Drought–dVerse Meeting the Bar

“Living (now) is like walking through a great weeping. It is like an ongoing funeral, a huge shedding of the life of the world…When the heart knows sorrow and never weeps, the sorrow gets locked like a storm inside the heart. When the sorrow can’t pour out, it turns…to stone.”
Michael Meade

Photo: sfgate.com These hills are usually brilliant green this time of the year.

Photo: sfgate.com
These hills are usually brilliant green this time of the year.


Last night Earth and I sat down beneath a moonless sky. The stars danced to music we could not hear. She sighed and I waited, listened for her to speak, but she held silence cradled to her heart.

“Do you know,Gaia,” I began, hoping to draw her out, hoping to touch the pain palpable on her dry, cracked body. “Do you know,” I said again, “the Mayan word for tumor means solid stone?”

She sighed again.

“Last week,” I continued, “I drove through one of your valleys. On either side of me brown, barren hills marked my passage. ‘I thirst,’ I heard them whisper. They brought to mind parched lips of the dying waiting for a kiss of water, fearing a lick of flame. Back then I gave comfort. I gave water. I gave hope. Today I have nothing to offer.”

I felt a tremor, heard another sigh. I waited for a tear, but there was none.

We sat together in deepest silence yet a while longer. In the distance I heard the howl of a coyote, the call of crickets. Together Earth and  I sat in quiet thought, waiting, hoping.

At last Earth turned and faced me. “When you, my children weep,” she said, “I will join them.”

While parts of the world are experiencing significant storms, in the West we are faced with a serious drought. I am near the San Andreas fault at right now and we experience a good number of temblors, most of them we don’t even feel. Just moments ago, as I wrote this, as if to respond, we felt a small earthquake that rattled the windows and shutters…Earth shuddered perhaps!

Written for and linked to Sam’s prompt over at dVerse Meeting the Bar where he challenges us to write Narrative Poetry. Drop by and check it out. The doors open at 3:00 PM EST.

Choice–dVerse Poetics, Twitter Poetry

Photo: David Slotto This is a path in our neighborhood  that leads to the Truckee River.

Photo: David Slotto
This is a path in our neighborhood that leads to the Truckee River.

A new path invites
Does it lead to meadow or abyss?
Fear surrounds me.
If I follow will I be free?
If I don’t enter is beauty lost forever?

Linked to dVerse Form for All where Sam Peralta invites us to write a poem using exactly 140 characters, including punctuation and spaces. I edited an old one on Twitter, to be exact. Join us if you will.



Photo Credit: Kate Aubrey, Google Images

Photo Credit: Kate Aubrey, Google Images

last night, in a dream
i walked the shore with Bashō
wrote poetry of spring’s death


today wide awake
i breathe honeysuckle moons
waiting for summer’s sunrise

Photo Credit: Wikipedia

Photo Credit: Wikipedia


Join us over at dVerse Poet’s Pub where Sam invites us to sip of a Japanese poetry form: Sedoka. The form consists of two unrhymed tercets,  each having 5-7-7 syllables. They express the same thought, but with a twist. It’s very fun. Thank you, Sam.


Fragile Beauty–A Glosa

Fragile Beauty

A Tribute to Jane Kenyon

Jane Kenyon

Jane Kenyon (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In the darkening June evening
I draw a blossom near and drawing close
search it as a woman searches
a loved one’s face.

Jane Kenyon
“Peonies at Dark”

As night approaches
we sit in silence
sipping beauty in our garden.
Sparrows feed greedily
as hummingbirds circle our heads
before approaching the nectar, descending
to drink deeply in the waning light.
The heavy mood forgotten
we look to new beginnings
in the darkening June evening.

You turn to me.
I sigh and take your hand
and in the taking release fear.
You are there, and in the night
you remain my light.
The answer to my questions, no one knows.
So now we trust in new beginnings.
You lead me to a fading flower,
lift up its fragrance to my nose.
I draw a blossom near and drawing close

inhale its dying beauty
breath deeply of its tenuous life.
What lies ahead will surely hold our deaths,
another reminder of fragility,
nature’s stunning beauty.
Throughout our lives we live as learner,
probe the center of a flower as though
it holds truth’s secrets, and it does.
I pull the blossom close now and in the shadow of our birch
search it as a woman searches

to know the love she shares,
the lives she touches day-by-day.
I think of Jane, a poet who observed
the details of each moment, giving birth in words
as though a child to live its own life.
Too short her own, and harsh her earthly race
to happiness. Preoccupied with death, like her,
I turn to whom I love and cherish all I know
of gentleness, of care. And in the space
(I find) a loved one’s face.

Photo Credit: Denver Landscaping Network

Photo Credit: Denver Landscaping Network

Jane Kenyon, 1947-1995, grew up and lived her early life in Michigan, moving later to New England. Her poetry is simple and emotionally evocative. In the reading, one discovers a story of her too brief life, told in exquisite detail. Kenyon battled depression off and on, lived for her family, and died of leukemia. The theme of death weaves through her work. She was also a proficient translator of Russian poetess, Anna Akhmatova.

In this poem, I’m not always sure where Jane begins and I end. I’m linking this to Sam Peralta’s excellent prompt for dVerse Form for All, in which he explains the difficult, but rewarding form of the Glosa. I suggest you head on over and read all about it. You may be a bit late to write and post one of your own, but there’s always Open Link Night!

Sentinel–a Sijo

A Sijo

Two mockingbirds keep watch atop the tree outside our door.
One faces North, the other South. Are we protected?
Who knows? Though comfort comes in songs of cautious wonder.

Stop by dVerse and learn about this (new to many of us) Korean poetry form! This is a rough draft. I focused on syllable count rather than the wonderful nuances the form calls for. Thanks to Sam Peralta for the prompt.


Autumn god–a Cento

Photo Credit: sparygraphics.com via Google Images

In every heart there is a god of flowers, just waiting
where the wild asters, last blossoms of the season straggle uphill.

We are the dead. Short days ago we lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow.
Back then, the green grass sprouted and little red flower blossomed.

O world, I cannot hold you close enough. Your woods this autumn,
that ache and sag and all but cry with color, a dazzle dim;

he fathers-forth whose beauty is past change, as when a leaf
or petal is drawn to the falls of a pool, and circling a moment above it

rides over the lip—perfectly beautiful—and is gone.
Death, be not proud.

This is written as a cento in response to the prompt by Sam Peralta over at dVerse Meeting the Bar. The poets I used, with alterations, include Mary Oliver, Jane Kenyon, John McCrae, James Weldon Johnson, Edna St. Vincent Millay, Gerard Manley Hopkins, Oscar Wilde. Some of the lines are blended.

Of Summer Nights–A Tritina

I dream of emptiness, of cinnamon,
and summer nights infused with sweet aroma,
then wait in stillness for the rain to come.

In darkness, hoping for the light to come,
the air hangs heavy, scents of cinnamon
invade my room—seductive, sweet aroma.

Before the dawn, such sensuous aroma,
an open door, desiring you should come
and taste of bliss, of love and cinnamon.

Such cinnamon. Such aromatic Come.

Photo credit: amountainofcrushedice.com via Google Images

Over at dVerse Poet’s Pub, Sam Peralta introduces us to the Tritina–sort of a mini-Sestina–and invites us to try one of our own. Stop on over, learn about the form, write one of your own and join us at the pub for some good poetry. I’ve chosen a few of the words offered by Shawna in her word prompt at Flipside Records.