Relativity ~ prose poem


Out of winter’s cold and into the hospital, how could there be anything but warmth? Still, a greater chill comes over me, and my breath is sucked out of me as I pause at the door to the corridor. Only nine, maybe ten, this girl before me, tucked into a wheelchair with a blanket, her head wrapped so that no hair is visible. Is there any?

My warning to brace for the cold as I hold the door open is met with her mother’s wan smile, but the child’s laughter is a reminder that hardship, sorrow, and joy are relative to each of us. Perspective takes a bow when least expected, but when needed most, and I’m flooded with warmth.

This is my response to Day 1 at, where Maureen asks us to write a prose poem that is about the body and contains “an encounter between two people, some spoken language, and at least one crisp visual image.”

This encounter as I was walking into Roswell Park Cancer Center in Buffalo, NY, was a reminder of why I donated platelets, sometimes up to twenty-four times a year.

Sunlight Savior ~ prose poem

Sunlight Savior

Water or water lily? You lit on the flower, but a breeze pushed you into the water, nonetheless. Not your choice, of course, and your stained-glass wings beat as if to prove the point. Tantalizing inches away, the lily called to you, but the fluid motion of your wings soon succumbed to the weighty water that pulled them down. A small wave washed over you as I reached beneath you, saving you from a watery grave. You drank in the sunlight that dried the tiny beads of water that clung to you, clinging to my finger until you were filled with enough confidence to take wing, this time to the flower bed beside the lily pool. Water lilies could wait while your wings regained their luster. For now, sunlight was the only thing you craved.

My prose poem is inspired by A Beautiful Dragonfly, a poem by Gillena Cox, found here, and voiced here. Coincidentally, I heard/saw Gillena read her poem at dVerse ~ Poets Pub’s OpenLinkNight LIVE on Thursday, just hours after the events in my prose poem.

Reflecting on Darkness

Reflecting on Darkness as it appears below is flawed – note the duplication of paragraph #2 in paragraph #1.  I have corrected that with Reflecting on Darkness ~ Reboot, but I am leaving this version here as a reminder to myself to pay closer attention when using the editor.      …      Ken G.

Reflecting on Darkness

And what of that darkness? Should I let it consume me? The light I cast may be a faint reflection, but it is here, always, the only shadows falling beneath the measured steps of men long gone, or cast by the occasional passing of that globe of beauty amid the darkness.

And what of that darkness? Should I let it consume me? The light I cast may be a faint reflection, but it is here, always, the only shadows falling beneath the measured steps of men long gone, or cast by the occasional passing of that globe of beauty amid the darkness.

Perhaps that orb gazes towards me, the same questions crossing its mind as it ponders the darkness that surrounds us. Can there be more to this world, or that, than meets the eye?

I dreamt I was the moon.

I used that line, “I dreamt I was the moon,” in my last post always early morning, a magnetic poem. I was away for a week, returning the evening of July 22nd, and apparently glanced at the dVerse prompt (now closed) before setting aside writing to work on another project for a few days. When I found the line in my notes, I assumed it was for a poem and went from there. I’m glad that Jane and Merril reminded me about the original prompt (now closed).

This bit of flash fiction is my response to Prosery #2, presented by Sarah at dVerse. With Prosery, the challenge is to write a piece of flash fiction with a 144-word limit. Included in the bit of prose is to be a complete line from a poem. For Prosery #2, the line to be included is “I dreamt I was the moon” from Alice Oswald’s “Full Moon.” My flash fiction also meets the additional challenge of hitting the 144-word mark, exactly.

Image source: ©NASA (Earthrise)

Ken G.

Give Me a Ring ~ prose poem

Give Me a Ring

The trick to having ringing in your ears is in not hearing it. Of course, it’s actually something else, and you’re not really hearing it, because if you are then why doesn’t anyone else? But for the sake of this conversation, let’s say you can hear the ringing in your ears, only this time you don’t. Notice. It. Because once you do, that’s all you’ll hear. Of course I’m talking! My lips are moving, aren’t they? But you cant hear me over the ringing, can you? Yeah, that’s my fault. I shouldn’t have mentioned it.

Image source:

Too Many Candles to Count ~ prose poem

Too Many Candles to Count

Your birth date just past, I think of how I couldn’t wait just six more hours to share that day with you. I like to think I made that first day a happy one. Those six hours were like nothing, and every candle we blew out together marked a joyous time, your smile one I will never forget. So many candles over fifty-five years. So many smiles you brought to me. I shared my first twenty-two years with you, and you shared your last two years with me. Our roles were reversed, but I would do it again, without a second thought. You chose your role in life. Without that, my life would not be the same.

The 1950s and 1960s were different times. Women’s opportunities were far less broad then they are today. Advances have been made since then, with, hopefully, more in the near future. Given those earlier times, I’m thankful for the role my mother played.

I’ll Take Ice Cream with My Cake ~ prose poem

I’ll Take Ice Cream with My Cake

I see snow falling in March and remind myself. Again. My birthday occurs during winter. Somehow, working outside in the cold for more than thirty years wasn’t enough. I had to retire to figure it out. It’s not like I didn’t see enough snow. I lived in Buffalo where scraping ice from a windshield is one way to stay warm and digging out is a just another day. But even if it is my least favorite season, I didn’t move to get away from the weather. Milder winters were just an added bonus. Missouri may not see half as much snow, but it has its share. In fact, six inches is the forecast for tonight. In March. Now that I have more time on my hands, maybe I notice these things more. I watch a female cardinal take seeds from the feeder, her mate standing guard on an overhead branch as the snow starts to fall. Looks like this year’s could be another winter birthday.

Tempered Words ~ the magnetism of a prose poem

Ice on the Missouri River – 31 Jan 2019

Usually, when I start a magnetic poem, I let a thought come out of the words as I scan through them. This time, before started I decided I wanted to include river ice, so I used the online Nature Poetry Kit. I stumbled right away and decided the available words, even with the usual magnetic editing, wouldn’t be enough to get me to where my mind was going. So, I just went back to writing, and the result was this prose poem.

Contemplating Ice on a River That Should Not Freeze

Anger takes us nowhere. Talk to me. Do not choke the flow of words, like ice on a river stealing light from the waves. The Niagara is a river that sees little ice, even in the coldest of times. Its few islands are not impediments, instead channeling, giving it direction, the mighty falls no precipice, but a way to gather its strength with rapids that are a celebration rather than a sign of fury. Throughout its journey, its dialogue is one of reason, serenity punctuated with a passion that does not hamper its course. The waves we meet should not impede us, but instead be the life in our journey.

When I was done, I decided to try magnetic poetry again, and this was the result:

Tempered Words

Like ice on a river
stealing light from the waves,
words of anger
bring the chill of darkness,
leading us nowhere.

During the winter months, an ice boom is stretched across the Niagara River at Lake Erie to prevent damage to docks from ice flow along the shore, as well as to prevent blockage of the water intakes for the hydro-power plant near Niagara Falls. The boom is removed when ice coverage of the lake is minimal, usually in early April, when there will be a steady flow of ice for about a week. The photo above (source: is an aerial view of the boom preventing ice flow from Lake Erie into the Niagara River. The images below were taken 30 Jan 2008, after a break in the boom resulted in the river being choked with ice for several days. (click image for new tab/full screen)

Contemplating Ice on a River That Doesn’t Freeze ~ prose poem

Contemplating Ice on a River that Doesn’t Freeze

The winter water here is cold, but I’ve seen colder. Felt colder. I’ve seen ice float down the Niagara River, filling it shore-to-shore. But that was a fluke. No, there are no whales there, but normally the ice boom keeps the Lake Erie ice from flowing downriver and damaging docks along the shore. Actually, ice is more common on the Missouri River. Winter temperatures always are in flux, and hundreds of tributaries send their broken ice downstream. I’ll think about that today, when I’m kayaking in a t-shirt. Make that a kayak. I’ll be wearing the t-shirt – in 60-degree weather – thinking about last week’s river ice. And I’ll be on the water, not in it. It’s still cold, and I’ll be thinking about that tomorrow morning, when the temperature will be back down to 20 and the ice will form again on the creeks and streams. I think I’ll head back to the river next week and take some pictures of the ice flow – from shore.

Image: Osage River, Missouri – ice free (noon, 14 Feb 2019)
~~ click image for larger view in new tab ~~

Words Most Foul

Words Most Foul

Words Most Foul

Smoke that flows in wispy curls from parted lips offers images of romance, satisfaction, even nonchalance, perhaps, as if it has not already done its damage. It cannot reverse its path, pass over those lips to return the life it drew from every tiny cell it touched. It is toxic, in its very essence, and its bravado must not be ignored, nor forgotten. Words may be taken back, but their intent lingers with an air so foul that it cannot be mistaken for compassion.

Image: © Andrews McMeel Syndication (Rob Rogers, via Facebook)


Letter to Okaji on the Past Not So Perfect

Letter to Okaji on the Past Not So Perfect

Letter to Okaji on the Past Not So Perfect

Dear Bob: I often think that things are just as they should be. The house is just right. My car is running fine, on it’s way to 200,000 miles. The young are healthy, the elders nearly so. And then the lawn dies under another heat wave, after it’s third planting, and the throttle body on the car sucks more water than air as it chokes and dies during a 700 mile drive to a funeral in the dead of winter. But I limp home after a major repair with engine flush and decide not to tell the local shop they cracked the oil filler cap when they changed my oil. I learn to live with weeds and balance water consumption with a scraggly lawn. I also remind myself that a sore knee when I make that mid-nightly trip to the bathroom doesn’t mean I won’t wake up in the morning. Life goes on, sometimes smoothly. Sometimes we limp on, but we don’t let that spoil our view out the window, or even down the road. All my best. Ken.

A reply to Robert Okaji’s Letter to Gierke from the Future’s Past.
(I think this may be my first prose poem.)