The Cruelest Month

April and National Poetry Month are here again. Let’s hope Elliott is wrong and it doesn’t become a Wasteland.

finding truth
finding ourselves
finding treasure
is a process of discovery
as painful as physical recovery

we are all onions

Under the bandage. That’s a lot of ink.
Stitches out and a lot of careful cleaning I’m finally ink free.
This is supposed to happen.

Return to the Moon

Last Friday evening, three poets from Living Poetry, attended the NC Museum of Natural History’s Sciences Astronomy Days lecture “Return to the Moon.” The headliner was Matt Funke, a NASA/JPL Solar System Ambassador. After his talk there was a Q&A followed by our poets reading the poems they had just written during the show. I have yet to sign up for a Science Cafe but I tried my hand at a poem while watching the show on You Tube. My attempt is down below. For more poems, click the link above to watch the event. The poetry starts at the 59 minute mark but the whole presentation is interesting, even for someone with only casual interest in the topic.

Living on the Moon

The hum of life support equipment
is the white noise soundtrack
thrumming in my bones

Chief Botanist, I spend my time underground
with plants in the greenhouse
but I miss barefoot walks on the beach

My mother worries for the wrong reason
Fear of disaster has mostly been
replaced by loneliness and boredom

I used to talk to everyone that came
through on their way to outer space
but it was too depressing

Soon there will be no one left on Earth
which will be a fine time to return
I am not a space junky


			

Poem Shorts

When you don’t have time to write but your friend sends you pictures from dog walking and the Monday Poetry Prompt is “Frost,” you end up writing poem-lets, poem shorts, not-haikus because you can’t be bothered counting syllables, or whatever you want to call them.

The night was painted
in ombre tones of gray
Silence pierced by feet on snow
The city sleeps with a blanket of snow
lovely, dark and deep
but there are miles to go before we meet
so your kiss can melt this frost
in my heart and on my feet
this doggo love white fluff
hooman put shoes on ur paws
let’s go!

Photo credit Lillie Delott

Howl for 2022

I feel like I’ve been on hiatus for a month; but really I’ve been consumed by health issues (not mine) and the endless treadmill of laundry and chores. Last week I was talking to my Chewbacca about the January 10 Monday Poetry Prompt. When he told me the epigraph he was writing to, I knew I had to write one as well. Mostly because I just like to howl my complaints into the void and certainly not because I could do “better.” However, you can judge for yourself. Check out this well-done update and homage to the original: A 21st Century Howl.

Howl for 2022
“I saw the best minds of my generation destroyed …”
~ opening line of Howl by Allen Ginsberg, 1956

I saw great minds
beaten down by anti-intellectuals
drowned out by science deniers

Howl for the brave
Howl for the honest

I saw ordinary people
leave reason, like luggage, behind
and plunge into a broth of vitriol and conspiracy

Howl for the misguided
Howl against social media

I see rich white men tell women
your body doesn’t belong to you

Howl for the pregnant and desperate
Howl for the unwanted

I see mater and millions more
lose their minds as plaque spreads
like cement, destroying memory

I see millions of people nursing
parents and spouses
the children we never wanted

Howl for the demented
Howl for the caregivers

I see privileged wealthy men
protect the right not to get a vaccine
and not protect the right to vote

Howl for the public good
Howl for the disenfranchised

Howl when you are destroyed by madness
Howl for the angry fix

Untitled Job

My motto when I worked in an office was, better late than never. I’m sure my employers didn’t agree. But here’s my response to this week’s Monday Poetry Prompt.

I have not worked
a full-time, corporate job in years
My career cut short 

Illness followed illness
My labors have been survival
It takes work to live

And now I am 
Guardian and Caretaker
of the Demented

cook, laundress, chauffeur, nurse
Saturday night spent
explaining adult diapers

Gratitude 2021

Today I’m grateful to all my friends who send me postcards. The one pictured here is a close up of Monarch butterflies from the Florida Museum of Natural History. Thank you Tess! I collect postcards and have always appreciated my friends who who send them. Now, after a recent (SHORT) trip to Myrtle Beach that appreciation has grown tremendously. It was surprisingly difficult to find postcards. The off boardwalk, easy to get to and navigate souvenir stores didn’t carry them. Boo. But I fought my way through an overcrowded shop on the boardwalk to get some for those friends. .

Caterpillar cocoons
Transforms into butterfly
Ugly or plain to beautiful
An obvious and cliché metaphor
and I am happy for the reminder!

Did you know that Monarch wings can be repaired? Unlike many species of butterflies that have very short life spans, Monarchs live for up to six months. They are so important as pollinators, anything you do to help them, helps everyone.

And then of course there’s the Living Poetry Monday Poetry Prompt: Gratitude.

At my advanced age
I still like jokes for kids.
Appreciation for the small
things in life keeps me young
at heart, like the first cup of coffee
steels me for the day.
Enjoyable, medicinal,
it burns away morning breath
better than a toothbrush
and is best drunk standing by the pot.
I’m thankful for the second cup
for breakfast, and the start of the day.

What are you thankful for? An extra slice of pie to the reader who posts an answer in poem form!

Moon-ku

1

not quite a full moon
days away from perfection
she’s lumpy like me

2

I love your round beauty
Selene!! You are hot tonight!
shine on sister mine

3

every full moon
I collect the white orbs
to be my playthings

Photo credit: Moonrise over Plymouth Bay, Catherine Penafiel

Follow the Prompts

Writing prompts are a great tool to have in your writing repertoire. Many writers have an over abundance of ideas, and they claim they don’t need writing prompts. However, many of those writers aren’t actually putting anything down on paper. A idea that comes from outside of your own brain can be just the impetus you need to Make Creation Happen. I find that to be true, but I am a poet and a quick poem or just a few lines of verse that will be used in something, is probably easier than writing a story. IDK.

Mark Paxson from Writers Supporting Writers recently (ok, like a week or so ago) posted A Writing Exercise: one word every day for seven days to be incorporated into a story. I don’t have time at this point in my life for a story and I primarily write poetry. When I mentioned that in a comment, the response was something encouraging about writing. I don’t quite remember. Anyway, here’s a poem. And since I wouldn’t want anyone to miss the point, err, prompt – I bolded the words Mark posted.

My spelling is not unrepairable
but my reputation might be irreparable
if I use double negatives.
I am an editor and these redundant
syllables require elimination.

I do my best to serve delicious
and nutritious Word Salad
But please don’t peek into my kitchen.
My frontal lobe thoughts
might be quite the shocker.

The final verse of this poem
is a reflection on my final verse.
My swan song will be written
by someone other than me.
I hope my obit writer will facilitate
my place into history.