Thoughts pass one to another, flowing in a manner that brings to mind a vision of a stream, its clarity a marvel unsurpassed, its course unquestioned, revealed in the direction a mind will take it, a mind perceives it.
Thus is an idea born.
This poem is my response to Quadrille #132 Your Poem Theme: Stream, the prompt from De Jackson at dVerse ~ Poets Pub, which is to use a form of the word stream in a 44-word poem, with no required meter or rhyme.
I walk trails, lands once deforested, now green, thankful my health is restored, that I can look between the trees to see a buck spying me between the trees on a swath that once was a road cutting across hills once clear-cut, now restored and as beautiful as the view from a bluff that looks back upon them. Looking back seventy years, who thought farmland, once depleted, could be so full of life? Looking ahead seventy years, will this be no more than a pocket of lost hope in the wider expanse of some other world?
This poem is my response to earthweal weekly challenge: VOYAGE TO THE OTHERWORLD, where Brendan says, “As with myth and dream, modernity has almost lost its Otherworld. The language of wonder and flight is paltry and dry. As the Earth becomes haunted of vanishing life, so the everteeming Ocean is a faded, seldom and flickering place. Change is inexorable; ghosts and monsters abound. But all is not done … Getting to the Otherworld is a voyage of equal parts doubt and faith.” He asks, “What help is there, in these immodest, shrinking and fuming times? Can we still hear the call, can Otherworld sails still trim, do islands still wait for us above the waterline across the main? And what does the Otherworld dream of a world such as we wander today?”
Before 1940, private landowners intensively cultivated the area that is now the 16,500 acre Cedar Creek Ranger District of the Mark Twain National Forest in Missouri, resulting in depleted and eroded soils. In the 1940s, the Soil Conservation Service began purchasing and rebuilding it, stabilizing gullies and planting trees and grasses. It has been managed by the U.S. Forest Service since 1953. The photo above is from my November hike on the Cedar Creek Trail. This section of the trail was once a country road that passed through farmland.
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.
He was a cop, which, by itself, shouldn’t mean anything, but he was also a perfectionist. Everything by the book, which was a good thing when scuba diving. Fewer chances for mishaps and mistakes meant a more enjoyable dive.
A group of friends would do river drifts in the Niagara River, with buddy teams of two. A pickup vehicle was left at the exit point, then we’d drive upriver to the entry point with our gear, drift along the bottom with a float, and surface.
Keeping track of bottom time was essential. Surfacing too late meant a hard kick in if the current had pushed us from shore. Embarrassing as it was, there were times when a buddy team had to call for a ride after surfacing too far downriver.
When possible, divers tended to use the same partner. Knowing their skill level and tendencies meant being able to anticipate their reactions above and below the water. It made it easier to avoid underwater obstacles or tangles with the buddy line.
I had been on several dives with him. He was a good friend and an excellent diver who was training to be an instructor. Dives with him always went smoothly, but I wondered about his patience. As a group, he buddied with his wife.
That’s not always a good thing, when someone insists that everything be by the book. It comes down to knowing your partner’s abilities. Compensating for shortcomings should come naturally to an instructor, more so for a couple.
At the end of one dive, my buddy and I were checking out a boat anchor I’d found when we saw their dive flag go by. Late exit. Drifting next to the float, he was berating her as he untangled the float line that was wrapped around her.
Things were pretty uncomfortable as we sat on the shore afterward, having a snack and something to drink. Talk centered around the finds we had brought to the surface. I pictured him on the bottom, the anchor tied to his fins.
Narrative poetry is not really my cup of tea, but I thought I’d give this a try.
A strong breeze brings to my ears the sound of a lawnmower two blocks away. Its dull drone is punctuated by the “Thud, Thud” of a sledgehammer slamming into my neighbor’s driveway retaining wall as a stone mason removes the last obstacle before him. Bags of cement sit beside a pallet of stone blocks waiting to take their place as a replacement for the long crumbling wall. A coworker starts the mixer to prepare the mortar, its low hum one more sound in a mechanical chorus. Water hisses as he sprays the inside of the hot metal drum. Sounds of nature are still evident to those who listen closely.
backlit green oak leaves crowded with drying catkins rustle in the breeze
This haibun is my response to Haibun Monday 4-26-21: The Present Moment, the prompt from Frank Tassone at dVerse ~ Poets Pub, with the challenge to write a haibun about the moment we are currently experiencing.
Listening to our shadow on a night picnic, being visited by words, I dress myself with raining moonbeams that bring me magic with dream sense. Giving them our real names, I sing to the stars of my love for you with controlled abandon. What’s my image? Poems and the body, think of them as being here as one, for poems are alive. These are the nights you love me most, full moon me, most mad and moonly.
This poem is my response to Day 18 at napowrimo.net, where the challenge is write a poem based on the title of one of the chapters from Susan G. Woolridge’s Poem crazy: Freeing Your Life with Words, from the book’s Table of Contents, found here. I’ve included fifteen of those phrases in my poem so it is nearly a cento. The chapter titles I have used are:
• poem sound and song • listening to our shadow • on a night picnic • being visited by words • I dress myself with rain • bring me magic • dream sense • our real names • controlled abandon • what’s my image • poems and the body • being here • poems are alive • full moon me • most mad and moonly
First light arrives with last, and I feel your pull as you near my horizon framed in dusk. Your bare presence brings the first sliver of satisfaction, delivered in a warm light that intensifies with each rising moment. I feel your full embrace in a moment of silver light that lasts through the night. But a night of moments is never enough, and your last light fades as first light arrives.
This poem is my response to Day 17 at napowrimo.net, where the challenge is to write a poem about, or involving, the moon.