Moonlight

Moonlight

Should the moon
light my way
on the darkest night,
when my soul seems
farthest from the light of day,
my path will not be lost.
Guided by that glimmer
of hope, and thankful
for its companionship,
I will find my way
out of the darkness.

This is my second response to the prompt from Lillian at dVerse ~ Poets Pub,
Compound Me!, which asks us to use one or more of the compound words that are provided.
This is to be done by separating the root words by line break or punctuation
– and with no words placed between the root words. (Here, I have used moonlight.)

Image: Full Moon Eclipse (Blood Moon) 15 May 2022

More Than a Tree

More Than a Tree

A tree stands tall,
sheltering all below
with a canopy of green.

But time takes its toll,
leaving branches bare
of leaf, with all life gone.

Sapped of any strength
it held in its prime, the tree
falls to the forest floor.

The story does not end here.
Observe the dead wood.
Consider all that lies under.

Estimate its worth, knowing
that life goes on, nurtured
by the death of a tree.

This is my response to the prompt from Lillian at dVerse ~ Poets Pub, Compound Me!, which asks us to use one or more of the compound words that are provided. This is to be done by separating the root words by line break or punctuation – and with no words placed between the root words. (Here, using underestimate.)

Beside, Before, Beneath

 

Beside, Before, Beneath

Placement is paramount in understanding
this gift, to be so near a natural wonder
appreciated only by proximity and granted
by the good grace of introduction by parents
who appreciated the beauty around them
and were aware of the intrinsic value of water,
that essential element that lives within all of us.

To be held beside, to stand before and beneath,
and to ride on the waves below the Falls of Niagara.
All of these have been my pleasure, practiced
for the first six decades of my life.

While being with the one I love this past decade
has been an additional blessing in my life,
my distance from that natural wonder is now
nine hundred miles, a curse that is lifted
only when traveling to see family.
The day when it is once more a short drive
from my door cannot come soon enough.

This is my response to Day 29 at napowrimo.net, which is to “write a poem in which you muse on the gifts you received at birth — whether they are actual presents, like a teddy bear, or talents – like a good singing voice – or circumstances – like a kind older brother, as well as a “curse” you’ve lived with.”

Photos
American Falls with Horseshoe Falls in background
One year old, with my father & grandfather
Visiting Niagara Falls with my wife

(click each photo for larger view in new tab)

 

The Commons at Niagara

The Commons at Niagara

Passing from one great lake to another,
would this not seem a natural course?
But who could pass treacherous rapids,
or the mighty cataract they surround?
Of what use a river, if not for transit?
But let that not halt the progress of man.

Of what use a river falling great heights
if not to be harnessed for industry?
And so it came to be, mills and plants
along its rushing course, amid the islands
that divide those cataracts, atop the walls
that once were a stately gorge.

But oh, the steep price of progress
and the unbridled power of industry.
Far from sightly, the discharge
of chemicals to air and water
and the scars they leave the cost
of harnessing the power of nature.
If not for visionaries.

Free Niagara became the cry of those
who followed Olmsted’s lead.
And so they did. Land along that gorge,
beside those rapids, and on the islands
at the very brink of the falls,
once claimed by commerce,
became parkland for the people.

From one century to another,
and now another, the trails and paths
of Olmsted and Vaux continue to offer
views that show no sign of those past scars,
only the beauty of this natural wonder
at the Niagara Reservation, the Commons
that displaced an industrial wasteland.

 

This is my response to earthweal weekly challenge: The Commons, the prompt from Brendan which as us to “describe that half-wild, half-human habitat of sharing and sustenance in your locale?” The Niagara Reservation, later named Niagara Falls State Park, was New York’s first state park. I lived in the area for most of my life and often visited the Falls, sometimes several times a month.

Off prompt, but shared with Day 29 at napowrimo.net.

Aerial view of Niagara Falls from Niagara Falls Public Library
Black & white image: former industry along the Niagara Gorge, from Wikimedia commons
(click photos for larger view in new tab)

 

Forever and Always

Forever and Always

Yesterday, today, tomorrow.
All one.

I’m not going anywhere.
I didn’t travel all this way for nothing.

What was born within
notes of jazz and poetry,
beside blue water
beneath the stars,
knows no end.

The truth, yours and mine,
is found in the Nebulous Collection
and all that has followed.

Forever and Always.

This is my response to Day 18 at napowrimo.net, which is to write a poem that provides five answers to the same question – without ever specifically identifying the question that is being answered.

Always in Megan’s Orbit

Always in  Megan’s Orbit

Four years, now.
Two more, and the time
I’ve missed you
will begin to eclipse
the time I shared with you.

You loved walks at any time,
autumn, summer, spring,
but you were already entering
your winter when I met you,
and soon a short walk
was followed by a long nap.

Leaping high for snow
pushed off the deck
became more of a bound,
and jumping at raked leaves
might bring a fall on the hip
that had plagued you
most of your life.

Border collie to the end,
you brought me into your fold,
and I’m better for the love
found there. Nothing will eclipse that.

This is my response to Day 17 at napowrimo.net,
where we are asked to write a dog-inspired poem.

…more Megan, on WordPress

April 4, 2015
September 11, 2015
April 24, 2016
December 8, 2016
January 24, 2017
April 21, 2017
October 10, 2017
June 16, 2018
June 22, 2018

Go With the Flow ~ list poem

Go With the Flow ~ A Poetic Prompt

1. Using Google Maps,
     or a paper map if you are old-school,
     find the nearest river or stream.

2. If you are familiar with your nearest stream,
     as you should be, disregard the above.

3. Travel to that body of water and stand on its bank.

4. Watch the water as it flows, staying before you as it passes.

5. Observe any object that may float in the current, leaving you behind.

6. In your mind, follow the path that object will take.

7. Observe all that is left in its wake,
     where you will find your final destination,
     words waiting to form on the page.

This is my response to Day 4 at napowrimo.net, where we are asked to write a poem in the form of a poetry prompt. With a screen name like rivrvlogr, of course mine would be about water.

Summer Day in Spring ~ haibun

Summer Day in Spring

On a bright, summer-like March day sandwiched between the forty degree norm of rain and clouds, I walk the paved and cedar-mulched trails that wind around and over the hills of this conservation area known as Runge. Trees marked with blue paint, some cut into segments, lie beside the trail, felled by state crews that, during winter, had marked those that were either dead or waiting to topple. Healthy trees are plenty along the two miles of trails in this hundred-acre preserve, with an occasional firmly-rooted, long-dead oak lending its graceful lines to those waiting for the arrival of green. As always, cedars show faces that seem to peer from trunks that bear the scars of severed limbs.

I cross a hillside meadow that shows new green within the black of a controlled burn before coming to a pond with its own green emerging from the water along banks of reeds flattened by winter ice and snow. A turtle watches warily as I pass to enter the forest once again. Along the path that takes me out of the preserve, I walk beside a small stream and stop to gaze at details in the limestone bed that are miniature examples of the Karst formations found here, in central and southern Missouri.

small splash of dull green
frog startled by intruder
stone that does not skip

Such a pleasant afternoon invites me to spend more time outdoors. Four miles away lies an island that is not an island. Sixty years ago, the US Army Corps of Engineers constructed wing dams on the Missouri River. Stone dikes that extend at an angle into the river are meant to prevent shore erosion while maintaining a steady current down the center of the river to provide a channel for commercial navigation. The slight curve that was in the river below the State Capitol soon began collecting river sediment, and the area that briefly becomes an island during high-stage floods now covers thirty acres of wooded terrain. A pedestrian bridge curves 765 feet from the riverside bluff, crossing railroad tracks that parallel the river to reach the new city park established on Adrian’s Island.

I leave the paved trail to take photos of tangled trees that have been carried downriver, then continue along a gravel road that extends to the end of the park. High in the trees that are likely fifty to sixty years old are two eagle’s nests. One has not seen any activity this year, but bald eagles often perch in the other, with reports that young eagles have been seen. I look up to see one of the parents overhead as it soars above the treetops and banks as it drops low over the river. It rises again and turns sharply before settling into the nest with its mate. As I leave the road, careful to maintain a safe distance from the tree that holds the nest, the eagle watches intently, sometimes moving to a nearby branch for a better view of me, while its mate stays behind. Taking what photos this angle allows, I then turn back to the trail and bridge to leave the island, knowing my photo opportunities will decrease as leaves appear, giving the eagles the seclusion they deserve.

cool days grow longer
warm breeze brings a welcome change
branches wait for green

This haibun is my response to Colleen’s #TankaTuesday Weekly Poetry Challenge No. 267, #ShareYourDay, in which we’re asked to take a photo and write a syllabic poem about our day.

It’s off-prompt, but I’m also sharing it with Day 3 at napowrimo.net
for National/Global Poetry Writing Month.

Memory, Still

Memory Still

“I am in my mother’s room.”
                    Samuel Beckett, Molloy

Stained glass, radiant with hummingbirds,
this light was long a fixture in her dining room
as it cast its many-colored rays onto the walls
and a golden glow across many a holiday
dinner of homemade dishes and desserts
served with love and family laughter.

One of the few traces of her life left
in this world, as a reminder of those days
it now hangs in the corner of a bedroom,
spare with just a repurposed child’s dresser
filled with clothing that waits to be sorted
for donation and a bed of far too few nights.

My home was her home, independence
the price of failing health, and displacement
was a tax she shouldered with sadness.
The hummingbirds often stayed lit,
their brilliance a reminder of better days,
however brief her days with me would be.

This light will not be dimmed forever.
Her granddaughter shares a fondness
for hummingbirds. One day, their glow
will grace her home, a welcome addition
to a family sure to be filled with happiness
and a reminder of one who is held so dear.

This poem is my response to Poetics: Opening Sentences of Famous Novels, the prompt from Linda Lee Lyberg at dVerse ~ Poets Pub, which is to use one of twelve sentences provided. I have chosen “I am in my mother’s room” from Molloy, by Samuel Beckett, published in 1951.