Wednesday, April 23, 2014

T is for Tangent . . .

Shall we travel to Tangiers
and sit again in that roadside cafe,
sipping hot mint tea?
Or drive along Tortola Boulevard
near the tar pits, the oil
coating the back of our throats,
the sunset murky red on the horizon?
Or watch that blonde tarantula in Tucson
go hunting for a mate,
right on the sidewalk in front of us;
he'd strayed there from the desert,
but he owned that sidewalk.
Or shall we wander down the streets
of old San Telmo in Buenos Aires,
the music of tango tempting us 
once again to sway to the beat
set by accordians,
perhaps to dance.
My suitcases stand by the door.
I am more than ready for a tangent.

I taped these three street musicians playing Klezmer on the streets of San Telmo in this 11-second clip. 

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

S is for Someday . . .

I'm meeting my daily commitment to editing. But I can tell when I'm falling behind, for I don't water my African violets, and they're really pretty. Someone once told me that flowers emerge when the plant feels threatened. Maybe that's why they are purple gorgeous. So, do I water the poor little things or write a poem?

I won't care to write,
but it's not tonight;
the African violets
will have to wait.
Meanwhile, I will ignore
that high-pitched hum, tinnitis, 
for the humming of this story:
my characters battle enemies 
within and without,
ward off omens, 
ignore the raven's last cry,
sail to new lands, 
and awaken renewed. 

My African violets (Camp 2012)

Monday, April 21, 2014

R is for Restore . . .

I wish I had a button
marked restore
somewhere nearby, 
a simple set point
that would take me back
to certain moments in time:
our first kiss at 3 am
that night we got locked in 
at Ghiradelli Square;
or just holding your hand as we walked
along the wetlands near our house,
the red-winged blackbirds marking spring;
or that moment you sang Brahm's lullaby
when our daughter was born,
and you can't sing.
That point in time wouldn't have to be
memorable. I would start all over again
and cherish each day.

Allen and Beth
Los Angeles, 1975

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Q is for Quicken

In the earliest days of spring,
winter presents itself, 
the last of the ice or snow, 
tree limbs as sticks into the sky.
My hands and feet are cold,
yet, something quickens,
the first crocus,
the smallest redbud,
the day the robins return,
that stretch of light a little longer
each evening,
and I can put aside those dark thoughts
that come in the months before spring,
before you told me
you carry a child.

Busy week, yet still time for editing and writing. Sundays for the A to Z Challenge, thankfully, is a day without blogging, a day of rest. Read what others have written for the A to Z Blogging Challenge HERE.

Friday, April 18, 2014

P is for Parsnip . . .

That pale white root
that lays on your plate,
rather like a carrot
left over from winter
that someone boiled
far too long,
disguised with parsley and butter,
a parsimonious vegetable,
knobby and true
to its own sweet self.

Parsnip (Wikipedia)
Still hanging in with a shorter poem today for the A to Z Blogging Challenge. Read what others have written HERE.

I was amused to learn that parsnips are actually part of the parsley family -- grown by Romans, with winged seeds. But the lowly parsnip has its dark side; if you handle it too much, the parsnip may give you a skin rash!

Thursday, April 17, 2014

O is for Oleander

Sweet smelling oleander,
your fragrance hangs 
on the hot Phoenix air,
your narrow shaped leaves, 
like an olive tree,
Athena's gift
dark with promise.
You are toxic in every part,
like some men I have known,
dogbane to the heart.
I pass rows of you
planted along the freeways,
safely enclosed in my car,
belching out my own poison.

We moved to Glendale when I was a teenager, our house in a run-down neighborhood just outside of Phoenix. The two gigantic oleander bushes planted as guardians on either side of the front door did not protect us. Today's dark little poem came from that long ago time.

I learned that oleanders are the official flower of Hiroshima as they were the first flower to bloom there after the dropping of the Atomic Bomb, thus a symbol of renewal, rebirth and hope, despite its poison.

Oleander (Wikipedia)

Read what other A to Z Bloggers have written HERE.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

N is for napping . . .

Close your eyes,
sink into pillows.
Don't set that alarm. 
Let the sun 
burn a hole in you,
or maybe just roll over,
cat nap the afternoon away, 
a nap without dreams.
Fifteen minutes,
twenty minutes
can make
you whole.

I thought about writing a poem about the importance of saying no, but I'm too tired. Napping sings its own song to me tonight. Researchers add that caffeine and napping can increase alertness and performance, though some look on napping as a weakness, a luxury for children and the elderly. And some folks can only sleep in their own beds.

Read what other A to Z Bloggers are writing this month HERE

Stella the Cat, Philadelphia (Camp 2009)