Heartbeat of America ~ Cadralor ~ American Sentence

Heartbeat of America

A well-oiled machine does not have to mean a well-oiled environment.

As a citizen of this great land, it’s your right to dig your own grave.

Opposites may attract, but not so much when they’re at each other’s throats.

The intent to bring harm upon others is not an oath worth keeping.

The heartbeat of America is sadly in need of CPR.

The prompt at Meet the Bar with the Cadralor + Nobel Prize, hosted by Björn at dVerse ~ Poets Pub is to write a Cadralor, a poetry form co-created by Lori Howe, Christopher Cadra and Mary Carroll-Hackett. The rules of the form, as stated at Gleam: Journal of the Cadralor:

“The Cadralor is a poem of 5, unrelated, numbered stanzaic images, each of which can stand alone as a poem, is fewer than 10 lines, and ideally constrains all stanzas to the same number of lines. Imagery is crucial to cadralore: each stanza should be a whole, imagist poem, almost like a scene from a film, or a photograph. The fifth stanza acts as the crucible, alchemically pulling the unrelated stanzas together into a love poem. By “love poem,” we mean that your fifth stanza illuminates a gleaming thread that runs obliquely through the unrelated stanzas and answers the compelling question: “For what do you yearn?”

My poem probably is shorter than expected, and I suppose I’ve stood the form on its head by using an American Sentence for each of the stanzas.

Image (layered): surefirecpr.com & vectorstock.com

Acer Saccharum

Acer Saccharum

With naught but oak and cedar here
I long for you, my maple dear
A welcome sight at edge of glade
with lofty height providing shade
As gentle hues absorbing light
meet autumn colors oh so bright
But greatest of your many treats
is amber sap that runs so sweet

This poem is my response to Poetics – Exploring the genre of Panegyric Poetry (Come dip your toes in), the prompt form Sanaa at dVerse ~ Poets Pub, which is to write a panegyric poem, or poem of effusive praise.

Image source: clipartmax.com

This Heart

 This Heart

Neither glass nor stone,
not impervious nor shattered,
the heart that beats deep within me
has known the ache of life’s trials
and the elation of reward revealed
when most needed. The greatest
of those rewards was found
when it started beating for you.

 

This poem is my response to Quadrille #137: Throwing Poet Stones, the prompt from De Jackson at dVerse ~ Poets Pub, which is to use a form of the word stone in a 44-word poem, with no required meter or rhyme.

The stone and the glass hearts in the photo were found on the shore of Lake Ontario
(Click image for larger view in new tab)

Fair Niagara (revised) ~ verse epistle

Fair Niagara

Think not that I have forsaken you, Niagara.
These thousand miles that separate us
cannot deny that you still flow
through my veins like a lifeblood.

There can be no denying our intimacy,
one that reaches back to childhood. Mine,
bundled in my parents’ arms when I first met you
at the edge of your mighty falls.

Your childhood, Niagara, lies hidden somewhere
in the mists of time. Onguiaahra, your first people
named you. As a passage between two great bodies of water,
they respected your nature, both simple and profound.

The sight of salmon jumping in your lower reaches
or the light returned by a school of shiners in your clear water
take my breath away, yet it returns easily when your warm water
meets the cool air of an early autumn morning.

You cradled me as I swam in your depths
beside muskellunge and sturgeon,
held me afloat as I paddled your waters
in the company of herons and eagles.

Niagara, you have been my quiet companion,
the many hours I sat by your shore
marveling at your wonder and beauty,
contemplating life and the nearness of you.

I have heard the majesty of your cataracts, you with a rainbow
as a crown while singing of the splendors of nature.
I have seen your power and fury on display below those falls,
rushing through a canyon that would contain you,

till you broke free to flow calmly, steadily,
to complete your course, connecting one inland sea
with another. I have watched the sun set over you,
enhancing your beauty and glory.

Yet while my heart still beats for you, it has answered
the call of one most dear who now shares my heart
with you. I seek what comfort I can from the rivers
and streams of my new home, but they do not run as clear.

They do not provide the solace I find in your blue waters,
nor do they lessen this great distance between us.
Before my time has run its course,
I shall return to yours, my fair Niagara.

This is a revision of Fair Niagara, a verse epistle written for Exploring the poetic genre: Verse Epistle, a March 2021 prompt at dVerse ~ Poets Pub, and is my response to earthweal weekly challenge: SAY THE NAMES, a prompt hosted by Sherry Marr at earthweal, where she says, “Tell us about the places you hold most dear in the corner of the planet where you live.”

I’m also sharing this at dVerse – Open Link Night 293 at dVerse ~ Poets Pub.

Read about the source of the word “Niagara” here.

Images
~ The Niagara River, with the skyline of the city of Niagara Falls on the horizon
~ At Niagara Falls in 1953
~ Emerald Shiners (minnows) in the Niagara River
(click images for larger view in new tab
)

Listen

Listen
(for Melissa)

Even in the quietest moments
there is no mistaking
the love of a mother for her child.

When the son of my niece was diagnosed with bilateral sensorineural hearing loss, she and her husband did not miss a beat. At less than six-months-old, her son now wears hearing aids. A fierce advocate for both her son and her daughter, it’s clear that she would climb any mountain to seek what’s best for both of them. This past weekend, friends and family joined her in the Buffalo Walk4Hearing to raise funds for national awareness and educational programs through Hearing Loss Association of America.

Waiting for the First Leaf ~ haibun

Waiting for the First Leaf

Frank J. Tassone, American Haijin, provides a prompt that addresses an issue I have faced many times over the years. Days, sometimes weeks, have passed without poetry making an appearance, either through pixels or pen. And I’m faced with it once again, today.

Write a haibun about writer’s block? When my mind is filled with thoughts about the directions a tree branch might take, or the last days of hummingbirds at my feeder, I don’t know that I have the words that could describe the frustration I face right now when trying to meet the prompt. A leaf floating on a stream as I paddle beneath low hanging branches, spinning with its reflection as it does in my wake, could sooner bring words to mind. Or a sunset casting the trees in a golden light, offering a preview of what is to come when their leaves take on an autumn hue, comes to mind sooner than words about words that refuse to appear.

Give me those moments, and I may have the words to capture the beauty of nature. At the moment, the words to address writer’s block escape me. And so I wait.

equinox
brings milder weather
first leaf falls

This haibun is my response to Haibun Monday 9-27-21: Writer’s Block,
the prompt at dVerse ~ Poets Pub.

Just One Tree

Just One Tree

What is my life to a cedar,
with all of my paths leading here,
contemplating age and survival,

or to an oak, with no false starts,
each of its branches offering
the possibility for growth?

A walnut will stand tall and continue
bearing fruit, while my back bends
and my options grow fewer.

Brief as my life may be, there is
solace in its ending if it should
spare the life of just one tree.

This poem originally was inspired by the first photo above, taken ten days ago on a walk at Runge Conservation Center in Jefferson City, Missouri. It sat unfinished, until I realized today that it could be used to meet the Sept. 20 prompt, earthweal weekly challenge: A TIMBERED CHOIR.