Where is the sense in all this?
Nothing but circles, this particular circle,
and it’s growing old, fast.
It’s pretty hard to get into specifics
when there are so many specifics.
We all have problems, but it’s time
your problems were yours,
and not mine. Speaking of mine,
I ask myself, where is my head at?
When I wish my thoughts were elsewhere.


This is my response to MTB: Stream of Consciousness Writing, the prompt from Grace at dVerse ~ Poets Pub,which asks us to write a poem by emulating “the passage of thought through your mind without any inhibitions. For that reason, sentences become longer, less organized and more sporadic in style.” Sorry, but once I started it just flowed. Unfortunately, these is where my head was at. I wrote for five minutes, and this is what came out. Wonder what it looked like? See below. I suppose it could have been a prose poem, or simply a rant.

Image source: clipartkey.com

Kingfisher in Flight ~ haibun

Kingfisher in Flight

It’s early morning as I paddle on this narrow river that winds and twists through farmland, changing direction nearly every quarter-mile. On a day when temperatures will reach the mid-nineties, I move along a brief northward stretch and enjoy the cooler air as I take advantage of the shade offered by trees along its eastern bank.

A heron takes flight as I approach, but a killdeer lingers nearby, leaving tiny tracks as it dashes in spurts across the mud. Tiny waves sparkle in sunlight as I pass a break in the trees and paddle around a dead tree extending from the bank into the water. Catching sight of me, a turtle sunning itself drops into the water with a plop. I continue back into the shade, enjoying the sights that surround me.

kingfisher in flight
reflection of waves in flight
kayak glides along

This haibun is my response to Come Sail, the prompt from Sarah at dVerse ~ Poets Pub.

Sarah says,
“For this prompt, I’d like you to be inspired by boats. Maybe you’ve travelled by narrowboat, or taken a cruise on a big liner. Maybe you’re a kayaker, or a paddle-boarder. Maybe you built a raft as a child, or made a toy boat out of twigs and leaves. Maybe you’re a rower or a sailor. Maybe you take a ferry to work, or watch other people floating down a river. Maybe you want to write about an imaginary boat, with sails of leaves and a cargo of fairy dust. It’s up to you.”

Image source: screenshot from this YouTube video

Grief’s Garden ~ quadrille

Grief’s Garden

Tangled vines, shriveled tendrils that pull me down,
wrap themselves around my heart, crushing any joy held there.

Lacking any life of their own, they drain the same
from me, choking my will to fight their grasp.

There is only darkness in grief’s garden.

This is my response to How Does Your Garden Grow – dVerse Quadrille
the prompt from Victoria at dVerse ~ Poets Pub, which is to use the word garden
in a 44-word poem, with no required meter or rhyme.

hidden, but not ~ gogyohka

hidden, but not
sturgeon in a broad expanse
merely elusive
knowing where to look
the moon always rises

This gogyohka is in response to Frank Tassone’s #Haikai Challenge #150: Sturgeon Moon.
The first full moon of August is called the Sturgeon Moon, Grain Moon, Barley Moon or Red Moon.

My attempts to photograph the full moon on Monday evening (11 hours past full moon)
were stymied by clouds.  The moon was as elusive as a sturgeon.

Also shared with Just Sayin’, the Open Link Night prompt from Lillian at dVerse ~ Poets Pub.

Flickering Candles ~ haibun

Flickering Candles

When I was growing up, our family always held birthday celebrations; simple affairs with my parents and sisters, and, occasionally when I was younger, with my grandparents. Birthday cakes were present, of course, and our tradition was to have an extra candle on the cake. “One to grow on.” Another tradition was to have the birthday celebrant cut the the first slice into the cake and have the knife removed by the person with the next birthday, as a measure of good luck.

I may not place much significance on birthdays of my own as milestones, but I’ve always enjoyed celebrating a birthday with family and friends. A photo from 1958 is proof of that. It has one very pleased little boy who just blew out the candles on his cake.

flickering candles
give warm feelings all around
frosting on windows

This is my response to Haibun Monday: Birthday,
the prompt from Kim at dVerse Poets Pub.

Also shared with Colleen’s 2020 Weekly #Tanka Tuesday
#Poetry Challenge No. 189, #Poet’sChoice

Distant Karma ~ senryū

Distant Karma

man’s exploration
far beyond the open seas
here there be dragons

seeking new conquests
as native populations
receive no respect

never satisfied
population explosion
while raping nature

resources wasted
expansion to the planets
looking for relief

interstellar space flight
to discover new life forms
let there be dragons

The prompt for Poetics: Haiku Sequence, from Frank at dVerse ~ poets Pub, is to write a series of haiku that have a theme or unifying framework. There are no seasonal references here, so call this a senryū sequence.

Wikimedia Commons (map)
Astronomy Picture of the Day – Dragons of Ara, © Ariel L. Cappalletti


Making Their Own Breeze ~ with audio

Making Their Own Breeze

The water of the Moreau River,
as motionless as the leaves of the giant sycamore
half-submerged with roots projecting skyward,
victim of spring’s high waters but determined
to send nourishment to branches willing
those leaves to life, and as still as the air
on this hot August day as my kayak sits
under a stone ledge, too high for me to reach
when volume and current are stolen by the recent
lack of rain, still feels cool to the touch in this shade
I have found, shared by the bank swallows darting
to their nests and back into the sunlight, no breeze
needed for their aerial antics as they skim the water
for a drink, then rocket up, only to turn abruptly
to feed in flights that would make any bat proud,
all of this reflected in that still water of the Moreau.

This poem is my response to Poetics: Flight of Fancy,
the prompt from Laura at dVerse ~ Poets Pub.

Tangled with the Bramble ~ quadrille

Tangled with the Bramble

A parting gift
those final two years

Mother to son, time
together at the end

Devoted care,
a humble gift in return

Tangled with the bramble
of divorce slowly playing out

No sweeter gift to be found
in such a time of the bittersweet

This is my response to Quadrille #108: Among the Brambles
the prompt from Linda at dVersePoets Pub, which is to use the word bramble
in a 44-word poem, with no required meter or rhyme.

The Evolution of Revolution

The Evolution of Revolution

Thirteen separate colonies, united
in a fight for freedom, rallied
against tyranny of royalty
across the sea.

Our founders spoke of revolution,
a democratic evolution spelled out
in a Declaration: self respect
for this, our nation.

But victory only lessened the stigma
of our oppression. Decades passed
till we acknowledged our own crime
of human bondage.

The fight for equal rights
continues to this day, so that
all may savor a hard won victory,
enjoy the fruits of liberty.

This poem is my response to Poetics: Revolution,
the prompt from Merril at dVerse ~ Poets Pub.

I haven’t decided which I prefer,
this bit of free verse with internal rhyme
or my original with rhyme and near-meter.

The Evolution of Revolution

Thirteen separate colonies
United in a fight for free-
dom rallied against tyranny
of royalty across the sea

Our founders spoke of revolution
A democratic evolution
Spelled out in a Declaration
Self respect for this, our nation

But victory only lessened
The stigma of our oppression
Decades passed till we acknowledged
Our own crime of human bondage

The fight continues to this day
For equal rights, so that all may
Savor a hard won victory
Enjoy the fruits of liberty

Armageddon’s Arrival – prosery


Armageddon’s Arrival

I drift down the middle of the river, my paddle in the water only when necessary to navigate past hazards. And oh, are there hazards. Surrounded by the past, ablaze on the shores beside me and floating on the current that carries me, with little prospect for the future, my life is little more than the clothes on my back and as bleak as the landscape of death surrounding me.

Of what matter are the details that led to this tragic moment? One nation acted out of a desire to secure precious resources, another responded, and an Armageddon foretold through the ages has finally come to pass.

In the glow of the fires that surround me, everything is cloaked in the haze of smoke, and navigation becomes more difficult as dusk approaches. A red moon rides on the humps of the low river hills.

This bit of flash fiction is my response to Jazzing It up on Prosery Monday, presented by Lillian 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 “a red moon rides on the humps of the low river hills” from Carl Sandburg’s “Jazz Fantasia”. My flash fiction also meets the additional challenge of hitting the 144-word mark, exactly. Other entries can be read here.