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)

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

M is for Maybe

Maybe today is just
one of those days 
when nothing much gets
done. I'll sit by the window
and stare at that blue, blue sky,
one or two clouds low on the horizon,
and the cherry blossoms 
will open, perfuming the air. 
Maybe today,
the hummingbirds will return.
Maybe that little black-banded flicker
hopping in the grass
will build a nest. Maybe
I can trust a night without frost
until the seasons turn.

Cherry blossoms, late spring (Camp 2012)

Monday, April 14, 2014

L is for Ladyfish . . .

If I were a fisherman,
I'd try to hook you,
you skipjack, tenpounder, 
Spanish hogfish, slick and fat,
a poor man's tarpon at up to 22 pounds,
you bony shrimp eater, 
dubbed by the Greeks a serpent.
Most catch you 
for the sheer pleasure of the fight, 
throw your bony body back,
into murky coastal waters,
not good eating, but
I'm not a fisherman.
I'd rather swim with you
out into the deepest parts of the sea,
and when the babies come, tiny larvae,
transparent, translucent,
I will sing to you, and your
half-eyelids will quiver at the sun.

Read what others are writing for the A to Z Blogging Challenge HERE.

I do love fishing, don't mind getting up very, very early or gutting out a nice salmon, not at all like buying fresh-caught fish from a store. But this poem was inspired by three things: a copy of The Mermaid Quilt & Other Tales sold this morning on Amazon, the word "ladyfish" (really evocative) jumped off the Scrabble list of "L" words, and Wikipedia filled in the blanks. The ladyfish actually is long and skinny and very bony, but to a hungry fisherman, I think it would look sleek and fat.

Saturday, April 12, 2014

K is for . . . Klondike Bar

Everyone should have
some private indulgence,
a bite into chocolate,
sweet as sin, dark, far easier
to surrender, eyes closed, 
to those tastes that distract and delight,
hot and cold, 
than to pitch my book
or stand in front of strangers
and read aloud. I'd rather be 
eating ice cream, out on the back porch,
watching green leaves unfurl
on the tall willow tree.
Wouldn't you?

Today, I'll be rolling downtown here in Spokane to read a bit from one of my books. I thought I was looking forward to this reading, but why did I wake up thinking of ice cream, my go-to comfort food? My favorite? Dreyers's Grand, chocolate with peanut butter clusters. Too bad it melts. I've put it aside for a time, more interested in calories and health than sweets. Actually, I haven't eaten ice cream for several months now, but I still remember the taste. It seems funny to be thinking of ice cream at 6 am, but that's what came along with the letter "K" for the A to Z Challenge.

Read what others have written HERE.