Remember Rain–dVerse Meeting the Bar

Pexels Labeled for non-commercial reuse

Labeled for non-commercial reuse

Remember Rain

Some people feel the rain; others just get wet.
Bob Dylan Quote

What makes you different?

Can you taste sunshine and
touch the texture of darkness?
Have you licked a rock
or smelled leaves? Rolled in mud
or run naked in the falling snow?
Do you linger in night’s stillness,
listening for crickets or falling leaves?
Have you closed your eyes and savored
chocolate melting on your tongue?
or walked barefoot on unmown grass?
Do you know the feel of purple
or drink in the scent of autumn?
Have you heard the sound of emptiness,
tasted loss and longed for something more?
Do you remember the touch of rain?

Of course you do;
you are a poet.

Today we learned that the Nobel Prize for Literature has been awarded to Bob Dylan…how wonderful to see the selection committee thinking outside the box and casting its sights on pop music. For dVerse Meeting the Bar, Bjorn invites us to write a poem inspire by this musician/poet and there is much to draw from. I found this quote of Dylan’s to spur me on. Please join us.

Funereal Reflections

Photo: Wikipedia Commons--Labeled for Noncommercial Reuse

Photo: Wikipedia Commons–Labeled for Noncommercial Reuse

Funereal Reflections

The world moves on in timeless reverie
while doves o’er head turn westward to their homes, beyond.
Yon raven waits upon a gnarly tree.
Two empty spaces rest beside your tomb. For whom?
And night, tonight, descends on you alone.
We gather then, disperse and go our way, go home,
sure we shall live to tend another day.

Your life, a whisper in the ear of earth,
too soon forgotten by the race of men—so cold.
Can we embrace the promise of rebirth?
The blackbird swoops and preys upon a wren, more loss,
and we bare witness—cruel death again
invades a waking moment, ruptures ease, (such fear)
forsakes our very search for timeless peace.

This is my second poem for today’s prompt at dVerse Meeting the Bar. I took a poem I wrote in 2012 to Gay Cannon’s prompt for Rime Royal which demands strict adherence to iambic pentameter and a specific rhyme pattern and switched it up a bit, alternating iambic pentameter with hexameter (6 iambs), also known as alexandrine. Because Iambic Pentameter tends to be neutral, kind of like Tofu that depends on the flavors you add, I wanted to see what alternating rhythm would do to the mood. I’ll let you speak to it. Please check out the post on dVerse to learn more and bring a poem of your own.

Storm–dVerse Meeting the Bar

Photo: Flickr--Labeled for Noncommercial reuse

Photo: Flickr–Labeled for Noncommercial reuse


Walking alone ‘neath rainy skies and tasting all
the moods and colors of broken clouds and of the
dewy flowers and green, green grass shimmering
in partial bursts of ragged sunlight, I probe heart-stabbing
loneliness, empty shrouded mists of useless questions.
Succumbing now, I wonder why you went away without
a word, without a reason. But still I find no answers.

A Golden Shovel Poem, in which the last word of each line is drawn from a line in Mary Oliver’s poem, Hummingbird, published in “Owls and Other Fantasies.” And that’s the prompt today for dVerse Meeting the Bar where we hope to meet you.


A Wife’s Lament

V0007474 A very old man, suffering from senility. Colour stipple engr Credit: Wellcome Library, London. Wellcome Images A very old man, suffering from senility. Colour stipple engraving by W. Bromley, 1799, after T. Stothard. 1799 By: Thomas Stothardafter: William BromleyPublished: 24 January 1799 Copyrighted work available under Creative Commons Attribution only licence CC BY 4.0

1799 By: Thomas Stothardafter: William BromleyPublished: 24 January 1799
Copyrighted work available under Creative Commons

A Wife’s Lament

I bid the light to linger still, to stay—
for when it’s dark within, no image sits
of you and I, still young, engaged in play—
our minds still sharp, our ever-sparing wits
engaging one another so, as it be-fits
a love that’s born to relish comedy.

But now your mind has failed, your mem’ry flits
from here to there to deepest tragedy,
enshrouding mind and dimming lively eye.
I mourn that mind, once keen, so bright and smart.
I see you thus imprisoned and I cry.
But then you place your head upon my heart,

in nighttime silence, broken by a moan
I cannot hold within—this heart’s not stone.

I’m joining this to dVerse Meeting the Bar where Gayle has us playing with Bout-Rime. The challenge is to write a poem using the given end-rhymes. These are the oncs Gayle has chosen for us: stay, sits, play, wits, flits, comedy, flits, tragedy, eye, smart, cry, heart, moan, stone. You are to use the words in the given order.

While my thoughts went immediately to my dogs, I decided to go with a more serious subject, one I’ve witnessed time and again–that of an elderly couple in which one person (the wife in this case) is caring for a spouse who has dementia.

Keeping Watch

Keeping Watch

“At every moment of our lives, we all have one foot in a fairy tale and the other in the abyss.”
Paulo Coehlo

I slip silently into the darkened room. In the far corner, a soft light outlines her shilouette, her shrunken body. The rasp of labored breathing, the bubbling of the oxygen humidifier, the acrid scent of dying—all these combine to paint a canvas of loss.

When I touch the satiny finish of her duvet, light floods my memory and the room comes alive once more. In the far corner, stands her rocking chair—that sacred place where we used to spend hours—she: the storyteller, I: the eager child planted on her lap, soaking in adventure and myths of “happily ever after.”

Our happy room–no longer. I sink into the now-empty chair and wait.

outside the window
blackbirds caw—silence finches
real life dispels dreams

Posted for Mary’s prompt at dVerse Poetics to write about a ROOM, with a nod to Grace’s choice of quotes at Haibun Monday.



the shining

Photo: Victoria Slotto

Photo: Victoria Slotto

the shining

taut flesh
reflects light

peppers snuggle
(red to green
to yellow to orange
and purple)

in a cold bed
of stainless steel

next to dun-colored

I couldn’t resist posting another Imagist poem for dVerse Meeting the Bar and I’m going to link this to WordPress Weekly Photo Challlenge on Vibrancy as well.

Seven AM–dVerse MTB, Imagism

Seven AM

winter sunshine
through half-
opened shutters.

pools of light
splashing on the bed.

Eureka! The Internet decided it was okay for me to post–so must get this linked quickly to dVerse MTB where I’m hosting Meeting the Bar. I ask you for poetry along the lines of William Carlos Williams or Hilda Doolittle (H.D.). Have fun with this–please join in. I will try my best to respond timely if Time Warner will be so kind as to cooperate. Because of the nature of the prompt, I’m not going to post an image today…that’s what the words are supposed to do.

back to the future

San Marino, California My home town

San Marino, California–Photo: Melvin Hale
My home town

Back to the Future

were I to tell you of those years,
a canvas washed in yellow joy, the only
years in my lifetime

that we knew peace

you would believe me
delusional, a liar, just-plain-nuts

those years when crisis
meant sharing mom’s 55 buick
“The War of the Keys”
with a sis-
ter older than I by
7 months

or how she
ran with the popular kids
while I read Flaubert and
Greek trage-
dies (irae)
with other eggheads.

we’d fill the tank on
dad’s credit line
at twenty-
five cents a gallon

have groceries delivered
from Tipton’s meat market
by a pimple-faced kid
(I had the crush but
he wanted her)

yellow summer uniforms
wool plaid in California
cold—saddle oxfords
or white bucks, socks rolled
down and duck tails.

the fire escape,
the fire drills
that birthed our fear of heights
the school (building now condemned)

walk to the Copa
after school for cherry
and boys
from San Marino High.

now gas is $3.73 a gallon
i’m still afraid of heights,
my hair is should be gray,
sun shines golden on the snow
and Cris is gone.

Ramona Convent Secondary School as it was back then.

Ramona Convent Secondary School
as it was back then.

My widowed mom married a widower with a daughter my age in 1952 when we were 7 years old. To say our relationship was challenged is putting it mildly since we were in the same grade in the same school throughout. Thankfully, as adults, the competition evaporated and we were friends. Sadly, I lost Cris in 2004, age 61, to pancreatic cancer.

This is in response to Amy’s guest prompt for dVerse meeting the bar where we are writing free verse, timing ourselves for 9 minutes only, about a period of time in our lives. I chose my teen years, late 50’s, very early 60’s.

I’m more comfortable with a bit of poetic structure, so this is a bit awkward. But it should be fun to read everyone’s mini-memoirs. Most will be, no doubt, a lot more exciting than mine. The 50’s were, well, pretty tame but we didn’t know any better.

one of the suspects was a woman.

Photo: Labeled for reuse

Photo: Labeled for reuse

one of the suspects was a woman

if hell smells like sulpher, then
hate tastes of darkest nights.
terror creeps along like snail slime,
the touch of fear—a jelly fish sting.
pissez lâ-dessus, il m’a dit.

i sit transfixed watching death unfold
blood red tears seep into
sweetest pools of starlight.

does fear smell like gray smoke?
glass shards shatter hope,
slice through gentle hearts.

warmth streams down my legs
while bodies still like prone
in blue-green puddles

and there–an orphaned 6-month old.

Please join me at dVerse Meeting the Bar where I am hosting a prompt on synesthesia.  The doors to the Poetry Pub open at 3:00 PM EST. I’d planned on writing a nature-based poem but at the moment, this is more reflective on reality–sadly–a bit surreal like the news.

I will visit you as soon as possible, but I have been having a lot of Internet issues, so I ask for your patience.

Ice Will/Can’t Suffice


wiki paris

Wikipedia–Labled for Non-Commercial Use

Ice Will/Can’t Suffice

Our fireplace offers us its warmth,
but chill descends on all who mourn
the loss of innocence, of life.
We struggle to respond to strife, to heal, to love.

Oh, Paris, blood spilt in your streets
in several spots where friends may meet
to share the ending of the day–
there hope has died where bodies lay, at hatred’s feet.

Stark cold, such evil steals our dreams.
Faith falters at the sound of screams.
Our hearth is cool, now drowned by tears.
Can good prevail when ruled by fear? How to forgive?

Yet, deep within our souls we know—
in sorrow, seeds of grace may grow.
Such wickedness must not succeed.
Rekindle fire our world does plead—the fire of love.

Written for Gayle’s prompt at dVerse Poets’ Meeting the Bar, where we are to write a poem using the Florette. Rhyme: AABA, Syllable Count, 8, 8, 8, 12. In line 4 syllable 8 rhymes with the ending syllable of the 3rd line. Try it–it’s fun.

I suspect I am not alone in needing somehow to write of the horrible events of last week.

The title of the poem comes from Robert Frost’s Poem “Fire and Ice.”