Daily Task ~ memento

Daily Task

In hands both worn and never still
a simple watch was held
before

the daily tasks could be fulfilled
and all life’s worries felled.
And more

than that in times severe and lean,
each day it was resolved
that time

and labor served without machine
would take away the pall,
align.

This is my response to Meeting the Bar: Memento, the prompt from Grace at dVerse ~ Poets Pub, which is to write a poem in the memento form or about a memento. I have done both, writing about a daily occurrence (though not a holiday or anniversary) involving a particular object, a pocket watch that was my grandfather’s and handed down to my father (and then to me). My grandfather was a laborer all of his life, one that was mostly consumed by hard times.

Memento: The form was created by Emily Romano and is a poem about a holiday or an anniversary, consisting of two stanzas as follows: the syllable count should be 8 beats for line one; 6 beats for line two; and two beats for line three. This is repeated twice for each stanza. The rhyme scheme is: a/b/c/a/b/c for each of the two stanzas.

 

orange leaves ~ haiku & kimo

orange leaves
fall on bluff top trail
river view

maple leaves of brilliant orange and yellow
reflect the afternoon sun
in a final farewell

Haiku, a Japanese form, have three lines with a syllable count of 3/5/3, 5/7/5, or short/long/short. A kigo, or seasonal reference, is integral, and there is often a kireji, or “cutting word” at the end of the first or second line to indicate two thoughts half-independent of each other.

There are distinct differences in kimo, an Israeli variant of haiku originally structured to meet the need for more syllables in Hebrew. Like haiku, there is no rhyme, but kimo have a syllable count of 10/7/6, and deal with a single moment in which there is no movement. While my poem is a moment in nature, kimo have no seasonal or natural requirement. Find discussions here and here.

This is my response to Colleen’s #TankaTuesday Weekly Poetry Challenge No. 296, #Tastetherainbow.

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.