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.

Sammi’s Weekender #262 (zest)

Click the graphic to peel on over to Sammi’s blog for the rest of the plan and more fantabulous 41-word writings.

 


Booklovers

Unlike the discomfort people feel toward harmless book collections, fearful of those pillars of civilization, even dumb readers are smart. Readers aren’t rich, poor, intelligent, or stupid. They zestfully relish reading books like the ignorant cling to guns and unread bibles.

Look both ways and cherish lifelong learning. Mind the gaps and be who you are and what you are, enjoy life, and read on into eternity.

Sammi’s Weekender #260 (omphalos)

A big congratulatory shout out to Sammi for five years of weekend wonders.

Click on the omphalos prompt for more 91-word creative wonders on Sammi’s blog page.

Navel Gazing

Am I lost, have you seen me?
Am I crying or standing angry?

I listen but I also speak,
I read but I write, I love—
but I also hate and abominate.

I must find myself,
so I may contemplate my bile.

Every day, untethered, to consider
my center, my core omphalos
being wisely chosen.

Not fooled by feelings or desires,
looking deep and true
before winter blows

that last breath from my chest,
before my dust returns to the cosmos
before it is too late,
true to myself, my love.


Look both ways at your best and the worst.
Find the true you without judgment or odium.
Mind the gaps and look there too,
for the stain of truth is better than vain and useless glory.

Friday Fictioneers for May 13th, 2022

Today is Friday Fictioneers’ photo prompt release day, posted two days prior to Friday the thirteenth, an inauspicious Gregorian calendar arrangement in the superstitious minds of many.

Central to Mistress Rochelle’s well-chosen pic from the artistic eye of our friend to the north, Dale Rogerson, is a red rose. “O my Luve’s like a red, red rose/That’s newly sprung in” May; is partly from the famous Robert Burns poem.

What can one do with the flower of love on the most traditional day of western bad luck? My go is below Dale’s photo. My gratitude to both wonderful, bonnie lasses for giving direction to this week’s micro-fiction collection.

Click on Dale’s red rose for a ride over to Rochelle’s rockin’ blog for how it’s done.

Genre: Padded Journalism
Title: Guns and Roses
Word Count: 100

The blonde was his beauty. He was her beloved beast. They struck out for freedom armed with guns and motivated by love.

“We’ll never blend in, Casey. You’re too tall.”

“Vicky, look! It’s them laws. Let’s die like Bonnie and Clyde. We’ll be famous.”

“But dead as hell. Drive fast, Babe. If they get close, they’ll flip us.”

There was a loud bump. Casey’s driving skills failed to keep them from the grassy Indiana ditch.

Her last words were, “I love you, Babe. See you in hell. They could have at least waited until Friday.”

A gunshot, then cops everywhere.


Look both ways when on the run in the Alabama sun.
Mind the gaps and ditches.
Keep in mind that at six-foot-nine, you’re not that hard to find.

Click on Casey & Vicky for your risk free ride to more marvelous stories.

Monday’s Rune: Sudden Snake Story


Watch My Step

On a recent sunny Spring morning I walked comfortably along the yellowish-brown path of a meadow trail. I thought I saw a snake stretched calmly across my path. The trail ground cover and snake were much the same texture and color. I removed my sunglasses, moved closer, and looked directly at whatever it was.

Sure enough, a three-to-four-foot-long Texas rattlesnake, one of our ten species, was calmly holding its head up and making eye contact. It was not coiled-up or making threatening rattle noises. I noticed its tongue sensing the air. Otherwise, it was motionless.

I decided the snake was probably a female, not that I could tell. I’ve always had better luck with female mammals, why not reptiles? It’s difficult to determine a snake’s sex unless you are an expert, a snake, or have a sexing kit. They cost about $70, if you have a need to know and are willing to get more up close and personal with snakes than most folks are, be my guest. That optimistic conclusion helped to keep me calm.

However, I was shocked when the snake spoke to me. She said, “Please, don’t make me move. It’s early and I’m still cold.”

I stepped back and looked around. I tried to speak but I only stammered stupid nothings. I wasn’t afraid and thought it might be a trick. Imagine speaking to any animal. My skepticism must have showed.

“Oh, please,” she hissed, “everyone knows snakes talk. The Bible? Eve? Don’t make me do that bite thing. Humans taste like soap. We don’t like doing that.”

No way! A talking snake. Unbelievable (except biblically).

I hoped no one would hear me, “So, what is your name? What should I call you?

She seemed to smile, “Call me Metaphor. We don’t use names. But, since I’m blocking your progress for a while, it’s apropos, don’t you think? What is your name?”

Holy shit. A philosophical, talking rattlesnake.

“I’m Bill. Do you want me to leave?”

She answered, “Not really. If you’re uncomfortable, walk around me and get on with your life. I’ll do the same. If someone else comes by, it may not go this well. But if you have a few minutes, let’s talk. Think of it as a game.”

Good grief. A fucking philosophical, bible-wise, talking lady-snake who wants to play mind games with me.

She seemed to like me. Other than Eve, who has ever encountered a talking animal? Ok, maybe the fish in that Hemmingway book. Wait. No, never mind. Now that I think about it, talking animals are everywhere in literature, TV, and movies. I couldn’t just up and leave without regrets.

She asked, “Which do you fear more, other humans, aggressively growling dogs, or snakes?”

I admitted it. Snakes scare me. “No dog has bitten me since childhood. People seem safe enough.”

“Why is that?” she asked, “Have you ever been harmed by a snake?”

I could see where her ‘game’ was headed. “I don’t know why. That is how it is with most people. No. I’ve never been harmed by a snake.”

She asked, “Has any human being ever harmed you in any way?”

“Of course.” I said, “Many times. We’re not very kind to each other. Humans have harmed me or threatened to do so.”

Then she asked, “Of the three, you fear least your own species even though they are the ones who have harmed you most?”

“That’s true. But most people seem harmless. I feel safe, most of the time.”

“How many people in your life have been killed by dogs?” she asked.

I replied, “Certain breeds and certain dogs can be dangerous. Most animal pets are innocuous, including pet snakes.”

“That’s my point, Bill. Some dogs, people, and snakes are dangerous. But everyone and everything is not out to get you. I can tell you are not worried about me, nor need I be concerned about you. It’s called discernment. You do that with people and dogs. Try it with snakes. Now we both better get going before someone comes. I enjoyed our little game. Goodbye, Bill.”

We maintained eye contact as I walked around her, getting no closer than she was long. I turned and walked away. It’s always best to let nature, dogs, snakes, and other people do the talking. When I listen, I learn.


Look both ways crossing meadows and encountering other beings in life.
Mind the gaps and learn your lessons well.

NaPoWriMo April 2022 (Day 15)

Click he graphic for a link to the prompt page and more poems.

My interpretation on the mid-month NaPo prompt was to write a poem about something I dislike or find absurd. I concluded this because the assignment was, while seemingly counterintuitive, to write about something I have absolutely no interest in; but not like indifferent to (apathetic). I was also invited to investigate why I don’t give a damn. Here’s my take.


Superstition

I’m curious about few woo-woo,
but astrology ain’t in my playbill.
Are there 12 or 13 signs?
There’s yer sign.
Who TF cares, Ophiuchus?

People read that shit?
Believe? Live by?
Superstition sings
not by constellations,
not by birthdays.
Connect the dots,
but not that crazy way.

Fun, interesting, or amusing?
Blame the Babylonians. I couldn’t care less
if they left one hanging dingleberry.
You do the math. Is one two?

If I’m interested enough to care
I will ask, not your Zodiac sign,
but what kind of beer do you drink?


Look both ways when you stare into the night sky.
Identify stars, planets, and constellations.
That’s astronomy. That’s science.
Mind the gaps for the wonder of galaxies.

NaPoWriMo April 2022 Day 13

Click the graphic for the NaPo prompt page and more poems.

Today, in honor of the “potential luckiness of the number 13”, I was to write a poem that joyfully states that “Everything is Going to Be Amazing.” If I couldn’t find the enthusiasm to write myself a riotous pep-talk, I was to muse on good things coming down the track. This world offers us the persistent possibility of surprise. Right. Reminds me of people who say “happy memorial day.”

I grudgingly wrote to this prompt today with a contrarian pall over my heart. When I feel something is wrong, but no one will tell me what, fear of the unknown weighs heavy.


Nope. It Ain’t.

I don’t mean nothin’, Man.
We jus’ gotta get out of this place.

Look up at the stars, forget the mud
and reality. Live the dream, Baby.

It ain’t easy being green, or stupid,
or a timid runt. But love conquers all,

What lives it don’t flat out ruin.
Up against the wall. The man gotcha.

It’s a meaningless number, three
little birds just told me, freedom,

It’s just another word. We can check out
anytime we like, but we can never leave.

Every little thing gunna be all right,
if it’s the last thing we ever do.


Look both ways at the pluses and minuses.
Mind the gaps for ways to escape.

NaPoWriMo April 2022 (Day 9)

Click on the NaPo button for today’s prompt and links to other poems.

Because it’s Saturday, day 9 of the NaPoWriMo challenge, and the 9th of April, my numerically poetic task is to write a nine-line nonet poem. A nonet renders out to about 36 words. It’s a brief form. The first line has nine syllables, the second has eight, and so on. The number of syllables reducing until you get to the nineth line, which has just one syllable.

I supposed that one could write an inverted nonet, which I did, beginning with one syllable and working up, line-by-line, back to nine. I felt like I had the time. Two poems, 72 words, 90 syllables. Not much for a Saturday. So, I also wrote a 57-word poem for Sammi’s Weekend Writing Prompt.


Never Understood

He had a quick pride which pained him much.
So many loves he’d won and lost.
His narcissism reflecting,
the part he’d never see.
Sadness lived within
his tortured soul.
When he died,
I still
cried.

***

Had
I known
of his soul,
the cost to him
was in no way small.
I never understood
many burdens he carried
they just split his being apart,
making it worse, the curse of his heart.


Look both ways and up and down before asking why or why not.
Mind the gaps in mirrored perfection of human discernment.

NaPoWriMo April 2022 (Day 7)

Click the graphic to go to the NaPo page and read all about it.

To complete the first full week of NaPoWriMo, I was to write a poem that argues against, or somehow questions, a proverb or saying.

I selected a Chinese proverb which is also a quotation attributed to Grantland Rice (which is the more likely).

“A wise man makes his own decisions. An ignorant man follows public opinion.”

Indeed, following public opinion is called argumentum ad populum (Latin for “appeal to the people”) and is a logical fallacy based on affirming that something is real or better because the majority think so.


Skeptical Wisdom

The killer of dreams may be worries about
what other people think and indeed,
it matters but shouldn’t.

People have died from their own ignorance
or by ignoring the fleeing crowd. Ask why
everyone is running away, discover reasons.

Learn. Make decisions based on valid,
repeatable, tested evidence. Be skeptical,
but listen and learn, or you may fail.

Opinion polls are often wrong. Opinions change.
Neither follow the blind nor be deceived by prophets,
think and consider and ask, then ask some more.

Public opinion is not always wrong, not always invalid,
it is not always all the public. It is not thinking, but evidence
that makes the difference.

And even then, the state of scientific evidence is fluid,
changing, moving. Contrarian thought is fine. It’s fun.
But in the end, truth is an elusive chameleon.


Look both ways to be sure the path is safe.
Carefully consider all options.
Mind the gaps well lest a valid exception be overlooked.

NaPoWriMo April 2022 (Day 6)

Today, I’ve been challenged to write a variation of an acrostic poem. But rather than spelling out a word with the first letters of each line, I’m to write a poem that reproduces a phrase with the first word of each line.

I chose Find what you love and let it kill you. (Attributed to: Charles Bukowski [unlikely], Kinky Friedman [more likely but with like instead of love], Van Dyke Parks [attributes to Friedman], and Anonymous [possible, but someone said it first]; and if it was Kinky, who used love first?)


Seriously

Find my reason for being, my why did I not die,
What is it that makes me do the things I do?
You may have some thoughts about my dilemma;
Love or hate and genes and things, like moon phases,
And everything about what I was and now I am.
Let us feel, taste, smell, see, and hear all there is.
It is my life, after all, and I must find it or
Kill myself trying because this is too important for
You to take things like love and death so lightly.


Look both ways while searching for all the love to live for
and all reasons to die. Mind the gaps for gods with all the right answers.