Should the moon
light my way
on the darkest night,
when my soul seems
farthest from the light of day,
my path will not be lost.
Guided by that glimmer
of hope, and thankful
for its companionship,
I will find my way
out of the darkness.
This is my second response to the prompt from Lillian at dVerse ~ Poets Pub,
Compound Me!, which asks us to use one or more of the compound words that are provided.
This is to be done by separating the root words by line break or punctuation
– and with no words placed between the root words. (Here, I have used moonlight.)
Image: Full Moon Eclipse (Blood Moon) 15 May 2022
More Than a Tree
A tree stands tall,
sheltering all below
with a canopy of green.
But time takes its toll,
leaving branches bare
of leaf, with all life gone.
Sapped of any strength
it held in its prime, the tree
falls to the forest floor.
The story does not end here.
Observe the dead wood.
Consider all that lies under.
Estimate its worth, knowing
that life goes on, nurtured
by the death of a tree.
This is my response to the prompt from Lillian at dVerse ~ Poets Pub, Compound Me!, which asks us to use one or more of the compound words that are provided. This is to be done by separating the root words by line break or punctuation – and with no words placed between the root words. (Here, using underestimate.)
Come lay your head on my shoulder
and I will tell you all the things
you can look forward to as you sleep
All of the leaves in the trees
will hang low for you
and be as many as stars in the night
This is my response to Quadrille night! Sleepy times, the prompt from Sarah at dVerse ~ Poets Pub, which s to use a form of the word sleep in a 44-word poem (excluding title), with no required meter or rhyme. This poem uses 2 stanzas (slightly revised from my poem Giraffe Lullaby, which was written years ago for my daughter.
Image: Griffis Sculpture Park, East Otto, New York
Finding Koi in the Tunnel of Love
Your hand reaches to hold mine,
pulls back as they touch.
Nerves frayed by discomfort,
the pain that sears your wrist
subsides as you turn it
to stroke my arm, reassurance
that no median will separate us.
Image source: needpix.com – Here & Here
Shared with Open Link LIVE: May Edition at dVerse ~ Poets Pub.
Winging It in the Zombie Apocalypse
Oh, the wonders of science, and all they make possible. For decades, genetic manipulation has allowed us to transport ourselves through levitation. Then there’s the resistance to disease. The common cold no longer troubles us, and COVID, despite the continued appearance of mutant variants, has been deterred with simple gene therapy.
However, the delay in eliminating avian flu has proven to be a deadly mistake, compounded by the crossbreeding of two viruses. This became apparent at a free-range poultry farm in Iowa, where the bodies of workers have been found lying among roaming chickens eagerly pecking away at their newfound meal. The workers had fallen from the sky, victims of SARS-CoV-ian. And so, like many, I live in fear, for how can I be sure I shall see again the world on the first of May, with the coming of the Zombie CoV-ian Apocalypse.
This is my response to Prosery: Sara Teasdale and May, the prompt from Merril at dVerse ~ Poets Pub, where the challenge is to write a prosery, flash fiction or creative nonfiction, with a 144-word limit (here, exactly 144 words). Included in the bit of prose is to be a complete line from a poem. For this prompt, the line is the opening line from May Day, by Sara Teasdale.
For how can I be sure
I shall see again
The world on the first of May
– Sara Teasdale
pngitem.com (chicken), fao.org (bird flu virus), Wikimedia Commons (SARS CoV-2)
space between us grew
love no longer our nature
a life of pretense
This senryū is my response to
RonovanWrites Weekly Haiku Prompt
Challenge #409, where the prompt words are
nature and space.
Image source: gettyimages.com
Snack Bar Alchemy
There is no physics, no chemistry in your alchemy,
no sometimes where truth is concerned.
Not now. Never. No silver lining will change that.
Fools, drunk on the belief that gold lies at the end of
your rainbow, would sooner find wealth in a clod of dirt.
With words as filling as a snack bar of deception
flavored with delusion, your sincerity rings hollow.
This is my response to Wordle #252.
sometimes | never | snack | bar | drunk | fools | gold | silver | alchemy | physics | dirt | clod
when held back,
seep far into the soul,
the well that is deep inside us,
for the moment
when it is essential
that our innermost emotions
the passion within us
must not be considered shameful,
should we believe
our emotions, when shared,
do not diminish our stature.
and never taken back,
they are always a part of us.
This is my response to MTB: Crowning Crapsey,
the prompt from Laura Bloomsbury at dVerse ~ Poets Pub.
The Crapsey (or American cinquain) is a form of cinquain first written by Adelaide Crapsey. It’s 5 lines are not rhymed, and have a syllable count of 2-4-6-8-2. A Crown Crapsey, then, is a sequence of five cinquain stanzas functioning to construct one larger poem, with each cinquain being a Crapsey. As it happens, my last stanza came to me first.
Spirit, in Place
Bluffs and streams surround me.
Those who like to think themselves
native to this place when its indigenous
people were eradicated from the state
long before Roundup was even remotely
considered a hazard to a biology that would
include them if they were still here,
like to think it’s part of the Ozarks,
even if it’s a bunch of foothills to the north
with bluffs scattered here and there.
As for those bluffs and streams,
I walk trails that skirt them, cross them,
offer great views of them. Or I float
the streams, sometimes right beside
those bluffs, taking in the beauty
they hold in an eagle carrying a fish
to its nest, or an aged cedar clinging
to a hundred foot cliff, or a green heron
at the foot of that cliff watching
for a fish the eagle may have missed.
Will I ever consider myself a native,
when my mind always goes back to
the blue water of lakes that were great
long before I knew them, or a river
that flows from one lake to another,
rushing over a cataract midway,
or land that lies flat before it meets
mountains that aren’t afraid to be called
foothills of the Alleghenies?
When there is spirit of place in both,
where I witness both peace and struggle,
where I can try to forget my own struggles
and become a part of the peace
that surrounds me, is there any difference?
This is my response to earthweal weekly challenge: SPIRIT OF PLACE, where Brendan asks us to “write about the spirit(s) of place where you live and have your being in.”
National/Global Poetry Writing Month is now over, and I met 21 of the prompts from Maureen Thorsen at napowrimo.net, plus the warm-up prompt on 31 March. I responded twice to the prompt on two of those 30 days in April, although one was a concrete poem I wrote 24 years ago. Some days saw multiple poems written, with a total of 41 poems posted in April, including 3 with audio. All but two were in response to various prompts, some coinciding with napowrimo.net. Those other prompts were from earthweal, Colleen Chesebro’s Word Craft Poetry, The Sunday Whirl, Misky’s The Twiglet, and dVerse ~ Poets Pub (where I also responded with a prosery). Coincidentally, two of those poems met prompts at napowrimo.net.
My responses were in various forms, two of which – aisling and duplex – are new to me. All are listed here:
2 concrete poem (including one from the past)
23 free verse
4 ekphrastic poems (1 was a gogyohka)
2 list poems
1 prose poem
1 tanka prose
In addition to these poems, I kept busy during National Poetry Month. I participated in a Zoom open mic with members of the Columbia Writer’s Guild and one with dVerse members. I also participated in a Zoom reading for “Poets in the Blogosphere,” organized by Luanne Castle and hosted by Liz Gauffreau. A video recording of that reading can be seen here. I participated in two live open mic sessions, one at Gumbo Bottoms Ale House in Jefferson City, Missouri, and one at Barb’s Books in Belle, Missouri. Also, I had a poem published by Vita Brevis Press, and I received notification that three of my poems will be in a forthcoming “Well Versed” anthology from Columbia Writer’s Guild (Columbia, Missouri).
It was National Poetry Writing Month that inspired me to start this blog in 2014, and I have participated in, and completed, the challenge each April since then. I always enjoy reading the many wonderful prompt responses from other poets at napowrimo.net, where I’ve been introduced to many of the poets that I follow on WordPress. I look forward to next year’s challenge. Thank you to all who read my poetry this past month and especially to all who commented.