This Fluid Connection
I’ve paddled to the middle of the Niagara River, drifted
along a sandy shore to see a green heron among watery roots,
heard egrets high in a tree call my name.
When I sat on the shore of Lake Ontario sifting pebbles
in search of beach glass, my thoughts echoed
in each wave lapping at my feet.
Even here, far from those blue waters, I sit
on a quiet stream and know all that surrounds me
is speaking to me with my voice.
I talk to the water as if to myself,
learn from my own responses.
This poem is a response to earthweal weekly challenge: THE TEEMING, although I’ve missed the Linky window for that. Also, I’m off prompt for Day 11 of napowrimo.net. On this 11th day of National/Global Poetry Writing Month, this is my 16th poem of the month.
~ Day 11 ~
Water Like Glass
The harbor surface like glass,
broken by a freighter approaching
the river, a behemoth
that consumes the channel.
Kayaks move to the side,
surrender to its mass as they bob
in its wake. Time crawls
as the ship crawls past.
A crewman on the stern waves,
the waves in the wake behind him
fading as calm returns.
Water like glass greets the kayaks.
I’m off prompt for Day 10 at napowrimo.net.
In the company of the Niagara River and two of the Great Lakes, of course I spent time on the waterfront when I visited Buffalo in November 2020.
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~ Day 10 ~
hungry goldfinch feeds
while stealthy cat stays inside
glad daffodil nods
celebrate new light
elusive worm moon
hidden behind clouds and trees
unruffled owl hunts
on quiet Sunday
By some stretch of the imagination,
this may be considered on prompt for Day 9 of napowrimo.net,
which challenges us to write a list poem. The haiku are my response to
Frank Tassone’s #Haikai Challenge #182-185: Transformation,
which offers this list of kigo:
• Worm Moon
~ Day 9 ~
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There’s no way to know when our time will come. I sure didn’t.
Would I have done things differently if I did? Probably not.
Life teaches as it tests, so we do the best we can with the time we have.
Who am I to say whether you learned your lessons well?
I had my own lessons to learn, but those days are long gone.
Yes, my life was cut short, but, hell, my family was cut short.
A brother I never knew, gone almost before he could breathe.
My mother gone before I was fifteen, when I had to learn to breathe
all over again for myself and my father, devastated for the rest of his life.
I learned early on not to expect something for nothing,
that hard work brings rewards. Life may be cruel, but it can be
just as generous. Your love, even since I’ve been gone, is proof.
You’ve had your own lessons to learn. Those that were easy balanced
with trials. One at a time, you’ve managed. Life is meant to be lived
one day at a time. Live it. Don’t dwell on the past. Continue to learn.
This poem may not be quite on prompt for Day 8 of napowrimo.net, which challenges us to “read a few of the poems from Spoon River Anthology, and then write your own poem in the form of a monologue delivered by someone who is dead.” Mine is definitely not in the same style as those by Edgar Lee Masters. I chose to write it in the voice of my father – therapy for myself, probably, since it’s more in my “voice” than his. I suppose it could be an epilogue to my Day 6 poem, “Instillation.”
~ Day 8 ~
Blue collar, with roots deeper than any walnut or oak.
I remember those black walnuts from Uncle Bill’s farm.
Shells as hard as the hammer to break them.
And bitter, but hard work can be that way. Even if
a vacation on his dairy farm was more work than play,
it still made great memories.
He wasn’t a man to shy away from work.
Neither was his brother, whose lessons carried me through life.
Even before I worked beside him on a loading dock,
there was work in the yard, digging a trench for a foundation.
Pulling the transmission out of one of my first cars and replacing it.
Building a barn when he finally bought his own piece of land.
The years I put in on the dock after he retired.
The many years after that driving a truck, making deliveries.
The lesson that got me through all of that was simple.
There ain’t no such thing as a free lunch.
This poem is my response to Day 6 of napowrimo.net, which asks us to use a quote from a favorite book as inspiration and as the title for a poem, and then to change the title of the poem. The term TANSTAAFL (“There ain’t no such thing as a free lunch.”) was a theme in “The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress,” by Robert Heinlein, (1966). The complete phrase was already in use by the early 1940s.
~ Day 6 ~
My poem, “How to Paddle Upstream,” is featured today at Silver Birch Press. Many thanks to Melanie for including my poem in this HOW TO Series.
Image: the Moreau River, in Missouri – one of the tamer waters where I paddle
~ In fact, I’ll be there later today ~
moon no longer full
there is less light in the world
when a friend passes
This senryū is my response to Colleen Cheseboro’s #Tanka Tuesday #Poetry Challenge #219: #specificform, which asks that we write a haiku or tanka on any subject. While mortality has been an occasional subject in my poetry over the years, it seemed to become more of a recurring theme once I reached Medicare age, three years ago. What can I say? People around me are getting older. I’m getting older.
Wikimedia Commons – Heron at New Moon, by Ohara Koson
Waning gibbous moon, Jefferson City Missouri, 01 April 2021
This will serve as my poem for Day 1 of National/Global Poetry Writing Month,
in case I don’t meet the challenge at napowrimo.net.
~ Day 1 ~
A mere fork,
a simple choice.
One direction or the other.
Along one trail,
majestic oaks. On the other,
moss-covered limestone formations.
Either one with its rewards,
yet, just beyond that fork
lies a disturbance,
the wrapper of sweets
consumed by another,
left with no regard for the beauty
of the surroundings.
I choose that path,
stop to right what is wrong
placing it in my pocket.
The other way can wait
for another day.
This poem is my response to earthweal weekly challenge: TURNING POINTS.
It’s been a year-long winter, this period of isolation for many, with seasons blending as one while the world’s population held its collective breath waiting for the passing of the coronavirus. But shelter, by definition, is confining, and cabin fever soon set in. Guidelines to prevent the spread of the disease were ignored, with many gathering, crowded and unmasked.
Those in the know gained their pleasure from the outdoors while maintaining social distancing, fearful, still, that those less wise, the many they encountered as they shopped for necessities, those who were unmasked while ignoring distancing, would bring them into contact with the scourge that had taken millions of lives around the world.
But at last vaccines have been developed, and infection rates are falling as more people obtain them. The storm has not completely passed, but there is hope that this long winter is finally over.
sunlight on pink and white
This is my response to Haibun Monday: Cherry Blossoms,
the prompt from Frank Tassone at dVerse ~ Poets Pub.
Placidly, one after another,
they wait, a procession,
a steady flow succumbing
to a vital flow of a questionable future,
their wan smiles at the cheerfulness
of those who attend to them a reminder
that hope, however subtle,
still lives, their lives in the balance.
This morning, I completed the second of two sessions of chemotherapy – not of the sort you might expect. After numerous tests and procedures, my doctors have decided that iron infusion is the answer to the severe iron deficiency anemia I have been experiencing since late last summer. A bag of “rusty water” (my nurse referred to it as “chocolate water”) was blended with a bag of saline solution as it was pumped into my arm. Lab tests at three, nine, and twelve months will determine if/when I will need further treatment. Hopefully that’s years away.
The infusion took place at Missouri Cancer Associates. During my short time there I felt out of place as I sat beside patients with far more pressing needs than mine.
Shared with Open Link #288: March Live edition at dVerse ~ Poets Pub