dVerse prose: A Time

Thanks to Merril (from New Jersey) for hosting this dVerse bar challenge: Prosery Monday: A Time, to which I am responding on Tuesday. Merril says to write prose of less then 145 words in response to this line from the poem “A Time” by Allison Adelle Hodge Coke.

“when it is over said and done

it was a time

and there was never enough of it.”


Genre: flash memoir
Word count: 143
Title: L’esprit de l’escalier

***

Last Fall, I wrote a poem about watching my father drink coffee and smoke when I was a young child. Our father-son relationship improved slightly later in life.

I’d received good reaction to the piece, so I considered its potential for submission. I requested further feedback from a critique group (mostly fiction writers). I was aware of the potential risks, but I wanted to know their thoughts.

One person asked, “I did not understand the last few lines where you said, ‘I figured it out. He did too. In the end, it was just the end.’ Can you explain what you meant?”

Stumped for a good answer, I copped-out with, “He died”—a true but poor response on my part.

Now I could simply say, “When it is over, said, and done, it was a time. And there was never enough of it.”

***

Look both ways for answers.
Mind the gaps in the poetry of others,
it’s where we may find answers.

Poetry: Sammi’s Weekender #170 (jostle)

 


Die to Live

Time’s shadow condemns fools
to imprudent neglectful ignorance,
to deep suffering, lost love,
mindless hearts of stone

—pitiful loneliness.
On my knees I cried out.

I was my enemy.

Her hands rose; lightning shocked
me dead. I awoke, jostled to new life.


Look both ways.
Watch yourself and check six.
No fool minds the gap.
Be not the fool.

***

Poetry: dVerse Open Link Night #270 (my first)

Thanks to Mish and the folks at dVerse ~ Poets Pub, for Open Link Night #270 (click for link). This poem messes with where my head’s been lately.

***


Combatant

It could have been me.
A nod, a blink, an okay
and the next forty-five
years …

had I not been killed, maimed
or driven insane
(as many of us were)

… would not have been anything
like what I look back to today,
fifty-six long years hence,
with contrition, feeling the loss;

Personal, hidden, illogical
survivor syndrome. I can’t
make sense of it. The feeling
of a warrior who wasn’t.

Life choices often made
thoughtlessly, in a blink.
I could be dead. Change the past?
Not on your life or mine.


***

Look both ways at guilt for life: fortune or folly.
Mind the gaps in the mindless wars with reality.

Poetry: End Times

You spoke, and I awoke,
yet I fear
the time is near
when the dark depressing truth
of humanity
will take root on its tail
and then devour itself to
end it all
forever. Maybe
that’s our difference.

You claim
god so wants it,
I say let’s ask
him
or her
or it
whatever.


Look both ways.
Because you were alive yesterday does not prove you will be tomorrow.
Mind the gaps in thought and deed.

Sammi’s Weekender: obdurate


Dying to Self

The obdurate lad labeled shallow,
his brooding nature, vengeful plotting,
lacked love, friendship, deep perspective.

The cold-hearted brutish Devil Dog
sought glory in death, salvation through agony,
shadows to kill without meaning or purpose.

Death and destruction his insensate shield,
as he was, he couldn’t survive
in this world at peace with love.

Curses of sympathy and empathy
mysteriously hatched humanity into his soul.
The old poet sleeps feeling thoughts of emotion.


Look both ways for the glory of Beowulf.
Mind the gaps in hidden emotions,
lest the beast of Cain’s progeny kill the stoic.

Poetry: Everything Changes

I wrote two poems for Sammi’s weekender. I posted the first one Saturday. This is the second.


Everything Changes

Into a kaleidoscope
of passion we creep,
from stumbling blocks
to steppingstones,
we eventually leap
mortared passages,
segues of
unplanned journeys,
everything changes.


Look both ways to see all parts of life.
Mind the gaps where trouble may lurk.

 

Memorial Day Post: Red Poppies

Memorial Day is a day of remembrance to honor those who died in battles of all past wars in service to America. A Memorial Day (or Decoration Day) tradition is the buying and wearing of a red poppy.

The VFW organization has had the Buddy Poppy as its official flower for almost 100 years. Profits from artificial poppy sales have helped countless veterans and their widows, widowers, and orphans over the years. The poppy itself survives as a perpetual tribute to those who gave their lives for America’s freedom. That tradition is based on a poem.

This poem was written by Colonel John McCrae, a surgeon with Canada’s First Brigade Artillery. It expresses McCrae’s grief over the “row on row” of graves of soldiers who had died on Flanders’ battlefields in western Belgium and northern France, with a striking image of the bright red flowers blooming among the rows of white crosses.

The poem, “In Flanders Fields,” was reportedly first printed in the British magazine, Punch, in December 1915.


In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly.
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved, and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

by Colonel John McCrae


Look both ways for the reason why, in war some must die.
Mind the gaps and wonder,
“And how many deaths will it take ’til he knows
That too many people have died?”
(“Blowin’ In the Wind” by Bob Dylan)