Memories on the Downslope

Memories on the Downslope

It was winter, early 1966.
Do you remember where?
Of course you would,
but you’re no longer here to say.

Somewhere in Pennsylvania.
A grandparents’ farm, family friends.
We camped there several times,
but for that visit we stayed in the farmhouse.

All for a fun day of sledding for the kids.
Why shouldn’t a dad join in?
Diving onto that wood and metal glider
you raced down the hill, unstoppable.

Until you found the one bare spot
on that long slope of a farm field.
The sled came to a dead halt,
but you rocketed forward.

We found your metal frame glasses coated
with blood from the gash in your brow.
Just like that, the cold seeped into all of us,
so we went inside while you were taped up.

But the day was early, so once our bones
were warmed by hot chocolate
we loaded up the grandparents’ van,
ten of us packed into a ’64 Econoline.

We headed for an old logging road,
snow covered and perfect for sledding.
Of course, you were more than content
to let the kids have all the fun.

This is my response to Twiglet #298 – a bare hill.

Shared with OpenLinkNight #324 at dVerse ~ Poets Pub.

Image – Lightning Guider sled

Warmth in September’s Chill ~ haibun

Warmth in September’s Chill

Days that were cool, but just as often warm, always led to cooler nights, and walking from the barn to the house through damp evening grass meant sitting by the wood burning stove to dry the cuffs of our jeans while waiting for dinner. It didn’t matter if they became wet again as we walked across the lawn later in the night, because it meant sitting by the open flames of the firepit, sometimes the highlight of our weekend visits, where they could dry once more. And if that meant we had the cool night air against our backs it also gave us a reason to stand and turn to warm that side as we gazed at the beauty overhead.

vast blanket of stars
blazing light in the night sky
timeless memories

This is my response to Haibun Monday: September Song,
the prompt from Xenia Tran at dVerse ~ Poets Pub.

Though miles and years apart from those visits to my parents’ country home,
the fire in the photo is from a recent family gathering
that I know my parents would have enjoyed greatly.

hope for the future ~ shadorma

hope for the future

newborn child
a most welcome gift
blessed with love
devotion
embraced, now and forever
hope for the future

Just three days after our return home from our trip to New York, my newest granddaughter, Maeve Emilia, arrived. I look forward to meeting her in the not-too-distant future.

This poem is my response to Colleen’s Weekly #TankaTuesday
Challenge No. 289, #SpecificForm Shadorma.
Also, I am sharing this with OpenLink LIVE at dVerse~ Poets Pub.

Mindless Direction ~ ekphrastric poetry

Mindless Direction

There was no order,
only madness.
Windows became doors,
doors became less.

A house divided,
claimed by a mass
that claimed to represent
the masses, became a shell.

No murmuration, this.
An uproar, a swarm
flocked to relight
a star totally eclipsed.

Their order a chaos,
disjointed, disorganized
yet contrived as rebellion,
brought only more darkness.

Disarray their purpose,
they took to flight,
dispersed, scattered,
their damage done.

murmuration – the flocking behavior of starlings
United States Capitol Attack – January 6, 2021

This poem is my response to The strange houses of Lee Madgwick, the prompt from Sarah at dVerse ~ Poets Pub, which is to find inspiration in one of four surreal images of various structures. I chose “The Murmuration at No. 57.” More of the art of Lee Madgwick can be found here.

To deny the opportunity ~ American Sentence

To deny the opportunity to listen, to read, is a crime.

This American sentence is my response to Meet the Bar with Aphorisms,
the prompt from Björn at dVerse ~ Poets Pub.

I recently visited the Kurt Vonnegut Museum and Library in Indianapolis.  One of the exhibits was in regard to Vonnegut’s dedication to the right of free speech and the fight to end censorship and the banning of books in schools and libraries. On one wall were boards with statements arguing for the right of free speech. Markers were provided with an invitation for visitors to leave their own comments in regard to this principle. In the photo below is the statement that I wrote, which I have revised for this prompt.  (Click image for larger view in new tab.)

Open Secret

Open Secret

The sky leans in
to whisper in my ear.

It speaks of clouds
that dance in the wind,
of rainbows that dance
within a misty canyon.

Heard even above the roar
of a mighty cataract, it speaks
of blue water that returns
the favor of the sky,

of a river that knows
my return is inevitable
when it flows through me
even when I am away.

The sky shares with me
what is a secret to no one.

This is my response to earthweal weekly challenge: AN ATMOSPHERIC RIVER ROARS AT US
and is inspired by Twiglet #293 – the sky leans.

The last leg of our recent trip took us to western New York to visit with family, and, of course, the Niagara River. Parking on the American side of the river, we walked across the Rainbow Bridge in Niagara Falls to view the falls from the Canadian side, which is always a delight.

Tiny House ~ American Sentence

A tiny house is only as small as the minds that are within it.

Our travels continue and will take us through Labor Day. Ten days ago, we were in Philadelphia and had the pleasure of spending an afternoon at the historic Valley Green Inn with Claudia McGill and Merril Smith. The tiny house that is pictured is a wonderful gift that I received from Claudia.

This American sentence is shared with Open Link Night #322 – Lions and Tigers and Bears, Oh My!

The American Sentence was created by Allen Ginsberg
~ loose American form of haiku, with 17 syllables
~ represented as a sentence
~ reference to a season is not required
~ similar to senryū
~ read more here & here

New Day

New Day

First break of light, senses keen
for any trace of change,
I greet the day, eager
to meet any challenge, knowing
what I face will not daunt me.
Each day is a new beginning.
No hurdle is too great,
this morning or any morning.

This is my response to #Quadrille #158: Morning Has Broken, the prompt from Linda Lee Lyberg at dVerse ~ Poets Pub, which is to use a form of the word morning in a 44-word poem (excluding title), with no required meter or rhyme.

For My Benefit

For My Benefit

Would I be that person again?
Am I not, still?
You speak, perhaps to me.
I am here, yet I was there,
then. But this is now.

Separation. Time.
Analog or digital, there is familiarity
in all you say, all you do.

The fourth wall cannot prevent
memories from surfacing
as I watch them unfold before me.

Starting this weekend, I’ll be away for a couple of weeks, traveling. My writing in the past week has been limited by a particular preparation for the trip. I have more than 50 hours of home videos on VHS tape, some from as far back as 1990, that I am converting to digital. I hope to share some of that with my children when I see them at a family gathering that will be a part of this trip.

Hopefully, 3,00 miles behind the wheel will provide some inspiration.

Shared with OpenLink LIVE at dVerse ~ Poets Pub.

Fourth Wall

Ode to Last Flight

Ode to Last Flight

Don’t think we don’t appreciate
the fare that’s offered. We do
queue up from time to time,
but food trucks really aren’t
our thing. We’re here for the beer,
and you do know how to brew.
Few craft brewers bother
to have a dark beer on tap,
favoring IPAs, but your selection
is the best. It’s about time
we had a quality brewery in town,
so your fare is just fine with me.
We’ll take a flight of your finest.

This is my response Poetics: At the restaurant…,
the prompt from Merril at dVerse ~ Poets Pub.