A slight nudge, and I leave shore.
Or do I? It follows me on either side
as my kayak moves along the stream,
witnessing each stroke of my paddle.
And the stream, for its part doubling
the presence of the shore with sycamore,
oak, and maple casting their light
in ripples cast from my bow.
I touch the water as a floating leaf
passes, or is it the passing shore I touch?
Could it be that it has been the shore,
and not the water, that has drawn me here?
The newly rippled image tells me it could be both.
This poem is my response to Poetics: Connections, the prompt from Merril at dVerse ~ Poets Pub, which is to about connecting or connections—in any sense. Merril cites the poetry of Mary Oliver as an example.
This is not a timepiece held by just any man.
His later life an escape to simple times and the bottle,
it graced the pocket of your father’s jeans
and marked the hours as he worked by your side,
toiling in farm fields after your mother’s death.
And later, it measured the hours of tavern time
till we would pick him up and drive to Aunt Ginny’s,
his home in his last years far from those fields,
never recovering from his loss. Measuring
his life, short as it was, it passed to you,
its black shoestring of a watch chain lasting
even through the years it served you. It passed
from your hands to mine, a reminder
of the hard years of your youth, a witness
to the life you achieved through hours of hard work,
a testament to the power of time to heal.
This poem is my response to Poetics:Object Poems, the prompt from Mish at dVerse ~ Poets Pub, which is to write a poem beginning with “This is not a ______” and centered around an every day object, sparing the details of the object and instead showing the connection that it has made or what it represents.
Image: the pocket watch that once belonged to my grandfather, and then my father.
We stood on the the shore of Lake Erie, just as we had many times in the past. From the waves rolling onto its sandy beaches, to the dunes lining those shores, to the wildlife found along the the shore and on the marshes within the park, to its wonderful lighthouse, Presque Isle State Park in Erie Pennsylvania has much to offer and has become one of our favorite places to visit. We always make it a priority to stop there when we drive from Missouri to Buffalo to see family and friends.
But this visit was different. Family and friends from Erie, Cleveland, Youngstown, and Buffalo (and even Tennessee and Washington state) were there to share in the beauty of the moment as we stood beneath the towering Presque Isle lighthouse to exchange our wedding vows.
Pennsylvania is one of the few states to allow self-administered weddings. Because Presque Isle has come to mean so much to us, it seemed only natural for us to have our wedding there. I wrote poetic verse that was read by my children and my granddaughter, and I also wrote the vows that we exchanged. It was the perfect setting for our new beginning.
under clear blue skies
waves in the sunlight sparkle
love like waterfall
This haibun is my response to Happy New Year! This prompt from Lillian at dVerse ~ Poets Pub is to write a traditional haibun about a new beginning we’ve experienced in our lifetime. The haiku within the haibun is to include a kigo (a word associated with a season – here, waterfall for summer) and a kireji or cutting word at the end of the second line. This word (in English haiku, it can even be simple punctuation, such as a dash, comma, ellipsis, or an exclamation point) briefly cuts the stream of thought, indicating that the verse consists of two thoughts half independent of each other. In my haibun, sparkle serves as the haiku’s kireji.
For most of my life, I lived within ten miles of one of the most magnificent bodies of water known to man. Its combination of splendor and power never ceases to amaze me, though I’ve visited it hundreds of times. I see it far less often since moving away eight years ago, but seeing it this month for the first time in nearly a year was no different. From the rush and fury of the rapids above the falls to the roar of the water as it tumbles beyond the crest to the gorge below, the Niagara River at Niagara Falls once again took my breath away.
light seen in colors
This haibun is my response to Haibun Monday: Being But Human,
from Kim at dVerse ~ Poets Pub, with the prompt to write a haibun
inspired by a moment “in nature that left you with a sense of wonder or awe.”
Image: Niagara Falls – 10 November 2020
(click image for larger view in new tab)
time spent with granddaughters
one newly welcomed to this world
one scampers with joy
comfort for these weary bones
closer to the end than a beginning
I have chosen to write a Gogyohka (5 brief lines in keeping with the tradition of Japanese short verse) to response to MTB: Jisei (Japanese Death Poems), the prompt from Frank Tassone at dVerse ~ Poets Pub, which is to write a haiku, senryu, tanka, kyoka, or Gogyohka that reflects on
imminent death – and the significance of life in light of it.
We welcome a new granddaughter who entered the world last night. Mother and child are doing well and will be home tomorrow. Once I actually get to meet her this weekend, I will spend two days driving home early next week, including a visit with my two-year old granddaughter in Cleveland.
All of these in a fluke of lighting,
a software glitch transmitted
from your cell to mine.
Always with me.
This poem is my response to Poetics: Look into my Eyes, the prompt from Mish
at dVerse ~ Poets Pub, which is to “Incorporate the theme of eyes into a poem.
Write about the eyes of someone close to you, your own eyes
or those of a fictional character.”
The image, a photo sent to me by my wife in our early days,
is one of the wallpapers on my phone. (without the text, written today)