Memories

Memories

are made, not with wishes,
but by moments lived, understood.
Let those moments pass untouched
and you will never know them.
Let no one say you can’t take it with you.
Once experienced, those memories are yours.

This poem is my response to Poetics: The Proverbial, the prompt from Merril at dVerse ~ Poets Pub, which asks us to incorporate a proverb into a poem.

Ride the Waves ~ chant poetry

Here’s a pause in my travels this month, with a response to a dVerse prompt.

Ride the Waves

light-sparkles-on-waves

    Erie Basin Marina, Buffalo, New York

Waves flow in the air that surrounds me.
Waves flow in the emotions within me.
Waves flow in the love found within me.
Above me.
Around me.
Beneath me.
Release me from constraints.
All that I fear
falls to the side.
Fall with me.
Fall freely.
Fall for the love
found in the waves.
Found within me.
Found within you.
Found, never to be lost
as we ride our waves of love.

 

With Meet the bar with Chant poetry at dVerse Poets Pub, Björn asks us to write a poem in the form of a chant, with the use of extreme repetition.

Solar Separation ~ haibun

Solar Separation

The sun rises and I embrace the warmth. I tan evenly over the course of the summer, but mindful of the power of those rays on my fair skin I limit my exposure and use sunscreen. Meanwhile, I spend my days making pickups and deliveries for a trucking company. Half of those hours are spent behind the wheel, often with the sun shining into my cab. I give little thought to that sun exposure. After all, there’s no sunburn. In fact, there’s no irritation, at all.

In my fifties, I learn the error in that assumption. I have some precancerous cells on the left side of my face frozen for removal. Two separate times, I have cancerous growths removed from my upper chest and shoulder. They can appear anywhere, even areas that get less exposure. The left side of my body seems to be the most affected, that which would have received the most sun exposure through the driver’s side window.

Dry patches on my face, primarily on the left side, are misdiagnosed by a dermatologist as a form of psoriasis, but they are correctly diagnosed as precancerous when I visit a cancer center for skin screening after moving to Missouri. Daily application of Efudex cream over several weeks gives me a face fit for a Star Trek alien when all of the precancerous areas are exposed, until the dead skin sloughs off and my face returns to normal.

That was six years ago, and there has been no recurrence. Summer has arrived, but my days in the sun are a thing of the past.

sun high overhead
shortest shadows of the year
days now grow shorter

This haibun is my response to Haibun Monday 6-21-21: Solstice I,
the prompt from Frank Tassone at dVerse ~ Poets Pub.

Solar Separation

mid-treatment for precancerous skin damage

The Miles Like an Anthem ~ trimeric

The Miles Like an Anthem

Wheels turn and words flow,
each trip the same, though different.
Poems form with each highway stripe,
each passing tree, and cloud overhead.

Each trip the same, though different,
the miles like an anthem flowing
through the words running through my mind.

Poems form with each highway stripe,
each line a word leading to new thoughts,
new lines as a poem is born.

Each passing tree, and cloud overhead,
plays a part, has a role, as the wheels
turn and the words flow.

 

This poem is my response to Poetry Form: Trimeric, the prompt from Grace at dVerse ~ Poets Pub, which is to write a trimeric, a form created by Charles A. Stone, as outlined below.

1. Trimeric has 4 stanzas
2. The first stanza has 4 lines
3. The other three stanzas have 3 lines
. The first line of each stanza is a refrain of the corresponding line in the first stanza (so 2nd stanza starts with the second line, third stanza starts with the third line, etc.).
5. The sequence of lines, then, is abcd, b – -, c – -, d – -.

Note: No other rules on line length, meter, or rhyme.

Risk Assessment

Risk Assessment

Risk AssessmentThis risk I take each day,
as the sun rises
and I face the world
not knowing if I will
see the end of day,
or what awaits me
once the sun sets,
is of no consequence.

What do I know of risk
in the convenience
of my world of privilege
when considered
beside that taken daily
by those who are denied,
those who are judged
before they act?

This poem is my response to Poetics: Take a risk!,
the prompt from Tricia Sankey at dVerse Poet’s Pub.

Image source: Pete Linforth at Pixabay

 

Where the River Bends ~ ghazal

Five days ago, I wrote two versions of Where the River Bends as a response to MTB: To turn again, about turn again, where we were asked to write a poem using epiphora – repeatedly using the same words to end lines. When a few readers (Merril, Kerfe & Ron.) pointed out how close the first version is to a ghazal I decided to write a third version. I’ve considered internal rhyme within the second line of each stanza of a ghazal to be optional, but this time I have met that requirement. I close here with the original and notes on the ghazal.

How to Paddle Upstream

Where the River Bends

Where the river bends I trail my paddle,
where the river bends yet lends itself to my paddle.

On trees long dead rising from the river,
turtles scatter, water spatters far from my paddle.

Heron on the shore leaps to stately flight
as my kayak nears and it hears my paddle.

I turn for home, thankful for all the gifts
beneath passing oaks, as I stroke my paddle.

A boat passes and a fisherman nods his head.
I ken, as the river bends, and raise my paddle.

~~~~~~~

Where the River Bends

Where the river bends I trail my paddle,
where the river bends yet meets my paddle.

On trees, submerged yet breaking water,
turtles scatter when they see my paddle.

Heron standing on the shore leaps to stately flight
with broad wing-strokes when it hears my paddle.

I turn for home, thankful for all the gifts
granted today with each stroke of my paddle.

A fisherman waves as his boat passes
where the river bends, and I raise my paddle.

Ghazal
~ five or more couplets, the same length, meter not required
~ first couplet rhymes; 1 to 3 words in 2nd lines repeated;
       rhyme – aA bA cA dA eA
~ (optional) internal rhyme in second lines, preceding repeated rhyme
~ possible naming or reference to author in last couplet
~ traditionally invoking melancholy, love, longing, and metaphysical questions,
       ghazals are often sung by Iranian, Indian, and Pakistani musicians

What Is Nine Hundred Miles? ~ prosery

What Is Nine Hundred Miles?

What is nine hundred miles to a man when family is a short flight away, or a drive in a day? Is there separation when connection is as simple as a message, a call, or FaceTime? What is the separation when the difference is measured in split seconds?

The heart will guide where the mind cannot see. And so the man made the move. Both baggage and cartage. A relocation of nine hundred miles to be with the woman he loved, loves still, and to know happiness. He learned that nine hundred miles is actually eighteen hundred miles, for the heart must always return. He has traveled that distance many times over the years, so that he could know the two sides of happiness. So it is, and will always be, for crucial to finding the way is this: there is no beginning or end.

This is my response to Prosery: Finding Your Way, the prompt from Merril at dVerse ~ Poets Pub. With Prosery, the challenge is to write a piece of flash fiction with a 144-word limit. Included in the bit of prose is to be a complete line from a poem. For this prompt, the line to be included is from “Map to the Next World,by Jo Harjo.

“Crucial to finding the way is this: there is no beginning or end”
                                                                                                    – Jo Harjo

I’ve met the additional challenge of hitting the 144-word mark, exactly.

July will be nine years since I moved from New York to be with Bonnie. We were married three years ago, but there have been many trips back to Buffalo to visit family.

Where the River Bends

Where the River Bends_1

Where the River Bends

Where the river bends I trail my paddle,
where the river bends yet meets my paddle.

On trees, submerged yet breaking water,
turtles scatter when they see my paddle.

Heron standing on the shore leaps to stately flight
with broad wing-strokes when it hears my paddle.

I turn for home, thankful for all the gifts
granted today with each stroke of my paddle.

A fisherman waves as his boat passes
where the river bends, and I raise my paddle.

Where the River Bends_2

This poem is my response to MTB: To turn again, about turn again, the prompt from Laura Bloomsbury at dVerse ~ Poets Pub, which is to use epiphora (aka epistrophe or antistrophe), which uses end line repeats that are, for the most part, consecutive, although allowances are made for alternates as well as the use of the repeat word with variance. Apologetically, my use may fall under the maxim ‘too often is too heavy.’ Laura also discusses anaphora, where the first word repeats in consecutive lines. I have employed symploce, the combined use of anaphora and epiphora. Apologetically, my use may fall under the maxim ‘too often is too heavy,’ so here is an edit:

Where the River Bends

Where the river bends I trail my paddle,
where the river bends yet meets my paddle.

On trees, submerged yet breaking water,
turtles scatter as my kayak drifts on by.

Heron standing on the shore leaps to stately flight
with broad wing-strokes as I round the bend.

I turn for home, thankful for all the gifts
granted today with each stroke of my paddle.

A fisherman waves as his boat passes
where the river bends, and I raise my paddle.

Caught in the Undertow

Caught in the Undertow_1

Caught in the Undertow

Caught in the Unadertow_2Direction undecided, a leaf floats
on a narrow stream that trickles
over loose stone, approaches a side channel
in the bedrock, the product of years
of heavy rain. Water must flow, underground
when presented with solid rock. I watch
the leaf emerge to rejoin the stream.

There’s a hole in my heart. Hidden from
prying eyes, it provides a shortcut, one taken
at high risk. By a broad stroke of luck,
that risk paid off for most of a lifetime.
But blood must flow. If it carried a leaf
to the brain, what thoughts might it bring?
I know those thoughts, as I know that leaf.

I’ve taken shortcuts, felt drawn by currents
beyond my control. Directions I’ve taken,
decisions I’ve made, have brought changes
I should have had the foresight to predict.
Drawn this way by my heart, I’m still drawn
that way by thoughts that have always flowed
beneath the surface, waiting to emerge.

With this poem, I tried to connect three thoughts: a rock formation in a stream that runs beside a trail I frequently walk, my recently discovered PFO (“hole in my heart”), and the fact that not seeing my granddaughters (6 months old & 2 ½ years old) is a consequence of my move to MO 9 years ago.

Shared with dVerse – Open Link Night 293.

listen to the night ~tanka

listen to the night

listen to the night
as the tree frogs call out
children of the night
what music they make echos
a chorus that celebrates

Dancing Frogs

This tanka is my response to Poetics: “Go Ahead, Make My Day,” the prompt from Mish at dVerse ~ Poets Pub, which is to write a poem using one of several offered movie quotes. I chose “Listen to the night. Children of the night. What music they make.” from Dracula (1931).

Images
Missouri Department of Conservation – Gray Tree Frog
ukiyo-e.org – Dancing frogs, by Tokuriki Tomikichiro