A Visit–dVerse Monday Quadrille

Photo: istock
Labeled for non-commercial reuse

A Visit
a Quadrille

I find him on the porch,
frame stooped, cobbled by years
of loss and melancholic memories.

Eyes dimmed, he turns within—
hears the music of birdsong,
inhales the scent of lavender,

tastes the sweetness of this moment
when friends stop by,
and hug him.

Linked to dVerse Quadrille Monday where De asks us for a poem of exactly 44 words, excluding title. The word of the week is COBBLE or any of its forms. Join us and have fun.

Seamstress–dVerse Quadrille


She sits in her window,
in the old white rocker,
sewing shadow-memories
into a cohesive whole.

She’s alone now—
no one with whom to share
beauty, the texture of her life,
peppered with pain and giving.

Sunshine seeps through
half-opened blinds.
Still she waits.

Photo: Wikipedia Commons--Labeled for Non-commercial reuse.

Photo: Wikipedia Commons–Labeled for Non-commercial reuse.

A second Quadrille for De’s prompt at dVerse Poets’ Pub…a poem of 44 words, using the given word SHADOW. Please join us.

My original response to this prompt is here.

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.


Waiting–dVerse Haibun Monday

Photo: David Slotto

Photo: David Slotto

a Haibun

Anna waited. And waited. Her room, dark except for light seeping through half-drawn blinds, smelled musty, old. Dust motes danced where sun invaded. Aside from that, there was little activity. Even her old cat, Flossie, lay motionless on the rumpled covers of her bed.

They hadn’t called for at least two weeks. No one called or came to visit anymore. She wasn’t sure why she even had a landline, but she wasn’t about to try to figure out those smart gadgets that all the young folk held continuously in their hands, their eyes locked on the screen. No one had the time or patience to teach her all that fancy stuff.

Outside the window she heard birdsong. Even the birds had something to say to each other. Anna pulled herself slowly to her feet and went to fill their feeder. What else would fill the hours?

in spring, finches’ songs
fill the empty hours, the void
without them, nothing

Please join in for dVerse Haibun Monday where we are talking about communication! The link will be open all week! The doors open today at 3:00 PM EDT

Dark Night–dVerse Quadrille

Photo: Victoria Slotto

Photo: Victoria Slotto

Dark Night

Awake ,
I listen to the soughing
of breezes
in palms,
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,
into sleep
by the soughing
of wind.

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.”

this is not a poem about a dream

Photo: V. Slotto

Photo: V. Slotto

this is not a poem about a dream

when, at night, the wind howls
and branches of a dead oak scratch the skin
of our world,

when rain puddles on the brick path,
in smeared reflections of an other
-worldly moon,

when screaming silence drips
steadily, steadily
in the gutter, on the roof,

and the old neighbor-dog howls in the distance
conjuring up an image of
grandmother’s banshee

and the rhythmic cadence of real-time fear
beats, beats, beats
on the window

when beating still
in a desperate soul who’s
alone in the darken corner his room,

alone in the chill
of a sweat-drenched bed,
alone in the bleakness of
an empty life

that’s thrumming,
thrumming, thrumming
to its hollow demise

then (i tell you this—)
this is not a poem about a dream
though it could be.)

The title and the final two lines of the poem are from Mary Oliver’s poem Five AM in the Pinewoods, published in House of Light.

Linked to dVerse Meeting the Bar where Bryan Ens is guest-hosting. He asks us to explain our choice of poetic form. I enjoy form poetry, though I most often turn to free verse because it allows my thoughts, that come from who-knows-where, to flow quickly. I chose a couple of poetic devices in this to create intensity:

  • Repetition
  • Onomatopoeia

I also omitted use of Upper Case, also to promote a sense of stream-of-consciousness thinking. When I’ve fallen out of the rhythm of writing daily–in this case, due to other responsibilities which are slowly easing–I turn to other poets for inspiration. I selected a quote from a Mary Oliver poem to set this one in motion–without any idea of where it would propel me. Erasure poetry is also a great way to jump-start the inner poet.

Widow–dVerse Poetics

Photo: imgkid.com

Photo: imgkid.com

The chill in the room seeps into her bones,
while sweet-pungent scent of chamomile and honey
offers little comfort.
In the corner, a thrift-store lamps sits on an antique table,
its warm low light flickers like a candle flame.
The old woman rocks back and forth,
creaking on the hardwood floor.
She fingers the fringe of her gray afghan,
untangles skeins of troubled thoughts,
sips 2 AM loneliness.

The tea-cup, empty now, bids her back to bed
where she dreads the sagging mattress on the other side
that still holds his scent.

Written and linked to dVerse Poetics where the prompt is to write a poem using 2 AM.

a cup of tea–dVerse Poetics I


Photo by Alamy

Photo by Alamy

a cup of tea

grandmother cradles her favorite tea-cup—
the orange painted flowers fading now
like memories
like poppy petals swirling of a windy evening

gauzy curtains flutter in the breeze
filtering thoughts of years long gone
of faces forgotten
of a lover’s touch
of hope now crushed

outside, alone, a child plays
wispy curls dancing like leaves
in the zephyr

a dog howls
echoes grandmother’s fear
echoes grandmother’s longing

alone she sits
clasps still the cup
with painted orange flowers, takes a long slow sip
of tea, now tepid

Photo: Pinterest

Photo: Pinterest

Claudia is offering a fun prompt at dVerse Poetics , asking us to be story-tellers, using one of a number of subjects in the story. This is my first link, using “a  cup painted with orange flowers.” Okay, it’s not a fun poem, so I will be posting a second one to a different subject. Make that subjects. Stop by and see what others have come up with.

The doors open at 3:00 PM EDT.

Beverly Hills Dying

Photo: birdbegone.com

Photo: birdbegone.com

On Tuesday, I revisited the day you died
alone in your penthouse suite,
surrounded by eggs of Fabergé
and crystal flooding the room with rainbows.

That afternoon, rain obscured the sun.
Darkness wove through your world,
sucked the last vestige of strength
from you and your diseased cells.

Outside the window by your bed sat
a scrawny crow, rooted on the ledge
sixteen stories above the city that had
abolished all memory of you.

Leave,you told me, in a whispery voice. Leave.
(One shouldn’t have to face the inevitable alone,)
But, slowly I backed away, recalled how your word
always struck fear. That day, I wasn’t scared—just sad.

Outside, I waited in the courtyard beneath
a swaying palm tree, swathed by tropical vegetation.
I stood in the downpour and watched,
until the crow flew away.

Linked to Sunday Whirl where Brenda offers us a dozen words to whip into a poem or  short story. This is a fictional account!

In case you’re here for the etheree prompt, it’s an old link: https://liv2write2day.wordpress.com/2010/09/29/one-shot-wednesday-flight-off-of-half-dome/  


Photo Credit: guardian.co.uk

Photo Credit: guardian.co.uk

She wraps her frail form in cashmere
loneliness, dreams dreams of days
spent wallowing in beauty, immersed
in worlds of aromatic cassia, luxuriating
in a hammock, strung, perhaps, between
two willows by the water.

These days she languishes within the
prison of her penthouse.

People she used have gone ahead, and
those who turned to her for gifts moved on,
forget. The room is cast in darkest quiet—
a tomb, expectant. I watch her finger
the fringe of loneliness, not seeing, there
before her, the rutilant sweetness of another
setting sun.

These days she languishes within the
prison of an angry mind.

I’m linking this to dVerse Poets Open Link Night. Please join us in the poetry pub where we gather to share our work and support one another. The doors swing open at 3:00 PM EDT.