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.

Sammi’s Weekender #218 (tessellate)

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Geometric Memory

It’s one of those words,
comforting to hear and speak.

To say as tongues touch teeth,
not lips, a fun word to think.

Fifty years since projected
mosaics, as she asked,
“Does this tessellate?” We
learned patterned meanings.

No use for the word, till now.
Yet, I remember the day and teacher
who taught me how polygons tessellate.


Look both ways teaching and learning lessons.
Memories are forever but mind the gaps for irretrievable loses.

Poetry: Limestone Walker


That so-called stone surface facial of
sedimentary calcium composition
of old fossils, fragments, and ancient scree;
rocks of gray, white, yellow, or brown.

Ubiquitous to trails I hike,
fine for stepping over hazards
or tripping face-first onto hard rocks,
or into some mud puddle or other.

Soft and effervescent in any acid,
yet porous enough to spawn tree or shrub
growth or provide unlimited grot hiding places
for so many critters of the Texas wild.

In a metamorphism of glory,
stones ugly and pitted,
covered with algae, moss, and mold;
magically recrystallizing into fine marble,
given enough time.

Fittingly, oxymoronic as soft rock
used as stones for walls,
or as naturally difficult primitive paths,
or cliffs to climb,
or pathways to find,
so many new trails to blaze.

So much staining, like inked tattoos,
painted with organic rust;
constantly crumbling, chipping,
peeling, spalling, weathering,
and eroding away;
just like me.

A stone-cold darkness arising from dampness,
striving to save archaeological history,
the professional province of geoscience,
ignored by hikers and walkers, but not
missed by the conceit of poets.
We seem to see it all.


Look both ways and watch your step,
for real and with a metaphor.
Mind all the gaps. Trip at your own peril.

Sammi’s Weekender #210 (eerie)

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There We Were

Six miles high at midnight, dodging lightning bolt thunderstorms, eerie Saint Elmo’s Fire covered; below, equally deep, the Marianas Trench beckoned. No one prayed.

 


Look both ways in foul or fair, self-reliance saves lives.
Mind the gaps between the storms for the reach of deadly lightning.

(Note: Yes, it happened like that.)

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.

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.

Poetry: Dad’s Ways (NaPoWriMo day 15)

For today’s NaPo prompt, I was supposed to think about (as in remember) a small habit I picked up from one of my parents. Then, I was to write, first about remembering my parent engaged in that behavior before writing about me doing the same thing.

I can do none of that. I recall no small habits of Mom or Dad, much less identify any I copied.

This prompt is one of several generative writing prompts created by Juan Martinez for his college-age creative writing students at Northwestern University. I’ve not been a college student for many years and probably completed my undergraduate degree before Professor Martinez was born.

But I wanted to write a poem from this prompt. Since Martinez used the term generative, I felt comfortable using his idea as the genesis for one applicable to my life by adjusting the parental habit concept to my father. Several of my father’s customs so irritated me that I intentionally do the opposite, do not do them, or if I ever did, I stopped copying them many years ago. This is not phyco-babble. I loved my Dad (sort of) but I despised much of what he did.

That way, I can remember and write about him while also writing about me not engaging in the same behavior, a bit of a reverse of the NaPo prompt. The original theme of a poem about my parent’s habits remains.


I loved him and I think
he loved me, but I can’t recall
him saying it. I’m freer with
I love you’s, hugs, and kisses. I don’t think
Mom considered him a good man.

He had only apple butter and cold
processed meat sandwiches as a kid.
I learned about apple butter at Jimmy’s house.
It was not allowed in ours.

Except for some dining-out places,
I hate for people to wait on or to serve me,
he seemed to expect it,
especially from my Mom.

His teeth spent nights in a glass with water,
I am meticulous about dental hygiene.

He smoked himself to death. I quit long ago.
He had religion. I gave that up too.
He often laid on the couch. I never do.

Our bathroom sink was always disgusting
because of his mess. I clean mine several times
each day and never leave it wet. I don’t think
I’m anal, but I pick up my shit and fix cockeyed things.

I learned how to do things and to have the right tools
before I start. He learned as he worked,
never with the right tool for the job.
I watched his frustration and learned
what not to do.

He didn’t drive. I have a motorcycle.
He smelled too much of cologne,
like a French whore house to me.
I never use scented products to smell attractive.

I believe exercise is good medicine,
he didn’t think so. I fight with my temper,
he often lost his without guilt. I tried to keep away
from him and that violent loss of control.

His ethnic epithets seemed normal Archie
Bunker stuff, I avoid them because of him,
not due to today’s PC environment. It was called
All In the Family, if you don’t know.

It seems to me that my Dad’s good influence
on me was letting me see, hear, and smell
that meat-and-potatoes Irishman who
I believe, did the best he could, and I knew
all along Mom wanted better.


Look both ways at their foibles and yours.
Nobody’s perfect, of course,
but mind the gaps to be the best you can.

 

Sammi’s Weekender #197 (call)

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I wrote two poems because I liked this prompt.


Happy Raspy

The young, talented, beautiful Irish busker’s angelic voice,
unique and indescribable, called to me from Grafton Street.

Her glancing smile and raised brow calls all to pay homage
to the gift that brings me to resonated tears. My raspy old poem.

***

Yo, Billy Boy

When we said, “Call for me,”
we invited a friend, always a boy,
usually Jimmy, to stand outside and yell,
“Hello, Bill (or Billy)” loud enough
to be heard from any part of the house
and responded to, if anyone cared.

***


Look both ways on Grafton in Dublin.
Mind the gaps in such a marvelous voice.

Sammi’s Weekender #187 (niggle)

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Expostulated Love

“I love that man,” was what she said to me,
and “I hate that other one,” her follow-on, bait-switch statement,
that morsel of red herring to mislead my unwanted retort
to her bleating caterwaul. I knew this kvetch ranked
behind turd infected punji sticks in heart and soul.

Niggle not. Poetry is sycophantic art when inoffensive kindness
and socially sensitive ethics are euphemisms for hidden truth.


Look both ways, if he can tell it like it is, I’m also justified.
Mind gaps for expiration of truth.