Monday’s Rune: Perspective Poetry

Saturday (June 18th) , I wrote this poem at the Round Rock Writers Guild Word Yoga (poetry) exercise Zoom workshop. My friend, Kathrine, said she wanted to see it here. Who am I to disagree?

Her excellent blog is published at: https://lklatham.com/. Her exceptionally wonderful books of dark, speculative fiction designed to beguile the imagination and convince you the things that go bump in the night are real is sold wherever great lit can be had.

 


A Moment of Time

My mantra is right here, right now
in this place with my life
that is the sum total
of forty-million moments;
some so frightening
I thought I would die,
others so boring
I thought I would die,
but here I am,
right here, right now,
just me—Mister Bill—
and my 40-million moments,
greedily hoping for
ten or twenty million more,
when frightening or boring
are equally
(un)important to me.


Look both ways with awareness of time, but this moment is all we have.
Mind the gaps for good days and bad, as pleasantry is a matter of perspective.

Sammie’s Weekender #263 (vernacular)

Click this graphic to open Sammi’s page in a new tab.

Dead and Gone

When they ask me, where do I say I’m from?
Why ask? What difference does it make?

Do I say from a blended Irish Catholic coal miner family
of the northeastern Pennsylvania Wyoming Valley?
From a time and place, now too far away?

A way to which I cannot return. My blood no longer mixes.

A place foreign to the vernacular of history,
now threatened by polite inclusiveness.

Now none of me lives there.
Only cold rainy nights and forgotten headstones
on lost graves of people I never knew remain.


Look both ways for ancestral truth, but the past is gone.
Mind the gaps for reality’s dark shadows before landing right here, right now, in this world.

Monday’s Rune: Live Well

 


I Admit It

Sometimes I don’t understand, or
(and it’s not the same thing)
I misunderstand, hoping
somehow to be brought
to correction and truth,
by way of clarification,
minus animosity.

Like one day
writing to prompts.

A young lady made clear
her (pre-pandemic) intention
to complete
the several months long hike
of the Appalachian Trail,
Georgia to Maine.

Starting in February,
finishing in May (unlikely),
by hiking
twenty-seven miles
every day for months.

She had done eighteen miles in one day,
no more; none
during March or July
on a rocky or muddy ascending trail.

I wanted to say,
that’s a marathon a day,
every day, for at least three months
(more like five to seven)
bearing a pack, food, and water.

But I didn’t. Is it for me to say?
Lest I dash her dream with reality.
Is it for each person to discover
our dreams? To defeat challenging demons?
Not with wisdom but with grit.
Each of us must, on life’s long wander,
one day, one step at a time, take the risk.


Look both ways on every trail.
Watch where you step and mind the gaps lest you find a limp.
Follow your dreams.
Wisely.

Click on the photo of my favorite trail bench for more info on the Appalachian Trail.

 

Monday’s Rune: Standing Down

It was unthinkable, back when
my without-resumé or bona fide
job was Dad: our father,
leader, wizard, fixer of all
things and people broken,
savior of my tribe; shaman,
vet, and driver out of all demons.

Despite my foibles,
hidden as many were—
we managed to cope.

Burdened with adversity and misguided history
we owned our piece of the world,
we held the keys that controlled the universe,
wherein I was (am?) suddenly
no longer the center to which they would turn.

Call it what is, that’s life, dismissing
whenever shit happens, when I’m forced
to admit I don’t know why. To say
I was wrong about so much.
I think and think again about it all,
the ultimatum. It wasn’t you. It’s me.


Look both ways when seeking the mysterious purpose of life,
or finding of the true self, or taking on the vocation mantle of service.
Mind the gaps for the distractions of relief are dear.

Friday Fictioneers for May 6th, 2022

Na’ama Yehuda’s lovely flower garden picture posted by the incomparable Rochelle, mistress of pools of water and writers was both inspirational and challenging. A rose by any other name is a tulip, even on Friday Fictioneers, right?

 

Click on the flowers to get more info from Rochelle’s. The PHOTO PROMPT by © Na’ama Yehuda.

Genre: Murderous Fiction
Title: I never promised you a
rose tulip garden
Words: 100

We were so much in love, hotly in lust, blindly infatuated—the perfect couple. I decided I could trust him with my biggest secrets. We just clicked.

“Hey Babe, I need to tell you one more thing.”

“Oh, Sweetheart, you can tell me anything. Without trust, there’s no us.”

“I worked as a hooker when I lived in Reno.”

“Okay, Love…that’s over now.”

“I also shot a man there just to watch him die.

“You did what? You’re a murderer? We need to get that mess cleaned up.”

“I’ll be packing tonight. Don’t worry about me leaving. I’m already gone.”


Look both ways to see that no one is perfect, everyone makes mistakes, we can only be who we are. Mind those gaps so you don’t forget that your truth may be none of my business.

***

My story was musically inspired by: (I Never Promised You A) Rose Garden by Lynn Anderson, Folsom Prison Blues by Johnny Cash, and Already Gone (also maybe the line, And there’s some rumors going round, someone’s underground from Witchy Woman) by Eagles (sic).

Click on the flower gun to link up with more marvelous stories by the Friday Fibbers cast.

NaPoWriMo April 2022 (Day 29)

Click for the prompt page and more.

Today, I was to write a poem where I muse on the gifts I received at birth.


Forbidden to Miners

I call for my childhood muse
to whisper of the child, to
remind me, as Mnemosyne, goddess
of memory, me within and without,
of sorrows and gifts and that I am

a coal miner’s son, given blessings
and burdens, Irish Catholic (then),
yet named for mother’s father,
a Welsh Presbyterian, a coal man; me,
youngest with three half-blood sibs.

First of family raised by both parents,
by father’s discipline tempered
by mother’s love; I, imperfect in this
less perfect world, a boomer now,
some say a most hated gen.

No special gift, proudly average,
a boy being a boy, some friends,
learner of the hard way, too afflicted
by others, not an unhappy child,
but happy to have survived to 75.

Kismet, space dust, late bloomer,
they gave me life, what happened after
was up to me. Made good and done bad,
but here I am writing about it. A poet?
That was neither planned nor expected.


Look both ways. Try to remember.
But, above all, tell your story.
Mind the gaps and fill them as best you can.

NaPoWriMo April 2022 (Day 27)

Click for prompt and more poems.

Today, I was to write a duplex poem, a variation on the 14-line sonnet form (also echoes ghazal and blues) developed by Jericho Brown. While I did not make the last line the same as the first, I think it still fits the form near enough.


Look Both Ways

In my seventh decade I can sense
How the shortened horizon stimulates me.

As near horizons power my desire
I feel impatient and curious.

Curious about much, impatient to learn
As my memory seeks its own beginning.

Like flashing movie trailers of memory
I feel a revival of haste when I see

Time is not long, and my need is urgent.
Reality has broken though my dreams

And my dreams bow to stark reality.
From this end I see better my beginning,

My story told from beginning till now.
My seventh decade has finally arrived.


Look both ways regardless of how near or far the horizon is.
Mind the gaps because memory is tricky business.

NaPoWriMo April 2022 (Day 23)

Click the image for the prompt page and links to more poems for day 23.

 

Today, I was supposed to write a poem in the style of Kay Ryan, whose poems tend to be short and snappy – with a lot of rhyme and sound play, yet with a deceptive simplicity about them, like proverbs or aphorisms. I missed with the rhyme, but I ran out of time.


Make It Count

Beeves to the
cowboys were like
coal to the miner,
cargo to the trucker,
or jewels
to the jeweler.
Pilferage
for a price.
Unlike the horse,
pickaxe, truck,
or tweezers;
one’s identity
rests upon the
tools of the trade,
neither the deal
nor the gift
of the dollar
are we.


Look both ways at process and product.
Mind the gaps between important and precious.

NaPoWriMo April 2022 (Day 21)

Click graphic for full prompt page and links to more poems.

Today’s NaPoWriMo.net four-part prompt was borrowed from poet Betsy Sholl. This assignment tasked me to write a poem within which I recall,

  1. someone I was close to, but I am no longer,
  2. a job I no longer do, and
  3. art that I saw once and that stuck with me.
  4. I was to close the poem with an unanswerable question.

Reflection

Side by side in many ways
our lives were intwined by profession,
friendship, and meaning. Only now,
looking back do I see that when
you went right, I vectored left,
fast friends now virtual strangers.

Maybe I no longer do those things,
I don’t walk or talk the same,
my goals and purposes are past,
yet my butt is a branded identity.
From that long ago past, my dreams
are still me then, me when I was
part of a thing bigger than myself.

I saw the cowboy of a distant genre
who rode one horse of divergent
color, who ranged and wrangled west.
I’m unlike him; no horse or saddle
sits beneath me. I’m just a deliberate, defiant,
dying breed with a protective attitude.
He sits, and stares. I wonder where.

Why the tie? Is the past part of me?
Am I still part of the past?
How do those people and things
have me in what they are today?
Does any of it matter?


Look both ways, but juxtapose the past with the present,
especially if both are greater than the future.
Mind the gaps because memory is notoriously unreliable.

Friday Fictioneers for April 22, 2022

Mistress Rochelle, the colorful manager and FF maven of artistic madness, prompts us today, with the aid of a Carole Erdman-Grant photo of an abandoned building with a marvelous paint job.

PHOTO PROMPT © Carole Erdman-Grant Click on the picture to zip on over to Rochelle’s page for all the news and graphic rules.

Genre: Family Fiction
Title: Overheard Gen Art
Word Count: 99

“Mom! Look at that! It’s beautiful. Let’s get dad to buy it.

Julie, that is junk. It’s sad—the worst of gang graffiti. It’s ugly.

Mother, you have no taste. That rocks—it is the fucking bomb. That’s great urban art.

Sweetheart, that is not art. It’s gang turf tagging and watch your language. This was once a nice place to eat. Now look at it: a concrete canvas for bored morons.

It’s metaphorical, Mom. You’re so shallow. If dad doesn’t buy it, I’ll kill myself.

And if he does you won’t have to because I’ll kill you both.”


Look both ways for all that is seen and felt.
Mind gaps and don’t touch the wet paint.

Click on Mels (sic) drive-in from the American Graffiti movie to find more fictioneering.