overcast with a strong chance of pain

Photo: mentalfloss.com

Photo: mentalfloss.com

overcast with a strong chance of pain

before your love grew cold
before the chill of apathy
(the whimpering dying flame)
there were those days
of sizzle like moth wings

the trickster took his time
took hold of you
or was it I, eye couldn’t
wouldn’t see the color gray?
the color of a stone cold heart

Today, Mary Kling challenges us to grab a line from a poem by Naomi Shihab Nye: Burning the Old Year. This brilliant work offers many opportunities for inspiration. The dVerse doors open wide at 3:00 PM on Tuesday. The line in italics is from Nye’s poem.

My quadrille for Monday’s prompt is here. That fun prompt is open all week.

love lost–dVerse Meeting the Bar

Photo: David Slotto

Photo: David Slotto

love lost
a rondel

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.

Room for Romance: Stewie and Me

As soon as I saw the picture prompt on S.I.S’s Room for Romance blog I knew I had to write a little snapshot from my life. The story that follows is true and I’d have to guess it began way back in 1948 or so. My mother, a war widow, and I lived with my grandparents on an unpopulated hill in Eagle Rock, California. The facts and memories in this story are accurate as I remember them, down to the details.

Stewie and Me

It was in my 5th year that I met the boy who everyone assumed I would someday marry. Spring had come early that year and so had Easter. Wild daffodils surrounded the rolling hills, separating us from our closest neighbor. Their subtle scent lingered in the air.

Not long after we returned from Mass, a tentative knocking at the door startled my family. “Who’s here this at this time of the day?” Grandpa said as he pulled his lanky frame away from the breakfast table.

When he opened the door there stood Stewie, our closest neighbor, with his mother, a florist. He stuck out his arm and proffered a box. “This is for Vicki.” A faint blush spread across his freckled face as Mama propelled me to the door and guided my hands to accept the corsage made of pink carnations.

In the years that followed, as we grew older, this tender scenario repeated itself over and over. Corsages for Christmas and Easter, candy for Valentine’s Day. As closest neighbors in a rural area of Los Angeles, we became playmates. He fed my dolls mud pies and I hurled after him into danger, down steep slopes in card board boxes or on cookie sheets. He split my head open in a game of Kick the Can and pummeled me with arrow-sticks in Cowboys and Indians.

The day arrived when Mama remarried and we packed up and moved away from that house on the hill. It wasn’t goodbye for Stewie and me because visits to grandpa were frequent and filled with fun.

I remember it still. We were sitting around the table, talking over the day’s events. I was probably eleven or twelve and not much caring for the canned chop suey that sat in a puddle of soy sauce on my plate. It was Mama who answered the phone. The expression on her face told me that there were worse things than the pile of slimy veggies on the plate before me.

“Stewie’s dead,” she said.

I dropped my fork.

What would life had been like, I wonder, if he and his buddies hadn’t climbed over that fence to hitch a ride on the oil well that crushed him? Mama told me once I was old enough to understand that, even if he’d survived, he could never have been my husband.

Check out more sweet romances at: http://roomforromance.blogspot.com/

One Shot Wednesday–An Alphabetic Acrostic


 Image: Public Domain

  Yet Another Autumn

Autumn traipses in
Boasting burnished leaves,
Coddling those who
Dread outrageous winter intrusions.

Even beauty can deceive.

Fall freezes rape our
Garden deva,
Hold her hostage
In a clump of evergreens.

June memories linger:
Kind breezes that caress.
Light bleeding into early morn,
Melding dawn into day.

Never trust the promises of a rogue.

Only days ago we basked and
Played in sunshine.

Quiet moments lie ahead
Recapturing the long dark days and
Silent nights.

Today, however, changing leaves
Unfurl in cacophonous colors.
Veils of mist enshroud the Sierras.

Whisper in my ear.
Xpire in my arms.
You promised me forever, now you flee
Zealous lover of my yesterdays

Thursday Poets’ Rally–“Wounds”

A birch—
smooth bark dotted
with eyes—
omniscient voyeur
spying on passersby.
Down its trunk
a scar splays open.
Wide, like a wound
I used to pack with sterile gauze
and normal saline.

(My patient’s name
was Forrest.)

In the gutter, red blossoms
from a nearby
Indian Paint Brush
pile in heaps
like clotted blood.

Forrest’s gash—
the result of a barroom brawl—
or so he’d told me—
never healed.
He didn’t bleed to death.
Just died by the inch,
lost the will to fight
when the woman went off
with his opponent.

The tree has been like this
for years.
Over time some miscreant
continues to inflict like damages
on other branches.