Desert Daze and Darkness

Dry Desert Daze and Darkness

She walked along a pathway
in her arid corner of desert,
desolate, alone. She knew
that Oleander had been
planted here, sheltering
the rich and famous who lived
in rich and famous homes—
homes (now abandoned after
years of rainless days.)

These dense shrubs tried to defy
the drought. Tiny flowers
of pink, white, struggled, straggled
to survive between limp leaves
whose color faded more each
year. A rattler seeking sanctuary
from sweltering sun slithered
away to the east. Disappoint
ment surged in her soul.

And so she grabbed a handful
of leaves and buds, headed home
with bravado and brewed
a pot of tea large enough for the
digitalis compound to do its part
to slow her heart. Slowly, slowly
slowly allowing it to steal life from her,
the life she gladly offered.

When she sat to drink the deadly
draught, her Maltese pup
snuggled at her side, his chocolate
eyes begging for a sip.

She couldn’t.
Could she?

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A dark narrative poem for Bjorn’s Poetics Prompt at dVerse Poets. The Pub Master asks us to write a poem that has reference to a poisonous plant. It used to be that Oleander was used as a center divider on California highways and in the Country Clubs and such communities in the Palm Springs area as a privacy screen. It grows to be high and very dense. Every part of the plant is poisonous.

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The Good of the Poor

The Good of the Poor

About 1981 or 82, I sat in a cold church in Detroit, Michigan. I pulled my coat around me, barely noticing the cold, entranced, instead, by the strong voice of a diminutive woman clothed in just a white sari with blue edging. Fearlessly she proclaimed the need for more care for the poorest in our community, and she had the right to do so, as she was opening a shelter for the poorest in Detroit. Outside, winter winds howled. Within, I questioned how I could do more in my own mission of nursing the impoverished elderly.

After her talk, those of us who were engaged in such service were led to the basement for a reception. There, we had the opportunity to meet and greet Mother Teresa, one-by-one. The warmth of her words and her hug have remained with me, sometimes encouraging, sometimes chiding. I recall them now with deep gratitude.

Four tiny swallows
hound a lurking hawk—
winter desert sighs.

This week for dVerse Monday Haibun, Kim would like to have a take a look at handwriting of famous people. I have chosen that of Mother Teresa and am including a snippet of an analysis of her handwriting which fits my experience.

“Mother Teresa may have been diminutive in size, and shy of personality, but this sample shows that when she wanted something done, she found a way for it to be done. ”  To read the full article, follow the link HERE.

The pub opens Monday at 3:00 PM EST. Please join us!

Skiing Through Life

Photo: Pixnio
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Skiing Through Life
a Quadrille

Sturdy as a rock,
supple as a tree branch,
gentle as a mother
with her newborn baby,

high as a star,
deep as mountain lakes,
you hurl yourself
into your future—
letting go, risking, leaping,
landing with a bounce,
crunching leaves
in winter white.

A quadrille with the four words offered so far. Join us at dVerse Quadrille–the prompt word for this week is bounce.

Let Freedom Reign

Let Freedom Reign
A Haibun

If physical death is the price that I must pay to free my white brothers and sisters from a permanent death of the spirit, then nothing can be more redemptive.
Martin Luther King, Jr.

(Read more quotes from Dr. King here. )

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I believe that freedom is in the hearts of all, as is slavery. Those who are bound to beliefs that limit love and acceptance of others are ensnared. Freedom is within. It is not based on the color of my skin or yours. It is willingness to be open to others, whatever their race or ethnicity or their beliefs. Open wide my heart; set me free.

Mountain waters flow
curling around huge boulders,
free for thirsty souls.

Today, for dVerse Poetics, we welcome a new pubtender: Amaya. She asks us to write an epigraph poem, a poem about freedom or social justice that embeds a quote–that is, the quote itself unfolds in the course of the poem. I misunderstood the prompt–the embedding part, that is, so don’t, Do Not, follow my example. None-the-less, I will link this and in the meantime will see if I can do one correctly. I chose a quote from Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., a Civil Rights leader who was assassinated in 1968. I remember that painful day clearly. His birthday was celebrated on the 13th and Monday was a holiday in his honor. This quote hit me deeply.

I will not make it to the pub till afternoon–same every Tuesday for a few months.

Arise–dVerse Quadrille

Arise

Blurred colors—rainbows bouncing
in prismatic waterdrops on palm fronds.
Think of oft-overlooked miracles.
Life wants to drink slowly, savor
the moment-to-moment unfolding of a flower,
the hatching, fledging, soaring of an eagle,
(of thoughts) heavenward, lifting
our world a step closer to joy.

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Please join us for the Quadrille, a poem of exactly 44 words sans title, at dVerse Poets. De is asking us to use the word BOUNCE this week. 

Winter, Midday, in the Desert

Winter, Midday, in the Desert

When I think of freedom, the image of birds come to mind–that ability to fly, to reach the heights. But even such freedom has its limits. Both wind and the anatomy and physiology of the bird species impose restraints–that is, forces both intrinsic and outside of the bird. True freedom, I believe, lies within the spirit: the ability to chose what we believe and to act according to our personal creed and the wonder of letting love guide us throughout life.

Warm sun unravels
winter chill. Gentle breeze bears
free-floating feathers.

Joining this to Frank Tassone’s Haikai challenge where, thinking of MLK Jr., we are writing of FREEDOM.

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the fresh breath of winter–dVerse OLN

the fresh breath of winter

shimmering snowfall
still water, frozen beauty
warming arid hearts

gazing on and on
reverent winter wonder
bare trees bow toward earth

nature’s white embrace
crystals sparkle silvery
beneath winter’s sun

Written and posted for dVerse Open Link Night–Join us at the poetry pub!

Photo: David Slotto
Mt. Whitney, California