sliced into the woods, the second was a perfect drive
that landed smack dab in the middle of the green, not to one side.
Funny thing, when I use those glow-in-the-dark balls made for night
golf, my game is better. Once, a long putt was placed exquisitely, lied
gently teetering on the edge of the cup and then plop. A pro’s wage
would have been handsome! The moment is etched, saved
in my memories as one that brought such joy, and pride, it made
me blush to be complimented by my partner and see her smiling face.
Many a time, up at the clubhouse after a game, poor sports would nurse
their lousy scores with liquor and others would brag about missing church
with the family for another Sunday. The back nine was far worse
than the front…many treacherous bunkers and water holes, and many a purse
was lost through wager. While some were won back,
others were left at that…

Tony Maude instructs us on the very interesting form of Bout Rimes at dVerse Poets: http://dversepoets.com/2014/02/13/meeting-the-bar-bout-rimes/

Lesson Learned (But it Felt Like a Waste)

What a waste, I set myself up for pain,
waiting my entire life for a repentant word.
Lips grew tighter and inhumane.

And no, you couldn’t deign
remorse even when not slurred.
What a waste, I set myself up for pain.

Making gestures disguised and feigned
as regret didn’t fool me, it was absurd;
lips grew tighter and inhumane.

A study of your behavior was arcane,
the good and bad I saw in you was blurred.
What a waste; I set myself up for pain.

At the end, waiting still to claim
an apology for years of being spurred,
lips grew tighter and inhumane.

Ah well, a lesson did I manage to obtain,
to my own self make whole is preferred.
What a waste, I set myself up for pain,
waiting my entire life for a repentant word.

Claudia is our hostess at dVerse Open Link Night and encourages us to write with passion…if not technical perfection. I do try! http://dversepoets.com/2014/02/11/openlinknight-week-132/

Indoors I Stayed

Indoors I stayed today
and napped curled like the cat.
Sky grayed, wind blustered,
and cooled temperature,
made me curl even tighter and
put socks on before.
Granddaughter’s Dad
sent me a video of
baby girl sliding down
a slide, giggling while
going up and coming down.
Gladdened my heart.
Still a little peaked from
a mild bug…was content to
read and write sitting in my
well worn bedroom chair.
Cleaned the kitchen before dinner,
had left it cluttered from lunch.
Happily alone for my meal,
simple, light with some tea.

At dVerse Poets, Claudia invites us to try our hands at “Sketchbook poetry”: http://dversepoets.com/2014/02/08/poetics-sketchbook-in-the-moment-poetry/

Estate Sale

Copyright Dawn M. Miller

The lamps had been collected from every room in the sprawling mansion and placed on a long table on the porch. Everything was being sold. The elderly woman-of-the-manor had finally passed away leaving her heirs to disburse her belongings.

Some had been found in the attic which hadn’t seen light…lamp or otherwise for decades. I perused the offerings. Most were too out of date for my taste but one stood out…I lit up when I saw it. Dusty but with no cracks in its pale pink glass, the delicate oil lamp was now mine.

Rochelle has another photo to inspire our 100 word fiction over at Friday Fictioneers: https://rochellewisofffields.wordpress.com/2014/02/05/7-february-2014/

LPs on the Hi-Fi

Growin’ up poor
we didn’t have much
but the love of tunes
was our crutch.

We clapped and swayed
from jazz to rock,
singing along
around the clock.

From Benny Goodman
“the King of Swing”,
to the Beatles
and all between.

That hi-fi blasted
morn and night
with LPs spinning
we were alright.

We shimmied, stomped,
jigged and jived,
and pounded the
beat on our thighs.

Yeah, growin’ up poor
we didn’t have much
but the love of tunes
was our crutch.

Gay Reiser Cannon introduces us to writing lyrics today at dVerse Poets: http://dversepoets.com/2014/02/06/meeting-the-bar-songwriting-and-its-relationship-to-poetry/

Updated (After 50 Years)

Vintage, primary colored mixing bowls
mingle with a new, stoneware, pie plate,
joining the aluminum one you’ve used for years.
So old it can’t come clean…the zig-zagged
edges melded with oils, crusts and fillings.
Ancient, the cast-iron skillet’s siding
is also bonded with whatever was
cooking that spilled over and never quite
got cleaned all the way. Decades of this,
repeating itself, lends a crusted exterior.
Still, it’s in good use…nothing sticks,
cornbread cooks to perfection.
It could last 50 more years, easy.
The plates, silverware and serving
dishes aren’t new…bought
after the last of we kids left home
to begin our own accumulations.
Our childhood dinnerware was left
shattered, cracked, pieces missing,
by six, unruly kids showing no respect.
There’s a mixture of new utensils
jumbled with the still-serviceable 50+ years
old whisk, ladle and wooden spoons, etc.
The kitchen was updated by your contractor
son recently who brought the linoleum floor, and
Formica countertops into the 21st century
with granite and stone. Too, the bathroom
was made more spacious and nicely
appointed with new everything.
Only the layout looks the same of the
house where we grew up…even the driveway
is elegant pavers that complement the house paint.
You’re alone there now with your new carpet, new
bedspread, new curtains and a guest room…waiting
for one of us to come visit and keep you company.

Joseph Hesch is our host at Open Link Night on dVerse Poets: http://dversepoets.com/2014/02/04/open-link-night-week-131/

Erroneous Belief

Not much instruction,
mostly unlearning,
the ideas heaped upon
by those well meaning.
Our parents first,
teachers came second,
then society and media
bombarding us,
molding, firing our
brains, senses overloading
from repeating the same.

Still and quiet yourself,
listen within…does that
notion sit well or is it
unsettling or grim.
Whatever you feel
that is joy-filled and bliss,
keep your attention on that
and expand with finesse.
Pay attention to your thoughts,
the good ones think more,
the negative and draining,
leave at the door.

In this way, we can train
that repetitious thinking,
those ideas thrust upon
us that transport us to sinking.
We don’t need to embrace
those things that we find
that interlock us so tight
and leave us confined.
Mankind will feel happier,
open and free if can let go
of misconceptions of
erroneous belief.

Karin Gustafson, Manicddaily, is our hostess at dVerse illustrating repetition with her charming drawings. She invites us to write on repetition…however our lives are guided or hindered by such. http://dversepoets.com/2014/02/01/poetics-repeat-performance-first-time-through/

Lung Leavin’ Day–With Hope the Odds Don’t Matter

This week I received an email from Cameron Von St. James asking if I would share his wife’s story on my blog. Cameron is the husband of Heather who was diagnosed with mesothelioma, a rare cancer, eight years ago. She was given 15 months to live. Cameron and Heather had just had a baby girl named Lily Rose. Heather had a life-saving surgery to remove one of her lungs, part of her diaphragm and the lining of her heart. Her sister, trying to lighten the mood of the day of surgery nicknamed it “Lung Leavin’ Day”. The surgery was successful and Heather is now cancer free.

Now each year on February 2 the family celebrates Lung Leavin’ Day as a day to face their fears. They sit around a fire, write their fears on plates and then smash them into the fire. Now the day has become one of spreading awareness and urging people to action against this disease.

You can join in on their interactive website and smash your own fears. I just did.

mesothelioma.com/heather/lungleavinday

Selling the Shadow to Support the Substance: Ain’t I a Woman

Originally posted on THE POET BY DAY:

373px-Carte_de_visiteOne of the many guises in which poetry presents itself:  Here American actress Alfrie Woodard delivers New Yorker Sojourner Truth‘s spontaneous speech, “Ain’t I a Woman.” Sojourner gave this speech at the Women’s Convention in Akron, Ohio in May of 1851.

SOJOURNER TRUTH (1797-1883)

African-American Abolitionist and Women’s Right Activist

Thanks to Laurel D. for sharing the video.

View original

Singin’ Sally

We kids called her Singin’ Sally and
gave her house a wide berth,
especially if we caught sight of her
outside. We didn’t want to be called
over to her…and back then we wouldn’t
dare ignore or disrespect an elder.
Although we may have run…

Many times we could hear her banging on her
out-of-tune piano…singing praise to her Lord.
Her voice raised in a crescendo of fervency.
Routinely she posted signs in her front yard
that said “The End is Near” and “Repent Your Sins”.

She frightened me.
She was old…she seemed old.
Her hair was a scritch-scratch, bird’s nest grey.
Wild and untamed like her need to make you
realize that you had better repent, REPENT!!
She babbled and muttered…most words
made no sense. She was intense.

Sometimes she passed by our house on
the way to the bus stop at the end of our street.
I would watch from the safety of indoors,
staring at this strange figure wearing baggy,
outdated clothes, with a loping, purposeful walk.
She always appeared to be muttering.

One afternoon a storm was brewing, as was common,
and large drops started to splat from heavy-laden
summer clouds. Singin’ Sally was headed home from
the bus stop and just as she came even with our house
the skies busted loose a flood with thundering cracks
and bolts that sent flashes slicing the blackened day.
Well wouldn’t you know it…she sprinted up
to our front door and asked for sanctuary from
the storm. And Mom let her in!

There in our living room sat Singin’ Sally.
I couldn’t bring myself to step foot in there.
As inconspicuous as I could be, I peeked from
the hallway and stared. Mom was being kind
and hospitable and Singin’ Sally started talking
about the Lord and a lot of other jibber-jabber
I couldn’t understand. But in no time the storm
passed and Sally took her leave and continued
on home. I did admire my mother for her good,
Christian spirit and helping a neighbor…but gosh,
Singin’ Sally had been in our house.

Sam Peralta hosts us at dVerse one final time as he takes his leave to live his life. Goodbye Sam, I wish you well. He tells us of the beauty of prose poetry and encourages us to give it a try: http://dversepoets.com/2014/01/30/form-for-all-prosepoetry/

Among the Thicket

Among the tangled, twisting thicket,
crickets chirp in quick succession.
Discretion gone, for mates they look,
hooking her makes males chirp.
Flirting, rubbing their two wings,
singing songs that become a scream.
Extreme measures, some are taken,
awakening some who wish to sleep.
Weeping, cursing, all that racket,
boskets overrun by crickets.

Tried a new form today…the link or chain poem. The ending word is rhymed in the first word of the next line. Submitting this for Open Link Night where Anthony Desmond is our host over at dVerse Poets: http://dversepoets.com/2014/01/28/openlinknight-week-130/

North and South

We look up and see the same moon
casting shadows on the ground around us
but you are high north and I am deep south.
The brutal vortex that blows her wrath,
freezes all warm bones in her path,
and hammers you like a pneumatic drill
is little more than a fleeting chill
that makes me pull on a sweater.
On mornings when you can even go,
you must first forge a passage
through encasing snow, scrape that car
windshield of its coating…crawling slowly
on thin ice, careful not to slip sideways.
Here, no ice coats anything, sunshine bright,
temperate days like your spring.
No flowers bloom, no green abounds,
nature there is on hiatus.
Orchids hanging under our ligustrum
are still bursting tiny buds of blooms.
Your birds fly here,
even your people.
Snowbirds surround us
until March or April.

Mary inspires us to consider different perspectives over at dVerse Poets: http://dversepoets.com/2014/01/25/poetics-on-the-other-hand/

Routine

Routine like so
many others,
a dinner out
at one of our
favorites.

We order
and chit-chat
and my eyes
drift out the large,
plate glass window
to a figure stretched
out on a bus stop bench.

Not unusual.
Waiting for a bus.
Tired after a days work
or school, or what have you.

A woman approaches,
finds something amiss.
A police car is now on
the scene.  Mr. Waiting
For a Bus has become
Mr. Dead on Arrival.

All this taken in while
waiting for my dinner.
Life continues.
Death doesn’t wait.

Brian Miller over at dVerse Poets encourages us to tell a story: http://dversepoets.com/2014/01/23/meetingthebar-bedtime-stories-tall-tales-the-art-of-story-telling/

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