Sammi’s Weekender #237 (mudlark)

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Over The Susquehanna River

From New York it winds
nine hundred mudlarkable shoreline miles
through the Chesapeake Bay to the Atlantic.

Unlike Billy Collins, I fished it,
caught carp, sucker, catfish, perch; swam
polluted waters; climbed and walked
bridges and trestles. I grubbed its mud.

Remember disasters. Before mountains rose.
The Susquehanna is in my blood.


Look both ways when the river flows.
Here it comes, there it goes.
Mind the gaps, the pits, the whirlpools, and vermin.

***

Poetic license: The Susquehanna River is 444 miles long from New York, flowing through the State of Pennsylvania (where I knew it) into the Chesapeake Bay. That’s 888 miles of shoreline. I rounded up. Disasters include the Knox Mine crime, Three Mile Island, pollution and environmental catastrophe on an epic scale, and many devastating floods.

Sammi’s Weekender #235 (mirror)

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Timeless Reflections

For twenty-seven thousand days and nights
what you have seen is not all that ever was.
You see in me today’s truth, one perpetual now.

With one look I never judged anyone.
I reflected an eternal present
without darkness, forgiving the past,
each glimmer gone, days and nights
numbered and stacked
upon your tired shoulders.

Like ashes from wood burned
in past fires, days forgotten, names confused,
adjusted appearances, time
carefully dealt from fate’s shuffled deck,
one at a time until there was none.
Lines of life get clearer, youth
forgotten there, inside grandfather’s mirror.


Mirrors can’t look both ways.
The reflection they cast is only today.
Mind the gaps and fix the cracks, everyone has history.

This mirror hung in my grandfather’s house 100 years ago, then in our dining room from before the day I was born. Click on the photo to read Sylvia Plath’s poem, “Mirror.”

Sammi’s Weekender #234 (Empire)

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Yearning for Old Broadway

The Empire State’s
wonderful people
of the city that never sleeps.
Coney Island, Manhattan,
Central Park, and the Brooklyn Bridge.
That tall building, George M!,
Lady Liberty, the Bronx,
‘the city so nice
they named it twice,’
Gotham,
Broadway Joe, the fucking Yankees
in the Big Apple.
Herald Square, Times Square.
How I want to be there.
Sadly, the day of many hearts
broken by hate.
I love New York!


Look both ways.
Take the Staten Island Ferry and the NYC Subway.
Mind the gap, as in watch your step in the City of Five Boroughs.

Sammi’s Weekender #233 (vellichor)

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Because it was not in my MW online dictionary: John Koenig wrote that the word vellichor, which he apparently created, refers to “the strange wistfulness of used bookstores, which are somehow infused with the passage of time…”


Dear Enemy

When Jean Webster
lived, wrote, and died,
grandmother was still alive.
Both lives ended
from new life inside.

My century+ old copy
with stains and library marks
has redolent suggestions
of hidden stacks in bookstores.
Vellichor, the petrichor of paper,
print, and the souls
of past passionate readers.


Look both ways as you hold hundreds of years in your human hands.
Mind the gaps in time as we admire the history of the human mind.

Sammi’s Weekender #232 (question)

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The Weight of Truth

Your question cuts to my core.
You long for unnuanced truth bathed in heavenly light.

Who am I, naked, closeted?
Yet, you ask for the dark light, to know my vulnerable,
captive, and bound heart.

Will my truth set you free?
Shall my vulnerability be set back upon me?
My silent deception belies both truth and trust.

Long sleepless nights.
Regret, haunting wonders of who I am.

If I answer your question the world will hate me.
My truth is heaviness mankind cannot hold.


Look both ways before you answer.
Value truth but weigh the gaps and consequences.

Sammi’s Weekender #231 (legion)

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Our Masked Morons

The Kadiddlehoppers:
Abbottomy the bot,
dirty Dan,
and Perrywinkle,
planned four Guard brigades
of water boy warriors
to battle back
Obama’s invisible invading
legions, thirty already here.
Save us
from such morons.


Look both ways for details and the big picture.
Mind the gaps and trust none of them.

Sammi’s Weekender #230 (brush)

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Damn Yankees

Peckerwoods range southern from taproot wormwood sagebrush out west,
to different dialects in deep East Texas’s vast Big Thicket Forest
with snake-filled, gator-infested swamps.

Coon hunters haul coonhounds, like Ol’ Blue,
in pickups circled round night fires.
Dogs tree them coons for the bark and fun of the run.

Where cultural racism thrives as casual and common as an Easter toothache,
in tasteless towns, where hate breeds happiness decayed.

Damn longhaired, white-assed Yankee,
“What cha mean ya never been coon huntin’?
Grab yer wahoo and follow me.”


Look both ways and wonder, why does it have to be this way?
Mind the gaps for gators and snakes.
“Old Blue got one treed, but Scout is a-trackin’ some tail.”

National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) Plan Reveal


A few years ago, I completed writing my fifty-thousand-word memoir during Nano. The unfinished manuscript haunts me. I want to finish it, get feedback, and maybe self-publish.

I also want to put some poetry book pages together, but that may have to wait until later in 2022. Maybe I’ll discuss poetry as I contemplate National Poetry Writing Month (April).

I’ve acquired a training course, and I have other books on writing memoirs. Writers Write suggests doing a few other things, such as completing their 127 free memoir prompts. Flash memoirs. Why not?

For Nano 2021, I intend to write about 400 words for each of the 127 prompts before November 30th. That would be five prompts per day, each about the length of this post, yielding almost 2,000 words daily. I’ll commit to 50,000 words for the month. I shall neither edit nor revise. That’s a Nano no-no.

It’s not as creative and crafty as a novel, but I am not in the novel or novella mood. I want to commit to my memoir by January of 2022. But I also want to do Nano.

Additionally, I’ll post two poems, one essay, and a flash fiction story each week.

My weekends may be busy. Sammi’s prompt requires fewer than 100 words. That is one poem. But I must wait for the prompt which pops up about 3:00 AM (US central time) each Saturday morning. My writer’s group, RRWG, zoom meeting is 11:00 AM to 1:00 PM on Saturdays. Maybe I’ll write more words on other days to reduce required weekend writing.

I post a 1000-ish-word essay for my Dispassionate Doubt blog each Friday. I’ll get a head start on those before Nano begins. I moved my midweek poem to Thursdays, and I want to continue that. Maybe I can get them drafted, if not written.

Moving my midweek poem is because I plan to continue with Friday Fictioneers (FF) prompts. At 100 words and technically three days to finish posting, writing FF is doable. The reading and commenting on others will take longer. But I can do it.

Many Nano participants work eight or more hours a day, have kids to deal with, and lives with less time available to them than I have. If they can find the time, so can I. We’ll find out.


Look both ways.
The reason to accept a challenge is to meet it.
Mind the gaps for wasted time (Facebook and rabbit holes).
Plan.

Sammi’s Weekender #229 (caboodle)

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It’s All Just Stuff

Measure married history
with social mobility
and acquired caboodle from:

Abilene to Ankara, Turkey,
then back with bounty
to College Station.
Then Woodville.
Then Abilene again,
and on to Del Rio.

Sacramento before
Fort Worth,
then to Guam
for booty from China Pete’s,
Korea, and South Pacific trips.
Back to SAC,
then to San Antonio.

Edmund, Oklahoma,
and Albany, Texas preceded
San Antonio’s redux.

Florida came before Seattle.
Finally,
Georgetown with another
van of encumbrances.
Stuff.
And memories….


Look both ways for what was and will be.
Count blessings, mind gaps, and cherish memories.
Measure happiness and adventure carefully.