Poetry: Sammi’s Weekender #174 (Rectify)


Note: I used the noun form of rectify in the title and three synonyms in the piece. Mia culpa.


Rectification

His heart and hers, broken, they had caused their own tragedy. Together, they moved forward, not on, using glue of the gods, Mars & Venus, to correct, reform, and amend repairs. Their common desire: love.

***


Look both ways to “mend a broken heart”.
Mind the gaps for “misty memories of days gone by.”

My inspiration.

Friday Fictioneers for 9/4/2020 (Some Friends)

Thanks to Rochelle @ Rochelle Wisoff-Fields-Addicted to Purple for another Friday Fictioneers inspiring Wednesday photo. Her weekly challenge is to write a story of 100 words or less based on a photo prompt. This week’s inspiration is provided by C.E. Ayr.

Image by CEAyr

Genre: (Autobiographical) Fiction
Title: Some Friends
Word Count: 100

***

I was to meet Clair, Jack’s wife, on the movie set. We met for coffee during her break. Clair introduced me to Astrid, who left us alone to talk. She got to the point.

“Bill, I’m leaving Jack.”

I said I was not surprised.

She said, “You’re his best friend. How can you say that?”

“Yes, I am. But I have no idea why anyone would want to be married to him.”

“Bill, you don’t understand. I am leaving him for another woman. You just met her.”

“Oh shit, Clair. I wish I could be there when you tell him.”

***


Look both ways in life and love.
Mind the gaps in close friendships.

Click for link.

Friday Fictioneers for 8/21/2020 (One Last Time)

Many thanks to Rochelle @ Rochelle Wisoff-Fields-Addicted to Purple for pointing me to another photo-inspired Friday Fictioneers. The weekly challenge she presents is to write a story based on the photo prompt, provided today by Ted Strutz.

My task is to write a complete story in 100 words or less.

Photo by Ted Strutz ©

Title: One Last Time
Genre: Fiction (Southern Gothic)
Word count: 100

***

Abject fear hit me when I saw his house, familiar feelings founded on my childhood nightmares with an abusive father and an enabling mother.

I love South Carolina’s low country but have few good memories, a good place with fine people. But not him.

I walked the three steps to front door. A gunshot stunned me. I ducked, looked around, then carefully opened the door.

He put the WWII .45 on the table and said, “Safety’s broke. I ain’t goin’ to no death house.”

“Well, Dad, you cannot live here. And you damn sure ain’t livin’ with me. Now pack!”

***


Look both ways for the life you’ve lived.
Mind the gap like a bad dream.

Click for link.

dVerse prose: A Time

Thanks to Merril (from New Jersey) for hosting this dVerse bar challenge: Prosery Monday: A Time, to which I am responding on Tuesday. Merril says to write prose of less then 145 words in response to this line from the poem “A Time” by Allison Adelle Hodge Coke.

“when it is over said and done

it was a time

and there was never enough of it.”


Genre: flash memoir
Word count: 143
Title: L’esprit de l’escalier

***

Last Fall, I wrote a poem about watching my father drink coffee and smoke when I was a young child. Our father-son relationship improved slightly later in life.

I’d received good reaction to the piece, so I considered its potential for submission. I requested further feedback from a critique group (mostly fiction writers). I was aware of the potential risks, but I wanted to know their thoughts.

One person asked, “I did not understand the last few lines where you said, ‘I figured it out. He did too. In the end, it was just the end.’ Can you explain what you meant?”

Stumped for a good answer, I copped-out with, “He died”—a true but poor response on my part.

Now I could simply say, “When it is over, said, and done, it was a time. And there was never enough of it.”

***

Look both ways for answers.
Mind the gaps in the poetry of others,
it’s where we may find answers.

Poetry: What They Were


Now abandoned, there sits an old home
convent campus of providence sisters,
a cloistered retreat,
once a thriving worshiping community.

Now greedy developer fodder,
this sad waste-like memory rots,
loved only by climbing and scratching
brambles of blackberries. There’s
no salvation for the old.


Look both ways for revitalization of the past
and for the hopes of the future.
Mind the gaps for invasive species.

Click Image for link to PEW article.

 

NaPoWriMo: 30 poems in 30 days (day 23)

Day 23 prompt: write a poem about a letter of the alphabet or letters forming a short word.


Words of Woe

You came to save us from distress,
simple, yet smart, and set in Morse code:
dot dot dot  dash dash dash  dot dot dot,
signaled in sight, sound, or touch.

S O S, an ambigram palindrome with
a beat in songs by Abba, Avicii,
and Rihanna with a telegraphic
message of mayday, mayday, m’aidez.

From Germany to boy scout merit badges
to beach branches and mirrored flashes,
your footprints in the snow, simple,
unmistakable, unambiguous.

A call . . .  for help – – – to be heard . . .
around the world.
Sometimes something lifesaving,
too often, distressfully not. S O S.


Look both ways for signs and signals of distress.
Mind the gaps for the meaning of space and time.

NaPoWriMo: 30 poems in 30 days (day 12)


Day 12 prompt: write a poem in the form of a triolet, which is fixed and straightforward: the first line is repeated in the fourth and seventh lines; the second line is repeated in the final line; and only the first two end-words are used to complete the tight rhyme scheme.

Thus, the poet writes only five original lines, giving the triolet a deceptively simple appearance: ABaAabAB, where capital letters indicate repeated lines. According to Lewis Turco in his classic, The Book of Forms, every line of a triolet is the same metrical length.


this is your nightmare I keep on dreaming
at my best doing that terrible war
don’t lie to me when I wake you screaming
this is your nightmare I keep on dreaming
the death of love for hate’s dreamy feeling
oh, nothing like this have I seen before
this is your nightmare I keep on dreaming
at my best doing that terrible war


Look both ways in war and dreams.
Mind the gaps for traps and schemes.

NaPoWriMo: 30 poems in 30 days (day 8)

Day 8 prompt: Use a portion of a poem from a twitter bot as seed (inspiration) to write a poem.


Confession: I dislike the words twitter, tweet, and bot. It’s getting late. I need a poem. I’ve read nearly all of Anne Carson’s “The Glass Essay” searching. I considered her “Where does unbelief begin?” and discovered her phrase, “That was the night that centered Heaven and Hell,” which I may use later. I pondered Richard Siken’s words, “Let’s admit, without apology, what we do to each other” and “This has nothing to do with faith but is still a good question.” I did the perusal work of reviewing several twitter bots. Nothing worked.

Then, as I was re-reading Tim O’Brien’s The Things They Carried (1990), I found it. I try to do “optional” prompts. I hope I semi-followed the elective prompt with a twist.

My poem is based on a scene from O’Brien’s book, specifically from the chapter, “On the Rainy River.” Tim writes of sitting in a small boat 20 yards from Canada while facing his inner dilemma of doing what he thinks is morally right and what his family and most people (at the time) thought he should do: to accept his draft notice and fight in the Viet Nam War.


The Embarrassment of Tears

It was a moral freeze,
part hallucination, he supposed,
as paralysis took his heart,
a tightness he wants me to feel.

He could swim but he saw them,
a blind poet scribbling notes, people,
his past and his future, and mine.

His conscience lost the battle in a war
it could not win. He would do it.

He would go to the war –
he would kill, and maybe die
because he was embarrassed
not to. That was the thing.

And so, he sat in the boat,
and he cried, but he did not die.
Not a happy ending, his war,
his book, our war. He went to the war.

He was a coward, he claims,
because he stuffed it for them,
for their love, which he carried then,
and carries today. I disagree.

He asks me, and you,
would you cry? The scene jerks
my tears, not for Tim, or the war,
but for me. I was not in his boat.


Sit in your boat and look both ways, to Canada or to home.
Mind the gaps, there may a book or a poem in them.

Poetry: Back in the Day


House lights were off, back in the day.
A tinted eerie black and white glare,
as the boob-tube illuminated
white nicotine-laced clouds,
cigarette smoke from lit ends of
Camels or Pall Malls, unfiltered butts crowded
many ashtrays, back in the day.

Like ghosts sucked into dying lungs
of people I loved,
alive, back in the day.

The smelly, wispy, floating clouds
rolled and twisted or waved
as we passed through,
back in the day.

Forbidden addictions, I then, not yet
old enough to kill myself,
back in the day.

Second hand was for used,
not smoke.
Sickening smokers,
plus all who breathed in,
nicotine laced habits, back in the day.

Born into our rite of passage.
Now sick and dying, smoking goes on.

Never allow science to invade
personal stupidity.
We’ve always done it this way.
Back in the day.


Look both ways but stay away from back in the day.
Discover progress through science but mind the gaps to fill as we learn.