Long Past Spring

It is very hard to write this way, beginning things backward…
                              Ernest Hemingway, The Torrents of Spring (1926)

The Torrents of Spring_coverLong Past Spring

Each passing year,
I think more of my youth.
But what words to write,
when memory grows dim
and tales that come to mind
could be mine or belong
to another? Would the world
know the difference? Would I?

 

This poem is my response to dVerse Poetics – One True Sentence, the prompt from Lisa at dVerse ~ Poets Pub, which is to use one of the sentences provided, quotes from the works of Ernest Hemingway to write a poem.
Hemingway’s novella, The Torrents of Spring, is one that I have not read. Ironically, after writing this I read the Wikipedia article about the novella to learn that there is a character who, regarding the protagonist, “enthralls him with her store of literary (but possibly made up) anecdotes.”

Image source: Wikipedia.org

Solar Separation ~ haibun

Solar Separation

The sun rises and I embrace the warmth. I tan evenly over the course of the summer, but mindful of the power of those rays on my fair skin I limit my exposure and use sunscreen. Meanwhile, I spend my days making pickups and deliveries for a trucking company. Half of those hours are spent behind the wheel, often with the sun shining into my cab. I give little thought to that sun exposure. After all, there’s no sunburn. In fact, there’s no irritation, at all.

In my fifties, I learn the error in that assumption. I have some precancerous cells on the left side of my face frozen for removal. Two separate times, I have cancerous growths removed from my upper chest and shoulder. They can appear anywhere, even areas that get less exposure. The left side of my body seems to be the most affected, that which would have received the most sun exposure through the driver’s side window.

Dry patches on my face, primarily on the left side, are misdiagnosed by a dermatologist as a form of psoriasis, but they are correctly diagnosed as precancerous when I visit a cancer center for skin screening after moving to Missouri. Daily application of Efudex cream over several weeks gives me a face fit for a Star Trek alien when all of the precancerous areas are exposed, until the dead skin sloughs off and my face returns to normal.

That was six years ago, and there has been no recurrence. Summer has arrived, but my days in the sun are a thing of the past.

sun high overhead
shortest shadows of the year
days now grow shorter

This haibun is my response to Haibun Monday 6-21-21: Solstice I,
the prompt from Frank Tassone at dVerse ~ Poets Pub.

Solar Separation

mid-treatment for precancerous skin damage

Message from the Past

Message from the Past

Welded to the outside-center of a twelve-inch
piece of angle iron, the pulley turns
on the peak of the roof. A steel cable stretches
from the trailer hitch on your 1964 Oldsmobile,
across the roof, and out to the end of a forty-foot tower
reaching from the house into the backyard.

Message from the PastYou inch forward, and the antenna slowly rises
as the tower pivots on its base. From a handheld
radio, I coax you forward, my voice tinny
on the car’s CB radio. The tower reaches
a perpendicular, and I call out for you to stop
before I lock it into the base with a heavy pin.

You talked on the radio later that night,
your signal skipping from Buffalo
to North Carolina. Radio was your thing,
not mine, but it made me happy to know
I played a part in putting that smile on your face.
Of course, I remember this on Father’s Day.

 

Juneteenth ~ ekphrastic poem

JuneteenthJuneteenth

Joy has the power
to lift the shadows of sorrow.
Though they may persist,
they do not cancel
celebration, which has a power
of its own. To own that
is an expression of freedom.

The sculpture above, titled “Adjacent,” is by Chad La Fever and is being dedicated Sunday as part of Juneteenth celebrations in Jefferson City, Missouri (the state capital). The sculpture, made from silicon bronze with a clear lacquer seal and wax, stands about 7 feet tall and is one of many planned for Community Park in the Historic Foot District Area Sculpture Series, a focus on the experiences of African American Jefferson City residents during the world wars and segregation. About the sculpture, the artist says,

“The sculpture is a commentary on segregated co-existence and represents the very different lives of Black and white people living near one another, yet worlds apart. “Both figures are standing together in familiar and intimate proximity, but a wide gulf existing between the figures prevents them from being fully engaged. With heads hung and nearly in contact, there is a sense of sadness, hesitation and resignation. But there is also the feeling that the two figures are coming together with the intention of moving forward.”

Juneteenth_a

 

Upper image by mi esposa

 

The Miles Like an Anthem ~ trimeric

The Miles Like an Anthem

Wheels turn and words flow,
each trip the same, though different.
Poems form with each highway stripe,
each passing tree, and cloud overhead.

Each trip the same, though different,
the miles like an anthem flowing
through the words running through my mind.

Poems form with each highway stripe,
each line a word leading to new thoughts,
new lines as a poem is born.

Each passing tree, and cloud overhead,
plays a part, has a role, as the wheels
turn and the words flow.

 

This poem is my response to Poetry Form: Trimeric, the prompt from Grace at dVerse ~ Poets Pub, which is to write a trimeric, a form created by Charles A. Stone, as outlined below.

1. Trimeric has 4 stanzas
2. The first stanza has 4 lines
3. The other three stanzas have 3 lines
. The first line of each stanza is a refrain of the corresponding line in the first stanza (so 2nd stanza starts with the second line, third stanza starts with the third line, etc.).
5. The sequence of lines, then, is abcd, b – -, c – -, d – -.

Note: No other rules on line length, meter, or rhyme.

A simple offering ~ American Sentence ~ ekphrastic poetry

A simple offering

A simple offering of love is given without hesitation.

 

Curbed enthusiasm

Curbed enthusiasm leaves little opportunity for advancement.

 

Buoyed by enthusiasm

Buoyed by enthusiasm, a fisherman’s net gain is realized.

Sanaa is hosting Poetics: Exploring the realm of Minimalist Photography at dVerse ~ Poets Pub and offers twelve photos by Glenn Butkus taken from his Facebook page, SOUTH SOUND MINIMALIST PHOTOS, as inspiration for poetry. I have chosen to write an American Sentence for each of three photos.

The American Sentence was created by Allen Ginsberg
~ loose American form of haiku, with 17 syllables
~ represented as a sentence
~ reference to a season is not required
~ similar to senryū
~ read more here & here

All the Wrong Reasons

All the Wrong Reasons

All the Wrong ReasonsWalking along the trail
or across it
stopping occasionally
to eat, or at least gnaw.
Not a care in the world
except survival.

Annoyed by the hiker
stopping to stare
at a vine, or lichen
or that majestic oak
for all the wrong reasons.
Sure it’s majestic
but for pictures?

Everyone knows
it’s the nuts the tree drops.
The hiker moves on
as the squirrel reappears
picking up an acorn
lying on the trail.

I’ve long enjoyed reading Claudia McGill’s poetry, and decided to write this in one of her styles. Here are some examples from Claudia –
                    Revealed Too Much
                    Cross Roads
                    Carrying On Like This
                    Grasp

 

slow recovery ~ haiku

Basho meets two farmers

slow recovery
cautious consideration
the long journey home

This haiku is my response to Carpe Diem #1844 Returning Back To Normal (I Hope), where Kristjaan hopes to start again with daily posts and try “to bring back the happiness of Haiku,” inviting us to join in “a quest for a (new) Masterpiece.” In the following form, the haiku becomes a solo renga:

slow recovery
cautious consideration
the long journey home

in the mind of a poet
time and distance become one

Image source: Wikimedia Commons
Poet Matsuo Bashō meets two farmers celebrating the mid-autumn moon festival,
from Yoshitoshi’s Hundred Aspects of the Moon (Tsukioka Yoshitoshi)