Today I was prompted to compose a love poem with three required aspects. It must name at least one flower (the Texas state flower is the bluebonnet, and they love them), contain one parenthetical statement, and have some
unusual line (like this)
This love of ours
like bluebonnets flower
in Spring flashing brilliance
of blue, purple, white, red,
and like it knew,
maroon (if you look close)
in April then waning to green
by May. Yet,
This love of ours
life—stronger after hard
wet Winter passes. The
the plant lives like
our love. Fruitful.
Reliable. Dependable. This love of ours, like no
other’s (spreading, seen, felt)
cannot be trampled or destroyed (though some have tried).
Look both ways, forgive but do not forget,
let love be seen with eyes of envy.
Mind the gaps,
but don’t let them be more than
a seam on a garment, a patch in a road, or a lone weed in a glorious garden.
On the fourth Sunday of April 2023, we’ve been granted the opportunity to write a poem composed of numbered sections. Each section was to be in dialogue with the others, like a song where a different person sings each verse, giving a different point of view.
Additionally, the setting was to be specific, ideally a place where we once spent much time, but no longer do.
I used parts of The Age of Anxiety: A baroque Eclogue by W. H. Auden for methodological examples and guidance. Auden used several techniques in his book-length poem. One was identity tags (“Emble was thinking, Now Rosetta says, Malin says” … or sings, or Auden simply names the character) for who was speaking or thinking. He also explained places or set moods in prose. However, he did not use numbered sections. I must (mine is not to reason why). I have spared us both the book’s advantage of a 49-page introduction.
The Masque of Nave (“’oh, heaven help me’ she prayed, to be decorative and to do right.” R. Firbank, The Flower beneath the Foot)
He recalled to me…
I sat, stood, and kneeled in the back-most pew
of the bright, modern, incensed church nave.
Why was I there? What did I want?
Jack later said…
I don’t believe all this makes sense, celibacy
without a cause, trans faces reality, real versus
what you think this place can do for you.
Not a wretch am I, and exactly from what
do any of us need savin’? They will come
if you feed them, and the music isn’t too bad.
Adam looked and talked…
I could live like this, with some of you.
Hungry for your touch. I can show you
the way to find heaven on earth, in church.
Then Ted said…
I will let you, if you allow me. We need
secrets to keep. This place smells, but
however it is, let me be part of it.
Maddie told us…
Ted and Adam can play their sick game
without us in hell to help them; they are
blind and will never see time go so slow.
This is not the place for us above it all.
No one will find a way or feel the fall.
What matters most is how we lived.
And Jack repeated…
What you sense is not the house of God,
but the way to be seen as safe or good,
none here will go farther than the end.
And I said to Jack and Judy…
Ted and Adam are alone and now dead;
you’ll both soon go to join them there;
the end patiently waits. But it always comes.
Look both ways into the good and the evil.
Even the snake only wants to be left alone.
Mind the gaps in all relationships.
People worships for reasons unknown,
often even to them.
Note: I did not use Roman numerals. WP did that on its own when I indented the poem. But they work okay, right?
For this Earth Day, also a Saturday, I was to select an Emily Dickinson poem and change it by removing dashes and line breaks. I was then to add my own breaks as well as to add, remove, or change words. Basically, I was to make a Dickinson poem mine.
As I read various versions of her many poems, I learned that others over the years have taken license to make changes to the point that I cannot determine original forms or words. In the case of one book I have, an entire stanza of a poem was either added by one or deleted by the other.
Because today is Earth Day, I chose a Dickinson poem that relates to nature: “The Mushroom is the Elf of Plants” – (1350); or XXV, page 97, in my copy of The Collected Poems of Emily Dickinson (intro and notes by Rachel Wetzsteon). Generally, Dickinson did not title her poems, thus the numbers.
Bill’s Magic Trifle
The Liberty Mushroom is
the elf of plants at evening,
but not at morning, in its truffled magic hut
it stopped upon a spot as if it always hesitated.
Yet, its whole life is shorter
than a snake’s delay
and faster than the strike.
It’s its vegetation’s juggler,
the ever-changing nature is like a bubble
on the ground or floating to the trees.
I feel as if the grass was pleased as I
to have it grow in and among her blades of
scion of Summer’s circumspect.
If Nature had a more supple face
or she could pick a favorite fairy;
if Nature had an apostate fungus
the lowly liberty cap mushroom would be him!
And a favorite ‘shroom among us.
Look both ways because then is not now.
Mind the gaps left by migration and imagination.
Happy Earth Day.
Our own Kansas City, major league Girl, pronounced Rochelle, who is in a league of her own, has sent us up to the nosebleed section of Royals stadium for inspiration. It’s her pic, but it’s still football (not baseball) season, for which KC will be smiling and thanking Lubbock, Texas, for sending them the likes of Patrick M. (Superbowl Champs) for many moons. May the Royals be so blessed.
This game is all about telling a complete story in fewer than 101 words (more and you strike out). Click on the stadium pic to hit a home run over at Rochelle’s blog to get her pitch. There you can be umpired on the balls and strikes of Friday Fictioneers. Let the baseball metaphors fly!
Genre: Baseball History
Title: First Base
Word Count: 100
Billy and I bummed on cheap wooden bleachers watching the Rangers. Seven bucks covered everything, including Cowtown to Arlington gas and parking.
“Dad, that lady behind me is blowing on me.”
It was hot. I looked back. A lovely young lady was fanning his neck. She smiled. I mouthed thank you.
He punched his glove, but it would take a homer to get us a ball.
“She’s trying to keep you cool. Some day you’ll appreciate such attention.”
He asked, “Do you think she likes baseball?” I looked again. She winked.
“Yep. She and your mother are both big fans.”
Look both ways when life seems like a dreary competition.
Mind the gaps. At those heights, let the ball come to you.
Lynda Lee Lyberg caught me at the dVerse bar today thinking of a poem about the mavens of music from the days of my time. While I must bow to the discipline of a mere 44 words, I will eventually make a much longer tribute to the quad of this week’s Quadrille. For today—this:
To Carly, Carole, Joni, and Linda
Music, Ladies! Making music was your life.
It’s been seventy years more
since you made your way writing, singing,
and playing for your sake and ours.
With Anticipation I’ll let Tapestry tell me When Will I Be Loved since I see Both Sides Now.
Look both ways and try, try, try to see all sides.
Mind the gaps when the beautiful ladies sing.
It’s where the love is.
Note: Maybe some young ‘uns don’t know that Carly Simon, Carole King, Joni Mitchell, and Linda Ronstadt were literal folk and rock stars for more than sixty years.
We’re iced-in over (down) here in Texas, which means it is our bi-annual week of winter.
While Rochelle is recovering from strokin’ too hard, she has rattled our senses with an Alicia Jamtaas photo taken on a lovely romantic day. Our gig now is to write fewer than 101 words telling the stories that our muses whisper to us as we look at Alicia’s pic.
If your muse is tugging at your mind and makin’ you wanna play, click Ms. Jamtaas pic to dance on over to Rochelle’s blog page where you’ll get to read all about it.
Genre: Dream-dancing Fiction
Title: There She Was
Word Count: 100
It was a hot one. I was minding my business, walkin’ down the street, snappin’ my fingers, shufflin’ my feet, feelin’ the beat.
I saw her sitting there. My heart stopped. We waved. It was love. Music played. We danced. We started callin’ out round the world. Everybody was dancing in the street.
If this is a dream, may I never awaken. I called to her, “Baby, let’s make it real.”
We did with all the music playing, we were all singin’ and dancin’ and hot , hot, hot. She yelled, “Carlos, I love you. “I said, “my name’s Bill.”
Look both ways but love may be sitting up above on yonder windowsill.
Mind the gaps but (flash mob) dance when you can.
AND, A little Smooth guitar from the great Carlos Santana to better tell the whole story.