held firm ~ palinode

held firmheld firm

every moment, consumed
not by memories
by each moment with you
always on my mind
always embraced

 This poem, my first palinode, is in response to MTB: Palinode, the prompt from Grace at dVerse ~ Poets Pub. A palinode or palinody is an ode or song that recants or retracts a view or sentiment to which the poet wrote in a previous poem.

In this case, the original poem is the first poem I posted on WordPress, Grasping, as my first poem for National Poetry Writing Month, on 01 April 2014.

Heir to Disaster

Heir to Disaster

CedarvilleJust fifteen years out of the Navy.
I’ve done it plenty of times.
What could be so hard?

Stop into the dive shop and ask
about charters. On something deep,
of course. That should be no problem.

So I’ll flash my certification,
rent every piece of gear, down to the fins,
and show up at the dock next morning.

Three two-man buddy teams.
What’s one more man? Make one three.
What could possibly go wrong?

Nice backward roll into the water,
gather my senses and start the descent.
Man, those other guys move fast!

That is one big freighter!
And there they are waiting at the ship’s rail.
Wait a minute. Why is it so hard to breathe?

What does a guy do to get attention?
Maybe someone will notice my panicked look.
Someone checks my gauges. There’s an idea!

Almost out of air. At least they have some left.
Nothing left to do, but buddy breathe and surface.
Maybe I’ll have better luck on the other dives.

 

This is my response (more narrative than poetic) to Poetics: Exploring the Narrative Voice, the prompt from Ingrid at dVerse ~ Poets Pub, which is to write a poem in the voice of a fictional character.

Let’s call this fictional, since I don’t identify the diver, but this actually happened on a dive in the Straits of Mackinac. I chartered a dive boat so that five of my friends could join me, wreck diving in Michigan’s narrow strait between Lake Michigan and Lake Huron. At the dock, the boat captain asked if a guy could join us. He had done plenty of dives while in the Navy. We were doing three dives, so we agreed he could be a third man with each of our teams, on separate dives – one team in the water at a time. As the deepest of the wrecks (110 feet to the bottom), the Cedarville was to be our first dive, and he joined my dive buddy and me. When we reached the rail of the ship at 70 feet, I could see he was having difficulties. I checked his air gauge and saw he didn’t have enough left to make the ascent with a decompression stop, let alone to explore the wreck. We had to abort the dive, and he ended up breathing from my tank, until we reached the surface. Air in a scuba tank will expand with ascent, and when he saw his air gauge rise he bolted to the surface as we stayed at the decompression stop.

Images source: Straits of Mackinac Shipwreck Preserve Asociation

Generations ~ quadrille

Generations

GenerationsLove, hope,
faith of character.
Seeds planted long ago.
Thoughts, expressions,
kindness a lifeblood
offered freely.

Satisfaction in the reward
returned without hesitation,
passed on with the same
love, hope, and kindness,
from a place in each heart.

No parent could ask for more.

 

 

This poem is my response to Quadrille #127: Planting Seeds, the prompt from Merril at dVerse ~ Poets Pub, which is to use a form of the word seeds in a 44-word poem, with no required meter or rhyme.

Images source: dreamstime

Earth Shaman’s Plea

Earth Shaman’s Plea

I cast my thoughts to the heavens,
seek succor from the stars,
that they might hear my plight,
send solutions to a soul
wounded to its core, yet unwilling
to cast from its presence the scourge
that has brought this plague upon it.

Earth Shaman's PleaAre not all elements essential to being,
each one a part of my whole? While some
have fallen to circumstance, making way
for others with a nature more fitting
to my own, these place upon me
scars that cannot be erased,
that jeopardize their own existence.

Should they exhaust all that I have
to offer, leaving nothing but desolation
in their wake, what is their next course?
To die with me? To leave me behind,
leaping from world to world, then on
to the very stars to whom I beseech?
Are they destined to know the same fate?

This poem is my response to Wounded Healer: Songs of the Earth Shaman, where Brendan says, “I can’t help wondering if the wounded healer for such global malaise is the Earth herself, a damaged wholeness, borne of human madness and the terrible spells of the Sorcerer’s Apprentice — air conditioning and solo vehicles, plastic wrappers and nuclear bombs. Maybe the song we need to hear and emulate is the wounded Earth’s?” “What and where are the wombs formed in the wounds of sea level rise and wildfire, mass extinction and ocean acidification? What then are the Songs of the Earth Shaman?”

Image source: vox.com

Find Your Way

Find Your Way

Follow your path as it opens
before you, and your direction
will become clear

crossing to recrossUnder
any and all
circumstances

Left
to your own devices
you must persevere

Over-
come any obstacles
that come your way

Right
or wrong,
you will know

In the end
you will achieve
a new beginning

Perhaps too subtle for the prompt, this poem is my response to Day 30 at napowrimo.net, where the challenge is to “write a poem in the form of a series of directions describing how a person should get to a particular place. … Fill your poem with sensory details, and make them as wild or intimate as you like.”

 

~ Day 30 ~

Image source: freepik.com

Dreams of Sawdust and Smiles

Dreams of Sawdust and Smiles

It’s been thirty-three years since you lived
in the country home built in your retirement.
Moving to the country had been your dream for years,
but the distance from family became too much.

Five years later, you were gone from our lives,
so you wouldn’t know this. Jason bought the house
a few years ago as one of his projects as a contractor.
It had gone into foreclosure. Empty

for many years, it was left open to the elements.
Much of the interior was weather damaged,
so he gutted and refinished it. He then sold it,
so, sadly, it left our family, once again. Even so,

he did a great job, and it belongs to a happy family.
I can still see it in my mind, one wall
of the basement exposed in the hillside
with its wide window in the block wall.

I like to think I could look into it at any time,
see you working in your wood shop, running a board
across the planer or trimming a piece on the band saw,
turning the board to make the precise shape you need.

I can still see the dust flying from your router,
feel the vibration of that hum through the glass
as I press my face closer, see your smile of satisfaction
at the results. And I smile.

This poem is my response to the prompt for Day 29 at napowrimo.net, which is to imagine a window looking into a place or onto a particular scene. I helped my father build a few of the structures, including a barn, on the property my parents purchased in retirement.

Dreams of Sawdust and Smiles

Jason (holding the hammer), many, many years before restoring the property

 

~ Day 29 ~

Who Asked You?

Who Asked You?

Who Asked YouWhat’s with all the questions?
Do you think I have all the answers?
Was I even talking to you?
Don’t you have something else to do?
Didn’t you just ask me that?
Are you trying to annoy me?
Did you say something?
Are you still here?
Don’t you have somewhere else to be?
Why can’t you figure anything out for yourself?
When will this ever end?

I guess you could call this a list poem. It’s my response to Day 28 at napowrimo.net,
where we are challenged to write a poem consisting of questions.

 

~ Day 28 ~

No Life Unknown

No Life Unknown

There is no unknown, only what is known.
Going back is moving forward.

We wait for what we know,
wait for it to exist.

Once it becomes real,
we continue to wait for it to become real.

No Life UnknownWe make old friends.
We ignore the insignificant
and correct mistakes,
knowing they won’t happen,
as we lose old friends.

As our world grows smaller,
we wonder how big it was,
how much we knew.

We imagine what was,
or, perhaps, what never was.

Distance is no longer a part of family.
Happiness is always within reach.
Home is now home.

The less there is, the more it becomes.
The more we do, the less we will have to do.
Trepidation becomes courage.
Trust is a fact.

Forever is contained in a moment.

Even less becomes even more,
until there is only perfection.

At last, what was always known arrives,
and there are no regrets.

This poem is in response to Day 27 at napwrimo.net, where the prompt is to write a poem inspired by an entry from The Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows. I have chosen “avenoir,” which is defined as “the desire that memory could flow backward.” Rather than applying the term to any particular aspect of (my) life or the world, I considered one particular phrase in the video that accompanies the definition and proceeded to write about all that follows (or would that be precedes?) in the discussion – and in a life that follows that direction. “It’s hard not to wonder what life would be like facing the other way.” For anyone who is interested, below that embedded video I have transcribed the dialogue.

 

Avenoir

We take it for granted that life moves forward.
You build memories.
You build momentum.
You move as a rower moves, facing backwards .
You can see where you’ve been, but not where you’re going,
and your boat is steered by a younger version of you .
It’s hard not to wonder what life would be like facing the other way.

Avenoir.

You’d see your memories approaching for years,
and watch as they slowly become real. The insignificant
You’d know which friendships will last,
which days are important, and prepare for upcoming mistakes.
You’d go to school and learn to forget.
One by one, you’d patch things up with old friends.
enjoying one last conversation before you meet and go your separate ways.

And then your life would expand into epic drama.
The colors would get sharper. The world would feel bigger.
You’d become nothing other than yourself reveling in your own weirdness.
You’d fall out of old habits until you could picture yourself becoming almost anything.

Your family would drift slowly together, finding each other.
You wouldn’t have to wonder how much time you had left with people,
or how their lives would turn out.
You’d know from the start which week was the happiest you’ll ever be,
so you could relive it again, and again.
You’d remember what home feels like and decide to move there for good.
You’d grow smaller as the years pass,
as if trying to give away everything you had before leaving.

You’d try everything one last time, until it all felt new again.
And then the world would finally earn your trust,
until you think nothing of jumping freely into things,
into the arms of other people.
You’d start to notice that each summer feels longer than the last,
until you reach the long coasting retirement of childhood.

You’d become generous and give everything back.
Pretty soon you’d run out of things to give, things to say, things to see.
By then you’ll have found someone perfect,
and she’ll become your world.
And you will have left this world just as you found it
Nothing left to remember. Nothing left to regret.
with your whole life laid out in front of you,
and your whole life left behind.

Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows

 

~ Day 27 ~

Also shared with Open Link Night #291

Image source: clipartkey.com (edited here)

Viral Bleach ~ parody

Viral Bleach
(
parody of Coconut)

Bruder caught a virus, he caught it at de beach,
His sister caught anudder one she wash it out wit bleach.
She put de bleach in de virus, she drank it all up.
She put de bleach in de virus, she drank it all up
She put de bleach in de virus, she drank it all up

She put de bleach in de virus, she call de pres’dent, woke ‘im up,
Said “pres’dent, ain’t there nothin’ I can take?”
I said “pres’dent, to relieve this belly ache,”
I said “pres’dent, ain’t there nothin’ I can take?”
I said “pres’dent, to relieve this belly ache.”

Now lemme get this straight,
You put de bleach in de virus, you drank it all up,
You put de bleach in de virus, you drank it all up,
You put de bleach in de virus, you drank it all up,

You put de bleach in de virus, you call your pres’dent, woke ‘im up,
Said ” pres’dent, ain’t there nothing’ I can take?”
I said, “pres’dent, to relieve this belly ache.”
I said “pres’dent, ain’t there nothin’ I can take?”
I said, “pres’dent, to relieve this belly ache,”

You put de bleach in de virus, follow dis to de letter
Put de bleach in de virus, then you’ll feel better,
Put de bleach in de virus, drink it all up,
Put de bleach in de virus and call me in the morning.

Woo-oo-oo-oo-oo-oo
Oo-oo-oo-oo-oo-oo-oo-oo-oo-oo-oo-oo-oo-oo-oo.

Brudder caught a virus, he caught it at de beach,
His sister caught anudder one she wash it out wit bleach.
She put de bleach in de virus, she drank it all up

She put de bleach in de virus and called de pres’dent, woke ‘im up.
She said, “pres’dent, ain’t there nothin’ I can take?”
I said, “pres’dent, to relieve this belly ache.”
I said “pres’dent, ain’t there nothin’ I can take”
I said, “pres’dent, now lemme get this straight,”
You put the bleach in the virus, you drink it all up,
Put the bleach in the virus, you drink it all up,
Put the bleach in the virus, you drink it all up,

Put de bleach in the virus. You’re such a silly woman.
Put de bleach in the virus, follow this to the letter
Put de bleach in the virus, then you’ll feel better.
Put de bleach in the virus, drink it all down,
Put de bleach in your virus, and call me in the morning,

Woo–ain’t there nothin’ you can take?
I say, woo–to relieve your belly ache,
You say, well woo–ain’t there nothin’ I can take?
I say woo–woo, to relieve your belly ache,
You say yow–ain’t there nothin’ I can take,
I say wow–to relieve this belly ache,
I said “pres’dent, ain’t there nothing I can take,”
I said, “pres’dent, ain’t there nothing I can take,”
I said, “pres’dent, ain’t there nothing I can take,”
I said, “pres’dent, you’re such a silly woman.
Put de bleach in your virus, follow dis to de letter,
Put de bleach in the virus, then you’ll feel better,
Put de bleach in your virus and drink it all up,

Put de bleach in the virus and call me in the morning.
Yes, you call me in the morning. If you call me in the morning,
I’ll tell you what to do if you call me in the morning.
I’ll tell you what to do if you call me in the morning.
I’ll tell you what to do if you call me in the morning.
I’ll tell you what to do and if you call me in the morning
I’ll tell you what to do.

Viral Bleach

Image source: © creators.com – Andy Marlette

This “poem” is my response to Day 26 at napowrimo.net, where we are challenged to write a parody poem – mimic the form while changing the content of a poem or song. Coconut is a song from Harry Nilsson’s 1971 album Nilsson Schmilsson. Because the song fits the following situation so well, I substituted very few words and used the same style of speech (dialect?) as the original.

At a White House briefing on 20 April 2020, a President of The United States who shall not be named suggested that disinfectant could be injected into the human body as a means of fighting COVID-19.

 

~ Day 26 ~