Unwinding Along a Winding Road

Being taken on long, scenic, nature drives has always been a favorite way for me to relax. My mind instantly turns to what is outside the window and I’ve managed to catch many displays of wildlife. I’ve seen bald eagles soaring high overhead.  I’ve spotted osprey in their huge nests, tiny Kingfisher resting daintily on telephone wires, rabbits on the fringe of woods, Red-Shouldered Hawks perched on fence posts, wild turkeys gobbling on the side of roads and numerous alligators, some submerged with their long, nubby heads showing, their eyes just above the water line and many more sunning on banks.  I love catching these snippets of nature while driving along a winding trail at a state park or just out in a country setting.

One very late night several years ago, my partner at the time and I headed out of town to watch the early morning Perseid meteor shower. To get a better chance of viewing we drove away from the lights of Orlando, maybe 10 miles to the Econlockhatchee River.  Before we even reached our destination, I started seeing the telltale streaks of meteors flashing through the sky.  Calming and exciting at the same time!

Night rides can be very soothing. My mother would sometimes gather all of us kids in the car and drive around in the evenings, windows down, cooling and calming us down.

Perseid shower
blazing stars fall from the sky
vanish in a flash

Join us at dVerse Poets where Toni hosts us for Haibun Monday.  We are asked to write on ways that we truly relax.  Toni’s presentation will be published at 3PM EST Monday.  Please read it for full details.

This Day

On

a day

like this day

like no other day

before, since or after today,

it dawned anew, fresh,  pure, clean

as if the first to have been.

Yesterday is gone, the future does not exist.

So place your mind firmly on this present moment.

This point in time, it’s all we will ever have.

A Singular Moment of Spring

soft

sheer curtains

gently lift slightly

by a cool wind

that began across the lake

kicking up tiny, white, capped ripples

and carrying the fragrance of Confederate Jasmine

that mingled with the smell of wet beaches,

and freshly washed laundry just hung on the clothesline.

A singular moment of spring caught upon a sunlit breeze.

Join our host Victoria as she illustrates the art of the Etheree for us for Meeting the Bar at dVerse Poets

Adventures

Mira and I love to go on “adventures.”
A neighbor gave us a standing invitation
to visit her backyard pond and
feed the fish and turtles that reside there.
Giant green bamboo greets us.
Mud turtles and koi vie with tilapia
for our breadcrumbs.

Photos by Gayle Walters Rose; All Rights Reserved

Grace is our host for Quadrille Monday where we write an entire poem in exactly 44 words using the word “green.” Meet us at dVerse for the fun!

Nautilus

Photo from WordPress; The Daily Post

You’re coiled tighter
and tighter as you
descend in a pattern
which mirrors a nautilus.
Your polished marble
stairs mimic its
hollowed cavities.


Photo Public Domain; Chambered Nautilus
 
It’s tiny pinpoint
eye scans its world
through a blur of depth.
Propelling its pearly,
iridescent casing
up
and
down
much like
a stairway,
higher
lower,
it forages
for bits of
carrion
and searches
for a mate.
Internal spirals
create perfect
chambers
that
generates
buoyancy
and jet
propulsion
to move
up
and
down.
 
You emulate
a staircase
that winds
around
and around
guiding us
up
and
down.

Join us today for Open Link Night at dVerse Poets today at 3PM EST!  Choose any ONE poem to share.

The Battle of Puebla

This day starts like any other as if
not knowing what transpired this
triumphant, historical day in May. Is
the victory over France ours or your(s)?
Why do you celebrate as if it’s your birthday?
You Americans will take any excuse to party and
carry on. This is not even a holiday for us; you
don’t take a moment to consider what are
our thoughts. The Battle of Puebla left many dead,
but we are thankful that we prevailed.  Do
you want to rejoice with us? Then join as we
observe our independence in September and stay
by our side in honor of the voices that went silent
throughout our history to bring us freedom . As
we mark that date with festivals, we entertain the
gatherings in joy and a sheet
gently spreads over us with gratitude.  You
are invited to share as we remember those who died
so that we now live in liberty, and out from under.

Click here to see where my inspiration came from for the prompt today:  PBS’s Weekly Poem for May 7, 2012 by Naomi Shihab Nye “Cinco de Mayo”

De is our host at dVerse’s Meeting the Bar and shares a poetic form called The Golden Shovel.  Come by and see her instructions on this interesting prompt!

Dried Sky

badlands29

Photo used by permission by Mish; All Rights Reserved

Dried sky looks
down on dusty
river bed.
My feet scuff
along and kick
up tiny, grey
clouds.
Those cumulus
off in the distance
are mere mirages.
They look like
something
could rain from
them but nothing
much ever does.
No, don’t bother
looking to the
heavens for
respite from
this parchment
paper landscape.
This is the way
of these parts.
It looks like what
I imagine a barren,
faraway planet might
mimic…a panorama
of desolation.
What alien life-
forms can survive
such harsh elements?
Only the most
attuned who can see
how life can thrive
within this perfect
balance and those
who don’t waste
precious resources.

Join us at dVerse Poets with our host Mish who inspires us to write on the Southwest.

Best Friends

 

Photo Public Domain; Bing Images

I was on my way to my
friend Patsy’s house
and my favorite mode
of locomotion seemed
to be skipping. It was
such a joyful way to
get from A to B.
She and I liked to skip
rope too…holding hands
and giggling wildly.

Toni is our host for Quadrille Monday where we write an entire poem in exactly 44 words and use the word “skip” or any variant.  Come join our fun!  dVerse will open its doors at 3PM EST.

The River’s Path; a Chōka

with eyes gently closed
third eye streaming energy
I feel the river
my mind loose and free, follows
its path, moves downstream
flow is effortless and calm
eddy of water
catches twigs, leaves and debris
momentarily
trapped but not knowing struggle
organically
they dislodge and float onward
all moves as it should
no tension is inherent
nothing impedes its
progress, even whilst frozen

Join us at dVerse Poets for Open Link Night beginning on Thursday at 3PM EST with our host Victoria.  Pick any one poem of your choosing!

Vintage Lace

SusanJuddphoto

Photo by Susan Judd used by permission; All Rights Reserved

During a budding spring day, hiking among the scrub along a trail in one of our nature preserves nearby, I realized I was seeing the vestiges of winter even though her presence had been mild and rainy this season. Browned, brittle leaves covered the path and beyond.  Small twigs and limbs had been shed from the surrounding live oaks most likely resulting from one of our blustery storms that had blown through.  Some of the leaves were just beginning their renewal on the trees after being dormant through our short winter.

And as I further scanned the forest floor my eye caught a most delicate and fragile creation. I had seen these before and I’ve always been struck by the intricate, lacy designs left after a leaf or flower has disintegrated during its natural decline.  Nothing had yet destroyed its beauty in this frail state.  Yes, beauty was present even in this advanced stage of transformation.

nature in constant
flux, beginnings and endings
snapshots of beauty

Join us at dVerse Poets as we enjoy another Haibun Monday with Susan Judd as our guest co-host with Bjorn where she shares her wonderful photography as inspiration.

Paisley Park

It rained last night at Paisley Park,
tears fell too when the lightning struck.
Your time cut short, too quickly plucked,
a Princely man whose life went dark.
You colored us purple in stark
relief of the grief we’re feeling–
colorless, bleak, muted keening.
You reigned supreme, a gentle soul
of brilliant talent, eyes of coal.
It rained last night at Paisley Park.

Join me at dVerse Poets as we learn the decima, a Latin American form.

Lineage of Pain

You were easy to vilify
with your detached and selfish ways
and your clenched jaw and eyes ablaze,
but your life was your own deny,
Dad.   Years of pain were amplified
by you; no soft place was offered.
But my worth totally shattered
because you also had been hurt
by a man detached, cold and curt,
alone where no love was proffered.

Join me at dVerse Poets for Meeting the Bar, Thursday 3PM EST where we try a Latin American poetry form called the décima.

Ouch!

Out on the back nine,
just about to the last
hole, I felt a twinge
in my back. I’m sure
that last vigorous
twist I made to send
my ball flying down
the fairway did more
than I bargained for.
Sciatica pain for weeks…

Join Grace as she hosts our seventh Quadrille prompt to use the word “twist” and a word count of exactly 44 words…no more or less at dVerse Poets.  The link is open all week.

Breath-Maker

Decades before the gathering
of our peoples onto reservations,
Grandfather knew of what was to come.
There seemed to be an urgency in
his voice as we sat together to
listen ever closer to the myths
and legends of our people who
settled these parts. We paid heed
to our tribe’s elder with rapt
attention. He reminded us of
Breath-Maker who is our creator
and told of his home, and our
afterlife, in the Milky Way.
He told us of Little Giver
who gifts us with corn which
is crucial to our livelihood
and how we should
always express our gratitude.
Too we are always taught to
give thanks to the animals who
sacrifice their lives for us.
And we make sure that we use as
much of their bodies as we can
so nothing is wasted or disregarded.
All creatures, all those who fly,
slither, hop, grunt, squeak or
peep are a revered part of our lives.
Our lives intertwine with all beings.
For thousands of years we native
people lived in peace and harmony with
the land, waters and animals. Our
legends speak of respect for nature.
The Seminoles believe that if the
earth declines and dies so will we.
We’re working hard to help our
Mother thrive and regain her health.
We knew well before the white man
how to leave a small footprint upon this earth.

Our guest host Stacy invites us to write on Folk Tales over at dVerse Poets.  Please join us!

Sevenling; Am I Awake?

Am I awake?
In a dream?
Or in between?

If we each create our own reality
what is fantasy? Isn’t all of life fanciful?
Where does “reality” have a place in this whimsical life?

I sometimes ponder these questions but the answers lie within each of us.

Lillian is our guest host at dVerse Poets for Poetics where we muse on fantasy.

Sevenling; With a Light Heart

With a light-hearted humming
she packed, cleaned the house and then waited for the taxi.
Life as she had known it was coming to an end.

In the hallway mirror she admired
the brooch she was wearing with matching earrings and necklace.
She thought to herself, “He always had good taste when it came to jewelry.”

She gazed outside beyond the barn to the freshly packed dirt under the sycamore.

De is our host at dVerse for Meeting the Bar.  We explore the Sevenling; come join us!

MBTA; a Haibun

The Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) got me where I needed to go for most of my transportation needs in the city and beyond. I worked on Massachusetts Avenue and our building was right over South Station (if I remember the station correctly) so I just had to walk downstairs to catch a train back home to Dorchester’s Shawmut Station where I walked the few short blocks home  to Kenwood Street.  Sometimes though I would ride the red line on down (or was it up) to Harvard Square and meet up with my husband who worked there and we would grab dinner and maybe a movie before heading home.

Riding the trains was a very new and convenient experience for me when we moved to the Boston area; back home in Florida you relied heavily on cars to get anywhere. The trains seemed to really barrel along at times and the squealing of the brakes was loud…this was back in the 70s.  Maybe the trains are quieter these days.  It wasn’t unusual for us to have to stop and wait on the tracks and for the lights to go out too.  At times we were packed like sardines, standing room only, and other times you practically had a car to yourself.  I saw some interesting characters down on those train platforms.  The most infamous was when a group of us were approached by an impaired man wielding a knife and bragging that he had killed someone with it.  Somehow we managed to move away from him unscathed.  At some of the stations you could find quite high quality talent of people trying to make a buck.  That was another thing I loved about the area, the street performers, up and down Mass Avenue and throughout the city.

underground the dragon roars
speeding her cargo onward
summer moon shines high

Bjorn prompts us on trains for Poetics at dVerse Poets.

The Shimmer Effect

The effect is subtle
at first but then the
shimmers become
more pronounced
until my entire
vision is obscured
by jagged lights much
like lightning bolts.
I couldn’t fathom
what might be causing
this…was I going blind?
No, I found, they
are ocular migraines.

Join us at dVerse today for our sixth Quadrille where we use the word “shimmer” in our 44 word poem with Victoria as our host.

Mountain Sijo

I.
O Great Mountain, steadfastly composed; how refined is your presence
You play among the clouds yet your feet are planted firmly
Under moonlight your peaks shadow deep, mysterious visions
 

II.
The condor knows your heights; it too graceful, majestic and proud
Aloft on cold, crisp breezes, a feather gently rides the currents
A snow leopard prowls invisible; blue sheep bleat through the blizzard

Join us at dVerse Poets as Lynn prompts us on mountains for Poetics.

 

Coming of Spring

 

CherryBlossomsDC

Cherry blossoms around the Tidal Basin, Washington, DC; Photo Public Domain

Issa–“Under the cherry blossoms,
there are
no strangers”

Thousands of people are perambulating the Tidal Basin, all gathered for one auspicious event, the blossoming of the cherries. This year the date was forecast by the National Park Service arborists as March 25, 2016 as the peak date for the blossoming in Washington, D.C. The flowers don’t last but for a few days so it is of utmost importance to view them as close to peak as possible.  The peak bloom day is when roughly 70% of the flowers will be open.  The flowers begin white and gradually turn pink.  Sometimes three days later the blossoms will begin to fall and cover the ground beneath as if with a delicate-petaled snowfall…the trees making way for their budding green leaves.

People ooh and ah, pointing and smiling at nature’s extravagance. Festivities include art showings, picnics, and some hire professional photographers to have engagement photos taken, family or portrait photos done with the cherry blossoms.  There’s a feeling of camaraderie and joy in the air and reverence too as some of the trees are over a century old.

new beginnings spring
heralded by pink flowers
soft breeze petals fall

Toni hosts our haibun Monday today at dVerse. Our topic is cherry blossoms and spring.

Mockingbird Chants

the bougainvillea bursts with blooms
fuchsia deepens the shadowed thorns
mockingbird chants song to the morn
 
it cares not for the headline’s gloom
joy fills her heart, sets her apart
from the troubles outside that loom
 
sturdy perch that flowers adorn
the bougainvillea bursts with blooms

Join us at dVerse Poets as Victoria instructs us on the Octain Refrain for Meeting the Bar.

Hear Ye! Hear Ye!

starlings

Photo by Joan Thirlaway, Pinterest; Murmuration of Starlings

When parliament
convenes the owls
set forth proof
of the ravens’
unkindness and
demand they explain
their behavior or face
a murder of crows.
 
Even the ostentation
of peacocks doesn’t
override the siege that
is felt by not only the
herons but by all the
shore birds, not least
of all a raft of ducks
which also include
those who are paddling.
 
The deceit of lapwings
will no longer be suffered!
And if it wasn’t for the
tidings of compassion
from the magpies, this
gathering could have
turned into an out-of-
control bevy of quail
(and we all know what
that can entail)!

 
A brood of hens,
one cast each of
hawks and falcons,
a congregation of
plovers and a colony
of penguins will hear
the testimony against
said ravens’ alleged

unkindness.
 
Murmurations will be
held to a minimum
by the starlings and
a host of sparrows
will keep tittering
under tight control.
Snickering and
chortles will be dealt
with harshly!
 
As the assembly
gathers and we
look around the
courtroom, we see
the skein of geese
(all gaggled)
gathered in the corner
quietly knitting away
as it helps them
contain their stress.
Poor dears!
A bouquet of
pheasants have
added a sweet
aroma to the
proceedings—
something we direly
needed.
 
A kettle of hawks,
just off from riding
the thermals, watch
pointedly.
A decent descent
of woodpeckers
arrive and take their
seats that are made
of knotty pine,
their favorite.
Just a wisp of snipe
make their appearance,
shyly to the back row.
The larks excitedly
exclaim with
exaltation but are
quickly shushed
by the muster of
storks whose sour
faces startle
the defendants.
 
Hear ye, hear ye!
A flight of swallows
around the rafters
brings the court
to order, the
woodcocks fall silent
and the attorney
for the defense
begins his arguments.

Join us at dVerse Poets for Poetics as De invites us to write on the interesting names for groups of birds.  I admit I went overboard and used her entire list!

Meditation

causalbody

Photo:  Bing Images; Public Domain

My meditation takes me deep.
I sense myself leaving my
earthbound body behind.
The causal body separates
and melts into the
universe splintering
into each pulsing particle
that makes up infinity.
I become bright light
and the spinning vortex
of Source welcomes
me home.

Join us over at dVerse where Grace invites us to write a Quadrille using the word “melt.”

Dark Side of the Moon

“Everyone is a moon, and has a dark side which he never shows to anybody.” ― Mark Twain

Most days and to most people, you only see the pleasant me, the one who smiles and agrees. I get along.  I say yes.  I nod and acquiesce.  My shiny, bright moon side beams a happy aura out into the world and others smile back in kind.  You prefer it this way.

But what you don’t want to see is my dark side kept hidden from sight. It’s cranky and sour, doesn’t believe what you say while you’re grinning that insincere grin.  It wallows and cries and breeds more dismay as each turn of the earth creates feelings of lost worth.  Pain increases my craters as my far side remains tucked safely away in the shadows.

winter dwells year round
where shadows darken the day
full moon half empty

Rajani is our host at dVerse for Haibun Monday (which lasts through Friday).  Come join us!

Fog

your casket awaits
tears blur my view of your hands
pale and still they rest
time for busyness has passed
fog veils the low hanging moon

Michelle (aka Mish) is our host at dVerse for Poetics and our prompt is “hands.”  Please join us:  http://dversepoets.com/2016/03/15/poetics-can-you-give-me-a-hand/#comment-108042

Peaches and Tears

It’s not up to me whether you go or stay,
make up your own mind wherever it sits.
Perhaps we can take a break and go play
that game where we challenge our wits.
You know the one where we end up in fits
of laughter like we’re in our own comedy!
It’s tough when your thinking flits
from carefree to tragedy
and confusion takes reign. Let your eye
discriminate without pressure. You’re smart,
I have faith that you’ll be fine. Don’t cry
now, wipe your tears; your heart
is just too full of indecisive moans.
And before eating that peach, take out the stone!

Come join me at dVerse Poets for Meeting the Bar where I revisit the form of Bouts-Rimés.  http://dversepoets.com/2016/03/10/bouts-rimes-revisted-meeting-the-bar/#comment-107853

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