Visions of Longed-for Relief ~ Word Craft Poetry Syllabic Winner

My poem, “Visons of Longed-for Relief,” is the Second Place Winner in the Word Craft Poetry Syllabic Poetry Contest, where Colleen Chesebro asked us to write a tanka prose on the theme of Dreams.  Thank you to the judges for selecting my poem, and congratulations to D. Wallace Peach, Merril D. Smith, and Jude Itakali who placed first, third, and honorable mention, respectively.
Ken G.


Wild Stillness

Wild Stillness

There is no conversation to be had
between us, no common ground
that would satisfy either of us,
you standing tall on a tree
extending from the water,
fresh catch lying at your feet,
while I paddle slowly past
not thirty feet away looking
for some recognition in the eye
that follows me as your head turns,
some appreciation for sunlight
glinting from the water or the breeze
that lightly ruffles your feathers
yet soothes on this midsummer day,
but you bend to retrieve your meal
and tilt your head back to shake it
down your throat as I paddle out of sight.

This is my response to earthweal weekly challenge: WILD STILLNESS.
~ click image for larger view in new tab ~

The Ultimate Abuse

The Ultimate Abuse

Wade through the rhetoric,
read row after row
of 213 pages of propaganda,
and understand the abuse
not only of power
but of citizens living
in a male-dominated society
where personal welfare is ignored
and the potential of a death sentence
is imposed without any pretense
of a trial once petty politicians are allowed
to do so to maintain their dominance,
and ask yourself how you can be
proud to be a member of that society,
knowing that further changes
using the very same logic,
or lack thereof, will be used to erode
further personal freedom in the future.


               Click image for link to US Supreme Court decision

Blackbird ~ with audio



The time has come.
A flame long lit rises higher
with each generation.

No longer meek
or following a creed
that dictates second-class status,

this sisterhood, each woman
who walks this earth, grows
with each bridge crossed.

Do not ask me to refute this,
for I can not. Nothing will stop
their search for equality.

Its progress may seem slow,
but a blackbird in the wind
will still choose its course.

This is my response to Wordle 577 at The Sunday Whirl.

blackbird / flame / wind / time / cross / me / woman / meek / seem / creed / search / earth

Shared with OpenLink Night #319: Midsummer Edition!  at dVerse~ Poets Pub.

solitude ~ with audio


fear of conformity
this loneliness
that keeps me from joining in

must minds be alike
to get along?
am i so different?

the same needs
a desire to belong
without judgment

though not requisite
the mind’s obstacle

is that it
the fear of judgment
that holds me back?

fear of failure
to conform
all in my mind

This is my response to Poetics: When it comes to Peer Pressure,
the prompt from Sanaa at dVerse ~ Poets Pub.

Weather Doesn’t Wait ~ haibun

Weather Doesn’t Wait

Thirteen times since early May, our weather has flirted with – no, made out with – temperatures of 90ºF or higher here in mid-Missouri. Since the beginning of the year, 83 days have had daily high temperatures that exceeded the normal range, with 4 record high temperatures set. All of this, while waiting for tomorrow’s start of summer.

weather doesn’t wait
for notes on a calendar
waiting for solstice

This is my response to Haibun Monday 6-20-22: Solstice,
the prompt from Frank Tassone at dVerse ~ Poets Pub.

Image: Black Shire Distillery, Hermann, Missouri 19 June 2022

Private Audience ~ quadrille

Private Audience

Tucked out of sight beneath a rock ledge,
my kayak motionless on water
smooth as glass, I gaze from shadow
into light, spellbound by an aerial ballet
of swallows weaving around each other
as if choreographed in a performance
for an audience of one.

 This is my response to Quadrille #154: Casting a Poetic Spell, the prompt from Sanaa at dVerse ~ Poets Pub, which is to use a form of the word spell in a 44-word poem (excluding title), with no required meter or rhyme.



The river flows and waves crest
in the wind. Wave tips shimmer,
return sunlight in kind,
heedless of my acceptance.

Thankful for the gift of light
on a cloudy day, a tree reaches
skyward without judgment,
offering a gift of its own.

Neither overcast day
nor cloudless sky holds
a promise meant to assuage
the concerns of one such as I.

I shared this poem with Open Link Night #318, June LIVE Edition at dVerse ~ Poets Pub, when I attempted to join the live video chat from a parking lot outside of my doctor’s office.  That was a big failure, since my cell signal was almost nonexistent.  To make matters even worse, I totally forgot to add it to Mr. Linky.  However, the many fine poems that were linked are still available to read there.