More Than One Day ~ prosery

More Than One Day

The ills that have befallen our world are a direct result of our actions, from discarded waste that would choke the creatures we profess to cherish, to weather conditions that will not improve, no matter how heated the discussions, if nothing is done to change the practices that harm the very air we breathe. We are partners in her course and must turn it in a direction that would cherish nature.

Some will talk of the labors that have brought advances to mankind and ask why we should not enjoy those benefits. If that be your stance, then take a holiday. Just one day. And bring no book, for this one day we’ll give to idleness, mindful that for every day that follows we must accept our responsibility and put forth the effort needed to reverse those ills we have placed upon our world.


This is my response to Prosery: Bring no book! With Prosery, the challenge is to write a piece of flash fiction with a 144-word limit (here, exactly 144 words). 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”Lines written at a small distance from my house,” by William Wordsworth.

And bring no book; for this one day
We’ll give to idleness

                            – William Wordsworth

Also shared with earthweal weekly challenge: NATIVE TO THE NOW.

Image source: The Conversation

Ripe Tomato at 3 pm

Ripe Tomato at 3 pm

Not a meal, but a Saturday treat.
Heirloom, of course, ripe with memories.
Savoring the process of your hand moving,
slow and smooth, the serrated knife laying
each slice on the bread, each slice layered
with mayo turning pink with juice.
Now held in two hands, that second slice
firmly in place, mayo in a bead, hugging
the crust edge, juice falling to the plate
in languid drops. Eyes closed with each bite,
you relish this simple pleasure.
My pleasure now in recalling this,
bringing you back after so many years
as I take my own bite and savor the memory.

This poem is my response to Poetics Tuesday – food!,
the prompt from Sarah at dVerse ~ Poets Pub.

Image source:

Far from Maddening ~ haibun

Far from Maddening

Our holiday celebration this year, from Christmas through New Year’s Day, was fairly quiet. Of course there was music for most of Christmas Day, from the “classics” of the 1940s into the 1960s, to a Little Steven’s Underground Garage Christmas playlist. And music from John Coltrane to Yo-Yo Ma to Brian Wilson, all Christmas gifts, played through the week. We had our traditional dinners and exchanged presents, and we even had a Secret Santa Zoom session with family members in different parts of the country. But this holiday season seemed to be more low key than in years past. Perhaps that was a conscious effort on our part to compensate for the past year, with a hope that the coming year will bring good fortune and not be so maddening.

at the bird feeder
as seeds fly

This haibun is my response to dVerse – Haibun Monday – Celebration,
the prompt from Lisa at dVerse ~ Poets Pub, which is to write a haibun
about this year’s holiday celebrations.

A Simple Gesture ~ with audio


A Simple Gesture

Need I say already
when so much time has passed,
when each passing moment
seems to take moments with it?

Sight and sound blurred
and muffled, impressions
that bring new meaning each time
my mind tries to repeat them.

Amentalio. The word would be
foreign to you, but I can imagine
your reaction to it, that gesture
not lost to me, yet. A shrug,

the slightest tilt of your head,
followed by a question.
How can you forget something
that is such a part of your soul?

This poem is my response to Poetics: The Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows, the prompt from Linda Lee Lyberg at dVerse ~ Poets Pub, which is to use one of ten words taken from The Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows, by John Koenig. I had written a poem using one of John Koenig’s words when they were still available to be seen on his website. Since that source is no longer available, I definitely will be getting a copy of the book, so thank you to Linda for the heads up.

From The Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows:

Amentalio: the sadness of realizing that you’re already forgetting sense memories of the departed- already struggling to hear their voice, picture the exact shade of their eyes, or call to mind the quirky little gestures you once knew by heart.

Straight Talk (or, Mule to Machine)

Straight Talk
(or, Mule to Machine)

There is a bend,
abandoned, but not,
in the course of this stream.

Man could not be satisfied
with direction that winds,
so took a straighter path.

What commerce desires
is a direct route, and mules
will not stand in its way.

Though traffic may follow
the straight path, the alternative
still holds its rewards.

I paddle this stretch, almost
a pond in its nature, with banks
home to muskrats and swallows.

Bass jump, no sign of water
chestnut, once invasive as man
in this quiet little stream.

One way or another,
we make our mark,
for good as well as bad.

This poem is my response to earthweal weekly challenge: THE JOURNEY, which asks us to write “of the Earth’s own journey into this strange, post-Holocene era? How is your journey entwined with that tale?”

Completed in 1825, the Erie Canal opened commerce from the east coast to the Great Lakes and the Midwest. Running east-to-west, it was dug to a depth of four feet. Networked with other canals in the state it became the New York State Barge Canal (now the New York State Canal System).

In 1918 the canal was modernized and three sections of Tonawanda Creek (at the western end, the only natural waterway used for any distance on the old Erie Canal) were straightened (creating islands) to accommodate larger and deeper barges. From 2010 to 2012, water chestnut (an invasive species) became so thick in the area described in the poem that a mechanical harvester was used to clear it out.

Photo: (invasive) Water Chestnut in Tonawanda Creek, 19 July 2011

Shared with Open Link Night #305: December Live Edition at dVerse ~ Poets Pub

My Dear Ash

My Dear Ash

It won’t mean anything, but I will never know your age
until your fall. And then, only by the deepest cut.
Though you still may hold on to it, it’s been taken
from you, nonetheless. Who would think that
such a lovely color could be so deadly? But it is.
Was, for you. That emerald bore right into you,
and you no longer stand resolute, only silent.

This poem is my response to Poetics: Passion Stamped on Lifeless Things,
the prompt from Merril at dVerse ~ Poets Pub,
which is to write about a historical artifact.
I’m sure this tree has a history.

Emerald Ash Borer graphic:
Emerald Ash Borer photo:
The ash tree in the photos is in my backyard.  (click for larger view in new tab)

Going Nowhere in Fragments

Going Nowhere in Fragments

As I drive down the highway,
cars pass me like I’m standing still.
Maybe I am. I have no idea how fast
I’m going. My mind is going somewhere else.

Did she even know what
she was talking about? What
I was talking about? What
were we talking about?

I remember hearing the door slam
as she closed it behind me.
I remember my car door
slamming as I turned the key.
Nothing looks familiar.
I wish I knew where I’m going.

This poem is my response to MTB: Picking up some Pieces, the prompt from Laura Bloomsbury at dVerse ~ Poets Pub, which is to write a poem of disjointed images, a fragment poem – a part of a larger work or a poem made to appear discontinuous or incomplete. “Fragment(s)” must be used in the title.

Image source:

Wake Up Call

Wake Up Call

Pouring them down late into the night.
Burning up the world, and yourself
in the process. Remember those days?

Then behind the wheel, homeward bound,
oncoming cars the light that kept you awake.
The radio’s blare and the window’s rattle.

Feel the beat from the tambourine, oh yeah.
Drumbeat on the steering wheel,
counting headlights to the music’s rhythm.

Wondering the next morning how you got home.
That’s when you finally came to your senses.
How did you ever survive those days?

This poem is my response to This one’s for you, Bjorn!, the prompt from Lillian at dVerse ~ Poets Pub, which asks us to use “word for word, one line, and one line only” from the lyrics of Dancing Queen, by ABBA. (“Feel the beat from the tambourine, oh yeah“)

Image source: Wikimedia Commons

Embrace the Beauty ~ quadrille

Embrace the Beauty

Within the beauty of your golden crown
lies no concern for loss or thoughts
laid bare by harsh truths. Though winter
will surely come, hope never leaves us.
Spring will follow, again and again,
until we embrace the beauty
of our own bare branches.

This poem is my response to Quadrille #141: Heady is the Poem That Wears the Crown, the prompt from D Jackson at dVerse ~ Poets Pub, which is to use a form of the word crown in a 44-word poem (excluding title), with no required meter or rhyme.

Image: Maple at Ha Ha Tonka State Park, Missouri
                    (click for larger view in new tab)