Sammi’s Weekender #219 (vivid)

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Vivid Memories

That first romantic kiss.
Nights in the wilderness
sitting by a warm campfire.
A mother’s smile, a daughter’s laugh,
the soft whispering voice of a lover.
Our child’s birth, your son’s success.
The smell of a grandmother’s hug.
That first buzz, never found again.
The gift of a young pet. The sadness
and loneliness of a beloved’s death.

Muffled lonely sounds
on cold snowy nights. My first bike.
A thing well done. Disappointment
overcome and rewarded. A road
less travelled. A baby’s accidental
soft touch. Moments in a lifetime.


Look both ways,
to the future for the young,
to the past for the old.
Mind the gaps but live in today with hope and happiness.

The Greatest Gift

There’s joy,
in the smiles of others,
in visions of those we love,
people we care about,
that is where truest,
most honest, happiness thrives.

To see such dancing zest is to feel
the same in my bones, heart, and mind;
while tears of delight run down
my cheeks. When babies laugh.
Hope laden felicity. Even
an old man simply must smile.

To sing and dance
with those we love most,
to see and hear them rise
in rebirth to life’s glorious days,
to overcome fears and sadness
that come with what we call
our human condition.

How strange, that we may
give or receive no greater gift,
no higher prize,
no nourishing of the spirit,
no deeper love than to allow
others to be and to see us
high on being alive.
Even more, to here and now
let love swirl among us all. Hallelujah!


Look both ways for the joy of love.
Mind the gaps, but live and let live.

Sammi’s Weekender (unknown)


Turning Into the Wind

Like Bob Seeger’s line,
“I wish
I didn’t know now
what I didn’t know then,”
back when my lost
happiness was
still unknown.

Before I won these emotional
and physical scars;
blissfully, foolishly ignorant;
lucky, privileged;
without foible; free to be me;
a self-centered fool
with a college degree.

Now a recovered lover
of painful truths I never sought.
But I’m proud of our past.


Look both ways,
to the earth and into the heavens,
into the night and through each day’s light.
Mind the gaps and face the facts. It was what it was, and so were we.

***

Note: Song lyrics are from “Against the Wind” by Bob Seeger & The Silver Bullet Band.

Sammi’s weekender #208 (solitudinarian)


For Ian

Somewhat solitudinarian, I’m bein’
in the midst of my septuagenarian age,
hopeful of promotion to octogenarian
like that Marion the librarian; she who was
so totalitarian with stacks of authoritarian;
and me, such a wild child barbarian seeking
both libertarian and egalitarian ideals
like equalitarian and nonsectarian, except for
agism which seemed contrarian to Yossarian
the prelapsarian in the books of Merrion.

I see centenarian as a contractarian goal
even for the Rastafarian or Merion, or the lost
latitudinarian with limited access to a seminarian
or a utilitarian agrarian humanitarian.


Look both ways with rhymes for reasons.
Mind gaps for grammarian parliamentarians
from other generations.

Poetry: The Side I Never Met (NaPoWriMo day 29)

This prompt is called “in the window.” I was to imagine a window looking into a place or onto a particular scene. I was to write what I saw and what was going on.


Through distant darkness
neither walking nor running, I was
moving as if a floating camera
toward some spot of light
in a black universe, like one
dot of star, then to a portal,
which I determined to be a window.

A woman was there
on the other side,
in her world of light
from which she looked out.
Her almond eyes stared
and seemed to see into a past,
perhaps mine. Could she see
through me, as if not seeing me,
toward a distant, common hill
in the dark? One she knew well?
She seemed to look but not to see,
her blank blue eyes were calm
and comfortable.

Her hair was streaked with gray
atop her oval head, and softly it dropped
on both sides to a mild but wildly
smooth, unyoung neck. Neither naked
nor covered, her body was as a
faint veil with arms that
I could not see,
with hands she never looked to.

Her skin was pale but smooth,
with pleasant facial wisdom lines.
Her eyes seemed neither pleased
nor sad as she stared, deadpan
into the darkness,
as if I was not there, or perhaps,
she didn’t care; with
eyes that seemed to say something
of a storied past looking into
a dark, peaceful future.

Her nose was powder plain
above a mouth that neither
smiled nor frowned, as if she
thought I could not see her
from my darkness through
the window of her light.

I sensed a beautiful love that was
pure and honest, like a mother
for a child; but also, I thought
I could see a longing or an expecting
in her now-graying, moist eyes.

Eyes without tears or regret.
Then I saw that the window was
a mirror of reality. The woman was
my reflection, able to see
only into my past,
the image of the real me.
Or was it she that I needed to see?
A lighter, brighter, more loving
reflection of myself. The side I’ve never met.


See both ways when looking through windows or into mirrors,
especially as metaphors of life.
Mind the gaps, the cracks, the wrinkles, and the patina of age.
Everything means something.

 

 

Parody Poetry: Bull Shit! (NaPoWriMo day 27)

It took me all day (admittedly, I was busy) to find my response to the 2021, NaPoWriMo 27th prompt, which was to write a poem inspired by an entry from the Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows.

It was dinner time before I chose the contrived word, lilo. It’s supposed to mean “a friendship that can be dormant for years only to pick right back up instantly, as if no time had passed since last seeing each other.”


I was friends with Jimmy as far back as I can recall.
Like forever. He was a grade ahead of me,
but only seven months older. Jack was younger.
Jack and I became friends in high school,
Class of ’64. Jimmy might have been ’64 too,
but I don’t recall cuz jumbled memory. It’s fishy.

I was the one who moved away,
yet so did they, eventually. But I went first.

That bond when you grow up together,
close in every way. Boys become men.
That’s sad. I knew their foibles and flaws,
and I suppose they knew mine. Jack did for sure.

Jimmy was a hyperbolist. He wanted to impress me.
To prove himself. Why? I feel guilty.
Why did he always feel like that? I loved Jim for him.
I knew when he lied, exaggerated, or fibbed up a storm.
I didn’t care, but it was pointless.

Fifty years later, face to face, Jack and I realized
we were alike in many ways, not all, but for years
neither would broach one thing cuz we both thought wrong.
The irony was we lost something there.
We each assumed, and we were wrong
about our best friends. I feel sorry about that.

When I last saw Jimmy, we met and talked.
Jimmy told me of all his achievements.
When and how life had cheated him: The Navy.
We hugged meeting and parting, as old men
who’d not seen each other since being children
will do. I knew then, Jim as was not well.

Jimmy died. Then Jack. We can’t lilo.
All I can do is to write about them and me.
Maybe that’s something. But good god we were
friends who did a lot of childish,
stupid, teenage shit together. I wish we’d
all been more honest as men. Like boys.


Look both ways in old friendships
unaffected by time or tribulation.
Mind the gaps.
Drink to the reunion. Nothing is for always.

Parody Poetry: Older than before (NaPoWriMo day 26)

For NaPo day 26, I was to write a parody. I was to find a poem or song and write an altered version of it. A parody is also called a spoof, a send-up, a take-off, a lampoon, a play on something, or a caricature. It is a creative work designed to imitate, comment on, and/or make fun of its subject by means of satiric or ironic imitation.

I decided to work on the song(s) “Old Hippie” by the Bellamy Brothers, a classic paean to male boomers that many of us related to. David Bellamy wrote three of these: one at 35, one at 45, and one at 55. Mine goes to 75 (the age of the other brother) and is more about me.


He turns seventy-five on a Tuesday
sometime late this next July.
Can’t believe his friends’ all dead,
but down the same old road he’ll  still try
to understand and to keep his level head.
But now he craves those crazy days
with his shoulders back,
his chin held proud and high.
He still looks at life and wonders why.
He stopped with church and never prays
but he never wonders when he’ll die.

He still loves old soft county rock,
his poems come from just such songs.
His only friends are now computer faces,
and medicine pros working to help him get along,
with medical-grade stainless steel heart parts.
But he’ll run no more endurance races,
Just the tips and bits on legs that hate him.

He’s an old soldier who wants to be
a hippie getting older every day,
with hair and colors and closet disco music.
An old hippie who knows what life is for,
still wanting to be her man, before
she goes knocking on his door.

He’s an old man who always hated war,
but seemed to know what it was for.
He’s been confused by a government
he both supports and finds disgusting,
and people who tell him to forgive,
while he decides to let them live.

He likes people but not in crowds.
He craves his tribe, but they’ve all died.
Spending quiet time at home alone,
his kids are still his universe,
and Texas is still his home.

He’s a boomer till the day he dies,
he now fears life more than death,
he’s looked at evil in the eye
believes in love and wonders why,
then drums to ten below his breath.


Look both ways and avoid reading the obituaries.
Mind the gaps in everything but believe
you’re this damn old.

Poetry: Single Deed (NaPoWriMo day 21)

On the 21st day of April, Napo challenged me to create of poem like the “creepy” nursery rhyme, “There was a man of double deed.” While the prompt and example did not require rhyme, it felt better for me to pair them, as in the double deed piece. While this is one long poem of nine rhyming couplets, I broke the “how and when” sequence at line eight because the focus of the narrator changed. This dark poem is no nursery rhyme.


How old is old enough?
When did life become so tough?
How much time is yours or mine?
When will come our final chime?
How did life become this game?
When can we end all such pain?
How much loss can we endure?
When it’s over, will we be sure?
What we had for all those years,
How sad for us, all those tears.
What have we left of memories?
Let’s dance to end bad remedies.
What has life given us in the end?
How much love we failed to spend?
Here I am to make my plea.
I am here love, please set me free.
How long are lives strong enough?
Let us know when life gets rough.


Look both ways when the road is blocked.
Life has a beginning, middle, and an end,
but mind the gaps where the unbearable lingers
.

Poetry: Sijo for Two (NaPoWriMo day 20)

The NaPo prompt for day 20 was to write a poem in a traditional Korean poetic form called sijo, in English of course. Sijo is a specific form with a little flexibility unless one wished to exercise poetic license to color outside the lines. Since these are only three lines of 14 to 16 syllables each, I wrote two for Tuesday.


Marvelous Melancholy

I forgot about something important. What being bored feels like.
Oh, how I long for the days when I could do what I wanted.
Now I can’t just up and do, up and go. I mustn’t fall on my ass.

***

A Taste of Tint

Like yellow, it has never been one of my favorite colors.
Did I ever favor any one color over another?
I’m starting to like orange. Never saw a color I didn’t like.


Look both ways. Then smile. Sing a song, “I’m Alive!”
Mind the gaps for forgotten sorrow or the taste of color.