These Hands

     These Hands

These HandsThese Hands

may measure time,
but there is more to them
than the face they show the world.

Care

provided, as they embraced me
from birth until my place
in the world became clear.

Strength

instilled in me
as they held me up, prepared me
for my responsibilities.

These Hands_aWho I am

as they have made me,
and reflected as this clock
came to be in my own hands.

These hands are a measure of my gratitude
for the good fortune that came my way
when I was delivered into loving hands.

This poem is my response to Day 22 at napowrimo.net, where the challenge is to us to write a poem that invokes a specific object as a symbol of a particular time, era, or place. As an anniversary present for my parents, I built a grandfather clock from a kit in 1983, The clock now stands in my living room.

 

~ Day 22 ~

Image source: clipartart.com

Snowy Oak

     Snowy Oak
(thoughts on Earth Day)

Snowy Oakwanting to be green
in a world trying to turn green,
as a plastic bag floats past
in a cool April breeze,
a snowy oak stands lifeless
yet speaks of change
conditions deranged
the range of fluctuations
absurd, have you heard?
dropping butts on the trail,
deniers spread the word
of normal weather
whether or not it’s true
they haven’t a clue
but you know better
as you pick up litter
on a trail by a lifeless oak

Being from Western New York, I’m accustomed to seeing an occasional late-April snowfall, and I was reminded of those while walking at Runge Conservation Area in Jefferson City, Missouri, two days ago. Usually, snowfall here at any time of the year is gone within a couple of days or less, as temperature fluctuations are common. This day was no exception, as we’d had 60º days just prior, and 50º the next day – and we’re expecting 80º by next week. As the snow turned to rain, the inch-and-a-half that had fallen was gone within eight hours of the first snowflake. Temperature fluctuations may be common here, but I’m still reminded of how unpredictable weather has become. Okay, science has made short range predictions more reliable, but the patterns certainly have becomes erratic, causing extreme weather conditions at times, a point of note for Earth Day 2021.

 

~ Day 22 ~

Image source: clipartart.com

Winding River ~ Lüshi style interpretation of Tu Fu

Winding River

Winding RiverEach falling petal leaves spring farther behind.
Each brings a tear to my eyes.
When the last disappears from my view,
no measure of wine brings clear skies.
Kingfishers frequent the hall on the river.
Unicorns lie, resting before the royal sarcophagi.
Joy is the truth when studying nature,are
with no reason to bring sorrow’s sigh.

This poem is my response to Poetics: China – Kingdom of the Poem, the prompt from Laura Bloomsbury at dVerse ~ Poets Pub, which asks us to re-interpret one of five given ancient Chinese poems. She gives the option to do so in our own style or the Lüshi style. I have chosen the latter, which differs froarem the style I have used in the many Chinese Interpretations I have done in the past, where I’ve rephrased the raw literal translation given at Chinese Poems in a way that varies only slightly from the “finished” version offered there. Here, I have used the Lüshi style style for Winding River, by Tu Fu. In fact, I re-interpreted this poemWinding River No 1 in that other manner for National Poetry Writing Month in 2017.  I look forward to reading the other responses to this prompt.

The Chinese Lüshi style:

       • eight lines long of couplets – The first couplet should set-up the poem;
         the middle two couplets develop the theme, the final couplet is conclusion
       • each line must have the same number of words, either 5, 6, or 7.
       • a mono-rhyme is on every even numbered line
       • Caesura (a pause) should separate clauses.

Winding River (Tu Fu)

Each piece of flying blossom leaves spring the less,
I grieve as myriad points float in the wind.
I watch the last ones move before my eyes,
And cannot have enough wine pass my lips.
Kingfishers nest by the little hall on the river,
Unicorns lie at the high tomb’s enclosure.
Having studied the world, one must seek joy,
For what use is the trap of passing honour?

Image source: Cedar Gallery
Kingfisher, by Tsukioka Kōgyo

Poets Around the World ~ sijo

Poets Around the WorldI have covered many miles
       as a means to find friendship.
There have been many trips by air,
       over land, and under the sea.
Yet here I sit at home, conversing
       with poets around the world.

This poem is my response to Day 20 at napowrimo.net,
where we are challenged to write a sijo.
I wrote my first sijo in 2017 as a tribute to a lost cousin.

Sijo (a Korean verse form related to haiku and tanka)
~ three lines of 14-16 syllables each
~ a total of 44-46 syllables
~ a pause near the middle of each line
~ first half of the line contains six to nine syllables
~ the second half should contain no fewer than five
Originally intended as songs, sijo can treat romantic, metaphysical, or spiritual themes. Whatever the subject, the first line introduces an idea or story, the second supplies a “turn,” and the third provides closure.
Modern Sijo are sometimes printed in six lines.

Image source: Gyroscope Review

Mother and Child ~ quadrille

Mother and Child

Mother and ChildNeither bother nor regret
will enter a mother’s mind,
once a child’s call is heard.
Mountains will move
and the heavens will open
with the brightest of lights,
until both hearts are free
from the faintest of shadows,
and they are whole, once again.

This poem is my response to Quadrille #126 – Come “bother” up a poem, the prompt from De Jackson at dVerse ~ Poets Pub, which is to use a form of the word bother
in a 44-word poem, with no required meter or rhyme.

 

~ Day 19 ~

Image source: clipartart.com

Wanted: Dishwasher, flexible hours

Wanted: Dishwasher, flexible hours

Dirty DishesWhat’s with the dishes piled in the sink?
You think a little water in them is all it takes?
What does a half-bowl of water do for cereal or sauce
crusted on the rim? Everywhere, actually, since it’s a sink
full of week-old dishes fished out of your room.
You think I keep a chisel under the sink?

Stop storing dirty dishes in your room. Rinse that crap off
and put them in the dishwasher. Yes, that’s what that thing is.
And don’t get me started on the dishwasher. Am I the only one
who loads the silverware back to front, knives down the center?

And those dishes from your room?
You probably want to use the Pots & Pans cycle.
By the way, we’re still missing five forks and three bowls.

This poem is my response to Day 19 at napowrimo.net,
where the challenge is to write a humorous rant.

Ken G.

~ Day 19 ~

Image source: vecteezy.com

In Poem Sound and Song ~ with audio

In Poem Sound and Song

MoondanceListening to our shadow on a night picnic,
being visited by words, I dress myself
with raining moonbeams that bring me magic
with dream sense. Giving them our real names,
I sing to the stars of my love for you
with controlled abandon. What’s my image?
Poems and the body, think of them as being here
as one, for poems are alive. These are
the nights you love me most,
full moon me, most mad and moonly.

This poem is my response to Day 18 at napowrimo.net, where the challenge is write a poem based on the title of one of the chapters from Susan G. Woolridge’s Poem crazy: Freeing Your Life with Words, from the book’s Table of Contents, found here. I’ve included fifteen of those phrases in my poem so it is nearly a cento.
The chapter titles I have used are:

•   poem sound and song
•   listening to our shadow
•   on a night picnic
•   being visited by words
•   I dress myself with rain
•   bring me magic
•   dream sense
•   our real names
•   controlled abandon
•   what’s my image
•   poems and the body
•   being here
•   poems are alive
•   full moon me
•   most mad and moonly

Dancers silhouette found at clipartbest.com

Ken G.

~ Day 18 ~

Dusk to Dawn

Dusk to Dawn_1

Dusk to Dawn

Dusk to Dawn_2First light arrives with last, and I feel your pull
as you near my horizon framed in dusk.
Your bare presence brings the first sliver
of satisfaction, delivered in a warm light
that intensifies with each rising moment.
I feel your full embrace in a moment
of silver light that lasts through the night.
But a night of moments is never enough,
and your last light fades as first light arrives.

This poem is my response to Day 17 at napowrimo.net,
where the challenge is to write a poem about, or involving, the moon.

Ken G.

~ Day 17 ~

Never Enough Time

Never Enough Time

Ticking away the moments that make up a dull day
Fritter and waste the hours in an offhand way
Kicking around words until you’ve found just the right sound
Then wait for a prompt or something to show you the way
Tired of thinking, getting nowhere – write all day and show no gain
You realize you’ve gone too long and you’ve killed too much time today
Then all at once you find ten hours have got behind you
If you don’t get this poem done, you’ll miss out on the fun

With each word spun you hope you’ll get done – that’s your thinking
Jot your words down, as you hope somehow they make sense
The words sound the same in a relative way, but you soldier
On as you write, long, long into the night
Every minute getting shorter, hope you don’t run out of time
Words that either come to naught or half a page of scribbled lines
Hanging on in quiet desperation – it’s done, come what may
The time is gone, the poem is over, thought I’d something more to say

Starting over again.
I’ll try to keep up if I can
And when I’m done here, cold and tired
It’s good to know my computer is wired
Far away across the world
Other poets write their words
Join me to participate
In Global Poetry Writing Month

This poem is off prompt for Day 16 at napowrimo.net. I was running out of time as the day wore on, so I wrote this after dinner – with apologies to Roger Waters and Pink Floyd (Time).

Ken G.

~ Day 16 ~

Image source: Wikimedia Commons – cornice of Imperial palace on The Palatine Hill in Rome