Monday’s Rune: Pride Month Poetry


Looking Both Ways

There’s tragedy in America
and over the world today.
One that has always been there
brewing trouble bubbling,
either hidden or ignored.

Without love, honor, and respect
inside and out,
sans pity and pride, compassion, and sacrifice,
we are doomed
to be less than
the best of humanity’s history.

Let nature and nurture battle on,
let knowledge
and wisdom wrestle
with feeling and emotion.

Nature’s questions asked without fear,
safe for all, with courage
to face battles between
sweet dreams of hope
and nightmares of reality.

Ally with truth, with
compassion, without weakness or fear,
with hope to continue
standing with universal rightness.


Look both ways and try, try, try to understand, it’s not magic, man.
Mind the gaps in the human condition as you embrace its diversity.

Note: I will be reading this poem (and others) at the Lark & Owl Booksellers in Georgetown, TX, 30 June 2022 @ 7:30 PM.

Sammi’s Weekender #257 (luminous)

Click the graphic for Sammi’s page and more 30-word wonders.

 


Ominous luminosity

Nearby outside, a dark
electricity filled night
jarred us with
thunderous raging lightning.

Saint Elmo’s fire
danced and filled our cockpit
with ominous luminosity
from Palpatine,
to our fearless distress.


Look both ways for distress travels any direction.
Mind the gaps as you let the force be with you.

Note: Palpatine (Darth Sidious) was the name of the Emperor in the Star Wars movies.

NaPoWriMo April 2022 (Day 19)

Click the graphic for the prompt page and more poems by other participants.

Today’s challenge is to write a poem that starts with a command.

I wrote my poem as a more respectful, loving plea rather than a command, but the words suit the prompt’s intent well, as far as I’m concerned. My inspiration was the Peter, Paul, and Mary song, Day Is Done.


Our Day Undone

Tell me why you are sad, my son.
Let me hold your hand and listen
as you speak of woe. Call me
to your side as we talk, and we walk.
Stay near me. Tell me your regrets,
intone unknowns we both fear.

Is it wise for us to ask why, sadness
so deep we must cry? Tell me,
my son. I’ll be right here
until my last day is done. Burden my
purpose of commitment. I ask no easement,
but for your silence to clear.

Allow me to share this distress and bother
just as I’ve carried you before. I rejoiced
in your life, now let me suffer with you
the worst of your troubles. Let us be
like some small support
as we lean upon each other
and lift this load
until the healing is done
and sadness has passed.


Look both ways mindful of love’s burden.
Let compassion fill the gaps,
allow time and love to ease the pain until the day is done.

If you’re not familiar with the tune:

Friday Fictioneers for March 18th, 2022

Throughout history, Anonymous has produced some of the best known and loved poetry, art, crime, and mystery. Also, cadavers (aka, John Doe) and AA members.

I’ve considered publishing my next book (also my first) under the Anonymous nom de plume to benefit from his/her/their great success and notoriety. Sometimes, events in my life made me want to be that person: Anonymous.

Today, Her Royal Craftiness, The Princess of Prevarication, Mistress of History, and Duchess of the Storied Squares, Madame Rochelle Wisoff-Fields has teamed with the formerly unknown, but now revealed, Brenda Cox, photo contributor to tempt us into the gated domain of Friday Fictioneers story telling.

Click the pic for a fantasy ride to Rochelle’s castle to learn how to play by her rules. Can you tell your story in one hundred words or fewer? Try it if you dare.

Prompt photo by Brenda Cox. One click away from the Rochelle’s purple world.

Genre: Dark Fiction
Title: My New Home
Word Count: 100

***

Vlad was my goth-looking guide into the witness protection program. As we approached the old ramshackle house I asked, “What is that horrible smell?”

“That’s cadaverine. We spray the perimeter with the ptomaine to keep people away. Only harpies and vampire groupies like it. The death odor attracts buzzards but keeps cartel soldiers, nosey lawmen, and reporters away. You’ll get used to it.”

When I opened the gate, I was struck by the sweet odors of hyacinth and incense. I saw the casket and glared at Vlad.

“Appearances. Protecting people like you is dangerous. Living quarters are underground. Welcome home.”


Look both ways.
Be alert doing good or evil.
Mind the gaps for major life changes.

***

The vampire mansion is a hotlink to inlinkz and more mico-fiction stories.

Thursday’s Rune: Candles in Darkness

Thanks to Dale for the photo.

(Time to go home)

The streetlight was
outside my second-floor bedroom window,
about sixty feet away,
kiddy corner from me,
but right across from Packy’s Bar.
At night, it dimly lit my bedroom.

(I didn’t like the pull-chain single bulb
that hung from a chain in the middle of the room.)

There was another light
a block farther up on Main Street,
and another was down on Washington
where a traffic signal clicked
when it changed to another color (all night long).
It had to be late and quiet to hear.

I didn’t care.
When I pushed my bed next to the window,
I could feel and smell smoke-free night air.
I saw and heard street and sidewalk sounds,
I watched the glorious night rain,
and sometimes people who were quieter at night.
Summertime I could see bugs flying around the light
as I listened to the raucous people up at Packy’s.

The light was near enough
to work with my mind adding drama to boredom
as the nearby maple-tree limbs and leaves
silhouetted diabolical shapes and shadows.

That’s how I saw them.
Frightening then. Old friends now.
Along with rain, the streetlight showed me
falling snow or eerie fog on dark nights.

Streetlights comforted me.
Now, when I get up before sunrise, I look out
to see another lonely, bored streetlight father away
on a much quieter street with no bars (just houses with old people).
I recall the days when I looked out for the light to tell me things.

I still do.


Look both ways to see the light.
Mind the gaps, the bars, and the interesting shadows.
Watch people.

Friday Fictioneers 11 – 19 – 2021

Today, two of my favorite people conspired to inspire Friday Fictioneers. Magnificent Rochelle teamed up with photographer extraordinaire, Dale, to throw us on the old woodpile.

We write micro-stories of 100 words or fewer given ideas mused by a new photo each week, provided by other creative and imaginative compatriots. You can read the rules over on Rochelle’s blog and join in the fun. Here is the photo and my story for this week.

 

PHOTO PROMPT © Dale Rogerson. Click it to fly on over to Rochelle’s blog to get all the hot words on how to join up.

Genre: Gonzo journalism
Word Count: 100
Title: Chainsaw Hammer

***

I cut logs all day with my new chainsaw. After dark, I drank a beer in the yard with my new toy. I thought when all you have is a hammer

I heard footsteps, then voices. Two burglars! They jimmied a window. I worried and drank more beer.

I grabbed my chainsaw and jerked the start cord. She sounded off. I gunned her a few times before yelling, “prepare to die, mutherfuckers.”

You never heard such a commotion. Yelling and running for dear life. After they left, I finished my beer and went to the house to change my pants.


Look both ways if you’re gunna burgle in Edmond, Oklahoma.
Mind the gaps where crazy old farts sit drinking beer with their favorite new toy.

Click on Gonzo, The Mordant Scribe to read some other stories from the same picture prompt.

Sammi’s Weekender #232 (question)

Click graphic for new tab link to Sammi’s blog.

The Weight of Truth

Your question cuts to my core.
You long for unnuanced truth bathed in heavenly light.

Who am I, naked, closeted?
Yet, you ask for the dark light, to know my vulnerable,
captive, and bound heart.

Will my truth set you free?
Shall my vulnerability be set back upon me?
My silent deception belies both truth and trust.

Long sleepless nights.
Regret, haunting wonders of who I am.

If I answer your question the world will hate me.
My truth is heaviness mankind cannot hold.


Look both ways before you answer.
Value truth but weigh the gaps and consequences.

Poetry: Sammi’s Weekender #220 (oasis)

Click graphic for Sammi’s Blog

 


Sanctum or Asylum?

Refuge comes
at great cost.
This oasis shades no reality.
Sanctuary offers
only twisted truth.
Each prison is of my making.
I must move on.
I’ll never be free
of my past.
Change
or paranoia will hand me
fearful death.


Look both ways for any port in a storm
but learn to dance in the rain.
Mind the gaps as you seek the road less traveled.

Poetry: How did it feel? (NaPoWriMo day 23)

This morning, NaPo challenged me to write a poem that responds to another poet’s poem. I chose one titled “Natural History” by Leroy V. Quintana, one of five of his Viet Nam poems featured on PBS. But I could have responded to any, or all, of the five.


How did it feel?
To know you must go to Nam, to maybe die,
or go to jail, or to Canada?
To go there to kill any enemy, VC, NVA, or…?
To be overcome by fear, and to be forced
To kill anything that moved?
You’ve felt such fear I’ve never felt.
Not just some fight or flight twinge,
but big, sweaty, trembling, shit-your-pants fear,
both rational and sometimes crazy,
a fear that never goes away,
fear mixed with phenomenal anger,
when everything slows down, or stops,
where all you see, hear, feel,
smell, or taste wants to kill you, to maim you?
To suck the blood from your body?
And you can only live by killing him first,
or by not fighting, or shooting into the darkness,
or not, for fear of being exposed, or by tossing
grenades, or by friendly artillery fire so near you,
it may kill you? And most of all, how did it feel
to leave your comrades behind, to fly home
to clean clothes, a steak dinner, and
a thankless nation ignoring you,
wishing we’d all just go away? Trying to forget?


Look both ways along the path of a warrior,
that person sacrificed for the good of some system
like Capitalism, Communism, or Catholicism.
Mind the gaps for the fears and tears of real people,
both the living and the dead.

Poetry: Fear of Poetry (NaPoWriMo day 18)

The eighteenth day NaPo challenge was to write a poem based on the title of a chapter, as a prompt, in Susan G. Wooldridge’s Poemcrazy: Freeing Your Life with Words. After reading the “look inside” on Amazon, I bought the book at 4 AM. Then I selected Chapter 51, “Fear of Poetry.”


Fear of Poetry

They say, poems find us.
They say, we cannot teach how to poem
words, to think one, or to write one.
They say, we are not all the same,
but we are all equal, or should be,
simply different I suppose. King
thinks writers (poets) are born.

I fear no rainforest, not electricity,
nor my own subconsciousness;
yet ocean depths, being too high,
or the worst of my fears, being a fool
can imprison me: body, mind, and spirit.

Unlike others, poems came to me ever since
I was forced to memorize “O Captain! My Captain!”
at age 13, long before I understood much of anything.
But I hid my love of it for fear of what
poetry might mean to me. Like repressed memories
or unrequited love, I hid from, ignored what I loved.

Now behind that mental dam of fear is stored
years of unexpressed ME (or is it I?) – poetry.
Only in demonstrative anger
or stoically hidden sorrow did I feel safe.
Since owning that,
since calling myself poet,
then writing and thinking,
I let them out. One poem at a time.


Look both ways to see where it began and where it might end.
Mind the gaps because it’s never to late to be completely you.