Photo: David Slotto
i touch the old tree’s scaly bark,
caress the roughness of its skin,
releasing mem’ries held within
when you would meet me in the dark.
i wait for songs of doves and larks—
those melodies of longing when
i touch the old tree’s scaly bark
caress the roughness of its skin.
that night i waited in this park
hugging its trunk, a love-struck teen,
i sensed i’d lost all that had been
in new-moon blackness, not a spark
touch the old tree’s scaly bark.
Today at dVerse Poetics Gayle is challenging us to write a Rondel. The bar will open at 3:00 EST and that’s where you will find the recipe for this fun-to-write form. Don’t be afraid to give it a try–I find that working with the discipline of a form stretches the poetic muse.
Your Shoes Will Make You Happy, Today
Chinese Fortune Cookie
The stench lingers but still I dive in—that’s what starvation will do to human dignity. Outside Chinese restaurants, dumpster pickings abound. I remember the days when I. too, could eat inside. When I, too, could leave unstinting tips.
I can’t go back, can I? So here I am. Instead of climbing to the top of the corporate ladder, I grasp an opened doggie bag in my raggedy-gloved fingers and scale to the top of the heap, hefting myself over the side. I open the bag. There amidst crushed containers of Kung Pao Chicken and Fried Rice I find it—a fortune cookie, crushed inside its cellophane wrapper. I read the fortune and look down.
fortune cookie lies
breed sense of hopeless wishing
Linking to dVerse Poetics prompt on Chinese Fortune Cookies…this time using the correct prompt.
Chinese New Year
catch a ride
on the hostess’ bodice.
You shave splinters from your chopsticks and
watch the waiter caress pancakes
with plum sauce.
Your fortune reads,
“Someone will make you happy tonight.”
Image: Real Madrid
Labeled for Non-commercial Reuse
Wishing you a Happy New Year of the Monkey
In honor of the Chinese New Year we are writing poetry to this theme…perhaps you will find inspiration in a fortune cookie.
Please join us at dVerse Poetics where Toni is our hostess. The poetry pub opens at 3 PM EST.
Photo: Victoria Slotto
I listen to the soughing
the hooting of
a distant owl.
Midnight blue seeps
into the room,
into the womb
of my loneliness.
I listen to silence,
to your absence,
by the soughing
You’re invited to join us at dVerse Poets where we are invited to write a quadrille, a poem of exactly 44 words, using the word “Lull.”
Dance Joy–a Quadrille
It’s winter now.
Butterflies are gone,
streaks through gray.
You celebrate, dance joy.
A monochromatic palette
paints my world.
nourish damp soil,
prepare for new growth.
my own autumn
until the day
I, too, may encounter butterflies
labeled for non commercial use.
I missed the recent prompt to write a quadrille–a poem of exactly 44 words, using the word dance with an object. So, I took an old poem I had saved in my “Edit or Trash” file and did a complete overhaul on it. I wrote this in about 2002 for a friend of mine who had died at a very young age, Karen Casey, age 55. Hope I make it in time!
Photo Credit: Gabriella
All Rights Reserved
Used with permission
The Whether Channel
a Fictional Haibun
I waited none too patiently, at the curb—unsure if she would show, as promised. The steady pitter-patter of raindrops on the roof of my old Ford and the click-click-clicking of the hazard lights matched the pace of my anxiety-driven pulse. Cars puddled by, splashing my windows in their wake. The scent of rain blended with dust on the drought-thirsty street.
She exited the office building, popped open the teal umbrella I’d given her last Christmas, and surveyed her surroundings. When she caught sight of me, she took off down the block in the opposite direction. I sighed and pulled away from the curb without trying to pursue her. Then I hit my husband’s speed dial. “Our daughter isn’t ready,” I told him. “Rehab won’t help until she wants it.”
rain, tears of disappointment
beware of flooding
Written for and linked to Gabriella’s Monday Haibun prompt at dVerse Poets. We are grateful to her for the beautiful photography she shared for us today. The pub opens at 12:00 Noon EST on Monday. The link will be open throughout the week. Please join us.
It’s 2 AM and the sound of tea pouring into my ceramic mug hurls me back thirty-some years. The old lady stands on tiptoe, touches her weathered lips to my then-youthful cheek. I catch the scent of Yardley’s lavender and, in the background, a hint of cinnamon. As I enter her 1930’s home, the far wall of her living room catches my attention. Shelves, painted yellow, are lined with books and photos.
She goes to brew our pot of tea while I scan the titles and pictures. My eye catches sight of a young couple, standing arm-in-arm, circa the early 40’s. He’s wearing the uniform of an Army Air Corps pilot. In the background a child is tossing rice at them. A second photo shows them driving off in an old convertible bearing a “Just Married” sign on the trunk, and another, a very pregnant Emily holding a balsawood model of a WWII bomber.
“Those are my stories,” she says, entering the room. I won’t bore you with them. And she didn’t, as over the years we spend time sharing her life and a cup of tea—the stories of a World War II bride. And widow.
the room enfolds me
warmed by tea, infused with light
she shares her stories
Written and shared with Sanaa Rizvi and folks at Prompt Nights.