For My Benefit
Would I be that person again?
Am I not, still?
You speak, perhaps to me.
I am here, yet I was there,
then. But this is now.
Analog or digital, there is familiarity
in all you say, all you do.
The fourth wall cannot prevent
memories from surfacing
as I watch them unfold before me.
Starting this weekend, I’ll be away for a couple of weeks, traveling. My writing in the past week has been limited by a particular preparation for the trip. I have more than 50 hours of home videos on VHS tape, some from as far back as 1990, that I am converting to digital. I hope to share some of that with my children when I see them at a family gathering that will be a part of this trip.
Hopefully, 3,00 miles behind the wheel will provide some inspiration.
Shared with OpenLink LIVE at dVerse ~ Poets Pub.
Those memories once held dear
at first light now sneak in
like rolling fog. Near to being lost,
the traces they leave are more sparse
with each passing, taking with them
any desire to keep them in my grasp.
This poem is my response to Colour me poetry, the prompt from Sarah at dVerse ~ Poets Pub, which is to write a poem inspired by a list of paint colors that Sarah has provided. I’ve used two of them: first light and rolling fog. With “rolling fog” in mind, I thought of this photo (fog on the Missouri River at Jefferson City, Missouri), which I used to illustrate Lost Keepsakes in 2019, so I guess this poem might be considered a continuation. In fact, another version might be an edit of the original (without using “first light”):
Do you still keep those memories
we once held dear, now that we have
nothing else to share? The one thing
we could not divide between us
has dwindled away from me, like a rolling fog
that leaves fewer traces with each passing,
taking with it any desire to keep it in my grasp.
Do memories, and the events that live
within them, exist on another plane?
When we consider them, sort them,
try to surmise the truth they hold,
do we change or diminish them in any way?
Are they like crows, amused at our attempts
to affect something that is beyond our reach?
Memories change. Details fade
with each telling. I wait for a sign,
watch the sky for their return,
but they have taken wing, are gone.
Within the comments I left on Backstories, by Merril Smith, I realized I had the germ of a poem. Thank you, Merril, for the inspiration.
How ironic, that I found this in the “Unfinished” folder on my laptop (from 13 months ago), wondering why I never posted it. Of course, with my Swiss cheese memory, maybe I have.
Shared with Open Link Night LIVE #298 at dVerse~ Poets Pub
Image source: pixels.com
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.
Two left feet that can’t dance
know their task is at hand.
You take mine as the band
plays our song. All is grand.
Little girl now all grown,
there’s a truth that’s well known.
I would dance all the night
just to be in your light.
But this dance that we share
on this night leads to where
your full heart must now go,
to the heart of your beau.
Look now deep in my eyes
and I know you’ll surmise
that this old father’s love
welcomes your own truelove.
Meter is not my forte, as I feel I tend to force it, but this is my response (anapestic tetrameter?) to Meet the bar waltzing from Björn at dVerse ~ Poets Pub. We’re asked to “let the dance be your poem.”
Yes, I have two left feet. Two months before my daughter’s wedding, I spent a week in Buffalo so we could take a couple of dance classes together. I then drove back home and practiced the waltz every night with my wife so I could give my daughter her father-daughter dance. It went off without a hitch. (Except, of course, for the ceremony earlier in the day!) The picture above is from that moment.
Silent, Like Sleep
Within the depths of my dreams lies the comfort
found in my mother’s arms, the same offered
in return, no words needed, when she was in need
in the last years of her life. While no soul is
ever truly silent, hers was gentle to the end,
and so she appears in my dreams.
The short poem is my response to Twiglet #227 from Misky, which offers this line as a prompt: “silent, like sleep.” Unable to adequately care for herself, my mother lived with me for the last two years of her life. Although it was a difficult time, I don’t regret a moment of it.
with the years that have passed
greater than those left to come
moments once frozen in time
blend one into another
as memories become a blur
This gogyohka is my response to Colleen Chesebro’s #Tanka Tuesday
Weekly #Poetry Challenge No. 226 #Ekphrastic #Photoprompt,
with the photo provided by Trent McDonald.
Gogyohka (pronounced go-gee-yoh-kuh)
~ a form of Japanese poetry pioneered by Enta Kusakabe in the 1950s
~ 5-line poetry ~ like tanka, but with freedom from restraints
~ no fixed syllable requirement
~ no conventions regarding content
~ brief lines in keeping with the tradition of Japanese short verse
Time cannot diminish the luster of frosted glass
Or silence the voice that is the beauty within
Water and stones sift through my fingers
And that beauty shines through
Elusive memories touch the light of day
Have their say, then retreat
Time moves on
Images: beach glass & the shore of Lake Ontario
09 November 2020
Shared with Open Link Night #278 – Rejoice! at dVerse ~ Poets Pub.
Black and White Stories
My darkroom phase wasn’t as much about learning
to see in black & white or teasing the image
out of a negative as it was about nostalgia.
Learning the details of a photo by tracing
my finger over the lines and shades
of a colorless image was like a journey
into the past. My past, and yours.
My early years were captured
primarily in black & white.
Now, as then, I find a story
in those gray shades.
Each time I view the one photo I have of you
as a child I discover new details.
A photo of us, together, says as much
about your life as it does about mine.
And my favorite photo of you, taken
during my darkroom phase.
I trace those lines and find stories.
The photos here are mine
My father (3 years old?)
Sitting on my father’s lap
My father, in the 1980s
This is my response to dVerse Poets: 9th year Anniversary, and the prompt from guest host Brian Miller, which is to write a poem that captures a moment
in a way that evokes memories and experiences.
The prompt for Carpe Diem #1789 The Winter Trees (Crossroads)
starts with two haiku by Yosa Buson (in blue) to be used
to create a “fusion” haiku which is then to be the base for a troiku.
cutting into with the ax,
I was surprised at the scent.
the winter trees.
unfolding at the
hand of the glass polisher:
beauty of the grain unfolds
respecting treasured heirloom
held in loving hands
beauty of the grain unfolds
revealing further treasures
reminders of days long gone
held close to the heart
A troiku is three haiku, with each of the three lines from a suggested haiku as the first line of each haiku in the troiku. It’s not always possible to have a 5-7-5 format in the second haiku, due to the limitations of the suggested haiku. The name of the form is derived from “troika,” a sled or carriage drawn by three horses harnessed side-by-side, an iconic symbol of Imperial Russia.
Image source: wikimedia.org (troika)