In the Stars

Star-gestured WishesIn the Stars

Waves of blue behind us,
searching the night sky
we found blue nebulae.
We found each other.

The stars were ours
from the moment we met.

This poem is my response to Blue Tuesday, the prompt from Sarah at dVerse Poets Pub, which asks us to consider “blue” in our poetry.

I’ve written hundreds of poems for my wife, so what’s one more? I bound the first hundred or so for her as “The Nebulous Collection.” Blue has always been a significant color for both of us. (Although, I have been known to favor orange!)

Image
NGC 7023 – The Iris Nebula
© Tony Hallas via Astronomy Picture of the Day

moon-filled dreams ~ haiku, senryū

moon rises
in a cloudy sky
silhouettes

branches dance
to tree frog chorus
pale moonlight

morning plans
hopeful for success
moon-filled dreams

rise early
to see setting moon
clouds return

This haiku/senryū sequence is my response to Twiglet #224 – moon rises. It sums up my attempts to take photos of this month’s “pink” moon/super moon. Monday’s photos yielded trees silhouetted by an obscure moon. The second photo is a 30 second exposure that shows how windy it was. Tuesday morning presented a beautiful amber moon that was already dropping behind clouds well above the horizon. It was totally obscured within three minutes. After taking the night photos, I mentioned to my wife that the tree frogs were the loudest I’d heard in my nine years in Missouri. She reminded me that it was my first time hearing them since getting hearing aids. It’s a loud new world.

(Click images for larger view in new tab)

Post Na/GloPoWriMo 2021

NaPoWriMo 2014-2021

The start of this blog goes back to 2014 and National Poetry Writing Month. 2021 marks the eighth time I’ve met the challenge of writing a poem for every day of April.

I wrote 39 poems for the month. 21 of those met the prompts from Maureen Thorsen at napowrimo.net. (I also met the early bird prompt on March 31.) 12 were in response to other prompts, including those for dVerse ~ Poets Pub, earthweal, Colleen Chesebro’s #Tanka Tuesday, and a haiku sequence for Frank Tassone’s #Haikai Challenge. Six of my poems followed no prompt at all. Four of the poems included audio, and one was a magnetic poem.

I enjoyed reading the many wonderful prompt responses from other poets at napowrimo.net, and it was nice to see that recognition was given to many of the poets I’ve come to know over the years. Thank you to all who read my poetry this past month and especially to all who commented.

Ken G.

 

Find Your Way

Find Your Way

Follow your path as it opens
before you, and your direction
will become clear

crossing to recrossUnder
any and all
circumstances

Left
to your own devices
you must persevere

Over-
come any obstacles
that come your way

Right
or wrong,
you will know

In the end
you will achieve
a new beginning

Perhaps too subtle for the prompt, this poem is my response to Day 30 at napowrimo.net, where the challenge is to “write a poem in the form of a series of directions describing how a person should get to a particular place. … Fill your poem with sensory details, and make them as wild or intimate as you like.”

 

~ Day 30 ~

Image source: freepik.com

Dreams of Sawdust and Smiles

Dreams of Sawdust and Smiles

It’s been thirty-three years since you lived
in the country home built in your retirement.
Moving to the country had been your dream for years,
but the distance from family became too much.

Five years later, you were gone from our lives,
so you wouldn’t know this. Jason bought the house
a few years ago as one of his projects as a contractor.
It had gone into foreclosure. Empty

for many years, it was left open to the elements.
Much of the interior was weather damaged,
so he gutted and refinished it. He then sold it,
so, sadly, it left our family, once again. Even so,

he did a great job, and it belongs to a happy family.
I can still see it in my mind, one wall
of the basement exposed in the hillside
with its wide window in the block wall.

I like to think I could look into it at any time,
see you working in your wood shop, running a board
across the planer or trimming a piece on the band saw,
turning the board to make the precise shape you need.

I can still see the dust flying from your router,
feel the vibration of that hum through the glass
as I press my face closer, see your smile of satisfaction
at the results. And I smile.

This poem is my response to the prompt for Day 29 at napowrimo.net, which is to imagine a window looking into a place or onto a particular scene. I helped my father build a few of the structures, including a barn, on the property my parents purchased in retirement.

Dreams of Sawdust and Smiles

Jason (holding the hammer), many, many years before restoring the property

 

~ Day 29 ~

Who Asked You?

Who Asked You?

Who Asked YouWhat’s with all the questions?
Do you think I have all the answers?
Was I even talking to you?
Don’t you have something else to do?
Didn’t you just ask me that?
Are you trying to annoy me?
Did you say something?
Are you still here?
Don’t you have somewhere else to be?
Why can’t you figure anything out for yourself?
When will this ever end?

I guess you could call this a list poem. It’s my response to Day 28 at napowrimo.net,
where we are challenged to write a poem consisting of questions.

 

~ Day 28 ~

Distance Holds No Separation ~ Puente

Distance Holds No Separation

Distance Holds No SeparationI cross this wide river
every time I come to you.
And again, when I leave.
There is no other way,

~for distance holds no separation~

when I follow this course,
past and present become one.
I find consolation in that,
every time I cross this bridge.

My first Puente, this poem is my response to Poetics: Build a Bridge, the prompt from Merril at dVerse ~ Poets Pub. The first and third stanzas of a puente convey a different element or feeling, but they have an equal number of lines, with that number being the writer’s choice. The one-line middle stanza, set off with a tilde (~) at each end, is the puente (Spanish for bridge). It functions as the ending for the last line of the first stanza AND as the beginning for the first line of the third stanza. Rhyme is optional.

Since moving to Missouri, I’ve made the trip back to New York to visit family many times. Being retired, I pretty much have an open calendar. My wife does not, so many times I’ve driven the round-trip solo. Each time, I cross the Mississippi River. The Stan Span (Stan Musial Veterans Memorial Bridge), named after St. Louis Cardinal baseball great Stan Musial, is on Interstate 70, one of the routes out of St. Louis.

 

~ Day 27 ~

No Life Unknown

No Life Unknown

There is no unknown, only what is known.
Going back is moving forward.

We wait for what we know,
wait for it to exist.

Once it becomes real,
we continue to wait for it to become real.

No Life UnknownWe make old friends.
We ignore the insignificant
and correct mistakes,
knowing they won’t happen,
as we lose old friends.

As our world grows smaller,
we wonder how big it was,
how much we knew.

We imagine what was,
or, perhaps, what never was.

Distance is no longer a part of family.
Happiness is always within reach.
Home is now home.

The less there is, the more it becomes.
The more we do, the less we will have to do.
Trepidation becomes courage.
Trust is a fact.

Forever is contained in a moment.

Even less becomes even more,
until there is only perfection.

At last, what was always known arrives,
and there are no regrets.

This poem is in response to Day 27 at napwrimo.net, where the prompt is to write a poem inspired by an entry from The Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows. I have chosen “avenoir,” which is defined as “the desire that memory could flow backward.” Rather than applying the term to any particular aspect of (my) life or the world, I considered one particular phrase in the video that accompanies the definition and proceeded to write about all that follows (or would that be precedes?) in the discussion – and in a life that follows that direction. “It’s hard not to wonder what life would be like facing the other way.” For anyone who is interested, below that embedded video I have transcribed the dialogue.

 

Avenoir

We take it for granted that life moves forward.
You build memories.
You build momentum.
You move as a rower moves, facing backwards .
You can see where you’ve been, but not where you’re going,
and your boat is steered by a younger version of you .
It’s hard not to wonder what life would be like facing the other way.

Avenoir.

You’d see your memories approaching for years,
and watch as they slowly become real. The insignificant
You’d know which friendships will last,
which days are important, and prepare for upcoming mistakes.
You’d go to school and learn to forget.
One by one, you’d patch things up with old friends.
enjoying one last conversation before you meet and go your separate ways.

And then your life would expand into epic drama.
The colors would get sharper. The world would feel bigger.
You’d become nothing other than yourself reveling in your own weirdness.
You’d fall out of old habits until you could picture yourself becoming almost anything.

Your family would drift slowly together, finding each other.
You wouldn’t have to wonder how much time you had left with people,
or how their lives would turn out.
You’d know from the start which week was the happiest you’ll ever be,
so you could relive it again, and again.
You’d remember what home feels like and decide to move there for good.
You’d grow smaller as the years pass,
as if trying to give away everything you had before leaving.

You’d try everything one last time, until it all felt new again.
And then the world would finally earn your trust,
until you think nothing of jumping freely into things,
into the arms of other people.
You’d start to notice that each summer feels longer than the last,
until you reach the long coasting retirement of childhood.

You’d become generous and give everything back.
Pretty soon you’d run out of things to give, things to say, things to see.
By then you’ll have found someone perfect,
and she’ll become your world.
And you will have left this world just as you found it
Nothing left to remember. Nothing left to regret.
with your whole life laid out in front of you,
and your whole life left behind.

Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows

 

~ Day 27 ~

Also shared with Open Link Night #291

Image source: clipartkey.com (edited here)

Viral Bleach ~ parody

Viral Bleach
(
parody of Coconut)

Bruder caught a virus, he caught it at de beach,
His sister caught anudder one she wash it out wit bleach.
She put de bleach in de virus, she drank it all up.
She put de bleach in de virus, she drank it all up
She put de bleach in de virus, she drank it all up

She put de bleach in de virus, she call de pres’dent, woke ‘im up,
Said “pres’dent, ain’t there nothin’ I can take?”
I said “pres’dent, to relieve this belly ache,”
I said “pres’dent, ain’t there nothin’ I can take?”
I said “pres’dent, to relieve this belly ache.”

Now lemme get this straight,
You put de bleach in de virus, you drank it all up,
You put de bleach in de virus, you drank it all up,
You put de bleach in de virus, you drank it all up,

You put de bleach in de virus, you call your pres’dent, woke ‘im up,
Said ” pres’dent, ain’t there nothing’ I can take?”
I said, “pres’dent, to relieve this belly ache.”
I said “pres’dent, ain’t there nothin’ I can take?”
I said, “pres’dent, to relieve this belly ache,”

You put de bleach in de virus, follow dis to de letter
Put de bleach in de virus, then you’ll feel better,
Put de bleach in de virus, drink it all up,
Put de bleach in de virus and call me in the morning.

Woo-oo-oo-oo-oo-oo
Oo-oo-oo-oo-oo-oo-oo-oo-oo-oo-oo-oo-oo-oo-oo.

Brudder caught a virus, he caught it at de beach,
His sister caught anudder one she wash it out wit bleach.
She put de bleach in de virus, she drank it all up

She put de bleach in de virus and called de pres’dent, woke ‘im up.
She said, “pres’dent, ain’t there nothin’ I can take?”
I said, “pres’dent, to relieve this belly ache.”
I said “pres’dent, ain’t there nothin’ I can take”
I said, “pres’dent, now lemme get this straight,”
You put the bleach in the virus, you drink it all up,
Put the bleach in the virus, you drink it all up,
Put the bleach in the virus, you drink it all up,

Put de bleach in the virus. You’re such a silly woman.
Put de bleach in the virus, follow this to the letter
Put de bleach in the virus, then you’ll feel better.
Put de bleach in the virus, drink it all down,
Put de bleach in your virus, and call me in the morning,

Woo–ain’t there nothin’ you can take?
I say, woo–to relieve your belly ache,
You say, well woo–ain’t there nothin’ I can take?
I say woo–woo, to relieve your belly ache,
You say yow–ain’t there nothin’ I can take,
I say wow–to relieve this belly ache,
I said “pres’dent, ain’t there nothing I can take,”
I said, “pres’dent, ain’t there nothing I can take,”
I said, “pres’dent, ain’t there nothing I can take,”
I said, “pres’dent, you’re such a silly woman.
Put de bleach in your virus, follow dis to de letter,
Put de bleach in the virus, then you’ll feel better,
Put de bleach in your virus and drink it all up,

Put de bleach in the virus and call me in the morning.
Yes, you call me in the morning. If you call me in the morning,
I’ll tell you what to do if you call me in the morning.
I’ll tell you what to do if you call me in the morning.
I’ll tell you what to do if you call me in the morning.
I’ll tell you what to do and if you call me in the morning
I’ll tell you what to do.

Viral Bleach

Image source: © creators.com – Andy Marlette

This “poem” is my response to Day 26 at napowrimo.net, where we are challenged to write a parody poem – mimic the form while changing the content of a poem or song. Coconut is a song from Harry Nilsson’s 1971 album Nilsson Schmilsson. Because the song fits the following situation so well, I substituted very few words and used the same style of speech (dialect?) as the original.

At a White House briefing on 20 April 2020, a President of The United States who shall not be named suggested that disinfectant could be injected into the human body as a means of fighting COVID-19.

 

~ Day 26 ~

Time and Love as One

Time and Love as One

Time and Love as OneTwo become one,
and the world is witness to
the marriage of Time and Love.

It is the nature of Love,
that it will always court Time.

It is the nature of Time,
that it will always test Love.

You will know Time,
as you have known Love.

Vow to ensure that Time
will honor Love into the future.
Let both bind your hearts as one.

This poem is my response to Day 25 at napowrimo.net, where the challenge is to write
a poem that is written for an occasion – a wedding, a birth, etc..

 

~ Day 25 ~

Image source: clipart-library.com