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


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.”



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


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)

keying the senses

keying the senses_wordlekeying the senses

no wicked pleasure,
your hand touching mine

my world rocked,
shocked, sounds & shots

of light shining through glass
crystals, a sugar high

with permanence, all
else a game, fleeting,

overshadowed by
the fantastic keying the senses

This poem is my response to The Sunday Whirl – Wordle #505. The key words are in bold, below.

keying the senses

keying the senses_wordle_ano wicked pleasure,
your hand touching mine

my world rocked,
shocked, sounds & shots

of light shining through glass
crystals, a sugar high

with permanence, all
else a game, fleeting,

overshadowed by
the fantastic keying the senses

Anticipation ~ chōka & haiku

My initial reaction to Colleen’s Weekly #Tanka Tuesday #Poetry Challenge No. 229 #SynonymsOnly, where the words offered are dawn and twilight (to be replaced with synonyms), was to write a haiku.

morning light
with sunset

Instead, I decided to write a chōka.


morning lightsailboats at anchor
in the waning evening light
long day on the lake
lapping of waves against hulls
sound of buoys rings
air of anticipation
to feel wind in morning’s light

light of setting sun
brings a night of quiet rest
morning light arrives
waves ripple in reflection
as the cycle continues

Chōka, a Japanese long poem written primarily from the 6th to the 14th century. Chōka have alternating lines of 5 and 7 syllables and an indefinite length (from 7 to 149 lines), ending with an added 7 syllable line. So, 5-7-5-7-5-7-…7, and a length allowing greater themes.

Chōka often were followed by one or more short poems called hanka, or “envoys,” summarizing, supplementing, or elaborating on, the contents of the main poem. Sometimes, a tanka would serve as an envoy, and that is what I have written here.

Man’yōshū (“Collection of a Myriad Leaves”) is the oldest existing collection of Japanese poetry (from some time after AD 759) and contains 4,536 waka (classical Japanese poetry). 265 of those are chōka (long poems). The 1940/1965 edition of The Man’yōshū: One Thousand Poems (a translation) is available for download as a PDF from Internet Archive and is some pretty interesting reading.

Image: sunset on the Niagara River at Lake Ontario, Youngstown, New York
                              (click image for larger view in new tab)